Thursday, November 12, 2009


What if I could take a bad experience and recycling it?

Everything on the Journey has value. (Labeling experiences good or bad may result in me overlooking that value. For the sake of this exercise, I will use the term bad in this post.)

Here is what I imagine I could do with the pain someone caused me . . .

I'm gonna take all the bad things you did to me and take them down to the recycling center.

I'm gonna put them in an odorless trash bag so they do not pollute the air during the transport.


Perhaps your betrayal will become a bicycle some little boy will ride and feel free.

Perhaps your lies will become a light bulb that will help a lost child find her way home.

Perhaps the tears you caused will become a tiara some little girl clings to as she dreams of being a princess.

Yeah, I'm gonna take all those bad things you did to me and turn them into something useful; something worth having; something worth sharing.

You see, that's what storytellers do. We take all the bad stuff that has happened and use it to teach, to inspire and to heal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

Below is a post I wrote several months ago but did not publish because I thought is needed some polishing. It was written when I was in a different space than I am now. Hope and faith filled me to the brim, then. Now, hope and faith is just returning to my heart as I ascend from the valley.

Reading my words from a time I was hopeful and faithful is like listening to a wise friend. It feels like Grace has been found me again.

Don't let them steal your rainbow, Queen.
~ My King

After a rainstorm passes over, I often run outside to look for rainbows. Lately, there have been quite a few thunderstorms and I have been treated to the most brilliant arches of color.

Are you are rainbow chaser?

In the midst of language such as, the worse recession since the depression and economic crisis, it may be hard to stay on the path of high vibration, positive energy and awaken consciousness. Everywhere you turn people are talking about how bad it is.

Whatever the balance in your financial portfolio; however challenging your current economic situation; I would bet the farm that if you sat down and wrote a list of the things you do have, you would find you have much to be grateful for.

I am not advocating ignoring any challenges you may be faced with now. What I am promoting is: before you go into action attempting to tackle those challenges, make a gratitude list. You may find that after making that list, you have a clearer mind and subsequently, a better plan of action may unfold.

If you need a daily inspirational message to keep you motivated, I recommend Notes from the Universe. If you want to a book to keep you lifted, I would suggest, Ask and It is Given.

Of course, I hope you find the post of my blog helpful :-).

Keep looking for the rainbows!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ascent Out of the Valley

The cloud cover on my heart and spirit is lifting. What's strange is: part of me wants to stay up under those dark clouds. It feels comfortable. Being checked out is getting to be comfortable.

However, there is another part of me that is ready to rise up out of the valley. That part of me knows it is time to start my ascent.

As the clouds clear, it is reasonable to expect my thoughts to still go back to what happened. The details of the storm that led to my descent will certainly still come to mind. Surveying the damage after the storm is normal. For a short time, I will be allowed to go back. Mourning what has been lost is natural. Retrieving what can be salvaged is expected.

Then, it is time to vacate the valley because it is not safe to stay any longer. An Authority comes to tell me to evacuate now. The directive is firm but gentle.

As I begin my ascent, I look back over my shoulder to look at the wreckage. It feels surreal. A sadness sweeps over me. Simultaneously, I feel a firm yet compassionate Presence leading me out of the dark into the sunlight.

Micheal Bernard Beckwith talks about three kinds of darkness:

1) Gestation Darkness: When something is about to be birthed from you.

2) Shedding Darkness: When a part of you that no longer serves you dies off.

3) Blinding Darkness: When you look directly into God's light and the brilliance temporarily takes away your sight.

All three seems to apply to my recent valley experience.

As the clouds lift, I am having trouble adjusting to the light. Still I put one foot in front of the other and move towards the light.

My footsteps may be wobbly. My muscles may have atrophy. Yet, I still go forward into the light.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Falling on the Journey

When Falling Apart Helps You Keep It Together is the title of a book on grief that a dear friend mentioned to me as we discussed my recent valley experiences. We discussed the benefits of collapsing into what you are feeling.

