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...the musician, the motivator, the political mind.



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Navigating Negativity: Check Yourself! --My Thoughts On Overcoming Our Operating Environment

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on August 15, 2011 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (2)

In my previous entry, I briefly mentioned that we are "attacked by our 'context' on a daily basis". As we travel on our respective journeys, we have to deal with our surroundings, the events, and static that we operate in. This "context" could be our work atmosphere, the energy projected by our peers, ANY activity that we live in and are exposed to on a daily basis...majority of which is out of our controls. 

With the aforementioned in mind, and spring-boarding off an idea briefly mentioned in my previous entry, I was inspired to ask a question, and was pleased to be provided with a few responses that motivated this late-night entry. With that said, allow me to que the sounds of Jill Scott and D'Angelo as I ponder the following:

Q: Energy is contagious. How do we overcome and conquer the emotional context of our jobs, circles and energy interactions?

Now, initially my answer to this question was that I simply needed to work "trick" my mind into BEING more positive regardless of what is going on around me, but after soliciting a few other conscious minds, I have attached another element to this idea- I need to be aware of the energy I am bringing to the table (thanks Q. Am I inputting positive energy into my interactions? Am I being as positive and as pleasant as I can, as often as I can?  These subsequent questions provoked an analysis of self..., and I came to this conclusion: I have a lot to work on (I'll come back to this).

Why is projecting positive energy essential? It’s important for inner growth and health. A positive state of mind has so many health benefits right? And wouldn’t the world be better if there was more positive than negative? It goes without saying. Well then, think about it: if negative energy is contagious, then shouldn't positive energy be contagious as well? Uh oh, equal and opposite reaction (a nod to Newton)! LOL Look, what I'm saying is, if we want to navigate this negative world we operate in, we must put out as much positive energy as possible in order to avoid succumbing to the snares of negative thoughts and actions that surround us.  Therefore, one may assume that if I BRING positive energy to the table, then I may be able to shift the negative energy of my "context". It’s almost the classic case of overcoming evil with massive good.

So allow me to revisit a point that I made earlier--I need to check myself FIRST when it comes to how I allow my "context" to affect me.  Let me clear some of this up by providing a little "context" (pun intended). 

Being a recent grad, currently on the job hunt, is NOT very "uplifting" and positive! I have good days and bad days and at times the weight of my operating reality is heavy and slightly depressing *shrug*. Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts, the "what if's", "if then's"...the worries.  I am beginning to understand that these perfectly natural thoughts are negative and unproductive! At times it gets to the point where my thoughts and body language are NOT matching. For instance, I may actually be having a very bad day, but continue to "troop on" for the sake of those around me. In short, my body language and actions are positive but my thoughts are far from it. My body is doing “the Charleston” or “the Macarena” while my mind is lost in a daze somewhere between Lord Voldermort’s lair and a labyrinth in the Underworld! LOL

With that said, the major lesson I have learned in this lesson concerning positive energy and falling victim to the negativity around you is that the battle strategy begins with YOU. I have to check myself and work hard to make sure that my THOUGHTS, actions and speech (this is important) mirror the positive energy that I seek to project. 

In conclusion, the trick to avoiding the reflection of your negative operating environment is to "be the change you seek" (nod to Gandhi). BE a positive force, not a negative one. Check your own energy that you are projecting, and in my case, make sure that your personal thoughts are positive and line up with your outer. Change begins within (nod to someone intelligent).

---I’m working on making this blog a more intimate reflection of ME, so I hope you all enjoy. My next blog entry may cover another topic that was thrown around tonight concerning authenticity and growth OR it may very well get political and discuss the Republican candidacy…we’ll see J

Peace above all, understanding *waves*

-Stephanie Musiqtruth



In the Pursuit of JOY: Exploring Happiness, Joy, and Purpose

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on August 11, 2011 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Lately, I've tried to find motivation and inspiration in the things that give me true joy. I've heard many "old timers" say that there is a true difference between "happiness" and "joy" is sustainable and the other is just temporary. With that said, I'm finding that those things that bring my happiness, or empty satisfaction are unable to truly make me motivated or inspired. So allow me to elaborate on the aspects of my life that truly bring my joy...the fuel to reaching purpose.  

