Sunday, May 25, 2014

#MemorialDay #RememberYourBLessings

#MemorialDay #RememberYourBLessings Blessed thoughts and Live in the richness of each moment in fellowship and love.. gcw written Dec 2011
thought is the most powerful potion of life sustenance. imagine the SteveJobs mind, ithink so iAm, Zuckerman, thinks about a net world, and so it is, Gates, thinks a program and Microsoft runs on every computer,,,these are just the cosmic forces exampling manifestation,,,and each of us has this limitless potentiality,,when thought becomes so potent, that it manifests into an actuality, the impossible is possible, the unbelievable is believable, the unreachable is reachable, and the infinite is attainable.. to live each moment, each day, each year, knowing that my thoughts can breathe new life, new existence, is to acknowledge the gift of creation. In its most complex definition, that our existence came to be is the wonder and awe of a genious.Creator.. As we step toward our destiny, may each of us know that we are greater, than our fears, we have opportunities beyond our imagination, we have the miracle of thought. I embrace the past with gratitude and humility, I look forward to a future of hope and dreams, and I Live today, so that my thoughts express the beauty of the Creator, who gives me life... Blessed thoughts and Live in the richness of each moment in fellowship and love

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Compelling Video on Race with Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?



  Watch this compelling video http://youtu.be/oKtALHe3Y9Q should be on every academic curriculum, on every public podium, on world forums to engage people everywhere in reaching beyond their skewed ideals of color, race, gender, and truly fashioning a world that is color brave... this 14 minute video is invigorating, insightful and will infus a deeply aroused passion for our World vision. If you, like me, do not know who @MelodyHobson is..let me steal from her TED talk to state, that she is Magnetic, Charismatic, and Eloquently accomplished. and too, being the wife of George Lucas, a man who has explored the diverse frontiers of film and theatre with celebrated aplomb, makes their union, a collaboration of genius appeal.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

From Calypso Aerobics to Zumba Gold, the Energy is Carnival

While the weather was still cold and wintery on the outside, the large indoor basketball court on the inside was steamy hot and sweaty. Seniors were dancing and exercising to the rhythms of hip hop, salsa, and the latest radio hits. Within the hour, there were beads of happy sweat dripping from their foreheads, and through their clothing. And their expressions were brimming with joy.
Tony Bryan Vicky & Caroline
Tony Bryan, the Zumba dance instructor, holds court and provides cautiously monitored dance exercises to the lively audience of young 60+ year olds. The Zumba Gold sessions are the most well attended events at the recreation facility. For Montgomery County Senior residents, it is a daytime party with the benefits of exercise. There are energetic dance movements with enthusiastic warmth and excitement. Just like Carnival, but without the costumes, everyone revels in the energy of the music and the dancing is both spontaneous and choreographed. 
Every Thursday, from 10:30 - 11:30 am seniors and everyone young at heart gather at the newly builtMid County Recreation Center, for a lively, energetic and exhilarating Zumba workout. Tony Bryan, a Trinidad and Tobago native, brings sunshine from the islands and some Carnival fever to participants with his personal style and artistic presence.
Tony migrated first to Canada in the early nineties to complete his Masters in Business Management. After a coup attempt in Trinidad, and the prospect of civil unrest at home, Tony decided to come to the United States to explore further advancement opportunities. 
Luckily Tony landed in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, where there was a robustly active community of Caribbean nationals. He first met Brian Walker and Fred Davis, leading champions of dance exercise at a Calypso aerobics event. Before Zumba became the highly popular form of dancercise raging through the world exercise circuits, there was a bustling dance exercise therapy of calypso, steelband, reggae, jazz, soul, with Brazilian, African, Latin, Caribbean influences known as calypso aerobics.
The Washington DC Caribbean communities were first to launch the calypso aerobic dancersize. Brian Walker the innovator and creator of calypso aerobics and soquatics - soca in de water, was a masterful and theatrical Trinidad and Tobago born dance, art, and culture enthusiast. He took Tony under his wings and nurtured him in the field of dance theatre. Brian taught Tony the new style of aerobics workouts themed in Carnival dance, and fondly name Calypso aerobics.
Soon thereafter, Tony and Brian and Fred partnered in spreading the joy of dance to many. Where Brian was the energy, the spirit force that exploded with infectious and combustible joy with his audiences, Tony structured, studied, refined and enhanced his teaching, dance, and exercise instructor skills. In affiliation with other professional dance/exercise enthusiasts, Tony perfected and honed his crafts to become one of the most prolific health and body fitness gurus in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.
The Mid County Recreation Center at Silver Spring Maryland gained a highly accomplished and versatile fitness instructor for their Zumba Gold classes.
With popular music on the cd player, seniors were treated with cautious courtesy and concerned directives for their hour long Zumba session. More so, Tony repeatedly sent out shout outs of encouragement: "Great Job! You Got it! You Got it!" to his group of elders. He forbade them to undertake any exercises that would be too stressful, and he made everyone feel as if he were their personal dance partner.
For the Zumba Gold hour, there was glee, there was laughter, and there was revelry among all. Caroline, a 66yr old, was more than happy to be there, she was happy to be alive. In July 2013, Caroline underwent major brain surgery. With a look of beautiful gratitude, silver grey hair cropped short, and a palpable smile, she comes to Zumba Gold as part of her exercise therapy. Vicky, 77 yr old, has had knee replacement surgery on both knees and was overwhelmed with emotion. It was something to do and it was delightful to be with others of her age.
Tony Bryan & Grace
What a recipe for life! There is great music, dance/exercise, and good fellowship. There is more so, the joy of having a great time. Seniors at the Mid County Recreation center in Maryland experience Zumba Gold, with a taste of Carnival revelry, and gain an hour of sheer excitement with their dance instructor, Tony Bryan.
In an extraordinary legacy of friendship, from Calypso Aerobics to Zumba Gold, the Carnival dance plays on.
Watch the video: From Calypso Aerobics to Zumba Gold dedicated to Brian Walker and Fred Davis


