Be The Flame

June 25, 2018

Dear Diary,

    There is so much that has happened from the near end of 2017 all the way through to present day, half-year mark of 2018. The beginning of this year appeared to be foreshadowed by darkness. I wasn't so sure of what I knew my world to be any longer. I wasn't so sure of myself. It wasn't until I took a look back on that time, a few days ago, that I realized just how rattled and fickle my inner vibrations were. I praise God that I was able to sum up the resilience (indubitably inherited from my mother) needed to ensure that I protect my mind, my spirit, my destiny, and my 2018. If I know nothing else in this world, I know the of the ART OF PUSH THROUGH (another characteristic inherited from my mother, basically a phrase referencing mastered resilience). I turned my negatives into positive. I kept it moving. I took advantage of my silver lining big time. I found myself feeling like it was me vs. the word and somehow I found so much liberation in the concept. However, I recognize that I come across people who resent that or interpret my "push through" as aggressive, egotistical, and selfish because of my by any means necessary attitude for the Cleo J'Adore: SoFlo's Soul Queen brand. I found myself reacting to those notions by trying to not be so "intimidating", allowing others to have a say on who I was and what they envisioned for me and my brand, and speaking up less. NONE OF IT WORKED FOR ME, in fact, it back fired. I was trying to people please without realizing what I was doing. If you've lived long enough in this world interacting with others daily, at one point or another you have learned nobody really wins when you try to "people-please". My vocal coach has given me so much understanding of myself through the study of the voice. My voice is a pure representation of me. It is powerful, bold, loud, and raw. By caring about what I believe would please others and comparing (I really hate that I do that, but I do) my voice and singing style to other singers, I've changed who I really AM. I try to coerce my voice into being pretty, polished, and sweet. But just as I mentioned about myself earlier, me trying to change my voice? BACKFIRED. I couldn't really grow in the space I had provided for myself and I couldn't grow in the space I had provided for my voice which wasn't much space at all. Let's say I am not palatable for every person or audience I encounter and let's say I don't measure up to the standard I hold in my head for myself (as well as my voice). My vocal coach asked me an important question: "Do you care? Do you really care?" Would I stop singing because some people here and there don't like my voice, my song, or singing style? NO. Should I kill myself because I'm not the woman society thinks I should be? NO. What I do is go straight balls to the wall in the pursuit of just being the ultimate me. I am the light for others going through the same darkness and struggles as me. I must comfortably walk, sit, stand and yes, even sing, in my truth so that I can empower the next person. The trick is to not care, and once again like so many of my previous posts/statements we must address fear, doubt, and being apologetic about whatever makes you uniquely you. In that chain-breaking vocal lesson, my vocal coach told me something I've been holding on to ever since. Be the flame not the moth. In other words, shine bright, be fiery, be bold, be proud, and allow others to be attracted to you. I held on to that message it stuck with me, because it was for me. That message stuck with me, so much so, that I knew I had to make it a staple in my brand. I began thinking of ways to make a moth and a candlelight my logo. Maybe just a flame, perhaps? I could see it on dad hats, hoodies, knapsacks, lighters, etc. Time went on, a week or two I'd say and the flamingo is a prominent icon in Florida i.e. the florida lottery. For some reason, it was catching my everywhere I started to take it as a sign. I started to research the bird, becoming obsessed. The word flamingo is portuguese and spanish for "flame colored". Catching on? This name can be attributed to it's BOLD pinkish/blood-red feathers. The flamingo is obviously a notable, distinct looking bird that can be found as a symbol on anything from lawns to jewelry, to purses, to clothing and footwear. I think it's safe to say that the flamingo carries an allure and attraction that many can't deny. The flamingo holds its head up high as if an imaginary crown has been placed there, its flamboyant feathers are unapologetic, the flamingo takes flight freely, speaks up day or night no matter what the time, and has been closely associated with florida for years. Very fitting for South Florida's Soul Queen, don't you think? Wait. Scratch that because I don't care what you think. I proudly present my logo:

Illustration by: @catalystvibes  May my brand forever be synonymous with being  bold, fiery, flamboyant, regal,  speaking up at all times, and of course, being unapologetically you.

Illustration by: @catalystvibes

May my brand forever be synonymous with being  bold, fiery, flamboyant, regal,  speaking up at all times, and of course, being unapologetically you.