Recently, I allowed myself to do has invited by the poem, The Invitation, and sit with my pain without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. It felt like a collapse. The weight of recent events in my life led to this descent into the valley. The decision to fall was completely deliberate and with a consciousness. That is to say, it was not analogous to hurling myself off the side of a cliff but instead, allowing myself to free fall.

The former may be born out of desperation and hopelessness while the latter is sourced from a willingness to let go and let God. I also discovered that it requires strength and courage to face your own pain and fears and not shrink back. I had to be strong enough to allow myself to be vulnerable and not move to deny it.

For the most part my collapse has been in private. The solitude has not made the experience free of feelings of vulnerability. Just imagine standing completely nude in front of a full-length, 3-D mirror all alone.

Would you have the urge to avert your eyes from the image projected before you?

Would words of criticism come to mind and would that critique cause you to reach for your clothing?

Would you question the value in even engaging in such an activity?

Well, I answered all of those questions affirmatively when my collapse began. And I did it ANYWAY.

Never before have I experienced that kind of strength and courage that enabled me to collapse, to free fall and not know where the bottom was or if it would come at all.

I am still falling.

The bottom has not come yet.

In the midst of the descent I have discovered parts of me that I had long forgotten. For instance, I am now reacquainted with the gambler's spirit in me. That part of me that is willing to take an adventure without knowing where it will lead. That part of me that believes the possibility of winning far outweighs the probability of losing.

The falling apart really is helping me keep it together.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Invitation to the Journey

At the time this writing, I am in the valley.

Every person's journey leads them through terrain that includes mountains. As we know, between every two mountains is a valley. Today and for several days in the past seven weeks, I have had many valley experiences. My past travels prove to me that what Iyanla Vanzant says is true, "there is value in the valley."

Ever-present in the valley with me is the Divine. Rarely do I feel lonely, yet I am often alone. I am thankful that I enjoy my own company.

Often, I am vulnerable and afraid. More and more, I am learning just how much courage and strength it takes to allow myself to be vulnerable and afraid.

The Divine led me to pick up a book that I have had for years but have not read in quite some time. The book, The Invitation, is based on a poem by the same name. The following line from the poem is greatly assisting me in this moment in the valley,
"I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it."

In days to come, I will blog more about my valley experiences. For now, I invite you to read the poem, The Invitation. Let me know what you think about it; what did it stir in you; how did it make you feel; what is your visceral reaction to it?

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved

Friday, July 3, 2009

Punctionality on the Journey

Actually, TAHIRA, everyone is reasonable.

They just have their own reasons.

And usually it's worth trying to learn what they are to maximize chances of a full-blown, 60's style, psychedelic lovefest. Which is always a good thing.

Groovy you,
The Universe

The above message is from Notes from the Universe. "Everyone is reasonable they just have their own reasons." Hmmmmm.

When I read this message, the first thing I thought was how unreasonable I think it is to be chronically late. As a person who prides herself on being on time, I find people who are habitually late very annoying.

Do they have their own reasons for being late? Absolutely!

Is it worth trying to learn what those reasons are to maximize chances of a fully blown, 60's style, psychedelic lovefest? My ego says, "Hell no!"

My spirit is having a hard time getting into the conversation.

Functionality is about integrity for me. Of course, each of us may fall short on occasion, but when you have a reputation for rarely being on time that begs me to ask, "Whatsup with that?"

Are you seeking attention? Does it stem from some deep-root desire to self-sabotage?

For me, to honor your word is to be honored in this world. Now I will admit that I can be a bit obsessive about being on time. I also know that any obsession is unhealthy.

My punctuality obsession stems from my childhood. (Most obsession start there ;-) My mother demanded it. My father dismissed it.

The result: I brooded and pouted when my mother insisted on me being on time. I brooded and pouted when my father was rarely on time.

Am I missing out on some groovy experience by not allowing others to continually make me wait?

I read somewhere once, that when you are waiting you should see it as an opportunity to practice patience. Unfortunately, patience is another character flaw of mine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Divinely Ordered Steps on the Journey

Lately, I have been extremely productive in various facets of my life: personal, business and spiritual. My plate has been pretty full. However, I have been able to maintain my center and make significant strives completing my long to-do list because I have been diligent about journaling each morning and doing walking meditations. As a result, I feel more focused and grounded during the day.

