I Dare You...



I dare you to tell every person you care about that you love them (right now)

I dare you to eat your favorite dessert with an extra slab of whip cream

I dare you to tell yourself you’re pretty when you have no makeup on

I dare you dance around naked in your room

I dare you to believe that you deserve more then you give yourself credit for

I dare you to sleep alone tonight and enjoy the time by yourself

I dare you to pay attention to each breath you take for a whole minute straight

I dare you to go a day without your phone, ipod or computer

I dare you to not feel sorry for yourself

I dare you to wear bright pink or bold red (anything that doesn’t resemble black)

I dare you to buy yourself a rose

I dare you to smile at your own reflection

I dare you to laugh out loud in public

I dare you to light a candle and soak in a luke warm bath (by yourself)

I dare you to smile proudly as you put lotion on every corner of your body

I dare you to let yourself cry

I dare you to be brave

I dare you not let someone else define your worth

I dare you to let yourself be happy

I dare you to be TRU

I tripple doggy dare you to love yourself

But even more, I dare you to let go and let in...

The Wall Between Us


Why is opening up such a difficult concept for me to grasp?

I preach all day to others to be open and TRU, but at the end of the day it is one of my greatest flaws. I have had three separate individuals approach me this week with the same exact concerns. They confessed their frustration with my inability to allow myself to become vulnerable with them. As I am listening to what they are saying I can't help but wonder how it got this bad.

I guess I have somehow grown accustomed to the wall I place firmly in front of my emotions and have consequently become numb. I figured if I painted the picture brightly enough, no one would notice the cracks in the wall behind it.

Why is it so hard to reveal how we truly feel? Why do we build walls of security and refuge in a war that is only being fought within ourselves?

I am concluding that despite all I believe to be true, that in fact, I deem vulnerability as a weakness in myself. While in reality, I know it is the single greatest factor in building meaningful relationships and even more in being TRU.

So this message is my first official attempt to break down the wall inside of me that is keeping both you and me out.

You're A Jerk!


While attempting to catch up on some work yesterday at the park, two young boys decided to plant themselves under the same gazebo I was sitting under. At first glance these boys looked like two little thugs who wanted to start trouble, but after a few minutes of them invading my newfound territory I discovered that they simply wanted someone to talk to.

I could have easily been a jerk and stuck my head in my work, but instead I gave them my full attention. After a few minutes of random chatter they asked what I was working on and I handed them a link to my website…. and that is when it happened. That moment you have been waiting oh so patiently to occur for what feels like forever.

One of them blurted out “I know Truality they are tight as hell!!” and then continued to tell his friend how ‘cool’ we were.

It was in that moment where the smile I tucked behind my eyes had to be as big as my college debt (which let me assure is quite a lot)! It was such an unexpected response that can only be compared to the first time you hear your song on the radio. Its as if that dream that has been nestled up next to your tireless work hours, countless sacrifices and unwavering faith has finally made its way out of your head and into the world. That your dream is no longer a figment of your imagination, it has successfully flown out of the nest.

The boys and I continued to talk about their dreams and reasons behind their constant need to get suspended from school and seek out trouble. It was easy to have them open up about their anger and frustrations at the world because I think they sensed I was not judging them. They even got comfortable enough to show me some hip dance moves (how to jerk) and although I didn’t win America's Favorite Dancer, I felt a long awaited sense of validity in my work.

They asked me a few times “Why are you so cool to kids?” And I quickly responded “Why shouldn’t I be?” and with their heads turned down to the floor they became silent. I often wonder this same question myself and as my Aunt once told me, she says its because I don't want anyone to go through what I did growing up.

Either way, I think it was a monumental afternoon for all three of us. They felt respected by an ‘adult’ (which is clearly something they did not feel on a regular basis) and I felt grateful for their ability to show me what I have been needing to see for quite some time. They reminded me that what I’m doing does have meaning and although I am not at the highest point in my career yet, I know I am for once on the right path to get there.

It's amazing what a lil jerkin around can do :)


Where All The Real Women At???