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Should marijuana be legalized?


The law in Colorado has given license for marijuana to be sold legally.  As someone who has tried to smoke marijuana for recreation, I unquestionably know I am not the same human normal when under the influence.  As I look at it from a much uniformed perspective, I think it is a hysterical travesty of the government to entertain the potential for unexpected casualties.   

We were around 13 and I was fitting in with my peers at High School.  The scholarship to transfer to a more prestigious school was not an enticement.  Luckily, my family, would have been too distressed financially to afford all the vestiges of the Convent life.  So the friendship bonds were more influential and engaging.    We agreed to tell our parents that we were going to a social occasion in a socially comfortable area.  But, what we really did, was go to the adult friend’s home, where weed was the cocktails, the entre and dessert.

After the first couple hits, as a novice, it’s the first time, and I have not acquired the necessary finesse to inhale with small breadths, so my pulls were with great relish and intensity, I was delirious.  There was a Curtis Mayfield song playing, I'm Your Pusherman  and whatever organic property there was,  it was extremely potent. I was only hearing the Bassline beat for the whole song.  And the thumping grew louder, and I was not feeling anything else.

Thanks for the friendships of caring, I was the first person that had to be taken home.  I must have been so badly out of shape that my more accustomed user friends, were pissed that they would have to explain this to my family, or that I ruined their party time.  They got me to my home.  I think I was shoved out of the car hastily and reprimanded to walk straight up the steps and go to bed.

My younger brother saw my distress state and since he was one of them *wink, wink* with a smirk of insider intelligence, he escorted me to my room.  I knew then and there, I did not have a tolerance for further out of body getting high experiences.

When my son hit his adolescence “alien invasion” getting high moments, it was chaotic, sometimes neurotic, psychotic and an emotional rollercoaster of long term issues into manhood.  I have actually taken pictures of the “high” moments.  One is of him slumped at the bedside, the cap covering his face, mouth open and drooling and looking totally dotish.   The other is a picture of him sitting on the roof of the house smoking to avoid being seen.

The next phase of my marijuana intake is as an adult with more adult sense and responsibility.  It’s a party and folks get high.  They happen to be the functional partiers.  I quickly knew that unlike my girl days, none of these people would be looking out for me if I go into a dope induced stupor.  So I was coherent enough to know my choice of substance, was still a mild rum and coke drink.  I later graduated to apple martinis.

Perhaps, I am one of the lucky ones.  I over analyze even if and while under the influence.  I had a couple martinis too many at a party and I got my dance on with such dexterity, that I was working the chairs to Alicia Keys…If I ain’t got you.    I got such rave reviews from my pole dancing, I was asked by a partier, to dance for her father’s 70th birthday.  I knew then that my professional calling was in question. 

With marijuana, I experienced euphoric pleasure.  My appetite for ravenous and insatiable pleasure became toxic.  To be in the zone,   I had to feed the high.  

Should Marijuana be legalized?  This is the trending topic on media.  In a Huffington Post article, This is Why Marijuana should be legalized, it states that over 58% of Americans are now in favor of legalized marijuana use.  The article presents all of the strongest arguments why this is a drug that is not harmful.  The words drug and not harmful are themselves in contradiction. 

