Are you Chasing or Pursuing? A play on Words

Are you Chasing or Pursuing? A play on Words

Are you chasing or Pursuing?

A play on words

By Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen

This article is being brought to you by cityCURRENT, Get Involved & Power the GOOD!

Wait a minute chasing and pursuing have the same meaning, of course they do according to traditional definition , (Merman-Webster).
Many people today choose to say that they are chasing their dream, do you realize what chasing means? You are always behind something, is that really where we need to be, is that really where we want to be? If you change the words you change the meaning. I guess you can always say it’s a oxymoron if we look at it in a literal sense. Let’s explore from Butterflyy’s viewpoint.

Defining words that maybe similar has often times leaned towards personal interpretation. Individual lifestyle’s, personalities and opinions afford us the opportunity to esteem those words differently. We all have grind but how we hustle it makes it different, right,the word play could go on forever.

When I think of the “Chase” it puts me in a mind of a never ending journey. You are always on the go, never having time to really outline and critique your moves, at least not from a vantage point. I know, I know some of the most successful people have said they chased their dreams until it became reality. I however think the words we choose to define our journey can add or subtract from the likelihood of me attaining my measure, so I prefer the word “Pursue”.


Now that’s a word I embrace, Pursue, it is the reason I wake up each day with a list of fresh thoughts. Planning a realistic outline for the things I would like to achieve seems easier for me. I am a natural when it comes to encouraging others to pursue their dreams also. Exhaustion is not my friend or anyone’s friend for that matter an although I may seem opinionated I find it’s refreshing to plan your work and work your plan if you are looking for the best outcome.

Some say it’s generational the use of the word chase, I can agree with that also. There are many words that have surfaced in this modern age of tech savvy millennials and fast paced social media outlets where many use words interchangeably, it’s okay.

It’s not up for debate, I find it interesting however that many judge others by their use of words. Just the others day I was in chase of my grandsons as they ran over-winded in the park while I lacked sufficient wind to catch up to them. So maybe it is age an since I am getting older I guess I’ll stick to the word I am most familiar with, and that happens to be Pursue, not Chase.

If you have a voice and the matter contact me an I’ll be more than excited to here your take on running vs walking. Chasing or pursuing

cityCURRENT is a privately-funded catalyst for the Mid-South and Middle Tennessee. A team of more than 100 partner companies have come together to host FREE events, along with an array of positive-oriented media and philanthropic initiatives to enrich, engage and impact the community. Our mission is to #PowertheGOOD and we invite you to join with us.

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Season of Giving 2018

Season of Giving 2018

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Season of Giving 2018

By Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen 

The season of giving I’ve thought about this topic for roughly 3 to 4 weeks. When I gave myself over to understanding, I begin to appreciate all seasons all giving or receiving all acceptance of who I am where I began where I am and I had to start with the beginning.

Born February 24, 1972 into a two parent household. Will leave that right there in 1975 at the age of three I went into coma diagnosed with spinal meningitis my mother sit with me tirelessly day in and day out until until I decided it was time to wake up and from that point on add have to say my life has been beautiful.

I grew up in the lower ninth Ward of New Orleans in a single parent house so by the time I was eight my father such a beautiful man beautiful in appearance beautiful in spirit. Plaques with a few demons of his own, my mother chose to raise me alone. Fortunate for me I grew up knowing my father loved me because the wonderful nurturing of my mother never spoke an unkind word of my father. I knew that my mother loved me. She often said because I was sick as a baby that I would be the only one, another sick baby would probably take her out of this world, so here I am growing up an only child in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of more than just Jazz.

I was educated in the Orleans Parish school system. Prior to Hurricane Katrina My alma mottos were still in tack. Thomas Alva Edison elementary school , Francis W. Gregory middle school and Alfred Lawless senior high school. In middle school I introduced to drama and theatre, which I loved, there is where I began a love of journaling. In high school is where my athletic side came into play, with track and field along with 3 years of choir.

I was quiet and reserved throughout my education. Though I must say everything was turned into a story because things seem better when they’re in stories. I was different than most high school girls, off to a certain degree. I always floated my own boat. Fads, cliques, and popularity was never my thing, I desired to stand out — but alone.