Why do I always find myself seeking powerful women through fictional characters, deceased authors and famous musicians and entertainers? Is there a shortage of real women out there or is everyone hiding behind their 9-5’s, relationship partners and private journal entries?

Last night was the first time in what feels like forever that I didn’t have to search Utube or Google to find female inspirational success stories. I was able to sit down with an actual women who “walks the talk.”

This women (and you know who you are), was a perfect dose of strength and independence to get me through what appears like a dry season of powerful women. She does not sing and dance at the Grammy’s or write bestselling novels about the women she wishes to be…She is real, she is strong and the best part is, she has a vagina!

So this is a public service announcement calling all REAL women to rise up and ‘be about it” (myself included)! I’m tired of feeling as though our gender is surrendering our tru potential to the men we date, children we have, jobs we suffer at and bills we have to pay.

When did we forget to remember ourselves? The women we wanted to be before tainted by societal norms, broken hearts and girl on girl crime.

When will we stop excusing ourselves from a life much different then the ones we truly want?

And lets face it there is never a good time to start, but if we don't go after the things we want now...Will we ever?

And as Maya Angelou would say “Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.”

What Does It Mean To Be An American?


During my graduate program, I was recently asked "What does it mean to be an American?"

The answer might appear obvious at first, but the more I tried to answer what should have been a simple question, the more I found myself researching what others defined an American as. Her are some of the responses I found:

"Anyone living within the geopolitical boundaries of the United States."

"I suspect that most of us believe, like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in describing pornography, that we "know it when we see it." For example, John Wayne, Amelia Earhart, and Bill Cosby definitely are Americans. The day laborers standing on the street corner probably are not."

"Being "an American" is not the same thing as simply living in the United States. Nor, I would add, is it the same thing as holding U.S. citizenship. After all, a baby born on U.S. soil to an illegal alien is a citizen. This hardly guarantees that this baby will grow up to be an American."

"Unlike most other nations on Earth, the American nation is not strictly defined in terms of race or ethnicity or ancestry or religion. The inescapable conclusion seems to be that one chooses to be an American by adhering to the principals laid out in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. By choosing to become part of the body politic and by agreeing to live in solidarity with the rest of the polity."

And as Mr. Webster likes to define it "a citizen of the United States of America."

Even after my research, I still have not concluded what I define an American to be. Perhaps it is because some of my closests friends (from various Countries) and family members (including my late Grandparents) have lived in the Untied States the majority of their lives, worked everyday, were educated in the same school systems, played in the same parks and yet because they don't have 'citizenship' they are not considered real 'Americans.'

I know it is easy to say "well if they don't have their papers then their not Americans. Simple." But is it really that simple?

For many who are not born with the privilege of being a "documented American Citizen" the concept of being American is so much more than obtaining a few papers that says they are qualified to be American... It symbolizes their freedom.

Even for those patriotic US citizens, I guarantee when the word American comes to their mind, images of our soldiers fighting for our freedom and our Country's red white and blues waving above our Nations Capitol comes to mind way before an image of their drivers license or passport.

But as I said before, I may have a biased opinion.

And although I may not be politically correct, I can't help but believe more what I feel is right as oppossed to what others tell me is.

Being American is a word that only holds power if you believe it does. Same thing as the word man, Chinese, black or gay. They mean nothing unless people say they do. They are used to commonly distinguish something from another, but in reality they all fall under one unified umbrella…that they are all human.

Beautiful

video

This video is a little 'trailer' from a documentary my colleagues and I shot on being homeless. The idea was first sparked a few months ago when we were invited to present a segment on poverty at a diversity camp for high school students. While brainstorming ideas for the event, we quickly realized that this topic touched way too close to home for one of our very own TRU members.

As he began to reflect on some of his past experiences actually sleeping on cold cement floors and spending his days begging for money at a local Circle K, we decided to try and understand what he was talking about on a much deeper level: We wanted to experience it ourselves. Therefore, we set out on a unforgettable journey to not only learn more about our friend but also the life that millions of people all over the world live everyday. Coincidently, we ended up learning more about ourselves.

-This video is only a fraction of the shocking and emotionally draining journey we set out on. It was a painful and yet, "beautiful" experience of walking through life in another persons shoes...