Not To Be
NOVEMBER 2016| ISSUE 4
A SEAT AT
Will you be who you were created to be or
T H E T R U T H
A B O U T T H E
P O P U L A R
N E T F L I X D O C
Find out about
Solange's 8 year
How you should spend
your holiday season
A S E A T A T T H E T A B L E
Review of Solon's new studio album.
F R O M T H E C O V E R : L A B O R
O F L O V E
What is it like to labor in love? To set out to
give to those around you in need?
1 3 T H
The truth behind the popular Netflix
S H I F T I N G Y O U R M I N D S E T
How do you shift your creative mindset and
what do you need in your life to get it done.
Y O U A R E N O T A L O N E
Ever wondered why you think you're all
alone well you are not.
Elizabeth Lawton is an author, speaker, & creative entrepreneur from Southern California. Getting her
start as Lizzy P. Beauty she has learned how to share her life online with the masses and monetize her
passions. Creative to the core of her being Elizabeth understands the creatives heart and mindsets like
few others can. We are happy to have Elizabeth be this issues guest editor.
Author & Creative
A Letter From The Editor
Growing up being creative was rough and
sitting here at 30 I still have my struggles. Let's
just get real people like me simply see the
world and how we should live life differently.
For years I have tried to do it alone and be a
rebel with a cause, mostly because I didn't
identify with others and felt alone.
A pained creative entrepreneur misfit paving
her own way. Whew! I'm glad I didn't stay
there when my awareness level changed I
found a place to belong, peers, and mentors
to help guide my way. This is one of the best
things that could have ever happened for
What is your perspective?
As I set out to edit this issue of Igzood I thought of
the times I wished for this very thing. A place to
belong and grow. A place that would sharpen me
based on the perspectives of those that have come
before real, genuine, and engaging.
My hope for you the reader is that you realize that
you were never meant to be alone and there is a
group of people waiting to embrace you. Your
creativity will flourish as you become more aware of
your call and the resources you can engage to grow.
As you read this issue I hope that you can find
yourself and feel welcomed. Here's to letting your
awareness level arise.
A W A R E N E S S L E V E L :
Y O U A R E N O T A L O N E
WWW. IGZOOD. ORG
MAXIMIZE YOUR GIFTS
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
FOUNDER OF IGZOOD MAGAZINE
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THING YOU CAN
THINK IS THAT
YOU’RE IN IT
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 06
Relate it to a pencil. As an artist, there are
hundreds of ways it can be used and
depending on experiences and culture it
typically will not be used or seen in the same
way. Just like creations that evolve from this
pencil, we too as humans can relate
When I found myself trying to align with my
God-given identity, I had began to see
everyone else's perspective no matter how
hard I tried to shake it. It was clouding my
view of my place in this world and the people I
was meant to be relational with.
ARTICLE NOVEMBER 2016
We've all heard it before, but it's true! You're
not alone. Isolation is created to separate you,
keep you alone, and feeling as if there's no one
there for you. All of these thoughts go
through your head and if you’re not strong
enough, the loneliness will overtake you. I
was determined I wouldn't be defeated by it.
It wasn't long before I realized that it would
not be that simple.
As a teen, you are put into a stigma of being
rebellious, unteachable, and potentially
damning to a world of social adversity. Society
sees you as a stereotype based on
demographics, race, age, and gender. From
the government to your guardians, we all look
through the same pair of eyes. Although we
shouldn't be expected to see the same thing,
we should all see a hope and future in one
Controlling friends, family members, leaders,
and mentors can push you into the mindset of
isolation. For me, I’d always had fought against
it, but there was a point in my life where I felt
that it was just time for me to embrace being
alone. I felt like no one was there for me, not
even God. I had family in the next room and I
felt like I was in a house by myself, and I,
succumbing into the trap of isolation, felt it
overtaking me. I knew it would eventually
overtake my mind, but God had another plan.
I left my grandmother's house and moved into
a house of faith. The doors of opportunities
opened up. Isolation was no longer a thought!
Now, there were more chances for me to
embrace community. When isolation was rid
of, layers being stripped off, I found God like I
never have before. I found people I could relate
to , going through similar problems and having
similar family situations, ensuring that I am not
alone. I joined a church where fellowship and
transparency are key. I know that I could never
seclude myself and they not come for me.
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 07
The dawning of fall usually means the re-evaluation of the year. We have had a roller coaster year with the current election and police brutality. It has been a very interesting time to be
alive, especially for the Black community. Solange’s new album “A Seat at the Table” is an invitation into a mellow vibe ride.
