Your purpose generally doesn't take you light years away from your own backyard! You are called to bloom where you're planted! The bigger you bloom, then surely the fruits of your labor can take you everywhere; but the plant must have roots. Your greatest successes will come from daring to be you right where you are right now! (quoted from the book, It's Time For Some Action by Kevin E. Taylor.)
Kevin E. Taylor is a former BET television producer, pastor of the Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick in New Jersey, and author of two previous books, the revelatory Unclutter: Cleanse Your Life & Claim Your Stuff, and the tender brother-to-brother love story, Jaded.
Kevin E. Taylor is also a grower of people. His latest offering, It's Time For Some Action! 10 Common Sense Steps (To Take Your Life Back and Then To The Next Level) is rooted and grounded in the author's recognition of his own calling to "water and nurture, help weed and inspire to bloom" the spirits and souls of those who seek greatness. This new BOOK OF ACTS is based on the truth that we all have an intrinsic greatness that Taylor wants to help bring to the light of day, joy and of possibility.
A slim volume in 10 "acts", this new book assists readers in their efforts toward self-improvement with chapters including Purpose, Relationships, Money, Forgiveness and Sexuality. It succeeds on many levels. There is no filler here! Every subject is communicated with a focus that absolutely absorbs the reader right into the pages and holds them there right where they need to be!
Taylor's style is provocative, at turns hilarious, and totally riveting, especially as he shares personal anecdotes. He addresses readers right where they are almost like having a personal conversation. In fact, that's what happened when Brother Taylor graciously granted me a one-on-one interview.....
There's one common thread throughout the whole book that will relate to how the reader approaches the material - and that seems to be SELF LOVE! Please expound on that. TAYLOR: I start the book dealing with LOVE and visit that theme throughout the book because I am trying to get anyone and everyone to see that even if you don't grow up in or with love, you can grow love within yourself! If your approach is about loving the self, you will find greatness, you will stop procrastination, you will do and be more. It's powerful to realize you are purposeful!
The adage "WE TEACH OTHERS HOW TO TREAT US" came into its full meaning for me for the very first time in reading this book. Explain how that statement has a direct connection to the ACT OF LOVE? TAYLOR: The Act Of Love chapter is about realizing that you are the SOURCE of everything you need and when you love yourself, you set the STANDARD OF YOU and you literally teach people how to treat you BY HOW YOU TREAT YOURSELF and what you alllow yourself to do, to be, to be around. You raise a standard of self-worth that will not allow certain creatures or cretins, foolishness or mess to make it into your space because you are willing to exterminate constantly and consistently to eliminate anything that doesn't deserve to be in your space or desire to elevate your life!
There are some things we know intellectually, things that we know we should do, but sometimes we lack the skill to act because of some disconnect. Explain how your book will help those people? How was this book born? TAYLOR: My mother must get all the credit for this! When I was growing up there were times my mother would say something and it was like a verbal "smack" upside the head. It was like her words said YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER! Where the disconnect is for SO MANY is in the knowing; we know what to do and sometimes, even how to do it, but we get stuck. We get stuck in a sense of perfection that is so unrealistic that we get frozen and inactive. My mother has always been a woman of action. Louise Taylor has always been able to tell me about my deepest self - whether I was dating a fool or living like one, working on a job that didn't respect me or if I was acting out of fear. Many of us have gotten so smart but have forgotten the common sense of our elders, who had to see things clearer and work with less, so they didn't have time for piddling.
Eld. Taylor's church, Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick in New Jersey, presents itself as a "whosoever will come" church, but the congregation remains largely LGBT. In the chapter on sexuality, Taylor details a story about how his mother attended a Mother's Day service. Her visit that Sunday turned out to be the Mother's Day to end all services as she took the microphone and addressed the congregation. Her words and actions turned the service out and there wasn't a dry eye in the building....
