In my mind it was going to be a simple shout out. A hashtag of appreciation for an inspiration of mine. However every time I attempted to condense her Black Girl Magic, my unceasing awe for her pen and the impact she’s made on my life, I faltered.

That’s because Gina Phillip is uncontainable and ever evolving. She is atmosphere.


Even in her photos you can hear her speak. Her eyes ranging from joy, to sorrow coated pensivenes to serving notice that you’re walking in on a conversation already in progress.


Recently diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) Gina’s unwavering zest for life continues amidst waves of pain, uncertainty and her insatiable curiosity with the “why’s” of life. Some years my junior, her wit and wisdom far exceed any generalities associated with her existence in the natural realm. 
Already a lover of the beach and all things naturally regal, a once casual swim has now become life giving water therapy for Gina. Her writing, still a weapon of choice has moved from observation to musings of life rivers untold.


On her award winning blog she describes herself as such:

” I am from the heart of the Caribbean, the isle of Antigua; that place you’ve never heard of, “where land and sea make beauty”. I am a daughter of the soil, steady in my foundation. I am a wing unfurled looking for direction. I am a dreamer, a wordsmith, a life in motion; a reminiscer by design but a realist by intervention. Free will or fate..there’s always a question, and within all things there is purpose, reason and even uncertainty. But life is an adventure, embrace the journey..”


My friend, singer/songwriter/poet Kamilah Cyree and I were talking yesterday about two of our favorite Instagram poets. Life in eminor and Gina. We both agreed that they were powerful women who allowed the layers of their lives to weave stories around our frame like very few we’d encountered in years.

But Gina, thanks to our pre-existing WordPress connection, had already taken up residence in my heart; incessantly reminding me by example, that broken wings can heal mid flight.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Gina Phillip. No copyright infringement intended.


My mother tells me I was a good child. A “joy to raise”.  Of course as a toddler I thought it was genius to clean my shoes with Pond’s Cold Cream and a few years later ask a Deacon at church with missing teeth; if the tooth fairy had come to him too. However those would be minor offenses, all things considered. Or would they?

Temptation is everywhere. The temptation to do wrong or the temptation to not do the right thing. There are times we give in because we are too weak to fight. Other times we just don’t give a flying fig newton. We just don’t care. We feel as though we are tough enough to handle the consequences. 


Then there are times we are tempted to take risks. Risks we would never have taken before that happenened. You know the thing that pushed you as an adult beyond the flashbacks of parental discipline and gentle childhood restraints. The thing that drove you to test boundaries; plummeting you in the middle of awkward self discovery at warped speed. The thing that made you ask, “And what if I did?“.

Where is that part of you today? The part of you that wasn’t afraid to try something new, learn something new or better yet meet someone new. What changed you? Who changed you

How we were raised and disciplined as a child affects how we look at things. It also affects our creativity and ability to think outside the box. The environment we were in either cultivated individuality or encouraged uniformity. There are moments that some children were punished for biting, taking someone else’s toy, kicking, not sharing, throwing tantrums, hair pulling and the like. However there are those who were punished just for marching to the beat of their own drum. They weren’t disobedient or disrespectful. They were just different


Perhaps the inner child in you is bucking against the system today. Tempted to wear pajamas at work on Casual Fridays. Sing a little louder from the pews during the Congregational Hymn. Dine alone. Take swimming lessons. Take a vacation. Exercise. Wear makeup. Rollerblade through Walmart. Dip in that 401K before age 59 1/2. Color outside the lines. Sunbathe on someone else’s roof. Change your cologne.  Learn Karate. Not wear a girdle. Go back to the buffet for seconds. Change your hairstyle. Try love again. Write that book. Write that song. Start that business. Patent that idea. Be yourself


Love. Breathe.  Laugh. Dance. Create. Live. Write. 

After all, what if you did?

I dare you. 


© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Photo Credits (In order): YouTube, parentingpractically.wordpress.com (via Google), sg.theasianparent.com, tsdmemphis.com. No copyright infringement intended. 


LOVE

I say that word a lot.

I was taking a gander at Webster’s definition:

love

ləv/

noun

1.

an intense feeling of deep affection.

2. a person or thing that one loves.

verb

1. feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).

And then I read the Biblical definition as recorded in 1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NASB):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

LOVE. 

