On Friday, April 25, 2014, I walked into this sanctuary I didn't know existed. It was a little cold and gloomy that day and seeing how I'm not much of morning person, I thought that was my cue to turn around and go home. And don't let me get started on my reservations about the address. The training was to take place right on Adams Blvd and Crenshaw. None of the "gangster" movies you have every seen truly captivate the amount of violence that particular area sustains. I thought to myself, "There couldn't be much going on over there," after all, I've been living in and exploring this neighborhood my whole life. As a matter of fact, it's an area that I never really felt welcomed in because I grew up in its rival gang's territory. One of the first things you find out about growing up South Central LA is that you are guilty by association. So as a youth, I avoided the area completely because of who my friends were. As an adult, I found myself in this somewhat forbidden part of my city looking to embark on a journey to who knows where. Then again I thought to myself, "Fuck it, I'm already here."
I know we all have decided at one point or another to go through with something no matter what the outcome. Whether it was breaking up with a significant other, moving to a new city or quitting a good job. There's something in you that gets fed up with the status quo and causes you act, and act fast. Well my attendance of the Ignite Good program was my something. I had no expectations beside the fact that wanted to leave with "something." Vague right? It was also very vague in my conscious. However, I think when you submit to the Universe in the way I did, you not only get to leave with something, you get to leave with everything you were unknowingly searching for.
I think it was in that moment I saw the metaphor for all that my soul-searching journey has been about. I've been on the go since a child, always looking for more. I always wanted to take a trip or go spend the night at friend's house. I always wanted to live in neighborhood nicer than my own, where all the streetlights worked and people actually curbed their dogs. I often entertained both the thought and desire to leave Los Angeles in the face of financial adversity and constant threat of urban genocide that plagues it streets. I was looking for my sanctuary, my safe place. Many times I thought, "you can just leave this behind, you can take your little music money and go get big house down south." However, there is something in me that has always known that my happiness and divine purpose is directly connected with these streets that I so often wanted to escape. So walking into PRANA, on Friday for the first day of training was my confirmation. If this safe and peaceful place exists right in the middle of a war zone, then how could I ever leave? If there are people willing to teach me how to achieve this feeling of peace and security throughout all the "hoods" of Los Angeles: how could I not only attend this training but also give it 110 percent? I knew very much that I would meet souls who would recognize my light and share my passion for the well being of my community. I do not know how I know, but I knew Ignite-Good was where I was supposed to be. It was really much more of a spiritual awakening for me in some ways. It didn't challenge me only to be real, because my whole life I have been told, "G you the realest n*gga" I know. Ignite Good challenged me to be vulnerable and to make my story real to ALL those around me. Not just the ones who share my experiences. Truthfully, I had begun to not consider my story unique, special, or valuable. There are many 26 year old, black, female songwriters/musicians with fathers that are in prison; born into poverty so their lives have been raining program showed me that my story and the story of my community matters and I can make me people care again. I can make myself care again.
So I ask you to join me this Wednesday night, April 30th, 2014 at 7pm for the Ignite-Good Campfire and let me share the experience that has changed me forever. I challenge you to rediscover your desire for change and get reacquainted with the importance of telling your story. RSVP HERE
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