The What-Ifs

May 10, 2018

Dear Diary,

With each passing day I feel as if I could do a little more and that's exactly what I intend to do. I may falter,  I may stumble but I will NEVER give up. I always see the woman I am becoming in my head and it makes me question and challenge my current state of being with "what ifs". "What if I made NO EXCUSES?" "What if I made it a standard to NEVER COMPLAIN?" "What if I blamed no one for my lack of progress or results and held only myself accountable?" "What if I remained steadfast in my pursuit of self-mastery?" "What if I really did begin to starve out distractions?" "What if I remained in competition with me and me ONLY?" "What if worked on my brand daily?" "What if I allowed the energy and essence that shines so brightly within me to affect the others in my life by continuously striving to be the best me I can be EACH. AND. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?" "What if I didn't think so much and just created?" "What if I didn't pay attention to social media...how would that play apart on my mind?" "What if I did the music for real with no apologies like a true BOSS GIRL?" "What if I decided to have a shit ton of fun doing it ALL?" "What if I decided to stop pondering the what ifs and started to LIVE?" A lot of questions to answer, yes? I guess we'll just have to see how each "what if" goes.

Love,

Cleo J'Adore

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Did I Quit or Did I quit?

That's it! I'm done! I'm quitting my job!....

Um...why did  I just feel the biggest eye roll coming from the people who know me best? Lol. What? Don't judge me...hmph. I have had so many jobs. Quit some here, fired by a couple there...eh what are you gonna do right? I mean honestly, when it boils down to it, each experience that I've had of quitting/getting fired from a job was a form of (what a dear friend referred to as) LIBERATION. My spirit knows it's purpose, therefore I have never and will never be comfortable in any career unless it's got to do with me rocking crowds with clever lyrics and a powerful voice. Liberation of the mind, however, is a whole other ball game in comparison to liberation of the physical sense. It was around 4:30 am last night, (the end of my graveyard shift as a nurse at a rehab facility) that I reached my mental liberation-driven decision to QUIT. When you have dreams that are bigger than the CEO's business plan of the company you work for well then, honey,...why waste your time??? And no...I didn't make an obnoxious phone call to my supervisor telling her I quit or make a scene on my way out (hmmm...although maybe I should have in true Cleo J'adore-esque fashion )or anything of that sort. In fact, I will be there for my next shift ready to rack some paper because there has been a switch in my PERSPECTIVE. I am no longer invested as an employee slaving away at her job to make ends meet. I am a businesswoman putting on her worker bee hat and gaining much needed experience for the journey to her destiny. I spiritually clocked out last night and I am not ever clocking in again. The job is a stepping stone, a tool meant to be utilized for my own benefit. There seems to be some delusional misconception of the dynamic between boss and employee. Society will have a person believing that they are forever indebted to any company that hires them. Yeaaaaah, I think not. My supervisors aren't doing me a favor by employing me. There's a balance really, an exchange, if you will. I am doing them a favor by enduring and their doing me a favor by paying me for my time, skills, and knowledge.. As soon as one of us doesn't get what we want, it's SAYONARA! #MutualDisposability

The point of this blog post is to highlight perspective along with definite decision (shout out to Napoleon Hill). Which one has more of an impact towards me making my dreams  a reality? Quitting physically only to find myself still a slave mentally to the dynamic corporate america has conditioned us to accept  and believe that a job is a necessity? "Oh whoa is me how will I ever go on?" FOH! Or deliberately switching and maintaining perspective that I am indeed my own boss,  I do have my own business, and I am worth way more than those scraps, they call a bi-weekly check, that trickle down from the table bestowed with a feast from my HARD labor.  Don't get me wrong, may God bless all the truly good hearted and strong-willed nurses. I am just not one of those nurses, it has never truly been for me. I can recall my instructor in nursing school going around the classroom asking each student why do you want to be a nurse. When his eyes landed on me with an inquisitive expression on his face prompting for a response. I replied "Money. I need money to help my family and money to fund my music career." He said "You won't last a year" I didn't argue because that was what I was hoping...one year to stack my paper. Get in, get out. It's been 3 years. It's time to get the fuck out...starting with my mind. Time to put more effort into my business, into my branding, the only boss I don't want to let down and will forever feel indebted to is ME. Diva out.

