On Frank Ocean “Thinkin Bout You”

channel ORANGE released on July 10, 2012

The Strings – the Vibe – the beat.

Because “longing” is probably one of the most inspiring topics one can write about. The turmoil of wondering is proportional the indifference given by the object of desire… isn’t it something we can collectively feel in our bones and relate to?

what bout you? : Do you think bout me still, or do you not think so far ahead – cause I been thinkin’ ’bout forever…

Abstract is my Art

Elated Strokes # 309, by Daphné Mia Essiet

Abstract is my Art

It all started with
The grainy sound of
A fine tip pen on construction paper.

It reminded me of
When as a child
I would write with my fountain pen on a blotting paper.

In chaotic times,
drawing the lines
brings me solace.

Abstract is my Art
I mimic life’s intricacy
Yet keep it simple,
It reminds me of myself.
It soothes my soul,
My healing process.

People expect my work to reflect
Experiences of
racism or
sexism or
both.

Yes, it can be challenging
to find peace
In a world you
don’t always feel
like you belong.

From the lack of representation
To micro-agressions
And assaults
The trauma we indure
Serves to normalize oppression
Yet we survi-
val mode
Leads to chronic stress

Headaches, brain tumors
& Alzheimer
No wonder women suffer
twice as much
from depression.

In chaotic times,
drawing the lines
brings me solace.

And activates
My parasympathetic nervous system
Countering the fight or flight
Triggered
By a world
You don’t always feel
like you belong.

People expect my work to reflect
Experiences of
racism or
sexism or
both

I give myself a break
And meditate
Combatting my depletion
By Self-consideration

Abstract is my Art
Not to ingratiate myself,
I just allow my hands
To let themselves wander.

Tomorrow, I’ll draw birds,
Or faceless brown bods

Still today
I’ll mimic life’s intricacy
And keep it simple
Cause it reminds me of myself.
It soothes my soul,
My healing process.

It all started with
The grainy sound of
A fine tip pen on construction paper.

Full Circle.

It’s been 3 months already.

It is hard to project yourself when we don’t know what tomorrow holds, which for lots of us, including myself, induces lots of stress.

My way of coping with anxiety has been to spend as much time as possible creating.

I was working with lots of black and metallic colors, then pastels – and here is something kinda new – acrylic paint on white paper.

Hopes it brings some joy in your lives!

All can be found and purchased on my website: https://bit.ly/2ZBokyR

“He Should Not Have Resisted Arrest”

Have you ever found yourself face to face with a bear? I’ve personally never had myself, but the simple thought of it is terrifying to me. 

Most likely, I think that I would try to run as fast and far as possible – understandably so: as human beings, we are built for survival; everything we do is instinctively wired so we can make it out alive the most stressful situations.

According to an article by Nicoletta Lanese published in LiveScience.com, Fight or Flight: The Sympathetic Nervous System here’s what’s happening:

Our sympathetic nervous system directs the body’s rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. A flash flood of hormones boosts the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. Breathing quickens, delivering fresh oxygen to the brain, and an infusion of glucose is shot into the bloodstream for a quick energy boost. This response occurs so quickly that people often don’t realize it’s taken place, according to Harvard Medical School.

That said, according to the Human Society of the United States,

“Bears have acute eyesight and hearing. Their sense of smell is seven times greater than a bloodhound’s.”

In the section: “This is what you should do if you encounter a black bear“, one of their advice is: “Stand and face the bear directly. Never run away from or approach him.”

You are basically supposed to remain just here in your terror. Not so easy if you ask.

Well, I think it is a fair assumption that this is how POC feel, especially black males, when stopped by police officers – that is why black parents have The Talk (ain’t about birds and bees).

I hope that you will now understand how insensitive it is to say “He Should Not Have Resisted Arrest”.

Special Ladies

I had all this planned out.

Originally this post was to be published last month in honor of #WomenHistoryMonth but with everything that’s been happening, in New York and the world, the quarantine and whatnot, I had put it aside and focus on other things.

I’m glad to finally do this and share with you some figurative drawing inspired art I created by some of my good good friends!

I let you scroll up and down!