I am in no position to defend or provide legal, social or moral judgment.  I have not been a cancer patient and need the soothing relief to quell my pains.  I have not been a schizophrenic that need to still the voices.  I have not been the case or circumstance, that requires some of the medicinal properties marijuana is said to possess.

From my non expert position, the effect that marijuana has on me is not the same as a cigarette or an aspirin.

Maybe the political side of legalizing marijuana is to encourage more levies of taxes.   Instead of the drug being sold on the streets, it is a legal product with revenue generating streams for the patrolling bodies.   Just like pharmaceutical companies have become the cornerstone for the chemicals that are traded around the world with billions of dollars in profit, maybe the marijuana industry has the potential of creating a global pharmaceutical market for the 1%. 

It is ironic that with the new laws in Colorado the demand has spiked the price for cannabis.  The user populations that have flocked to the area to purchase legal weed are paying premium dollar for their sought after drug commodity.   In the article High Demand: Price Of Legal Marijuana Soars In Colorado
Rachel Gillette, executive director of the Colorado chapter of NORML, a national nonprofit seeking to make marijuana use legal nationwide said she found retailers selling top-shelf marijuana to recreational users at prices close to $400 per ounce, not including taxes.

But again, my mind analyzes.  With marijuana becoming a legal substance, I envision the normalcy of being high as another health psychosis of the next millennium.

“Would you pass me that Blunt, it’s my marijuana” and now I am legally about to get high.







  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Bubbling "Callaloo" Reading warms with nostalgia for Washington DC Caribbean audience

We were introduced online by Maud Arnold, whom I have known since her preteen years. She is the taller half of the Chloe and Maud Arnold Tap Dance Productions. I got the hail out on facebook from Maudie; " Ms. Grace! meet Marjuan Canady, she is one of your people'', which means, that 'she' and I are Trini. To the unacquainted, we share Trinidad & Tobago born bloodlines. Maud mentioned that Marjuan just wrote a book and was looking to do a launch in DC. Maud asked me to share Marjuan's work with fellow Trinbagonians and our community. 
photos courtesy of Carl Gray III
After virtual hellos, and shared information, I had the pleasure of attending the special reading of the book Callaloo, A Jazz Folktale authored by Marjuan Canady and illustrated by Nabeeh Bilal at the Crown Bakery, on Georgia Avenue, Washington DC, on Saturday, December 21 2013. I attended with my son, Daryean and grand daughters Deana Grace and Raylynn Maxine. 
As the kids and grownups sat around, some of the little ones were up close and personal. Others who were too grown to bend too low, remained seated on the chairs as Marjaun read from the book and Nabeeh turned the pages. 
For the enjoyment of the group in attendance, Marjuan read each page with inflection and intonation and vivid coloration. In voice sounds, she embellished the narration with the animated accents of the West Indian grandma from Tobago, to the New York vendor icee lady, shouting "Delicioso! Compra Una Icee!" Marjuan assumed each character with effortless acting transition. 
The kids were filled with excitement and anticipation. They listened attentively as Marjuan assumed character.  She mimicked the haunting sounds of the Caribbean folklore characters.   

"Aooooh!" resonated the shrill sounds of the Lagahoo.    When Papa Bois bellowed "Little Boy! Why are you stealing from my forest ?!" she sounded deep and guttural.    In a lilting Caribbean accent, the words, "Your greed troubles me." were spoken to Winston by Mama D'Lo, wife of Papa Bois and protector of all the sea animals. 
The illustrations on each page of the book are bold and engaging. They capture artistic drawings of the characters and their activities. The video link Callaloo A Jazz Folktale ... The Reading at Crown Bakery DC with Marjuan Canady is a picture collage of the evening's activities. 
Callaloo, A Jazz Folktale, is a short story filled with vivid depiction and Caribbean colloquialisms. It takes its audience on a journey to a Tobago island to meet some fabled characters. It is charming, it is frivolous and, just looking at the expression from the kids in the Callaloo, A Jazz Folktale picture collage video , it is great storytelling. 
Ten year old attendee, Deana Grace shared this compelling review: 
"Callaloo is a very Awesome book I think kids around the globe would love!" 
Go to www.callaloothebook.com to purchase your copy and find out more details about Callaloo.
"Something magical lay within that Callaloo"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moments of Reflection through Quest and Challenge and Humor

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Grace Walker 2013 Year in Review Timeline Event is a Facebook synopsis of  best selected moments on my individual timeline.  Facebook timeline highlights are subjective as they portray random moments from an outsider's virtual perspective. On the contrary, my defining moments are extraordinary,  and immense,  and very profound.  

