Year Two: Who Am I?

‘Sometimes, in order to go forward, we have to go back’.

In Year Two of ‘Journey of a Sister’, the main character Suzanne learns all about her African ancestry, and the his-story of the religion she had been indoctrinated into.  Learning about her rich history before slavery helps her develop positive Self and racial esteem.  She begins to undo the indoctrination she had received around sex and money.  Despite her current circumstances, Suzanne is happily moving towards her goals.  She inspires Charles to awaken his inner child and start his art again!

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Year Two is based on my own ‘her story’ of discovering that I was the descendant of an enslaved African, and that I had been totally disconnected from my roots.  I had been brought up in a Christian household with the belief that the only way for me to have a relationship with my Creator was through a white Jesus.  I had no culture, no Mother Tongue, no wealth from the resources of my Motherland, and no inheritance.  I didn’t even have my original African name.  Everything my ancestors owned had been stripped from them, and as a result, I was displaced, impoverished, lost and confused.  Raised in a country whose economy had been built on the backs of my ancestors, yet not benefiting financially myself; the only people benefiting were the descendants of enslavers who had left an inheritance to their children. Yet I also discovered that I had a rich history before slavery!  Year Two features two of my poems, here’s an extract with one of them:

Extract from Year Two: Who Am I?

Suzanne realized that she didn’t really have a sense of identity; was she African, Jamaican or British?  Just because she was born in England didn’t make her English; she had never felt ‘at home’ there, and could never get used to the cold weather. Even if she wanted to claim Africa as her roots, which part was she from?  It was such a large Continent, and she had learned that Africans were captured from all parts and taken to the West Coast of Ghana before being carried away on the slave ships.  How was she going to find where she originated from?

Up to this point, her strongest identity claim was being ‘the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’.  She had no righteousness of her own – according to the bible, even her own righteousness was like ‘filthy rags’.

She had no name with which to trace her roots; she had inherited a slave master’s name.  Africans put a great deal of effort into naming their children, even holding elaborate Naming Ceremonies, as they knew the spiritual effect it would have on the child in shaping the child’s destiny. Europeans knew the devastating effect stripping them of their name and replacing it with their own name would have on them.

She pledged that when she found out where she originated from, she would change her surname to a name from that place, in honour of her ancestors.

Greatly impacted by everything she was learning, Suzanne was moved to write a poem:

Who am I?

I am a remnant of my ancestors,

Torn from my Motherland

By the rape of slave traders.

 

Who am I?

I am a watered-down version of an African Queen;

My blood is diluted, so mixed, that it’s now in-between!

My skin is no longer its original color;

Rich, dark, like black gold;

The colour of…tar.

 

Yet still,

I have Royal Blood flowing through my veins,

For my ancestors were kings, queens, rulers,

Inventors, scientists, leaders…

(Track 5 on the ‘Seeds of Love’ CD)

She made a commitment that day to use her gift of writing poetry to help free her people from mental slavery.

Download Year Two, only 99p/$0.99:

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If you haven’t read Year One yet, start the journey by reading an extract from Year One FREE ← just click on the link!  If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow Years One and Two from Amazon’s lending library!

Start YOUR journey of Self-discovery – read what others thought about the First Edition on the Books page (and I’ve made it even better!)

Over the next six weeks, each ‘Year’ from Three to Eleven will be available to download FREE every Wednesday between 1-2pm!

I would really appreciate your feedback, comments or suggestions, so feel free to use the Contact Form below!

In your service,

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Cezanne Taharqa (Author|Poet/Artist|Events Host|Workshop Facilitator|Mentor)

 Promoting LOVE through Creativity!


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The Story of My Inner Child

Growing up, I had a natural ability to write and draw; my two favourite subjects in school were English Literature and Art.  But the affirmations I received as a child were that I was ‘ugly’, ‘no good’ and  ‘worthless’, so I somehow believed that anything I produced was ‘not good enough’ either!  This was my subconscious programming.  Frederick Douglas said it’s much easier to raise strong children than to mend broken adults; the negative affirmations I received as a child went deep into my subconscious mind, and I grew up with low self-esteem,  lacked self-confidence, and didn’t believe in myself.  I would screw up any piece of writing or drawings I did, because I thought they weren’t good enough – a reflection of how I felt about myself!

When I was in my teens, I remember working on a painting in art class and wanted to give up on it.  When I expressed this to the teacher, he told me to get up and walk around the classroom and look at the other students work.  When I did this I realized mine was one of the best!

Yet still, I didn’t have the courage to pursue a career utilizing my God-given talents, and instead chose a career in Accounts – when maths had been my most hated subject at school!

By my mid twenties, I had stopped being creative altogether.  This was the last picture I drew in 1986 (check out the carpet!):

Alexander O'Neal

Clearly you can see I was good at art, but my perception of myself was warped, and this reflected in how I viewed my work.  (I did this for a boyfriend; he looked at them both and threw the original record sleeve on the floor!)