Additional research on her creative process revealed that Solange experienced a mental breakdown in the beginning stages of writing her album. I think this is important to note
because the creative process isn’t cute! It takes a lot out of us when we are literally giving birth to something we may have been cultivating mentally for years. On top of whatever
personal anguish she might have been experiencing, you can hear her frustration with the world in “Weary” the second track on the album.
I also thought the Master P’s story-line was extremely interesting! Listening to his experience as a black man who broke barriers in the music industry was very insightful. I absolutely
loved Mama Tina’s explanation of what it means to have cultural pride. I could relate to this album from so many different places of who I am. As a woman, I know what it means to feel
things to the point of exhaustion. As a woman of color, I know how it feels to be told it’s not okay for me to love every part of who I am without being judged for it.
I would tell everyone to not only listen to “A Seat at the Table” but to also have a discussion about what it means to you as a creative person living in 2016. I believe that this album is
going to be a classic, because it is such reflection of the time that it was produced, written, and released.
AT THE TABLE
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 08
S H I F T
Y O U R
M I N D S E T
When I was a teenager, I always had a
notebook and agenda with me. Schools
would typically give us agendas for free
and we would write down our homework.
Inside, there were to-do’s, inspiration
quotes, and places to put classmates
phone numbers. I remember that I
couldn't wait to get my agenda each year
to organize my class work! I used my
notebook for doodling and writing when I
was inspired to write. During undergrad I
literally fell off. We still received agendas,
but I barely ever used it and wrote only
when I was discouraged.
Those times seem so far away now as a
Masters student, but I am trying to get
back to that intentional planning out of
my time and ideas. It's been proven that
even those who write a to-do list are most
likely to get more done in a day then those
who don't! Now that I am operating a
magazine it is easy for me to get an in flux
of ideas throughout the day. With school
work, mentors and managing a team, it
can be challenging to remember every
thing that pops in my head. I just recently
received the opportunity to test out the
Shift Your Mindset Journal by Creative
CoLab! Here are a few things that have
helped me use it and my calendar to my
BY DEVIN JOYNER
IIGZOODMAGAZINE | 09
1.Record yourself - Working a full time job or going to school, being in ministry or
multiple organizations can be very time consuming and you won't always have a
pen in hand. My mentor recommended that I voice record an ideas or to-do’s list
that may randomly come to me daily.
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 10
2. Planning day- choose a day that is best for you to plan and write out all your to
do lists for each category of your life that you need to organize. I typically do
Sundays or Mondays before meetings. You will have more ideas or things to
come up during the week, but this is when your voice recordings come in handy.
At the end of each day debrief. Check off everything you got done and and write
down what you recorded.
My calendar helps me separate my days (by the hour) , weeks and monthly to-
do’s (which I got from Target). When I don't get everything done, there's no
stress. I just add it to the next day or week. The journal allows me to set time
goals when I plan to be done with a particular project I am building so I do not
3. Brainstorming - The Shift your Mindset Journal has ample space to go in depth
with ideas you have after you record them. During creative planning with my
team we play music for 5 minutes and write down every creative thing that
comes to mind. This space is perfect for a big vision, small ideas that need to be
expanded in the near future, a poem, song, article, etcetera.
Whether you are on a lunch break or going on a morning jog bringing your
thoughts back to the drawing board is effortless with these tools.
You can find the Shift Your Mindset Journal at: Amazon
Barnes and Noble
My Calendar: Today & To-do by Day Designer
BY DEVIN DARDIN
First, who are you? What does that mean? Where are you in time? That could be physically,
mentally, and/or spiritually. Your innate and learned reactions, actions, understanding, and
desires all are what make up your soul. And to no fault of your own, are grafted in this
uncontrolled society left to us by the generations before. Wherever you may be, you are forced
to step out of your individuality (at times) to succumb, either positively or negatively, to
NOT TO BE
You are you. I am me.
Together we are we.
Defining things (also yourself) is the
only way to fully take control and to
attempt to understand. Perception is
also a pivotal key in defining
anything. You don't have the same
thoughts, feelings, stimuli, or
experiences as any other human
being in this world. This essentially
defines personal perception.
Reality. What is reality? Reality
defined earlier is correct, yet it leaves
out a vital variable. You. With you
being that variable, the definition of
reality is an infinite product. A mere
sapling in this jungle, only wanting
sunlight so you can reach and surpass
the other trees blocking your way to
Just as a tree has many branches, so
do you. Each branch is a gift,
thought, experience, or feeling that
makes up who you are. Sometimes if
the branches are obstructing the view
of "reality" it must be manicured.