Love is stressing me out

Ought not be, right? But it is. I’m an extremely affectionate, passionate, God fearing woman, so I kept reading the Biblical list. Like Santa; I even checked it twice. Found out I was one who’d been both naughty and nice. 

I’m in the mood to fight for LOVE

LOVE. 

The word is overused so much that very few have even looked up the definition. It’s just…a given. Love to them basically equals something they really like. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s no reflection on the ridiculously overlooked component to real love: SACRIFICE!

None. 

I write love poetry constantly. I write about it all…

My content is tastefully done and demonstrates a range of emotions. At times broken vernacular is used and others, the King’s English. It all depends on what I’m feeling at the time. I’d give the content I share, a PG-13 rating with an occasional NC-17 streak. By choice, I do not use profanity, sexually explicit photos or post pieces that would be classified as Erotica. However I find it very interesting that the prudish and “saints” (in this context the reference is applied to “church folk” with short term memory loss of their lives before their God encounter), are uncomfortable with publicly admitting they read and even screenshot my poetry on Instagram. 

Fascinating.

Especially considering the top reasons for divorce among Christians according to studies are:

1. Ongoing adultery/pornography 

2. Lack of communication

3. Drug or alcohol addictions/abuse

4. Physical/emotional abuse

5. Sexual problems


I liken those living vicariously through my transparency to the religious folk of Jesus’ day who couldn’t be seen talking to Him but would go to Him alone at night for help, advice and deliverance (John 3). 

Love. 

There’s nothing new under the sun and true healing ONLY comes from being honest about what’s hurting. 

To be continued. 

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee
Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks


DJ Saxy. Hers was a story I asked to tell months ago; and then life happened to me. Wave after wave of circumstances in unchartered waters crashed against every facet of my being. Every time I tried to open my mouth to gasp for air, drowning waters overtook me. As I began to get my bearings together I was able to remember unfinished conversations. My conversation with DJ Saxy was one that I wanted to finish. Life had forced me to leave our warm exchanges mid-sentence. She was headed out on tour as a DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines and that bought me some time. She’s been patient, as her’s I felt, was an important journey to share. After having graciously accepted my private apologies, which she didn’t feel were necessary; I wanted to publicly apologize as well. Thank you again for your patience DJ Saxy, let’s get this story told.

We worked together for the first time as co-hosts on GrindHard Radio’s Radio Divas talk show this past season. Besides being fun, articulate and mad cool; she is extremely knowledgeable about the music industry and selflessly shares from a global perspective. In getting to know her better, I quickly learned more than music had captured her heart. Her mother’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis weighed heavily on her. Using her platform as an internationally renowned DJ to help raise awareness about the disease, only increased my admiration and respect for her.

She Speaks In Her Own Words – Business

The name DJ Saxy came from the instrument. I played the saxophone for several Blues groups and artists while I was in college. I even had a chance to play for Blues singer Bobby Rush! I have always been a music lover, I grew up in a musical family. I started DJing when I realized I had an ear for picking out hits or songs that can do well in the industry. I was always interested in DJs at a young age like DJ Spinderella, Jazzy Jeff, Kid Capri and local radio jockeys. In my sophomore year in college I bought my first turntables and began learning the concepts of DJing. After I realized I had a grip on the art of being a DJ, I changed majors from Music Education to Music Industry.

As a female in the industry it is hard. It has been hard for me to work my way into clubs because I’m a female DJ that doesn’t dress provocatively to get in good with club owners and promoters. I’m just a girl who is a dope DJ. Of course you have the guys that try to come at you in non professional ways and once that happens I don’t deal with those clubs anymore. As a female I feel I have to prove myself even more because we are usually overlooked. I have to go harder than the guys. I often get a “look” or talked over by older men when it comes to talking about sound and DJing. They think I don’t know technicals or simple stuff because I’m a woman, but when I open my mouth and talk, they look stupid and say, “Oh…you know what you’re doing”.

I was blessed to have two club owners that gave me a shot to DJ at their clubs. I went in and “kilt it”, earning residency at their clubs, Ventura’s Lounge in Shaw, MS and ABG in Tupelo, MS. These club owners were different because they saw me as a DJ and not just a little girl trying to play music.