I remained a blocked writer and artist for over 20 years.  My inner child was crying out to be heard, but I ignored her.

I was unfulfilled, and miserable.

But after the birth of my second ‘sun’ in 1995, I decided I wanted to do something that would work around my two little ones.  I wanted to go back to being creative, but I didn’t know how.  I came across a book called ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, which helped me begin the process of unblocking.

The Artists Way

This book literally saved my inner child’s life!  I didn’t just read it, I did all the tasks it told me to do (it’s a 12-week workbook).  The first thing I had to do was start writing my Morning Pages.  This is where you write 3 A4 pages every morning of anything that comes into your head (it doesn’t have to make sense).  The second thing you have to do is take your inner child on weekly ‘Artist Dates‘.  As part of the process, I had to go into the recesses of my mind and find out where that critical voice in my head was coming from that told me “You? A great artist? LOL” or “You? A prolific writer? You could never amount to that!” .  The exercises helped me get to the root cause of my insecurities, and then counter-attack them with POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS like “I am a brilliant and successful artist”, “I have rich creative talents”, “I am confident and competent in my creative work”, “I am a channel for the Creator to create through…” and get my creative juices flowing again.

‘The Artist’s Way’ taught me how to nurture my inner child, and give her the freedom she wanted to create, and I am now writing and painting freely!  I had to step out of the way, as the adult.  One of the first poems I wrote was called ‘My Artist Child’ (inspired by the book) and the first painting I did was of my inner child, which now illustrates Year Two of my Self-help novel (the e-book); this is where the main character discovered that her roots were actually in Africa, not the ‘West Indies’, and where she inspired Charles to awaken his inner child:

Cezanne’s mission is to ‘Spread Love through Creativity’

The thing I love about my inner child is her ability to write about adult topics with the innocence of a child, and to express herself in a way that I (the adult) wouldn’t dare to!  When I was writing ‘Journey of a Sister’ I kept hearing that critical voice inside my head saying “You can’t write that!”, but I just stepped out of the way and allowed my inner child the freedom to write whatever she chose…so in 2009 I felt compelled to write ‘Part Two‘ of my poem ‘My Artist Child‘:

My inner child is wild and free – she has no boundaries!

When I decided to set her free I KNEW it would cost me my privacy

(and anyone who’s had anything to do with me

 so if that’s you, I’m sorry.)

She sits in the seat of my subconscious mind observing all I’m doing

Then she turns my experiences into a song, story or poem!

Thanks to her, my life is an open book,

Go on, open it, take a look!

And she’s left me (the adult) to deal with all the DRAMA she creates 

She doesn’t know where to draw the line!

I know I should be embarrassed, but to be honest,

All I keep seeing are pound signs ££££££££!

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 Journey of a Sister features my Artwork & Poetry, start by reading >>  Year One FREE! << (click to open) 

Journey of a Sister Limited Edition paperback

Journey of a Sister features Cezanne’s artwork & poetry with FREE postage (UK only)

£14.99

Outside the UK? Order direct from www.lulu.com (ships worldwide)

Where Did the Name ‘Cezanne’ Come From?

Cezanne is my ‘spiritual’ name.  What do I mean by that?

When I was 14 years old, I was sat in the back of class one day at school, doodling on the back of my textbook (obviously bored!).  As I was drawing randomly, the name ‘Cezanne’ appeared in the doodles!  The name stuck in the back of my mind all those years I was blocked, and only came back to me when I had to name my inner child as part of the course in Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way‘.

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I’ve now changed my name by Deed Poll – eventually, my inner child will take over completely!  Setting my inner child free has been the best thing I’ve done with my life (apart from having my babies!).  Since then, I’ve written and recorded over 30 poems, written 3 books (one is the Book of Lyrics to my poetry CD ‘Seeds of Love’), painted 11 paintings, and I’m still creating, including building this website! 

Join me on the ‘Nurture Your Inner Child’ Retreat!

Would you like me to take you through the same processes I went through, to unblock as a writer and artist?  Then join me for 7 days of work-play in the sun!  This is essentially a 7-day holiday for both women and men, with 5 days of workshops thrown in (you can do as much or as little as you like!).  All materials are included, as well as accommodation, daily meals, and 5 days of nurturing your inner child!  You’ll return home with something you have created, and the tools to keep your creative juices flowing!   As part of the course, I will also teach Colour Therapy (I healed myself from Seasonal Affective Disorder using the colours in my paintings!)

Download the e-book which explains the Colours & Symbolism used in my paintings! (FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, or just 0.99)

Use the Contact Form below to register your interest in the Nurture Your Inner Child Retreat, or email cezanne@journeyofasister.com  

In your service,

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Promoting LOVE through Creativity!

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