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DAY 10, 11, 12 & 13

I am thankful for the opportunities that come my way, this year my career is taking off

I am thankful for my gift of speech

I am thankful for my family

I am thankful for my Daddy, he is the best

I am thankful for students who care for me as much as I care for them

I am thankful for those who keep their word

I am thankful for loyalty

I am thankful for kindness

I am thankful for the 2 year old that reminds me how magical and precious this life is

I am thankful for my week of art, social justice and healing coming next week

I am thankful for my school community that bands together to change the world we live in for our students

I am thankful for time, and the healing that is providing me

I am thankful for my friends who have taken care of me and give me the love I need

I am thankful for growth

I am thankful for learning

I am thankful for art

I am thankful for kind strangers

I am thankful for finding family

DAY 6, 7 8 & 9: I am thankful for it all

Goodness,

I am thankful for having such a full life that I forget to blog about it

I am thankful for mediating

I am thankful for clarity

I am thankful for the full moon

I am thankful for open hearts and minds

I am thankful for social media that has delivered such wonderful soul into life that I may not have known otherwise

I am thankful for forgiveness of self and others

I am thankful for non-judgemental love

I am thankful for my sister,  my very best friend

I am thankful for laughs so deep your chest hurts from the vibrations

I am thankful for Lyft & those free rides with great drivers

I am thankful for dancing the night away

I am thankful for reunions

I am thankful for my gift for storytelling

I am thankful for Patch Adams, look him up

I am thankful for the opportunities that find their way to me!

I am thankful for the New Museum!

I am thankful for peaceful Sundays

I am thankful for rest

I am thankful for the blessings that ordained my hands to make some put my foot in it good food

I am thankful for young people

I am thankful for Haiti

I am thankful for my students, my partners in learning

I am thankful that I get to witness young people becoming overly excited about learning about sewing and pattern making

I am thankful for bosses that support students and staff

I am thankful for sunny and warmer days!

I am thankful for the lady that put my eyebrows on FLEEK!

I am thankful for “I miss you calls” from my student and her child

I am thankful for being accepted, valued and understood by my school community

I am thankful for bubble tea

I am thankful for young people who tell me ” You are a good Mom”, wow my child bearing desires full with love

I am thankful for finding my life work in education

I am thankful for the woman I am!

I am thankful storms, the big ones, that when you are though it never feel like they will leave

DAY 4 & 5: THANKS

I am thankful for communication

I am thankful for honesty

I am thankful for good yummy pizza

I am thankful for being a radiant person of color

I am thankful for learning

I am thankful for who I have become

i am thankful clarity

I am thankful for community

I am thankful for truth

I am thankful for hugs

I am thankful for laughs

I am thankful for friends

I am thankful for froyo

I am thankful for smiles

I am thankful for my health

I am thankful for healing

I am thankful for the hardtimes that make the goodtimes so clearly magical

I am thankful for the A train moving fast this morning

I am thankful for the boots that kept me warm and non-slip

I am thankful for cuzin that call to say “hi”

I am thankful for good sleep

I am thankful for good TV

I am thankful for my young life choices!

I am thankful my students trust me

DAY 2 & 3: Birthday Gratitude & Happiness

I just begun and have slipped! So here we go two days of thanks and joy!

DAY 2:

I am thankful for laughter

I am thankful for trust

I am thankful for smiles

I am thankful for those who deeply love and care for me

I am happy my students trust and value me

I am happy for my growing soul family

I am thankful for sleep, especially the sleep I got when I failed to post my Day 2 blog

Day 3

I am thankful for spaces in which I am free to be me and you are free to be you

I am thankful for my melanin

I am thankful for self care and love

I am thankful for people of color spaces

I am thankful for understanding

I am thankful for my family

I am thankful for insightful friendship that support our growth

I am thankful for hope

I am thankful for joy

I am thankful for the moments that make me aware of how precious joy is

I am happy for my open, passionate and giving heart

I am thankful for healing, the high and lows of it all

DAY 1: Birthday Gratitude & Happiness CountDown

My birthday is 30 days away!

