“If I could I would gather the race in my arms and fly away with them.” – Ida B. Wells
This video is dedicated to the people of my hometown, Washington, D.C, the former Chocolate City.
Directed by Dee Dwyer (http://www.deedwyerjonts.com/)
Filmed by Dee Dwyer and Briana Monet
Edited by Briana Monet
Songs “Healing: An Interlude” (feat. Drew Kid) and “Hope” by Cecily from the album Songs of Love and Freedom
On January 1st, I went live on Instagram, for the first time, to share some affirmations and manifesting for the new year, and to share some things I’ve learned over the past few years that have changed me for the positive. I truly enjoyed being in community and growing our energy together. I wanted to share here some of what we did on the 1st.
Feel free to replace “We are..” with “I am..”
Remember to feel the energy of the words as you write them down or speak them. Feel the energy of each word in your body and spirit. This is what manifesting is all about.
Try to speak these affirmations multiple times a day. Write your own each day that give what you need. Return to them as often as possible.
Affirmations help to retrain your mind to focus on the positive and craft a new self-image. Your self-image creates your actions; your actions create your habit; your habits create your life. All the success and happiness of life starts with the words you tell yourself every day. Here’s a words for you…
We don’t have to be yesterday
We don’t have to be tomorrow
We don’t have to be 5 minutes ago or 5 minutes from now
We can just let be right here, we can just be right now.
We are radiant
We are abundant
We are joyful
We are prosperous
We are centered
We are peaceful
We are love.
We are loved
We are supported
We are cared for
We are special
We are important
We are worthy
We are valued
We are love
We are disciplined
We are strong
We are flexible
We are adaptable
We are focused
We have a strong will power
We are alive
We are healthy
We are full of vitality
We are love
We find beauty everywhere
We are kind
We are compassionate
We are empathetic
We are trustworthy
We are respectful
We are patient
We are love.
We are covered in love
We are cloaked in love
We are protected in love
We are supported in love
We are flourishing in love
We are rooted in love
We give love freely
We receive love freely
We lead with our hearts
We listen to our hearts
Every single moment of every single day we choose love over fear, because we are love.
We are self-aware
We are healing ourselves through Love
We are powerful
We are creators
We are creating our own reality
We are creating our best life
We are walking in our purpose everyday
We are leading the life we want to live
We are love
We forgive ourselves
We forgive transgressions made against us
We do not blame ourselves for other people’s actions
We are free
We are open to change
We are courageous
We are love
We bring light to everyone we encounter
We bring light into every space we enter
We are surrounded by light
We radiate light
Our minds are a beautiful garden which we tend to lovingly
Our bodies are a beautiful mechanism which we greatly respect and care for
Our spirits are open and rooted
We are balanced
We are love
Much of what I have learned over the past few years about self-love, healing, joy, and courage has been through the writings of authors and teachers. These are some books, which I recommend to feed your mind and spirit with love, joy and knowledge. Some of these books have changed my life entirely.
The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
How To Love by Thich Nhat Hahn
The Celestine Prophecies by James Redfield
The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu
My band and I appeared on the show DC Soul Stage. We had to come up with our own take on the Janet Jackson classic “Anytime Anyplace.” I also talked about my thoughts on self-care and how I’m learning to deal with stress. Watch the interview and performance here…
My birthday was on Sunday, March 4th. I turned 28 years old. Today I took some much needed time to reflect. The past 12 months have been truly a time of growth – a soft balance between inward looking and external action.
Trusting myself has been a major theme. Getting married was an exercise in self-trust – knowing that this certain human being is meant to be my partner for the rest of my days breathing and finding solace in that fact. Feeling gratitude for the peace I find in the touch of his hand, and the LOVE – unconditional, nonjudgemental, accepting – I find in his eyes. Trusting myself to love him the way he deserves, and give of myself — my time, my undivided attention, my listening ear, my space — give to him without fear.
This has also been a year of acceptance, specifically accepting the things I cannot change and the things that are out of my control. Being okay with the unknown – accepting as an essential part of life that sometimes I won’t know exactly what’s next and that’s ok. Learning to exist in that realm of unknown and just BE without worry has marked my 27th year. Learning that lesson has reshaped me in beautiful ways.
