Mixed Signals

Today is Haitian Mothers Day. I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I guess it was a little special because a few of my aunts and uncle came by to see my grandmother. I actually ran into my uncle on his way out the house.

I mentioned to him that I’d be going to Haiti and his wife was standing next to him and I got mixed signals from the two.

It’s like when you hear about a restaurant that your friends have gone to visit, a few people will say something like, “yes go and try it out – be sure to order the ribs,” and on the other hand you’ll get a friend that tells you, ” No just stay away from that place.”

I am getting mixed reviews and mixed signals.

Yes, Haiti is my uncles Country, he says there is nothing there to live off. Whereas his wife said no, there are beautiful places to visit and see, especially if you are going to the north. Either way, Haiti will never be home for me. Jersey is home for me like it or not, it’s home and just like any other state, it has its good places and the places you should just keep away from.

My uncle told me that if my Great grand uncle was going, I should have him show me where my mom and grandmother lived – basically their home. I think it would be interesting but I’d only be comparing to where I live.

I’m realizing that at the end of the day, it’s important for me to go and have my own experience. You can’t always go by other people’s reviews. Sometimes, you just have to experience it for yourself.

Asking

This past month I was in Convert Kit’s PCM class (product creation masterclass) and I talked about what I wanted my product to be. I thought of putting together a guide to help someone walk through the steps of fundraising. However, raising funds and making people care about your cause is fairly difficult. Especially if you aren’t really good at being straight to the point and good at storytelling.

However, raising funds and making people care about your cause is fairly difficult. Especially if you aren’t really good at being straight to the point and good at storytelling.

When it comes to fundraising I’ve found that people have to be able to relate to the cause in some way: they know someone who’s been affected in a similar way, they’ve gone through something similar, they care about YOU – so they give what they can to support you.

A dollar, ten dollars, prayer, encouragement.

While taking the class someone sent me a video from TED talk about an artist that used Kickstarter to fund their album. However, prior to that, she was a street artist.

I understand what she means when she says that there is much vulnerability in the asking.

It humbles you. 

Though I am raising funds for a cause I believe in, other people may not believe in it. People may feel that John Doe here in the US is more important than Mary Jane in another country.

I think … says it best. Check out her TED Talk.

 

What Happens If You Don’t reach your goal?

That thought crossed my mind this morning for my fundraiser. I thought to myself why would such a negative thought cross my mind? 

For me the worse case scenario is that I pay the funding costs myself. Pick up a few extra shifts at work, hustle a bit harder on the side and simply cough up the rest of the money. 

The other part of me believes something will come of this though. It will work out. Just not sure of all the details as of yet. 

One things for certain, someone else’s heart needs to be touched in order for them to donate. No one is coughing up money if they don’t care about the cause. 

I’m fortunate enough to know my grandmothers roots, to know where she’s from – oh how I wish I could see a bit further back the ancestry line but to at least see the house she grew up in, to see where she raised her “onze petit” eleven kids, would be awesome. 

What’s my role on all this? I’ll be documenting, serving, assisting teachers – and being of service anywhere else I am needed. 

And today another thought ran through my head. So many people hear of the poverty in Haiti. That’s not what I want to share. I think of the verse, “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 the poor in spirit are happy… 

Rather than go to this place and take photos of wretched people, I’d want to be sure I capture their dignity, their pride, their humility and joy. I think of the photographer David Sacks who passed away of cancer (learned about his work by Andy Crouch in a speech/lecture about culture making). Davids photography was about elevating people. 

Long story short: failing is not an option. 

Significance of May 18


While my church already celebrated last Sunday today is Haitian Flag Day – not to be confused with Haitian Independence Day which is January 1st. 

I saw a few posts on Facebook and one stood out to me:  what does it mean to be Haitian? 

I only know what I hear and look up on the web. We have amazing traditional dishes, we pride ourselves to being the first free African nation since the beginning of slavery. (Yet the struggle continues). It’s the country my momma came from! 

I’m curious to know the extent of the question. 

Some Haitian blogs to follow: 

Kreyolicious.com

Luionsuite.com

I wish I had a few more links to drop bit that’s about it. If you know a Haitian blogger I should check out drop it in the comments below! 

 

Just Believe

You only need to believe and have a little bit of grace and mercy upon yourself. This post is for me, and any other person struggling to get over themselves and allowing fear to stop them from using their gifts.

