Fire Lit: The More Than Metaphors Podcast

As we “close out” Black History Month and welcome Women’s History Month, I am excited to announce my new podcast! I have been incubating this idea since summer 2019 with an anticipated launch of November 2019. By the time the holidays came in the U.S., I redirected my energy towards finishing out the rest of the year with a focus on my family and recommitting to new projects for 2020.

You don’t even have to say it…

For those of you who read my post “When Regret Teaches, Take Notes,” you already know that the lesson of waiting until I have everything in order, hit hard. Just as I tell my students and my clients, do not wait until you have everything “perfect.” Have a plan, absolutely. Do your research, without question. AND there will be times when you have to step out and trust that even if you do not have everything figured out now, opportunities, resources and people will greet you on your path (some call that taking a risk, others may say you’re stepping out on faith, while others call it stepping into the flow). So shine up those shoes, Dorothy and get to moving down that yellow brick road!

That is what I am doing right now, “easing on down the road” and I am looking forward to bringing you the podcast “More Than Metaphors.” Here’s the description:

“More Than Metaphors” is a virtual love space for those poetic and poetic-ish voices to examine the question: What happens when we find the courage to live our poetry out loud? A conversation led by Author, Educator, Entrepreneur and Poet Dr. Kecia Brown (“Dr. Kecia”); More Than Metaphors combines guest interviews and posts from Dr. Kecia’s blog which focuses on transformative learning, love, justice, and liberation. Each episode of this podcast will provide encouragement for leading more meaningful, spirited and poetic lives.

I want to thank my Sisterfriend, Author, Poet, Scholar and full-time Goddess, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz for lighting a fire under me. She has been talking to me about all the things I can do to support the learning of others on a larger scale for quite some time now. The ideas sounded amazing…and time consuming. However, when you watch other people making the moves that you are “too tired” to make, a few things happen to you: 1) you become inspired, 2) you become afraid, or 3) you become a hater. Since I had been hanging out in the “afraid” category for a minute, I had two more choices. Since Yolie (as she is known by those close to her) has spoken into my spirit more times than I can count, being a part of her hateratti didn’t appeal to me. So, inspired and afraid is what we are working with for now.

I will be selecting a few posts from the blog to get us started. It would be great to hear from you on the ones that you want to see brought into the podcast! feel free to leave a comment below or email me directly: dr.kecia@drkeciab.com with your suggestions.

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In the meantime, enjoy my intro music created by Tim Moor.

Thank you all for your support! Let’s continue learning, thriving and moving towards liberation, together!

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How Dare You, Will Smith!

Welcome back! I pray you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. I also hope that you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day week! Some of you read my impromptu gift I sent out to everyone on Valentine’s Day. Like Love itself, that inspiring post is still available to you whenever you need it (I have read it a few times myself to get a little additional motivation). 

Speaking of love, we are sending love and resources to those in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and other states that have been hit by winter storm Uri. There are a number of mutual aid fund platforms collecting donations to support the hardest hit communities in these areas. Personally, I have donated to Feed The People DFW, led by Black & LatinX women. If you feel compelled to help out in some way, make sure you learn as much as you can before making a donation of any kind.


Now, I would like to share with you my latest learnings which involve me ending my “entanglement” with Will Smith…in my imagination.

Good Will

How it started (in my dreams)…

I had a dream about Will Smith. I have to be honest, me and Will have had a love thing going on in my dreams for decades. Not consistently. He only shows up when I am utterly disenchanted with my current, or in this case, future prospects. In this dream though, something had changed. He was not the usual fun-loving, daring, and sensual character he had always been in my dreams. Will had been through some things: Enter Jada. No actual shade to Mrs. Pinkett Smith (only nocturnal disrespect), but she never showed up in my dreams with Will.

Regardless, in this dream she and I were talking about what they had lived through in recent years. At some point, Will walked in looking worn and gave me the weakest ass hug: A hug that no one wants and only the jankiest of humans deserve. You have seen it before; The hug where the person thrusts their hip forward to serve as a block to their full being (maybe I am the only one that does it)? Yes, that hug. Plus, he gave me the pat-pat…patted me lightly on my shoulders to communicate to me, “There, there, Little Mama. You will get over us eventually. You have to move on because I’m not the same anymore.” 

…how it’s going (not so dreamy)

How dare you Will Smith! 

