Share That!

The holidays can mean a lot of different things for a lot of people. For me holidays were a special time. It brought my huge family together (beyond just immediate family) in segments, because we are literally too big to all be together for anything other than a family reunion.

We shared great laughs, we had great food and above everything else you felt Love! Real love, felt through handshakes, and genuine smiles. It did not matter what size or shape you came in, the love came freely.

As an adult, well someone over the age of 18, I made it a goal to share that. Every holiday I invited friends over. Friends who were not going home for holidays, friends who may have not had any family left, and friends who were disconnected from their family, for whatever reason.

So as my 3rd holiday away from my family approaches I encourage those who have the ability to share their family and their love with others. Though I am not able to open up a home to anyone this year one of my goals is to eventually do that.

This year provided many blessings and a lot more challenges. Moving to LA with no job, no car, and no stable home to call my own was terrifying. Spending my birthday alone and away from fellowship provided a real eye opener. Through all that I have been working towards this next chapter of my life. It looks different than before and it is more free spirited than ever.

Despite my challenges of being distanced from family and working at establishing connections and a real network in LA I am encouraged. Encouraged that genuine love does exist, between friends, between family and between strangers!

So I encourage everyone to share more LOVE. Every chance you get. Though this message is specifically about Holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza go beyond that. Be intentional with your Love and share it without the expectation of reciprocation!

Happy Holidays!

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I Traded Financial Stability for Mental Peace.

In 2014 I realized I no longer wanted any parts of Corporate America and the hustle and bustle of working a 9-5 where I had to wear a suit and tie regularly. I knew I enjoyed the perks of being able to travel when I wanted, earning a great salary, but I hated working to live. I will not make this about race, but I will say Corporate America is not always the friendliest if you look like I do.

It seemed no matter what I made there was always something coming up that I had to work to pay off, pay down and contribute to. I admit that was me. It was spending habits, social circles and coping (as Solange explains it in Cranes in the Sky).

Like so many years 2016 started with me discussing moving to Los Angeles and quitting a very good paying job, but I did not put a date on paper. In February of 2016 after a weekend trip to New Orleans I discovered that a longtime friend had passed away due to complications during a surgical procedure.

It was literally at his funeral that I became inspired. Seeing a church with standing room only for a 31 year old shook me as if I was in a bounce house with twenty 5 year olds. I walked to my car thinking that my friend who passed, figured it out. He was determined to enjoy life as it is supposed to be enjoyed. Despite his health issues he never stopped pursuing his goals and his dreams. It was that day I looked at my calendar, decided on a date and made a declaration that on this day I would not only leave my comfortable job with a company car, good salary and ridiculous bonus, I would take a leap of faith.

I had applied to jobs in Los Angeles for nearly two years with frequent interviews and no job offers. Every job wanted a candidate to start or to come in to interview the next day. So I decided to trade my financial stability and move to Los Angeles with no job. I tell this story, because despite moving here without a job, a car or a place to call my own I never felt better. There was a huge mental weight lifted off my shoulders and I spiritually I found myself in a place of peace I had not experienced in at least 18 years.

That move not only, blessed my spirit it made me a better at managing my finances, my time and protecting my peace. I have become more clear on who I am, who I do and do not fit with and I have been able to grow.

Though my bank account is not as large, I may not be able to go out as much (on my dollar); I may not be able to eat out as much I have everything I need. If I never knew before I know now what faith looks like and what stepping out on it yields.

Though I know this may not work for everyone, I encourage anyone reading this to find out what it is you need to do to get mental and spiritual peace and go after it.

#iamjoecarnell

PRESS RESET

PRESS RESET!
Today I am pressing reset on life. My move is not just a move it is literally the pursuit of happiness. 

Over the past few years I have been comfortable. Comfortable with my jobs, comfortable with my circles yet something inside of me was unfulfilled. I made a decent amount of money in a city that’s fairly inexpensive to live in. 

Though I have been promoted at every job I have ever had it has not been enough. 
Several years back I got clear on my purpose in life. I knew my move was imminent I just needed to press the button.

I encourage anyone reading this who is feeling unfulfilled, maybe feeling like there is more you want to do. Take time to look at what you love/ enjoy what you are good at and find a way to marry the two. Do not let life’s circumstances constrain and restrain you. You may even see an opportunity to develop to get to where you belong.

Once you determine what it is you love/ enjoy and/ or were destined for, set a date, then work in reverse to think through how you can make it happen.

Though I know my next chapter will not be easy. I have no doubt that I will learn and truly LIVE.

This is not goodbye forever, but rather see you later. To the city that groomed me, the people who prepared me and experiences that shaped me. 

So don’t be afraid to press RESET on your life. It may not be a move. Maybe it is a new job. Maybe it is pursuit of an education. Maybe it is even a business venture. Set a date. Make a plan and Go! God will provide the thugs you need for you!

🙏🏾 PRESS RESET!

3 Things to Help you Move Cities

Moving to a new city can be stressful and filled with anxiety. No matter the distance, it could be a three hour drive from your current city or a 5 hour flight from your current city, it still is a time of nervousness and excitement. 

Recently I made the jump and it has honestly been one of the best things I have done. There have been a few hiccups, but I started writing this blog to assist someone else in their journey.

3. Research the housing market.

I recently moved from Houston, TX to Los Angeles. I knew that I would be downsizing the square footage in my lifestyle unless I wanted to spend over $2k a month for a 1 bedroom with nice upgrades. It is also important to know if large deposits are normal in your city. In Houston you can get in an apartment with little ($300) to no deposit with good credit. For example in LA no matter how good your credit is, you are paying at least a $600 deposit and then paying for the first months rent. Understand what you get for your money in your current city may not be the same in the new city.