Reading about that day made me cry. I can only imagine the sense of affirmation that must have been in that building on that day. How did it change HER life? TAYLOR: My mother had 6 sons, and half of us were/are gay, and she said it must have been God's gift to her. Our relationship changed after that day because when she said "YOU THINK YOU SEE ME ON KEVIN BUT WHAT YOU REALLY SEE IS KEVIN ON ME" it spoke to my soul and told me she was watching. Corey, I cannot tell you, in this skin, what it is like to be preaching and see the Word move my mother (when she has visited since) or even when I was in the choir and the first time she saw me take the microphone to lead a song. It lifted my soul and continues to do so! To be able to have the kinds of conversations that I have had with my mother in the past several years is so WOW to my soul that I can't tell it all. I am not afraid or ashamed to come to her as a resource or a source.
One of the reasons so many black LGBT folk won't stand up in who we are is because we fear we'll no longer be loved. Isn't the bigger fear that if our loved ones stopped loving, it's because they NEVER DID and that's an ugly truth we don't want to face because it would be TOO MUCH? TAYLOR: I would agree! The idea that we were never liked or always different scares us as LGBT people because NO ONE ever wants to feel seperated from their own. LGBTQ people of color are the ONLY people who come "home" from oppression and still cannot (forget) about oppression at home because we are oppressed there, too! It's a struggle of the soul and it's so sad because so much of it is based in culture and religion. We are so afraid of the idea of being seperate from God because of what scripture says about being an abomination that we will lie to family and to our faith, as though not bearing false witness isn't a commandment handed down from a high place. I believe that standing up in my truth as a gay man allows me to be the GREAT MAN OF GOD that I am called to be because I have NO hiding place. I am naked and cannot say "YOU DON'T KNOW ME SO YOU MUST NOT WANT ME." I KNOW God knows it's ME!
Amen Revkev! And in the book, you talk about how Spirituality and Religion intersect and the conflict many of us have with the meaning of those WORDS! TAYLOR: Yes, the conflict is with the words because we go into a church and THAT preacher says the wrong thing and we throw the spiritual baby out with the religious bath water and then blame it all on the church, instead of going to the next church. It's like we want to be able to dismiss the duty, the journey of finding a higher connection. Like a recalcitrant child who says "I tried but I couldn't find it" he doesn't search, even while he's looking, so that the blame falls at the feet of the church. I've come to change the conversation and that's a new thing for some and still not enough for others. Being spiritual is a ritual we must live in daily (and religiously) and many of us would rather live unaware and let that be the excuse!
Switching gears, in the Money/Finance section, you have some very poignant and sobering words to say about the truth of credit cards on pg. 74 that begins with the statement I HAD TO BUY IT! Talk about that just a little. TAYLOR: When we realize money plays a role, in context, to the other ways that we are not good to ourselves, then we will stop trying to spend our way to happiness! Our most rabid relationship with money can make us salivate with satisfaction, as though having this THING will bring something to us that's not within us but must be bought or brought from outside! When there is a sense of lack within and we don't deal with it, we misplace that energy and believe it something that's MISSING! Missing and LACKING are NOT the same thing!
The chapter on Purpose is my favorite! What is your purpose? TAYLOR: My purpose is to create new ways to grow people! It's my verb (I CREATE) meeting my noun. When people say IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!, I get to say AHA! I get to bear witness and show people that when you dare ask the questions, you dare find the answers. When I said I wanted to work at BET, I couldn't fathom it even when I could imagine it. I couldn't have fathomed doing an interview and sitting before an artist and asking questions but the truth is that I had done that in my living room my entire life. I just didn't know that God was listening so intently and that only God would make the first actual human being that I interviewed the person I was always interviewing in my DAY DREAMS - NATALIE COLE! (Taylor, a well-known Cole fan, first met the superstar entertainer at a very young age). Her career began in 1975, and after 18 years when I walked into that room in 1993 to interview her, she thought BET had let me come so that I could be in the room. When she realized that I was doing the interview, she almost panicked because SHE KNEW what a huge fan I was.
Kevin E. Taylor is not a stranger to this blog, but I am honored and feel very blessed for the opportunity to interview a man that has proven himself to be a friend, brother and pastor to me. That's the beauty and the realness of who he is and what you get in his new book. I've come far in the relatively short time that I've known him and would like to publically thank him for trusting me and entrusting me with tools for growth.