This time last year, I was here. Full of life. Full of passion. ... Just letting it all happen.
What's happened up to now? What's happening now?
Change is in the air, and it's a new season.
I didn't want things to stay the same. Hungry for change; now everything that I was a part of now seems like something in the far distance. I can't even believe such short time has passed. The vision is still there, but the mission has shifted. The way to approach is different.
How does change actually happen? What are the actions that we should take on this Earth to truly have an impact and make a difference?
When I took my first step in entering the cannabis industry, it was with a heart on fire to help people who were in situations that did not allow them to help themselves. At the center of it all, in my heart and mind, that vision is still the same.
How do we reach people in need of saving/a savior? Is it through activism, word of mouth/marketing, or sowing seeds along the way? Is this journey going to be a lonely path or does it require building with the skills of others? How do you know who those people are? How do you decide on the right opportunities along the way?
I'm still on the path to understanding. I am not chasing money. I am not chasing fame.
I am simply seeking Wisdom.
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."
WHOA. What happened in 2016?! How did an entire year go back without writing a blog post (here or on the travel blog), or even many entries in my journal—including songs, prayers, random thoughts, and poems.
I suppose a lot has happened in the last 12+ months....
Actually, my entire life changed.
I had another breaking bad moment, but this time was more like a rocket ship lifted me off into full throttle. I discovered a part of me that was on fire and hungry to empower others to see[k] truth and change.
Two days before entering 2016, I attended my first DC NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) meeting (I previously attended several meetings in Virginia).
I'm not sure if it was the contagious energy of the executive director or the energy from the company that led me to attend, but something inside was triggered.
It made sense.
Taking on a double minor in undergrad at American University, I studied psychology and justice, law and society on top of my journalism major. I chose to take courses like Drugs and Human Behavior; Drugs, Consciousness, & Fulfillment; and Law, Psychology and Justice...among others with a similar theme.
My goal? To understand (and also #nonprofitstartupfuturegoals).
Until college, I was a proud and supportive DARE advocate. That was until I realized it is all propaganda, especially when it comes to the Cannabis Sativa plant, and that all the honor students "smoke pot." Surely the smart kids couldn't/shouldn't be excluded from the list of "good people," as the new attorney general may propose. 😒
At this point, we realize DARE does not keep people from their curiosities, and instead creates ignorance by covering truths. As the New Jim Crow notes, we are wasting money and resources to put nonviolent people who should not only be spending time being productive in the world, but they could be spending time building and investing (please think beyond money) in society...and with their families.
War on Drugs? ...nah.
But the drug war goes further than stealing lives and years from people (readJohn 10:10)—particularly against people who look like me.
Looking at the grande scheme of the Universe, the drug war is really an attack on the family. This is my biggest heartbreak.
Taking fathers, mothers, and caregivers away from the future generation; to be sent behind bars, made to feel like a criminal (I love you, you're probably not).
If you've seen any of the shows making money from sharing behind the scenes of the demoralizing prison system, then you know it's not somewhere you want to end up when you're just trying to peacefully live your life without causing harm to anyone.........including yourself...
Once this truth was unveiled to me through both my classroom and real life encounters, I knew that I couldn't keep this realized truth for and to myself. Believing this as part of my purpose/existence, I barely felt any fear in knowing that I am a first-generation American with Christian parents who are not supportive of supporting anything that the law says 'no' to.
But the revelation came to me. The law: written and inspired by man's personal desired outcome, has once also said that blacks and whites cannot eat in the same place or marry; women could not hold certain roles or vote; and blacks are only worth 3/5 of a person..... I'm sorry, but no. I hope your convictions on the laws of man have been altered because this flux and subjectiveness is our human reality.
So how could I ignore the number of [black] people behind [privately owned] bars who never hurt anyone, including themselves? Or the millions of sick patients who can benefit from the healing of a plant with zero negative side effects (depending on the strain and your evening plans)?