A transition into college attending southern university at New Orleans pursuing a career in broadcast journalism after the birth of my son however I transitioned again to the feel of much room assignments after I had my daughter I accetped a position with the New Orleans Health department once that employment ended, I realized that my calling and purpose was to help and assist others. I started my very first business called Memorable Occasion an event planning business and catering business always an entrepreneurs spirit. Because I wanted to be the stay at home mom with access to my children and their education I embraced being my own boss, the repetitiveness of a nine to five job was not for me. My children came first. Their father made it possible for me to be the best mother I could be kudos to him.

Fast forwarding to 2015 and my 34+ years of being a New Orleans, if the brick size tears could tell the story. I guess I’ll begin at the evacuation. It still brings tears to my eyes and the memories of raising my children in the lower ninth ward in the home that I owned since I was 19 years old, where the walls were marked with the measurements, a reminder of how much my children grew, where murals mastered from the hands of my son, painted the nursery for our newest addition she was 18 months old when we had to leave a beloved home my son was 13 it my daughter was 12. When the call to evacuation came there was never a question of if I was going to leave but when I was going to leave and how fast it was going to take me to get out of that place where I only have two arms and three babies. Their safety, what I remember most about that Saturday was how calm it seemed, I never thought that I would not be able to come back to my life. The hardest part for me was losing my physical memories, pictures of my babies from years of family vacations, videotapes of all their school performances, the band, the graduations, the award ceremonies, all washed away. Looking back I recall the horrific stories of those who stood behind , I had a neighbor he tells a beautiful story a story of survival renewal and faith so if I have anything to tell that is where I’ll begin.

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina I had this saying, “I may be homeless but I’m not hopeless” because everything that mattered to me was with me when I landed in Memphis Tennessee. I only packed clothes for my babies, I literally left with the clothes on my back, I thought we were coming back. It was not until I found myself in the bathroom washing out my undergarments that the tears begin to roll down my face, I had brought enough change of clothes for three days we’d always gone back home after the storm, we always went back home after the storm . Here was a woman who’s confidence, sense of family, sense of urgency and the need to survive was wondering what next? What about my babies, where would they go to school what roof will be over their head‘s tonight? It was definitely the most unsettling feeling I had felt since the death of my father back in 1993. August 29 of 2015 was the second time in my life that I have to put my big girl panties on and do what I knew how to do and that was survive make a way out of no way or as we say from backa’ town, historic lower ninth ward New Orleans, famed “Cross the Canal” I made a dollar out of fifteen cents. 


I found myself in Texas where I bought a home on a loan 3 Cousin Ln. and I thought that is where I would be sitting across from a beautiful lake just enjoying the peaceful tranquility of country life but as life would have it hurricane Katrina did one of two things to relationships it either brought them together or it tore them apart unfortunately my 15 year marriage came apart.
Ha, I remarried and this marriage should have lasted forever. Sometimes we see ourselves as the healer to life‘s tragedy in my case I married:
1. Potential
2. Fairytale
3. Hope and dreams
that were not mine. So In 2011 I became a published author not by will but by force. The man I’d marry , the one who chose me, abandoned me to the tragedy of addiction. All the while introducing me to my personal addiction of Co-dependency.
Now how is that for a season? This strong bold beautiful intelligent woman became an addict and in my addiction to fixing what I did not break came my first book, If you change the words, You change the meaning an addicted struggle to let go. Writing is therapy some people say it’s self help other people they call it a memoir I call it life. I begin to live when I begin to speak in that moment I tapped into that seventh grade girl who had a love and passion for journaling, drama and theatre and began to fight for me again.
In my season of giving, I gave myself permission to open my mouth an ask for what I needed. I was trying to navigate going somewhere, trying to get somewhere. Once I embraced me outside of others opinion and their ability to judge me I found comfort and determination to keep pushing. My pen became poetry, my poetry became visible, I was a creative without a name. I was given the task to go within the confines of my journey an I chose color. Hence Butterflyy with two yy’s was born I had morphed from a caterpillar living inside of addiction running hiding hoping that things would get better to making my way and I haven’t stopped yet.
To make along story short this year 2018 has opened up my season of giving, not only to myself but others who’ve been alone, knocked down an afraid to get up. I see beauty in the paths, both the straight and the crooked. I live outside the box of traditional expectations in order to receive my victories, how is that for a girl who became and woman who morphed into a Butterflyy spending her wings, sharing her beauty through colors and I can honestly say that the spirit has been better to me than I to myself.
I am Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen Mother, Author, Poet, Writer, Blogger adorning and wearing my newest hat as Playwright, Memphis I’ve waited for you

.

