New Single + PhoenixEP

Hello Word to the Wise Fam!
So I dropped my first single from my soon-come EP named Phoenix.
My first single is named: Be Loved,
you can listen to it here:

Listen to Be Loved Here

I also created some visuals for Be Loved, you can watch them here:

Watch Be Loved Visuals on YouTube

Hope you enjoy + can’t wait to share the Entire Phoenix EP with you!

 

Amber.

i’ve been. broken open.

play this softly while you read my blog, for its full effect.

religion isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do relationship. theology isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do experience. it wasn’t a conscious decision i made, but the foundation of my religion inevitably crumbled because its foundation was faulty and i had no choice but to walk towards what my soul was craving; something authentic, raw, messy and real. when i walked away from religion and towards grace i walked away from living my life for other peoples approval. that is when i began to experience a spirituality that made me come alive in every moment. it showed me that i can only experience and express the amount of love i have first Received as i live my life interaction by interaction and at the whims of a loving God’s will.

it is a spirituality that has led me to follow my bliss in LA. many people have told me how brave i am to have left so much behind: social status, a good and consistent pay check, a 401k and the approval of society. yet i feel like i let go of nothing and gained everything. (no shade to my old boss if you’re reading this)

so many of us live life as if we’re not going to die one day. and yet that as well—death—means nothing. nothing significant.

” listen my beloved;
has not God chosen those who are
poor in the world to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom
James 2:5 “

here in LA i spend all of my days around the ‘poor in the world’: children because i substitute teach 8-12 grade to pay my bills, artists because i am one (writer and dancer if you’re new here) and soon i will be getting paid to help a woman with disabilities run her errands.

working with children has taught me how to forgive. it has taught me how to be more generous towards the state of our humanity and to separate making-bad-choices from being-a-bad-person. even bad choices are rooted in pain, so while it is my choice to set boundaries where i see fit at the days end i know that no one has the capacity to attack me, but to only attack themselves.

artists have taught me how to love myself, choose myself, believe in myself and to not make excuses for not being my best. living out that dream that God has placed inside of my soul has developed my self-confidence and subsequently my sense of humility; i don’t try to prove myself much these days. the shinier the more damaged. i feel surrendered from worldly success and i feel that the greatest success i have/will ever achieve is to become filled with God and surrendered to Him.

surrender is all about control and control manifests itself in so many ways: unforgivness is control, pride is control, bitterness and anger and vengeance are all control. other things are control as well because control is all about intention.

preparing to assist this disabled woman is really exciting for me because of this book i recently read titled ‘broken open’ by elizabeth lesser. it is a book that is all about pain, extreme tragedy, sudden death and sudden life altering illnesses. it is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature i have ever read. every person in this book-of-true-stories, after experiencing tragedy always recounts that they did not become full of life until after God ripped the carpet from underneath their feet. for them, tragedy made more room for peace and gratitude in their lives. people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses are forced to look at their mortality in the face every single day; what a gift. they also have the gift of considering pain on the regular and how to perceive it in a fashion that gives way to life–to being alive. and yet we are all at the risk of death in any given moment, not just the terminally ill. and yet that too—death—means nothing. nothing significant.

a poem from my book boombox in the sky

the last thing i want to speak on is love. for me, nature is the best reflection of God there is. God being love. the stunning sun always rises every morning and changes places with the captivating moon every evening, both blessing us with their beauty and presence. the ocean continues to sway and provide food and oxygen for us, the rain comes right when we need it, animals don’t hold grudges; all are consistent and loving no matter what idiocracy us humans commit. if God’s love for us is the greatest love there is, then today right now in this very moment i have everything i could ever dream of. moving to la has really taught me how to be at peace. i don’t want any of those job titles i just want to love myself and be loved by God. whatever manifests out of those relationships is a cherry on top.

 

xoxo

amber b

who do you think you are?

A few months ago I set some personal goals and decided that singing at open mic’s was going to be something I wanted to do regularly. I googled ‘local open mic’ and found one that was up the street from my apartment every Monday. Monday approached and I decided to check it out first before singing. Upon my arrival I noticed that the coffee shop was occupied by mostly hipsters: women with bald heads, men with long beards, man buns, both genders typing at an actual type writer and or typing at a laptop adorned with stickers protesting all-things-mainstream. I walked down stairs to a dimly lit cave-like open-mic venue and it was packed. The stages back drop was very artsy and the nights performers together were very eclectic. Noticeably, before almost every performer spoke-or even during their poetry reading,-each proclaimed in one way or another that they were “anti-religion” and simultaneously drenched in emotional dysfunction. “I’m not a Christian even though thats what my parents wanted me to be” one performer resentfully shared.

