Haiku 7/31

“Butts farts butts boobies

Fart fart poop …I love you, mom.”

My life with three sons.

New family rule: sure, you can talk about butts and farts all day long! But you have to do it in the bathroom. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ (This goes into effect after the first joke because let’s be honest, farts are kinda funny)

#pottytalk

#haikuaday

📷: @authenticadventureco

Haiku 5/31

Brilliant talent serves.

With strength, purpose and passion,

She brings home the crown.

Octavia reese haiku a day

Today, I’m judging a pageant in Wisconsin. This one is dedicated to the Miss America program and all the incredible women that cross one of the hundreds of stages across America each year.

#haikuaday

I am my normal

I’m not bipolar. I don’t have high highs and low lows.

I just have high highs and higher highs.

And that gives me a larger-than-average capacity to be active and create stuff. I don’t think it’s an illness but it is definitely an abnormality. I’m frequently misinterpreted.

I get a lot of microagressive comments like “ew just looking at you makes me tired.”
Or “just hearing that stresses me out.”
Or “Octavia you’re such an over achiever.”
Yeah maybe compared to you. Jerk.
Or my favorite, “You do TOO MUCH.”
No. I. Don’t.

But whatever. It works for me. I don’t do anything out of the ordinary for me. I am my normal.
And yes, I do sleep.
Sometimes.

On the other side of that is all of the support and cheers and encouragement from my friends.
“Wow, you stay busy!”
Or “You’re doing what I always wanted to do.”
Or “I want to be you when I grow up.”

Look, I may not be rich or famous or even moderately debt free and I pretty much just barely pay all my bills and yes, I just cried this morning…
BUT
I’m living my best life and I am really truly and honestly so comfortable in my skin and in love with ME.

And if me being my best me helps you be your best you, then let’s do this life thing together, baby!

I’m Octavia. I’m an author, an artist, a cellist, a dancer, a mother, a speaker, the founder of Tavinda Media, the host of three podcasts, and I’m just getting started.

Follow all my stuff: 

Tavinda Media on Facebook, @TavindaMedia

Stalled. on Facebook, @Stalledpodcast

@forkmylifepodcast

@thehibouleans

@roadtorelovery

xoxo

Introducing Tavinda Media

As promised in an earlier post, I have good news to share! This week, Monday, I launched my new podcast network, Tavinda Media. Tuesday, we released our first (of several) podcasts, Stalled. Stalled features my sister Nan and me, as we talk about the real life struggles of balancing life, love, work, parenting, and the exhausting hustle of becoming a best-selling author.

Tavinda Media Intro Text

I am ridiculously low on sleep, out of breath, and even more overbooked than usual, but I am high on all the excitement of my ancestors and the resounding cheers of my future self. Today — and hopefully, forever — I am tearfully the personification of my prayers. To stay in touch with Tavinda news, please subscribe here.

Click below for the official introduction mailing, and please like, share, subscribe and rate Stalled:

Introducing Tavinda Media

Stalled. on iTunes

Stalled. on Stitcher

TW/IG/FB: @stalledpodcast

TW/IG/FB: @TavindaMedia

Be your prayer

I recently wrote about my presentation at my church small group. Part of the expectation is not only to introduce our business but to also explain how that connects with our spirituality.

My business (which is kind of a secret right now, but I’ll introduce very soon!) is a “company” version of myself, but not limited to my own talents and products and brands. The beautiful thing about the model I’ll present is that there is always room for more creativity at the table — not just mine. I want to elevate others with similar platforms, too.

I nearly ran out of breath listing the sorts of products my company will offer — both entertainment and retail — not only because I was on a clock and I was talking very quickly, but also because of pure passion and excitement to put all of ME out there in a marketable way.

When someone in the group asked about my spirituality, I suddenly stalled. I had a hard time spitting out the words that were on my heart. But finally, I boldly went for it. “I feel like I’m called to redefine the face of Christianity,” I said. Wow. It felt weird enough saying it out loud then but it absolutely feels just as strange and fresh typing it here. I’ve actually been avoiding completing this post for a week just because I was afraid of this…confession.

It’s so jarring to me because it seems like a very heavy burden to carry: How could one person reroute what’s been ingrained for more than two thousand years? Well, with one little drop of me, being myself and doing what I was created to do. What if your greatest call to worship, your purest form of prayer, and your most genuine communication channel with The Divine was by simply being yourself?

What if your greatest call to worship, your purest form of prayer, and your most genuine communication channel with The Divine was by simply being yourself?

The Grand Canyon wasn’t formed over night. Maybe it was one tiny pebble that diverted trickling rain water just enough to make it into a river. And maybe every rainfall that river grew a little bit wider. And after millions of years of H2O molecules passing and leaving their tiny impressions, an enormously stunning landmark was carved into the earth.

Not one of those molecules said, “Today, I’m going to make The Grand Canyon.” No. Every molecule simply existed.

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Water has been teaching me a lot over the past several months. I even referenced water in a Facebook live event I hosted, reading a piece of The Hibouleans and debuting the first track in The Hibouleans book score.

