Poetry by Luki

I had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing and phenomenal young poet, educator and advocate.  Jonte Luki Barret is a Washington, DC native with a passion for poetry and education.

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Luki first fell in love with poetry at a young age when she was introduced to it by her grandmother, who is a published poet.  Words of wisdom from her grandmother, “Take it really serious” provided a venue for her to express herself and to truly be honest with herself.

With her poetry, Luki aspires to travel, taking her art form on tour perform in other cities across the country.  She also aspires to develop her own poetry curriculum that can be taught in schools everywhere.

Luki has been working with children for most, if not all of her life.  Her love for children ignited a fire in her to make it a profession.  She began volunteering at day cares and working in summer camps at a young age.  Her dreams of education have led Luki to her current position of teaching in five schools in DC and one in MD where she teaches the art of poetry.

The students in Luki’s class not only learn about poetry, poets – both contemporary and modern – and different types of poetry but they also gain confidence. Luki guides these kids on how to express yourself and boasts to provide opportunity to express their views put those ideas into rhyme form. Her instruction also assists the students interactions with their peers, self respect and interpersonal respect and all around life lessons.

Rasheed Copeland
OTP4
Orville The Poet

Luki couldnt mention her favorite poets without mentioning her favorite poem by them and the effect that it left on her.  This includes Rasheed Copeland’s  “My Mans and Em” and Orville The Poet’s “I Prayed For You”, from which she recited the first line.  A few of the other poetic influences she mentioned include: Karika, Nia Jones, Jay the Jeweler, The Truth, Nuance, Maya Angelou, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and Audre Lorde.

When asked about her strengths and weaknesses, Luki stated that her strength crowd control and stage presence.  She feels that she doesn’t challange herself enough to write about different things.  To build that weakness into a strength she has began to branch out and write on different subjects including politcs and life experiences (other than love).  She also recently wrote a poem in two different languages.  Talk about diversity!!

Luki’s first poem ever recited was also a once in a lietime experience.  In the first grade, her class was visited by Maya Angelou and Luki had the honor of reciting a few stanzas of “Still I Rise” right in front of Maya Angelou!  I think nervous is an understatement!! I was nervous listening to her tell me about it!  Luki was concerned about reading someone else’s work and do it the right way and not stumble.  She described the esperience as nervewrecking.  Over the years, Luki has been able to memorize her poems, but her nervousness has not subsided.  She still gets butterflies and she attributes them to new faces and the worry of not knowing people may interpret what she’s about to say.

Some of the best advice that Luki noted was from a good friend and fellow poet, Lamar Hill.  He reminded her to take her time, gauge the audence and to use the stage well.  This advice has become a staple in her performances.

“It never gets easy to bear your soul.”

~Luki

Settling into her craft, Luki has found herself a lot more confident.  She has not only found poetry to be an outlet and an amazing art form but it has also been an introspective experience.  Luki states that she believes in herself  and what she writes is true to her.  She knows that she doesn’t fit in anyones box.  She feels comfortable with her poetry even though “it never gets easy to bear your soul”.  She says her poems “feel like they’re prayers to God and I happen to be talking to him in front of other people”.  Poetry has been an amazing journey for Luki, as she has learned so much about herself through her poetry.

Make sure you are locked in on Luki’s Place on FB and IG (@lukisplace) to keep up with whats going on in Luki’s world.

Closing out this interview, I had no other choice but to request Luki to recite a poem!  Catch the audio of our interview on She Lifts Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud!!!

Thanks for putting your ears on it!!

Love & Light, Fam!

Pillow Talk Thursday: Gender Roles

So it happened!!!  I sat down with my good friend Will Stewart and we sat and discussed gender roles.

Listen, I had so many technical difficulties, but in the end it was totally worth it.  We had a great time and WOOOOOO this guy can talk!  He made some really good points and my efforts to “shoot him down” were definitely futile.

I rolled my eyes a total of 5,000 times.  If I learned anything about myself its that – FB live is more formidable than it seems and my facial expressions are too much!

All in all it was a great experience and I am looking forward to our new episode this week.

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We discussed how gender roles came about.  I’m actually 50/50 on gender roles.  Stu definitely said that women are aggressive in the DC area, which could be a double edge sword, and I defended RBF (resting bitch face)

Are gender roles even necessary in today’s society and how do they hinder our relationships?  If we as women perpetually wait on the man to make the first move, where would we be?  Are women okay with proposing to their man?

These, and others, are questions we explored and even delved into not allowing people to change who you are and communication.

