Words to an Evolving Artist

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“There are so many unhappy people in our society because they rob their self of being fully human; that is, people do not allow their self (and are threatened when others are) to be multidimensional and dynamic beings. By doing such, they forfeit some of their own agency because they allow others to control and restrict them from being all that they are. This lack of autonomy breeds hostility which takes shape in many different forms…Those who judge you harshly and unnecessarily [for “changing”], have not come to a place of true self-acceptance; their misplaced anger directed at u derives from their lack of understanding and envy; they envy your audacity to be and DISPLAY a COMPLETE you… Do what you do, how you do it. People respect your craft and if they respect you as an artist–as a person–, then they will respect your growth and evolution…”

Message originally sent to a friend who has inspired me in more ways then he’ll ever know..



Stepping Out on FAITH

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Originally I was going to post a note telling you all how scared/nervous/unsure about the direction that I’m trying to take my life post-graduation– which in all actuality means what I’m doing with my life right now. Although I should probably feel a little more secure than the rest of the class of 2011 (E-Leven!)considering the fact that I’m graduating with a Master’s at a time where the BA is like yesterday’s high school diploma, I’ve been having a late-adolescent/young adult crisis! Really! It’s like, all of a sudden I realized how I’m making decisions that will impact the rest of my life.. and it’s scary!

Do I go to Borders and buy a LSAT book? Take a GRE prep course? Look up grants for non-profits? Get on my marketing and promotion of Victoria Shantrell grind? Do I go the safe academic route? Become a lawyer or PhD? Or do I follow that feeling that I feel deep in my chest when I just think about being a younger, more “urban”, slightly less cultured, and WAY less politically correct Oprah? Am I going to do what I truly feel I was born to do and secretly always wanted? Or am I going to cop out by doing what I know I can do (if there’s anything I know how to do, it’s school, talk, and argue! All the makings for a great attorney or professor). Those are the questions that I’ve been struggling with for the last month or so. And today I think I truly come to terms with what it is that I’m going to do.

I’m going to go out on faith– belief in my God and knowledge of the fact that he will not leave me during my journey of self discovery– and confidence in who I am; my abilities; my character; my tenacity; confidence and faith in this feeling that is too strong to ignore. I can’t be Oprah, and will not try to be; I am Victoria Shantrell. And you are witnessing the journey of someone who is willing to follow her passion. Thus, you are witnessing the journey of an anomaly; you are witnessing the journey of my success.

I hope that you all feel comfortable enough to engage with me during this journey. I do what I do for my soul, but my soul is with the people. Please continue to stay connected with the blog, watch “The Dialogue”, look out for the radio show coming in a few months! Send me an email at victoria.shantrell@gmail.com, Facebook me, etc!

Always and Forever,

Victoria Shantrell

Achieving Global Peace with Justice in a Sustainable Society

This past Friday (July 16), I attended one of the most inspiring dialogues on social activism facilitated by Tavis Smiley as part of a major international conference (July 16-17) to discuss how to move toward the goal of global peace with social justice in a sustainable environment presented by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Those in attendance heard a snippet of a poem that I wrote over 4 years ago (“back in the day”) called, “My Calling.” This poem is near and dear to me; it has been performed publicly several times a year since its creation. I hope that you are inspired and moved by the piece.

Victoria Shantrell Asbury- My Calling

My Calling by victoria-shantrell

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