Inspired by Bandleader/Vocalist/Songwriter/Educator Sarah Elizabeth Charles
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Harpist/Band Leader/ Composer Brandee Younger
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by my Urban Planner Gina S. : “Starlights”
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Ethnomusicologist/Producer/Educator Aja Burrel Wood
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Corporate Executive Safrate M.: “Met ton Clignotant”
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
DJ/Writer/Journalist Angelika Beener
Gold pen-touch + gel color pen on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Flutist/Pianist/Producer Anne Drummond
Gold pen-touch + get color pen on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Violinist/Bandleader/Vocalist Chiara Fasi
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by vocalist/bandleader/singer-songwriter Pyeng Threadgill
Gold pen-touch on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in
Inspired by Ria B, lawyer
Gold pen-touch + get color pen on black Cardboard – 8.5in x 11in

Hope you enjoyed the view!

For daily updates, please check my Instagram

On The Crown Act

In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth + #theCrownAct I decided to make some figurative work subliming women’s hair.

*The CROWN Act is a California law which prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture by extending protection for both categories under the FEHA and the California Education Code. It is the first legislation passed at the state level in the United States to prohibit such discrimination.

Here’s my story:

Early on I internalized that my curly hair wasn’t “good”. I was so excited to get it straightened and every time it happened people positive comments reinforced this idea.

Once in my early 20s, I went to an interview – first year living in Paris – I had a nice Zara pants and jacket with cute shirt and since I knew that I had to look “professional” I pulled my hair very tight into a ponytail. I can honestly say I had a magnificently manicured hairdo that day. Still the interviewer felt the need to tell me that if I got the job, I would not be able to wear braids or my hair out. I was so used about that type of abuse and discrimination that I enthusiastically responded something like: “of course!”. I got the job.

When I moved to New York, one of the first purchases I made was a curling iron. For me it was a survival tool as important as a getting plates and cooking pans.

I think it was around 2007 I started to “transition” when my friend Fatima sent me this YouTube video of Taren Guy (I think that’s her name) basically explaining how to take care of your natural hair. It took years for me to unlearn and rebuilt the self-confidence and acceptance around my own hair.

In 2015, when I started to work at my last company, I was interviewed by an old colleague of mine Lana from my flight attendant days. One thing was different tho: she had switched her relaxed black hair to beautiful blonde locks. It felt so good to see a woman being top executive of a company wearing natural hairstyle – and encouraged me to also wear mine the way I wanted in the corporate settings.

When I started to work I decided to confidently wear natural hairstyles, especially when we were meeting with suppliers in Asia and Europe – to make a point to show that my professionalism was in no way impacted by how my hair looked.

It’s been a journey but I can honestly say that all these experiences empowered me to be the confident person I am today and pushed me to deconstruct other preconceived ideas about beauty and power dynamics.

Here’s some of my illustrations!

More: https://bit.ly/3dR3wXz

Shop: https://bit.ly/2VZdoIR

Giza Pyramids

Original Drawing – Gold pen-touch by @sakuraofamerica and Acrylic Paint on 6 ply black paper 28in x 22in – available on Saatchi

The shape of a pyramid is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun, and most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone, in order to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance. (Wiki)

I was frankly inspired this past week. I have never been to Egypt, but I visited Mexican pyramids and there were already pretty grandiose. I hope one day ❤

Follow my Art page on Instagram

This is how it would look in your living room – Mockup by Saatchi

Ohhhh, Artsy, Artsy Me…

« The circle represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement, God (‘God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere’ (Hermes Trismegistus).

It makes me feel but I feel peaceful watching these! Check out some of my latest creations, soon available on Saatchi

Gold pen-touch by @sakuraofamerica on black paper.

8.5 in. x 11 in.
12in. x 12in
22in. x 28 in.

On Doing What’s Right

Art by Daphné Essiet (myself – Check my IG)

Two people can do or react similarly for different reasons. Two people can do and react differently for the same reason.

Read that again.

It’s hard to tell which is which for many reasons. One: we project – we tend to empathize more with those who look like us or we relate to. We automatically side their way – the one we feel safest.

Two: conditioning. In order to survive, humans instinctively form groups and rely on patterns to know what’s safe or not; we follow the rules so we keep within the group. Unfortunately, these patterns, although accepted as facts, don’t always hold truth. That’s why it is important to understand who controls the narrative.

Three: we make mistakes. Our ego has a hard time admitting it could be wrong because it makes us uncomfortable – then, lacking comfort for too long leads to change and heighten humility. Our ego ain’t having that.

