International Day of Women : The blessings that come when you show up! šŸ’™ #strengthsourceproject

Browsing through my Facebook feed I come across a notification that a friend tagged me in someone’s post. As one who is both a businesswoman and artist I know a diverse group of people and am a bit picky about what I’m tagged in with the permanence of social media. Much to my surprise I saw the photo taken of me last year posted on the photographer’s Facebook page and appeared both digitally and I’m print on page 5 of the Philadelphia Inquirer!

The #strengthsourceproject is this beautiful collage of photos and stories capturing the moments that built the character and resilience of women of all colors, ages, shapes and class. It’s a brilliant compilation and I’m honored to be a participant.

If only you knew how sad I felt that day. I had just found out my daughter was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a severe learning disorder that makes it difficult and frustrating for her, an advanced reader to process writing. The same exact day my son’s school counselor called about him exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression (the dance partners of a highly gifted and intuitive brain), avoiding teachers and classes as a result. As their sole caretaker l was overwhelmed with the decisions I had to make on my own knowing I would also not receive the financial support.

I was going to cancel the meeting I set with Carrie for the photo because I just wanted to go somewhere and cry. I wore bright colors on purpose to lift my spirits. She was so warm and compassionate when I met her in Fishtown by Franny Lous Porch and reading the other women’s stories really gave me the strength to deal with it all.

And oh the blessings that have come because I showed up! Aside from this acknowledgement in the paper, since that day my children have benefited from angels in the form of teachers and therapists. My daughter has been tutored by a retired teacher for free and my son’s therapist only charges me a tenth of his normal fee because I was transparent and unafraid to speak my truth and ask for help.

My strength is my truth and I’m grateful that my transparency is able to help other women. The stories on the blog are powerful. I hope you get to read mine too. Please share your favorite in the comments. It’s okay if it’s not mine. I’m every woman šŸ˜Š

Save the Date for the Toni Love CD Release Party! August 22nd!

Toni Love with Robb and Pauline Houston McCall
Toni Love with Robb and Pauline Houston McCall

Three years ago, I finally got the nerve to attend an open mic and step up on the stage to recite a poem I had written just a few days prior. In just a few weeks I will be sending seven mixed and mastered originalĀ poemsĀ that I have recorded with Musician, Producer, Arranger and all around wonderful being, Robb McCall of Ā Charging Bull Massive Productions. Exactly three months from today I will be presenting my first work of art to the public. I am still pinching myself. When I stepped onto that stage a few years ago, I was shaking so badly that I had to hold the microphone with both hands and I could even feel my face trembling! The band played behind me, I held on to the paper in front of me and with the love and support of my family and friends attending, I made it though the poem and received a warm, supportive applause from the audience. Even though I thought the crowd was being more than generous with their applause, a host of a much larger open mic approached me and suggested I come out to his venue.Ā A month later I went to the Harvest/Spoken Soul 215 to sign up on their open mic list andĀ whenever I could, I would attend venues throughout the area to hear poetry and possibly get a chance to recite my own. None of what happened was planned. I just opened myself up to the possibilities of it all, and gave myself permission to explore the unknown. At this point in my life, I have awakened the passionate writer/poet that laid dormant for decades and she does not want to stop. But I am first a Mother and an entrepreneur so I take it a day at a time, I take suggestions from those whom I admire and respect and love, and if the door opens, I walk through it. And here I am, planning my CD Release party. Toni has been recovered and restored and for that reason the title of my CD is “Toni Love: The Restoration”. My celebration will be at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA on Saturday August 22nd at 8:00pm. The entry fee is $12 and includes light fare, live performances by some of the greatest artists in the area,Ā beer and wineĀ and a DJ for your dancing pleasureĀ after the show. CDs and Toni Love T-shirts will be available for purchase. Please “like” my Facebook Page and join the party if you can. I have supplied the link to the Event below. I hope you come, and I hope you will enjoy The Restoration as much as I have. I thank you for the part that you have played in my journey.

Peace and Blessings ~ Toni Love
—> Ā Join the Toni Love CD Release Party

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