I Have Been Blind

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"Vision WITH ACTION..."

… But it hasn’t been my fault. If I continue on with these blinders… then it will be my fault.

Sco•to•ma
skəˈtōmə/
noun MEDICINE
noun: scotoma; plural noun: scotomata; plural noun:scotomas

a partial loss of vision or a blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field.

I put a scotoma on the vision for my life. I have been sitting in the dark. Have you ever done that? Think hard. Maybe you thought you should be doing massage but you settled in as an administrative assistant because you couldn’t see how to make it as a massage therapist. Maybe it was being a writer but you associated it with struggling artist and opted to get a job that just let you pay the bills.

We put blinders on and block our vision. I can remember being a tween dancing around my grandparent’s house wanting to be a mogul. I developed the idea from wanting to be a mash up of Oprah (before the billionaire status), Spike Lee and Debbie Allen (I think I just wanted Debbie’s fierceness because at the time she was just on FAME and that is all I knew.) Scotoma kicked in when I began learning about college, careers and salaries. That “get a good job” mentality kicked in and my desire to be a mogul was hard to grasp in the confusion of information.  I could not figure out how to go about it. I stopped thinking it was possible. Fear of not suceeding set in.

I recently started recrafting that vision for my life again. And the dots began connecting, again. Mogul… that status is more than comfortable. I am interested in being… rich. Living in God’s abundance is real. How can I be of help from a position of lack?

One of the problems within the Black community is wealth. There are a percentage of use who have achieved wealth. But still we are unable to broker power plays because we lack the access to financial resources. We certainly know that this wasn’t always the case. I have been reading my Great, great, great grandfather’s book, the Life and Early Recollections of Dr. James Still, and I realized there was a blueprint for my family all along. Dr. Still was a millionaire. He started out having loans and was in debt but he saw his purpose in life was to heal. He had a vision to open a clinic in which to heal the sick and through helping others and being a vessel through which God’s work could be done he was blessed with family and a successful practice of herbal medicine.

I love that saying about God qualifying the called. My great, great, great, grandfather didn’t study medicine but he healed with herbs and his knowledge of the body. He was qualified by God to do what he did and he saved lives because he followed his vision and the purpose on his life.

We all come into our own understanding in our own time, and if we can not see how to achieve something scotoma sets in. Getting clear on what you want and the belief that you can achieve it will clear up this condition. Your vision for your life is important. Without it you are not living. Make sure your vision for your life is intact.

I challenge you to write down your vision for your life and read it daily and chose to believe that it can be achieved.

Someone Should…

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Those words have come out of my mouth many times over. Someone should create a shop that does this… Someone should start a website that does that… I have so many ideas I figure I can’t do them all. You ever feel like that? That you need a partner to execute plans or to lend ideas to someone for them to do. Sometimes you may not be the best conduit for the actual creation but the idea is pure brilliance. Fyah… if you will.

But then there is this line of what you need to do and what you want to do and you have to figure out, really what gets cut. Because it is not about what is the priority. You know priorities are needs… those things that have to get done against all odds. Essentially, what that means is you have to “adult”. Pay bills, buy groceries, take the kids to school and pay for piano lessons for little Malik. Your idea to start that expresso bar is on that shelf in the closet that you never even open.

One thing that I feel like the Millennials have cornered the market on is going for delf or the come-hell-or-high-water syndrome. They have an idea, execute it, sell it to the highest bidder. Then it is on to the next. Not all but more that a few. Responsibilities be damned… procreation… meh.

I have been phased out. Phased out of the background where it is comfortable. I tried to retreat back into the comfort of the shadows. Actually, I am still trying to be background to no avail. But once a calling is recognized, retreating is no longer a box available. I have always enjoyed teaming up, collaboration to create. But the older I get with the ideas I have had has made me relinquish the enjoyment. From the early days at Howard, I was being trained on loathing group projects. While there have certainly been a few that have been a breeze, some have been moments of torture. I have definitely had some great collabos (DeanwoodxDesign, The Front Porch Sound Series…) so I can not say that I haven’t been blessed in that area.

In my book of projects dust is collecting and things aren’t getting done. So… change is eminent.

That is all… for now.

I am an Emissary of the Future

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So… I am all signed-up to be an Emissary of the Future with the United States Department of Art and Culture. Isn’t that title exciting? Kinda. Technically, it means I am putting myself on front street for the love of my community and social justice for all. As an artivist in the community I see so many connections to solutions through the arts.