Journaling every day is easy for me. It’s a habit I established in my life at an extremely young age. However, a consistent meditation practice has been elusive for me at times.

Recently, Renee Colbert Gadson (my dear friend) and I made a pact to resume an exercise regiment. We acknowledged that physical wellness is an important element to achieving the goals in other areas of our life. We also agreed that the exercise program is not simply to lose weight or become fit but to help us maintain our spiritual focus, as well.

I decided that my regiment would include walking for 30 minutes. My intent was to start off slow and honor my body’s current limitations. Right behind my home is a track, so I made use of it. To be certain there was a spiritual component, I said an affirmation with each lap.

Lap One and Two
There is a great demand for my work as an artist and I am paid extremely well.

Lap Three and Four
All of my relationships are loving, healthy and fulfilling.

Lap Five and Six
Life is easy.

Caring for my teenaged daughter. Easy.
Balancing business and creativity. Easy.
Spending time with my King. Easy.
Spending time with my family. Easy.
Giving back to my community. Easy.

After the walk, I start my day. I am not just physically energized. I am mentally focused, emotionally connected and spiritually aligned.

Throughout the day, I get this overwhelming sense that the Divine really is conspiring to do me good.

For example, the other day I had an appointment that I totally forgot about. When I realized it, it was hours later. When I checked my messages, I was anticipating hearing irate messages from the woman I was supposed to meet with. Instead, she left a message informing me that she had to cancel and apologized for any inconvenience caused me.

Coincidence? I think not.

Life can be seen as a series of unrelated events that occur by happenstance. Life can also been seen as a conscious design stemming from, not simply positive thought, but from the awareness, understanding and knowledge that there is a Divine Presence operating in the Universe that is individualized as you.

I choose the latter as my truth. Besides, even if I am wrong, I would bet cash money that I am having waaaaay more fun than the folks in the other camp.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Life is Easy

TAHIRA, it's supposed to be easy. Everything is supposed to be easy. Everything is easy. You live in a dream world. You're surrounded by illusions. And the illusions change when you change your thinking!

Tell yourself it's easy. Tell yourself often. Make it a mantra. Eat, sleep, and breathe it. And your life shall be transformed.

It's supposed to be easy,
The Universe

The message above was emailed to me. I get personalized daily messages to remind me of life's magic and my divinity from Notes from the Universe. Each morning I look forward to reading the message of the day. The morning I got this message I had been feeling overwhelmed by the many demands in my life. I was able to shift my energy from frustration to inspiration by creating a post to my blog. Shortly thereafter however, I felt my vibration shifting back into low gear.

When I read this message I decide to make, "It's easy," my mantra for the day. Now, a week later I find myself still using this mantra.

When I look at the long to-do list I tell myself, "It's easy."

When I stare at a blank piece of paper hoping some words will spill forth from me and onto the page to share with others, I tell myself, "It's easy."

When I look at my daughter and see her blossoming into a young lady that soon will be on her own, I tell myself, "It's easy."

When I think about my amazing relationship with my King but begin to wonder how we will manage to find time for each other and our children, I tell myself "It's easy."

"It's easy."

"It's easy."

"It's easy."

If you need a daily lift, sign-up for Notes from the Universe. If you know of any other inspiring daily message service, have your own mantra/affirmation/prayer you have found helpful, post a comment and let me know. I could use all the help I can get ;-).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

Business. Creative work. Parenting. Personal life. There is so much I want and need to do in each of these areas. At times the weight of it all feels crippling.

Then I remember an undeniable truth: the Universe is always conspiring to do me good. For evidence of this truth, I do not have to look far. My recent healing is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Yet there are still times I look at my to-do list and I am overwhelmed. I begin to think about how I should have completed some of the tasks long before or how I should have more resources to get done what is on the list. I think to myself,
"I should do more, be more, have more."

Then I remember something I heard Iyanla Vanzant say, "Never should on yourself."

Recently I had an epiphany about my work as a writer versus my work as a storyteller. Writing is so cerebral to me. Writing gets me inside my head. It's mind-work. If my mind is busy, unsettled, writing clears out the clutter.