You know how many times I’ve heard that? I’ve let doubt countlessly hold me back. But sometimes, when you have no other option you are forced to make things work.

Figure it out. 

The one and only advice my mom has given me over, and over, and over again – because she didn’t have the answers.

I’ve got a story to tell but I can’t share all the details. I learned that its best to teach from the scar, not the wound. Basically to let the open wound healing. But this current wound is pushing me to face my fears, push doubt aside, and do the work.

I’ve mentioned before that I am going to Haiti for the first time ever on a missions trip. I have to raise a certain amount to get there. My strategy is to use gofundme as the platform to collect the funds. In exchange for the funds, I am creating artwork as a form of thanks.

I want my art to take me places I’ve never dreamed of but I’ve been allowing fear to stop me.

When I try to answer the question, ” What are you afraid of?” I have a series of answers and additional thoughts that come to mind:

Failure – but what is considered failure? People not supporting me, not agreeing with my beliefs, fear of struggling financially – forever…..

These fears exist only in my head. Every time I’ve painted something for someone in the past they’ve loved it. I can be inspired by nature, people, places, animals – my imagination is the limit (and access to materials, my limbs – you get the point).

I thought of the bible verse, “Ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” I doubted because I didn’t believe it would work, despite the money I invested, despite the feedback I received, despite the requests for additional artwork, likes on social media, and on and on the list can go.

I’ve heard it countless times that you need to believe in your product before you can sell it to anyone else. It clicked for me yesterday as I saw typefaces, merchandise, the overall branding in WW Raw – and the responses of people in the crowd. Buying a cup of soda for $9 in a holographic cup – Nah I’ll take a regular size cup because that brand, it’s just not for me – And that is more than ok.

The other thing is to be genuine. Today I did my live video on Facebook and I was s0o scared. I did the video in spite of the fear because the cushion of money I had set aside as a backup is no longer available. This strategy has to work, and I’m willing to put in the work.

The only thing of caution is ensuring I have enough time per drawing that gives above $100. I need to figure that out.

Once I finish this strategy I’ll be making a course and you can sign up to know more about it in the form below.

I’ll be going live again this week on my facebook page, and I’ll be better prepared this time around.

Interested in supporting? Visit my gofundme page here.

Life Lessons From WW RAW

Life lessons from ww raw? 
I listened to a webinar last week and a lesson I learned was to always be observing from life, the economy, reading etc. 

Today I went to WW RAW and yes I believe there are some life lessons and business ones too:

1. People won’t always like you, a known- maybe even a given. Often we – correction- I’ve often tried to please people around me. I don’t need the approval of others to do what i believe in. Those that are for what I believe in will support me. Those that aren’t, sianarah 

2. Design is valued so much more than people know or realize. The graphics for each “entertainer” is worth hundreds if not thousands – millions even? Designers – such as I ought to know our worth. We need to know the business value of our work. The souvenir cups, t-shirts and all other merchandising is where the money is at. 

Oh and there’s more 

2.1 Branding matters. From the slogan, color choices, and the outfit, hair, makeup, music -everything that lets you know who is coming out beyond the lights matter. Get the song wrong and you’ll probably get fired.  

Advertising. Need I say more? Money maker and extension of the brand. From additional entertainment to products we use daily. 

3. Commentary – I’ve yet to miss such a thing. You don’t realize the value of commentary until it isn’t there. There’s an added value to the entertainment. Sure, the crowd is hyped, but hearing the commentary whether you agree with them or not it definitely an added value. 

4. Talk is cheap. Especially in the ring. People want to see results. 
5. If your not in the know then your missing out. Or you’ll be lost. A few sayings the crowd was shouting had me lost. It’s been quite a bit of time since I’ve last watched wrestling. Your either in the game or your not. 

I’m sure there’s more but I didn’t let my boyfriend spend money to not watch this entertainment. Perhaps they’ll be a part two. 

Game of Chess

 

Today my boyfriend took me out to brunch. I got to pick out the location. It was my suggestion that we try out a spot, that seemed to be a hole in the wall – since I previously visited earlier in the week with my accountability partner.

I got to pick out the location. It was my suggestion that we try out a spot – since I previously visited earlier in the week with my accountability partner.

It’s actually a really nice cozy cafe and they have really good crepes.

While we waited for our brunch meals, we played the game of chess.

