Jody Watley. Sanctuary In Challenging Times.

My heart feels so heavy this morning, again ..all of the mass tragic shootings that continue to happen. I do believe it’s domestic terrorism fueled by hate with innocent people losing their lives. The current President (can’t even believe he’s in that position to begin with) rants on Twitter making use of the downside of social media, petty and bullying behavior fueling the fires of racist divisive speech into the to weak minds of those ready to take the woes of their lives out on others. The corruption of politicians in general who most seem to do nothing but collect checks term after term and spew empty rhetoric constantly and especially during elections ..a voting system that is failing and constantly at the mercy those who want to make it worse and more difficult/corrupt, a system doesn’t even guarantee any of what’s ill’ing this country and the world at large can be fixed. This isn’t about politics for me, this is about humanity in a country and world in which we should all be able to thrive together, caring for each other as human beings, the environment and so on. No one wants to take accountability, just finger pointing – so round and round we go.

The ultimate powers that be, including whatever shadow figures and government that exists beyond our knowledge, that don’t want it fixed deem it easier to buy a gun / AK-47, 15 whatever model it is than to obtain a Visa, or vote.. and probably many other things where extreme red tape is involved – what is the purpose of body armor, hundreds of rounds of ammo and so on being legal to purchase?  What is the purpose of semi-automatic weapons being legal and accessible? In my heart I don’t think any of them will be happy until all has been destroyed without concern or conscience, or we find ourselves in some sort of civil race war and this country ends up like a vast wasteland in some futuristic movie. Hate begets hate, love will always drive out darkness but it’s up for a hell of a challenge in these times moving forward.

Even as an optimistic person..I just wanted to write here because choosing not to post my frustrations on the state of the world on social media. Some people get on every day just to complain as if that helps anything..more anger and bitterness. Words without action are just words in any capacity in life.

That said, it’s on my mind and in my heart to express this today. This blog is always my forum for those who are willing to go deeper and appreciate the messages beyond pretty pictures and ‘likes’ – so thank you for reading.

I cry when these killings occur, never immune as a human being, a mother of two, a friend, a daughter, an employer who cares about everyone I work with and so on. We can’t all live in a bubble and thinking about these victims each time – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, relatives, classmates, co-workers..it goes on to an instant chain of heartbreak created by these vile cowards; who I’d add generally get taken into custody alive..never mind the guy selling bootleg cigarettes.

Reminding myself daily, to do what I can in life in what I put into the world and what comes from me to you and those who happen to follow me through my music. Stressing over what we can’t control is futile..and as best we can, take refuge and power in what we can control in living life and not taking anything for granted. What we choose to focus on and how it shapes our mood 24/7. Despite everything, don’t let the world and behavior of others get you down.

It’s befitting to post a song I wrote called ‘Sanctuary’ probably the most important in all of my songs, because it’s a life song inspired by my daughter and son and the importance of home and the spaces we create to just to live in but mentally and emotionally as well, a safe place, a healthy place..   ‘fill these walls with happy times, fill these rooms with peace of mind..sanctuary is my home..”  mindful to cherish each day, our loved ones and friends and what vibe we can create in the safety of our homes, an environment of love – because when we step into the world we just never know and there’s a lot of hate and divisiveness ‘trending’ in this country and the world. I won’t let it get the best of me, stress me out with worry in just living..and I hope you don’t either. It’s the same conversation I have with children who are now young adults living their own lives.

My condolences always go out to the families and victims in these tragedies and any senseless gun violence. The laws will not change sadly no matter what we do, and no matter how many lives are lost. The powers that be – don’t care and controlled by  greed, money and power – evil.

Be safe, spread love.

 

Thought of The Day. Bricks To Success

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This continues to be a running undercurrent theme in my life journey. It’s not what happens to us, it’s how we respond, rebound or simply keep it pushing forward. Never being discouraged for long – just keep on keeping on.

I was reminded of this on my trip to Louisiana for the Real Cowboys Association National Black Rodeo Finals this weekend. The promoter let me know someone behind the scenes had been badmouthing me – without naming names. They were encouraging him to not book me, not to book the new Shalamar  in favor of another artist – how much trouble I’d be..such a ‘bitch’ to work with, a diva..immediately my people and I knew where this probably came from an association to someone from my past or someone who represents them. That’s the level of people they’re with. This is a shady business full of people throwing bricks at any given time, just for someone out here as I wrote – just living my life. This is to anyone who may be in a similar situation at your job. Hang in there.  As hard as you’re working, you never know when someone else is working just as hard for another not to succeed. Imagine that – someone attempting to block another’s blessings with lies – again. I’m a woman with standards, a total professional – some will always resent that.  Initially I was going to keep this to myself. but it’s important for me to convey the things that go on behind the scenes and some of the obstacles I face just being me; as well as a cautionary tale for other women in business.

The  promoter was so delighted that he’d trusted his own instincts and not listened – he said he wanted to see for himself. That he did.