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You can catch the live videos part I here and part II here (after my ipad died)!!  Also, there is an audio snippet posted to She Lifts Podcast on both platforms SoundCloud and iTunes/Podcast App!

Fam, stay tuned for this week’s episode of Pillow Talk Thursday, this Thursday at 8 pm – She Lifts Podcast FB page – WE GOIN LIVE BABY!!!

Love & Light, Fam!

Am I Doing Enough for God?

I never ever post any religious pieces.  I try to stay away from that kind of pressure and I try to stay out of the shadows of what my calling may or may not be.

However, I couldn’t stay away from this one.  I felt compelled to write on it, at full length.

Today, I saw a movie on YouTube, which I have added here for your viewing pleasure, that was very, very thought provoking.  It fixed my heart in a way that I think nothing has ever done before.  I am lying, there have been some very real experiences in my life that were this good, but this hasn’t happened in a long time.  I was completely inspired.

The movie is centered around the rapture and the scripture:

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

Matthew 7:21-23

Before I watched the movie, I saw this extremely compelling scene where God had already come and the people who were left behind were shocked, hurt, confused and plain ole out of time.

My jaw was on the floor.  I felt a confusion brew in my mind and my heart.  When I set out to create She Lifts, I could have sworn that I was doing God’s work.  I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do, which was reach out to His people and give them what Gid was giving me.  I literally believed that God had given me each episode for me to share.

I know, it sounds crazy.  I thought, and still kind of think, that God wants me to minister to His people.

However, I never prayed over my episodes.  I never prayed over my business ventures.  I never thanked God for all of the insight that He had given me.  I never, not once, acknowledged God in any of my episodes.

Why? I was scared.  It was too much pressure.  I wasn’t ready for that kind of thing.  I wasn’t prepared for the scrutiny that would come my way.

I was afraid that I would be labeled.  I was afraid that people would look at me differently.  I am so imperfect.  Being myself has always come naturally for me, but being one of those “God people” hasn’t.  I am super rough around the edges.

I was also afraid that my podcast would be “catgorized” and “inclusive” and not for all people.  That it would deter people who aren’t Christians to not even listen.  I didn’t htink that was what God wanted.  I know that with bringing people to Christ, you have to meet them where they are.  Evangelism and Street Ministry has always been a strength of mine and I love being out in the community and reaching the “unreachable”.  But with the podcast, I was so afraid of being put into a box and that box wouldn’t allow me to reach the people who needed me to reach them.

But in all this fear, I  lost sight of what I set out to do.  I recorded an episode entitled Paralyzed By Fear and I think it’s time for me to take my own advice.

I have always had this idea that the work of the church isn’t always done within the walls of the church.  I always believed that there had to be foot Soldiers out in the streets meeting God’s people where they are and guiding them into church where they can access Him through authentic experience and employ their spiritual gifts.

Reviewing the scripture posted above, I  realize that, maybe I am not doing enough for God.  He requires all of me, not just the pieces I am comfortable with or the pieces that I am not afraid of, all.

I don’t think I ever asked God what it is that He truly wants me to do.  On the flip side, I don’t think I ever actually listened to what He was trying to tell me.

I wonder now how many people are struggling with this.  I wonder how many people are just screaming Jesus but not truly living for Him and then how many people want to live for Him but are afraid, like me.

This just got real interesting.

Love & Light, Fam!

Independence Day

The fourth of July of every year is observed to celebrate the Independence of the United States from the British Empire.  This day commemorates the date that the Declaration of Independence was signed; the document that declared the then 13 American Colonies a new nation.

Many of us celebrate this day with barbecue’s and brews – enjoying some of summers favorite flavors.  Many of us hang out at pool parties whether its in someone’s backyeard or an amusement park or a public pool.  Many of us travel far and wide to visit family and friends.  Many of us observe fireworks and other pyrotechnics or maybe even light our own.

Considering the risks of all of the aforementioned activities, She Lifts Podcast wants to first wish you all a Happy Independence Day and secondly, but most importantly, please be safe out there today!!

Love & light, Fam!

Ep. 7 – Make the Difference

This week’s episode covers a lot of different topics under one huge and super important umbrella, mentorship.

No one has gotten to where they are in life, or achieved the level of success that they have alone.  There is always someone there helping them along the way as a trusted confidant, mentor and tutor.

This is supremely important for those of us who are working our way up through some ladder whether its corporate, small business, non profit or whatever.  Throughout your journey, you will encounter a ton of people who possess skill sets and expertise that will  serve you in your journey.