Storytelling is different. Storytelling gets me inside my heart. Storytelling is Spirit-work. If my spirit needs lifting, storytelling gives me the elevation I need.

Writing and storytelling are essential to my wholeness. One no more important than the other. Yet it is essential that I have a good balance of both in order to prevent feeling overwhelmed by that infamous to-do list.

BOTH writing and storytelling are ever-present reminders that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf, every minute of every day.

Now I better get back to that long to do list!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What if you are Wrong?

Do you carry a memory of past hurts and disappointments? Is there someone you need to forgive? Forgiveness is about releasing your need for revenge. Forgiveness is about freeing yourself. Forgiveness is NOT about sanctioning the behavior of the offender.

Surely all of us have been harmed or disappointed by another. The key is what you DO with those feelings of pain and disappointments. Do you hold on to the memory, believing by doing so you are insuring that the person responsible is held accountable? I have heard many spiritual teachers describe this type of behavior: “Taking poison and expecting someone else to get sick.”

Few things are more poisonous than holding on to past hurts. It impedes your progress on the journey. It as if you shackle your feet with cement blocks and then attempt to run. Clearly, there is a better method of taking the journey.

Iyanla Vanzant describes the Law of Forgiveness in her book, Acts of Faith, as: “Infusing the mind with natural healthy ideas that take away the darkness and bring in the light.”

When you bring in the light, you will find peace and happiness. When you hold on to hurts, you may certainly feel RIGHT and JUST, but you rarely feel peaceful or happy. I pose to you the question popularized by Dr. Phil, “Would you rather be right or happy?”

Still not convinced?

Consider these questions: What if you are wrong? What if the reasons why you think, the person acted in the way that you, are all wrong? What if it did not even happen the way you remembered it? What if the person’s motivations were different from what you thought they were?

I can imagine you may not want to explore these questions. You may even have feelings of anger at the mere suggestions these questions pose. Let me give you an example from my own life of what came up for me when I allowed myself to explore these questions.

For years I resented my father for not keeping his word with me. I can remember sitting and waiting for him for hours to take me somewhere only to find out he made other plans, usually with someone else, and that someone else was usually a woman.

From that experience I began to believe that all men (not just my father) lacked integrity, were unreliable and unfaithful. I subsequently found that to be true in my relationships with men (surprise, surprise.) I would recount this story over and over again. That story was my proof that men were unreliable.

When I dug deeper and began to explore this story from the perspective of what if I am wrong? I discovered that my dad might tell this story differently.

First of all, he would say that he likely never made a firm commitment to do what I asked. And that would be true. He often replied to my request by saying, “We’ll see.”

Secondly, my father always believed I could take care of myself. He thought I always demonstrated that I was capable, which is also true. I always had a contingency plan. If he did not come through, I had a back up plan ready to be executed.

So, my father’s story goes something like this, “My daughter made requests of me that I sometimes could not honor but she was OK with it because she always had other options.”

The reason he may think I was OK with his behavior is because I NEVER told him otherwise. My reasoning for not letting him know I was hurt or disappointed was that I did not want him to know he had the power to injury me.

So you see, it just like my Pop-Pop always told me, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth.”

So I ask you, “What if you are wrong?”

Excerpt from my book, Journey to Purpose: Simple Guide to Discovering Your Life Purpose ©2007 T. Dorsey.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Calm Seas on the Journey

On the surface of the sea there are moments when it is calm and moments when it is turbulent. However, deep down in the sea, all is constantly still.

That deep stillness and calm is what my aim is on my journey in life. Understanding that there will be times when on the surface things are rough, I strive to maintain a deep inner knowing that all is really well within.

The spiritual tools which help me to sustain this inner knowing are journaling meditation/prayer, visualization and music. If I am consistently utilizing my tools, when the rough seas come (And they always do. That’s just a part of this life journey.) Then the turbulence doesn’t last for long.

