KWANZAA AFTER DARK: DAY 3

Image

Habari gani?  This is the question you ask your family, friends, and community at the beginning of each day of Kwanzaa.  In the language kiswahili, it translates to “What’s the news?” 

Your response is simply whatever day of Kwanzaa it is.  So this morning, you responded: “Ujima!”  Tomorrow you respond “Ujamaa!”

DAY 3 – UJIMA:  COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY

*Note:  If the images above appear blurry, please visit my previous post for a clearer view.

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned,

Shila Iris

P.S. Divide and conquer has been a very useful tactic in taking from people of Afrikan descent.  We can fight this!  Let the circle be unbroken.  Fix yourself, so that we can all be together.  I’m in my healing flow, you know?

6 Fantastically Appealing Women 2019

Image

These days I am very mindful of the things I consume.  I have sensitive eyes, ears, and tastes.  My heart is seeking purity at the highest level.  With an open spirit, I attract great energy and truth.  In my world, this intelligence knows no boundaries.  With each person I come into contact with, I find a positive vibration, even in the darkest of hearts and even when it’s hard to see from behind the masks that we all wear.  I find the duality in all things.  There are lessons to be learned.  Everyone is a teacher.  Allow the light into your life!

Meditate (to think, to ponder, to fix attention) on this powerful feminine persuasion…


United States Representative Ilhan Omar

Activist Tamika Mallory 

Academic Kaouthar Darmoni 

Spiritual Scholar Kamil Oshundara 

Entrepreneur Dawn Dickson 

Gender Activist & Author Samina Ali 

Stay tuned… I have my eyes fixed on 6 wonderfully appealing men as well.

Thank you for visiting.

I am Shila (shy-lah) Iris

This guy is so fly!

Image

Be clean. Be You. Be true.

Great smile, great style, and his flow! Oh my!!!!


Peace, Shila Iris … chillin, blasting 3000.  Listen here.

 

The Last Day

Image

It feels like the end,
but it’s only the beginning…
I wrote the words, then chanted
I spoke the words and stood in formation
I created rituals, so I wouldn’t forget
I burned candles, I lit incense
I filled the room with sage and lobaan
I built an altar so that I could see, I
danced until I could once again breathe, I
didn’t have much company or outside influence, I
took time out for me.
My, Moon watching vigils lasted for hours, my
Sun salutations opened me to spirit, I
studied my chakras, my energy, my spirituality
I focused on balancing my core, I
posed in Kemet, I
tiptoed thru the Nile
I gazed into the Pacific, I,
cried into the Atlantic, I
connected with my angels,
they are my Ancestors, I
learned to forgive, I
learned to live, I
opened my heart, I
received, I
received, I
repeat, I
manifest so magickally, I
was given a purpose, I
mastered chemistry, I
summoned you, I
summoned me, I
let go, I
sang the song, I
held the hands of my friends, I
remembered my Mother, I
saw my Father, I
loved on my Sisters, I
called on my Brothers, I
purged, only to emerge
like a butterfly, colorful, I
have wings.

by Shila Iris, 12/31/2018

Dedicated to Beverly White-Yates … read below


Shout out to my sister Judy, who is turning 36 today.  Peace, my Love.


Also, I am remembering Beverly White-Yates who visited me the week before she passed.
She came to me during my meditation.  I asked myself, “why is Beverly in my meditation?”  My ancestors are the ones that visit me in this state, but she was there, smiling.  She and I were very much alike.  The first day we met, we were holding hands like sisters.  We instantly connected!  Our twenty year difference in age did not matter at all.  She showed me what it was like to have unconditional, pure love from a woman.  [Over the years, I have craved sisterhood in friendship, but the women that were around me, just weren’t authentic.  No disrespect to them, we just didn’t align spiritually.  On the surface, yes, but I was craving something real.  I can see people for what they are to the core.  That is a gift that I have accepted.  So, often times, women will attach to me, but I may seem standoffish when I don’t feel that genuine, raw, honesty and love.  Naturally, I have to protect myself].  Beverly had that.  I could let down my guard and be real with her, with no judgment.  She didn’t drain me, she added to my divine presence.  She was awesome.  I trusted her.  I trusted that she’d never do anything to hurt me.  It’s very rare for me to feel that. And even though I accept people and their actions, it feels good to know that someone will have your back no matter what.  They won’t sell you out or be embarrassed by your authenticity.

