Keep Liv'n w/ Jé Exodus Hooper

Keep Liv’n 02.14 | Wonder Work’n Woman Power: Dreams, Daydream, and Radical Imagination


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Hi, everyone. Good to see all of you. I cannot see you. And so I’m really, really, really glad to celebrate women’s rights with you. Yes. We took a little bit of a break to kind of get all this built up. But like I said, we’ve got a lot of things going. We’ve got some amazing women information. And I am so excited to have them in this rotation. And one of the most important women on this show that is going to run the show for the month.

Y’all heard it, right? Yes. This platform will be shared by nobody else.

But to Tia’lana Hunter and Minneapolis, bringing us some stuff from the wonderful place that honestly became a third home for me.

Yes, that’s my third home next to Baltimore. So I will say what I need to get ready to go to out there. I can tell you I’m going to go stay with this lovely, lovely bean and all of her elegance and her fierceness and her wonderfulness and her let me tell you, one of the most determined ever met in my life and I am so grateful to have her not only be a part of this moment would be a part of this month and really in many ways transform what I see keep living to be, which is in many ways a place where everyone can find and experience this project around living life to its fullest. I think I just really have to say Tia’lana, has that and I don’t I’m so grateful to share this moment with you. So how are you, my love? It’s good to see you.

I know it’s good to see you as well. I’m doing great. And again, I hate that I just cannot touch you right now and just give you my love. This virtual thing is driving me crazy. But I am here and I am thankful that you thought of me to be representing your show for the month of March for women’s history. So thank you.

When the magic, I was I was racking my brain.

And me and the team, were like, do you know anyone can you think of anyone? And I will tell you, I was going to cancel the show because I was going to cancel the show.

I am so I was so committed. No one, I was so committed to, not only, you know, to make you know, it’s like it’s like, yeah, I can hold that space and I can get it for me myself, you know, I was just like, it’s important to have this space.

And I was like, yeah, I can bring several women into the space to to do the work of shows. But I was like, it’s nothing like really actually being like.

You know, let’s go old school for a minute here in my pocket and let me give you my pocket and make that magic happen because I know what I’m called to do.

But if anything, one of our biggest callings I find as a community people as we continue to figure out ways to challenge what our social what our social society says about life and the norms, I’m like, there’s no other way to do it than having a woman actually have the show. And really and also, I don’t know, I’ll tell you right now, I be watching because all I might have to be you might be a co-host.

You may have nowhere to go. But I come out in the summertime, you know, and everything.

I’m already ready for some of something are like 70 something degrees. I got my midriff.

I know. I know. And you got here. It’s like sixty degrees. And I got like sweatpants.

And what I like if I wanted to hang out, you know, living in Minneapolis or whatever, that it was 67 degrees out there.

Beautiful. Beautiful.

So I thought, you know what, I don’t want to steal your show, but does most of them just a little bit like, you know, they know the values on this show are in to my whole thing is like, you got to bring your sexy, you got to bring your realness and you have to bring your feet up. OK, I work on this show you that. That’s why they are called FreedomPop. That’s they want to connect.

So, you know, today, you know, I just so that’s to understand why why this was so important to me.

Can you just tell can you just give us from a perspective of where you’re comfortable? Can you just share a little bit about yourself?

And I know it’s going to it’s not going to be even close because we’ll have a chance to experience your determination in life.

But just you just can you just kind of encapsulate you just a few things for her and let me in the empty bottle of water on.

You know, that is a loaded question because I am a woman’s woman and I am a man’s woman and I am, you know, a grounded woman because I have been what I tell you through hell and back. You wouldn’t even understand what I mean when I say that and I say that happily now because I came a very long way. Now I’ve lost myself completely. And when I say I lost myself and I just like trying to figure out what I want to do in life, but just my soul, my heart, my spirit, everything about me was not Talana. I didn’t even know who I was. I was living for somebody else and doing things for other people. And to get back on the road that I am took a huge, huge support system. And I’m grateful for my mother and my brother and especially, you know, me and Jay met at the most, like, weirdest times. And he really encouraged me to get back on track. And let me tell you, I made the dean’s list.

I got all A’s right now in school. And, you know, it’s been holding steady.

So to come from somewhere of darkness and to lose something very, very close to me that we had discussed later. But I have definitely seen the light and the darkness. So that’s a little bit about who I am.

