Friday, April 17, 2015

Soul Parties BEGIN with Celebration

  1. the action of marking one's pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social, activity.

Mark my pleasure.  YES! Sounds good to me. With a name like Celebration Spiritual Center, the party in my soul is ready to get pumping.

The Co-Pastor/Founder, Greg Stamper has been a Facebook friend of mine for a few years. (Gotta love "the book") He is an ordained interfaith minister, musician, life coach, author, and serial entrepreneur.  I have been consistently and outstandingly uplifted by his virtual presence in my life.  I honestly cannot wait to visit the CELEBRATION live and in full effect.

But those readers living in and around boombastic Brooklyn, NY can get there this SUNDAY. (Lucky you!)


Over the past few weeks, I have been stalking Pastor Stamper a bit because he has been up to so many amazing things.  For instance, his MOTIVATION BITES on his Facebook fan page have me like... "oooo" as if I was standing on the sidelines of a rap cypher. Just clever and insightful.

And his music... yeah... OK... don't take my word for it, you can hear samples on ITUNES, but huntee, inspiration is on 1000!

I am a fan and want to share the awesometagiousness that I get to experience nearly everyday online by follow this mega mind of kindness, authenticity, spirituality, and intelligence.

Big PHILO (brotherly) love for Pastor
Greg Stamper, and from his heart to yours:

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in less than 140 characters.

You are the King and Queen of your life. You are the one that directs, decrees, and mandates what will happen in your Universe.

When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

Starting my coaching business last year was all about moving beyond my comfort zone.

I had a lot of fear around coaching. Actually what I had was as “fraud complex”. It’s the thing we all say to ourselves at times when we’re in doubt and fear. We don’t think that we measure up. We think we need more credentials. The inner critic tries to get the last word in and convinces us to remain small and paralyzes us into doing nothing. 

I personally worked with a coach for about a year starting in 2010 and she was the one that first encouraged me to start coaching. It took some convincing and I reluctantly started coaching through her company and had great results with my first client. You would think that would have motivated me to do more but instead I sabotaged it all. I also burned a bridge in the process. That’s what fear does. The voice of fear was louder than the positive experience I had with my first client.

Instead of running toward a greater vision for my life that included coaching people to live their greatest lives, I ran back into the false comfort of fear.
Four years passed before I made the decision to do this thing that I actually love and comes very natural to me. I created my
90 Days To Greatness program and the results have been awesome! Weight release, dream jobs, unexpected money, marriage proposals and more have all come as a result of the work my clients have done. I see life coaching as 21st Century ministry. Instead of relying on pastors and preachers to “save” or “pray” for you, effective coaches guide their client into healing and freeing themselves. Once you have the tools to free yourself, you can accomplish anything!

Who are you really? Describe yourself without using your name, or any attributes given to you by society and really think. Deep down, who are you?

Deep down I am a lover of learning, a lover of people, and a lover of possibility. I am a possibilian. Like all humans I get stuck sometimes, I fail, I make mistakes but none of that is who I am. I am an eternal and infinite being. I am brother to all. Knowing who I am is the only thing that has allowed me to persevere. I am one who does not give up. I am one who believes and knows that life is good and that we are all free.

I am a sparkstar because…
Because I was made to shine, I remind my brothers and sisters to shine, and believe all things are possible.
Instagram & Twitter: @soundz714

And THIS SATURDAY, Pastor Greg Stamper is my special Sparkstar Guest!  BOOM!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little Brown Girl with Wings: Nilaya Sabnis

Has someone's laugh ever infected you so much that you can still hear it 7 years later as you are sitting in silence?

I love her.  She is Nils.

She runs her fingers through her short hair cut and smiles a grin that exposes her heart.  Her eyes twinkle with joy; or is that pain?  With Nils, you are never quite sure because no
matter what she is feeling, she radiates beautiful.

The challenge I present to the Sparkstars is to answer at least 5 questions.  Nilaya Sabnis answered so many of the questions with so much passion and intention, I had the most difficult time 'picking' which of her answers to share.

She inspired me with her words. My soul was touched.

Today, reading this, I was filled with so much emotion, I am actually loss for clever phrases and cute anecdotes. I am just going to pass the baton to her.