It’s been a while since I’ve last played the game and he wasn’t familiar with the game at all. We looked up the rules and I found some insight in roles each piece represents. There are many principles we can draw from the game of chess and apply them to life.

My boyfriend began to read the rules out loud:

The King

” The King is the most important chess piece on the chessboard. If he is checkmated the game is over!

The Queen

The Queen is often considered the most powerful chess piece on the chessboard. She is placed next to the king, on her own color. The game is not over when she is lost, but if your opponent has a Queen and you do not, you may find yourself at a considerable disadvantage!

Like the King, the Queen can move in any direction. However, she is not limited to just one space – she can move any number of spaces in any direction, as long as she is not obstructed by another chess piece (see the diagram) Of course if that obstruction is an opposing chess piece, she is free to capture it!”

 

After he read the role of the queen I began to think about women in marriage, friendships we surround ourselves with, and acquaintances we come across or are extended in our circle. It is the wife’s’ duty to protect the king, Her mate – and vice a verse.  If she is “captured” the king is at risk of also being captured.

My boyfriend and I played two rounds. In the first game, he was willing to sacrifice his pawns too easily – but to be fair he just learned the rules. In the second round, he played much more skillfully. When I became cocky, he stole my knight, and it made me realize I had to anticipate his moves.

In the first game, he was willing to sacrifice his pawns too easily – but to be fair he just learned the rules. In the second round, he played much more skillfully. When I became cocky, he stole my knight, and it made me realize I had to anticipate his moves.

Though it’s been a while since I’ve last played chess, it gave me a reminder that you need to have a good support system in place.

The pawns are important, though they are often the first to be sacrificed. Don’t underestimate the Rook, the bishop can be a piece that is undervalued, and by all means, keep the queen alive.

 

Oh and babe, don’t worry, I won’t tell the world that I got all your pieces in the second game. LOL!!!

 

Too bad I don’t have proof of the second game – but I’m no expert in the game of chess. Can’t wait to play again and challenge your thinking even more.


*To see the full list of Rules visit http://www.chessusa.com/chess-rules.html – no copyright infringement intended.

Help My Unbelief

Perhaps doubting is a good thing. It forces you to think critically and analyze why you believe what you believe – at least that’s what happened to me while on the phone discussing a few things with my boyfriend today.

Continue reading

I’m Going to Haiti

I’m Going to Haiti
For the past year or so I’ve been feeling like I need to do something greater than myself. I wasn’t sure what it would entail, however a few things have aligned and well I’m going to Haiti. 
Growing up I’d always hear stories from my grandmother about Haiti. From my imagination it seemed like they grew up on a farm, but also in a community. But she also told me things that sounded scary of which I won’t mention. I also heard my mom talk about her experience vastly different from my grandmothers. The common thread between their lives was that it was a struggle. 
There have been times in the past when my grandmother wanted to take me to Haiti with her but out of fear my answer has always been no. But this time something is different. A change of heart? A change in maturity? Curiosity? 
Many people don’t know where they come from. I am happy to know where my roots are from. To know the language fairly fluently, and to know my extended family. (Mainly on my Grandma’s side) but I have yet to visit the land. While I know things are vastly different, I still want to go and experience for myself. 
Touch someone’s heart before you touch their hands. 
The number one lesson from Mr. Dort the lead person for the missions trip. And it makes sense. You don’t want to simply tell people what you are doing and they not feel connected with your goal, mission and service. 
I’ve been trying to find the Ideal way to put together a marketing campaign to help raise funds for my missions trip to Haiti. I also want to create a resource for people to use in the future. I’d like to use my design skills to raise the funds and its all still in progress. I guess in honor of  Haitian Heritage month its a great time to write about the process, and the mission.
Every year my church goes and gives their time, money, and physical labor to help family, friends, and those they do not know. 
This will be my first time visiting and my biggest fear are the mosquitos!!! 

Dear Creative – Let Your Light Shine!

Today I spent time in a photoshoot with my cousin and sister and we are working to promote my moms work as a seamstress.

My mom has been sewing for more than twenty years. It’s been her dream to have her own business as a seamstress — so we are doing some experimenting with social media and collaborating with creatives.

As a creative we are often timid to share our work. Recently I watched my friends video about confidence you can check out that video here. Her words make sense.

Curious to see what we were working on? https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkeshnadonia%2Fvideos%2F10102283813207082%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>Check a sneak preview here of todays festivities