After hearing theses sentiments consistently throughout the night my initial thoughts were about how evangelical Christianity has made many of us feel that we aren’t good enough to be loved by God; If you are a Gay, have had premarital sex, drink and don’t go to church every Sunday, date someone who is not spiritual like you—you are not good enough for God’s love. If you’ve lied, been manipulative or are a jealous person, you are not good enough for the love of God.

But as time has passed I’ve realized that self-acceptance is what we are really searching for.

So many times we project onto others that which we cannot do for ourselves. We get mad at our grandmother for not believing in our dreams and then demonize her and give her a one-dimensional identity of ‘bitch’. I mean, no human is any one thing. Our humanity is so vast. Additionally, if we believed in our own beauty and in our own ability, the opinions of others wouldn’t matter. If we believed that we were adequate and valuable, the ending of a relationship would not have the capacity to be because you lack of value and are inadequate.

We can really live in a personalized hell if we choose to. If for the duration of our lives we refuse to come to terms with who we are that’s exactly what this life will be; hell on earth. So many of us live in a constant state of anxiety, fear, depression, self-hatred, suicidal thinking, panic attacks or secretly struggle with addiction. We tourture ourselves with outlandish fears and negative thinking. Many of these habits and states are on behalf of the false beliefs we have about ourselves, false beliefs we have about others, or false beliefs we have about what others think of us (which is what you think of yourself). We are so afraid of love and peace and are addicted to pain and self-sabotage.

The Fall season is here and many of us humans fall into a depression around this time of year. Why? because of what we think of others, because of what we think of ourselves, because its fucking cold. Theres an alternative to living this way. But it takes mental reprogramming and in my experience constant self-care practice and self-love rituals. I’ll share more about how i’ve developed a healthier sense of self with my next installation. Part II if you will.

 

-amber . breezy!

on cultural appropriation and self-love

Last Thursday night I drove to LA to take a couple of dance classes. On my way to class I was walking up Hollywood Boulevard when I crossed paths with two Asian girls who had Senegalese Twists in their hair. Like, with synthetic kinky hair and shells adorning them. I had never seen this in my life; non-black non-celebrity individuals wearing a very Black hairstyle–with kinky hair at that. After witnessing this I experienced negative emotions but the fact that I was late to class ended up overriding those initial negative thoughts and I bypassed them and kept walking speedily to class focused on my tardiness. As I speedily walked up the stairs to the studio, on my way to sign in to class I crossed paths with a White girl with blonde synthetic-kinky-hair cornrows in her hair. “what?!” I thought to myself. “Is this a thing?!?” I went on to dance class 15 minutes late and it was the most amazing experience; I cried in one class. over-comer tears. On my way home I was blasting my music while singing and dancing along still on an emotional high from the experience I just had when the image of those three girls I saw before class came to my mind mid song and I burst into laughter. I thought to myself ”Their hair is as long as the synthetic hair, probably longer! Use your own hair boo you’re defeating the whole purpose!” and “They wanna be us so bad” also came to mind. But as I let the experience sink in, I was reminded of the defensiveness that my community gifts anyone who we perceive is attempting to invalidate us and our experience with. Given our experience here in the US defensiveness is totally understandable. But inevitably the defensiveness is filled with historical baggage that needs addressing and healing.

White is a color. I repeat, white is a color. Being ‘colored’ isn’t about skin tone its about which skin color society decides to exploit in order to make one people group feel better than another. Being one color versus another does not make one right or wrong good or bad—more melanin obviously is not bad since everybody is trying to be tan with a big but, big lips, big ass and now they even want to have nappy hair too!—it just makes us different. When each and everyone one of us makes an attempt to be beautiful we are emulating what ever image that we believe will give us the best opportunity to feel desired, wanted, fulfilled, complete and loved. People of all ethnic backgrounds are emulating the whole BlackQueen-BoxBraids-Cornrolls-TanSkin-BigAss-BigLips-BontuBuns trend because Black Women are just as capable of reflecting beauty as the next person. Everyone else recognizes this, but when will us Black women realize this? Wear it. When will we realize that we are just as able to be beautiful and attract love as the next? When we get upset at these cultural appropriators our messaging is “This is my only opportunity to feel pretty and be considered beautiful and you’re taking it away from me!” and that is not true. This is not our only opportunity to feel beautiful and be considered beautiful. Physical beauty might get you some attention from men but it sure as hell wont make your relationship work. It sure as hell wont make you feel fulfilled. It sure as hell wont make you feel complete and happy. Our beauty is eternal Queens. Our beauty comes from a place of peace when we realize our completion. This is true beauty and no one can take that opportunity to be beautiful away from us and everyone is attracted to it!

All anyone can do is take responsibility for ones starting point in life and play to win. I don’t want to carry historical baggage with me anymore but its not going to be shed overnight. Today I have decided to realize my equality in beauty, to take imitation for the compliment that it is and decide that what I think of me is all that matters and everything else is just a reflection of that. Today I am beautiful because I am and no one can take that opportunity away from me…except me. Today I declare that this is my truth.