So now, look, I’m telling you on the other end for a treat this month and not I’m not not only is she an amazing co-host, but we have some amazing guests. When you join us on Thursday, you’ll be joining Jessie Armstead, who is doing our our amazing storytelling and sharing a few stories this month. You will also be graced with the presence of Shonda Walsh, who is a fitness specialist. You will also be greased with the presence of the new project Mama Rose by story Michelle. And how she is creating this project is going to be transformational. So you will get to choose and we’re going to come up with something very powerful.

I’m very glad to bring upon this platform with TIA Line, who is working in women incarceration as we talk about women who have been incarcerated and giving them allowing them to reclaim their story because, you know, to long you know how I am about reclaiming the narrative and healing. So I’m excited. You know, you got a roll call, honey.

I know. And I’m so excited.

I’m like, oh, my God, you know how your heart is beating for somebody you just can’t wait to meet you. I’m going to sit down and I’m going to be just like eating up everywhere. Like, what did you say? Go back.

Right. I know you better get ready to work out because Shonda time and I’ll play a little game show worked out for a good, healthy, good, healthy thirty minutes. So you better have your sweater on that day. Don’t know. Don’t sleep on her now. Sleep with her.

She gonna come with the quickness on it. So I just want to say thank you. Yeah. If anything big from the bottom of my heart I will be tuning in as an audience member because I’m, I’m, I’m a B here, really unlike like most much of the family.

And you will get very familiar with my freedom folk and how they shout and dance and everything as you continue is probably shaking a little bit more than what I you know what?

I feel so good. You get lucky, you lucky.

Lucky, lucky. Because I would do a whole entire Thursday on how to work. And I would like to understand how to talk. Let me tell you this.

This blow up the.

I’m here because I if I could do it, I’d be I’d be like, I’m still delivering too much back.

I feel I can be delivering back. It’s all about the good.

I got to go. I don’t know what to do it.

I wouldn’t be the man for the job to get on there.

We all go have blood and guts class.

But I’m so I’m so excited. I’m so excited and so excited to have you.

And I know tonight we are expected to actually transition into what is it, dreams and daydreaming and radical imagination. This was actually a show that we did over last summer. And I think one of the things that I’m so excited about is that, you know, we kind of see.

Somewhat of the brewing of what this was actually turning out to be, where was the and and the least kind of shared with us the the kind of the breakdown of dreams. And so, you know, I want to go ahead and kick this kick this review. If you have never seen it before, it is probably one of the most insightful things around dreams, how to deal with things, kind of take notes around dreams and just be inspired because we.

Don’t let anybody take your drink.

That’s right. You know what I’m talking about. I know you don’t know that that dream was my favorite English word.

I got it tattooed on me is something that I believe in deeply. Wholeheartedly.

So I’m all for and, you know, so this is going to be this is going to be even though it is it is a show from our from our van is a throwback.

Trust me, the show has only been minimal for almost a year and a half now. But it is nothing like going back and going back and pulling a bit of a sinkhole, which isn’t going to bring it forward. So I hope they will join us in watching this today. Y’all will experience the magic of Talana next week on Tuesday, as she in many ways will look. She might be converted into a freedom later.

I don’t know. You got a lot of freedom anyway. I’m you know, we might be packed and like, hey, what are you doing?

All right, look, look, look.

I’m here. I’m here for making this show is who we go have one. And next, you know, so let’s make it happen. I thank you, my love.

And I’m going to be wonderful parents, wonderful transformational hands. What are the better hands going to be?

And then a woman and proudly at that beautiful black woman doing the damn thing, like make sure that her life is lived to its fullest capacity.

So I just want to say that it is so good to see my mother on here out of all the whole grateful that, yes, I was created from Cynthia Hooper. So give her a shout out right now.

Some hearts and some love, because that’s what this is where it comes from, a lot of that energy and everything. So I love my mother, happy woman’s mom and everything. And I will see y’all next week. Okay.

So thank you, beautiful both for joining us.

Another episode of Keep Living Where Goodness and Sexy follows you all the days of your life. You are being joined by our beautiful co-host today, Elise the Ethicist. And I am sorry, Michel, the story teller. We are here. YJ Hooper is on a little hiatus and working on his dissertation. He’s been working really hard on it. We’re hoping that October twenty six, we will see him virtually graduate. And today we are excited to talk to you about your dreams.

We’re going to be talking about our dreams at night, our waking dreams, and how those are tools or can be used as tools to inspire radical imagination.

So that’s why we’re in our sleep attire.

You know, I don’t like this, but I like that we are so great on television critic for the culture.