The result – “You’re nothing like they said you’d be..I just love you girl..this has been one of my best experiences with any artist and can’t wait to work with you and the guys again!”

And the world keeps on spinning. If something is truly for you – no one can take that away..hard as they might try.

Thank God and the universe for another lesson and opportunity.

May the obstacles and bricks lead to more stepping stones to success.

#JodyWatley #Shalamar #ShalamarReloaded #Life #Business #Music

Just a Thought. A Week of Politics and Emotion.

This week has been quite memorable in terms of the news. One minute we seem to be moving forward (electing-reelecting a President who happens to be black) backwards (Supreme Court striking down a major portion of The Voting Rights Act from 1965), forward (Supreme Court ruling on Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same sex adult couples to marry who they choose). I learned as well via my Twitter feed that the President had declined meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for over 700 days (read here); which definitely thought provoking. I’m still perplexed by his signing of the Monsanto Protection Act protecting from lawsuits or any judicial action (read here).

Add historic abortion rights filibuster in Texas by Wendy Davis lasting 11 hours, and subsequent vow by Governor Rick Perry for another session to see the bill through that would close the majority of planned parenthood and abortion clinics in the state – another potential blow for women’s rights, which are under attack.  Then you have a Congress, approving the bill to double student loans (read here) – rather they approving to keep the loans low. This act of course will send children and families seeking higher learning in hopes of a better life – into debt. Currently, student loan debt has out-paced credit card debt in this country. The rich get richer, while the rest seem to get challenged more each day. Of course – these elected officials can write a full check for their children to attend universities of their choice. Once again, the poor and middle class are being pushed further into a cycle of debt, simply for wanting to go to college in the first place – when did college education become a privilege? Are everyday working class people and young people being penalized by striving for a better life? Then vilified when nor educated enough?  Public schools are closing in urban areas at record numbers, more prisons are being built … “I IS who I Is”, Paula Deen..I never saw any tears just a contorted crying ‘face’ from the snippet I saw of her mea culpa interview. Own your behavior – grow, change and evolve. Create a better work environment – respectful, just and fair. Apples and oranges, however, I’m just as appalled by commercial use of the ‘n’ and other offensive language and behavior in rap music.

It’s going to take me a minute to give my thoughts on Rachael Jeantel in the Zimmerman case, however it did make me think of our responsibility as parents to make certain our children learn to speak clearly (and I can recall the ‘you sound like you have a mouth full of marbles – speak up”) with my own children when they were young; however I grew up with parents who were conscious of diction. Additionally, looking people in the eye and all of that. As a Mom, and not to place myself on a pedestal of parenting, but it is the most important role and job we have as parents; to be teachers and role models. However, I will say that simply because a person doesn’t fit the box of ‘polished’ doesn’t reflect a lack of character, truth – especially with many of today’s youth, many of whom don’t have teachers in life when being raised. Some can’t teach or pass along what they don’t know themselves. I felt for Rachel Jeantel from some of the moments I saw. Admittedly, I was agitated and wanted her to pull it together as well, however Jeantel was authentic – no filter. It also crossed my mind that as a society we don’t need to mock, rather uplift, mentor, reach out – whatever one can do. Watching how she was dissected it almost felt like now there were two black victims in this case. She was a teen girl (and still a teen) on the phone with a friend just before he was murdered as the last person to hear his voice. Being on that witness stand under those circumstances, being picked apart couldn’t have been easy – no matter whose side you’re on. I was agitated with the defense as well for the way in which she was cross examined from what I saw – though understanding they have a job to do as well. I wept when I heard the screams for “help.”

Life and the internet is a harsh place at times.

Greetings From Japan – With Love.

The shows in Tokyo at Billboard Live were a smashing success, packing the house and having the fans dancing in the aisles, singing, and love One of the Billboard Live staff said to me of all of the artists who perform there – I seem to have the most special connection to the fans, which made me feel very happy and appreciative. One person told me seeing me live and hearing my songs makes them feel strong and motivated again – that’s the power of music. Real love indeed!

We arrived in Osaka yesterday April 12 – and woke up to a 6.0 earthquake this morning. Thank God we’re all OK though I’m reading about ongoing threats from North Korea to Tokyo and of course America about nuclear attacks – which make me very pensive and sad to consider that these leaders have so much power to destroy at their fingertips. Let’s send heaps of prayers, meditation (if you do that as well) and overall positive energy into the  universe.

Blessings and love to everyone – for now I’ll focus on the the escape and good feelings music provides globally. More pics and video highlights to come! Billboard Live Osaka – get ready for a night to remember!

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Photo: Jody Watley Music (c). All Rights Reserved 2013

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Photo. Jody Watley Music (c). All Rights Reserved. 2013

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Some of my material gifts from the fans which I always cherish and appreciate! Photo: Jody Watley Music (c) All Rights Reserved 2013

Adorable! Photo: Jody Watley Music (c) All Rights Reserved.

Adorable! Photo: Jody Watley Music (c) All Rights Reserved.