#MorningPageByDomo 12.7.16

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If you are reading this, please note that this is a brain dump. Well, now I am thinking out loud, most of this blog started as a brain dump. A place to collect inspiration and leave some disorganized thoughts as I try to know self and the world around me.

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about connecting the dots. I have not been blogging, not writing and not collecting my thoughts in a significant way. I have however, been creating. In connecting the dots I made a note that I have always been fascinated with migration. I believe this fascination comes from my father, but he is fascinated about a lot of things. How did you and I arrive at this point at this time? I believe in the power of the universe to connect souls in perfect timing for maximum impact.

I believe we can learn a lot when we study patterns and the histories of beings. I’ve tried to get out of my head and comfort zone. I will admit, this challenge is great. As a stubborn millennials who feels as though I am finally finding my bubble to challenge everything I know is difficult. What if everything we were taught was wrong? What if what we assumed was good for us, really was not? I grew up in a country that built a public education system that reaffirmed that our country was the greatest country on earth, yet people who shared my skin color were somehow less than, but I should be grateful because I grew up in this country. Oh yeah, and this has been happening for centuries and still does.

That being said I do not overlook the importance and willingness of my people to survive and innovate. It is because of this, I strive to innovate. Grateful for the perserverance of folks of color in the midst of doubt, the perserverance of  my family tree and the situation I was placed in and my own personal privileges and guidence. For this reason, it is not enough for me to reach back and assist those who follow in my footsteps, however I believe it is important to continue to break down barriers and innovate.

I work on projects that connect community in ways that allow folks to build. That being said the more I work the more I begin to understand that as much as I am about building and innovating, often times folks need time and space to heal. Nevertheless, the work must go on. I am not dismissing the notion that healing  must happen somewhere, sonme how and some way, but many communities do not have the luxury of spending time trying to close damaging wounds. These scars remind me that nothing was easy, nor was it given. Many have sacrificed their lives literally and figuratively, mentally and physically for me to have a seat at the table. Much to be grateful for, much to fight for, and so much work to be done.

Even as I understand all of this, I still understand there is so much more to learn.

-Domo

Writing inspired by the above photo credit to Inye Wokoma

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2015 Manifesto (Written By AmbassadorNique)

Diana and I will travel and see new places and plan our futures together. I will support her in taking care of her family while being supportive in getting her into a completing PA school.

I will continue to grow and work on my health, my passions and my future. I would like to buy a house before I have my first child and settle somewhere on the west coast. I will continue to work on my mental and physical health while eating better and investing in better food. I will drink more water and do the best I can to live as long as possible.
In 2015 I will prioritize going to concealing and exercising. I will continue to see my ND and doing acupuncture.
I will save more money. I will be more disciplined when buying and be less into vanity. I will support the people and things that inspire me with my time and money.
I will also do a better job of being mentored and being a mentor. I also want to be an avid reader and keep up with current events while finding time to find my center through meditation.
I will be a better planner, a better archivist and better at being transparent about my intentions.
I will be better at showing my love to those whom I care for. I will find positivity in moments of stress and love out-loud with my eyes wide open.
I will continue to work on projects and tell the stories of my family and my community and will never let the media tell me who I am or who I should be. I will check myself for prejudice thoughts and behaviors and do my best not to judge anyone and be better in understanding. I will give more.
I will put family and happiness first.

New Orleans to Alexandria, Louisiana (Written By AmbassadorNique)

What is this place? The beautiful, the ugly, the gift, the curse

Since birth Id heard tales about Alexandria. This is where my parents called home. Some memories happy and others not so much..

We were told to be thankful that we did not have to grow up in poverty and were fortunate to live the life we lived. Nevertheless every Saturday regardless how they feel about each other both my parents route for the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday’s. Depending on the week you may even smell delicious gumbo coming from the kitchen.

Although My fathers father died When I was just 2 and a half, I’d always known he was very smart and I found out sometime last winter he even attended college in Arkansas where he was raised.

Fast forward years later I am now 27 and a half and have made quite a few
More trips down south to Louisiana

Last year I was able to visit my uncle in Angola for the first time ever, and my brother hosted this thanksgiving in New Orleans.

Just 2 weeks later my lovely girlfriend and I would come back to New Orleans to celebrate her birthday for an entire week.

While we did everything from eat binese and po boys to go on a swamp tour, have lunch with a friend whom we randomly ran into on the flight down, to the French quarters market, burbon street, and the river walk; our 3 hours each way road trip to Alexandria louisiana was by far my favorite part of the trip.

We’d stop in opololusus to buy boudan while discussing life and our future.

The trips purpose was to see my grandmother and interview her about her life, our family, the origins of her moral compass and values and whatever else she’d share

I also wanted to show Diana where my family had started and properly introduce granny to the young woman I love dearly.

We’d get to Alexandria around 1 and Id first meet my fathers oldest sister aunt glen standing in the door way. I’d have to go next door to meet granny at the church where she was assisting them in wrapping up a fundraiser where they’d been selling gumbo all morning. I’d notice folks under what my father refers to as “the tree”.

We’d meet my grandmother in the middle of the crossings of 17th and Reed. She’d point out that this was the same block that she’d been born and raised. She told us stories of how my grandfather moved back with her after she had gotten sick and they’d raise their kids here. She’d point out the four churches in a one block radius, abandon houses and some history of the neighborhood.