Let me first say this: while happiness is nice, it's temporary and is unfulfilling on my journey. Imagine yourself traveling along interstate 40 and stopping to grab a thirst quenching beverage. That beverage tastes great and makes you feel warm and fuzzy...but your true energy would be best served re-fueling your vehicle...a more sustaining investment since your purpose is to get from point A to point B. That's how I see happiness and joy in my life. The things that bring me happiness are great, but it's the JOY that will help me reach "point B"'s JOY that sustains me and fuels me to accomplish my dreams and progress toward my purpose. Achieving joy is what I should put my energy into because it serves as nourishment AND brings me closer to my destiny...happiness is just a pit stop along the way, a good feeling, even perhaps a distraction.

With the rambling out the way, I find that my PASSIONS bring me joy and pursuing them is my greatest joy. Music, art, conversation or oration...these are things that were poured into me at birth, and every time I exhibit them, utilize them, or develop them, I am moving ever so much closer to the destiny that was poured upon my head at conception.

My most joyful moments are accompanied by bursts of productivity and creativity. It is in moments of JOY that I am in my niche, my stride...exhibiting my true self, uninhibited, essence.

So with that said, I hope to discover a life filled with passions that serve as a catalyst to reaching my PURPOSE. My desire is to be a productive world citizen who is able to find true joy in sharing her gifts, talents, and passions with the world. When i reach that point...the point of true JOY, I believe it's that moment that will define the meaning of my life.

But isn't joy temporary? I don't think so. In my life experiences with joy seem to be attached to some wonderful and lasting memory. I can remember the first moment I recorded a song, or won an award for something that I LOVE to do. These are moments etched in my heart as reminders of my essence and destiny. These are our battle honors, our ribbons so to speak. Joyful memories fill us with joy all over again every time we re-cap the memory! It's like a double-dose or a fresh portion of that moment. Joyful memories put me "in the moment" all over again and I can usually say "wow, I was really overjoyed by that".

I can count those moments, and I think if I tap into those moments of true joy, I will be directed to my calling. Now, don't get me wrong, I realize I'm painting a rosy picture here! The human mind is attacked by its context on a daily basis. We sometimes fall subject to depression and moments of disillusionment...but I believe, hope, and will seek to attempt to fill myself will those things that I hold dear, the passions that I discussed earlier...these are the things that will pull us out of those moments. Taping into your passions means that you're moving with the natural current of life and allowing wonderful results to come out of those struggles, and the PRODUCT of THAT struggle may bring you JOY in the end....something that you can look back on and be inspired and motivated by. I've written some of my best music in the midst of heartache or fear, and I've used those words to convey a message or a lesson to myself. The lyrics become a mantra of my escape from the context of my situation.

So in the end, after all is said and done, I'd like to focus on filling my life with true joy, operating amidst my essence and progressing toward my destiny. I believe that this pursuit of JOY rather than happiness will be more fruitful and serve a greater purpose along my path toward reconciliation with what the creator has poured into me to share with the world.


Peace and blessings as you move toward the pursuit of JOY and the exploration of your passions along your journey of life.


Getting At the Root: Commentary on Norway attacks and the World's Political Climate

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on July 24, 2011 at 10:43 AM Comments comments (0)

Where do I begin? 


The horrific events of yesterday continue to linger for me as a few observations and thoughts boil to the surface of my psyche.  I imagine the innocent youth scattering about, searching for refuge. I think of the numerous victims who had no inkling that they would face harm that day.  Immediately these thoughts reminded me of the same uncertainty and heart wrenching pain that I felt on September 11th, 2001, the same feelings of uncertainty that much of the world continues to feel day in and day out. 


