You’re Invited. Again.

Hi there! I sent a note out weeks ago, but in case you missed it:

Seriously, what are you doing over here, when you’re missing all of the action over at cocostudio?

Subscribe to my new blog and get caught up on the latest posts like this one. All you have to do is type your email address and click that little brown box on the right hand side.

Come on! What are you waiting for?

New day, new space

So my birthday is tomorrow. And that is the official launch my newly updated digs on cocostudio.com.

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cocostudio is an old space that I revisit from time to time, and now is one of those times.

If you’ve enjoyed my writings over here, please go subscribe to my blog over there.

Although I have a few categories featured (love, sexual violence, education and a few others), I plan to write the same sorts of things over there as I did over here. In other words, a little of everything.

With the exception of the most recent post or two (coming soon), everything else is already there waiting on you!

See you on the other side!

 

Letters to my little sisters.

A week from today is my 40th birthday. *shimmies*

I’m very excited about this milestone. Aside from seeing Ailey, I’m not sure what else I’ll do to commemorate it. I want to go dancing. Salsa, like Ailey’s Revelations, is high on my list of favorite things.

As we were planning this week’s episode of Whiskey, Wine & Moonshine, Sojo realized this would be our 40th episode. We decided to call it 40 Before 40. It’s literal, in that it’s the 40th before I turn 40 (Ms. Smart and Sojo are a tad younger). But it’s also a play off bucket lists and things people want to accomplish before milestone birthdays.

I hadn’t created a 40 before 40 list, but I thought it might be enlightening if we discussed what we have accomplished thus far in life, what we have planned for the next phase, and what we would tell our teenaged selves if we could send some love to our past.

Sharing encouragement and life lessons with younger women is something I’ve long wanted to do. I have particular areas in mind, and some of my current planning is grounded in this work.

Our episode was an interesting one. Unfortunately, Sojo wasn’t able to join us (shout out to Kedar), and Queen Neen from the In Deep Show was there in her stead. We talked about body image, romantic relationships, sex, finances, health, and career.

For the seasoned readers among you, what have you learned that you would like to share with the younger generation? What do you have planned for the next phase of your life?

We Have Known Boys (But None Have Been Bullet-Proof).

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Originally posted on stacia l. brown:

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Jordan Davis (1995-2012)

I have known black boys, known them in airless classrooms where the scent of their too-strong cologne worked overtime masking the cling of their sweat to skin and hormones. And I have known their scratching, grabbing, tugging at the belt loops of too-big pants, have involuntarily memorized the plaids and imprints on their boxers.

I have known boys like underripe fruit, a pit of eventual sweetness at the core of them, encased in a bitter pulp, toughening from too little tending or underexposure to light. I have watched them become principles in death when they were not finished learning what it would mean to be principled in life.

I have known them nursing dreams with slimming odds of realization, heard them reasoning with the wardens behind their private walls, scraping at the doors some white man’s stubborn shoulder intended to force closed.

Listen. You have heard them…

View original 407 more words

Revelations

Every Valentine’s weekend, the magnificent dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater command center stage at the fabulous Fox. I’ve gone perhaps once every five years or so since I was a little girl. I don’t remember much about my first show other than I was there with my mom and one of her friends, and I was quietly awed about what I’d seen.

Since then, each time I’ve returned, the beauty, power and magic of Revelations is what I most long to see. Years I don’t go, I pacify myself with YouTube.

When I’m lucky, I find older videos, sometimes 20 years old, and watch them alongside the newer ones. The dancers’ athleticism and grace, and the pictures they create on stage are awe-inspiring.

Last year I hadn’t moved back to Atlanta by the time AAADT came and went. Still, I was disappointed I didn’t go to a show. I missed them. It’s been too long, I told Blue. I’m turning 40 next February. I have to go see Ailey next year. An early birthday gift.

Fox AileyThis year, just in time for the second great thaw of 2014, we went! I have rotating list of favorite things, and Revelations has a permanent place in the top five. I’m not alone:

More people have seen Revelations than any other modern dance work, and it has been enjoyed by over 23 million people in 71 countries across six continents.

If you have the opportunity to experience Ailey in general and Revelations in particular, don’t miss it.

Can’t build your temple without laying bricks

Today was a cardio day, but yesterday was weights.

I got down.

Weight lifting is interesting for me. On the one hand, I love seeing progress. I can lift the weight with less effort as time goes on and see real strength. My muscles get sculpted. I lift and carry heavy groceries in a single bound.

On the other hand, it’s hard for me to get psyched up to do it. A run in the early morning? No problem. My favorite aerobic workout before sunrise? No sweat. Weightlifting, however, requires some mental gymnastics to get motivated.

But yesterday? Crushed.

I do a full body workout with a barbell and plates. Ten tracks including warm up, squats, chest, back, biceps, triceps, lunges, shoulders, abs and cool down.

When I first started the program (Les Mills Pump), I wasn’t on the road, so I was able to follow it as outlined each day. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been traveling. That and other circumstances as of late led me to take it easy with my workouts. I found what amounts to a comfortable challenge for each track and stuck with it. For weeks.

In the past couple of weeks I decided if I was going to hang out at these easier weights, I’d really focus on form, and I have. But it was time for more.

Yesterday I felt energized, motivated, and ready for a challenge. It reflects an overall mood I’ve been in the past few months – one of action and forward motion. I’ve not yet blogged about my theme for 2014 (see 2013, 2011) but it definitely incorporates movement. I’ve started new projects and made strides in new areas.

And so yesterday, when it was time to get that barbell out, I knew it was also time to kick it up a notch. I increased weights on all working tracks. I worked harder than I have in a long time and it felt great! I was proud of myself all day and flexed my muscles in every mirror.

One of my favorite things about exercising is learning the lessons my body teaches. Yesterday’s lesson? If you keep doing the same things, you’ll find yourself in the same place. Progress requires effort. Lay down those bricks and build that temple.

When you become stuck in a rut
of apathy, your life stagnates,
leading to setbacks.
~Daisaku Ikeda