Skip to around 6:50 — water doesn’t strive for perfection. Water is gonna do what water is gonna do. The water doesn’t ask permission to be there. Water is. The journey I shared here was that I’m learning to accept (my)yourself in not only what (I)you do, but in each phase that (I)you do it.

So as I spoke to my spirituality, I offered this — that my faith is woven into every fiber of my company because I touch every grain of my company with my rawest most unfiltered gifts and talents. My quest to cultivate my passions and share them out of love and pure positive intent, not only shines my gratitude and adoration into those around me, but it is also a mirrored reflection of what is shone into me from The Divine.

I cannot separate my spirituality from my work. It is impossible to unbraid worship from my craft. Me being true to my gifts is my most authentic form of worship.

I don’t have a big conversion testimony. I can’t tell you the day Jesus saved me. I can’t tell you the moment I heard God speaking to me not from above but from within. But I can tell you that God speaks. God exists. God is love so great and abundant our humanness cannot even begin to quantify it.

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I can also tell you that my faith is not a product — I’m not in the ministry “business.” But I do have a calling to be the sort of Christian that makes people reexamine spirituality, Christianity and truly living the way Jesus — and others — showed us: let everything you do come from a place of love. Not superiority. Not judgement. Not hatred. Not condemnation. There is no other to judge — only us.

You see, when you recognize offering yourself — your gifts, your skills, your excellence — as a form of worship, it eliminates all the mechanics of doing it right. You’re already doing it right! Another reason why I love praise dance, or just playing my cello for the pleasure of making a joyful noise: I’m eliminating the limitations of conscious planning; I’m circumventing the human process of articulating and opening a direct channel between myself and the heavenly plane. This meditative, hypnotic, trance-like state, I believe, is what prayer is. Prayer, perhaps isn’t an action, but a state of being.

…when you recognize offering yourself — your gifts, your skills, your excellence — as a form of worship, it eliminates all the mechanics of doing it right.  

How many times have we all gotten caught up in interpretation and rules and words and how we might sound  or look to other humans? Our worship isn’t for them — it is for above. And that gate deserves to be fully opened without fear of imperfection, shame, humiliation or ridicule.

You are a gift to the world. Shine through your positives and in doing so, you honor God, whatever you perceive God to be.

I can’t wait to introduce you to my new company! Coming in just a few more weeks. Stay tuned…

xx,

Octavia

Detroit’s Miss Michigan 2005 Returns for Festival of Books

FORMER MISS MICHIGAN RETURNS TO DETROIT TO INSPIRE GIRLS WITH BINGE-WORTHY SCI-FI SERIES AT DETROIT BOOKFEST

Independent author and former pageant queen aims to redefine how young women of color set expectations for themselves

 

DETROIT, July 9, 2018 – Detroit-raised author, Octavia Reese, created a world where bold, brave, brilliant brown girls fearlessly step into their own greatness as stars in the sci-fi epic adventure series, The Hibouleans. The leading teens, Taryn and Priya, are STEM fanatics and must use their math and science knowledge to solve clues as they embark on a life-or-death treasure hunt against terrifying shape-shifting Hibouleans.

Octavia, who now resides in Chicago, represented the state of Michigan in the 2006 Miss America pageant is also a cellist and composer, and wrote The Hibouleans book score, too – the musical theme that accompanies her characters’ adventures in the series.  As Octavia travels, reading excerpts from her series and performing on her cello, she hopes to send one major message: it’s time for the world to envision women of color in more leading roles, especially in science fiction.

“I’m a big nerd,” Octavia said. “I grew up admiring Stan Lee, Stephen King, Chris Van Allsburg, Tim Burton and Ed Gorey. But my favorite adventures always seemed to leave out characters that looked like me. I was tired of watching everyone else have all the fun. My main character, Taryn, looks like me.”

Octavia said she wrote the series for all the brown girls out there that love problem-solving, strength-building, lab experiments and dream of having super powers and being the hero in epic adventures.

“I wrote it for my inner child and to fill the color-gender void I saw in my youth,” Octavia said. “Now I want to share it with all people that crave epic adventures – representation not only changes our narrative but changes how others view us as well.” Octavia hopes The Hibouleans normalizes diverse character leads in magical, science-fiction and fantasy genres.

“I also wrote this for my own children. I want my three sons to equate strength and bravery with boys and girls,” Octavia said.

In June 2018, the Miss America Scholarship Organization officially announced the elimination of the historic swimsuit competition from the annual pageant, sending shockwaves across the country.  Octavia supports the decision and says it aligns with her own vision of The Hibouleans.

“It’s time for women of all shapes, sizes and colors to take back our own narratives and tell the world how we want to be received. While the Miss America competition has evolved into being so much more than the swimsuit portion, that’s still the only thing most viewers remember. Now they’ll start to see us for who we really are – gifted and educated forces of change.”

Find Octavia, her cello and The Hibouleans this Sunday, July 15 from 10am – 4pm at Detroit Book Fest. For more information, visit www.detroitbookfest.com and www.octaviareese.com.