In honor of the healing and growth I am in need of (life is hard sometimes), I have chosen to journal all the things I am thankful and joyful for in the last 31 day of me being 31. 

I am thankful for my friends and family who have been there for me always. Especially these days.

I am thankful for waking up this morning to an amazing meeting about teaching from the heart with a powerful group of people

I am thankful for how my mind works, Im smart.

I am thankful for the life I have made for myself. I am surround by beautiful things.

I am thankful for my heart that feels EVERYTHING so deeply and clearly.

I am thankful for my adopted brownstone cat.

I am thankful for a warm home.

I am thankful for tears.

I am thankful for patient friends.

I am thankful for my parents.

I am thankful for being reflective.

I am happy I though to do this.

May I love UP to the place you belong

Hello wonderful,

I hope you are loving yourself.

I hope you find what you are looking for.

I hope you are healing.

I hope you smile more than you cry.

I hope you are learning.

I hope you are teaching.

I hope you the best.

May you be loved to where you need to be.

May you move forward in this journey called life.

May you have company along the way.

May you know that you are great company to have, even to yourself.

Move forward my love, move forward with the knowing that you are divine.

The Conversations

WEBSITE_ADGOD

“We were placed in each others lives to learn. you are me. I am you”  -Adrienne McDonald

Every Friday without fail we would speak for hours long about art, magic, love and nonsense on TV. She became my best friend, my mentor and sister.

One week we spoke on a Wednesday. She was living home with her parents after struggling from a stroke and recovering. The talk began like our usual convos: Gurl how you?

But this time it was different. She responded “I am losing my magic.”

This was alarming. Adrienne is my definition of Magic. When she walked an array of colorful & hand dyed flowing fabric followed behind her, the smell of incense & coffee filled the air and her smile…..her smile

We talked and she confided in me her truth. We cried. We laughed. We singed songs to each other.

In our healing sighs, after laughing & crying for hours,she says:

“You are me and I am you. We were divinely placed in each others lives. There is so much of you that resides in me. I see so much of my younger self in you. I don’t want you to make the mistakes I have made. Don’t deny yourself, speak you truth, love, hurt and heal. You can’t make a contract with the universe. surrender and live.”

Adrienne passed away that week but her words, those conversations and her magic guide my life especially in times of deep change.

I am forever thankful.

My loves please understand that every relationship: teacher & student, parent & child, sister & sister, partner & partner, is an opportunity to learn,teacher, grow and heal.

What conversations has provided life guidance?

Dear Raphael Sadonte Ward,

TLCbyTLJ_RAPHAELSADONTEWARD

Raphael,

I miss you. I thank you. I honor you.

Our short but meaningful time together as teacher & student (sometimes you being the teacher and me the student) has become my catalyst for continuing teaching, learning, growing and loving my life work of being an educator.

Thank you for the countless memories

Thank you for caring for me

Thank you for pushing me to be my best

Thank you for reminding not to take myself so serious

Thank you for the laughter

Thank you for building community

Thank you for sharing your family with me

Thank you for loving me, I know you did cause I heard you say it 🙂

Thank you for being my angel.

Love,

TI-FA-NAY! aka Teacher Tiff

The Year of Transformation & Revelation: Thank you 2014!

In 2014 …………………..

I became a College Adjunct Professor

I was asked to cover my former professors Graduate Course…..Yes I became Professor Tiff Tiff. It was rewarding to be around fellow growing teachers and share my experiences. Overall it taught me how to be a better listener and facilitator. The teachers in the program are amazing. I thank each of them for being apart of my journey.

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I learned the value of happiness, peace of mind and self care

This year I was presented with experiences that literally showed me the consequence of devaluing ones joy, self worth and peace. The acceptance of unhappiness as a constant state of being literally poisons the soul.  I learned the importance of taking care of my body and soul. I learned that happiness is a lasting condition even in times of total chaos and darkness. My peace of mind is more valuable than being right. Those who don’t know now will find out later and I don’t have to be around when it happens. I refuse to be in environment in which my worth is not acknowledged, valued and celebrated. Keep your toxic outlook where?!!! Back there!