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Meat Me in Memphis – Monogram Foods

Meat Me in Memphis – Monogram Foods

Meat me in memphis
Monogram foods fundraiser
By Ellen Butterflyy Allen – Guest Blogger

This Article is brought to you by Absolute Moving Services. Click to request a quote!

On Thursday, October 25, I was invited to a fundraiser for Monogram Foods at the Columns. Let me say first, I appreciate JustMyMemphis. They are the premier marketing base for those looking to grow their business, start their business, and expose their business to profitability. Back to the fundraiser, I stepped into a space that was full of vitality, unity, and purpose. The evening began with a gentleman holding my hand to escort me down the steps, opening the door for me, and following up with a compliment. Guests were greeted by some of the best people assisting with registration. Sometimes we attend functions and people are not excited about their position, but these ladies and gentlemen were proficient, enthusiastic, and helpful. Kudos to the registration process.
Before that night, I had never heard of Monogram Foods, so of course I had to do some research. I found out that Monogram is about family, community, and of course, children. Often times, corporations service children, but in this instance Monogram Foods takes pride in providing good wholesome meats. We all need the protein.

The night progressed very well. Guest donors, supporters, and sponsors were entertained by the vibrant sounds of a live band. The mini restaurant tours were all welcoming, no shortages, and the samples were very good. We don’t even have to talk about the open bar.

Event Recap

Often times fundraising can be boring, but with this new era of millennials the event was extremely entertaining. Outside of the food and the bar, there was a lot of mixing and mingling people from every walk of life. It’s nice to walk into an event and see people interacting. Unity for the purpose of serving the majority.

The silent auction had an array of wines, cigars, and many different items that were up for grabs. The bidding process was easy, once you registered you were able to bid from your phone. Monogram took the haggle out of getting lost in the bidding war. They also ensured the settlement of checks and balances at the night’s end, a job well done.

The live auction was also nice, as there were plenty of items being auctioned off. Who doesn’t enjoy the enthusiasm of an auctioneer? To see the auction floor become center stage for people eager and excited for their number to be chosen is exhilarating. I’m pretty sure at the fundraiser’s end, Monogram was able to reach their goal.

Hopefully the kindness of the attendees pulled in enough donations. Monogram now has the proceeds from their biggest annual fundraiser to designate to the continuum of providing quality meats, services, and products. Nationally, their platform can grow and of course locally, here in Memphis, we’d like to see and hear of more community expansion.

A shoutout to the many restaurants that dedicated their time and energies. Event planning requires contribution of many. To everyone who made this night special, not only for people like me who were invited guests, but for those who continue to support the needs of others day in and day out.

Congrats to Monogram for giving back while receiving. I had the time of my life Oct 25, 2018, and I look forward to Monogram’s future growth and expansion.

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butteryflyy allen
Guest Blogger
Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

See All Articles by Butterflyy

 

 

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Putting In The Work

Putting In The Work

Putting In the work

Relationship Panel Discussion

By Ellen Butterflyy

Divas~Dudes~Denim

This year on Sunday, November 4 2018, I have the privilege of hosting my second annual relationship panel. The theme this year is: Diva’s Dudes and Denim.

The Purpose: Growth and involvement of both men and women and the participation of healthy relationships. This years topic happens to be: Participating in Protecting your Relationships. We will be discussing all aspects of a relationship, emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual. This concerns people who have chosen to co-mingle and co-pilot their journey together as well as singles who want to gather information to grow their personal and future relationships.

The Plan: In planning this event, we have chosen 6 panelist to share their insight on what contributions are needed to be a healthy protector of relationships. Each panelist is unique; they are asked to participate because of their differences. They will be asked a question and given time to respond and interact with the audience towards the end. Did I mention this is a luncheon? Last year we had a buffet of goodness, this year will be amazing also!

Sometimes we tend to shy away from panel discussions, thinking we got things covered, but be mindful that we can and do learn new things all the time. The diverse personality, age difference, education connects use together more than we know.

Are you interested in the human condition of your relationships? If so, please consider the checks and balance of putting in the work. No, every question and answer will not belong to you, but perhaps a friend can benefit; you remember the principle of paying it forward? In today’s climate of self-neglect there is a growing need for self~care.

