Day at a Time

IMG_0469I have been out of the hospital for six weeks. I am feeling more like Rha again. I am back to yoga regularly and biking. Eating three meals a day again and enjoying every minute of that. Getting back on track with my groups, volunteering and working.  There are many exciting things on the horizon. I started getting back to my habits by practicing a little one day at a time.

School starts October 23rd and I’m taking two Sociology classes. I really want to help women who are going through what I have been through. I not only want the testimony; I want the credentials to get paid for doing it. It’s fall and that is a time of transition. The trees change colors and the leaves begin to fall. The weather in Dallas is gorgeous this time of year; not too hot nor too cold. I plan to go to White Rock Lake and see the fall colors. I am slowly starting to enjoy life again and taking each day as it comes. Putting one foot in front of the other. Day by day by day.

I am learning that everything that I need I have been equipped with. I know how to mediate and use a mindfulness app to stop for five minutes daily. I know my triggers for depression and even though I can’t stop the onset, I can minimize the duration and intensity and have done so lately. Self care is so important because life is all about caring for ourselves, and caring for others. I am starting with me and then my husband & children. I am going to visit my family soon and care for them and my friends… I KNOW I CAN DO IT…ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Radical Self Acceptance, love yourself

Radical Other Acceptance, love others

Radical Life Acceptance, love Life.

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OPEN LETTER TO KEKE WYATT

keke

Since we were teens I have always admired you. We grew up in the same hometown, Indianapolis. We were around each other in different girl groups in the city. We have lots of mutual friends and you even tried out for a group I was in called Baby Girl. You may not remember this but I remember the biracial girl with high cheek bones and a wide smile wearing 90’s overall swag and a voice I had never heard before and haven’t heard since. She walked into a dance studio in the Glendale area and sang Amazing Grace and His Eye is on the Sparrow.  We did some basic dance moves and the next time I saw you were on my TV screen singing with Avant.

First let me say this; Your voice is one of the best period. In a world where qualities like looks and sex appeal are more important than talent you stand above with raw talent and skill. And yes you are a beautiful woman. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any different. As your life progressed I always followed what you were doing. I always told people, “That’s Keke Wyatt. She’s from Nap. Her whole family can sing. I even know her momma from Allison Transmission. Her name is Miss Lorna.”

I watched you get married and have children and I saw you struggle. As you were struggling I was too. I felt connected. From being abused by the father of my children, to fighting back and looking like the bad guy. I vibed to your first album Soul Sista . My favorite song was always your version of If Only You Knew & Don’t Take Your Love Away.

In 2001 my daughter was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor kidney cancer and went through a year of chemo and radiation. During that time my husband completely pulled away from me. I was in fear of losing my daughter and my marriage. In the end she pulled through and is now a healthy 24-year-old 4th grade teacher. My marriage ended and I went into a dark depression which almost took my life. My ex then took my children away from me for 6 months and ignored my calls. I didn’t even get to celebrate my daughters Make A Wish trip to Disney. Another person stood in as me.

I still paid attention to your moves in Kentucky and sent you messages of encouragement on Myspace. I would come to your intimate shows where you would start singing R&B, go into Gospel and even throw some opera in there. People have always said things about your quirky ways. From one misfit to another  I would say, girl they don’t know your life! They have no clue what you have been through. One thing they can’t deny is you put your heart and soul into your music.

In my opinion no one bares their soul no one has your range and you rival some of the best voices of our time.  I made sure I even bought a physical copy or had a fresh download of every album from Who Knew, to Unbelievable, Rated Love, and Keke. Your hits have gotten me through some of my darkest days and made me smile and laugh while slowing dancing in front of my couch with my current husband.

I don’t know a lot about your childhood upbringing other than the church but I do know what happens when you are in a hostile relationship that includes cheating and abuse. It leaves remnants of PTSD that can stay with you for years to come.  I lived that life. Before I could heal properly I was swept off my feet by my own Prince Charming. Much like Michael Jamar he is a great father who not only cares greatly for his children but has taken good care of mine and loves all children.

My husband saw me as a wounded and hurt woman who didn’t trust anyone. Instead of telling him what I had been through earlier in life, I tried to hide the pain that haunted me daily. Eventually it showed itself and he saw all of my wounds. He tried his best to heal them while working and being a father.