"For the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed," says Isaiah 61:1 (NLT). No, I'm not Jesus or the Messiah, but being created in His image, I was also created for this purpose -- and so were you.
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Of course I strongly believe this statement goes beyond the need for physical healing, though that's part of it.
The mission is simple: Truth, Liberty and Justice for all. I think we were forced to say that every day in school and "I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix," as stated by Texas Representative David Simpson (R).
But this post is not really about my personal convictions and beliefs. It is about what I have been doing and the divine opportunities presented because of them.
The Rocket Launch
After the last DC NORML meeting of 2015 and numerous conversations with a friend and figure in the cannabis industry, my mind became restless. Knowing what I learned in school and about the people deeply entrenched with the underground in other places, I was surprised that this awakening didn't come sooner! Even my cell phone number clearly confirms this direction, though I missed it all along!
I had to do something. I had to get involved.
In February 2016, my rocket ship officially launched. I was READY to make moves and shake things up. I met Adam Eidinger of DCMJ on the NPR Kojo Knamdi Show, reached out to the legendary activist Dana Beal for advice and support, spoke to teachers at DCPS to explain the new cannabis laws and how they can address it with their students, and topped it off at the Capitol CannaShow -- which opened windows and doors to amazing relationships.
This was all in one month. I was praying hard before all of this about purpose and direction (this all shortly followed after reading Purpose Drive Life), and knew the seamless flow and series of events/encounters over the next 6 months had to be a divine appointment (before that NORML meeting, I had just gotten baptized in my adult life and was packing boxes to move to California, which are still packed LOL). I've met some inspiring, well-known, and influential people in the $6.7 billion industry (Forbes). I've been inspired and engaged with all types of people through various events, political movements, conferences, and private partnerships. 😻
Fast forward a year later, and now I work as an editor for the BEST online publication for current and aspiring cannabis executives and leaders in the industry, Cannabis Business Executive. The rocket ship's door flung wide open, literally combining my knowledge of journalism with my distinct courses in psych/law to finally make that $200K education bill worth it. Even better? My heart is for helping others develop themselves personally and professionally (first they must be free), and this publication does just that for a niche industry!
I've been silent for the last year because I've been building. Not for myself, but for a Kingdom that I've been created for and hope others will join. The enlightenment of my connection to support the cannabis industry didn't stop there. My eyes opened to dreams that I forgot were in my heart as a child...but I let the world's distractions of paying bills and "having fun" disrupt that path. So much has happened. Amazing encounters. Wonderful people, and new lifelong friends. Moments of self-awakening.
I just wish God told me sooner that this is where I should be!
Nevertheless, here I am and NOW is the time.
I refuse to be so silent with writing... but I have been busy building and cannot make promises about the next time I'll say 'hi'. "The wise woman builds her house..." (Prov. 14:1 NLT).
Look up and look ahead. Never underestimate the power of a seed (mustard or hemp ;).
Before I opened the document, I thought about what I wanted to say and how I didn't want to do it now. There are other things to write.
It's not that I haven't been writing. I've been writing quite a bit these days, actually. I've been on a journey. A spiritual, mental, stimulating journey. Lots of thinking involved.
It wasis refreshing.
Do you ever feel like there is another calling in your life? As if you are not meant to sit still and accept things / your surroundings as they are...
It's not about being content. Gratitude is always necessary. It's about disrupting the way people think and imagine the world. Inspiring them to open their eyes to see your perspective on a simple matter.
For me, that matter is love. Is that odd? I've always been in love with the thoughts, ideas, definitions, and [more abstract] feelings of what love is, could, and should be. I particularly remember learning about the four types of love in a Greek philosophy course at Uni - philia ("brotherly love"), eros ("love, mostly of the sexual passion"), storge ("familial love" like between parent-child), and agápē ("love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God").