When Beverly appeared in my meditation the week before her physical death, she didn’t tell me she was leaving this realm, she sent my friend Bobby to tell me.  Odd, right?  He came and sat down next to me and said, “I have something to tell you.”  I couldn’t believe it.  I explained to him that I had just saw her.  I was in shock of her power, and of my own.  The gifts that she and I shared.  I saw her for what she was, and she saw me.  I loved her.  If we saw each other once every 3 years, the love would be the same.  In the last video she sent to me, she said that she and I had the same vibratory energy, having been born under the Aquarius Sun sign.  She also said that she always thought about me, and that she’d never forget me.  Not very many women in my life have been honest with me in this way, so it made me cry, and even typing this, it makes me cry.  I get it, though, I get death, and I know, like my ancestors, she is still here.  I am blessed to have videos of her on the Marco Polo app to go back and look at, because I think of her a lot.  I also have many pictures from when we worked together and videos from a project she helped me with in grad school.  We spoke the previous year and a few times earlier this year.  She is with me, always.  For as long as I am here, I will keep her alive in my thoughts and in the stories I share.  Peace.

Everything I Need

Image

Image result for wine pouring gif

I’d love to have you join me next Saturday for a unique Wine Tasting!  Everyone is welcome!
Dress in your Afrikan garb so we can take some fine family pictures.  If you don’t have any, please, come as you are.  Peace and Joy!

Purchase tickets here or pay at the door.

Shila Iris aka Honey

Image result for wine pouring png

Throwback Tonight: Happy Kwanzaa!

Image

Tonight we dance!

The symbols of a culture, a heritage of humanity, mean a lot.  When they begin to disappear, be very concerned.  So, the moral of the story is:  wear your color, wear your art, wear your culture to remind you of where we been and we’re going.  Don’t give up.  Sankofa!

Besides, color is so dope!

I stay woke,
Shila Iris aka Honey

!

Mood: Jesse Boykins III

Image

If you don’t know him, you should.  Try him. I did, and I am very pleased…


Birthday:  February 20, 1985 (Age 32)

1.Jesse Boykins III & MeLo-X:  Black Orpheus…
 
“I played her heart strings…”

chase Jesse with Eric… “Met her at Howard, lived in the Towers, same floor that I was, which did allow us, to sit and talk for hours, in between dealings, and all this unveiling, clearly there was feelings…”

2. Eric Roberson:  A Tale of Two

Eric’s Birthday:  September 25, 1976 (Age 40)

chase Eric with Raheem…  “I’m so proud, to have a lady, a Queen who wears a crown…”

3. Raheem DeVaughn:  You

Raheem’s Birthday:  May 5, 1975 (Age 42)

Raheem with Bilal…  “I wish I was drug free, sometimes…”  

4. Bilal:  Sometimes

Bilal’s Birthday:  August 23, 1979 (Age 37)

and Bilal with Musiq…  “You’re my baby, my lover, my lady.  All night, you make me,
want you, it drives me crazy.  I feel, like you, were made just for me baby…”

5. Musiq: So Beautiful

Musiq’s Birthday:  September 16, 1977 (Age 39)

and then, with your last glass of wine before bed… “You won’t regret it no, no
Young girls they don’t forget it, love is their whole happiness, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

6.  Otis Redding:  Try a Little Tendeness

Otis’ Birthday:  September 9, 1941 (deceased at Age 26)

Jesse. Eric. Raheem. Bilal. Musiq.  In that order.  Otis. ♥

Peace and joy,

You got me…  I am Shila  (pronounced Shy-lah)

The Orijin Store – Amazing African Accessories

Image

Look closely at this bag.  Now scream!  This is absolutely beautiful.  For a person like me, who loves African and African-inspired fashion, I feel like I hit a gold mine.  Sistas and brothas, you must indulge in this greatness.

