The Years of Evolving ~ Gratefully and Gracefully Aging

My mom and I. Left circa 1980 and right 2014

As I turn a year older today, I turn on the reflective mode switch  as a Google search made me  stumble on some before and after pictures of a few  notable celebs who honed their craft and shone their light in their hey days.

I am right-smack in the middle of the transitioning process as I raise my fist to knock on the 40’s door, not there yet, but so close I can smell the wood. It is said that the best time to bend a stick is when it is green. I pray that God in His infinite mercies and grace will allow me to express my talent and walk energetically in my calling in this afternoon & green~y phase of life. To feed the yearn for fulfillment, follow that dream, now not later, now, when the face/skin is still smooth and the body firmer. Aging is not a bad thing, it is in fact a beautiful thing to embrace as we will all grow old and wrinkly one day. The inevitability of life. The most important thing is what is done, that dash in between those two significant dates of one’s life.

I see my present  in the before images below. As ‘they’ say, feed the body right,  move it when you can, guard  your heart from negativity, try to be happy 99% of the time, care for your loved ones, be selfless while taking care of ‘you’ and be spiritually connected to  your maker, then you’ll age gracefully, as one cannot turn back the hand of the aging physical process but our youth surely can be renewed like the eagle’s inwardly; if we start living right, right now, not later. So help me God. Happy Birthday to me 🙂

He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Ps 103:5

The selections below are as random as my distracted Google search led me. It is interesting to see the physical changes of their beautiful selves.

Kate Bush – Catherine “Kate” Bush, CBE (born 30 July 1958) is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer, who is known for her eclectic musical style and her idiosyncratic soprano vocal performances 

Onyeka Onwenu – Onyeka Onwenu (born 17 May 1961) is a legendary Nigerian singer, songwriter, actress, journalist, politician, and X Factor series judge.

Broke Peters – Brock Peters (July 2, 1927 – August 23, 2005) was an American actor, best known for playing the role of Tom Robinson in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. He also gained recognition among Star Trek fans for his portrayals of Fleet Admiral Cartwright

Björk – is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single “Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations.

Sade Adu  – Helen Folasade Adu, OBE, better known as Sade, is a British Nigerian singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer. She first achieved success in the 1980s as the frontwoman and lead vocalist of the Brit and Grammy Award-winning group Sade.

Sidney Poitier – Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE, is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat. In 1964, Poitier became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field.

Yours Sincerely,

TosingerUpcoming Afro~Indie Singer Songwriter, Wiki not available until far reaching achievements in the works are completed.

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And so, I leave you with my music. Enjoy my new single ‘Aeroplane’ and pre-order my upcoming album ‘ORGANICALLY SINGING’  here. Love, Peace and Beautiful Afro Music ~ Tosinger

Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing..
Tosinger

It’s Been Real – #YourTurnChallenge Day 7

Day 7: What are you taking with you from this Challenge?

I take with me a renewed encouragement to step into the light

I take with me the habit of shipping

I take with me the effect of the power of a virtual tribe and the power of accountability and discipline

I take with me a  mental awakening

I take with me a confident acknowledgement of the fact that ‘It’s my turn’

It’s been real

Thanks to the ‘Your Turn’ tribe – @SethGodinBlog and @winniekao for doing this.

P. S – It’s 2 days to my birthday and I will be releasing a single from my upcoming album ‘Organically Singing’ , pre~orders available on my website at http://www.tosinger.com/music-store, stop by and check on it 😉 Thank you.

Love, Peace and Beautiful Music to pull your heartstrings.

Beautifully Dreaming…. Positively Doing

Tosinger

Dare To Be Daring – #YourTurnChallenge Day 6

This is Day 6  of the #YourTurnChallenge, an initiative to practice the art of shipping by writing one blog post every day for a week.

As a child I stuck my finger in fire

Just to know how ‘hot’ heat is

Broke open a living, breathing snail

Just to see what goes on inside, within

I’m the cat that curiosity never killed

The lioness that ate more than meat

The thirst for adventure will continue for life

I’ll dare to venture from time to time

Crossing boundary lines of creativity

Breaking rules like Picasso’s artistry

I’ll dare to be different in my chosen ways

Some restrictions may not allow it again and again

But I’ll do what I can with what I have

Until it’s time to throw caution to the wind

And skydive off the edge of a very high cliff 🙂

 

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing

Tosinger

In Need of A Tribe? – #YourTurnChallenge Day 5

This 7 day #YourTurnChallenge is not so difficult after all. Got my brain a -working, and my fingers a -typing. The motivation is there because of the virtual ‘tribe’ out there who are also participating. It calls for some level of accountability from each person.  But what happens at the end of the 7 days and you get stuck on your own? Today’s (Day 5) blog post prompt question is “What advice would you give for getting unstuck?”. Beyond stepping away from the screens, inhaling nature or shifting one’s mental alignment, how about forming or getting in a ‘tribe’ for support, for accountability, for encouragement, for that needed push.