So so dreams has been like a buzzing topic for a lot of people during this time of covid, especially while we are shut down lots into our homes, we’re spending more time asleep, which is a good thing for a lot of people. A lot of folks I’m just thinking about like busy cities like New York City. I have actually been able to rest without waking up with the jolts of having to go and do something and be somewhere. So that is lovely. But it also allows for you to have more of that good deep REM sleep. So people are having more vivid dreams now. People are having strange dreams.

People are having apocalyptic kind of center dreams. And I’ve been dreaming for a very long time. I and when I say I’ve been a dreamer, I mean that I can vividly remember my dreams.

When I wake up, I will write them down. My mother taught me at twelve like how to, like, write down my dreams so I can remember them. And part of that as a tool for me, understanding myself because I understood dreams as like interlaced with imagination and memories.

And I thought it was interesting when the other day we listened to the NPR podcast, then we heard about this very strange dream.

Yes. So there was this man. He was reflecting on just a recent dream he had featuring Joe Biden. And in the dream, Joe Biden had taken on the Vestel form.

The pope and so the pope, as Joe Biden encounters this child and exercises a demon out of the child and so on the show, the point was to interpret this dream and sort of make meaning of it.

And they were saying that this person feels like if Joe Biden were in authority, the way a pope is a sign of authority, if Joe Biden were in authority, then we wouldn’t be going through all the troubles that we’re going through right now. That’s not an endorsement. That’s just a man’s dream.


I mean, if we were to reinterpret that dream, the baby could be said to be forty five and the demon was exercised out of the baby for the well-being of humanity.

Yes, I think that that’s another interpretation of what it could be. That’s fair.

But I mean, obviously, these are also things that are also a part of our collective consciousness, our collective consciousness, where we’re all thinking about what is the future look like.

Mm hmm. And I think. Well, for me, just.

Thinking about dreams in the era of covid-19 in particular, I haven’t been dreaming of those presidents, I did dream of the Obamas, but I I recently dreamt that I was in a house that I thought belonged to my father, but it didn’t. And I’ll tell you who it belonged to in a second. So I go in and there’s a garage and the garage is open and I see a white man in the dream and I say, let me stop trying to open and close his garage to fix it because it wasn’t opening. Let me stop doing that because they’re going to think I’m trying to steal his house. So I left the garage partially open. And as I’m walking out the door, I see Trump and I realized that the house belonged to Trump. So Trump has sort of taken on the form of my father and I know yeah, daddy issues. And when he comes to when you go to the house, he’s like, yeah, you can leave whenever you’re ready. You can just leave. So I’m like, OK, so Trump wants me to leave whenever I’m ready.

And lots of subconscious digging we can do there. But when he hires. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it’s also interesting how these archetypes show up in our dreams like like what we’re really talking about.

It’s like authority, power and I’ve thought a lot about within my own dreams, like what it means for me to have learned how to have agency.

So when I was in my undergrad program at University of Maryland College Park, I had a psych one on one class.

And I remember reading right before I went to sleep that you knew that you were having a lucid dream when you had awoken to the dream.

So like having that understanding that, like, you are actually dreaming while you’re inside, while you’re inside of the dream. And, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of people about this. It’s not too common, but I have been able to have lucid dreams since reading that definition. And I remember the dream that I woke up to this all in a strange dream is always something that happened. So like I’m like, I’m going down canal and tunnel. I’m on like a little boat. And I look over yonder and there’s a lion and that I look back into my boat and I realize that there’s a doll and the doll turns to me and looks like it’s about to say so I was like, Oh no, I’m dreaming.

And ever since then, I was able to stop things from happening in my dream that were uncomfortable or that were going to be scary if I was going to go down like a dark path or something.

I was able to awake to the dream and realize, you know what, I have decisions I can make.

I don’t have to go down that tunnel because it’s probably not going to be a good idea for me to hear how people the roles that people take on in their dreams, because Syria has been trying to get me in to my the power of lucid dreaming. But I, I mean, the war and everything. We tried to bring that up, but I just I always take on the role of an observer. So I’m either observing things that are taking place, disembodied, or I am embodied. And I’m like I’m totally aware of what’s going to happen and I can’t do anything to stop it. It’s just happening and it’s for me to sort of see it. And so then I was thinking about the roles that we might play in our everyday lives right in my life. I’m an observer. I’ll be in a room on leave just like, oh, we’ll do it together.

Oh, person might be thinking, oh, good, is that love enough?

