Sunday, December 27, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

Well friends we are at the end of another year...only four more days to go and we will start all over again, hopefully with new dreams, new inspirations and new hope for ourselves, our families our country and our World! The World as we have known it in the last 10 years has been spiraling into the abyss of despair for our Human family everywhere.Will we begin a New World attitude this coming year five days away? We can only ask ourselves that question and answer it for ourselves in the choices we make to better ourselves that in return we will have something different to offer to the World for the better. I have spent the year of 2009 finding my voice through blogging even if no one really heard me...I heard myself...that was the goal! In hearing myself I realized that I now want to do more. I want to be present with me and share myself with others in ways that I can make a difference just by sharing my stories more. I have decided that I will create a circle...Women of Wisdom will be my goal and it will be about sharing our stories, sharing our strength, sharing our resources, sharing our wisdom, sharing ways of becoming, sharing love and losses. I've read great books, seen great movies, sang great songs, danced great dances, and shared great lives. It is time to let others know that life is all about cycles...they come and they go but most important, with love we Survive...No Matter What.

I watched "Invictus", the movie and what I took away from it was the "poem". The words that inspire are always what stays with us forever. I could relate to Mandela finding strength in the words to this poem because I have been able to survive life and death through the words and stories of others by realizing that if another human could survive, so could I. I want to share these words so you can feel them too:

The poem was a source of inspiration to Nelson Mandela during his captivity and he wrote out a copy by hand for the captain of the rugby team to inspire him to lead them to the world championship. The title is Latin for "unconquered." The poet, William Ernest Henley, wrote it from his hospital bed. His indomitable spirit led him to triumph over the amputation of his leg.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I also have been inspired by Isabel Allende, I would like to share some of her "Reflections Today", from "Women of Wisdom". by Kris Steinnes:

I have come to the conclusion that the most precious gifts women can give to each other are their personal stories. By sharing our experiences, our pains and joys, our fears, hopes and desires, we create a sacred space where we can find new strength. Allow me to tell you about the only subject that I know really well: my own life. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to do the same and share your stories.

I tried to look as honesty as possible inside myself, to go deeply into my memory and my heart, to search in the dark place where all the fears come from and in the luminous place where the creative force is generated, looking for the motivations that have driven me forward and the uncertainties that have pulled me back. What are the fundamental issues that define my personality and determine my life? Two themes come to my mind: love and losses.

Another one of her reflections that inspires my experiences and encourages me to share is:

"Now that I am over fifty, I can tell you that there is nothing more liberating than age. As we get older we can be ourselves, wear sensible shoes and speak our minds; we don't have to please everybody anymore, only those we really care for. At fifty we have more cellulite, but we are also wiser. If we had a choice, maybe most of us would rather have thin thighs than wisdom; but we don't have a choice, so we better make the most of wisdom."

After viewing "Julie and Julia"(the movie), I realized many things about following your passion so that your dreams will not die within you. I also realized that when you go to your "jobs", if you can not "dance", then you are internally dead for 8,10 or 12 hours while you are just existing to punch the clock. I will find a moment every day to dance my dance towards my destiny, of living every moment. I'm beginning my New Year right now and passing it on to all those around me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

Today I want to share a tradition that I do every morning to start my day with Spirit. My morning reading puts me in the spirit of why I was given another day and it reminds me to take time to remember to keep the balance. I want to share a poem on this "Special" day and the thoughts of Sarah Ban Breathnach in "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy":

If, as Herod,we fill our lives with things, and again with things;if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.
-Author Unknown

"Oh, would that Christmas lasted the whole year through,as it ought,"Charles Dickens lamented.Would that the spirit of Christmas could live within our hearts every day of the year."

