I went to the Essence Women in Hollywood Luncheon yesterday where Tracee Ross _who is a comedic goddess in my estimation – received an award. Her speech was so thrillingly authentic, she made me want to camp out on her doorstep like a stalker until she agreed to be my BFFFFFF. What a huge, juicy, blazingly brilliant, stunningly beautiful woman! She is living out loud…HOLLA!!! Then Debbie Allen spoke and Shonda Rhimes stood up to present in a black dress covered in daisies and Oprah in flowing white and on and on… These women of my world, my heroes and mentors and friends stood in praise and celebration of each other. It was straight up church.  Women!! OMG… I love women!!! Strong, powerful, feminine, brilliant, gorgeous Black women.

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As I sat there basking in their light, I felt validated and inspired and like a complete slouch!!! I want to do more with my life!!!!! I want to be more and  access more of myself!!! I am probably halfway through my life and I feel like time is running out. In my 20’s I was fearless, in my 30’s I was fabulous, in my 40’s I was fierce and  now in my 50’s, I am fat. Folks…menopause is really …..interesting … and it makes it REALLY hard to get svelte and stay svelte and part of me doesn’t care even though I am in the business that says I “should” care. But, I digress…!!

It’s such a cliche but this feels like this is my legacy decade. I came here on the plain, this planet, to deliver some very unique gifts and it is time to get on with it!!!!  Having said that, I am also aware of this pocket of fear in my gut. What the hell is that ??!!  It’s the last pocket of gassy resistance in my gut, like bile needing to be vomited so that I can feel better and get on with the business at hand.

Why is owning our particular gifts, our unique brilliance, often so scary to step into? All of us, in some way, are called to greatness and yet we resist it. I do. I feel like I waste so much time procrastinating, not being focused enough, being late, not exercising, resisting meditation…so that I do not fully show up for myself.  And  I’m that person when people hear what my normal day consists of, they say, “Wow! That’s a lot!” I even had a friend, a good friend, accusingly say, “Why does everything have to be so intense with you? EVERYTHING!!!!” And I remember thinking, “Huh? I’m not being intense. You should see me when I get intense. THIS is not intense.”

Most of my life, many have found me to be too much –  and have had the audacity to tell me so. Foolishly, in my youth,  I believed them and tried very hard to dim my light, turn down my volume. Two mediocre marriages later, clearly that ain’t happening. Yes, I am a big personality. I feel passionate about all kinds of things: ideas, people, ways of being. I feel so driven again; not by ambition or a need to try new things, but instead to finish the things I have started. I am tired of waiting for me. I will not waste a moment of this life. Game on! And I am committed to lovely.  Lovely everywhere, all day, everyday, in my sleep, and fully awake….Lovely.

I invite you to join me in finding your Lovely and Live it Out Loud!!!