When you find something that you love or that you are passionate about, it burns you up inside. Something like eros...your passion or purpose gets you excited to have any opportunity to engage in it and share the love that you have. Sometimes you don't understand how people find it hard to see your perspective and why it's so important, but it's okay. We're all pieces in a really big puzzle community with different sections (assignments, people, places) to focus on.
Your assignment is your purpose. It could be for a moment, a season, or even a lifetime. The fact is that if you're still breathing and able to read this article, there's still something for you to do. What are you doing with your time? Do you know what you should be focusing on, or do you let life pass you by without many questions asked? Maybe even feeling a little numb...
If you tell me that this is false and that you don't have a place on this Earth, then I'd like to talk to you about the lies you may be listening to in your head.
There's so much to be done! So many new inventions to create. Apps to be built. Children to be made. Songs to be sung. Grass to be cut. Animals to be cared for. Toilets to be unclogged. So many things that only you could help with at the right time and place.
Don't become restless trying to figure out your
great destiny; but live in each moment as if there is a reason for where you are, who you're with, and when.
Join me every Tuesday on blab.im/AhmazingCVE for "Curious Chats w. Christine," where I speak with dozens of people who are chasing after their dreams, visions, and purpose all over the world. Perhaps it will help you realize your potential...
Stop. Sit still.
Watch. Listen. Be aware of your surroundings. Take note.
Where is your mind
in every situation? Are you present or, like me, thinking of the possibilities?
The last year or two
has not been the same. I would write, but not post. My travels and adventures
have taken me to many places that I want to share…but I have not. I am the only
one to blame for not focusing on what matters most - who I am and where I am going.
Can you believe I am
still trying to pick up the pieces from when I left Australia? My mind must
have surely been frazzled to the maxx! It's been 3 years now, but I am still on
the road to recovery. I am still so very grateful that I am where I am today…so
happy to be alive and well.
However, being alive
is not enough anymore. I want to live. I need to breathe! I long to feel again.
I've had the
opportunity to reflect in the last few months. And I've honestly avoided this in
the last 2 years and focused more on making memories disappear or go dormant
until I'm ready to write them out (book date TBD).
A key theme since
the commencement of 2015? The past is over. It cannot move with you unless you
bring it. There are enough troubles for today…and tomorrow!
I just feel like I'm
in a different place - which is most definitely a good thing. I just need to
figure out where to go from here. My heart is in a difficult place.
At least I know, I'm
physically in Las Vegas.
More to come...and memories to share.
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV) -
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I've lost myself. I don't know what I love or why to live. I don't want to die because I know that I have a purpose, but everything seems extremely hazy right now. I don't feel the same sense of direction I've had for as long as I can remember. I am always the person planning and I always have my life together. I feel like something has been ripped away from me and I don't know how to get it back. I feel like the only way to really get me back is to start over again.
I saw myself slipping away -- the person I once knew and loved -- but I didn't know how to stop it. I didn't realize that I would continue to lose more of me.
If I am lost, then there is hope. Whatever is lost must be found. I always try to remember that although I cannot find what I am looking for at the moment, it is somewhere within reach and it is patiently waiting for me to realize that it's there.
I need to figure out where to start looking. Does it matter why I feel like I've lost myself? If it was stolen from me, should I be searching for why or by whom rather than trying to fix it? I don't know why it's so hard for me to rekindle my old self.
Perhaps this is my opportunity for a new beginning. The chance to mold exactly who I'd like to be. Where do I start? I begin with characteristics that I admire. Then, I express why I exemplify those characteristics, as well as how they relate to my future goals.
I've decided to throw out a lot of my old belongings, due to my desire for a fresh start. I think my experiences have brought me to a place that I am proud of; however, I would like them to stay in the past and allow only the memories to remain. Throwing away things from my past is symbolism for distancing myself from Me in my previous life.
Working at WAMU and producing material in my Broadcast Journalism class is allowing me to experiment with different sub-cultures of broadcast media. There is the entertainment industry, news, podcasts (an audience for all), sports, and many other things.