Many youth face these types of situations daily. I'm sure they can often look right outside of their windows and witness a bombing, a drive-by shooting, or something of the sort. From Cairo to Compton, from Sri Lanka to Gaza...we are living in an increasingly interconnected and dangerous world.  In an age where we have the most sophisticated militaries and weaponry, why is it that I feel as UN-safe as ever? Could it be that we are fighting these wars on the wrong front and with the wrong carnal weaponry? I think it's time for the world to take great strides to ameliorate the ROOT causes of these outrageous acts...rather than simply treating the proximate causes and symptoms associated with them.


What happened in Norway was a result of radical Right, fundamentalism and a deranged anomaly...all the familiar ingredients of senseless terrorism! I think of all the lives of those youth...potential stopped short of full fruition. Future leaders, the bearers of the blood of future generations, stopped short. It’s senseless...


The only way we will stop terrorism in this world is if we stand together to defeat the sentiments and thought-processes that nurture hate. A terrorist must first dehumanize its victims in order to mentally succumb to such levels of permeating hate.  Equally, more organized terrorist cells utilize some of the same tactics that prominent gangs in the United States use to recruit their members. It's the newly initiated members who are sent out to conduct the most risky and gruesome crimes to "prove" themselves. It is the youth who are programmed to strap themselves with bombs, NOT the ring leaders, the higher-ups or any other member of the decision-unit for that matter. The lower levels are recruited to do the dirty work. They are seeking the vulnerable, those who are looking for an opportunity to do something bigger than themselves, for all the wrong reasons. In order to combat this, we must seek to change our political and social climate and make it one more conducive for respect and mutual understanding.


Foremost, we MUST communicate with each other! We have to be willing to see the other side as a human being worth listening to and conversing with.  If we are unwilling to recognize our "enemy" in the room, they may be forced to stand on a chair until they get our attention, and still, if that doesn't provoke us or warrant your recognition, they may be forced to do something a little more drastic, and so on. I believe these acts of terrorism are an example of someone or something that is seeking to be included in the conversation.


At the very least, the Norwegian terrorist can give us some insight into just how poisonous our political and social climate has become in this world. People are aligning and taking sides...for refuge from the other, yet very few are willing to reach across and meet in the middle to discuss, or to breathe life into and recognize the other. Are we not seeing these same divisive politics playing out in the American legislation right at this very moment? Are we not seeing some of these same shifts happening in the Christian church, denominations, groups, separating themselves from the fundamentalists, the evangelicals and the like. Yet simultaneously those sides are gaining steam as a result of dissatisfaction. People are dividing and pooling out of fear.


It could be possible that it is simply safer to gather with other individuals because "there's safety in numbers", similar to the idea that many join racially segregated gangs in prisons simply for protection, whether they fully subscribe to the ideals of that group in totality or not. Unfortunately, the longer one remains associated with their "refuge group", the more likely they are to succumb to the doctrine the core seeks to infiltrate them with...even if initially they were on the fence or just joined for safety purposes, we have lost them to the gang, the group, the "party", the organization.


How do we get back to a place of dialog and compromise? We have to first be willing to recognize that the other side may indeed have something valuable to add to the conversation, that we can both mutually gain by coming to the center. It's humanization at its best, because whether you chose to believe it or not, the moment you have decided to shut your ears to the demands, lamentations, complaints, sentiments, etc., of the opposing group, you have already made it at least half way down the path of de-humanization AND you have shut yourself off to the possibility of crafting the most ideal and best solution, as the BEST solutions come from diverse opinions...and considering the issues that we face in this world, we would do well to seek the absolute BEST solutions, rather than temporary inadequate ones that only get at the symptoms rather than the ailment itself.


Well, that's my incoherent rant for today. My condolences go out to the victims of all terrorist acts in this world. I hope that moments like this will draw us together rather than pull us further apart.


Peace and blessings,


Reviving Dead Bones

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on July 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello world!

I know I have been silent in the blogosphere for a couple months now, but I am pleased to announce some new changes to the site!