How can you participate in protecting your relationship?
Have we stopped Participating in Protecting our Relationships?
Where is your desire to keep your relationships healthy?
What Role does consistency play in your relationship?

This panel discussion is about taking care of yourself and your mate in relationships with emphasis on pride and love. We have six dynamic panelist from within our community, they will respond to the 5 W’s candidly:

1. Who
2. What
3. When
4. Where
5. Why

By joining this informative discussion you will have the opportunity to interact with others who want to know, get involved, and grow in knowledge. Knowledge is said to be the key to understanding. Not to mention the colorful spirit of your host Butterflyy.

We encourage everyone to wear Denim. All tickets are advance purchase with limited seating. Save the Date
November 4, 2018 2-5
$25 per individual Lunch with Libations included.
JustMyMemphis’ own JEROME ROBINSON has graciously joined as one of our dynamic panelists, see you there!
Contact: Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen – 901 425-8532

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Turning Bumps Into Books

Turning Bumps Into Books

Turning Bumps into books

By Butterflyy – Guest Blogger

This article is being brought to you by cityCURRENT, Get Involved & Power the GOOD!

Turning bumps into books; I think everyone has a creative side.

I choose to turn my light bulbs experiences, my failure, my success, and my fears into books. You may choose gardening, another person may choose music, another person may choose pottery. Some people choose to just sit on their experiences, well not I says the butterfly.

I chose to write. Writing for me is therapeutic, so whenever I am going through something I write. When I’m happy I write, when I am sad I write, when I’m overjoyed I write, when I’m confused I write, when I’m in love I write, when I fall out of love I write. As you can see, I write about everything.

According to my grandfather, my creative juices span as far back as three years old. He always said I would do great things because of the stories I would tell. One day he and I were talking and he said he enjoyed listening to me concoct stories; the more I told the story the bigger my eyes got, adding tall tales that any stranger would believe. He was the greatest for believing in me before I knew what belief in myself was.

My grandmother would say “Ms Hollywood you are special” from time to time, giving me ideas about story topics.

“Ms Hollywood, you are special”

Well let’s move forward to 2009 when I penned my 1st book. It was during a rocky marriage riddle with dual addictions that turned into emotional loses, physical ailments and eventually internal reconciliation. Unfortunately it wasn’t published until June 27, 2011, my literary birth. I grew from writer to published author

Book 1:

If you Change the Words you Change the Meaning – an addicts struggle to let go

“Pen to paper has healed my spirit”

Writing my story was me reclaiming my voice and I have not stopped writing since. Pen to paper has healed my spirit, comforting me in ways that no one would understand except another writer.
Another “bump into book” was on August 29, 2015. I could have relived the worst part of my beloved city, but why when I am grateful for having survived. Homeless not hopeless: it was because I decided to write. This time in the form of comfort, memories, and for the good times. What came out of my pen was a 10th anniversary cookbook:

Book 2:

Still Cooking Across the Canal – 50 recipes with a colorful lagniappe section.
Do you have a “bump into book” story? have you ever wanted to write but didn’t know where to start? Writing is the easy part for me, I actually found “the bump” in publishing the books. You know, the editing, formatting, and cover design. Fortunately for me I’ve learned a lot over the past 7 years and even though it’s not as hard as I thought, I still leave the technical stuff to the experts, which leaves room for my thoughts to run fluidly.
If I can answer your questions I will, if you need a writing coach I am available for hire, or if you need encouragement contact me. That’s free! To order a signed copy of my books, connect with me!
Turning bumps into books is fueled by a desire and passion that is uniquely yours, my desire and passion to live and love my own story first, per a good friend of mine,
is a blessing that has reaped the rich reward of meeting new people, traveling to new places, and building new dreams.

butteryflyy allen

Guest Blogger

Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

See All Articles by Butterflyy

 

 

Interested In Joining Our Guest Blogger Program?

cityCURRENT is a privately-funded catalyst for the Mid-South and Middle Tennessee. A team of more than 100 partner companies have come together to host FREE events, along with an array of positive-oriented media and philanthropic initiatives to enrich, engage and impact the community. Our mission is to #PowertheGOOD and we invite you to join with us.

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Share Your Story Today!

We believe there is an amazing story just waiting to be told inside everyone.  Stories that inspire change, ideas, and action.  Some stories are painful, some are fun, and others are life changing.  BeAmazing and share your story today on JustMy!

Like and Share justmymemphis on Facebook Click Now!

