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elissa

Muhammad Ali – The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great.

The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great. Muhammad AliMuhammad Ali – The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great.

As a young girl growing up in Newark, New Jersey, I had a loving and caring childhood that came equipped with bumps and bruises which most of us are afforded in life. Those character building lessons that we never get when school is in session. Like any other young adolescent, I wasn’t immune to that which was around me…people who magnified their presence, even the books I read I felt that there was kinship in anybody within that showed grit, integrity and an unabashed way of expressionism. I watched him from afar but close enough to know that this man was special. I remember seeing pictures of Muhammad Ali and my Dad and always thought they could be brothers. They were distant friends who had a wonderful respect for one another.

In my mind he was bigger than life, loud but not too vociferous where he was annoying. He had quite a bit to say and he said it with verve and a spirit unmatched by any man of color during an era where racism defined attitudes that didn’t look like him. What man was allowed to defy authoritative right, stare down the government, and back up claims of being The Greatest? Muhammad Ali was that man…and what a man he was! He influenced me to no end. Empowering, Enlightening, Engaging and Inspirational—all of which were accolades I’ve heard describing myself, but Mr. Ali exemplified all of that and more. If someone asked me what influence he had over me based on society, religion and politics it probably would take a millennium to answer fully…but push come to shove would find me gushing with pride as I would give my opinion as such.

On Religion—Any man having courage to denounce the spiritual mores that raised him for that of something different defines courage. He turned his back on Christianity and embraced the Nation of Islam. How many of us would dare to defy parental and familial order to change his (slave) name to that of a new way of expression? Not only did I admire that, it gave me a practical way of looking at spirituality from a different lens.

On Political Views—Always a critic of American racism, who refused military induction, who wasn’t afraid to align himself with anything that would uphold and uplift his people…well, that made an impression on me in the sense that he had an uncanny ability to take ideas and ideals and mold them, shape them into linguistic fortitude and be prolific in the process.

On Society—in my mind, Ali became a magnetic symbol of dignity and self-determination to several generations of African-Americans, a champion worthy of the title The Mouth that Roared!  Consider this: He introduced Black Power to white America; fueled the 1960s  Anti-War Movement; and gave pop culture an iconic face by being embraced as a rap star—long before the genre became fashionable. Muhammad Ali was rapping and rhyming and it became one of his legacies.

On Athleticism – Agile and full of life and vigor, he taught us that a sharp mind can never be accepting of a dull body. Through his dedication and spirit of a champion, we saw a man reach his physical supremacy. He backed up all of his words with action and never failed or lacked in vitality.

On Fatherhood – We saw a black man, publicly and unapologetically raising his children. Over the course of my lifetime, I have been a witness to the need to have more images of black fatherhood as it is very much alive and well and in existence. We know that all black man are not rapists, convicts, dead beat dads and only known for their sexual prowess – some type of imaginary boogeyman lurking in the shadows to kill, steal and destroy. We know that our black men are kings who are the rocks to many of our families. We also know that by portraying this fact doesn’t fit certain stereotypes and the stories that have been told to us and sold to us. It is a major reason I have published two anthologies in The Soul of a Man series to illustrate the flip side to what we see, hear and are fed in an attempt for us as a society to digest the wrong thing. Muhammad Ali’s fatherhood on display and his care for his children aided in dispelling many of the myths and rumors about black men. His presence and his life were so important for so many reasons. It’s levels to this.

Yes, we lost The Greatest, but his greatest tribute will be that of a man that was influential and was influenced by his own charisma, style and substance. My mantra and desire for all of you men and women is to carve your own niche, be as assertive as you can, but allow your life to define the purpose of your imagery. REAL LIFE, REAL FAITH can be attained if you stay focused on your mission and do so with courage by having the fortitude to forge new roads.

Be Great.

Be Empowered.

Be Inspired.

Be Unlimited.

 

Always and in All Ways,

I remain,

Elissa Gabrielle

ElissaGabrielle

 

Elissa Gabrielle is the USA Today recommended author of Eye of the Beholder and President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC, Imprints: After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing, THE IMPRINT, Jessica A. Robinson Presents

 

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PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, Real Life Real Faith Media

Magazines: Real Life Real Faith, Journey to Wellness, Mommy Matters, Men of Faith, Women Walking by Faith, Wisdom for Everyday Life

Producer: “Real Life Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan”

www.RealLifeRealFaithMedia.com

www.RealLifeRealFaithMagazine.com

www.PeaceintheStormPublishing.com

 

 

 

 

Do You Have a Garden? by Elissa Gabrielle

ElissaGabrielleBlackHeadShotBrickDO YOU HAVE A GARDEN?