I won’t necessarily blame those who won’t challenge the status quo or « pretend » to be someone they aren’t so to be accepted, praised, liked, get liked. I can’t be mad at someone trying to do their best so they can « fit ». Been there, done that.

Honestly, I think a lot of people don’t even really know who they are, or what they like because they never really question whether they enjoy what they do or was done out of habit.

Authenticity brings alignment – that’s the type of feeling we are longing for. It takes courage to reveal your true self . Itv also comes with a territory filled with vehement hate, fueled by fear of being left behind.

Ultimately, I believe it can be really challenging to be who you truly are for some people, simply because being accepted is fundamental to our survival as a species and in order to do so, we have to comply with certain standards rooted into some sort of privilege. It’s fair to consider the reasons we have at hand to understand why people behave the way they do so we can respond in a more informed way. It is not about being right or wrong, it is about doing what is right and consider everyone’s humanity.

Poetry – “Race” by Elizabeth Alexander

Elated Strokes #310 – Art By Daphné Essiet

“Race is neither biological fact nor dismissible fiction, but an unwieldy set of narratives that Americans live inside.” – Stephanie Burt

I fell down the rabbit hole that is the Poetry Foundation Website… Mind you I was just supposed to check out something – and go back to sleep – cause yes, I am jet-lagged…

I ended up reading this great Elizabeth Alexander poem titled “Race” on the topic of “Passing”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, this refers to a person of African descent who has caucasian features/hair texture and is “passing” as a white person.

I never had heard of that word or the concept before watching The Human Stain then later reading Kate Chopin’s Désirée’s Baby in college.

If interested, you should also read  Stephanie Burt analysis of the poem which was very insightful and throughout. You can find it here

My Poetry Book on Amazon + FREE download !!!!

I am not sure I ever advertise the fact I had self-published a book on Amazon this past July 2019.

Well here it is. I’ll share a little bio with you and if you scroll down to the end, you will be able to download a free sample, and some video I made – and all the way, if you wish to support, I put the links by countries!

“On Love and Lust and Everything in Between is originally a series of 4 short thought pieces Daphné wrote between 2015 and 2016; the reflections triggered her creative-writing bone and she started to write prose as blog entries. Daphné always read poetry growing up and specially loved Baudelaire, De la Fontaine and Verlaine. However, it is when she started to read Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni that she realized her words sounded too like poesie. In September 2017 she took a poetry class through Interactive Poetry Workshop in City College lead by JP Howard, curator for Women Writers in Bloom Salon, and performed live for the first time her poetry. Still too shy at the time, she focused her effort on performing her music and songwriting, but kept filling blog entries. At the beginning of June 2019, she realized she would be able to self-publish through Amazon – that same day she decided to “go for it”. For the three days straight she sat in front of her computer to curate 50 of her poems, format a book, design and create her cover in Illustrator. The result was a 123 pages of content mainly revolving around self-discovery of a woman”

Free Sample

Thank you for your time!

SHOP HERE

On Women’s Brain, Brain Food and Mental Health – *Bilingual Post – Français & English*

Bilingual Post French/English

Un de mes podcast préféré s’appelle #KwikBrain avec présentateur et spécialiste de l’apprentissage @jimkwik.

Chaque fois que j’écoute son podcast, je me cale confortablement et prends mon cahier de notes puis je réfléchit ce que j’apprends pendant l’episode et essaie de partager.

Je decide donc aujourd’hui de parler – en français (je pense que pas tout le monde parle l’anglais) de l’episode avec docteur Lisa Mosconi neuroscientist et neurologiste, fondatrice de #WomenBrainIntiative, .

Elle nous explique que les femmes sont plus sujettes aux risques liés aux maladies mentales que les hommes. Par exemple les elles souffrent deux fois plus de dépression/anxiéte, 3 fois plus de maladies auto-immune, maux de tête, tumeurs du cerveaux, etc… De plus, 2 patients d’Alzheimer sur 3 sont des femmes.

Cela est du, elle explique, en partie au taux de changement d’hormones notamment en pre-ménaupose/ménaupose. On commence a peine a s’interesser sur la question. En tant que femme, et avec ma formation de diététicienne je suis très intéressée sur la question. Je donc viens de commander son livre “Brain Food” dont je ferai la revu très bientôt.

En attendant pour les personnes bilingues, vous pouvez écouter l’épisode 88 de Kwik Brain sur les applications de Podcast ou sur Youtube “What You Need to Know about Women’s Brains” Je mets tous les liens dessous!!!