But what is the Chritmas spirit?Perhaps the Christmas spirit, like the nature of the Beloved, is meant to be a Holy Mystery. Perhaps the Christmas spirit is our soul's knowledge that things, no matter how beautiful, are only things;that we were created,not always to do,but sometimes to simply be. Perhaps the Christmas spirit is a loving reminder that we must make time for the long, slow journey across the desert; we must take time to discover our star; we must honor the time necessary to brood over the coming of the authentic women we were created by Love to become. It has been said many times that our lives are gifts from God-that what we do with them is our gift in return. Today is the perfect day to remember this.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Yes, may we remember the spirit of Christmas every day the whole year through but for today enjoy the moment as every moment of Joy! Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone all over the World! May the children capture the spirit of Christmas from each of us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sharing Christmas Chicken Spaghetti

This was a wonderful response I got back from a best friend when I wanted to know how to prepare the spaghetti recipe she sent me for Christmas. Just had to share the love of Christmas and the Spirit of Giving!


My Question:
Thank-you...mmmm,mmmm...good! Now, does this whole process take place on stovetop or final you bake?


My Answer:

“all stove top. no baking. i actually haven't seen this done before so i'm going off chef notes. M's mom's recipe. but it is all stove top. basically cook the peppers onions and celery down and then add the soup chicken and other stuff to that. noodles separately cooked. then drained and added to the soup chicken mixture. add cheese once it cools. we got into a discussion about what 'cool' meant -- why -- how long - very interesting if a little nitpicky. but we're paralegals. we do the nitpicky. she basically sorted it out as a cooling down of the mixture so the fat in the cheese doesn't separate. serving it with garlic bread and salad...and a sofa close by to fall on when full. she's also making tomato basil soup. apparently because i worked half a day, i don't get to chop anything. Casey, on the other hand, is now chopping basil. hardly seems fair.”

1 hen, cooked and chopped

2 large bell peppers, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

4 or 5 sticks of celery

1 can mushroom soup

1 small jar pimento, chopped

2 tbsps chili powder

1 lb grated cheddar cheese

1 box spaghetti

Divide broth in half. Cook peppers, onion and celery in half of it until tender. Add water to rest of broth and cook spaghetti in it. To vegetable broth (containing onions, pepper, celery), add soup, pimento, chicken, chili powder and spaghetti. Cool a little before adding the cheese.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cinderella’s Fantasy Christmas

The month of December can be some peoples saddest time of year. On every television channel one is reminded of what Christmas is suppose to look like. The model Christmas is what every child wants to have mirrored in their home but that is not the case for a lot of household’s in America. Especially, this year is one of the hardest financially for families in a long time. Lost jobs, lost homes, lost families, lost hopes and lost dreams is something that most Americans are recognizing this year. Sure we have had some great things to happen to restore hope but not enough that there aren’t some real sad realities still lurking behind a lot of household doors.

The television sets of America are airing shows that remind us of families gathering in homes of their childhood days, people exchanging gifts, people sharing holiday feasts, and everyone enjoying each other through the opening of presents, singing of carols, and all of the other festivities that are customary from generations past. I’m hearing from families that are still losing jobs, trying to figure out how to pay the rent, light bill, buy groceries for every day of the week (not just a holiday feast), make the car payment, get enough gas to make it until next payday, trying to figure out what else to cut out to live off one paycheck instead of two not to mention taking care of their health in order not to have to take a day off work(God forbid)!

Now if you never knew these holiday celebrations firsthand in America you’re probably faring ok, because you won’t relate to the child that feels like the step-daughter Cinderella who is just waiting for someone to come along and rescue them for a fantasy Christmas. I was a child that never experienced the Christmas spirit as a child because my mother had to pay all the excessive bills of winter and she was deprived of the festivities as well because of poverty. I think we pass on what we experience as children.

Sometimes people try to create customs with their children that they didn’t get to experience. Do they do this in hopes that they can capture a feeling that they never experienced? Can one really pass on a feeling that they never identified with as a youth? Can you get water from a dry well?

Maybe the spirit of Christmas for someone that didn’t experience it as a child, lays in the service of giving at Christmas to the less fortunate. Since the reason for the season is giving, then maybe for some the feeling of Christmas comes through gratefulness. Maybe when one can reflect on how grateful they are regardless to how things appear, then the spirit of Christmas is captured. Just maybe Christmas is not the same experience for everyone. Sometimes one may have to create their own authentic spirit of Christmas. Giving of oneself at a time of year when others have lost all hope can create a feeling possibly that will surpass every expectation of a Cinderella Fantasy Christmas.