And I am a designer. I like to do certain situations. I like to I like I do observe and I think I do that. I do both at the same time actually in my dream when I’m able to realize that I’m dreaming, there is a there is a personality that I take where I don’t want to control the dream totally because I’ve done that before. And then I’ll be like, oh dang. I wonder if I’m not learning my lesson. Yeah. Yeah. By, by taking control of the situation. And so I do a little bit of both where I allow my dream to proceed, but I proceed with caution. And if there is something that’s about to happen I don’t like, I do have the agency to say, no, this isn’t happening today and I’m going back to the other room or I’m going back down the hall. It is very errors in me.

I like I like to be in control.

I think we have some comments here.

So let’s just go. Hey, you you say the more you pay attention to your dreams, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to dream lucid.

So, Hugh, you’re a lucid dreamer, it seems, and I want to try I try to pay attention and the most random things happening, I’m just like, this doesn’t make any sense.

Yeah, yeah. I mean, and I think that’s such a good point because I think that’s what I’ve been doing is like just paying attention to my dreams, paying attention to the themes that pop up in my dreams. For the past 20 years, I’ve been having recurring dreams of being in a building, and this building is either a school or a home building or sometimes both.

They just collapse into each other, probably because I work on my fourth degree and I’ve also taught and I’m a homebody, you know, I’m an introvert. So like those are like all of those things collapse into each other in my dreams. And I’ve noticed that that theme is especially prevalent now that I’m actually locked into my house. Yes. And so I’m dreaming about being in a house and I’m spending all my time in a house and, you know, in Inception has taught us the movie and such and such is that I love the cat, you know.

And some people.

Yes. Where they are planting ideas into people’s heads through their dream world. And we actually did some homework and watched it again because it’s such an exciting show. But one of the things I found interesting was that they always had to create from your imagination whenever there, because they have architects, they have somebody that’s like making sure that every single detail in the dream is correct to create from imagination and memory.

Yes, to create for imagination that memory.

Because when you create from memory, you collapse in reality and the dream world.

And I thought that was so interesting because now my dream world and reality are collapsing. And I feel as if it’s if it’s giving me different types of warnings and lessons.

Now, you know, there’s a lot of things I have in my dream about things that I miss. You know, like I had this one dream where I was talking on the phone, walking down the street when that no mask or any gloves on, got on the bus, went to the wrong side of town, got all these black women, saw me.

And they’re like, are you going to be OK? You know, I feel good because, you know, the auntie told me, girl, you’re going to be all right. All right. Just don’t talk to anybody.

And so I walked down. I walked down the path. So I’m going to go. And this old man tried to step to me and ask me a question. I was like, oh, no. Oh, no, because a black artist told me not to talk to everybody.

And he said he wanted directions. And I was like, oh, no, you can find your way, sir, just like I find him on. And I thought it was interesting, this whole idea of like finding your way, you know, and listening to the whispers that I believe in my ancestors, you know, the of the ancestors to follow your way. And I visited a lot by my ancestors in my dreams as well.

You know, those that are living that I knew and those that I never met, I think, you know, because I remember when my my mother was my maternal grandmother passed away. I wanted her to be in my dream. And I remember I had one dream a couple of days after she passed away. I heard her calling me. My mom has this balcony in her house. And I was up at the balcony and my grandmother was downstairs and she called my name and I was like, oh, my mom. I run down the stairs and when I get down there, she’s gone. It was sad.

It is.

And I mean the brain as the question of where do dreams come from? And I think that and you can say as well. But I think that our dreams are our minds trying to work some things out. I at the time, my grandmother was the only person near to me who had ever passed away. And I was really not only struggling because I really had a close relationship with her, but struggling because I just know because of that I have been to that. Yeah. So it was just like, what do I what do I do with this and what does this mean. And for her to call and for me to not be able to see her and then all the emotions there like I was, I was sad. And when I woke up I was crying. So it’s like our dreams, interprete. I think some of the things that are going on inside of us and just use the symbols at the disposal of our subconscious and conscious mind to sort of interpret that.

Absolutely like these projections and also like there’s safety in the dream world. Right.

Like we we have the ability to experiment, if you will, with different scenarios, using different tools in ways that we can in our waking life. See, there’s my safety and my dream.

I am especially with those in my program. Every time I had a dream, I was out of control. I could not make my flight on time. I can not make it to school on time. I can not find my shoes. I can not find my earring.

I can act like I always was missing one thing and had five minutes to get where I was going. And it was just like them. I’m just wet because I felt out of control in that program.

It’s just true. So how did you get through the program?

Hunkering down and controlling what I could control exactly, which was setting myself down and writing, just doing it, and then the dreams faded away, if I don’t let lessons have a way of swooping in when they’re needed to tell you what is needed to be heard, it’s true.

