#OfTheVine

Of (preposition) – expressing the relationship of a part and a whole

Vine (noun) – the slender stem of a trailing plant or fruit

#OfTheVine

“Be a person who needs people. People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” – Barbara Streisand & Stevie Wonder

As I sit and type silently in my bedroom listening to the stillness of the air, I hear so much more much more clearly. Whenever I’m looking for inspiration, I pause, reflect and seek inwardly what cries my soul. As I continue to reflect internally on my life and my experiences over the past 25 years I’m forced to reflect externally on our experiences as a people, as a nation, as a whole. Many of my experiences were reactions to local events and current happenings and now in 2015, exiting out of what is known as Black History Month, those events and happenings continue to elevate my thinking and awareness of the present. Our current state of being as a republic is wounded and we must heal the wounds of our past. I believe that the country we live in has gone from the land of opportunity to a terrain of damaged goods. We have to push through the filth of ourselves to address our history to write a new story. However, I don’t feel that our focus should be why or how we got here but rather, where do we go from here?

Since the beginning of civilization, people have proven time and time again what it means to adapt to their surroundings and the elements thereof showcasing and highlighting strength and unity. Continuity of self, soul and spirit has been what has driven the human experience that lead to evolution for thousands of years. It is that same component that brings us together here today. In a time where we as people need each other the most, there are a few things I think that are stopping us from growing healthily. We’ve lost our sense of direction. We’ve lost our sense of compassion. We’ve lost our sense of humanity. We have become inhumane. We have reduced the value of each other to quota, statistics, hashtags and t-shirts. I’m afraid we are no longer the world. We have become the weight of the world.
What we need is almost like a distorted, super-sized game of Chess. Our opponent has slid their pawns out front creating the open space. We’ve crossed our Queen diagonally to H-4.We triumphantly wave our flag as we’ve now checked the King for the win but have forgotten to honor the checkmate and review ways to get ‘out of check’ before strategic victory. We have forgotten that in order to get better, to do better, we must sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. Calling checkmate brings about a consciousness that something is happening and makes you carefully revisit your strategy. There is a word for this consciousness. That word is accountability. That’s what we need.

We’re rocking on a tipping point and these next few moments, months, years are critical to our existence. It is going to take vision, strategy, intention, clarity, accountability, responsibility, ownership, leadership, relationship, unity, validation, hope, patience, peace, freedom and love to survive the times. As long as we are willing to do the work, we will become the next best version of ourselves, in truth, as a country, as a world and as a people. One people. One nation. One nation under God. Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Indivisible. With liberty. And justice. For All. No conspiracies. No hidden agendas. No play on words. Just liberty and justice. For all. It’s about going deeper to the core and getting to the root. It’s about bearing fruit and sharing it fresh from the vine. My heart’s desire is that we all refresh our minds and press the restart button to reset the ways of our thoughts. We have to strip our old way of thinking about the future and embrace the wonder of now. There’s power in potential, and people, we have it. We make the world go ‘round. We already have the power. Let’s redefine possibility and potential and let’s honor ourselves with stewardship. Where do we go from here? The answer is simple. Up.

Of the Vine is a written offering of disposition, desire, dreams and destiny (modern day think pieces) handcrafted by Rashaad King of Our Turn 365.

It’s been a month…

Nothing big here. Nothing extraordinary or fancy. Just Heartfelt Expressions about an ordinary woman with a desire to love.

Exactly a month ago today, my grandmother took her last breath. She did it for me. She did it for my brothers and sister. She did it for her daughters. Even until the end, she gave her all so that we might have.

To physically know a love so true and perfect is one of God’s greatest gifts. I pray God’s grace and peace be unto you and hope that you too experience a love so deep as I have.

Imari, Devon, Roshardrick and KJ, we’ve only just begun. Continuing the legacy on.

Mrs. Dorothy LaRuth (Dot) Johnson
January 7th, 1935 – January 15th, 2015

image

I need your support!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Ever since I was a child, I was taught to never let anyone on the “outside” know your business. Only those that have earned the right to hear your story gets to hear it. While I do keep that teaching near and dear to my heart in specific areas of life, I also hold one other thing there as well: James 4:3 – “…You have not because you ask not.”