Maybe this year would be a good time to reach out to someone less fortunate and create a feeling of good cheer. Feel free to create your own kind of Christmas outside of traditions and TV Fantasy. After all, the reason for the season is; giving! The giving of yourself, your time and your unconditional love is irreplaceable. Have a Happy Holiday creating your own realities!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Here I am again, wondering if I’ve made the right choice about a pet. Two weeks ago a co-worker was talking to me about the beautiful pups she was trying to place for her son. It just so happened that I had been looking online for about two months at pets and my heart was just longing for a furry little critter to love. My children say that it’s just a phase for me and if I just pass it by, it will fizzle out. I guess I don’t have a very good track record of sticking out the hard part, the training…whew, speaking of training, one of these little girls (puppies) just farted. “OMG, could you warn somebody please I am screaming in my mind!” To say that they passed gas would be just too mild for what I have to tolerate while typing my thoughts out in my journal.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, wondering about the pet choice thing! I try to look at the reason I wanted a pet to determine if I will make it this time through the training part. I remember thinking how good it would be at this time of my life to have a best friend in my corner while I gracefully age into this phase of my life at 53. I don’t mean to say that I feel old or anything, it’s just a time of reality checks about what I do like and don’t. I really don’t care much for the phoniness of parties or clubbing anymore on a regular. A private party every now and then is ok. Even a night out on the town sometime is ok but in this North Carolina town there is not much going on anyway.

Pets can be very entertaining but they also require a lot of attention and responsibility. For example, I get up at 3:00 am in the mornings to go to work and I try to be quiet as possible to not awaken my partner. Now, I have to be concerned if these new babies of ours will go back to sleep after I leave for work. My partner and I work different shifts. She tried to tell me that this was a huge task I was venturing into but I don’t think I knew just how much was involved. Don’t get discouraged…I haven’t thrown in the towel yet and she doesn’t want me to either! (She’s the puppy person anyway…I’m learning…it was a compromise:-)

The first thing I experienced after getting our new babies Tobi and Cami was the trip for shots and deworming at the vet. We met three other pet lovers while we were there and we all wooed over each other’s babies. This reminded me of my proud mothering days and that was a little scary. Was I wanting to return to those days of great responsibilities or is it possible that my children made me feel worthy of life and now I wasn’t able to find a reason for joy in my life? That’s deep and maybe I will ponder that over the next few weeks. I have questioned in the past whether or not people were buying pets to replace human relationships that reflect their flaws to be addressed. I have also given thought to the idea that at a certain age you no longer want the overall analysis that is required in a human relationship in order to grow.

I remember reading about the relationship between Shirley MacLaine and her dog Terry in “Out On A Leash”; I was overwhelmed with the joy she received from her furry friend, unconditionally. I loved the idea that through their eyes one could see the spirit of nature and the simplistic gratitude of sharing their lives together in boundless love. I have always been a hopeless romantic but never actually experiencing it other than behind a big bucket of popcorn, a Coke, some tissue and a good mushy movie. I am hoping that I can have this kind of experience with our new babies. I have had to learn about sticking to something long enough to see the benefits through my most resent relationship for the last seven years with my partner. I figure that in order to experience what I felt from reading about Shirley and Terry I will have to go through some things to appreciate the “Nature of Reality and Love”,( taken from, “Out On A Leash”).

While I think of unconditional love, I also am listening to my doctor’s diagnosis…, “You have a fracture and I think you’re going to have to wear a boot for a while. Luckily the bone is not broken”, she smiles while asking me, “Now, tell me again what happened!”