Before I got into Broadcast Journalism, I knew that I did not want to do news. It’s interesting that I’m now interning for the metro’s number one public radio station, bringing you news and stories from the District.
There’s a segment on WAMU called “Metro Connection” that brings a human interest story to life for listeners. After working on a story regarding obesity with one of the reporters for the past few weeks, I am inspired.
I completed my Broadcast Journalism I final about shoes. The assignment was to create a mini-documentary that lasted between 4 to 8 minutes. I covered shoes in a materialistic, superficial manner in which people talked about their favorite shoes and I brought in multi-cultural perspectives; however, I wanted to go deeper. Leading from different cultural perspectives (namely Indian and Kenyan), I talked about Toms shoes and the impact buying one pair of shoes can have on a child. The message was one for one. (Listen Below)
Seven minutes and forty-four seconds later, I created a compelling story that brought together human interest and the awareness of social responsibility. Completing this assignment and working at WAMU has encouraged me to pursuit human interest stories like this.
AU was not wrong when they encouraged students to embrace the term “Wonk” after they modified the definition. I do want to create meaningful change in the world and I am passionate about doing whatever it takes to make sure people know the truth about certain human rights and inequalities. Stories that interest me are things that are often overlooked and do not receive enough attention from the media or society.
I want to create that change so that there can be a better tomorrow.
Mini-Documentary: Let’s Get Some Shoes!
1.Stop apologizing for things you didn't do. 2. Become an optimist whilst retaining your pessimistic outlook. 3. Be free. 4. When you're stuck in a goldfish bowl, break out. Pull a nemo. Play dead. Get flushed. 5. Stop drooling, start licking. 6. Give up cappuccinos, drink more lattes. 7. Learn to say "I love you" more often. It feels good. Really good. 8. Don't forget, it's ok to be moody sometimes. 9. Yes, when he asks you in for coffee you should say yes. 10. Become the person you want to be. 11. Just let go. 12. Learn to take a compliment, even if it's not the one you want to hear. 13. Remember love doesn't find you on its own. 14. Your story doesn't always need a beginning before the end. 15. Admit your weakness to no one. 16. There's always someone left to blame. 17. Learn the art of selective hearing. 18. Don't stop dreaming because there is no wrong in wanting something more. 19. Nobody knows your limits better than you do, but every once in a while somebody will question all you know and they will push for you for the better. 20. Take a chance. 21. Wear your I ♥ Britney badge with pride. 22. Just for a minute, forget about what's coming tomorrow. 23. Everything obvious has been invented; Think outside the box. 24. "We're so fairytale it makes people sick." 25. Sometimes a thank you isn't enough 26. Forgive but don't forget. 27. Chase the rain. 28. Don't let an invitation become an invasion. 29. Sometimes running is the only way to fight your fears. 30. Make dreams happen now. 31. Don't waste another second, please? 32. Buy your pumpkins early. 33. Discover the person you are before you find the person you need to be. 34. Stop losing things, it costs. 35. Defend your friends. 36. Become your own Buffy; Fight your demons. 37. It is NOT enough. 38. Feel the freedom, even if it is a lie. 39. Get your things and lose your way. 40. You are what you make of yourself. 41. Hold onto something good and don't let go. 42. Don't try and fix what isn't broken. 43. Learn something new. Teach something old. 44. Don't believe a promise that can only be broken. 45. Don't let yourself be somebody's priority if they are only your choice. 46. Open your eyes or ignore what matters most. 47. Time machines don't exist. 48. Let go of the parts of life you honestly don't want. 49. Learn to walk away. 50. Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes. 51. Erasing yourself from somebody's life is not as simple as walking out the door. 52. We spend too long thinking about tomorrow when we could be learning from the yesterday we wanted to be today. 53. Let your heart defy your logic. 54. From now on, everyday will be the most important day. 55. We are all equal in the evil and beauty we are capable of producing. 56.It's ok to feel even the tiniest bit of fear. 57. Do what you love and love what you do.