A List of Everything I Need...:

Me. I am everything I need. That's it! The highs and lows of pursuing your dreams can be quite the doozy. It's too often that I forget what I'm in it for, comparing my journey to others, and just overthinking it all! Us dreamers tend to, well you know, DREAM! We dream so much that our imagination takes off on us and next thing you know, what reality is and what our imagination has created our vision to be is quite the feat to take on. Is it impossible? NO. Is it hard to accomplish? Yes! There is so much to give and being ready to give takes a toll mentally and physically speaking. The battle of balancing life and and my career when it's just little ol' me is a battle I'm still partaking in but I must say I'm starting to change my perspective. It's not a "battle" so much as it is "battle training". I have been "training" for what life has in store for me. I would tell myself I need to acquire or do this and that in order to make it to the next level but all I ever needed was me. I need to show up for myself. It's something that I always knew but in a weird way I also didn't know or have full comprehension of the fact. Having faith in oneself can be a bit tricky but in the expectation of being successful in ANYTHING one must show up for him/herself. The universe will fall into place accordingly. Being swept up in the rapture of dream chasing and "keeping up" has gotten in the way of the actual dream and this diva? can't have that. NOPE! Pursuing your dreams with the mind of dreamer isn't wise! Dream when it's time to dream then transmute those dreams into goals and attack those goals with the mind of a vicious business BEAST. I have no need to look left, right, up or down because I have me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go record my music. Love y'all. Cleo J'adore OUT!

 

P.S. Have Fun while being a beast lol I wasn't doing that...I hope you are or you start to after reading this 😘

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Palm Tree 2 Palm Tree: Thee Artistication

It was around this time last week that I was settling in from the beautiful whirlwind of events that was "Palm Tree 2 Palm Tree: The Artistication". What's an artistication, you may ask? A 4 day get-a-way for local artists/creatives from Palm Beach County to network, perform, and experience a different culture in Los Angeles, California. Before I elaborate on my trip any further, I must wholeheartedly give a big shout out to Billy Chung & Empress Prestige for not only coming up with such a brilliant idea but for also putting it together and MAKING. IT. HAPPEN. I'm sure there were some hiccups and obstacles but you ladies didn't let it show and it came together magnificently.

So let's start with the house, shall we? Breath. Taking. As I entered the house with the creatives whom were to be my roommates for the duration of my stay in Bel-Air, the moment seemed comparable to the scenes I've watched a dozen times on MTV's "The Real World" or Oxygen's "Bad Girls Club". We walked in and could not believe our eyes. Like....HUN-EEEEEEY where do I start??? First off, ceiling to floor glass windows that provided us with a majestic view of L.A. And yes, I do dare to be extra in the use of the adjective "majestic" because if it wasn't confirmed that we were all kings and queens to begin with?! BABY it was confirmed with that view. Moving on. How about the gorgeous modern-style kitchen that Victoria, Deidra, Robin, Billy Chung and a few others threw down in? Marble countertops accompanied with stainless steel everything! Each bedroom had it's own charm, style, and unique quality. I loved it! I can't even begin to forget the grand piano in the living room (as artists we all played a  song or two at least once...just couldn't help it) or the tennis court adjacent to the sparkling pool that just so happened to be placed perfectly enough to give us ANOTHER grand view of L.A.! I was feeling so blessed, to say the least and was definitely on cloud 9  as Frank Ocean's "Sweet Life" just started to play in my head repeatedly. It was all so surreal.

Our hosts provided us with food and kept the good times rolling because it didn't take but a couple of hours from settling in for the "gardener" to come knocking on our door with more than enough edibles & pre-rolled joints to last us longer than a week in Cali. Unfortunately we were only there for four days but trust me I made good use of the time as the true stoner I am. Many blessings and thanks to our sponsor @thesalamanderxpog that his Instagram handle. Do yourself a favor. Follow him. He hooked us up like no other. 

While my stay in Cali was amazing, looking back, I feel as though I could have done much more to take advantage of my surroundings and provide content. I was getting down on myself a bit but I turned that feeling into a positive which is good news for me and for you. I will be blogging much more often now and grabbing the camera to vlog as well. Visit this site frequently to stay updated on everything Cleo J'adore! Even though I was disappointed that I didn't take more pictures or document more of my stay in California, I'm still thankful for the experience and thankful that I gave my best for my performance. My voice wasn't up to par as I would have liked but Godmother Cleo still killed it =) I sang "Tina Turner", "When I'm Around" (if you haven't heard these songs yet please scroll down the home page of this site and you can listen from soundcloud) and a new song I haven't released yet titled " Long Live The Queen". The aforementioned song is a part of and also the title of a music project I have in the works. I've been working to get this project out as soon as possible & there is no specific set date but no worries, it's coming.

Kudos to all the creatives who participated in this trip you were all  so special and I was honored to share a space with you!!! 

Photo Credits: T-20 Vision Photography & Empress Prestige

Graveyard Shift

On this night shift thinking about how I can't let my momma down. Thinking about how I can't lose sleep working to build someone else's empire much longer. Thinking about Joe. Thinking about family. Thinking about friends. The good ones and the bad ones. Thinking about what I truly want from this music business. Thinking about growth & elevation. Thinking about singing. Singing. Thinking about God.