This presents the opportunity for them to become ingrained into your success story, and you into theirs.

This week is all about making the difference in someone’s life.  This is not always a monetary factor. Most times, it has nothing to do with money at all.  Taking someone under your wing and teaching them what you know is equally (if not more) impactful and beneficial.

I encourage each of the readers and listeners to reach out to someone whom they feel has potential to be something great, someone you believe in.  Reach out ask them how you can assist them.  Reach out and let them know that you see them, offer words of encouragement and see where that goes.

You could be in the beginning stages of building a lucrative and lifelong partnership with someone by simply reaching out and sparking a conversation.

Love & light, Fam!

 

 

Throwback Thursday

Ahhh yes! It’s another #tbt. Of course, as your scroll down your social media, you are treated to a trip down memory lane. Today is like universal reflection day!

We have all these cues around us including TimeHop and Facebook memories to take us on these little journeys each week. Let’s just take it a bit further, why don’t we?

Today, I’m encouraging you – EMPOWERING you – to mentally go there. Reach back into you memories to a time when you were truly happy. Feel that joy again. What were you doing? Who were you around? How did you find that level of happiness? How did it truly feel and how did it shape and mold who you have become?

On the flip side of that, reflect back to a time where you weren’t so happy. Maybe a painful time in your life. Feel that pain. What did it take for you to get through it? Who was around you when you came through to the other side? How has that experience shaped and molded who you have become?

See what I did there? Sometimes it’s important to not only acknowledge those positive character building experiences but also the painful ones as well. But we are NOT staying there, in that space. We are NOT allowing that experience to consume us and force us back into the negative head space or those bad habits.

We can simply revisit its lessons and the growth that we have experienced since and simply celebrate that.

#tbt isn’t always about how cute our kids were when they were babies or how much weight we’ve gained since high school. It’s also about celebrating leaving that toxic relationship, becoming grounded in your spiritual walk, launching your business and all sorts of cool and exciting things like that!

Celebrating growth and looking forward on your potential is amazing and it’s a great way to not only lift others but to truly lift yourself.

Love & Light, Fam.

🚨*GIVEAWAY*🚨

ITS GIVEAWAY TIME!

This week we are conducting our first giveaway!!! I’m so excited and this is so fitting! For all of you NON MORNING people out there, I have the recipe for you! @hal_elrod @yopalhal has this AMAZING 📖 @themiraclemorning and it’s yours, FREE!!


To enter: tag a friend and give an encouragement! #giveaway will last until Friday the 29th the winner will be announced during the #sheliftssaturday live video on FB and IG!!!

Good Luck!!

Love & Light, Fam!

Write It Out Wednesday

Ok so, we are totally living in a fast paced society.  I get it.  We like everything to be brief and straight to the point and definitely instantaneous.

I’m certain that this is why there is such a high rate for anxiety.  We are all in react and anticipatory mode.  No one is relaxing and no one is going with the flow anymore.

One cure for that is journaling.  Journaling is a great way to get all of your thoughts down, consolidate them in one place and use as a point of reference.  Its also a great way to document events in your life.

Most of all, journaling is an awesome outlet and stress reliever.  But seriously, who has time for all that?

When I discovered bullet journaling, it literally changed my life.  It is part of the reason why I started this podcast in the first place. Yea, that kind of life changing.

Bullet journaling is a customizable system of organizing tasks, lists and duties.  It seemed pretty formidable for me at first, because I was used to a more prose style of writing, but once I began utilizing this method, it was much quicker and it assisted me in staying organized.

Pinterest (even though I don’t mention them as often as I should) has a TON of great references, templates and prompts to get you started.

It also helped me get to know myself.  I used a daily prompt and allowed myself 10 minutes a day to write on that subject.  It truly helped me to dig deep every day and pull some of the best work out of this rusty old brain of mine.

So, today, on Write it Out Wednesday, I encourage you to check out the links up above and get started with your bullet journal, TODAY!!

Love & Light, Fam!

 

 

Video – Will Smith on Fear

Will Smith spoke candidly about his experience in skydiving that he shared with his sons.

What struck me most about that interview was how he interpreted fear.  He simply asks, what do you need that fear for?

Sometimes, fear can help us identify when something is not right, or not right for us.  However, most times, fear can really hinder us from reaching out greatness or having a noteworthy life experience.

Why should you let fear stop you?  YOU SHOULDN’T!! Make that decision today to not allow fear to stand in the way of what you truly deserve.

Love and Light, FAM!!