You were away from the spotlight for a while but I was happy to see you on R&B Divas along with several of my favorites. I was excited to see the babies and the beautiful family you had created. But there was a sadness in your eyes…so I prayed.

It was great to see you building friendships with women knowing how hard it is for you to trust. Folks would come after you and call you crazy. I always responded on social media, “She isn’t crazy she’s Keke and what she has been through is crazy.”

Watching the interaction with you and your  hubby was very familiar. Your Michael reminded me so much of my Mikel. Strong, problem solver, father, patient and kind. Due to his support I began to get my life together. I started intensive therapy and mental health classes. Becoming closer to Christ and making sure to rid myself of toxic thoughts was another milestone in my progress.

I began to take steps to heal my hurt and be the whole healed woman my husband needed. I am still in therapy and I still go to classes from time to time. Volunteering and daily prayer are also a part of my regimen. All of these things are helpful in healing from past struggles.

The next time I saw you was on the Marriage Boot camp show. The struggles between you and Michael were magnified for the world. It was hard to watch. The show ended and things were quiet for a while.  Now you’re back in the media; not for the perfect voice, not for the amazing range of that voice, but for a possible divorce.

Keke I pray that God’s will be done. I pray that if God wants your marriage to work that it will work. One day you will be healed and whole and have true peace. You will one day know and see the beautiful woman who is behind that big ole smile. Even if you don’t see it, there are many  think about you and want the best for you.

I want to share with you lyrics from your song. I know this was written as a love song but I like think of it with God as the focus.  He will give you his love, peace, time, joy, and everything else you need.

I’ll give you my love. I’ll give you my peace . I’ll give you my time. I’ll give you everything you need.  I’ll give you my love.  I’ll give you my joy. I’ll give you my life. 

You will always be that pretty girl I saw belt out His Eye is on the Sparrow as if the song was written only for you. If God looks out for the little bitty sparrow you know he is watching you. I hope this helps you in some way and I hope that all women can one day heal from abuse and that the men who love us can also get the support that they need.

Rhasha Hoosier

Psych Ward Aftermath

http://youtu.be/HuCVRb-JUao

This blog will mostly be told in video, it was simply too much to write out. It was cut off before I could finish so I will just conclude with this. You can’t give anyone water if you are thirsty and we must put our oxygen masks on before we can put on anyone else’s.

I needed to be inpatient. I feel better; my meds are regulated. I have more people who were kind and patient with me. Even though I felt down and depressed last week, I am hopeful today and I will continue to fight, I have a mean left hook.

Girls Trip Review  * Spoiler Alert*

High school was one of best times of my life. I didn’t know it then; but now that I must adult on a regular I am positive it was LIT( to steal a word from my daughter). The highlight of that time was of course friends, your homies, your clique, your crew. For me it was Amanda, Chenelle and Dalisha and on the weekends Bianca, and DeAnna. Girls Trip will have you reminiscing on those times when you and your girls thought you were the ‘ish.

The movie begins by showing the years that have passed since the girls have spent time together. As is life they became busy with work, children, husbands, life in general. Spending time with their girls becomes an afterthought. The “Flossy Posse” consists of Dina( Tiffany Haddish) the wild child who seems to get fired from her job weekly and nonchalantly says, “ See you Tuesday.” Sasha( Queen Latifah) the broke former journalist now gossip blogger. Lisa ( Jada Pinkett Smith) the responsible divorced mother of two and Ryan( Regina Hall) the happily married author, and mogul who has it all….or that’s the way it seems.

The four set off for EssenceFest in New Orleans where they let lose. Ryan is there as the keynote speaker for the event but the girls make sure she has some fun. From the start the girls get into trouble with Dina getting them kicked out of the hotel. Then it’s revealed that Ryan’s husband Stuart(Luke Cage’s Mike Colter) is cheating and the girls seek revenge. Well mostly Dina ( I would have done the same btw). The other girls are angry but take a more rational approach. Ryan acts as if everything is fine to save face.

The male heart throb and my husband on the side Kofi Siriboe played Lisa’s crush. As much as she tried to keep her cool she ended up between the sheets with him. Another handsome actor who is aging gracefully is Larenz Tate who played former classmate Julian. The on camera chemistry between Julian and Ryan was hot and steamy and all they did was look into each other’s eyes. Yet there was still the problem of her husband and the perfect façade she puts on for the world. But Ryan wasn’t the only one with secrets.

