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Is there an age limit to the actualization of someone's aspirations? Thank heavens no because Asha Carraway is full of aspirations and, at 46 years young, she still refuses to let hers go. Asha is a woman of strength, courage, and vision and she is on fire. Having
conquered drug and alcohol addiction, depression, and fears galore, she now stands at the precipice of a rekindled passion to fulfill her 33 year old dreams of becoming a professional bodybuilder, personal trainer, author, and owner of a holistic empowerment training center. Ms. Carraway’s ultimate goal is to share the highs and lows - the joys and pains- of her life with the world. She is confident that her story will encourage and empower others to continue pursuing their own aspirations - regardless
of the obstacles and oppositions.
“Success is not final , failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
I may have been around 5 years old. I know it was summer because that's when I would spend time with Aunt Janet, my mother's sister. I was always mesmerized about how doggone tall she was. That is, until I got older and realized that she was not really tall - I was just short! Aunt Janet was very sophisticated and classy. Her clothing and accessories always matched elegantly. She also spoke with an air of intelligence that made me listen intently. Until, once again, I got older and learned she just spoke properly. She was definitely a social butterfly: Broadway plays, champagne brunches, dinners at ritzy restaurants, and mini sprees at Macy's, Lord and Taylor's, Dillard's, and Saks Fifth Avenue. All of her friends seemed to be elitist- even the modest ones. There was just a way about them that set them all apart in my little eyes. This particular night, Aunt Janet and I had dinner with a couple I loved dearly. Fred always made me laugh and feel good. His wife, Sylvia, had a gentleness about her that made me feel safe and peaceful. Spending time with them was always a special treat. We met for dinner at a quaint bistro a short distance away from Aunt Janet's apartment. It was dimly lit and had candles burning on the tables. I loved candle light- something I picked up from my aunt. I was secure and comfortable in my little space in between the big people. They were talking over my head, literally and figuratively. I wasn't at all interested in them, their conversation, or my food. I was too intrigued by the atmosphere and how the candlelight was dancing. I also saw shadows moving around us - nothing that scared me though. The next thing that drew my attention was dessert: CHOCOLATE MOUSSE! When the waitress set that piece of beautifulness before me everything else faded into the background. As I ate , I saw sparkling lights floating around me. It felt like happiness had wrapped itself around me. Fred made a statement and they laughed. I remember glancing up at him. There was a look of pride and acceptance on his face that warmed my soul. The meal proved to be too much for me so Aunt Janet asked for a to-go container. As we stepped out into the night air, I felt differently- more alert perhaps. I was a few paces ahead of the adults. I could feel that Aunt Janet was cautiously focused on me, but she never missed a beat of their conversation. There weren't many people on the street which was strange for a New York evening. A remarkable calm was in the air. It had taken a lot for me, a little girl from Barstow, California to adjust to the hustle and bustle of “The Concrete Jungle". So, the tranquillity of the night heightened my senses. I was soaking in the atmosphere when an image grabbed my attention. A short distance ahead of us, there was a man sitting on the ground. His back was against the huge building towering over us. He was extremely dirty and his clothes were tattered but that didn't matter to me. I felt drawn to him and started walking in his direction. As soon as Aunt Janet saw him she went into protective mode. “ Asha, come over here. Walk closer to me”, she halfway hissed. I heard her but I didn't pay her any mind. “She's ok Janet,” I heard Fred say as I continued walking straight toward the man. In the dimness of the night, this man seemed to glow. It seemed like a yellow hue was surrounding him. I walked right up to him and handed him my to-go container. He looked up at me. His face was filthy and hairy but his eyes were like beautiful emerald gems. Our eyes met and I instantly felt connected to him. I sensed sadness and a heavy burden of loss and mourning in him. This man was dying inside and I felt it. He took my container, tilted his head a little, and thanked me silently. I walked back to my aunt and her friends. We continued walking… in silence. When I'm reminiscent of my childhood, I can still feel the sensation of that precious experience. The affinity I had with that man was amazing. This was the first of many enlightening encounters; some were with animals. Each one taught me that I had many gifts, the key one being love, and that I had to share them. I wanted to help that man and take away his sadness and sorrow. In that moment, when our eyes met, his sorrow became mine and I wanted to make it better. So I gave him what I could. I fed him. Instinctively, I knew that I had given him far more than a container of food. For a heart beat in time, I had shared my love with him.