My break to becoming an international DJ came when I took the last of my money I saved and went to Atlantic City for a DJ conference. At the time I was a broke college student that bought a bus ticket, rode 22 hours, paid for a hotel room and had $55 in my pocket to eat off of for 4 days. At the conference I met a guy who heard me playing around with turntables and he talked me into auditioning for a job. I didn’t want to but did it anyway. I used his laptop and controller and auditioned in a room for 4 people including DJ Irie! They loved my audition and didn’t believe I was just a girl from Mississippi. Two days later I had an email offering me a job to work with cruise lines and resorts!


She Speaks In Her Own Words – Mom’s Multiple Sclerosis

I want to go to church too“, my mother said. Due to her long 12 year battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Barbara Rainey had lost her ability to use her legs and at times her arms and hands. Multiple Sclerosis is a rare (fewer than 200,000 US cases per year), chronic, typically progressive disease for which there is no cure. It involves damage to the sheaths of nerve cells disrupting communication between the brain and the body causing numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue.

I started a Go Fund ME page in an effort to help raise funds to purchase a special van that my mom can drive her powered wheelchair into. She has stated she “feels like a prisoner in her own house”, simply because she is unable to leave and travel, even if it’s to go to a much needed Dr.’s appointment. At this time, it takes two people in two different vehicles to take her out away from the house. She has to be lifted and transferred into her van and the wheelchair is lifted into the back of it as well. Once this is done there is no room for the lift to fit into the van. Therefore a second vehicle will have to travel and carry her lift. The idea of a van where she can just drive her chair into would be such a blessing for her and our family.

e Speaks

Missing Dr. appointments has taken its toll on Barbara Rainey’s health. Once she was finally able to get to the Doctor, the latest MRI revealed that she had new lesions on her brain. Though it’s been an honor to help raise awareness about women in the DJ industry as well as Multiple Sclerosis, raising awareness is just the first step. I pray this serves as a catalyst for change, an incentive to donate to the cause as well motivation to seize a moment of self reflection. We never know what someone is dealing with. Especially if they are not one to complain. Perhaps you or a loved one is dealing with a chronic illness and there are days you long to tell the whole world. Then there are days when you do scream it on every mountain top while feeling as though you’re on MUTE.

Praying you’re unmuted today and even consider…passing the mic.

DJ Saxy Links

Barbara Rainey’s GO FUND ME Page: https://www.gofundme.com/8vv9bv44  {*Site issues have been resolved per DJ Saxy}

EPK: http://artistecard.com/djsaxy

Website: http://www.thedjsaxy.com

IG: @dj_saxy

Twitter: @djsaxy

Snapchat: thedjsaxy

Facebook: thedjsaxy

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks; 2015, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’ve been quiet. Very quiet. 

Love poems have been my therapeutic weapon of choice on Instagram and I’ve been writing with a fierce vengeance. See I’ve been circling this space called authenticiteespeaks.com for some time now, looking for a place to land. Taxiing if you will; just like the airplane I was on. There’s a different, intimate vulnerability I’ve cultivated here. One I wasn’t ready to return to. So I said nothing. 

It wasn’t my first time on an airplane. It had just been awhile. I wished my camera phone could capture everything I saw. Better yet, everything I felt.

I had just left home. Brooklyn NY that is. A trip to the East Coast I had been wanting to make for some time now; but not like this.


The view from the rear of the limousine following the hearse carrying my grandfather’s casket was somber and surreal. So I said nothing. Squeezing the hand of his daughter, my mother who lost him on her birthday. A widow for over 30 years, who was raised as an only child, tightly closed her tear drenched eyes in search of answers; so I said nothing.

The polite banter of others taking the hour and 1/2 ride to the National Cemetery with us gently competed with the rain against the window and Mommy’s sobbing. So I said nothing. It was very difficult when her mother, my Grandma and our pillar died unexpectedly. We were broken and numb that December day in 1998 when we made that same drive cushioned between dirty pillows of NYC snowdrifts in lieu of rain.

I’d not seen Grandma since that day. Pop Pop, my grandfather a WWII Veteran was getting ready to be laid to rest next to her. Resting together again. Sssshh…both of my grandparents were now sleeping and I dare not awaken lovers a slumber.

So I said nothing.


Sunrise December 18, 1920 – Sunset April 30, 2016

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks