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

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Twitter | @Authenticitee

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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.

#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

*****************************************

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 Pixabay. 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

***************************************

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 Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 14 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 14

To The Boy Across The Ocean

We

wading

in deep waters

without drowning

I can’t stop

thinking about you

God knows

I wish

I knew how…

Wish I knew how to…

Knew how to breathe underwater

Inhaling our moments

Undisturbed

Uninterrupted

Unquestioned

Rivers promise me tomorrow

And tonight’s moon is ours

Again against every odd

Countless are the hours

We’re swimming while standing

Standing while soaring

Soaring while fully submerged…

Across every ocean

Undeniable motion

Synchronization…shapes our world

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

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: Pinterest – Model: Remi Alade Chester. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 13 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 13

To The Thunder In Your Veins

Thunder. We hear it but don’t see it right?

Feel it’s roar, vibrato and rumble but can’t trace it?

Knowing it’s there but can’t put a finger on its pulse…

Forced to respect its power though you don’t know when it’s coming so it startles you and forces you to pay attention.

It demands respect.

The thunder in your veins is life itself.

No guarantees with the exception of the guarantee that it’s alive and it will make its presence known.

Remember – we see the light(ning) before we hear the thunder and feel the wind of its effects.

Perhaps that’s what missing from your plans, goals, life focus.

Hence the inability to feel alive and recognize purpose embodied in the thunder in your veins.

Where, who and what is the source of your light? Your joy? Your hope? Your song? Your voice? Your inspiration?

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

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 3 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up here!

According to Wolf Song Alaska:

Keep in mind that a wolf’s real personality is often hidden under the character of his or her social position. Intelligent, non-aggressive, and friendly with the ability to make strong emotional attachments are among those traits we can generalize about the magnificent wolf.

Day 3

Bark And Moans Beneath The Howl

Written by Ericka Arthur for Authenticitee Speaks

Howling they say keeps the pack together and as I say, the enemy at bay. Life as I know it has summoned different parts of my persona in recent years. Some facets I’ve fully accepted while others even I’m still adjusting to. One thing is certain; I’m serious about warring for my family first in every realm and only the discerning that I’ve deemed worthy, are allowed access to the moans beneath the bark.

So to the wolf in my chest? You’re best served and serve best uncaged.

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

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: Pinterest via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.

“Before I created you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.” – Jeremiah 1:5 CEB

I couldn’t find that journal entry even if I tried. I intentionally destroyed many journals several years ago because I didn’t realize how intensely personal they were until I stumbled across them in a forgotten pile of junk. Long before texts, screenshots and someone picking up the other phone in the house; marble or spiral notebooks and gifted journals held all of my secrets.

And they were safe.

Well except that time my little brother wrote back to me – IN my diary!! “That’s not how it happened!”, he scribbled. Ugh. The audacity of him; my fellow Brooklyn Brownstone Sheltered Creative. As if his banging on the drums at odd hours wasn’t enough.

Nonetheless I digress.

Fast forward to the year 2000. Married two years at the time, God had been seriously bothering dealing with me and refused to let a Sista go. Still adjusting to being married to a musician with a hectic touring schedule; I had just come to terms with my inability to have children. I remember God giving me instructions during a private moment of prayer one day and me being very blasé about them:

  1. Prepare to be a mother.
  2. Prepare to preach.
  3. Prepare to ________.
  4. Write it down.

Though every effort to help obey God was given; that third one still remains unfulfilled and has been kindly rerouted to my eye rolling “LORD YOU KNOW!” file. But the other two instructions were different.