This is where control comes in. (You
cut out the habits that hinder you and
even when not much change is seen
that is the beauty of growth. Once
manicured the tree is able to
produce, but only if it's sewn into
good ground. What's the point of an
apple tree that doesn't produce
apples, which it was created to
As a human, you were created to
create and spread. Though the
shadows from the other trees may
block the sunlight you crave, you must
adapt to survive. Capitalize on what
is given so you may fulfill the purpose
set before you. A tree grows
naturally, so do you. In order to do so,
understand who you are and love
It's not going anywhere. It's rooted in
the ground and that's where it will
stay. You have to live with that self
for the rest of your existence. Love
yourself, capitalize on the innate and
learned behaviors given to you. It's all
apart of you and your plan. God's
plan. A path can't be a path unless it
has a destination.
Circumstances are given to produce
endurance, and endurance produces
character, and character produces
hope. So rejoice in the times of
suffering. When the leaves fall, the
snow comes, and sunlight seems far
away, you're cold. Remember you're
still growing. It's only a season.
What is reality? Not from your own stand point but to the world. Reality by definition is everything that is and has been, whether it is
observable or comprehensible. To Christians, that may sound a bit too familiar. Despite what you feel, what you may want, who you are
individually, reality demands your respect and honor. You can't fight it.The realist says, that’s the way life goes, there's no fighting the
inevitable truth/facts. The pessimist says, since I can't change anything, what's the point of trying?
The dreamer doesn't say anything, but simply uses the facts and truth to his advantage to make change, whether it be for better or
Identify yourself in one of these categories even if you obtain attributes to more than one. While we may all like to be the dreamer, the
burden of reality sets in once we find ourselves bound or restrained by either of the other categories. This is not a bad thing. It simply
gives us a starting point, so that we can accurately locate ourselves on this path and can move forward.
With your proven character in the
harsh winter, when spring comes, you
will see fruition. Don't let the reality
of the world make you a realist,
continue to dream and take life for
what it is and capitalize. On this path
there will be things you don't see or
understand, remember not all things
are meant for us to understand. And
The one who has paved your path
understands. The creator of all has
the blueprint and knows exactly what
Growth isn't just a process, it's a
humbling, patient, and intentional
lifestyle. LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS.
13 IGZOOD MAGAZINE
As a creative it is probably a shock to you that I hadn't read the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Honestly I thought Tim Burton was the author until I researched it after the movie was over. This isn’t necessarily a
review on the movie ( if it was I would give it an A++) it is more of the insight I received throughout the movie about
us as creatives.
1. There are things you will see that others won’t . Do not doubt yourself or believe the voices telling you, that you are
2. Renew your mind. Experiences and trauma from the past tries to keep us in a place that is not healthy by putting
yourself in a positive environment reflecting on life in a journal or aloud you can release any dead weight that may
try to boggle you down. It is okay to have a counselor or lifestyle coach to get you through what you may not
3. Understand how you function, learn. Know your triggers whether they are a specific person, environment or
substance. Do not ever let anything cloud your judgement or make you lose control. You want to keep your talents
pure and freedom centered. The more you know about your weaknesses the more power you have over them and
how they affect your creativity.
This is how you minimize depression, anxiety learning disabilities or mental illness. It wasn't until I was in undergrad
that I had tendencies of attention deficit disorder and not until now as I am working towards my masters that I am
receiving the effective help to help me push past it as an adult. Don’t ignore the signs, get the help you need.
BY DEVIN JOYNER
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 14
THEY SAY THE HOLIDAYS ARE THE LONELIEST,
MOST DEPRESSING TIMES OF THE YEAR…
HOW WILL YOU SPREAD YOUR HOLIDAY CHEER?
When I asked one of my dearest friends Tiffany what she was
doing for her birthday, I was ecstatic when she told me her plans.
She told me she had a dream that she was handing out meals to
the homeless and I was one of the people that was with her. So,
we immediately went into planning a trip out to downtown
We woke up early to pack the bags with food and Tiffany even
made letters to place inside letting them know they are loved.
Over 40 bags were packed and after basically a tour of downtown
our hearts were filled with compassion to make this a frequent trip.
This has always been a desire of mine before I moved to Chicago.
I would go out alone in Richmond and hand out food and talk and
pray with the homeless.
It means alot to me that I could move millions of miles away and
have a friend that has grown to desire the same. When I say
grown it is because Tiffany was not the one to want to talk to
strangers when I first met her. I was always wanting to engage
with people and she would be leary, but after her dream her heart
She even opened up to those we encountered sharing that she
was homeless not long ago in Chicago and because she called
on Jesus he blessed her with a job she did not even qualify for
and an apartment. We prayed for hope, faith and healing. One
woman and I hugged for so long. She told me that she was not
typically a hugger, but the love of God came over her after the
prayer so strong she could not let go. These are the sacrifices that
matter the most in this season. You may not have money to give,
but the labor of love is more than enough to warm the heart.
"What she was doing for her
birthday, I was ecstatic when she told
me her plans. She told me she had a
dream that she was handing out meals
to the homeless."