  “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us”  Book  by Seth Godin defines a tribe:

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger and enabling new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten million who care about a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

Due to financial limitations or repeated disappointments from people, I have found myself learning a few self taught skills and DIY~ing that cuts costs considerably. They do come out right, looking ‘pro’, thankfully. But one can get burnt out sometimes and be a Jack/Jane of all trade and master/missus of none. So sometimes it’s good to ask for help when stuck, if you know where to find the help that is, from fellow like minded people, mentors or leaders who are willing, and they will only be willing if they are ‘your tribe’. A tribe.  A team.  A mature clique. Or should we use that word ‘network’ (which I blogged about on my Day 4 post) Actually, I believe a tribe is more specific and intimate than a network, a tribe can be carved out of your network. When you know others in your ‘clan’ are really interested in you and what you do, are forward thinkers, never give-up’ers, of like mind, positively motivated you have no choice but to be hardworking and progressive as well. Didn’t they say “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”, didn’t they also say “birds of the same feather flock together”. 

Tribes are at our fingertips in these days of social media – facebook groups, meetup.com, instagram followership, twitter, pinterest. Who you follow, what you see, quotes/blogs you read, music you listen to, can get you unstuck at moments you lack inspiration. These are all ‘virtual tribe’ platforms even if you don’t know each other, or may never even meet on ground till heaven comes and the earth disappears. So if you want to be unstuck, who is in your tribe, do you have one?

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing

Tosinger

When Network Does Not Equate Networth – #YourTurnChallenge Day 4

Day 4: Something you do well. #YourTurnChallenge

As I write this, I just finished making an introduction. All it takes for me is the click of a button, a few good words and an email introduction and good vibes start to roll, and sometimes to my ignorance, they bankroll too. All done out of goodwill, based on established reputations. Mr John is in your network, so is Mr Doe,  you’ve known them for eons, albeit on platonic levels, even say in business circles, but neither Mr John or Doe added any worth or value to you or vice versa (financially speaking) for one reason or the other but you introduce them to each other and they are the better for it. That, right there, is a good example of when network absolutely did not even add a dime to your net worth. They say your network is your net worth, so why would one have a seemingly high network and be as broke as a church rat.  What is going wrong with what is being done well. Is something not right somewhere? Are the right people in the network? Is the network not being used well to one’s advantage maybe? It’s one thing to know people, on the other hand, is knowing them relevant to your life, progress, business, career, future?.

Networking. Not a big deal. I connect.  I introduce albeit online/social media. In business, ‘they’ call it PR/Branding.  And that’s what it is when it is structured. When it is informal and unstructured, it is ‘Word of Mouth’ which is said to be the most effective and traditional mode of ‘marketing’, but which unfortunately is the most ‘less monetized’, you can’t trace the chain of who initially said what to who, you can’t track gains and losses, words are like eggs, once broken, it spills.

Guard your influence/your network

“You’ve got a great fanbase/ following, please help me share this link” No Sir, No Ma’am. My value statement and beliefs are important. It’s more like I love this content and I think it will benefit whoever reads this/listens to this within my network/target audience. What is worth sharing is worth sharing well. Quality is key.  I share what I believe is worth sharing not what friends or random persons cajole me to share, if it doesn’t even resonate with my business values, it will not be a paid for PR/Branding service.

You read in some notable influencers’ Twitter bios – “Tweets are not endorsements”, these are disclaimers that are necessary to be communicated, just in case for example, an unsuspecting individual connects with a tweet subject (just because Ms XYZ tweeted about it) and their business deal goes sour.  So yes, sometimes, network does not equate to net worth. People may have made millions on your tab, you made it happen yes and that’s about it. There is consolation in the fact that – “Give and it shall come back to you in other ways not necessarily monetarily, goodwill shared is a seed that will always bring a good harvest, pass it on, the God who sees in private rewards publicly, karma has its ways, universe bounces back good energy”..so many sayings to compensate for when network does not equate to net worth. Even the bible says:

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin

So if not why not, if you know Sallie Mae needs to meet John Doe to make magic happen, go ahead and make that intro, they’ll thank the day you were born.  Guard, but yet be selfless with your network and expect your emotional/spiritual assets to grow significantly.  Or better still, revamp your network to see the financial growth you need. Right? Wisdom is the principal thing. Comments anyone?.