I took control of my career

I proclaimed and acknowledged my value as an educator. 2014 taught me the importance of being a member of a community that is built on values that I believe in: respect, collaboration, trust, kindness, forgiveness, creativity, individuality, joy, growth,progression,honesty, social justice and healing. This past year was challenging professionally, I mean CHALLENGING! However revealed and empowered the courage to make a major life decision for change.

I am telling you TRUST YOURSELF and KEEP ON MOVING when you are in a place that does not feed your peace nor passion.

The universe confirmed my life journey by revealing a number of opportunities, yes institutions recruited me! What boost to my confidence. So confirming!

I am proud to say that taking control over my career blessed me with a position at a dream school.

I am an art teacher at CITY-AS-SCHOOL!

Teacher Tiff is back!

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I was a bridesmaid!

The wedding of my dear friends Tanya and David is hands down the most beautiful moment of my life! It was a honor to stand with them as they proclaimed their love. It is certainly my happy place of 2014!

Words can not express the amount of joy! I am so inspired by their bravery, commitment and trust for each other.

And dang it we were the best bridal party of 2014!

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My Idol became my Fan! 

Music is my healer. I often play Me’shell Ndegeocello’s albums to get me through my highs & lows. I admire the energy and thoughtfulness of her music. I am a fan since 13!

So you could imagine the FREAKOUT I experienced when we formed a Instagram friendship. I am so honored to be considered an artist in her eyes!

Me’shell knows who I am in this world…WOW!

Love, Mama is back! 

Yes, my sister and I are working on more dolls and goodies. We are so excited about where this will go! More about the re-launch here:

https://tlcbytlj.com/2014/12/27/tlj-of-tlj-the-unearthing-of-the-artist-formerly-known-as-me/

I witnessed the people I love FLOURISH! 

I am so proud of my family both chosen and blessed to me. I have witnessed their bravery and courage to live their best lives! They have quit jobs, started new careers, fallen in love, traveled, taught, learned, and taking risks!

*I plan on doing highlights on these people in 2015*

Overall 2014 you were the bomb. 2015 lets do this! 

TLJ of TLJ: The Unearthing of the Artist formerly known as ME

I spend my days working hard to bring the artist out of the young people I work for/with.  It is something I am proud to say I am great at. For instance this fall I meet a student who on the first day of class proclaimed ” I am only taking art because I need the credit. I don’t like art because I am not creative” Recently before going on winter break he entered the art room beaming and said ” Tiffany, I am taking Art in the Spring. I miss it. Its fun!”

Transformative. Powerful. Loving.

And I have the gift to guide that growth. WOW! I love my job.

I am inspired by my students. They are committed, fearless and excited about creating……something I had lost in my own practice.

Yes, I am guilty of falling into the dreaded Art Teacher trap: I STOP MAKING ART! 

I never noticed because well I am always creating with my students. Many days I come home exhausted from art making, my hands dyed in a rainbow of colors from painting and my favorite pair of jeans ruined with Gesso. Therefore Teacher Tiff replaced the Artist formerly known as Tiffany Lenoi Jones.

I medicated and reflected on how to unearth my creativity.The Universe immediately started dropping daily reminders.

I found my stock of dolls while helping my sister move. They were beautiful. So filled with love, detail and joy. My mother, sister and I marveled at them. I was so impressed by my past self.

By no coincidence of the Universe a sister in the community announced a calling for vendors for a Holiday Bazaar. Fearless I applied and accepted.

LOVEMAMA_TIFFatSHOWWords can not explain the welcome back I have received. A true confirmation that what I do is needed and that sharing my gift is ordained.  To quote my sister friend “your work is beautiful, people need to F**king see this” YAS GURL!

I know my Grandmother and Adrienne were in the space with me. I know they were proud of me. I shared their story, their gift and love through my sisters and I Love, Mama dolls.

It has been a joy to create again. My living room has been a mess of fabric, paint, beads,wire, yarn, paper and other instruments of MAGIC! I am sketching and thinking like an artist again.

The Artist Tiffany Lenoi is reborn.

Cheers to my best moment of 2014!