“Do you want the theatrical version or just the blur vision of events”, I say while laughing. “It was Monday after Thanksgiving at 8:30pm when I had just chastised Cami for peeing on the carpet for about the 10th time! I put her along with Tobi in the kitchen and put up the baby gate, it was a little “time out” tactic. I decided that I would get me a piece of sweet potato pie for the movie. Coming back across the gate my left toe caught the top of the gate and the comedy began…the pie went one way, the plate went one way, the fork went one way and I went the other. Tobi ran behind the trash can just shivering from all the noise…Cami came up to the gate crawling on her belly as if to say, “are you ok mommy”! Between the crying and laughing I took down the gate when I was able to get up off the floor to pat her on the head and say thank-you for loving me unconditionally. I had to coax Tobi out from behind the trash can before she was sure it was safe and then I loved on both of them. Well Doc, that’s my story”, I said still laughing as I retold it. I was asking God, “what was the message in it all”, when I realized, it’s only with animals that we get to experience instant forgiveness and unconditional love regardless! Did I make the right choice in getting pets? I think so but I think I have a long way to go in knowing for sure the benefits. To my furry loving friends along with Shirley MacLaine and Terry, I hope I can write a book one day about everlasting love and furry memories. I think I’ve got a good start!

PS: I'll have a week at home to think about this experience and time to bond with my furry babies. Stay tuned to hear the stories as they unfold in my awareness. It will be interesting to say the least. Good writing material, I'm sure...hum...maybe they are my writing angels...just a thought:-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Is the Right Time...You Will Know!

Do you remember the conversation you had with the woman in your life about your first time? Was it your mom, your mom's best friend, your aunt, a girlfriend or your grandmother? Either one of them probably said the same thing, while trying to pretend they were not shocked at you asking the question, and especially asking them!

What do they say; they were asking themselves most likely? How does any responsible woman answer a young lady with this question when they know that this one choice will change their whole world as they know it now? Just as much as we know it can be the most precious moment, it can also be one's biggest nightmare. If the young lady is not mature enough psychologically to handle what comes with it emotionally it can change the course of her life.

It has been said that boys do not mature in the same way as girls when it comes to the first time. I don't claim to know that as a fact but from experience I can speak a little bit about girls. I've been told that sex for a boy can be all about the idea of conquering a quest but for a girl I know that it is more of a sense of belonging within a commitment that is mutual in retrospect.

This is not an action for the faint at heart or for all the wrong reasons. Such as; I'll show you mom or I can do with my body, what I want to or because someone tells you that they love you. Loving someone is about respecting their boundaries and decisions; love does not ask one to compromise their values. If you decide you want to wait and your partner moves on, then you know it's not the kind of love, you thought was there.

These are the kind of things we hope we can say when we are asked “the question” but most of the time we are caught off guard or, we are asked after the fact. I remember someone telling me that I would know when the right time would be… but when it comes to love the answer still remains the same… you will know!

I have still been trying to figure out after all these years, how… you will know? If I could tell someone the answer to that I could write a bestseller and create a seminar to take in millions of dollars because everyone would be there to avoid all of the emotional drama of relationships. Sorry to say… it's not that simple. Love is… so many things to so many different people.

If you go to your religious organizations, they can give you a list of things in a person that qualifies what love is. If you look for those qualities within yourself or others you probably will never find love, because that measure of love is hardly ever within one person. We are always working on something in our lives on that list. If you use that measure to determine whether you yourself are ready for love, you may be waiting a long time. However, if a lot of the list exists in your character already, the question would be; are you willing to work with your self and your partner through the other areas of concern to develop the love that you desire. To develop something real and enduring can be a long process. The ground that she will have to cover has to be recognized as areas that she can’t see in a moment and will have to endure to get to the desired result. That's why it is not good in my opinion to rush things, because in reality, it is a long journey.

This love thing is a lot bigger than it seems and its not a simple yes or no answer; therefore, think long and hard about how to answer the call or even to receive it. My best advice is to remember grandma's will know!

The next time you are approached with “the question”, remember… how much do they “really” want to know or do they just want to get the shock reaction from you on the Richter scale 1 to 10. Once you have determined their reason for asking you, then you will know how to proceed. Most people have made up their minds already out of curiosity, the first time. If that is the case, give them the old grandma line. If they are young and borderline, then you can spare them a lot of grief, depression, abandonment issues, low self-esteem problems, etc… go for the jugular and be honest ladies. Spare no misery and share the real deal that making the decision way too soon can lead down a road of a lot of hard knocks. These knocks can be postponed until they are mature enough to handle the fall and get back up, ready to move on to another battle.