I have finally realized that Will is the surrogate for an actual person in my life. That person had essentially given me that weak send off virtually. He is both my forever and never at the same time. At some point, I have to let him go in my head. He is not available to me now. What is available and sustaining to me is my daughter’s love, our dog’s love, my family’s love and my love for myself. There is enough love around me to sustain and teach me how to love in healthy and restorative ways.

I am learning more each day to embrace that love and how best to turn it towards those who mean the most to me. So yes, I have to say goodbye to the Will in my life and that’s okay. I wish that person all the joy and laughter and sensual experiences that his dreams and real life can hold. It’s time for me to embrace what is really real. No more fantasies about what I wish and imposing those dreams on what is in order to make my actual relationships seem better than they actually are. That was one of the many dynamics that showed up in my relationship with my ex even before we were married. 

No Good Will

The man in my head and the man in our home were two very different people. There was always the possibility (and expectation) for change with the person in my head. The person in our home never got the memo and because I outwardly acted like the person in our home was in fact the person in my head (or some would say the person of my dreams), then he reaped some of those benefits…along with the frustrations when reality would set in. “These actions of yours are not inline with who you are in my head!” I would think, loudly. And so, I would act accordingly. I’ll just give this sage advice: Do not ever give someone you are dating your login credentials for your email account, then ask them to check your email for you. It is a really, really, REALLY bad idea (what were you thinking, 2Ex?). 

I sure did, Erykah Badu! I sure did!

It became very clear that I was in an unhealthy relationship, I finally had the courage to move on in the summer of 2008. I literally called Tyrone and moved all my stuff into my dearest little brother/friend’s home and lived with him in New Jersey as I worked on my plans. I began to plan how I would move back to California, acknowledging that I gave my long-distance relationship a shot, but it did not work out. Just as I was preparing to move back home, my ex-boyfriend/now ex-husband’s father died.

My ex’s father was very dear to me: A gruff working class older man of Irish ancestry, who valued hard work and hard working people more than anything in the world. Contrary to popular belief, I was closer to him than I was his son! He was the one that told 2Ex (my new name for my ex-husband) that “if you don’t marry her, you’re an idiot.” Yes, that was what fatherly advice from his generation sounded like. whenever 2Ex would upset me and I would question my better judgment, I would call and chat with his father to regain a glimmer of hope.

That glimmer of hope died in September of 2008. 

This man became like a father figure to me and having lost my own father at the age of 7 to stomach cancer, 2Ex’s father’s untimely passing was hard to take in. Even though 2Ex and I were in the process of going our separate ways, we had this weird dynamic (still do) of if the other person was in need, the other would always be there to help in some way, while still filled with all of the anger, disgust, distrust and jealousy of any normal high functioning toxic relationship. 

He told me he needed me, so I went back. 

We got married in 2009. We worked on getting a whole house built from 2008-2012, gave birth to a whole amazing child in 2010, made sure we got his mother in her dream home by 2012, the place where she died in January 2019. Earned a doctorate in 2012, built two businesses in 2013…all of it on the shoulders of two brokenhearted people who kept it all together when they should have been apart. And, we did it all with a smile on our faces and moments of laughter to conceal what we felt every waking morning. I am telling this story now because this is the hidden truth, not my having an emotional relationship with someone as my marriage was ending. No, I am telling this story because many people are having to create entire lives built on a foundation of pain, destructive tendencies, emotional abuse, self-deception, and self-abandonment, especially if kids or dependent others are involved.

And…

  1. What happens when death reminds you that tomorrow is not promised?
  2. Who have you shared your love with and why? Was it love or was it a love imposter: Toxic bond, obligation, dependency, fear of being alone, etc.?
  3. What unresolved resentments choke out any goodwill in your relationships faster than Deebo in the movie Friday (R.I.P. Thomas Duane “Tiny” Lister)? Name them.
  4. What self-crafted lies are you committed to upholding in order to save face in front of people who seem more invested in your unhappiness than your wellbeing?
  5. What impact, if any, does historical trauma play in your sustaining oppressive structures and ways of engaging in your relationships?
  6. If you were able to love fully (and we are all capable of doing so), how would that love be demonstrated to yourself and others around you?
  7. Who do you need to let go of in your mind and heart in order to make room for a healthy relationship with yourself and others?

Even during these times of distress, uncertainty, trauma, pain and loss, we can still uphold love in our lives. 