Please grab you a cup of tea and fall into this authentic dialogue of authenticity & vulnerability from someone I am honored to call a friend and sister.

"I am an artist...period."
Dang, it just hit me how so freakin' blessed to know such an amazing woman.

Nils, thank you for sharing yourself, your gifts, your talents, and your lessons.  You add so much light to this world. I am because you are!

From her heart to yours:

What is your name, where are you from, what is your profession? 
My name is Nilaya Sabnis. I was born in Bethlehem, PA and live in New York City. I am an artist. 

Who are you really? Describe yourself without using your name, or any attributes given to you by society and really think. Deep down, who are you? 
I’m a woman, a dancer, an explorer, a little sister, a chronic over-thinker, an eternal optimist. I'm on a constant mission to get to know myself so I can get out of my own way. I love with complete abandon and experience most everything with the wonder of a child. Anyone who’s known me longer than 5 seconds knows that I'm a passionate lover of food. I’m unfazed by uncertainty. I value straightforward honesty over all else, even if it hurts. I prefer things raw, unpolished. I’m a lone wolf, born with a strong sense of freedom, independence, adventure, and wide-eyed innocence. I believe that anything at all is possible if you truly want it and work for it and then let it go. I believe there is plenty to go around, that life is not a zero sum game. I’m currently in search of alignment with my purpose, for the courage to express my own voice as an artist. I'm learning how to engage with my depression, to turn toward it and transform it into fuel for art and growth and connection. I’m learning how to be more vulnerable and trusting in partnership. At my core, I long to connect with others on a soul level underneath the noise. I love to play. Usually the first one in the water. I love to swim with wild dolphins in the open sea. I love to sit quietly at length on the shore. I always prefer to be barefoot. In my opinion, life at its best is raw and real, and it might get messy. I'm a soul going for a ride in a human body. At the end of my ride in this vessel of flesh, I hope to have left behind something honest and real that somehow makes life better for others. I guess that's me. Hard to avoid societal attributes. 

What would you do differently if you knew that no one was judging you? 
I’d stop editing myself. I'd probably be making a ton of honest art already instead of all this thinking about how to make honest art. I would unashamedly admit my weaknesses, faults and fears of inadequacy. I would express my pain and fear in real time, as immediately as I express my joy. I'd stop feeling guilty about the amount of joy and freedom I experience. I’d own my needs instead of playing it cool. And I’d wear sweatpants all the damn time. 

What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago? 
I can tell people that “I’m an artist” without my voice wavering. It took me a long time to believe I was deserving of the title, so the words used to fall out of my mouth awkwardly with a question mark built in, as if asking for approval. Now the statement resounds from deep within my gut, it ends with a period, and then we move on to the next topic. It’s not a big deal. 

If you could ask a single person one question, and they had to answer truthfully, who and what would you ask? 
Future me: “What am I worrying about right now that doesn’t really matter?” 

What gets you excited and driven to achieve? 
The knowledge that life is fragile and this moment is ripe. Ever since I watched someone die, I’ve been acutely aware that I’m still here. I exist right now! There is so much to see and feel and taste and do and learn and love and create. I'm not wasting this. Also, sometimes my fear that I am not enough. But underneath it all, a deafening sense of purpose. I’ve always had a profound sense of responsibility to use the opportunity and privilege that I have to do my part in bringing our planet back into balance. But I want to do it from a calm place of authenticity, from my core. There’s something specific I’ve been built for, something I'm being groomed by life to do, and I feel really close to finding it. “If you work really hard and be kind, amazing things will happen.” - Conan O’Brien

What do you “owe” yourself?
Unconditional love and acceptance. This is a work in progress. 

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist so I could take people’s pain away and make them feel better. At my kindergarten graduation I said I wanted to be “a ballerina and a truck driver”, and I’ve more or less lived up to that one. I think the anesthesiologist thing might come true as well, not literally since I didn't go to med school, but as an artist, I've found that my explorations tend to be rooted in how to engage productively with the inevitable suffering in life. Now that I’m 34, I know much more about pain than I did when I was 6. Some pain is meant to be “taken away” because it’s counterproductive to healing, and some pain is meant to be relaxed into and completely felt so you can transform it as it transforms you. My mentor Gabrielle Roth devoted her life to the marriage of art and healing, and I’m still discovering little pockets of wisdom she planted in me as I go on living my own life after her death. Next month I’ll be teaching dance and photography classes to young girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking in Sacramento. Instead of administering anesthetics as I thought I’d wanted to do when I was a kid, I’ll be holding space to play creatively for the sake of nurturing the imagination, which is a form of medicine in my opinion. But that's not the question you’re asking...