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

Tosinger

State Of The Onion – #YourTurnChallenge Day 3

 

Day 3 #YourTurnChallenge is centered around – “Tell us about something that you think should be improved”. I know a lot of people will have loads of suggestions for improvement with regards to  POTUS’s SOTU address from last night. I’d like to switch things around and not go there, why not start with the state of mind of every individual. The man/woman makes the home, the homes make the community, the community makes the town/city, the town/city makes the state, the state makes the nation which in turn chooses the man/woman that leads her. It’s a cycle. So let’s deal with the nitty gritties of the state of individuals’ onions. Do your onions make you cry? or do you know well enough to slice them under running water to avoid the tears? What is the state of your onion? Are they all good or rotting in the vegetable rack? Here is a story I’d like to share about the onion that made my eyes water.

Let’s call her Ms Angel. She crossed my path today. A little precious Caucasian boy calls out to her “Mom”!. She looks at me and answers the question I did not ask.  She tells me the story of her 3 adopted children, all under 10. You see, Ms Angel has a Caribbean accent, she must have been originally from Jamaica maybe. 2 of the 3 of the kids are of a different race, they were abandoned babies. The pretty little doll eyed 2 year old’s name is “Miracle”. Miracle because she was birthed in a hospital restroom, abadoned and later discovered. Ms Angel adopted her and showers her with love. She is improving health wise and Ms Angel is grateful to God. I fast-forwarded my imagination and pictured them all grown, this Mom who saved them all, loving on Ms Angel like crazy and someone will tell them otherwise about color. No way! They are color blind with a clear vision of love. My eyes started welling up.  I said a prayer for them.The onion of this situation made me realize you cannot choose the circumstances of your birth, what you look like or your genetic formation. It also affirms that “love indeed conquers all”.  With a foundation of love in a home like this, the nation can be stronger. It is as you grow older that you start to make decisions that will determine what the next generation will be like. It’s time to choose wisely and make decisions that positively affect the next generation.

You have onions all around you. What do you make of them? Do you  let them make you cry and that’s it? or do you close your eyes and slice them under running water? Do you use them to cook or you let them rot away? What is the state of your onion? I will like to improve on the state of mine, I won’t just let them make me cry. I’ll make them useful.  I will do something.  Cook them. Stir fry them. Do something. Be the change I want to see.

Beautifully Dreaming…. Positively Doing..

Tosinger

 

While They Were Sleeping…. #YourTurnChallenge Day 2

#YourTurnChallenge Day 2

While they were sleeping, I pray

While they were sleeping, I read & write 

While they were sleeping, I get inspiration

While they were sleeping, I think & reflect

Your state of mind actually determines what you do while ‘they’ sleep. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be during the night, or when ‘they’ are literally sleeping;  basically ‘they’ are sleeping when ‘they’ are not aware of your toil, hustle or challenges. As I write this, I have multiple  browsers open, I think I suffer from a mild case of self diagnosed internet specific ADHD, I know I am not alone. I can’t seem to focus on writing a blog post at one go without multitasking, but I stand challenged. Focus.

Back to the topic –   today’s guide question of the 7 day  #YourTurnChallenge ( a blog post a day for 7 days, here’s Day 1)  is “Tell us about something that’s important to you”. Focus for one, is important. Focusing on what is important (Focusing on my life’s purpose,  my faith in God, family, leaving a legacy for future generations) The ability to focus on the task ahead, the goal in view, the vision in sight, the dream on the horizon – important!.  Because, really, how can I ‘ship’ if I don’t keep my eyes on the target, the destination, the light at the end of the tunnel. As I write this, ‘they’ are still sleeping. Who are they? Well, ‘they’ is a mental construct. ‘They’ are _________ insert whoever_______ you think ‘they’ are.

‘They’ is whoever you empower ‘they’ to be. ‘They’ brought the gas prices down , ‘they’ just sent some good vibes my way, ‘they’ gave me a virtual pat on the back, ‘they’ said I can’t wear my hair this way, ‘they’ said “keep pushing”, ‘they’ said “we will get back to you”  or ‘they’ live by the wishing well but definitely don’t wish you well.  Angels, enemies, believers, leaders, the government, bosses, the naysayers, the gatekeepers, the policy makers, the controllers,  savages,  humans, decision makers, family, friends, the stranger down the street, the talking heads on TV, the faceless CEOs, the invisible internet trollers, haters, lovers, copycats, fans, demons, facebook friends, twitter followers, instagram stalkers, pastors and healers, whatever. ‘They’ is whoever ‘they’ are in your mind. As long as ‘they’ aid your progress, or you don’t let ‘them’ pull you down, you are ok. They (whether negative or positive) should always be your catapult of success, whether ‘they’ are aware or not, in here or out there.