#1-The background music on the homepage is a song that I composed a couple months ago and am STILL working on. This is just the instrumental here, but the full song can be emailed out if you like. My work is never finished, so I consider "Black Amethyst" an unfinished product, but feel free to email if you'd like to listen to the raw version. It's very much in line with the neo-conscious music that I've spent the last few years shifting into. For those of you who liked "Speaker Bleed": this one goes harder. As far as lyrical content, this work requires a conscious ear.

#2- I have FINALLY decided to officially add a poetry page to this website. After a little trepidation, I decided to begin sharing some of the poetic expressions that come to me. This could be free-verse, rap, lyrics or buzzes of inspiration that I freely compose throughout the day. Over time, I will be sifting through my archives and adding some of my most intimate poetic and lyrical work here, dating back to the early 2000s! I hope you enjoy.

#3-I will be making an attempt to blog more often, ESPECIALLY to comment more on our political environment, in addition to some of the more personal thoughts along my journey. With the aforementioned said, I'll likely be blogging a major update tonight or tomorrow concerning life post-graduation. I hope my words will inspire and ignite creativity within others.

Welp, that's all folks! I look forward to recharging this site and making it a more active reflection of my life. Many thanks to those who have stuck with me and taken an interest in my work, words, and endeavors. It is people like you who motivate me to aspire to simply share my gift with others. Thank you! :)


Stephanie "Step"



Knee Deep and Nearly Neck High in Work :)

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on April 11, 2011 at 2:09 AM Comments comments (0)

Greetings all,

If you'd like to know what I have been working on for the past few months and months prior, take a list at the works I've written below. If you're interested in this subject-matter and would like to read any of these works just shoot me an e-mail via the "Contact Us" module and I'll be more than happy to email you a PDF :) Also, if you're wondering, I am still writing music. The latest track I composed was in December over Christmas vacation. If you're into conscious music, you'll want a taste of this one. It really channels history and presents food for thought. Again, send me an e-mail if you'd like an mp3 of that song in particular or any of my other copyrighted works.

Take care and I'll try not to stay away so long next time lol



All works listed below required extensive research through the use of a diverse panoply of texts, scholarly articles, and internet research referencing politics, international relations theories and concepts (realist, constructivist and systems in particular), political psychology and group dynamics, U.S. foreign policy, transitional justice, globalization and comparative politics.

(“R” denotes research work; “T” denotes short topic paper)

Alignments of Necessity: Exploring the true nature of constraints and pressures effecting the Iranian Foreign Policy Posture

Towards Israel Post-1953 Mosseddeq Coup (R)

Prospects for Democracy: Comparing the Political and Social Establishments of Egypt and Jordan (R)

Building Out of the Ashes of Genocide: A Recovery Strategy for Sudan (R)

Shattering the Black Box: Avouching Human Behavior as an Essential Element to the study of a Modern World (T)

Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Exploring the True Nature of Human Cognition and its Implications for Understanding

Foreign Policy Analysis (T)

Brains Over Brawn: The Transformation of the American Military (T)

Failure at the Top Tier: A Review of David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest (T)

Decision-Making and Small Group Behavior (T)

Gambling with Error: Examining erroneous Elements in America’s Death Penalty Practices (R)

**Current research initiative involves applying System’s Theory to exploring the Italian transition from a Risorgimento expression of nationalism to an Integral form of expressed through fascism. This research work will be completed on April 12th, 2011.

Rules for Flight Mode--My Random Thoughts On Purpose

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on December 13, 2010 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Rule #1: Everyone can't make the journey with you.

I suppose they lingered for a season, to provide an "exit", or even a rest stop somewhere on your tour of life's corridors. You may have taken off with a flock of favored friends and acquaintances, but your purpose is greater. And for you this journey is not an option, nor is it leisure; it is a destiny.

Rule #2: You cant expect someone on the ground to have the same perspective as a dreamer in flight.