If all else fails with your young teen, let them learn on their own, because some people just have to go to the University of Hard Knocks. Remember, there will come a time in their future that they will have to pass on to the hard heads in their lives, grandma's advice… you will know!

Friday, October 23, 2009


“I am just sick and tired of this teacher! Every time I think I have written a good essay, she just complains about the structure of my sentences or the punctuation as if the way I talk is not correct”, Sherri says to herself standing in the foyer of the house while hanging up her coat. “What's wrong baby”, grandma says reaching out to hug Sherri. “Grandma, I am sick and tired of Ms. Smith! I can't write anything to please her no matter how hard I try”, she says. How did you ever get beyond your teachers “know it all” attitudes! Well honey, I had a loving grandma just like you waiting on me to get home to stroke my heart and remind me just how great I could become. She always reminded me that God had a bigger plan for me than any man or woman could imagine. Now mind you, I think the teachers are part of God's plan to help us realize just how big the plan is. Maybe it's the humor of God to use them to push us hard enough that we will surpass their vision for us.

I remember one time I had a professor in junior college in a refresher English course that would push all my buttons, no matter what! There were things I learned from her that I still use today. I ran into her about five years later in a grocery store, and she asked me if I had published anything and if I was still writing? I said yes and that I still think of some of the things she mentioned in her class. She told me that I inspired her to get back to her writing and she was working on getting a memoir into print. I blushed with amazement that I inspired her! That's when I heard a voice in my head; God's voice to me was that this would be my calling. I would be guided from within to inspire others through writing.

So grandma, you're telling me that I could be an inspiration to Ms. Smith. Yes, you could be honey. Take your time and try to let her in to see how she wants you to present yourself through your writing. Sometimes a teacher is rediscovering their passion through your love of writing. Remember, they are trying to prepare you for whatever you say is your desire. Okay grandma, I'm going to try your way! Good, I think with a different viewpoint, you will get different results. Now, tell me what has you on edge today?

It seems that every time I turn something into Ms. Smith she finds something wrong with my sentence structure or punctuation! Who made all the writing rules anyway and why is there only one way to get it right? There is a whole world of people that speak the way I do, so why can't I write the way I talk? When I change everything to suit the English teachers it doesn't even sound or say what I want to say to the people I'm talking to! Grandma, how did you get to write the way you wanted to?

Well honey, first I discovered who my audience was and how I didn't want to sound. That was by years of being in a job of running after stories that weren't about what I wanted to talk about, but it did pay my bills. I came to a point in my life, where the one position for the best reporter/writer was not worth the effort, because their goals kept changing. That was when I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and determination to do what I really wanted to do, which was write books about people's lives.

So, grandma, are you saying that I should focus on what I really want to do? Yes baby I am, however, you have to lay a good foundation to hold up those big dreams of yours. What are you having a challenge with? My teacher wants me to try my hand at fiction. I don't know if I can write a story that's not based on facts. Yes you can honey, just think about all the stories that happen around you every day and write about them with your own characters turning the story around the way you can imagine it. Be creative with the resolution. So, you mean in the same way that you have always told me to write my own life story the way I see it or the way I would like to see it in order for it to manifest. You've got it honey! Just let it flow and then you can polish it up in the rewrite. Your teacher gives you the tools to create your stories, but you are the one that creates the magic. Remember honey, the teachers will come and go as you need them in your life. You have the task of figuring out the lesson they bring to you and mastering it. So grandma, do you think I can become a great writer like you one day? Honey, I think you will become even better, because you will build upon everything I share with you of my journey.

Thank you grandma, you have been a big help. I will give my teacher a chance to show me new things so that I can expand my experiences to reach potentials, I might not even be aware of. That's my girl! Now, you are mastering the secret of not allowing anything to stop you from obtaining your goal. You may not be able to change the wind but you can adjust your sails. By the way honey, can I read your essay when you finish. I would be honored grandma!