When God said, “Prepare to be a mother” during my private moment of high praise His whisper was so strong I turned around! It was though He didn’t get the memo that I couldn’t have kids. And to boot, prophecies about me being a mom had been popping up so much I started tuning them out. They were frequent, always from strangers and always at the end of a church service or conference I sung at! One in particular was extremely specific…

I remember I had just finished singing and a few minutes later was called to the altar by the conference host and told to stand in a specific intercessor’s line. This was and is still NOT my norm. Never been quick to jump in a prayer line. I don’t play with that. I’m old school Honty. This means I ain’t eating everybody’s cooking and everybody ain’t laying hands on me either! Be done messed around and picked up something I can’t shake; Ok?! Anyway, the intercessor asked me where my children where as though I was supposed to bring them up for prayer too, so I explained that I didn’t have children. The intercessor immediately responded, ” I see three. A girl and two boys”.

You ever believe God for something for so long you either forget about it, question you heard Him or just turn that part of you off because it hurts too much to believe?

Who knew two years later I’d give birth to our first child Kayla; a preemie born 6 weeks early. Our second; Kevin Jr. was a 10 lb 7oz giant born two years later. And then our third child Kyle, the angel I never got to hold; passed away a year later. A girl and then two boys just like the prophetic intercessor said? The agony of being barren, giving birth to a preemie, a full term baby and then the devastation of a miscarriage? God who did I go through all of that for? Because that pain and uncertainty I endured could not have been just for me!

Wait and to think God said, “Prepare to preach” at the same time! He told me to prepare to be a mother when I couldn’t have kids. Huh?! It was like God was running a two for one special confirmation combo that day; so that if one word had been established in the mouth of 2-3 witnesses AND came to pass, surely I had heard God right! I mean I wrote it down in my journal and all but I wasn’t trying to hear that. I wanted to be a mother but I didn’t want to be a preacher. Who wants to be a preacher? Yes. Ok. Music Ministry. But please Lord not… preaching.

I was surrounded by so many opinionated people on both sides – I chose to share it with no one. Some felt women weren’t called to preach, others said Miriam, the sister of Moses, was just one of many female prophets God used in the Bible days. Others could care less but didn’t think there was anything wrong with women being Sunday School teachers, teaching Women’s Bible Study or preaching once a year on Women’s Day. I knew I wasn’t called to pastor a church so I enjoyed flying under the radar for as long as I could.

But God’s voice was so persistent I went to my father in law love who was my pastor at the time and told him I felt called to preach. He was supportive but made it very clear that he’d be in prayer for confirmation of my calling.

I closed out the year 2000 by preaching my first sermon: “Ready, Willing and Disabled. It was right on the heels of a terrible NJ Turnpike car accident my husband and I had survived only two days prior. I saw the front left tire of the car to the right of us dance across the highway before it crashed through our front windshield; stopping about an inch shy of my husband’s face. The glass that shattered on him from head to lap as we swerved across the highway, fell off his face like water. We walked away with not one scratch

I could go on and on but there’s only one reason I chose to share all of this today. It was just gonna be a two line Facebook post about me being my Mommy’s twin as seen in the featured image for this post but God kept laying you on my heart.

As a poet and writer of “tastefully done grown folk-isms”; I know what it’s like to struggle with being called to ministry both in and outside the four walls of the church. It is not easy. It really isn’t. If you are questioning your calling because it doesn’t fit into a box and neither do you, I cannot stress the importance of knowing God’s voice for yourself. I believe if we weren’t so hard on those whose calling went beyond handing out programs, welcoming the visitors and singing in the choir; more people wouldn’t feel shunned or question their life’s purpose.

I’m GUILTY of at one time being ignorant of what some refer to as Marketplace Ministry (non traditional) life callings. I didn’t understand, know anything about nor understood ministry beyond churchdom. I really didn’t. And like most of us until we learn better; I was judgmental of what I did not understand. But I understand now; and it’s really important to me that I’m part of the solution, not part of the problem. Though eventually licensed to preach in 2010 and at that time a MDiv/MSW dual degree seminary student; my life has since taken a SERIES of twists and turns. After only one semester my whole life changed drastically.

Here I am a very different woman than I was 8 years ago. But even after everything I’ve been through, three things have remained the same. My love for God, my love for all races/cultures and my unwavering burden to help the hurting; not ostracize or further damage them because we think differently.