English translation:

One of my favorite podcasts is #KwikBrain with host and “brain specialist @JimKwik. Whenever I listen to this podcast, I sit down comfortably and take my notebook, then I reflect on what I have learnt during the episode and share.

Today, I have decided talk about in French (for those who do not speak English) and English of the episode with neuroscientic @Dr_Mosconi founder of #WomensBrainIntiative . 

She explains that women are more subject to the risks associated with mental illness than men. For example, they suffer twice as much from depression / anxiety, 3 times more from autoimmune diseases, headaches, brain tumors, etc. In addition, 2 out of 3 Alzheimer patients are women. This is due, she explains, in part to the rate of hormone change, particularly during pre-menaupose / menaupose. 

We’re just starting to get involved in the issue. 


As a woman in my late 30s and with my training as a dietician, I am obviously very interested in the issue. I just ordered his book “Brain Food” which I will review once I read it.

Please check Episode 88 of Kwik Brain and all the videos I posted!

#MergingIntoMyself – A Repost from the past.

Here’s a reading of a poem I wrote on this blog, a while back – called #MergingIntoMylself – that made it to my poetry book – “On Love, and Lust, and Everything in Between”. If you enjoy my poetry, and would like to support, please scroll down and click on the link below, pick your country and order a copy on Amazon. You also can sign up to my mailing list for my monthly newsletter. Tell your friends and ask your local independent bookstore to check me out and maybe order some copies!

#MergingIntoMyself – Excerpt from my Poetry Book

I long to be Free.

Free from my fears.

Free from the imaginary boundaries I inflicted mySelf.

I long to be mySelf.

The woman I’ve always meant to be. Phenomenal woman, that’s Me.

The one who will own her flaws

and recognize them

as the most enticing part of who she is.

The one who will appreciate them the way they deserve to be.

I long to be aware.

Aware of Reality

Fully aware

of the Love I’ve been the recipient of all along.

That Love

that has been kept away from my heart by the fear of being rejected.

Everyday, I look at mySelf. Everyday, I am one step closer. Everyday, I am grateful For the joys and the pains and the hardships I’ve been subjected to. I’m emerging and #MergingIntoMySelf…

Daphné Mia Essiet © All rights reserved.

Mailing list: http://bit.ly/36OYat3

Order a book: http://bit.ly/2YIisoc

Check me: https://linktr.ee/daphnemiaessiet

#MyMissionStatement

IMG_2902

Textured and imperfect
An unlikely blend of spices and scent
A delectable lack of comfort
Enticing of some sort

Can’t really be placed
Or even replaced
by familiarity

Will borrow your breath
Gently let you rest
But just for a sec
Get used to it.

I write
to resolve the tensions
My sensible soul has created
From so much uncertainties

& soothe those
who can relate to
My hopes, fears and dreams

#MyMissionStatement

©️ Daphné Mia Essiet, 2018

#TrustTheProcess

You have the right to feel some types of way about life
& to cry your eyes out
Cause you miss being hugged and kissed
By someone you like
& you long for a walk
Hand in hand in the park

It’s ok, you are ok
Things will change

#TrustTheProcess

©️ Daphné Mia Essiet, 2018

#DrinkUp

One day the Universe will ironically make you realize that you dodged a bullet

And the trauma you’ve endured will finally make sense

Hope this brings a smile to your face – today

#DrinkUp

©️ Daphné Mia Essiet, 2018

#OnPolitics

In the name of
À greater picture should
I conform to politics?

It sounds counterintuitive
To temporarily crush my freedoms
So to further my liberties

But when I think about it
This may have been worth it
If only I
was better at
Kissing asses…

#OnPolitics

©️ Daphné Mia Essiet, 2018

#Blessed

Even tho I may project
My own fears and biases
I am #blessed and fulfilled
Regardless of how I feel

Into my sometimes
blurry lenses I
Get pushed and pulled back
Before my own eyes

All I need is a shift
A bit of perspective
For my hopes and my dreams
To ever become clear

Then promplty energized
Open heart, Spirit High
I give Joy another Chance
And Love in again

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2018

#OnSharing

I’m thinking too much – always

So I look for answers in books, podcasts, TED talks and the like

I introspect and adjust
Write and try
to become the best version I can be

I’m growing
Tho I’m not sure how this matter
If there’s no recipients but myself

#OnSharing

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2018