Memphis = Open Mic Nights

Memphis = Open Mic Nights

Memphis = open mic Nights

explore local talent

By Butterflyy Allen – Guest Blogger

MSM Mission Works brings life insurance to multi-cultural middle-class America. Click to learn more!

It is said that there is nothing to do in Memphis. However, locals have plenty of activities available. Every night of the week  Memphians can gather at open mic nights to hear sultry sounds, poetic verses, liberal thoughts, or even comedy, music, and dance. We have a wide variety of talented souls in the fair city of Memphis. The rich history and culture that is here is not just music and Beale Street. It’s also in the mayhem of poetry. One of my greatest loves and passion is the art of words. On any given night here in the city you can indulge in Neo-Soul, spoken word, or fantasy, that comes to life in the dimly lit, intimate setting of local venue.

The Word

Monday nights are always awesome at The Word. The Word is an open mic spearheaded by one of Memphis’ own internationally recognized poets, Darius “PhatMak” Clayton. Every Monday at 8pm, you are invited to the warm and artsy setting of Slice of Soul Pizza on Madison Avenue. There is a cover charge of $5.00 with food and drink for purchase.

The walls of this establishment are lined with the local artists’ renditions of self expression. It holds plenty of seating options with a family atmosphere. Some might rumble a bit because their voice cannot always be heard over the laughter or cries of children, but overall it’s a great experience. The pool of poets, comics, singers, and dancers all come together in one united front for the arts.

When I first ventured into the building for open mic, the food was on point. I loved the veggie pizza, which used to be loaded with everything. Now it’s okay at best. On any given Monday night, you can expect your trip to The Word to cost you about $20, with food and drink purchases.

 

Mot & Ed’s Southern Eatery

Tuesday nights, you can catch the bi-monthly open mic at Mot & Ed’s Southern Eatery, home of the double stuffed turkey burger. If you are a Memphian and you have not visited Mot & Ed’s, then you have not seen your city. Starting September, open mic will be held every other Tuesday. Sign-up begins at eight, first come, first serve. Again, poets, singers. dancers, comics, and the like are invited to sign up. The cost is $3 if you are performing, $5 for supporters or spectators. This is a small cozy, intimate venue. The open mic is hosted by different artists throughout the city, so no one person has the spotlight, and of course you can also order food.

Mot & Ed’s is operated by Edna Hawkins, the cook. Table seating is available but limited. The menu has an array of choices, however, if it’s a packed house there will be a lengthy wait, because everything is cooked to order. I keep it simple, as my order usually consists of fried okra. Your Tuesday tab can run you a crisp $20 bill.

 

Clicks hump day comedy show

Wednesday nights does not belong to poetry, but there are many things you can get into on a Wednesday night. 8:30 p.m. at Clicks, it is Hump Day Comedy hosted by Oscar Pruitt. Clicks is a sports bar off of Winchester in Riverdale. You can join the open mic, enjoy food and drinks from the bar, and play a little pool. My handful of visits was to support my comic associates, and it is just not my type of setting. There are drinks and bar food like wings. You can most likely bring a $20 and be comfortable with one drink and one menu item.

brinson’s Open mic

Thursday nights is Brinson’s Chicken and Waffles, they have an open mic that’s little known. The crowd is small but it’s family, and you can grab something to eat and drink. It’s not as intimidating as a room full of strangers, so grab the mic, your talent has a platform.

Brinson’s is welcoming and it has a lot of character, with open floor plan and table seating. They have a pool table, mixed drinks, and a cook that knows how to fry some good Southern fish. I also love their fried okra, when they have it. So on any given Thursday, you can join the open mic crew at Brinson’s. You can look to spend about $25 on drinks and a menu item.

 

 

Art Unplugged

Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, Art Unplugged has featured artists from Memphis and surrounding areas, showcasing their love of words. Blow Hookah Lounge & Cigar Bar in Cordova welcomes all to embrace the mic.
 
I like the welcoming feel, it’s spacious has a pool table to the back which could be a little bit of a distraction during the performance. The bar is wide open, the food is good and the price is moderate. However, the talent is off the chain. You should arrive early for better seating, and line your pockets with about $30-$35 because there is a $10 cover charge. 

Visit one of Memphis’ many open mic nights and enjoy the local talent and good food, or showcase some talent of your own!

butteryflyy allen

Guest Blogger

Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

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