I seem to do the most important things while they are sleeping.. I write new songs and I draft blog posts…because I am a Singer and a Writer, expressing my talent is important to me. So, I just got Day 2 of my #YourTurnChallenge down. What do you do while ‘they’ are sleeping?

Beautifully Dreaming….Positively Doing…

Tosinger

 

 

Day 1: It’s My Turn To Sing … and Write – #YourTurnChallenge

Hello there. I am participating in the #YourTurnChallenge. I’m doing the #YourTurnChallenge starting today Jan 19 — 1 blog post every day for 7 days powered by Marketing Guru and BestSelling Author Seth Godin (who I’ve followed for a while) and curated by his project manager @winniekao. No regrets.

Why am I doing the ‘Your Turn Challenge’?

I’ve chosen to do this challenge because I  know that I need to stretch. What am I stretching? my mind, my state of mind, my abilities. My resilience. This challenge will definitely make me stretch, intellectually, mentally and even spiritually. It’s also good for where I am creatively at the moment. The #YourTurn challenge came at a very good time when I was  hitting a roadblock with the whole blogging thing. As a blogger, my first post of 2015 was delayed until Jan 14, that does not sit well in the blogosphere which depends on frequency of content. And when I eventually posted, it was audio visuals – videos, photos and musical expressions; something I usually do when I have no words to describe my state of mind or when I am just absolutely speechless on a situation. The situation in this case being the massacre of about a reported 2,000 or so of my Nigerian people by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, coming at a very politically sensitive time. But will my keeping mute help? No. It’s time and it’s my turn to write. It’s my turn to speak up, put pen to paper, write, sing, address issues, be the change I want to see.

Thanks to my subscription to Seth Godin’s blog and grateful that he stepped out to write his book  ‘Your Turn’ ;  I would have missed this life changing opportunity. Life changing? Yes! because if I say I am a Writer (albeit a very underground and succinct one) Why does the momentum to write (express) fluctuate like the waves of the sea?. So it is very life changing to get a wake up call to rise up to the occasion and conquer fears of contradictory mental voices of one’s adeptness.

Frustration number 1,  is anyone out there? The readers, “where they at doe?” . My blog was the best place I could express my writings on topics/subjects I am passionate about – the Arts, Africa and the diaspora, hoping someone out there is reading.  Being a writer of brevity, the blogosphere was a space I could express my interests without being judged (per se) on the specificity of content or the length of it  (Side note – Seth Godin’s blog made feel OK about the latter part).  However, I thought twice about the challenge. What if my post was too short, what if I hit another roadblock? but I breathed a sigh of relief, there was no word limit, and there were question guides. Phew! Good. It’s a challenge but it’s a pleasure.

My body of writing work includes but have not been limited to a few random, seasonal,  freelance copy-writing work for brands here and there, ghostwriting, academic work and a short poetry blog which has not been recently updated. I have made absolutely no attempts to write a novel and my short stories/poetry has not made it into any anthologies. I waded in the waters of the writing space, but never really took a dive.  But wait.  I do sing.  And I am known for that. Oh yes, my songwriting  – writing lyrics to music is a great strength of mine and singing is my thing, more than a thing; it’s my calling. I do it well and I am well received doing it. So that exactly is  what’s my turn to do. It’s my turn to sing and write more. Generations have come and gone, they did their part, they left their footprints. Now It’s my turn.

What is it that it’s your turn to do? Is it your turn to _________? ( see below, an excerpt from Seth Godin’s book)

Ship.

Speak up.

Stand out.

Build a following.

Market a product.

Make a connection.

Solve an interesting problem.

Write, sing, invent, create, ask a

question, launch a project, organize a protest,

open the door for someone, question authority,

make a short film, direct, produce, create, or adopt.

Learn a new skill.

Help someone who needs you.

Be missed if you’re gone.

Your Turn to make a ruckus

How will I be missed  when I’m gone..? What is my legacy? Well, I have my songs and my writings, I’ll love to keep copy-writing for other brands for income,  express my poetic side and write more short poems and of course continue to mark my footprints on the blogosphere. How about you?

Can I? Will I? Sure. I’m up to the challenge. A mini step to the bigger steps. And this is why I am doing the #YourTurnChallenge. Thanks Mr Godin.

 

 

Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing..

Tosinger