Diana and I would later talk to my uncle and look through pictures my grandmother had gotten out for us. I’d also have the opportunity to interview her on camera and ask her about her childhood and upbringing.

On our way back to New Orleans that night I began to think about the importance of community. No matter how much money you have or where you live, our participation in our community can be vital to our survival. My grandmother stays in Alexandria because she feels important to that community.

I am thankful to have her and I am thankful for her acceptance of Diana and our relationship. Love is love.

AmbassadorNique

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First Impressions (Written By AmbassadorNique)

I’m a grad student! WOAH! The wait is over, and classes have started. My inbox is overflowing with e-mails that I get by the minute, and I am doing my best to balance work, school, my social life, on campus talks, meet and greets, my hobbies, writing, photography, my family, my girlfriend, sleep, exercise, hygiene and oh yeah… READING! Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I complaining… I am loving every second of this! Actively thinking about where I will be interning next summer and what my capstone project will be. I have some cool ideas up my sleeve that I will save for a later date.

I’ve met so many people in the last two weeks I cannot even begin to remember everyone’s name. Nevertheless I hope I have left a smiling impression and I will do whatever it takes to stay committed. I am very fortunate to be in a position to learn, grow, and move closer to achieving my goals with each passing moment. I am the author of my own story and while I can’t be everything to anybody, I can commit to myself and be exactly the man I want to be.

Be GREAT,

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

Inspiration: Smoking Kid (Thailand)

This is old, but its new to me! A great reminder of the importance of digital story telling. Sometimes how we present information is just as important as the information we are presenting. Around the world the innocence of a child’s future and the universal language of love hold greater priority than almost anything else on this planet. I hope we are doing our part to not only take care of their futures, but our own. Enjoy the Seattle sunshine. -AmbassadorNique

Soul (Written By AmbassadorNique)

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What is passion without soul? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about random stuff but one thought that has constantly repeated itself is my time management. One thing that is important to me is how much time I spend in my thoughts. Being able to understand what I have control over and what I do not, what I should let pass. Gaging how important an outsiders thought is. Also just as important what I feed my body, both in the food I eat and food of thought and knowledge.

Return of investment. Not really in a monetary sense but the return I receive from investing my time into my passion, myself, other people ect. Relationships are wonderful learning experiences but different people want different things in life. I cannot reach my goals investing time in friends that have goals that are polar opposites of my own. Also I must prepare myself for the changes that inevitably come from myself and from others. As harsh as this sounds, right here, right now… That’s what I believe.

I must also spend more time motivating myself and those who inspire me. What is art without soul? What is work without passion? Consistency… consistency is a MUST HAVE if I want to achieve what is my definition of success. As I narrow my goals and make them realistic and sensible for others to understand, I still dream BIG, however, I also understand the journey will not happen quickly. The more I network the more I become confident in my vision and my ability to achieve my goals.

I suppose if I sound selfish maybe it’s because at this point, I am. No one else will achieve my goals for me. I will stay focused. I will be consistent. I will invest in myself. I will invest in my passion. I will manage my time. I will put my SOUL in my work!

-AmbassadorNique

#PayItForward: $1 for Domo and Diana Support Room 16

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https://squareup.com/market/ambassadornique-productions

Diana and I are happy to announce that we will be mentoring 3 fifth grade students from Northgate Elementary school this spring! We will not only assist these students as mentors but we are also committed to helping them financially make it to Washington DC this May 31, 2014! While in DC they will have the opportunity to tour the entire city where they will see monuments and learn the history of our nation. It is our task in the next 2 months to raise $600 in total and we need your support!

Busy Bee (Written By AmbassadorNique)

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Wheels up! D and I are on our way to sunshine and Palm trees for the next 3 days. Although this isn’t exactly a vacation hopefully we get an opportunity to slow down a bit. I also hope to change the run and gun ways of our trips and slow down and bit to enjoy the moments being away from the norm.

As I take off I can’t help but notice how the Jhene Aiko’ lyrics stick out to me even more as she sings “there’s no better place than here, no better time than now”, simple yes, but such a true reflection of this moment.

Since my acceptance into the information school life has been moving rather quickly. Meetings, forms, people and places.

I am doing my best to balance the same things I’ve been focused on for the past year and a half. A healthy lifestyle, education, and financial responsibility.

I’ve met some awesome people thus far and it’s amazing how the universe puts you in contact with such great people who then point you in the direction of more great people. As my vision continues to form the number of people who have invested their time into me also grows. Mentors have become close friends and help me sharpen my
tools.

Do it yourself projects have become a new way to a save money. A photography backdrop made of PVC pipes.

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An 8×4 foot dry erase white board that only cost me $13!

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Time!!
One thing we cannot buy nor get back… We must take advantage. I personally would like to be better with my time. I’ve honestly gotten comfortable being 10 minutes late or prioritizing wrapping up last minute projects or chores before heading out. I do not want the reputation of the person who is always late to everything. I want to be a better estimator of time and error on the side of being early. I also would like to take 1 hour a night for me! At 10pm every night i want to spend 10 minutes meditating, 30 minutes reading and the rest writing, relaxing or whatever else I decide.

Until next time!

AmbassadorNique