“What are you reading?”

“Are you still writing?”

Hello Authenticitee Speaks Family!

I am incredibly grateful to those of you who reach out to check on me, when my blog goes mute. Yes; I’m still a reader with a voracious appetite and a consistent writer.

As I’ve said before, sharing in this space is inherently different than any of my other platforms. It’s more intimate and incredibly close to my heart. I’m constantly amazed that new followers are still joining me in this space almost everyday!! Thank you for being here. I’m humbled by your presence.

“What are you reading?”

I’ve been reading the book Dying To Be Free – A Healing Guide For Families After A Suicide by Beverly Cobain (cousin of Nirvana’s late lead singer Kurt Cobain) and Jean Larch.

It’s an extremely heartfelt and at times a graphic portrayal (trigger warning*methods) of those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.

I definitely without hesitation recommend this book for those who have personally lost a loved one to suicide or to others like myself called to raise awareness.

“Are you still writing?”

Absolutely!

I definitely don’t post as much and consistently delete and archive my Instagram posts as usual because I bore very easily. It’s my personal preference to prune what I post quite frequently actually. Here’s a few recent pieces:

Love. I still believe.

Thanks for stopping by today and showing love, reading, sending messages and covering me in prayer!

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance.

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

I’m a huge fan. There. I said it. And if you’ve not yet met her, you’ll understand why. Presenting to some and introducing to others, our Instagram Writing Community Resident Anomaly: Printed CED.

Printed CED speaks…

It’s so funny I feel like talking about myself is one my talents and one of my downfalls. I spent a lot of time just thinking about what to say about myself, how to summarize and I honestly didn’t think of anything grand. I feel like personally and professionally I’ve always struggled with the boundary of being honest, open, vulnerable and being overexposed. When I first started my Instagram page I was completely anonymous, no pictures, video, I didn’t even reveal my sex or allow those I knew to follow me. In the thin veil of mystery I felt protected, free to express my thoughts without a pre conceived notion. I certainly would not have done something like this. But I do feel that part of sharing is allowing yourself to be slightly exposed. I feel that’s where you develop true connections, so here we are.

I won’t reveal my name but many call me CED “seed”. I started writing when I was eight, it really helped me to cope growing up in troubled circumstances. I was raised in the Northwest, some of my favorite memories are writing surrounded by nature, escaping the noise and embracing my feelings. I felt safest in pen hidden away in a stack of pages… again that boundary. I was always the shy, awkward kid growing up, probably because I walked around with a journal and ate lunch in the library. Haha. But once I really started embracing who I am I was able to come out of my shell(mostly). I started sharing my work as a teenager and I was successful with it but honestly I just thought of it completely different back then. Now I see how much it’s given me and I appreciate it more. I always felt I failed to communicate and with writing I finally felt I could make myself clear and that is an incredible feeling. What was even more rewarding was finding an outlet that not only I could freely express myself but I could connect with other people that could relate to my experiences. Now that’s art.

e speaks…

I too can relate to finding that balance; often referring to myself as an extrovert with very strong introvert tendencies.

Printed CED speaks…

Glad you can relate. I definitely would never refer to myself as an extrovert but everyday I try to become more and more extroverted. I try to push myself to step out of my comfort zone.

e speaks…

It was great to connect a face with your poetic prowess. But what wooed you to anonymity and released you to step out of the shadows?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Honestly, a lot of it was insecurity. I also wanted a safe place where I could express myself unguardedly without any predisposition. I suppose I became more comfortable with the idea of letting people closer to me. I found it easier to connect with others being a little bit more visible not to say I don’t still guard many things. I still don’t talk about my personal life such as my name or personal details but I do feel I found a better balance. Not to say there hasn’t been many successful Anonymous writers this is just something that was a natural progression for me.

e speaks…

One of the thing I’ve admired most about your writing is your ability to say so much in so few words. It’s as though you have in depth internal dialogue and methodically give the reader glimpses. It’s a gift in my opinion.

Printed CED speaks…

That is incredibly sweet and I’m humbled by your compliment, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described quite that way but I definitely have an internal dialogue but I’m not sure I would call it methodical. I really don’t have a writing process I just write what I’m feeling in the moment especially when I’m overwhelmed by that feeling. I’m a highly emotional person and I’m very introverted for me sharing my writing is a way to get out of my head.

e speaks…

The idea of your eating lunch in the library at so young an age speaks volumes about your charm. No food allowed yet eating there is a renegade move, yet at you were surrounded by millions of words speaking though silenced by the safety of pages. It speaks of strength to me.