For instance, in the spring of 2008 I tested positive for a dis-ease that could potentially be with me for the rest of my life. When I got the news, I was walking along the river with a dear friend enjoying an amazing spring day. I was feeling vibrant, alive, healthy, strong, loved and blessed. Everything felt right with the world. Then that call came.

Nothing the medical professional was telling me made sense to me. She informed me that this dis-ease was incurable yet because I have no symptoms, there was nothing I needed to do differently. She told me there are 25 million people in this country who have this dis-ease but do not know it. My thought was, “If they do not know they have this dis-ease, than how does SHE know?”

As she is talking, everything inside me is saying, “This is NOT so. This simply is NOT so.”

After that call ended, through choked words, I told my friend about the news I had just received. On the outside I felt like I wanted to crumble. But inside, something kept saying “It ain’t so.”

I began to sing a song I wrote about letting the river wash over me. In the song, I called out the names of my ancestors who in the face of what seemed insurmountable odds, they not only overcame but triumphed:

Imhotep, Nefertti
Queen Nzinga, Hannibal
Denmark Vesey
Phyllis Wheatly
Malcolm and Martin

In the days following that news, there were certainly moments that on the surface things felt turbulent. However, that inner voice kept telling me that the dis-ease is not so. My wholeness is what was true. That voice kept getting louder and louder. In the depth of my soul, I knew I was healthy and well.

I knew that if I continued to use my spiritual tools I would continue to have the experience of optimum health.

So if that was indeed my truth, why was I having this experience? What was it I am supposed to remember? In the book, Conversation with God. it purports that every experience comes to remind you of Who You Really are?

Whenever I am experiencing any kind of physical challenge I refer to Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life. In that book she charts an array of dis-eases and provides the root mental/spiritual/emotional cause of that dis-ease along with an affirmation to assist in the elimination of that root cause and beginning the healing process.

Hay cites the root cause the dis-ease I was diagnosed having was guilt. This information resonated with me. I certainly felt feelings of guilt at various times in my life. At certain times, my feelings of guilt have almost been crippling.

So now armed with this information, I knew what I needed to do:

o Continue utilizing my spiritual tools
o Release my guilt
o Affirm my healing
o Claim wholeness and wellness in every moment

I envisioned that the next time I got my annual exam my healing would be complete and I would not have this dis-ease. That was not only my vision but what I knew to be already true.

Just this week I went in for my annual exam. The usual battery of tests were done. Lab work was submitted and the results would be in at the end of the week.

Immediately after the doctor left the office, I began to get dress. I began praying, "Thank you for my healing. Thank you for my healing."

Yesterday I got the call. The lab work was in. The result . . .

I tested NEGATIVE.

All is calm on the surface and deep within me. For now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blogger Blues

For some time, readers of my blog have informed me that they have experienced some difficulties leaving comments on my blog. Despite several changes to the settings on my blog the problem still persists. So, I have turned off the Comment Moderation feature which I hope will do the trick. Please let me know if you are still having trouble.

I have also had my own problems publishing the Comments that do get through. For that reason, I wanted to give a special shout out to Deb and Karima for leaving comments on my last post. Deb, your comment never showed up and I appreciate you sharing a synopsis of what you wrote by phone. Your comments are always very encouraging to me. Karima, I was thrilled to hear from you. It has been a long time. Your words of wisdom were truly a comfort to me. More than you could know.

I am considering using another site to host my blog if these challenges persist. If anyone has any tips for improving our experience here on BLOGGER or know of a better host site to use, please let me know (Perhaps email would be best :-).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Parenting on the Journey

When your journey includes being a parent, you want to be the sign posts for your child's journey. You want to give warnings such as, "Danger up Ahead" and "Caution: Sharp Curves." You want to suggest better paths to take to get to the places of interests with greater ease. You want to provide Roadside Assistance service when your child gets stranded.

I am learning now that there comes a time when you have to allow your child to travel the journey alone. This realization came when I was repeatedly told by my child that she knows the way and has a plan. She clearly understands the directions I have given her. She has heard the warnings and has concluded that I am an alarmist. She is also convinced that the roads are significantly different now than they were when I may have traveled them.