When you're in flight you're progressing toward purpose.They will not be able to see what you see, because their mindset is limited by what is in front of them, an obstruction...a block, a river, a valley.

Rule #3: Be mindful of this vision deficiency, as you have the vision of an eagle.

You can see above and beyond the expectations and limitations of others, have a finely tuned navigation system, a first class view, and are equipped with in-flight insight to wherever your motivation and ambition will lead you.

Rule #4: Guard your nest.

Know your purpose even when those among you do not comprehend it. Although you will surly experience turbulence, delays, even rerouting- know exactly what you want and do NOT stop until you have reached your destination. Temporary deviation from the flight path will only prolong the journey, but will not CANCEL the flight...unless you fail to adhere to tenet #5. Proceed.

Rule #5: Keep a steady head, aim straight, and DO NOT look back.

The aforementioned is the last and final rule for flight mode etiquette. Along your journey you may witness chaos below you as others fall from flight. You may even be in the position to help the injured ALONG the way, and you shall gladly,  but whatever you do, do not turn around or lose sight of the end point. For even the smallest amount of time spent on the ground may be enough to change your mindset and deter you from your purpose. You are switching atmospheres at this point, and soon enough your body will adapt to its negative and perception-deficient surroundings. Stay focused, and do not tarry long...

I'm on cruise control my loves• THE END

By Stephanie M. Fillyaw

Charlotte Halloween Party=Success

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on November 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Greetings all!

***Foremost, allow me to personally thank all who attended the Halloween Costume Party last Saturday in Charlotte, NC! We had a GREAT crowd!! Personal thanks to my best friend for inviting me to come DJ his event, it certainly was my pleasure.

November is finally here! YES! Thanksgiving is coming soon and more quickly than you think, Christmas will soon follow. I've been working a little less on my own music, and instead focused the last month on the 2 parties that I DJ-ed.  That required setting the playlists, making sure all my equipment was in order, AND generating my DJ tags, which requires a few skills in effects. 

What's next on my agenda???? Who knows.

All in all, time is FLYING by and opportunities continue to manifest, and as they do, I will continue to consult with my manager: God. haha

Peace and Blessings,


Time Flies...when you're busy being positive :)

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on September 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Greetings my fellow friends and followers!

It has been at least a month since I've blogged (shame on me, I know),but believe me, I've been busy with worthwhile endeavors. The school year hasbegun again and soon I'll be preparing for my Oral Assessment; it's pretty muchthe only things that stands between me and my MA That's great news! I will begraduating in the spring, amidst a fiery backdrop of South Carolina heat.Honestly, you've felt nothing like this and once you do, you'll understand whyColumbia is sometimes called, endearingly of course, "The Armpit of theSouth". haha

As far as music is concerned, I have been terribly productive. Themonth of August itself was a watershed for songwriting and producing. Justbefore school started I spent an entire weekend writing songs and Turing outmusical accompaniments. This usually could take days to do, sometimes evenmonths (I still have beats that I started and never finished), but for whateverreason I was able to write about 4 songs and do all the music in a matter of days.Props to me!

On another note, just at the beginning of August into September, I wasblessed to stumble upon an amazing documentary about Hurricane Katrina entitled"Trouble the Water". Of course I had seen several documentariesproviding an account of the horrendous and horrible events of HurricaneKatrina, but what made this one special was that it was a moment by momentaccount from the view of a victim. It was like nothing I had ever soon. Thestory of Kim and her family is just amazing and through it all they managed tokeep a smile on their face and make friends along the way. 

In short, I was so touched by the documentary that I purchased the album of the young lady, the protagonist of the documentary (if that's the correct use of the word in associatation with a documentary lol), as she is a local artist in New Orleans. I will soon be purchasing the DVD for my upcoming birthday! If you'd like to purchase the DVD or see clips of the documentary, visit: http://www.troub


New Homepage Background music....