Printed CED speaks…

Ha. You make it sound so beautiful but I definitely was no Renegade I was bullied a lot and I used it as an escape. I will say I never realized that those moments of feeling so weak would later make me feel strong.

e speaks…

You exude strength. When do you feel strongest?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you, I’ll admit I don’t always feel strong. For me strength is practice, it’s the repetition of behaviors and choices. I will say over the last few years I’ve liberated myself in many ways and that has lended to my strength, just simply accepting myself and my experiences the good and the bad makes me feel stronger. Hmm as far as when I feel strongest that’s definitely when I’m writing, alone, facing my emotions and myself boldly. I feel like over the years my writing has taught me so many things about myself and allowed to better my relationship with myself. What’s been amazing is being able to share my writing and having others connect to those feelings as well. That’s the gift I think. 🙂

e speaks…

I love that you started to share your singing on Instagram! It felt like a treat! Your eyes tell a story long before you speak. Which format seems to help you express yourself best? The written word, spoken word or songs and why?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Sharing my singing on Instagram has definitely been fun. I’ve always wanted to do it but I never thought I was a strong singer and honestly I still don’t but it’s fun and it’s a really satisfying way to share my work. I think music is a beautiful way to connect with others and it allowed me to connect with a whole different set of people making my reach a bit more dynamic. I love all of them! Written word spoken word and songs I couldn’t possibly pick… next I want to start exploring more visual forms of expression such a short videos with an emphasis on cinematography.

e speaks…

Congratulations on your debut book Little Obsessions and Delusions! What are a couple of your favorite pieces and why?

Printed CED Speaks…

Thank you so much, I’m excited to eventually release a full book and I’m very proud of what I’ve already released. Little Obsessions and Delusions means a lot to me. It’s hard to pick favorites but Heed and Submit are both very emotional pieces for me, sometimes my voice still shakes when I read the words because I feel so attached to them. I really found myself, good and bad at that time in my life (when I wrote them) and it’s something I’ll always be appreciative of.

e Speaks…

What would you tell the younger writer in you to do differently, if anything?

Printed CED Speaks…

I would tell the younger me to believe in myself, have faith In others and except what comes to me. 

e speaks…

An exclusive I tell you! CED thank you sooo much for sharing your truth in this space!! Be sure to get your copy of “Little Obsessions and Delusions” on Amazon everyone! I got mine!

Click here to read more of Printed CED’s work on Instagram!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Printed CED. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

servant’s•heart

One hour a week…four hours a month can make the world of difference in the life of another. Being involved in Suicide Awareness & Prevention efforts has me thinking about branching out into different facets of serving. Be sure to share them below and consider reblogging. I’ll be featuring a few on my blog in upcoming weeks!

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

Background image: Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

June 14 is Day 165 of 2018 | New Here? Welcome New Faces!💫e

#InspirationWithE #volunteer #helping #motivation #humanity #poet #artwork #poetrycommunity #hands #podcast #singersongwriter #writerscommunity #womenwriters #melanin #global #motivation #quotes #inspiration #wordstoliveby #writer #Affirmation #effyourbeautystandards #quote #writingcommunity #positivity #selflove #kindness #faith #writersofinstagram

Join me tonight! June 11, 2018 – 9p EST Honored to be sharing. Call designed for women but all are welcome! CALL (302) 202-1106 Access Code 765011 & tell a friend!💫e

If you or a loved one are in crisis please use the following resources:

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

#InspirationWithE #Podcast #SuicidePrevention #MotivationalSpeaker #LiveRecording #Survivor #YouAreNotAlone #family #positivity #selflove #singer #inspirationalquotes #prayer #indieartist #melanin #motivationalspeaker #writer #faith #wordstoliveby #motivation #quotestoliveby #positivity #recovery #inspiration #christian #musicians #ministry #entrepreneur

ARE YOU HAPPY?

Someone I hadn’t seen in years. Maybe like 8 years. Asked me if I was happy this past weekend. My usual response is “Happiness is based on happenings.” See I’m all heart, a skeptic, very guarded, an introvert and very private in nature. I find that because I’m kind and give direct eye contact; it’s often interpreted as being “open”. I am not.

But I like this person. A lot actually. Though mere acquaintances; I wasn’t offended. Though many go by what they overhear or what they try to piece together from social media; I believe this question came from a genuine space.

There was a time I would really ponder that question, which is bizarre to ask when just “running” into someone. I’m deep. A thinker. So the question felt very intrusive to me. Though I genuinely do not feel it was meant to be. No love lost. No grudges held. No overthinking will overtake me. But I do know this. Every question asked does not have to be answered.

I chose however to respond honestly: “I’m in a good space” and the response was, “You look like it. You look good”. I know there are many who are not happy. They ask my secret. The joy of the Lord keeps me in moments where happiness has failed me. Praying your happenings evolve into happiness and your joy remains.

Thank you for being here! New here? Welcome!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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 credit Unknown: No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 26 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 26

To The One Who Gives You Hope

You know what’s interesting is I felt compelled to look up the definition of hope for today’s writing prompt.

Sounds a lot like faith to me soooo what am I overthinking…now?