In the beginning of 2013, I was drowning in the emotional tsunami of economic loss.  I was victim to the housing crisis.   From the wealth of a full-time financially sustaining consulting career,  to the poverty of a part-time,  barely above minimum wage,  temp staffer assignment, I was mentally and financially imploding.

picture credits to
YourEventToGo
I challenged social media to acknowledge my state of  loss.  I sought crowd funding through a GoFundMe account with tragic and disappointing results.

In humored retrospect, I have learned that desperation is not a plausible enticement for soliciting public funding. More interestingly I learned, that my intuitive instincts for survival and independence are formidable and unshakable.

I learned that generosity is a virtue that cannot be extorted.  Many individuals and family members extended their kindness in gestures of both monetary and charitable gifts.  Through genuine acts of kindness, I received welcome donations with earnest and humble gratitude.

But I also realized, my professionally photographed  glamshot picture for my GoFundMe appeal was an ideological contradiction. Lol!..If I were in a state of poverty,  why did my posing picture seem to look so rich?  I was my own funding saboteur. HaHaHa!

In the months of my 2013 seasons of question and introspection,  I exercised my mental muscles in the fields of social media.  In Blogger, I wrote about my bliss, my agony, my intrigue and my curiosity.  As of December, my 33 blogs  have garnered over 6800 views. Through writing I have stretched my public outreach and have opened windows of promising opportunities.

In Yahoo Contributor Networks, several of my article submissions have been published.    I am tweaking and streamlining the authority, authenticity and tone of my writer voice.   OMG! I Am 60 Years, Well Almost was my first published Yahoo article . My enthusiasm is noted in the opening paragraph with these words:
When life throws you a lemon, you got to add some sugar and make it lemonade. Looking at the coming of age, as adventure. Humor in life is healthy. Be thankful for the opportunities. Often they come disguised as disappointments.
In the adventure of social media, there are numerous platforms to navigate.  In the Google domain, I have expanded my circles of engagement.   I have reached an allocated 5000 count to my circles and now there are new niche inroads to map out. There is  creative stimulus for artistic demonstration in the Youtube landscape. In addition to the written scripts, my stories also include picture presentations displayed in photography and video productions.

The event of my class Reunion in Trinidad and Tobago in October 2013,  was both real and cosmic.  The months leading to the reunion date were filled with expectation and anticipation.  In spite of every wall of denial, impossibility, financial detour, and emotional roadblock,  I became the accidental tourist.

With a gift from my son, the bounty of kindness of family and the generosity of lifetime friends, I experienced abundance during my holiday visit.  In social media, I celebrated moments in pictures and videos.  My field of exploration in video app development technology widened and blossomed.

A most celebrated moment of the Reunion was a tribute to our teacher Jovita Lee.  The privilege of being in this moment is shared in this blog So How Do You Thank Someone who has taken You from Crayons to Perfume.  The revelry and  joy of being with classmates after 41 years are shared in this Youtube video 60s are the new 40s.

Disappointments and trials have been exhaustive,  but!.. another year begins every year on December 31.


In commemoration and tribute to Nelson Mandela and to his life contribution, I have themed the following message of victories won.

One gains success by conviction, not by trial.

These words in the last refrain of the poem Invictus,  champion resilience:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,                        
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
 (This is a Poem 'Invictus' (Unconquered,Undefeated) by William Henley. Great South African Leader Nelson Mandela(Madiba)  was inspired by the poem, and had it written on a scrap of paperon his prison cell while he was incarcerated for 27 years on Robben Island )
With the recital of these words, it ignites my resolve to remain steadfast in conviction and to be inspired in  optimism.

As I captain my approach to new territories of consciousness in the coming years, I will continue to practice optimism rather than defeat.

My task is not to design new resolutions for the coming years.  I can look over the past year and find hidden treasures of discovery, new accomplishments, recognition by acknowledgements, and fulfillment in worthy achievements.

I can now prospect my capabilities and competencies on the merits of my work, my experience and my talents. My video blog is the latest career tool that I will use to promote and enlist the consideration of prospective employers.  

In a recent post to social media, I stated without reservation, that my practice of  social engagement is not about me.  I have been nourished, nurtured, schooled, and charmed by the many people including family, friends, loved ones and circles of associates, whose lives and stories continue to impact and impress me.

There are many other people whose life situations have made them soldier on against greater odds than my circumstantial occurrences. I am empowered because of  all who have shared their stories and have demonstrated success despite personal setbacks.

The journey of quest and challenge is our universal common road map.  Victories Won, Defeats Surrendered, but Resilience Triumphs and Optimism Prevails are my signature guidelines for yesterday, today, and with each new year.

Achieving Abundance is my ultimate goal of self expression and expectation. To this end my optimism prevails.

In all of this I am eternally grateful.