What is your greatest strength?
Fear might slow me down and trip me up, but it’ll never stop me. 
[Fear] will never stop me!

What have you done that you’re most proud to have achieved?
I'm proud of everything and everyone I have ever let go of. 

Describe the greatest adventure of your life.
His name is Neil. He’s opening doors inside my heart that I never knew existed, and it's the most wondrous, exciting, and (sometimes) terrifying adventure I’ve been on so far. 

What terrifies you the most?
The knowledge that one day I’ll lose my parents. This is profoundly terrifying to me. They are my rocks. I’m still their little baby girl, and I find deep security in that

What did your life teach you yesterday?
Sometimes you gotta take a nap, and sometimes you gotta forgo your desperately needed nap when your friend calls you up with free court side tickets to the Nets game at Barclays.

What have you done today to make someone’s life better?
I went to therapy (I’m someone too). 

Describe the next five years of your life, and your plans, in a single sentence 
I plan to live from my heart, to be courageous in naked vulnerability in the form of pure and honest expression of my truth, and I plan to enjoy the ride. 

When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
When I worked up the courage to admit to my boyfriend that I needed him to pay a little more attention to me from across the country, I was way outside my comfort zone. I was genuinely terrified he’d be disgusted by my neediness, but owning my neediness allowed him to be there for me, so in the end doing the scary thing brought us closer. Also, answering this question with this response is outside of my comfort zone. 

What have you given up on? 
I plan to live from my heart.
I’ve given up on blind overexertion in the name of achievement. This served me well as a young woman getting an education and training to be a dancer, but these days I’m taking a nonviolent approach to life, practicing receptivity, relaxing, allowing. Yes, I’m showing up and doing the work, but it’s more of a conversation now; I’m listening to what's taking shape as much as I’m asserting my own will on it. It leaves things open to mysterious and surprising outcomes. 

My wish for the world is That love will win. That we can all learn to coexist peacefully and compassionately with each other, that we approach each other with curiosity and respect instead of fear, that we emancipate our women and let them stand tall in their natural power to bring humanity back into balance, that we all learn to love each other as brothers and sisters regardless of our physical or ideological differences, that all the children on earth can be carefree and play and laugh and dream, that we learn to take care of our planet and live with reverence for the wisdom of nature and all living beings, that everyone can live a life of safety, free self-expression and unfettered joy. 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

#ChooseBeautiful ...Really?

What's wrong with average?

AVERAGE: constituting the result obtained by adding together several quantities and then dividing this total by the number of quantities.

DOVE created a campaign (WATCH VIDEO HERE) 
where women around the world were asked just that. 

The beauty brand set up two entryways with signs above that read "average" and "beautiful" in different languages in San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London, and San Paolo.

As women approached the buildings, they had choose which door they walked through.

Though this is a clever campaign on the awareness of how we feel about ourselves, do you think that one should feel shamed or BAD for choosing average?

Don't get me wrong, I am a stand for feeling beautiful and understanding self worth.  But when I watched the video a part of me felt pained that the women that choose average were looked at as if they did something "wrong".

Some of the women even said they would change their decision if they had to choose next time.  BUT would they change if the were not caught on camera.
© altanaka –


I am a metaphysical minister and spiritual practitioner.  One of the healing principles that I teach is affirmations and how to use words to heal your life.  It is very true that words can make or break your life and spirit.  

However, it is also true that if you are shamed into making a decision. it has an even more detrimental and negative affect on the mind and spirit.  

What happens if one does not feel good about their decision, in public they will say that they choose differently, but in private they feel even worse.  They begin to muddle over why they don't feel beautiful, why did they other women choose beautiful, etc. This can create a spiral and lead to severe masking of feelings. This is not how affirmations work.