And, you know, this is this is old saying that, like, if you don’t remember your dreams, that it means that you worked out whatever you had to go through in that dream, like you worked out that that situation.

You know, I don’t know what that means for me. I guess I never worked my ass out completely because I remember everything.

You are an epic saga.

They are going to happen is like a movie, but you have to have good enough of. Go ahead. That’s right.

But but I also I what I really love about dreams, too, is how you can enact some of these dreams.

And, you know, we were listening to it from a podcast on Harriet Tubman and her dreaming.

And I I really am fascinated by our ancestors who lived during the time of enslavement and after and especially a couple of generations right after and were able to survive.

Yeah. And I always wonder, like, what helped them survive.

And for Heriot, part of her survival was her her visioning.

It was her having these visions of freedom and literal dream, literal dreams of freedom, where she where she would know don’t go over there, who don’t go over here.

And you might not know the unabridged version of the story. I mean, she went back many times to go and get people. Yes.

And I knew the path knew the path to take so that she could only whiteboarding, avoid all danger and did it because she she knew that these visions were telling her this was part of her purpose.

And and, you know, when you look at the definition of dreams in the dictionary, part of what they say is that they’re supposed to help you figure out your direction and figure out your purpose. And so what I what I’m really excited that dreams are inviting us to do is to experiment in these in these dream worlds, in these safe, brave places, if we should, you know, do it and that way and discover new ways of adapting freedom and acting spaces of liberation, because dreams are one of the rare places where we do have freedom. Anything happen? I’ve learned how to how to fly in my dreams many times. And it was like lessons I had to learn lessons to learn how to fly, you know, without wings. And then, like I’ve learned recently, since the sense of us being shut down and then learning more about how to use spacecrafts do like little.

I’m so serious, like moving into space spacecraft. I’m like, all right, I got to press these buttons to make this work.

But I but it’s also because I think dreams are also a technology, if you will, because when we think about technology, we think about expanding space for our emotional well-being, our physical physical well-being. Sort of advanced. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah. And also like so wisdom and knowing is a different way of knowing. And that’s a sleeping dream, right.

If you are a dream, not dream challenged, but it’s also our waking dreams, our ability to use our daydreams, not just for thinking about like, I don’t know, ice cream or something else, that you might be one thing which is fine.

If you want ice cream, you want to.

They do want to do it because I’m with you, but also in that thing, those dreams, utilizing them intentionally as a tool for like like you were saying, radical imaginations of what can be right and training for an experiment for a different sort of possibility. Absolutely.

So the question that arose among us last week was this question of how do you envision a future when there is no future that you can foresee? So I’m thinking about like, OK, so how am I going to do this thing with my career?

And I’m like, well, I don’t know when we’re going to be able to travel. I don’t know when we’re going to be able to do X.

I don’t know if students are ever going to be in school next semester, but it’s like, how do you utilize your daydreaming?

You’re not dreaming your imagination, imagination to craft a future.

Even if you don’t see one, right, right, and which is why I like that that time period that we were able for.

Yeah, Harriet Tubman is such a great example for us because it’s a time where literally, you know, you can’t see outside of what you know in that moment. But through her dream, she was able to see beyond. She was able to see past or present into a different future and into a future that probably didn’t make any sense structurally, you know, but making enacting that and making that happen.

It’s just so incredible to me.

So you may be a fear. You may be or you may not be a seer, but everyone’s kind of a seer and everybody has a role to play in that, right?

Yeah, right. Yeah.

So we’re coming up on time. So let’s just I just want to look at these comments really quickly. And I think freedom as shame on me. Really. Yes. I had a dream that continued for a week straight. Oh, wow.

Yeah, that would be scary after a while.

Maybe just like. All right.

And I guess we’re back here again, I hope, and see dreams as conduits to the afterlife. And in fact, many cultures believe so. Citation coming. OK, thank you.

So not even not only situating us in this time and not only a future that might be material, but like a future future beyond our physical existence.

Yeah, I thought that beyond what we know to be our reality right now. Yeah.

I think that’s necessary to say, oh my gosh, thank you all for being with us today. I think we have to continue this conversation some time for our aftermath. For today, we are going to be sharing a short film that I created.

That’s the part of my upcoming choreopoem performance.

Mama Rose in this particular segment and at least filmed it beautifully.

And in this particular segment, I actually use dreams that I’ve been writing down over the past 20 years and kind of just found some commonalities. These three figures, the three archetypes that I believe I am and observe at the same time in my dreams. And we recreated some of those dreams, the poetry and visuals. So we’ll be sharing that right after.