Sis, those incense fumes and all that lemon ginger tea has you all the way messed up! We are losing our minds out here*!?@#!

Whether personal or professional, whether long-distance via Zoom, in our physical living spaces, or even during disasters–Love fuels Liberation. And those two together can help fuel our possibilities. 

And to my very dear Fresh Prince I say: It is well. Go in good health, Will Smith.

I look forward to checking in with you again in 2 weeks! In the meantime, keep learning, keep thriving and keep moving towards liberation!

Peace & Blessings,


Find my posts amusing, the 7 Questions thought-provoking, or just want to help someone close to you read something new? Feel free to forward this post (or any of my posts) to anyone who may find it/them useful. 

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My Valentine’s Gift to You

Coming in hot to you out of today’s journal entry!

you are important

May we reclaim this day set aside to celebrate romantic love, as a day to celebrate how much we have overcome in the face of everything that has attempted to destroy our ability to love. All of the hate, delusion, cowardice, complacency, nihilation, corruption, psychosis, neurosis, hypocrisy, rejection, micro and macro aggressions, and plain old unkindness and disrespect. You are still here! Despite and in spite of decisions that could have destroyed you or even the selection of partners that were (or are) undeserving of the exceptional love you / we have to give, you are still here and you are still loved. Regardless of who has tried to use you in the past or who may be plotting to use you in the future, you are still loved. 

Now is the time to own your love. All that “in spite of” love. That enduring love. That “I-waited-20-years-for-you-because-you-are-that” kind of love. Own your “I-have-been-through-the-gauntlet-of-attacks-and-got-my-mind-back” kind of love. Show out because you’re standing up to injustice with every fiber of your being with that love. You…up here representing those that others have tried to kill mentally, physically and spiritually; yet you are up here still standing like an Elton John remix. Look at you, you and your magnificence! Your power! Your resilience exists even when you don’t feel resilient at all! You are the most amazing being we h ave ever encountered and we love everything about you! 

You have so much ahead of you. Don’t get sidetracked by the naysayers or those who wish you and themselves the worst. See yourself fully even on those days when you wish you were never born. Yes, we all have those days; I know I have had them as an adult. Then, at that precise moment when I’m questioning the reason for my existence, the Lover and Creator of my life reminds me of my purpose by sending me you: My loved ones, my students, my clients, my neighbors, my Ministry.

And so, on this Valentine’s Day in the year after a year like no other, I wish you the love that you deserve. I wish you the love that you conjure in your mind and spirit that you dare not speak aloud. I wish you the love that continues to endure time, circumstance and space. May the love that brings you joy in the secret recesses of your mind and that reminds you that you are so much more than your titles, degrees, or other accolades could ever detail, continue to abide and give you strength. You are blessedly you… and that has always been enough! 

May you continue learning, thriving and moving towards liberation!

In Solidarity,

When Regret Teaches, Take Notes

The last two weeks, I have been meditating on the lessons that regret can provide. Like some of you, I have been engaged in a form of functional grief during this time of racial and political division paired with a pandemic that is generating more variants than the roles played by Eddie Murphy in any of his films (Coming Soon: Coming to America 2).

Part of my reflections on regret stem from the death of legendary actor and trailblazer, Ms. Cicely Tyson. I, like so many others have long admired the majestic ways of Ms. Tyson and her awareness of her power as a Black woman in an industry that is known for misogynoir both in front of and behind the camera.

The sadness I felt upon her passing was compounded by the fact that I missed an opportunity to work with Ms. Tyson due to my own self-doubt.

FEAR OF SUCCESS & FEAR OF FAILURE AT PLAY

In the early months of 2020, I spoke with an old friend about wanting to broaden the impact of my children’s book, The Love of 10,000. I remember telling him how powerful it would be to have THE Cicely Tyson narrate the poem with her divine precision. My friend, who happens to be in the entertainment industry not only gave me advice on how best to approach Ms. Tyson’s manager, he also gave me her manager’s email address. I had the golden egg right there in my WhatsApp account! That was in March. Two months later, my friend emailed me to follow up on my progress:

Receipts can be a painful reminder of self-sabotage.

I choked. Fear of Success and Fear of Failure came for me and I relented. Who was I to approach a woman of Ms. Tyson’s caliber? Even worse, what if she agreed to my project? Am I prepared for that kind of success given all of the transition I am just now settling into? I needed time to get my stuff together before I could approach Ms. Tyson. 