When you affirm, you are in control to make a new choice on your own.  You create the words, descriptions, and meanings for yourself.  This is important because one never knows the kind of association people may have with the word BEAUTIFUL.

Mean Girls
What if in school, the "mean girls" were called beautiful as well.  I can compassionately see how one could feel "better" about being average because it also meant they were kind or loving.  

Again, my intention is to show that words mean different things to different people and to force someone to choose between two words, without proper context and then make them feel less than for their decision is not cool.  

But I get it.  The mind is easily tricked when emotions come into play and unfortunately the emotion of shame and guilt carry more persuasive energetic weight than happiness and desire. 

I say to you, feel beautiful, feel average, feel weird, feel how you want to feel as long as you are aware that it is YOUR choice, and that choice empowers you.  

If choosing beautiful makes you feel like a liar, take a moment to look at why.  First define beautiful for yourself (not what you think society says beautiful is) and then ask yourself why don't you feel like you measure up to your own standard. More importantly, decide, do you even want to? 

Today I challenge you to choose... something.  Choose ONE word that describes a way of being; feeling, that empowers your socks off.  I invite you to create a sign of the word YOU CHOOSE to describe yourself, and place it over your bedroom, bathroom, or front door. Now, you get to walk through the door of your own picking and you get to decide who you are for yourself.

It is ALWAYS your choice!  

Hearts & Sparks

Minista Jazz

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

No Filter, No Fear: Make UP your Mind

"I want to hear, in her own words, how Cleopatra conquered two of the most powerful men of her time." 

Lip gloss always poppin, Taj, the CEO and Creative Designer of Charmed Cosmetics, lets us know what's on her mind...POWER.

This mother of 3 is actively building her own empire one tube at a time. Taj takes pride in formulating and filling each tube during what she calls "the grave yard shift". This is when she put her kids to bed and one by one fills the tubes with not only gloss for lips but positive energy for the spirit.

She knows that it is her positive mental mindset that took her from vision to manifestation as a celebrity make up artist. Now it is her own line of beauty products that she is supercharging.

Determined to be in the league of the wealthiest business women alive, Taj is no holds barred when it comes to success. No yellow brick road paves her path, so Taj learns the tricks of the trade by putting foot to pavement, nose to books, and ears to those that know what the heck they are talking about.  

Without filter or fear, Taj readily mingles with the best to achieve success.  "Risking big, rewards huge," she would say as she careful decides on her 'party gear'.  Taj goes to events where her potential clients frequent and turns on the CHARM.

Taj has jumped hurdles and bulldozed walls for success.  And it is all worth it.  Her cosmetics are available in boutiques in Brooklyn. But this is only the beginning. Never satisfied and always looking to be, do, and have better, Taj dreams of being featured on the counter tops of department stores nationwide.

Even though dreams of vacation, luxury, and grandeur dance on the mind of this Queen of Beauty, she knows that it is through commitment, dedication, focus, and drive, that she will achieve her desires. 

From living in a shelter to being featured on shelves, from her heart to yours... Taj.

Editor of Vibe Magazine Datwon Thomas

When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
Ive always been fascinated with people that work behind the scenes. I’d spot a writer, producer or director and people around me would be like, why you acting nervous and I’ll reply” Do you know who that is?!” Recently, I went to a networking event and the creator of King magazine & Editor in Chief of XXL was in there. It took the life of me to approach him but I did it, like my life depended on it!

Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?
“Good Counsel Maternal Homes” was the last shelter I lived in. I regularly speak at their “Ball for Life”, donors ball. From behind the podium, I see the impact on the faces of people I've never met when they hear my story. They know they are doing a good work by helping to keep homes open for mothers.

Somaya Boss Reece & Charmed Cosmetics

What have you done today to make someone’s life better?
Today I inspire, women/mother’s to know it’s okay to be selfish when it comes to chasing your dreams. You have to be or you’ll be singing the “Should've, Could've, Would've” song down the line.

What have you done that you’re most proud to have achieved?
I went from working with Celebs like Kanye West, G-Unit, and the opportunity to work with Celebrity Stylist Jason Rembert & Laquan Smith all in one year to being homeless the next year. The only thing I had that kept me going was creating my products, so to look back and see progression. I’m still going is my achievement.