Maybe you know you’re built for so much more. But you have stopped dreaming, praying and talking about the things you want to do because nothing seems to be going right or you lack support. Maybe you’ve questioned your calling because you don’t feel qualified.

Well…

And…

So say it with me…

And then…

‘Cause um…

Love you to life & cheering you on from the sidelines…💫e

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: My Mommy (holding me), Google Images, Pinterest Sopha Rush, Dharius Daniels, AC. Sparks. No copyright infringement intended.

Parched anyone? Land barren? Soul cluttered? Have you taken time to discern who/what is luggage in your life vs. who/what is really baggage? When’s the last time you quieted your soul? Sat still long enough without music or dozing off to recognize the sound of your own voice; minus disdain or background noise? Congestion is a hindrance to any type of flow. Any fount that constantly pours out w/o being repaired AND poured into will eventually dry rot. Ask me how I know.

So who pours into you? When was the last time you assessed the congestion in your life? Who feeds you? Who drains you? Who siphons gas out of your proverbial tank? Who thrives at their highest self at the mercy of your lowest self? Who does not have to be seduced, coerced or reminded how to love/want you? Pruning and the socially acceptable spring cleaning season is drawing nigh but shedding spiritual/emotional clutter is paramount for strategy.

Soul searching and self introspection has only further deepened my resolve to BE whole – not just look whole. I’ve been thrust into deeper waters with no life jackets or deep sea diving gear to offer. I have found those journeying in the same direction are already soaring below sea level.

What do you desire? Envision? If every social media platform faded away today, what legacy would you leave behind? Managing approximately 12 social media accounts, not including this blog and the suicide prevention organization I volunteer for – is definitely my doing THEEE most! Though I’ve resisted autobot apps to date and have recently discovered some incredibly powerful content – social media streamlining is inevitable!

As King Royale L’radin would say, “Where’s your checklist? A thought provoking day to all!”

On Twitter? Meet me @ EAInspiration for my new #QuoteOfTheDay series! Season 1 of my Inspiration With E radio show is on demand! Season 2 updates to follow! Welcome new faces!💫e

Photo Credit: My Brooklyn NY, Winthrop JHS, world traveling homeboy Aaron Watford @s0ldier0fl0ve in Thailand last week!

2/17/18

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

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.

Valentine’s Day was a day I hated to see headed my way LOL! It was so bad Honey even the 😍😘❤️ emoticons were triggers ok?! Wait – for YEARS!

When I first started my IG page I had only been blogging for less than a year; so between poetry collaboration requests and dudes who didn’t know I was married tryin’ to holla – a popping DM was VERY overwhelming at times!! Instagram was definitely not the most comfortable place for an oft mistaken extrovert who was really an “all heart” guarded introvert with trust issues. Go figure right? But it wasn’t until I started receiving prayer requests from strangers – though I never made a declaration of faith in that space along with constant requests for advice on how to heal a broken heart – that I realized my tiny part in this huge algorithm machine of life was much bigger than me.

Though I wrote through it all, collaborating with some of the BEST poets in the IG Poetry Community; my healing didn’t begin until my best friend encouraged me in that no matter the DATE on the calendar, it was a BRAND NEW DAY to live, love, laugh and try it all again.

HEALING DIDN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT! It took some years but eventually that planted seed began to change my outlook towards a day I once hated to see headed my way.

Today I woke up with a grateful heart! Grateful for way too many nouns to list here but also remembering those who’ve yet to recover from the pain they’re in.

So no matter the condition of your heart today; know that you’re in my thoughts! If you’re happy, then I rejoice right along with you!! Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy!!! But if today’s a toughie for whatever reason – know that you are loved and deserving of GREAT love!

To those that celebrate, Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day! Abundant blessings to all! New Here! | Welcome New Faces!💫e

Day 46 of 2018

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

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 photo credit: Ericka Arthur