Today is Friday, and perhaps you have some extra cash, or disposable income left, and want to reward yourself for a goal that you accomplished.  Well, this is the way to do it! Check out the Orijin Store!  I am all about African fashion and this company hit the nail on the head with this line of amazing accessories.

Ori j i nal Design, Culturally Inspired.  Visit Orijins website to see the full collection of bags, glasses, and signature clothing.  Given my beliefs in living the Nguzo Saba 365, this is a purchase I can be proud of because it’s for us, by us.  You can share in this greatness too, if you’re ready.  Sure, break the rules!  🙂

I will be getting one of these amazing bags.  Based on my experiences with leather, the price is really good – $169.  I think you should go for it.  I love, love, love it.  No pressure, though, you don’t have to love it.  Just give it some time.  I’m sure you will.

Shot out to Orijin for supporting my art on Instagram.  Much love.  Peace.

You can find them on IG @orijinculture and I am @kushqueendom

I’m sending signals to your mental, so we can connect… see you soon, 

Shila Iris 

My Introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan

Image

black-history_feb-17_copyright-shila-iris-2017The year was 1997, and online music was no where to be found. Most of the world experienced solid, art-based hip-hop through Rap City, Video Vibrations or through either the Vibe, Source, Right On! or Word Up! magazines. My older brother was a hip-hop nut! He introduced our family to this raunchy, fun, yet highly political style of beat-based poetry. When I saw my first Wu-Tang video, Triumph, I was so intoxicated that I wanted to be a rapper. The intensity of the lyrics made my heart percolate! The fast-paced imagery tugged at my youth, urging me to be free. The 10 men I saw on the screen were raw and oddly intellectual.

They seemed to be well-read, open, and real. They were from another world, far away from where I was from. The beats were right up my alley. I was intrigued. The music of Wu-Tang has taught me that we can’t sanitize Black life, making it appear to be easy, and we cannot not alter our stories to please others. Life is what it is. Give it to them raw. I feel blessed to have seen them perform live. It was a fun experience. I also saw the solo performances of Ghostface Killah, and last year I saw GZA perform in Akron, Ohio. RZA had a book talk at the public library, where he shared parts of his personal life story, talked about the business side of Wu-Tang and explained his book, The Tao of Wu. These men are such heart throbs! Their ability to be honest makes them all the more attractive. Whenever Wu-Tang is in town, I will be there, no doubt. The Clan is an ultimate example of the Nguzo Saba aka 7 Principles of Kwanzaa. If you ever see me in the gym, nearly falling off the elliptical, it’s because I’m listening to Triumph, and I have gotten so lifted, that I’m in another world! Be careful when you listen to the Wu. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

healing-rituals-kwanzaa-mantra-copy

ShiLA IRiS

My Introduction to “Knowledge of Self”

Image

black-history_feb-13_copyright-shila-iris-2017Becoming conscious of my own existence, my mind began to transform. I shedded my ego and my eyes opened to reveal my heart. Gaining clairvoyance through observation, I realized that the now was here. I had a chance, so I took it. The urgency of my evolution allowed me to see the matrix, the numbers, the chemistry, the hieroglyphs, the cyphers- the rotation was magnificent. As I matriculate, I stay true. I have seen with my own two eyes the truth. My accountability, my sacrifice, my love is here. I wrote myself back into the story, and started to really love this girl. This level of maturity, this level of security, my restoration is my assignment. Obstacles are moving, resistance is under my elephant feet, I defeat, every time. Better Me. I wanted her so bad, I had to get her. I saw Shila, and I pursued her, until she was strong and her colors shined through. I planted my flag, my culture, my God. I came for her. Osiris Rising.