She stood there in a daze. The room was dim but she knew he was there; somewhere close. She closed her eyes and focused on how she felt. Only his presence could arouse her senses like this. Her body shivered and tensed slightly as her awareness heightened. Her breathing shallowed and she felt like she was floating. She opened her eyes quickly to steady herself. During her momentary lapse, he moved closer. She could feel his warmth. It covered her like a plush blanket on a frigid, wintry day. She turned towards him and their eyes met. Even through the faint lighting, his gaze pierced through her like the rays of the sun bursting through densely darkened clouds. His tender, brown eyes raptured her soul. The space surrounding them began to fade as he moved closer; so close that she could feel his breath as he exhaled. He gently slid his warm hand around her waist and held the small of her back. She couldn't resist the quiver that caused her entire body to tingle. Just the touch of his hand made her feel delicate and divine. He held her like she was his – completely and eternally. He gingerly pulled her closer. He brought his other hand up and placed his finger under her chin lifting her lips to his. She wrapped her arms around his neck placing one hand on the back of his head. She held him firmly to let him know that his desire was hers as well. A passion erupted within their kiss that could have caused the earth to quake. Perhaps it did because the core of her being began to tremble. He must have sensed it too because he held her tighter. He placed his hands on her cheeks, cradling her face, and slid the tip of his tongue across the inside of her lips. Warmth flowed from his hands and cascaded through her body. Her arms weakened and she could no longer hold his head. They slid down his sides. She grabbed a hold of his shirt to maintain her balance. She was floating again. He spontaneously slid one hand to the small of her back again to steady her while still cradling her face with the other hand. He ended their kiss softly while sliding his hand under her shirt and resting the palm of his hand on the flesh of her back. She regained her balance and, moved by intense desire, she cradled his face as he had done hers. They looked deeply into each other's eyes. Electricity erupted between them. He plunged his tongue into her mouth and pulled her to him like he was trying to stop someone from snatching her away. She could hardly breathe as his tongue feverishly explored her mouth. Although she was stunned by his abruptness, her body was not. It was totally in synch with his and responded accordingly. Her nipples hardened as she began to perspire. He pressed himself against her and moaned heavily between kisses. He buried his face in her neck as his erection continued to make itself know. He sunk his teeth into her and bit her neck. The slight pain was exhilarating. It shocked her causing her to gasp deeply. He pulled his head back quickly. “Did I hurt you”, he whispered hoarsely. “Yes… but it felt good", she managed. An intensely coy smile adorned his face as he stepped away from her. He held her hand and walked towards the bed. He sat her down, slid his knee in between hers, and knelt between her legs. She lowered her eyes shyly as he lifted his head to look at her. There was that penetrating gaze again. He whispered, “Lay back baby.” It felt as if his words softly guided her back onto the bed. He lifted the hem of her skirt, placed it on her knees, and began caressing her legs while kissing the inside of her thighs. Her belly began to tremble and she began floating again totally oblivious to everything but his touch. Before she knew it, he had her legs over his shoulders and was tenderly kissing her lips. She was extremely wet. His deep, heavy moans sent waves through her causing her juices to spontaneously flow. He parted her lips with his fingertips and licked the wetness. She involuntarily took a deep breath as if her body was instinctively preparing her for what was going to happen next. He slid his tongue inside of her and began sucking on her like he'd never see her again. His intensity and passion caused her to scream out his name as she gripped the bed. The sound of her own voice startled her causing her eyes to pop open. She held her breath and tried to focus. Suddenly, the alarm on her phone went off and that's when she realized… It was only a dream….
Oh procrastination! What a contemptuous haunt you are! How mercilessly have you imprisoned the willingness of my soul while vengefully spurring the war between my will and my might. So devious is your plot to distract my befuddled mind. You have expertly calculated your plan of attack to fracture my focus and divert my attention. Were it not for your spirit of slumber, I could run without tiring this obstacle course creative freedom has craftily set. Jesus expounds clearly upon this wordsmith's despair: ” ...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ( Mat. 26:41 KJV) Such has been the battle of the ages: to wrest with oneself for the mere attainment of action; taking the first step; making the first move…. To simply begin. Monstrous is the wickedness of complacency: how it makes a mockery of my motivated momentum and how it thwarts my attempts to excel. But thanks be to God for the advent of Inspiration. Her descent upon this wearied writer is more precious than breath itself. Her wisps of clarity defog my vision of the masterpieces still awaiting completion. In her presence I find the wherewithal to pen again. Artistic bliss is found in her sweet communion where ideas unfold magically offering fantastic voyages into the wonderland of words.The ensuing rush of adrenaline releases fettered wings of brilliance and this spirited writer soars again. Thank you
Oh, how the propeller of your mind begins to spin as you descend the depths of despair. How fear grips you as you ponder upon the lack you suppose. The trudging of your inner man seems unending. How precious the light would be if you would but allow it to dawn upon your sea. How delightful it would be if you would sail into this cove of reprieve. For so long you have thought it uncharted and unobtainable, yet it is merely a turn away. Look at how you toil in the dregs of despondency. Realize that it is only your thoughts that have drifted you here; it is only your thoughts that will steer you clear. The pinnacle of humanity is simply the reckoning that you are the creator of your existence. You are the curator of your own experience. This is not some form of esoteric manipulative madness. But merely the truth of the power you possess: “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he...” (Prov. 23:7 KJV) You must not allow the demon of doubt and its cohorts in confusion to revel in the recesses of your mind. They will only create menageries of misfortune to thwart your progression in prosperity. They will pummel your pride and divert your direction causing you to trample truth and delight in deception. You must remember the words of wisdom given to you through “Invictus”: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” (Henley,1875) Bow your head no more. Wipe the tears from your eyes. Allow truth to rise and dispel the darkness covering the divide. Take the authority invested in you and stand courageously in the divine. Covet faith and anchor yourself in knowing that that which you seek you will surely find if you but steady the helm of your mind.