The purpose of a garden is to plant, cultivate and nurture whatever it is that you are trying to grow so that in time you will be able to enjoy a harvest.

Put yourself on the list, Beloveds. I want you all to create a garden. And if you have a garden, encourage someone to create their very own. No one has to know about your garden. Your garden will be one or multiple things in your life that you want to fulfill. It can be your Secret Garden. A secret garden where there will be no vultures or snakes or anything that can attack it, because it belongs to you and you will keep quiet about the Harvest you are praying for and working to build. A garden where you plant your ideas, hopes, dreams for your future. Not only will you plant those hopes and dreams, you will tend to those goals daily in your garden.

Whether the goal is to be on a journey to become completely whole by way of spirit, soul and body, or to increase your finances, your education or to pursue one of your life’s purposes, you must do so by stepping outside of your comfort zone and stepping into your very own garden.

Get to planting, Beloveds.

I Love you to Life.

Always and in All Ways,
Elissa Gabrielle

***

Elissa Gabrielle is the USA Today recommended author of Eye of the Beholder and President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC, Imprints: After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing, THE IMPRINT, Jessica A. Robinson Presents

www.PeaceintheStormPublishing.com

***

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, Real Life Real Faith Media

Magazines: Real Life Real Faith, Journey to Wellness, Mommy Matters, Men of Faith, Women Walking by Faith, Wisdom for Everyday Life

Producer: “Real Life Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan”

www.RealLifeRealFaithMedia.com

www.RealLifeRealFaithMagazine.com

The Rebirth of Peace In The Storm Publishing (New Dawn, New Life, New Vision)

ElissaGabrielleBlackHeadShotBrickPeace Loyal Readers:

“I walk by faith and look for things yet to come. My soul and my spirit in you my lord I trust. Held up by the knowledge that you, you are just. I know that you care and will always be there. Dear Spirit, watch over me, Teacher and my comfort be. My spirit, My Lord set free, as I draw close to thee. Be with me in darkest night. Shield me from evil’s might. Remove from my side the thorn. Be my Peace In the Storm.”

Those are the words to “Peace In The Storm” a song my father, Jazz Musician, Joe Thomas, wrote when I was eight years old. I remember him playing the melody on the piano at our home in Newark, New Jersey. I also remember reading the words and it was then that I realized the power of words and I began to write. I’ve been writing ever since.

I had to go to these words and lean on them a couple years ago when my beautiful mother died. She died. The thought of it still makes me numb. The fact that I have to say, “My Mother is dead,” destroys me. She died. My mother is dead. And, when she died, I died. I kept dying. Each day, a part of my soul seemed to die. My spirit suffered a long and painful death because the woman who birthed me, who was my breath taker when I could not breathe on my own was gone. My lifeline disappeared and the journey to her disappearance, that awful cancer, changed me in a way that’s hard to explain. One thing is for sure, I am forever changed.

I died the day my mother did.

I slept for eighteen hours a day sometimes. There were times I didn’t sleep at all. Grief overwhelmed me internally. For the better part of six months I was on auto-pilot.

I didn’t miss a beat with life it seems. I functioned, and only by the grace of God did I function.

Then, one day, I was awakened. Fresh air was blown into my lungs. I became alive again. I looked at my legs and my pretty feet. I stared in the mirror and saw the shape of my eyes. The pout in my lips. The color of my skin. I thought about my generous spirit. My gifting soul. I was reminded of my kind and gentle nature. I, too, was reminded of my feisty mouth. I took my hair out of my signature scarf. I combed and brushed my hair. I washed it. I remembered the way I walk, tall, straight, with confidence.

My spirit was awakened. I was reborn. The rebirth of my soul was happening and I whispered the words, “She lives, because I live.” She lives because I have her feet. She lives because her generous, giving, gifting soul lives in me. She lives because of that feisty mouth she passed down to me.

I live. I can live. Because she lived.

Isn’t it something how God works in our lives? The rebirth of my soul and spirit is in alignment with the Rebirth of Peace In The Storm Publishing.