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on July 26, 2010 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey guys, if you visit here enough you may have noticed a change in the background music on the homepage. The one I had playing prior to today was an instrumental I'd written a year or so ago, the song later evolved to a full piece called "If We're Not in Love" (I wrote that song at a Holiday Inn in Charlotte, NC hahaha), TODAY however, I have replaced that with a new one that I wrote last week called "Dissipation", which means "scattered". I got a rush of creativity wrote the song last week, and did all the music right in my apartment room, as has always been the case. My keyboard and I always get the job done and you have no idea how much of a blessing it is to be able to write and play ALL of your music. The particularly interesting fact about "Dissipation" is that it's the first song I've played my electric guitar on. I have two acoustic songs that I did a year ago, but nothing in my past had featured me on my Les Paul replica! So for the aforementioned reasons, I am DELIGHTED to share this instrumental with you. If you like what you hear or would like the song in its lyrical entirety, simply click on the "Contact Us" module and I'll be glad to send it to you for free :)

Peace and thanks for visiting and fueling my musical passion with your encouragement 

Stephanie "Musiqtruth" Fillyaw

Busy Busy Busy! Awesome!

Posted by Stephanie Fillyaw on July 15, 2010 at 10:08 AM Comments comments (0)

Well all, it's been a good little minute since I've been able to blog here, but I HAVE kept my word to keep you updated on what I'm doing. As you may know, I'm also balancing Summer sessions with work and play, so finding the time to do what I want is a constant work in progress. :)

I've been terribly busy since my last entry doing what I do best: music. Last Saturday I was blessed to be a apart of a surprise 50th Anniversary reception down in "lil' ole" Hampton, SC. It was beautiful and Jamal Hasan (Saxophonest and keys) I really put on a good show in a down-home-southern kind of way.

Other than that, I also had the opportunity to participate in the hosting of the Cuban Caravan at Benedict College's International office. Tim Gannon, Jamal Hassan, Amara Camara, Sarah Williams, Jerry on piano and myself provided some great music for a great organization. The Cuban Caravan operates under that auspice of Pastors For Peace (the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization) , a faith based organization that advocates for truth and justice around the world.  We did everything from Jazz classics such as "Summertime", to spoke word and the old stand bys such as "Lean On Me" and "Mercy Me". It was truly a rewarding fellowship.

The aforementioned was earlier in the week. Now on Thursday I made my way to Charlotte, NC to visit my alma mater, Queens University of Charlotte. I did certainly have a wonderful time passing through the city and was back in Columbia by 7:30PM. I'm always on the go! 

In closing of the week (Friday), I was invited to sit in on a Jazz and Music theory lesson given by Bob Williams, bebop enthusiast and trumpeter. This man is the truth! I learned so much and my mind was literally spinning at the amount of new information I was provided. Music theory is a deep concept that I hope to continue uncovering should my lifetime permit! 

After the lesson, I visited a community garden flourishing by the labor of volunteers in the Rosewood community. It was truly beautiful to see what immense greatness a community can create when it works together! Following the tour of the garden, I some how ended up playing piano and singing  at a local's home. It was wonderful to sing amidst the backdrop of a country home in the surrounding area. We had a grand time jamming out while chickens clucked in the yard and ripened figs fell to the ground below. I cherish the spontaneity of the summer...It truley reminds me of the freedom of my childhood in the rural areas of North Carolina.

We ended the day by making our way down by the Riverwalk and joining a drum circle. Now mind you, my day began quite early and by this time it was 7PM~! I spent the day surrounded by wonderful sounds and wonderful people...I wouldn't spend it any other way.

**I will now spend the rest of the weekend studying for my exam on Monday. Excuse me! :)

Have a great weekend, and please remember that God provides us with 24 hrs in a day, 8 of which (in a perfect world) designated for sleep, the rest of which are dived up to accommodate the demands of life, how you chose to spend those hours is up to you. Chose to take care of your responsibilities, but also chose to live, for life is short and can be over in the blink of an eye. ^0^

Peace and blessings,

Stephanie "MusiqTruth Fillyaw"