Sasha seemed to have a thriving gossip blog that was bringing in big money but in reality her bills were passed due and her advertisers didn’t think she had enough traffic to the site. She was even taking clothes back to the store after wearing them.

This trip starts as big fun with drinking, twerking and turning up in The Big Easy but ends up exposing side chicks and insecurities. But what do friends have that binds them together? Loyalty.

From beating down Stuart’s side chick Simone ( you find out the actresses name. I don’t care) to being there for Ryan when she decides to live in her truth, the girls show true compassion. Herein lies the moral of this story. True friends know when you are hurting. They know when you are frontin’. They are there to pick you up when you fall and to celebrate the successes in your life. This movie truly made me laugh hysterically and blush with some of its crudeness. It also made me sad because all of my childhood friends are thousands of miles away. But no matter how far, I know they would fight the devil himself for me and slap the hell out of a ratchet sidechick.

Tiffany Haddish is the breakout star and has such an endearing quality about her. Her life story is a New York Times Best Seller for sure. She was great in this role and her ad libs were spot on.

Jada was also funny in her quirky bossy momma way. Regina has really evolved and I am loving the woman she is, beautiful and classy. Queen Latifah is simply that- royalty. She did her thing, as always.

If you and your friends thought you were the IT girls in high school go see this movie. If you grew up in the late 80s and 90s go see this movie. If you adore #blackgirlmagic go see this movie. If you are reading this go see this movie. Yes get your ass up and go.

The Jambayala Tour 


It’s 11:00 and I am just now rolling out of bed. I’m not a bum and I don’t have a hangover. I woke up in need of a B12 drip with the lyrics of Twentylemhunnidmillion in my head. “ Ain’t no mo free, ain’t no mo free. I paid that fee.” My favorite part of this song is the bridge though. “How many times did I do you dirty but you never left me? Every time I messed around. How many times you should’ve left me but you the only one who gets me and you never let me down? How many times I made the wrong choice and ignored you but you never ever took my crown?”

Earlier this week my 23 yr old daughter came in hype and told me one of her favorite rappers would be in Dallas on Friday. “What you gotta do Friday? Aha Gazelle will be here.” All I knew was that’s the dude who raps, sings, and produces his own music. His singing voice reminded me of Bryson Tiller and his flow and energy is something I’ve never heard.

All week we vibed to all of the mixtapes. My favorites were Trilliam 1 &2. We had the soundbar speakers falling off of the cabinet. In the car we had our heads bobbing waiting on 7/7/17 to arrive. That afternoon we shopped for our fits got cute and waited for 7:30 to arrive. The Prophet Bar had a small gathering when we arrived. We checked each other out so we could see what kinda vibe would fill the club.

We waited a long time but don’t trip, it was worth it. As soon as we found a table my daughter grabbed her T-shirt which sold like hotcakes.There were a lot of fun and high energy opening acts to fill the time. Just when we couldn’t wait any longer this tall, overwhelming, man comes out and The Aha Show dropped. Aha grooved his way out on the stage and gave us that smile. He had us from jump! Folks started coming in from out in the lobby and rushed the floor. There were so many standout parts of this MOVIE!

All White Party was so lit and the crowd rocked back and forth. We helped him out on the high notes. My daughter had given me the background on this song so I knew it had greater meaning. Y’all can look that up on your own time. When the beat dropped on Supreme he made a face like okay it’s time for me to stunt a little. My favorite lyrics are, “Im feeling supreme, I know they mad at me.They told me not to mention God or say that I believe. They placing limitations tryna tell me what to be. They must forgot I’m from the same place as Master P.”

He stopped to talk to us a little and let us know he was single. Also to give the guys some game to holla at the nearest cutie. Glow Girl is where he speaks directly to the women and let’s us know how special we are and how we should shine and be confident. I fell in love with him again here. He again flashed that smile at the end and then it was party time.

Elevator, All Gold Party and Momma’s House feat Fiji turned everything way the heck up. I’m so glad Aha reminded us to be ourselves. I don’t know what everyone else was doing but my daughter and I were having a PARTY! We went through a bottle of water and a Sprite. Her aha. shirt was soaked. Then my absolute favorite joint dropped. Keep it in the Family. That one just makes me feel good and the whole crowed danced together. We all had the arm in the air on “Shoot my shot like Jordan.”