Describe the greatest adventure of your life.
My greatest adventure hasn’t happened yet but I imagine it. Freedom to travel to different countries connecting with people of different cultures and watching my bank account grow as my family have access to anything they desire.

How do you celebrate the things you do have in your life?

I celebrate by appreciating everything & everyone I connect with and by living in the moment.

Beginning Thursday April 9, 2015. Charmed Cosmetics will be available in "Jean Pierre's" 1486 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn! 

Lig gloss
Charmed lip products are individually handcraft with natural based essential oils that help to moisturize your lips, with a highly pigmented, glassy fashionable color, and matte finish.

For tips on success read:

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Straight Up Now Tell Me: Ginger Coyle

"Do-do-you love me?" Ginger sings a cover of Paula Abdul's classic hit, "Straight Up Now Tell Me" and magically the words transform from a catchy pop song to a deeply meaningful lesson on honesty.

Like a virgin, my ears heard the tune brand new. It was as if my most divine self was asking me to take a more introspective look at my own relationships.  And for the first time listening to Ginger's voice singing this song, I had a revelation about my new found resolve to say "Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye".  

Ginger has this magical affect with her voice.  And with song titles such as 'Hindsight', 'Silver Lining', and 'The Big Picture',  this modern day tattooed oracle, has taken what it means to deliver a message through music to an entirely new [and sparktacular] level.  

Standing as a beautiful songstress, Ginger effortlessly creates a space in which the curiosity of the mind joyfully dances.  Her spirit unfolds through song and no matter what she sings, even if it is the ABC song, it is lead with grace, love, peace, and awareness.   

A music industry favorite since the age of 14, Ginger has received numerous accolades for her talents but it was not until recently that she began making the music that rocks her own intention.  "Conscious lyrics brimming with radio-friendly hooks and universal themes", Ginger has taken the music that she loves and alchemized it into a vehicle for world wide consciousness.

Ginger Coyle, is such an inspiring mother and lover as she still finds the time to not only sing, write, and record but also run her own music label, booking agency, and publishing company.  

Sparkstar Ginger Coyle shares STRAIGHT UP, from her heart to yours:

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in less than 140 characters.

These are the messages that I would give:
We are all one.  
We all deserve love and we all deserve peace. 
Before trying to love others, don't forget to love yourself. 
Before trying to attain world peace, find your own inner peace. 

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing?
Ultimately the dream is to live mindfully in my Earthship and also create the first ever Earthship Recording Studio / Artist Retreat where a recording artist and their team can rent out the studio / living space to get off grid, and tap into their creativity while making a record completely powered by the sun. This WILL happen one day, I promise you!

What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago? What will you be able to do at this time next year?
Today I can meditate! This is something I've wanted to do for so long and now finally with the help of a spiritual community, I am able to. Because of this I've become a watcher of my own mind… my own thoughts… and  the "noise"  that filled my days for so long is no longer there. I can now choose my thoughts as they come and decide what I want to keep and what I let go of.  I've never really experienced such inner peace and I am now able to find the positive in any situation from practicing meditation.

If you had to teach someone one thing, what would you teach? 
If I could teach someone one thing it would probably be  radical forgiveness. Sounds a little crazy but when we forgive it sets us FREE. (I'm talking mind, body and soul!)  I find that it is a key element to my own personal happiness.  I like to forgive people and myself of circumstances as they happen in real time so that I don't clutter my mind with holding on to human imperfections and circumstances that are out of my control. There is an awesome book that I'm reading by Colin Tipping called "Radical Forgiveness" he's got many books available and even a website with tons of information on the subject. 

Sparkstars, Ginger Coyle is the mega mastermind behind The S.H.I.F.T. Showcase. I will be in the building co-hosting the event with her April 2015. 

S.H.I.F.T. SHOWCASE is an all women's event at Underground Arts in Philadelphia. The mission is: "Women shifting consciousness with creativity." 

The main goal of the event is to celebrate females in all mediums of art. S.H.I.F.T. happens every season to raise money and awareness for a nonprofit called GIRLS ROCK PHILLY. 

If you are interested in attending S.H.I.F.T. 

Tickets can be bought through ticketmaster in advance.