I’ve wrestled with one thing or another in the past, but this has not let me go. So, I’ve decided to let go of my fear and make it known that I am in dire need of your support and assistance.

I created a gofundme campaign to help with fundraising for helping me give back to my grandmother who has given so much to those deserving yet undeserving, her children and grandchildren. As I stated in the official campaign on gofundme, “love gave her life and love took it away”.

There are many of you that know what my family and I have gone through over the past nine years with my grandmother’s diagnosis of dementia. There have been trying times for sure but there have been many more triumphant. There are complications that come along with that particular diagnosis and hospital visits are often.

As I write this, I’m sitting across from her in the hospital. We’ve been here since December 29th and hopefully, we’ll be on our way home this week. She turns 80 on January 7th and that is the reason I began the campaign.

So, I ask that you please check it out and if you feel led, donate and/or pass it along to your friends and family. I honestly can’t do it alone. Thank you all in advance. The site of the campaign is here: Gift of Life – 80th Birthday Wish

Joyous 2015,

Rashaad

2015. And counting.

Hey folks!

My God it seems like forever since I’ve written something to you guys (and gals). I miss you (my supporters, family, friends) terribly! It’s been a while but my time away was very much needed. I’ve gone through so much this year – good and not so good – and it has taught me that in it all, honoring your life with your wishes, practicing gratitude, being okay with choices you make for yourself, are the things that lead to a more joyful, less stressful, more fulfilling, less stressful, more significant life.

If you’re reading this in 2014, that means that you were alive on December 13, 2014. Do you know that sequentially speaking, the date 12-13-14 is the last of its kind for another 20 years? What rolls around next is 1-2-34, two decades from now on January 2, 2034. While that seems like forever and a day away, it’s really right around the corner.

As I sit here on Georgia Tech’s campus reflecting on the past two decades, I am able to do nothing but sigh and smile. Over the summer I turned 25 and when I say PRE-MIDLIFE CRISIS! I laughed. I cried. I hyperventilated. I cried some more. I laughed some more. I played mediator. I had cake smashed in my face. I laughed and cried some more. I prayed. And cried again. Eventually I went to sleep literally wondering where the hell had the time gone?

Twenty years ago I was prepping for the coming of my sister, Imari, hoping she wouldn’t smell weird. She did (not really). But doesn’t anymore (her job gives her discounted body sprays and such – hallelujah – kidding. I love how she smells. I think. Is that weird? I love my sister. She loves me. Mind your business. #NoJudgmentZone). Twenty years ago, I was in Kindergarten at Heard Mixon telling Mrs. Ammons and Mrs. Stutes that I wanted to be a preacher when I grew up (still weird?). Twenty years ago, life was such a breeze. I had not one care in the world, other than caring for my puppy Chino, my Curious George and Amelia Bedelia books, and the toys I got in the many, many Happy Meals I enjoyed (say something and I’ll sit on you. Again, kidding). Life back then was so simple. And oh, so good.

Looking ahead twenty years from now, I can only imagine how thrilling and exciting and exhilarating life will be. The possibilities are endless. Time is endless. Joy is endless. There is so much life work that you and I could do. Life work, meaning that which lifts you higher, giving purpose and reason and meaning to the offering you have for the world. It is why you exist. It is why you have breath in your body. It is the very thing that you would do for the rest of your life even if you did not get paid for it, though financial freedom is a great goal to aim for while completing your life work. Isn’t that what we all aim for? But I digress.

The fact that you are alive right now at this very moment is an indicator that you still have purpose here. You are still on assignment. You still have work to do. 2015 and beyond can really be the next best years of your life. Only if you open yourself to the possibility of Becoming. And even once you become, you continue to Be.

Please, I beg of you, all of you, to not go another day repeating the same mistakes of yesteryear. Lessons will continue to show up, that’s life, but repeating the same class year after year and failing with the same grade (in this instance, receiving the same consequences) will do nothing but hold you and others that are waiting for you and your work, back. You have to advance. You have to move forward. You have to grow with the following in mind:

Life, for me, will never be the same.

I guarantee that if you take this and say it daily to yourself, post it on Instagram, tweet it, whatever you have to do in order for that to stick, your life will work only for your good.

So, let’s move forward together. Let’s work together. Let’s grow together. And together, let’s rise!

Living in the sunshine,

Rashaad