It’s a NEW DAWN with NEW LIFE here at Peace In The Storm Publishing. New faces, new imprints, new vision. Sharel E. Gordon-Love continues to be our rock and our substance. She pushes us all to new heights, even when we run out of gas. And when she speaks, we all listen. The Holy Spirit is so very present in here that it permeates through us all. Jessica A. Robinson continues to develop new blueprints and road maps to help us reach the Promised Land. Jessica has been a steadfast source of encouragement for me and loves me in ways that most people don’t. Cheryl Lacey Donovan stretches us all beyond our limits and teaches us that we are indeed limitless. And that hurricane, Zach Tate assures me every day of the week that I am worthy. He sees the best in me even when I can’t see it in myself. These are the new publishers that have helped me to expand the brand and they are worthy to be acknowledged for staying by my side when the rest of the world walked out. But out of tragedy was born something glorious – After the Storm Publishing, The Official Imprint, Imani Faith Publishing, Jessica A. Robinson Presents and a new Peace In The Storm Publishing. We now have Elissa Gabrielle Entertainment and Real Life Real Faith Media. No surprise God orchestrated this so many years ago.

With newcomers Cee Cee H. Caldwell-Miller who is such a beautiful breath of fresh air, Toni Carter who writes like a veteran, Linda D. Wattley who is profound in every sense of the word, H.M. Trey, Jacqueline D. Moore, Carla Victoria Wallace and the rest of the new visionaries, I feel in my heart and soul that we are evolving and journeying to new chapters; to new heights and are undergoing our own metamorphosis of being born again.

On behalf of the authors of Peace In The Storm Publishing, I welcome you to the “Rebirth of Peace.” And our new homes of publishing some of the best literary talent the world has to offer. Visit us online and you’ll see a culmination of everything that we put our heart and soul into on a daily basis. You’ll see memories of happy times passed and hopes for our literary future.

We love you and we thank you for the support over the years. The absolute best is yet to come.

Remember, even when you’re gone, your soul can still be reborn.

Always and in All Ways,
I remain,

Elissa Gabrielle

***

Elissa Gabrielle is the USA Today recommended author of Eye of the Beholder and President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC, Imprints: After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing, THE IMPRINT, Jessica A. Robinson Presents

www.PeaceintheStormPublishing.com

***

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, Real Life Real Faith Media

Magazines: Real Life Real Faith, Journey to Wellness, Mommy Matters, Men of Faith, Women Walking by Faith, Wisdom for Everyday Life

Producer: “Real Life Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan”

www.RealLifeRealFaithMedia.com

www.RealLifeRealFaithMagazine.com

PERSISTENCE. PRAYER. POWER will lead you to your PURPOSE.

Purple ReignBeloveds,

I can’t tell you the number of times people laughed at me. I can’t tell you the number of times that I didn’t have support even from my family and those who claim to be family. I can’t tell you the number of times that others belittled my dreams. I can tell you that my dreams had become so big that I had to stop sharing them with small-minded people. And I can tell you this…

PERSISTENCE. PRAYER. POWER will lead you to your PURPOSE.

This goes out to all of the dreamers and the people on the voyage to fulfilling those dreams. Although I am nowhere near where I want to be in my literary career, I am very far from the place I started. I understand how hard it is to pursue you passion and purpose when the world is telling you “No,” in so many ways every chance it gets. Don’t give up.

It is a beautiful thing to HONOR how far you’ve come in the first place which is why I am posting photos of the journey because someone needs to see and understand that impossible circumstances can make possible miracles. Amen?

If you can give thanks for the little things you will always find that you have enough. And, if you’re blessed enough to surpass that, you’ll always be grateful. But you can’t give up.

My Dreamers, don’t give up. Even when you’re tired. Don’t give up. The world is full of abundance. There is a place for you at the table. Never, ever give up.

Love You to Life.
Elissa Gabrielle

***

Elissa Gabrielle is the USA Today recommended author of Eye of the Beholder and President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC, Imprints: After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing, THE IMPRINT, Jessica A. Robinson Presents

www.PeaceintheStormPublishing.com

***

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, Real Life Real Faith Media

Magazines: Real Life Real Faith, Journey to Wellness, Mommy Matters, Men of Faith, Women Walking by Faith, Wisdom for Everyday Life

Producer: “Real Life Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan”

www.RealLifeRealFaithMedia.com

www.RealLifeRealFaithMagazine.com