Family, friends and professionals tell me it is time to step aside and allow her to follow the paths she chooses for herself. They tell me it is ok to be nearby in case she does decide to ask for my assistance but until then, I must put away my directions, signposts and travel tips. In the end, everyone is convinced that she will arrive at the places she desires.

I have to say; so far it has been a tough being on the sidelines. Feelings of hopelessness and fear sometimes overwhelm me. All I can do now is pray.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tell a Story

Today we have endless and instant ways of communicating with each other. We can IM, text, fax, email and call. You can give a report on every moment of your day via blogs and social networking sites. Your message can be sent in a nano second to persons all around the world. Yet are we really connected? Are we really making connections? Are these technologically advanced methods of communicating effective in building relationships, understanding human frailties or solving problems?

I believe we must not lose face-to-face communication. Most importantly, we must get back to telling stories.

In her book, Sisters of the Yam: Black Women & Self Recovery, author bell hooks writes, “In the years before television, folks talked to one another. Conversation and storytelling were important locations for sharing information about the self, for healing.” She continues, “. . . for the telling of our stories enables us to name our pain, our suffering and to seek healing.”

Often as a child, my mother told me a story about being in kindergarten and overhearing a teacher talking about her, “She is really pretty to be so d-a-r-k.” This story not only told of my mother’s early experience with racism, but it was for me, a reminder that my mother was once a vulnerable child. (An obvious fact often overlooked by me especially in my teenaged years.) Hearing this story also made me believe my mother could possibly understand me and my battles in school. After hearing her tale, I then felt I could trust her with my own stories of vulnerability.

Storytelling reconnects us to our past tragedies and triumphs but also points the way to our future. Clyde W. Ford, author of We Can All Get along: 50 Steps You Can Take to Help End Racism, was once asked about how to combat intraracial violence plaguing so many communities. His answer, “Tell them a good story.” Ford understands that when you tell stories of heroes and heroines who overcame tremendous difficulties the listeners begins to think they too may be capable of facing the obstacles in their life. Ford believes that even when faced with the relentless monsters of hunger, poverty, injustice and racism, people can have hope for the future when they hear stories, especial tales of people like them, linked to them through history and heritage.

As a storyteller I have seen first-hand the tremendous transformative power of this art form. You do not have to look far in your own life to see it as well. Think of how storytelling is used in religious circle to inspire the congregation. Think of how political leaders use stories to persuade.

Let us put down our blackberries, PDAs, laptops, for a short wile and tell a story.

New Beginnings

In previous postings I have shared how important journaling is to my journey. Since I was a small, child I have using writing as a way to understand the world around me. Journaling is how I metabolize my life.

Recently, I purchased a new journal. Selecting a new journal is always interesting for me. First, it is often challenging to find a journal I do not already own because after 37 years of journaling I have an extensive collection. Then, I am very particular about the features I want in a journal. It has to be the right size. It has to be lined. It must have a decorative cover. And the list goes on and on.

Finally, I decided on a silver and white journal with 164 ruled pages, stitch bound, with a silk ribbon marker and a picket holder in the back for those loose pieces of paper I jot my thoughts on when my journal is not handy.

When I get my new journal home I am excited. Starting a new journal is literally the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I wonder to myself, "What events, people, circumstances and situations will prompt me to fill the pages?"

Every now and again, I will read the entries of a journal in my collection. Sometimes my own words from my distant past inspire me. When I read some of my past musings it is like reading a self-help book . Other times, I will read about a challenging time in my life and I can scarcely remember the details in the present moment, which makes me think of the adage, "This too shall pass."

In my younger years, I used to feel embarrassed as I read about some heart break I experienced at the hands of some man in my past that now is barely a blip on my life's radar screen. It is that feeling of embarrassment that at one point kept me from even including the names of people in my journal.

Now that I am a woman of a certain age, I rarely admonish myself for my past transgressions. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, " Always have the courage to give love one more chance. And always one more chance.

So I hope this new chapter in my life is filled with captivating stories. I pray the mistakes of my past are not the mistakes of my future. And if I gain some pearls of wisdom along the way, I promise to share it with the readers of my blog.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Enjoying the Journey

My sister and I were talking recently about how we each stress and worry about things even things we enjoy doing. We realize that when we obsess this way we deprive ourselves of all the good in the experience.