We were all meant to excel at SOMETHING.
However, when we delve into the
conversation about gifts we usually run into
1 of 2 road blocks.
1) We aren’t able to identify our gifts.
2) We won’t maximize our gifts… Let’s
put an end to that as we prepare in this 4th
quarter of 2016, to be EVERYTHING that we
were created to be!
Don’t neglect your gifts! We have all been
gifted with the ability to do SOMETHING
well. Gifts range from singing, to teaching,
or being 100% organized. No matter what
the gift is that you have…
USE IT! No matter what anyone else is able
to do with their gift know that YOURS is
unique! The gift that you have can reach
and help people no matter who else
possesses one similar to yours. Know that
your gift is needed. Do everything that you
can do to regularly exercise the talents and
abilities that you have.
You cannot expect a muscle to increase if
you do not exercise it. The bible teaches us
that just as the body has members/ parts
each of us have a job to accomplish as well
( 1 Corinthians 12:27) . Your gift was not
given so that you could sit on it. Utilize
every opportunity that you have to wake it
P U S H P A S T T H E
C O M F O R T O F Y O U R
G I F T
We all have that one thing that we know can
execute very well and that we feel
comfortable with doing. For instance, I am
confident that I am a great teacher. I teach
middle school for a living. However, when
the opportunity presents itself for me to
teach adults fear paralyzes me.
I have no idea why, but I have made up my
mind that I am going to push past the
imaginary limit that I have set for myself.
Wandering out into the deep is where I find
the endless possibilities ( Luke 5 :4) ! I won’t
find the fish at the shallow edge of the
water. It is only when we stretch ourselves
and our gifts that we unlock all of the
potential that is packed inside of us!
T H I N
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE
The media has depicted the black
community as criminals for what seems
like an eternity. When I was younger, I’d say
I could never live in a time period like my
ancestors, but as I watched the 13th
Documentary on Netflix I realized that this
is exactly what has been projected into the
media. Poor treatment of African
Americans has been consistently
happening since slaves were brought to
America. The 13th Amendment was
supposed to abolish slavery, but it has only
been proven to provide loopholes for
politicians and corporations to take
advantage of the least fortunate
demographic, which happens to be African
After the civil war, the economy was at an
all time low. In order to build it back up,
they accused blacks of petty crimes such
as loitering, so that they could work free of
charge. Today, in the news we see social
media clips of black men that were
walking down the street and because they
had a certain skin color they are deemed a
criminal. According to the constitution, this
is the only way citizens rights can be taken
away from them.
During the civil rights
movement, many blacks
voluntarily went to jail as
a sign of fighting back. I
believe that cycle placed
the wrong mindset in
our men. This fight back
mentality should be just
as undercover as the
When we fight back
violently it gives them a
reason to call us barbaric
and ultimately place us
in jail. This results in
broken families and our
children being taught by
IGZOOD MAGAZINE | 18
Black men are depicted as the bad guy and children begin to
desire to be that. Those educated enough to know how to respond
live their lives knowing that at any moment they could be placed
back into bondage. “Slavery hasn’t ended but been redesigned”.
This is why we have to stay educated and aware of our
I believe that everyone should watch this documentary no matter
the race or gender. None of us can help how we were born, but we
can choose to make our environment a place of harmony and
positivity. We have the opportunity to work together to reverse the
harsh words and actions of our ancestors. If you're already in the
know, educate others.
Take a peek into a day
in the life of budding
artist Stella Young,
and how she improves
It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, especially on social media. Everyone seems to be
living a highlighted life on our timelines. I know sometimes I struggle with feeling less than when I
compare my downs with everyone's ups.
Although comparison can be helpful to critique progress, it is not the tool by which we should
measure our success. Here are 2 things that I've found helpful when I'm tempted to compare
1. Log Off
Your eyes are the window into your soul. Sometimes with the constant bombarding of our spirits
comes burdens, and weights that don't belong to us. Learning how to unplug from the internet is not
only a helpful tool, but a needed discipline!
Beloved, we can not afford to do life alone. It is imperative to find people who can ground you when
your emotions distort your reality. As Creatives, we can often find inspiration, safety, and guidance
in the midst of other artists. You are not alone. Find an open mic, go to a networking event, or go
grab some coffee with friends. Get connected!
Do you know why you are here? You were put on this Earth to accomplish a specific purpose. Be
encouraged that even the most successful people on the planet have failed and they have bad days
where they feel less than too. The difference is, they have mastered the art of perseverance. On the
other side of our feelings are two roads. We can choose to overcome and shine, or be discouraged
and dull. This Fall, let's live in the brilliant light.
I G Z O O D M A G A Z I N E | 1 9