But this year has also been one of action! Of taking responsibility for the things that are in my control, and those things are innumerable. My biggest accomplishment of my 27th year in this lifetime is my upcoming album, Songs of Love & Freedom. I am most proud of this work because it feels as though I pulled it out of my own body. It’s a piece of myself I shaped over many months, and long hours, and tried to fashion honestly, making it beautiful — true beauty which can only come from Truth. The truth found in solitude; the truth that lifts you from comfort and into something much more powerful – rebirth.
My voice has gotten so much stronger over the last two years. Every time I perform I find new ways to approach notes and new sounds that my body can somehow create in the moment. So with each song on this project, I tried to capture a moment like that. I tried to give you the moment I sat in the grass in London feeling the sun on my face and appreciating not having to please anyone but myself. I tried to give you the moment I was in Ghana’s lush green Volta region and felt the power of Wli Falls spraying my back — how alive that felt! I tried to give you the moment I sat in my room in silence looking at Spring outside my window and knew that the Universe was holding my hand and leading the way, if only I let my ego go. I tried to give you the moment I learned of the murder of Jordan Edwards, just 15 years old and killed by a police officer. The moment I found Hope in hopelessness.
These past 12 months have also been about Vision. In September I performed at my first international jazz festival. I stood in front of thousands of people who had never heard of me, who didn’t even speak the same language as me, and I sang to them as if we were family. That moment taught me that every single thing I wish for is possible – that I am more than capable!
This year I stood on the top of a mountain, looked out into the horizon and saw what was to come clearer than I ever have before. I could touch it. It was real. In that moment I adopted this affirmation and it’s been carrying me ever since…
I have the power to create everything I desire. I take responsibility for that power and I freely and intentionally choose to use my power to create everything I desire.
With unconditional LOVE of self — appreciation of the growth, the struggle, the beauty — I offer you a piece of myself created out of my own power – the Power that comes from vulnerability.
Here is the tracklist for my upcoming project Songs of Love & Freedom, coming May 4th, 2018:
Your Idea Of Beautiful
A Song For Bobby
Can You Feel It?
Don’t Hide the Sun
For now, here’s the lead single, “Pisces”
I’ve realized this year, I do not need a reason to be happy.
Any little thing is enough. Any big thing is enough. The sun. A nice cleansing breath. A good nap. My loved ones. The color of my nails. Someone else’s laugh. I don’t have to feel how I’m expected to feel.
I don’t have to feel how I usually feel or how I used to feel. Happiness doesn’t have to be a smile, although it often is. It can be a quiet, knowing peace with what is right now.
I’m so hype to be opening up for the amazing Johnny Gill this coming Saturday. Sugabear & EU will also be performing. As a DC Girl, this is like a dream come true.
The event is hosted by Donnie Simpson & Michel Wright of Radio One & Majic 102.3
Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/welcome-back-donnie-simpson-affair-tickets-18652266431
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of opening for Res. She killed & it was so much fun to open for her. The energy was amazing! You can always sense when you’re in room full of real music lovers. Whatever you send them, they give you all that energy right back! They are engaged. Sunday night at Liv Nightclub was definitely that! Shoutout to everyone that bought my CD 🙂
I had so much fun at The Evolution Live open mic & jam session last week in Philadelphia!
I’ll be back in Philly next week for Love Us. Tickets available here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-loveus-grand-production-tickets-17103840046
This was pretty cool. Watching yourself on TV is always a little surreal.
I appeared on the show Metro Magazine hosted by Bonnie McDaniel. It was a truly enjoyable interview experience. She’s so personable and was very easy to talk to. We discussed my upbringing, my training, lessons I learned from my parents, and the recent uprising in Baltimore. I also sang a little bit of “Black Butterfly” (you know that’s one of my favorites!).
Here’s a few pictures and clips I recorded while watching it on my TV. Watch a short video clip here >>>> Singing Black Butterfly
Hoping to do many more interviews soon! I do like talking lol
I am in the process of writing an artists statement for a grant application. I turned to James Baldwin, one of my favorite writers and philosophers of all time, for some inspiration. I came across these 3 quotes I felt I should share.
“One writes out of one thing only — one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is ar
“Art has to be a kind of confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people.” (1961)
“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.” (1985)
Now through May 13th, for every person that signs up for my email list, I will give $1 to DC-based domestic shelter My Sister’s Place.
$150 feeds a woman and her children in the shelter for 1 month. Let’s do it family!
Join the list, tell a friend. Support this indispensable community organization.
>>>> http://cecily.fanbridge.com <<<<