-Amber B

on self-care

Last May 2015 I decided to be single for a while. I had just gotten out of a relationship that was on and off for three years and going nowhere fast at extreme speeds. It wasn’t my first dance with romantic love. Prior to this relationship I was in a 1.5 year long relationship with my first love that came to a mutually confusing and painful ending. After my second relationship ended for the trillionth time, I was done. I wanted to heal and deal with the baggage that I gained from the relationship and somehow move on. I say somehow because at the relationships end I was still very much in love and was unsure of how I would move on and love again, but I was committed and that’s all you really need. Since then, I’ve been infatuated and even felt very strongly about some but nothing has “gotten off the ground” if you will, and I’m really thankful for that. I’m not one who dates a ton, or entertains dudes for fun. If I give you my attention, I’m really digging you. I’m a wanderer, I travel alone and eat at romantic restaurants only accompanied by a good book, a journal and maybe a glass of wine if I rode my bike. I’ve been a girls-girl basically my whole life and am satisfied by being obsessed with my girlfriends, dance and dreaming. I’m hopelessly romantic and simultaneously prefer to be single…unless I’m really digging someone. The difference between the last 15 months of being single and the vast majority of my life that was spent being single is that this time around there are no illusions. Back in February 2015 I stopped going to church. It was not my first time leaving the church…it was actually my third. Being single and leaving church gave way to so many illusions in my subconscious: A false sense of security, a false sense of superiority and a false sense of completion. My last relationship didn’t work because I didn’t have my own identity, my own confidence, my own opinions, my own acceptance, my own assurance, my own love and my own spirituality. I wanted my significant other to make me feel complete, I always needed assurance from him, I wanted his approval and I looked to him for an identity and confidence. I quickly realized after that relationship ended almost a year and a half ago that I needed to learn how to take care of myself, accept myself, love myself, assure myself, believe in myself and find my happiness. I had to find myself in God and use Gods Divine Super-Powers to heal myself. I had to make God my source of love and out of that abundance give love to others. Without that I was just desperately trying to take love and power from others. Take take take. But you can’t really take anything from anyone, that’s an illusion too. When you try to take love or power from another person you’re really attacking yourself. In my last relationship, being in love was a sedative that only worked for three weeks to a month. After that it went straight to hell and only came back to heaven every blue moon. Back then, I used to be so desperate for the company of others to make me fell “ok” that I would tolerate oversized-insecure egos, the constant yet subtle discounting of my opinion and an overall lack of support. I wanted to please everyone in an effort to feel loved and complete but ended up abandoning myself in the process. Once I realized my own abundance and learned how to begin loving myself I stopped being desperate for the company of others and stopped entertaining shitty relationships. When you’re alone your trauma comes out. If you can’t handle it you’ll do anything to get away from yourself and your “loneliness”. You might even run right into the arms of a friend or a lover that is not equipped to love you. These days, quite a few of the people I used to associate with are no longer with me. But when I’m alone now, I’m not “lonely” I’m enjoying myself. Even when I do feel loneliness creep in I know that it’s a false belief or trauma and I know how to cope. These days I am not generous and forgiving and accommodating because I want to please my significant other, now I love because I am loved by God first. I can tangibly see the ways God loves me and fully take responsibility for my actions. It is out of feeling so abundantly loved by God that I can give love. That’s the only time I give love. Love too looks a lot different for me these days. What I used to call love was enabling. Now taking care of myself is the way that I take care of others. Being loved by God and loving myself is the medium through with I love others

So, I’m single. I’m following my dreams, I’m honestly not ready to share my life with someone right now, I don’t want to just yet. But if it happens even so…

Fuck it.

-Amber B

incommon

chasing you meant
running away from myself
wanting you meant
avoiding myself
and my own happiness
but at that time
facing myself was
too scary
too too scary
my wounds were too heavy
they would have killed me at that time
loss of blood
So I chased you
and then I caught you
it was kind of surprising.
and then you fell in love with me
and we would miscommunicate
and you would run away from conflict
and i’d over react
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d make you feel insecure
and you were in love with me
Deep
and I was in love with you
and then one day
i didn’t know anymore
all i knew was you
and you were all i knew
because back then I HAD to have you
had to
had to
i was weak
i wasnt strong enough to face myself
my wounds were too deep
they would have killed me at the time
loss of blood
but now
i don’t know how to be alone
all i know is you
but now
i don’t know who i am
or what my truth is
or what I want out of life
but now
I don’t know anymore

This is common
i’ve heard this story many different times
from many different humans
maybe its not because the relationship wasn’t meant to be
maybe its because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves
maybe its because we aren’t satisfied
with anything
I won’t let myself believe that
it is a good thing to allow our dissatisfaction
to lead us to achievement and accolades
we were meant to be true
we were meant to be real
we were meant to be satisfied

Some thoughts this Thursday.