Thank you for visiting,

Image result for purple orchids

Shila Iris

My Introduction to Nikki Giovanni

Image

black-history_feb-12_copyright-shila-iris-2017Storytelling has been an African tradition for a very long time. Our ancestors used stories to record history and to communicate important messages through generations. Poetry is the method I use to tell stories, and this is the woman who made me believe that it could be done. Poetry can change minds, change hearts, lead to soul revivals; it has a place on the streets, in politics, in music, up high, down low, poetry is a tool we use to transcend. Back in 2005, I heard Nikki speak in the wonderful Jubilee Hall on the campus of her and my Alma Mater, Fisk University. She was amazing, with her candid interpretations of life, or should I say, thug life! Check out the tattoo on her left forearm. I can’t believe that Nikki Giovanni is 73 years old. Her name sounds like she is fashion designer, but she is indeed a game changer who has tried to help us recover from having our culture stolen. With her pages of accolades, she has been a fighter and a major voice. With her words of wisdom and ability to communicate with people from all walks of life, she has helped us fight against the deeply-rooted injustices targeted at people of African descent. She is more than a writer, she uplifted the Black Experience and taught it to many generations of young minds. My favorite piece from her is an essay named Gemini, in a book also named Gemini. She speaks about her first 25 years as a Black poet, and in this particular essay, she talks about the relationship between Black men and women. Looking back on it, I can see things a bit clearer. I am grateful. Prophetic poetry is a part of our Black history. Thanks Nikki, for paving a way. Peace.

I really adore you,

Shila Iris

Mask Cropped

My Introduction to Spike Lee

Image

black-history_feb-11_copyright-shila-iris-2017“The cultural relevance of his films puts him ahead of the pack.”

I’ve never understood why critics compare Spike Lee’s work to other directors. There is no one like him. His artistic vision is exclusive and recognizable worldwide. As a child, I was happy when the family flick of the week was a Spike Lee Joint. Crooklyn and When the Levees Broke have become my favorites. The provocative issues that Spike addresses in his films, appeal to me. I value realistic art with powerful and transformational stories- not unnecessary, mind-numbing drama. I’d rather learn how to solve a problem, then how to create one. That’s what Spike brings to the table. I will watch mostly anything that he writes and directs just because he has a wonderfully cultivated mind and because his art direction has brought many Black actors to life including: Denzel, Samuel L. Jackson, and Wesley Snipes. He has also brought Black History and the Black Experience to the stage like no other. The words, a “Spike Lee Joint” are a part our vernacular and his creations are a part of our history. I am on his team! Go Spike!

Thank you for visiting African Essence by Shila Iris

2015

My Introduction to Erykah Badu

Image

 

black-history_feb-4-_copyright-shila-iris-2017I was twelve years old when I first saw Erykah Badu’s face. This beautiful, soft-eyed queen mesmerized me. I stared into the televison screen unable to look away. I was in love. She sang soulfully, unlike anything I’d ever heard. The bass line in her first single, “On and On” penetrated my heart muscle, seeped its way down my spine, and made my shoulders and hips move- I was possessed by an ancestral spirit! She was dope then, and she is super dope now. Her music is highly intellectual, an art form in which I appreciate- you can’t fake this vibe. To write these lyrics, to sing these songs, you have to be levitating on a high frequency. Her music is like poetry. After hearing her that first time, to my surprise, my mother came home with Baduizm on tape and then the Live Record! I loved every song and every lyric. This is the artist that I connect with more than any other. Her third album, Mama’s Gun is my favorite of all time. The music is timeless. Right now, I am enjoying her projects with Robert Glasper and other groovy artists. To top it all off, Erykah’s style is amazing. Her attire excites me. I adore her independence as an artist. I use her words to heal and to grow. She has gotten me through heartbreaks and heartaches, and she is helping me rise into greatness, even now. The music inspires me. “Don’t feed me your’s, cause your food does not endure.”

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

2015

To Capture a Honey Bee

Image

We stay swarming, so, watch out, you might get stung…

“So tell me Slim what you wanna do
When you know I’m in love wit you
Every time that I turn around
Look for you but you can’t be found
Fly free baby fine wit me
I’m in love wit a bumble bee
Ooh Slim, boy you killing me
But you so sweet to me”

Join the Queen Team- let your natural beauty show. No fillers, no filters, no make-up, no pretending, no adjustments, Just You.

This is who I am. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am Shila Iris