2. Be prepared to ask for help. 

Asking for help may not be financial. It may just be getting help finding a religious house. It may be help asking for local grocery chains, but you will need it adjusting to a new culture in what could be a new part of the country. I have had countless times where I have had to ask friends for restaurant ideas, bars, grocery stores and yes even financial help. 

1. Lastly do not over think it. 

Pull the trigger. Moving was the best thing I could have done. I miss my family and close friends oh and my guilty pleasure restaurants, but I have had so many once in a lifetime opportunities. Though my lifestyle is different I could not be happier and the sooner you do it, the better. Besides if you do not like it or the reason you move falls through (job, relationship, or family) you can always go back to what you know. If savings is your worry there is no right or wrong. More money saved does not equal an easier transition.

You Can’t Recreate Her…

 

It’s taken me a few days to put all my thoughts together! This post is a review of The Formation Tour performed by BeyoncĂ©. A buddy of mine, T. Davis and I attended the concert together and we literally left the show in awe. Two concertgoers who’ve attended a myriad of different types of shows with different genres, but this show stood out.

Saturday, May 7th the Houston native and pop superstar proved there’s nobody coming close to her.

From the time you touched the parking lot there was a certain energy about everyone you encountered. Some dressed in costume replicas of her music videos and others dressed up like they were ready for a red carpet.

Rappers Paul Wall and Slim Thug got the crowd warmed up with DJ Khaled. Scattered among the concert goers were Adrian Peterson, actor Kendrick Sampson, from How to Get Away with Murder and none other than Beyonce’s father and former manager, Mathew Knowles. The crowd of almost 60,000 fans was amped up and ready well before the Queen hit the stage.

BeyoncĂ© opened the show with “Formation” the first single released off of her Visual Album, Lemonade. Though protesting was threatened very little could be seen as every one in the building had their eyes on the stage during the show. With a wide brimmed hat backed by at least 8 dancers the performer took the reigns of the show and kicked things into high gear.

Though the show had considerably less dancing, from Beyonce, than we are used to seeing the massive 6 story video wall, that rotated and opened up throughout the show proved to be more than enough compensation. Performing songs like Me, Myself and I for the first time on a tour, Kitty Kat and stand up out hits Sorry and Don’t Hurt yourself the audience gladly sung along. The roars were deafening as excited men, women and children of all ages belted out their favorites.

Beyoncé transformed her show with new choreography, new looks and working from one stage to the next and a catwalk complete with a escalated floor.

Then the coup de gras she performed in water. I’ve seen performers fly across the arena (she’s done that before) and though impressed there was something spiritual about the performance of Freedom in a water pit.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what the fuss is about or see a show like no other this is the show to check out. From production, to live vocals, to dancing and a fiery stage presence this show is arguable one of the best to be seen since the likes of Michael Jackson.

Do yourself a favor and check out the Formation Tour, because as Beyonce stated in, the song “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, they CAN’T RECREATE HER… NAW!

 

Click Here to View Concert Footage

 

Photo Credit: Beyonce.com and Joseph Williams

Did you know…

Leading up to yesterday’s election I knew that things would not be good for the HERO act. 

  (Image of commonly distributed marketing materials for anti-HERO promotion)

I was shocked that people of color Hispanic and or black did not know that it protected equality based on their race. Instead everyone I spoke to focused on an issue that wasn’t even an issue (at least according to the text in the actual act). 

What I saw was that good ole’ fashioned word of mouth and some pretty horrible television ads had produced one of life’s most dangerous feelings FEAR. The opponents of PROP 1 latched onto a fear that men dressed as women would use the ordinance to prey on kids. 

Every time I saw a person of color discussing it in person or via social media it was clear they hadn’t read the ordinance and believed the unsubstantiated and offensive hype.

I won’t say much other than in 2015 I thought we made more progress. It reminds me of opponents of equality scaring people away from the polls in the 60’s. Even more disturbing in Houston, on the day of the election, a donut chain opens (which happens to be one of my favorites) and there was a line for at least 12 hours before the opening and 12 hours after. Voter turnout was low. Of nearly 2.5 million registered voters only about 25% turned out. I’m sure the donut shop had well over 2,000 guests throughout the day. I saw people who live nor work no where near the location posting about “happening” to drive by.
I’m at a lost for words, but I know for sure that should this voter turnout and fear baited messaging be used again, the presidential election won’t be clean sweep for any politician no matter their affiliation. If we think so then we are surely in more trouble than we realize.

Huffington Post’s article details, cites and provides actual language, and provides a high level view of how cities much smaller in Houston were affected. 

  (CampaignForhouston.com web image)
I’m at a lost for words, but I know for sure that should this voter turnout and fear baited messaging be used again, the presidential election won’t be clean sweep for any politician no matter their affiliation. If we think so then we are surely in more trouble than we realize.

The anti-hero movement did a lot. If anything what it did is allow secretly and not so secretly LGBT individuals and families to latch on to what so many believe, that is that individuals in the LGBT community and perverts/pedophiles are one in the same. 
I’ll stop there, but there’s a definite distinction. We need to be honest, but open minded enough to have a conversation for understanding and not to simply speak. 
Read the Huffington Posts article which not only details and cites actual language, but provides a high level view of how cities much smaller in Houston were affected. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE HUFF POST ARTICLE



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