As volunteer suicide crisis counselor our training teaches us to assess a person’s feelings of hopelessness:

Anytime one loses hope they run the risk of becoming very withdrawn and depressed, if they stay in that space. Sure we all have our bad days but we must be honest about the cause and effect.

As a person who loves to give hope to others, I know what’s it like to be superwoman to several. I know what it’s like to run on fumes. I also know what it’s like to learn the hard way, that pouring from an empty cup is a lack of wisdom! Compassion Fatigue is nothing to play with. One of the most liberating moments of my journey is when God reminded me that everyone is not assigned to my caseload!

So if you’re a person that’s been struggling, feeling hopeless and helpless; I really encourage you to talk to your doctor or trained volunteer about your feelings. Your feelings are valid. Your grief is real. It’s ok to not be ok – but don’t stay there. Reach out because you are deserving of care.

To those like myself who give others hope, thank you for all that you do. Please take care of yourself!!! And finally remember the most important things to do in between breaths is to breathe💫e

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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 Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 25 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 25

To The Person One Who Has My Heart

Dear Jesus,

I joyfully remember the day I gave you my heart and sadly the day I took it back; or so I thought.

I let so many things come between us. Tired of being passionately on fire for you while being called a fanatic by some family and a couple of friends made me choose them over you. I eventually became embarrassed about my insatiable hunger for you after Tondelayo died. Always being teased about my faith and lonely when my best friends didn’t want to go to Christian events was a bit much for someone in their late teens. Friends were either God fearing but non religious, non believers who greatly respected my faith but not interested or believers who didn’t want to cultivate a relationship with you beyond Sunday morning service, Saturday Sabbath or Midweek Mass. It was lonely at times and though you said you’d never leave me nor forsake me; I could only see them…and I never saw you.

I remember the night a few years later that I was trying to go to a Sunday night concert at the late Rev. Timothy Wright’s Church that my friend now Minister, Tyrone Pittman told me about. Tyrone had begun making cassette tapes for me and I learned about a lot of gospel artists through him. From the Rickey Grundy Chorale to countless others, he kept me in the loop. Well, unfortunately Tyrone couldn’t go that night and I couldn’t find ANYONE to go to the concert. I was so frustrated that night rushing out the house only to be thwarted by my well meaning, powerful woman of God grandmother: Grandma Dora. She kept trying to help while fussing with my hair and clothes. I would move one way and she’d try to adjust a strand of hair out of place in other direction. I’d speed walk to the left and she would yank my slip to the right. She loved you Lord and I loved her but she was not my age, you know what I mean?

And that’s when I heard you say, “I’ll go with you“. And I sighed heavily and angrily blurted out, “I DON’T WANT YOU TO GO!!” A gasp of air shook my lungs. I immediately regretted my words but weariness and young adult pride tied my tongue as I flew drove through the streets of Brooklyn. I was in a hurry to get to your house God; all while ignoring you.

Fast forward to the many giving and taking of my heart pivotal moments in my life. To the many sins and transgressions I sometimes intentionally did because of a false sense of entitlement. Sinning like it was my turn, you know? Like, how come they can do it and I can’t.

Lord Jesus, I’m so glad you’re not like me. I’m so glad you went to the concert with me anyway that night. I’m so glad you were already there when I got there. I’m so glad you were and still are patient with me. I’m so glad for your mercy and your grace. I’m eternally grateful that you know all about me and still want me.

And just in case someone else comes across this letter, I’m so glad…you knew that they would.

Love,

Ericka

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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 Google Images – the late Lester Kern. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 24 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 24

To Someone Who Wants To Heal

How bad do you want it, right? I mean certainly that would be the only thing hindering healing, right?

It dawned on me that pages of old record Jesus asking the same question: “Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6 GNT

You see me sick, struggling and bound – why wouldn’t I want to be healed?

Comfort vs. Our Comfort Zones

But wait there’s nothing comfortable about discomfort, or is there? And I don’t deem the poser of the question insensitive or naïve but rather as one viewing the proximity of healing (emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially) a lot closer than the infirmed envisions.

Faith vs. Denial

Glass half empty, half full or broken. Only you can decide. No blame gaming here or blame shifting here. No matter the cause, precipitating event or trigger, life has a way of leveling the playing field. As a result; love, compassion and humility are the best way to approach those who may be so weary and in so much pain – they no longer want to be healed. They no longer want the marriage to be restored. They no longer want the house on the hill. They no longer want to be healed – because too much time has passed.

No matter the space you’re in…be encouraged. This a no judgment zone. And be prayerfully open. Don’t let bitterness, disdain and cynicism harden you. Remember healing…well it comes in many forms.

Let me hear your voice🙏🏽e

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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 Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 20 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 20

To Someone You Are Trying To Forget

Mission accomplished.

The end.💫e

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 17 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 17

To Someone Who Is No Longer With You

The vintage piece I’ve selected today is a poem entitled: EYE CONTACT.

Thank you for being here💫e

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.