-Amber B

why not?

There’s a rate-race-dating-mentality
that’s super prevalent among my fellow twenty-somethings
everyones afraid
no ones saying how they really feel
quick to give up
to force things
why give up so easily?
let go, sure
but why, give up?
men are all predisposed in the same fashion
women are all predisposed in the same fashion
we only vary by the level of our mental and emotional health
one of my best friends and I we’re on the phone a few days ago
discussing her love life
and after a divorce and a messy relationship with a substance abuser, she’s finally met someone who’s healthier than most
but even so, they still have troubles.
it really stuck with me when, during our conversation she said to me
–in a deeply confused tone
“I don’t know what a ‘good’ relationship is”
She meant this in the perfectionist sense

why all the judgement?
the rigid rules on how to ‘be’
we’re all in process after all
why not relax
& enjoy the moment
why not try
with all of the light inside of you
to see the truth of another
to see if you can help them
to see if you can accept them exactly as they are
laugh with them
and then let them grow and figure out how to heal themselves
and you do the same, take care of yourself
allow space within the process
your process
together

Repeat

why not
find your own completion and play by your own rules
on your own terms
Why not?

-Amber B

Monday Night Musings

Even on the days that I waste my time, and engage with activities that are not conducive to the sustainability of a healthy self-esteem, I just laugh it off because this whole ‘life’ thing is completely meaningless…

which is fucking hilarious

The spirit of God is the Highest good. It is literally heaven, and it exists within you. Us. Stop searching. You have access to it right now. like right-now-right-now.

It is all you need to have a happy, peaceful and ‘Good’ life. Everything else is a distraction.

Becoming a better person=distraction

Chasing your dreams=distraction

Being anxious=distraction

Working a lot=distraction

Wishing for a vacation=distraction

Distraction from what? From the fact that–in your opinion–who you are and what you have, now

are not enough.

-Amber B

i am what i am

london 086ascend with amber

The the theme of this month is:
unconditional love and acceptance, of self.
Achieving this is of course a life long journey, so while on that journey, lets make the month of March one that catapults us even closer to, or maybe even all that way to, unconditional acceptance and love, of ourselves. Self-acceptance and love, are so critically important, because our whole lives are a mirror of the relationship we have with ourselves. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, where I post all of my poems, you’ve probably read the poem You that sheds light on these sentiments:
2

 

Can you even see me? Our ability to love others, and treat them well, is a direct reflection of our ability to love ourselves and treat our selves well (or not). It’s kind of eerie how were wired that way. Pretty dope. Cool.

As I shared with you in my last ascend with Amber monthly letter, I am big on questioning things. So maybe, like me, you wondered for a moment, ‘why is it important to unconditionally love and accept ourselves?’ Because, when humans are uncomfortably good to one another, it is an overwhelmingly powerful force, the only force that can bring true peace; to ourselves, and to our world. The only way to be uncomfortably good to others, is to figure out how to be uncomfortably good, to yourself. Why is that? Refer to the mirror analogy and poem above. When we are unconditionally loved and accepted, we don’t need to rely on people or circumstances to be good to us, in order to be good to others. The circumstances of our lives won’t determine our outlook on life, and we will need very little to feel satisfied. unconditional love and acceptance, is freedom.

So then I ask, how? how do I unconditionally love and accept, myself? The answer to that question is different for everyone. For myself, the first step that comes to my mind in figuring out what unconditional love looks like, is: How do I unconditionally love others?

    • I assure them
    • I forgive them
    • I’m patient with them
    • I give them my time and attention
    • I learn about who they are and what they like
    • I validate them
    • I correct them
    • I apologize when I’m wrong
    • I try to be my best for them
    • I give them the benefit of the doubt

And the list goes on..

So then, in order to work at unconditionally loving and accepting myself, I’ve got to do some portion of the above, for myself. This month, I’m committing to:
assuring myself and forgiving myself.

We can disappoint ourselves so much in life, everyday. This isn’t because we are truly falling short, this is because of where we’ve set our expectations of ourselves. But falling short is not worth having no peace. In the grand scheme of things, no situation is worth having no peace. For me, assurance and forgiveness means that I continue to do my best, but to forgive myself when I fall short and remind myself that God is in control and that as long as I have my life and my health, I can have joy and peace.

Naming my months, means that I will focus in on assuring and forgiving myself, everyday, as an act of self-love and acceptance, for the entire month of March.

How will you implement unconditional love and acceptance of self into your life this month? What will you focus your energies on? I’m curious…

 

With Love and Light,

 

Amber Bernadette

 

oh p.s, if you’d like to check out more of my poems, you can follow me on Instagram at Instagram/wordtothewise__ or facebook.com/wordtothewiseblog