Art is not just beautifying a neighborhood where blight resides. It is a movement… hell is it is movement. The sooner that is realized the sooner solutions are realized. Think about the possibilities. What does doing better look like?

The city of DC is currently renovating The Strand Theatre at the corner of Division and Nannie Helen Burroughs. The Strand was once a movie theatre and meeting spot for African American families East of the River in the Deanwood and surrounding communities. It has been sitting since it closed in 1959. That is 55 plus years that this historical landmark has looked quite less than stellar.

To go from dank to spankin new and fresh not only revitalizes that building but it revitalizes those passersby. When you see dilapidated buildings, trash, broken fixtures and blight in your community it makes you feel unworthy and neglected just like those buildings. Living day in and day out like this creates a lack mentality. Art is the beginning of that solution. It helps you dream in possibilities.

Being an Emissary to the Future, I want to get the community to put on some imagination specs and get the ball rolling on progress. Stop waiting for officials to decide what they will do show them some action about WHAT YOU WANT DONE.

Stay tuned as the plans for the #DaretoImagine project comes together I will be giving updates and countdowns!

Eye Wear

I wear glasses…

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So… I have a strong affinity for eye wear. I call these beauties “Pearly Victorious”. I was worried that they would be to light but they actually look pretty good  (to say so myself). These are a fashion accessory I can’t see (going) without.

I have a style icon. I think most fashion conscious culture iris apfel_2people do. Mine is Iris Apfel! She is a style maven. Her glasses are iconic. Many figure her to be in the fashion industry but if you take a closer look you realize she does not have the trappings of fashion but that of style. An interior designer, Apfel wears what she likes, and among her likes are  her iconic glasses not to mention her baubles and trinkets.

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Jill Scott and her Tom Ford glasses as seen on The View.

Everyone loves to add on to their look. More and more celebrities are being more fashionable with great specs. There is a resurgence of folks that have to ask… “Do they have medicine in them?” For me the answer is…Yes, I need the medicine. The interesting thing is as a youngster… glasses were not this cool. I always sought unique frames though. My philosophy is since I have to wear them and the people I come across have to see them… they might as well be entertaining. I feel like why not give folks something fun to look at.

If you want to create a signature look and you are a glasses wearer like moi… Zenni Optical is your friend. There are other friends in my arsenal like Warby Parker, Coastal, See… but Zenni and I have a relationship. We get along well. More times than not without trying the frames on I am satisfied and ecstatic at the fit and the look.

Look at these fabulous EyeBaubles!!! Or what about this EyeCandy? Try them. Zenni Optical has great glasses at low prices. These maybe next…

Don’t leave the kids out…


The Sondai Souq

Watch Sondai on #Periscope

SOULSESSIONS (5)

I have slowly… NO… I take that back, quickly become addicted to the world of #Periscope. One of my new scoper gurus said “It is the best place for free professional development and entertainment.” Thanks Chalene Johnson.

YES! Depending on who you follow you can “get your life” on Periscope. From messages for the spirit, live coaching, tips on building and maintaining your brand, the platform is an excellent tool and can be a great way to expand your career.

I will be posting my first #Periscope soon and I am looking to provide topics that are of value! The nuggets of knowledge that I have seen on this app have been invaluable. From @JessFozard in Australia, to @trendysocialite in North Carolina and @NapturalNicole in Baltimore, Periscope has great information and community building. Truth be told there is huge value to it.

So check download the app, and check for the “Sondai Sessions” Live on Periscope coming soon! I will be talking S.A.S – Spirit, Art & Style.

Gosh… putting it here makes it real. Whoa! I have that nervous out of my comfort zone excitement.

Check out my finds in the sondai souq

It’s pronounced…

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I credit southern girl Gaytra Arnold with my company name. We were sitting on the campus of Howard University coming up with business ideas and company names. She liked a few other names but to me sondai stuck. It was defined as “keep pushing forward”. I was smitten from there on, it was a directive and I was compelled to do so. It was a time were I was making new waves in my life, moving to DC sight unseen, being a college student with no supervision and so many new people and perspectives. Sondai told me to keep going regardless of not being able to see the land from which I came but continue on to greater expeditions to come.

How could that not become my mantra and business name? 

I come from a great tradition of healers, freedom fighters, educators and abolitionists, it is in my DNA to keep pushing forward. Before sondai was discovered I would always tell myself “failure is not an option”. I have faltered, fallen on both knees and found myself in some precarious predicaments, but my persistence has seen me through.

So when you hear the name sondai… it is a testimony to my continuance.