There were a few disappointments. You know how it is when you just want a few more of your personal faves? They had to end the show to start the meet & greet. So while I sit and write this review I am blasting Carpool, Unbothered and The Price is Always Right. It’s cool though because I’m a new fan and I plan to rep Dallas anytime Aha is in town.

There seems to be some controversy about what this kind of music is called. Is it hip hop? Rap? Is it Christian Hip Hop? Should we be twerking or jumping up and down? For me this is music that makes me feel good. The lyrical content contains bars that make you think and want to learn more. The party music is fun and energizing and you are literally worshipping. This music doesn’t need a box or a title. It’s Aha.

The Mummy *Spoiler Alert*

  

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing The Mummy with my son, Tre’. I wasn’t sure if it was connected with the previous mummy movies but was glad to see it was a standalone. The movie centered around an ancient Eyptian story about the sole heir to the throne turning wicked and being banished to a tomb and buried alive. 

Tom Cruise and  Anabella Wallis play partners who have the misfortune of unearthing this now demon named Ahmanet( Sophia Boutella).  She is one determined, mean, evil spirit…you get my point. The chick is pure terror. As soon as she is awakened by Cruise’s character Nick she starts killing people and turning them into her personal slaves for evil. 

In the meantime Nick and Jenny are trying to uncover more information while not being sucked into Ahmanet’s claws.  There are strong supportive characters like Courtney Vance, Russell Crowe and Jack Johnson who provide comedy and depth to the film. But the plot and characters was not what held my attention . First I have to tell you I’m a very analytical person. I see meaning in most things. I hope I don’t freak you out.

Okay are you still here?  I usually don’t watch thriller movies but with my son I end up with super heroes, fantasy, action or thrillers. In this movie Ahmanet represented the devil. She was an evil spirit who wanted to be worshipped and served. Near the end of the movie she asked Nick to come to her, to succum to her will. She didn’t want to make him or even force him. She wanted him know how it felt to be powerful; to have eternal life. Not the eternal life I think of when referencing God, but the trickery that satan uses to tempt. 

The final test of this film was to see if Nick was a good man, or merely average. But what is a good man and aren’t we all mostly good with a little wickedness?  This movie wasn’t my normal genre but it left me feeling introspective and for that I give it 4 stars. 

My Name is Rhasha, and I’m a Yogi

In April of 2015 I had the opportunity to participate in a patient hospitalization program. What’s that you ask? Opportunity? Yes it was a strenuous program that ran Monday- Friday from 8am to 4pm. I learned about mood disorders, coping skills and medicine management. I also learned a new word self- care. I had never learned the idea that to eat right, exercise, and work out was a way of caring for my own wellness. I knew how to take care of my children and had done it for eighteen years.

I had a self -care class with a lady named Carla. She was a psychiatric nurse who had survived many traumatic situations as a child and young adult. She showed me the importance of yoga. At first I laughed, “ Yoga is for chicks who go to Starbuck’s daily and put little dogs in their purses.” How the heck could that help me?  

Carla started with easy poses and got us used to the practice. She turned the lights off and started us with mediation. I began to look forward to the quiet time. All of my life I struggled with quieting my spirit and mind; Yoga was a way to calm my mind and to tone my body. I started watching yoga videos at home and making it a way of life. 

In late 2015 we moved to Dallas and left our youngest daughter in Columbus. It was a time of major transition and yoga was something I could count on. At this time I began to meditate and pray to God the Father while I did the poses. I joined a yoga class at the local yogurt shop.  

Now yoga is a part of my daily self- care. I am advanced in the poses and know which regimen to use for tired days, stress, sleep and mornings. I use this as my time of thanksgiving and praise. I go to a gym that offers yoga Tuesday through Thursday. I also teach a yoga class a few times a month at my local mental health organization.  

As a yogi for 2 ½ years I have lost weight, gained muscle in my legs, I am able to root out depression and mania. Yoga has helped me with my singing and jogging. Whenever I am feeling unbalanced I use yoga as a way to stop, gain clarity and meditate while engaging my body. What use to be a joke to me is now something that sustains me and quiets my soul. Namaste & God be with you.