Sis, Ms. Cicely was well into her 90’s. How much time were you banking on here?!? 

Even Tami Roman couldn’t make sense of me dragging my feet. Image Source: VH1

What made my reflections on the situation even harder to stomach was listening to the interview she did with Gayle King. When Ms. Tyson mentioned that she felt like she still had work to do and that is why she was still here, I placed my hands over my face. 

Ms. Cicely Tyson’s final interview with Gayle King. Rest well, Queen. Source: Gayle King/CBS.

REGRET: A FORMIDABLE TEACHER

Please understand, I am not delusional in my thinking that this remarkable woman was tied to this plain because of my children’s book. I am sure Tyler Perry had at least five more projects slated for her. However, what if I had stepped forward into the dream I allowed myself to speak to someone who just happened to have a key to unlock a door?

Do you have any stories of regret versus risk and what have you learned from them? For me, I can recount situations where I truly regretted the outcomes (clearly not reaching out to Ms. Tyson is pretty high on my list). I also can relive those times I have taken a risk and was better for it. What I am going to encourage myself to do moving forward (and would love for you to try it out with me), is to use regret in a more concrete way in order to actualize my liberation and further embrace my purpose. Here are a few questions I would like for us to play with (you know you missed my 7 Questions!): 


  1. What are the stories I am telling myself about stepping into this opportunity? Are they my stories or stories passed on to me for safety’s sake (physical, psychological or both)? 
  2. Who do I have in my circle of support that can talk me off the Fear of Failure/Success ledge in the moments where my Inner Critic seems to be most convincing?
  3. What role, if any, does my spirituality play in me stepping into and preparing for opportunities outside of my comfort zone?
  4. Speaking of preparation, what role, if any, does perfectionism have in the emotional paralysis that occurs when I am preparing for a large-scaled opportunity?
  5. What have I learned, embodied and enabled in myself and those around me about taking risks and what needs to change/be dismantled (if anything) to accommodate opportunities that align with what I see as my purpose?
  6.  What are examples of living a life of regret that I can visualize in those moments of making the commitment to follow through on my goals that will shake me out of complacency?
  7. How can I use my story of regret to inspire others to have the courage to step out of their comfort zones (while relinquishing the shame associated with the experience)? 

In closing, I would like to leave you with the words of Ms. Cicely Tyson as she talks about the journey to writing her autobiography, Just As I Am:

Thank you Ms. Cicely for your lessons, spoken and unspoken.

Thank you Ms. Cicely for your lessons on Love, Peace and Liberation!

The Poem I Will Never Write

Periodically, I will post poetry and prose in order to process what is on my mind or heavy on my heart. You have been forewarned.

You will forever be that forbidden poem that I will never write, 

but whose words will dance and sing in my heart. 

I will go on to write many pieces, 

for that is what makes me feel connected to humanity. 

But that poem is sacred. 

That poem remembers me. 

That poem’s stanzas enliven me 

and causes blood to circulate faster, 

with more force and greater purpose. 

Yes, that poem reminds me of the purpose 

coursing through my veins! 

That poem acknowledges my personhood. 

That poem sees my mind, heart and spirit 

through tear-filled eyes and holds them with precision

between its smile and its laughter. 

The cadence of that poem I will never write 

will always inspire me to do my best, 

even when my best is shadowed by what will never be. 

That poem will always bring me butterflies of anticipation. 

Yes. Butterflies as if MJ and Marsha did a duet in Paradise. 

That intricate, serene flutter during a Jill-inspired Long Walk

on a crisp, clear Southern California winter day. 

The poem I will never write will always keep me grounded. 

That poem will always give me the strength to take risks, 

because no risk can match the weight of daring to write that poem. 

That poem with matchless intellect. 

That poem that exudes resilience in the face of destruction. 

There are those who may experience bits and pieces of that poem, 

but not one of them will ever recite that poem in its entirety. No. 

Only I have the full poem engraved on my heart.

That poem will always remain an inspirational piece 

for I will never release its passion into a world that aims to destroy it. 

And so, to the poem I will never write, 

in the spirit of Syd’s toast to your cousin, hip hop 

in the experience of Brown Sugar I say to you:

To the greatest poem I will never write, 

I will never regret not experiencing you in this life 

for it is you who will continue to hearten me.

To you, that poem I will never write 

I loved you then. 

I love you now. 

I will love you always.