The Sondai Souq

This Just In…

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CONTEMPO COUTURE CONE SHAPE SEMI PRECIOUS STONE DOUBLE STUD EARRINGS (Turquoise/Silver)

So… I did a bit of shopping for you. Check out what I found. Some of you know I like baubles… some of you don’t. If you didn’t… now you do.

I am in love with ear jackets and double stud earrings (thanks to the awesome Jo-Ann Enwezor). I could be late with this, maybe you already knew, but I am cool with that. Everything happens in divine time, hunty.

But aren’t they just adorable? A little flair for behind the lobe. I love the mix of edgy with classic materials. Think about this turquoise and silver with your summer whites! It adds “business” to your look. Super excited about these.

I also looked out for your mental wealth. Check out the Sondai Book Reference page for managing your plan to leaving your legacy to your children and their children. My current go to book is Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dr. Dennis Kimbro. I watched a #MentorMonday Spreecast some time ago, where Paul Carrick Brunson spoke with the good doctor about building wealth. It has shaped my mind in new ways, so I share it with you.

There is more but I will let you browse at your leisure. I will be adding more finds and updating you to them. Just had to share this this mid-morning update; too fun and exciting to keep it to myself. Check out The Sondai Souq my updated Amazon Store!

Secure Your Mask… First

“In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”  ~ Most Airlines In-flight Instruction

Can you see me through a field of boteh? I mean really see my truth. Can the waving of palme really hide me; or do you just not choose to recognize? Prelude to Y.U.M.D.

Can you see me through a field of boteh? I mean really see my truth. Can the waving of palme really hide me; or do you just not choose to recognize? Prelude to Y.U.M.D. Part of the PluME/Paisley Coloring Project with Ella van Wyk – Urbane, IL

I have not been heeding this instruction. We have all heard it before; that is if you have ever been on a flight. The truth is if you have been on enough flights you know the script but tend to ignore it. You become immune to it. Metaphorically, this is an instruction that should be adhered to everyday.

Most people know I wear many hats. Sometimes so many that the question in social settings that makes me sigh deeply is… “So, what do you do?”. It is a big part of living in DC, especially now. The city has slowly become a cross section of politicos and artists; always working to find the balance between the two. “So, what do you do?” becomes that question necessary to figure out who is in the room. Mind you both politicos and artists are political, that is if the artist is truly into making art from the soul. But that could digress into another conversation.

The folks in between shuttle back and forth between the two categories creating an interesting bridge between the two. Then there are the folks who get caught in a position of liaison or straddler.

This is the space I currently occupy. 

One foot in the arts. One foot in politics. Mind on social justice. Now how exactly is that working? At the moment, I can’t call it. One this is for sure it is taxing and does not really serve my inner sanctum.

Rewind… Maybe 3 years ago, I asked my mother, “Why?” “Why didn’t you push me into a career in law or medicine?” Her answer simply and unequivocally… “Because you are an artist.”

Wow.

There are some who spend their lives looking for people who really know them… who really get who they are as a human being. My mother in that moment showed me that the only person who needed to get to know me was me. Because she clearly got it.

This is where the oxygen mask comes in handy. When you have those around you who see you in a certain light or your ability to aid in a particular agenda or further a particular cause, it is important and necessary that you have a firm footing and your lungs are fully operational and inflatable. Otherwise you get tripped up and can easily have the wind knocked out of you.

The agenda of others always seeps into the crevices of those who can fulfill it. A fact that I am not mad at. This is how things progress. However, sometimes it can be obtrusive and forceful, especially to those who are keen on “getting IT” done. You know, those types willing to help, picking up the ball to make sure the goal is scored. It seems like those people are becoming fewer in number, as they are over come by obtrusive agendas and worn out souls. So before my soul is worn out…

What then…?

I create more. I spend more time with me. I create more. I reveal more thoughts through the medium that feels right. Art is… Most importantly, I relinquish other people’s issues and agendas back to them, because there is no more capacity, no more storage for them here. Some time ago I learned that everything happens for a reason. It is no coincidence that “x” and “y” took place, it was all in the plan.

So, cheers to the plan.

I type these words self – centered-ly, though the compassionate side of me hopes it is helpful to someone. The passionate side of me looks towards saving myself because the air in the cabin is decompressing.

Wrap-apolooza – Order Service NOW!

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This holiday cut down on the stress. Let me wrap your gifts for you. Do you want your gift to really stand out? Let me make it fancy. Bring me your wrapping paper or choose from my custom wraps and fabric. (Wrap and fabric is subject to availability)

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