For example, my sister decided she was going to go on vacation this summer. Immediately after making that decision, she began worrying about how she will be able to afford it, how could she find somewhere within her budget and on and on.

Instead of visualizing the many places whe could go or how great it would feel to take time off from work she was stressing, worrying and obsessing. Her daughter pointed this negative behavior out to her and suggested she take a breath and enjoy the process. To begin, my sister could check out vacation spots on the web, cut out pictures of vacation spots from magazines, talk to coworkers about their recent vacations.

This technique of enjoying the process can also be aplied to every day activities as well. My sister has a rental propert that she has been getting inquires about. She can choose to get overwhelmed by the many calls and numerous showings she has to do with prospective renters. She also can choose to feel good that she will be ale to offer a family a safe, beautiful, comfortable housing. She can choose to view the rental application process as an opportunity to meet different people which is something that has always brought her joy. She can choose to be grateful that she has many applicants to choose from increasing the chances she will find the right tenant for her property.

In sum, she can enjoy the process. It is not about pretending or stifling your real feelings. It is about really looking at what is before you and see clearly what is authentically.

When you change the way you look at a thing, the thing you look at changes. Every time. Guaranteed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hard Conversations

"The hardest conversations are the most important ones." India Arie wrote those words in the liner notes of her album, Testimony: Volume 2 Love and Politics. India's words often connect with me at a perfect intersection of time/space. I read those words a short time after having a very difficult conversation with the someone I love. India's words made me take a hard look at myself and how I show up in my life, especially how I choose to show up in relationships during difficult times. What I discovered during this self-reflection is outlined below.

Hard conversations make you want to run away because you just can't stand to be in the company of the other. In that instant, it is most important to stay.

You do not stay to continue a conflict but you stay maybe to stand up for yourself or perhaps for someone else.

You stay so maybe your fear does not win out.

Stay, in order that the one you love may understand that even when you do not like him, do not agree with him - you still love him.

Stay so that even when you do not feel heard; you can show him you do know how to listen.

Stay so that your past hurts no longer hold you hostage.

These hard conversations may make you feel like your head is going to explode. In that instant, it most important to find your breath.

Breathe so you may remember one of the Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally.

Breathe so you may remember that your buttons are being pushed because you allow the wires to continue to be intact.

Breathe so you may remember that the other is always your mirror reflecting back where you need to grow.

Breathe so you may remember that Spirit resides in the breath. When Spirit is present anger, judgment, impatience dissipates.

The hard conversations are the most important conversations because they offer us an opportunity to remember who we really are. The measure of who you are can be found in these hard conversations. They can be the barometer of how big or small you are in these moments. So how big are YOU?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Companion on the Journey

Writing is my spiritual companion on this Journey. In my valley experiences and during my mountain top highs, writing is there to sort things out for me. On the page is where I metabolize my life. It is not simply a recording of the Journey. At times, writing gives me the sign post for which way to travel. It is the warning sign for dangers ahead.

Writing rarely allows me to be stagnant. It moves me both figuratively and literally. Through writing, I am able to move pass anger to discover the authentic truth. I may start off complaining about who has done me wrong but writing will not let me stay there. Soon I uncover how I put myself in the position to be victimized.

When I am on top of the world, writing helps me appreciate the beauty of the landscape even more. Through writing I notice the brilliance of the colors on the mountain. Captured in the words on the page is how the bird's song on the mountain sounds harmonized.

I have even found parts of myself on the page that I did not know existed; some parts I wish never existed; and yet still other parts I thought were long lost but I found through my companion, writing. All of my fears are exposed on the page. Writing will not let me hide.

I can not imagine this Journey without writing. It has been there from the beginning. My writing as child was done in a diary with lock and key which is still within my reach at my bedside. As an adult it is done in colorful bound books that fill baskets all around my bedroom.

Writing is the best brand of therapy I know (and the cheapest). It holds my confidence. It is unrelenting when it has to be. Gentle when it needs to be.