The End

I am dedicating this serving to my wonderful teenage grandchildren to never allow anybody to steal their matter what...their Master Plan is for them to discover and fullfill. May they always just "Adjust Their Sails"!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Letter to Whitney

It's 4 a.m. and I'm on my way to work, when I realized I haven't listened to your new CD in its entirety yet. Putting it in the CD player and listening to your comeback Million-Dollar hit, I am clapping my hands and crying at the same time with shouts of hallelujah, welcome home sistah! I can't even explain the joy in my heart as I listened to the soulful sultry lyrics coming out of my speakers because I have pumped it up a couple of notches! Suddenly, I realize I am riding through sleeping neighborhoods and out of respect I bump it back down a couple of clicks. I'm feeling your heart through the vibrations flowing from your lips. It's a soul to soul experience that feels like I'm right there with you. I'm at a time in my life as a woman of 53 years and I know what it's like to go through something. It doesn't really matter what the experience is or one's caliber of status in life, it’s all connected through the web of our interconnectedness just by the essence of our recovery. It's all about losing oneself in their journey to an experience that feels real in the moment but waking up one day to not even recognize the person in the mirror. The real joy is in the comeback. To be able to recognize in one's life that it is time to do it for me, is a realization in itself that it is time to rise up from the ashes, like the Phoenix. Real women do not stay down; they get up in their own time, with strength beyond natural vision. Unless you've been there, you can not recognize the experience. That's why we journey, to tell our stories. Many of us hear our stories through your music. I tell mine through my pen as my microphone. I feel you my sistah and I just want to shout out to you, welcome home, Whitney Houston!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Best Girlfriend Was a Guy!

Every woman has her own original definition of best girlfriend. Mine is one that is loyal in the face of adversity, honesty, tenacity with the vengeance of the bull, purity of motive, an understanding heart, compassion, courageous, boldness with pride in oneself, authentic, a real example of living their life, adventurous, ability to look at the (wo)man in the mirror, tolerant, vivacious, persevering, motivating, and one that can lead by example. My expectations are no more than what I am willing to give of myself.

My life has certainly been one of much adventure with a huge question mark from society through every desired experience. Beginning with the deep well thought out or off the cuff questions beginning at eight years old that required deep prepared consciousness through respected personal investigation, I challenged our society. In the latter years friends and family would look on as I went out into the world to experience the more challenging choices of life such as; dating and marrying across race lines, refusing to be defined by sexual gender preferences, speaking out against injustices, standing for equality in every arena, stepping up and out when it was for the betterment of humanity, knowing that it would or could bring dire consequences.

Life is meant to be an adventure, not everyone gets the thrill of the ride. Fear can stop one from even getting on! However limited or guarded one wants to live their life is a personal choice. For me, life has been one of some choices and others were just by living the hand that fell on the table, but it all has been a ride of a lifetime not regretted.

I remember through a lot of my young woman challenges, there was a “Best” girlfriend by my side and she was a guy! Her name was Melvin. Through my ups and downs, Melvin was my cheerleader. Always having a smile to lift me, an embrace of compassion, laughter that gave me joy in my difficulties, and encouragement to always get up; to keep moving on.

There was a difficult time one night, whereby after I came out of a club by myself that I was jumped by a guy with a gun and forced into his car. He demanded that I drive to an abandoned house and then he stuck a gun in my back forcing me inside. Once inside the house, he threw me down on an old mattress and tore off the buttons on my blouse. Then he told me to pull down my pants while he held the gun to my head. I can still feel the chill when I recall that night, not to mention the stench of alcohol on his breath. In complete fear for my life, I did as I was told. All I could think of was getting out of there alive. After what seemed like hours, but probably only 15 minutes he passed out on top of me. I managed after he started snoring to slide out from under him. The gun was lying on the bed. I knew I could shoot him right then, but all I could think about was getting out of there. I grabbed his keys and the gun. When I got outside I threw the gun as far as I could into the woods and then I started running down the dirt road. I wasn't going to take the risk of being traced by stealing his car so I just ran hoping that he didn't know or would remember who I was. After running for quite awhile, I threw his keys as far into the woods as I could. It wasn't long before I could hear traffic. It must have been about 4 a.m. and I stumbled out to the highway. Within five minutes, a tractor-trailer truck came to a stop. Without a second thought, I held my blouse together and hopped up into the truck. Scared and crying, the driver asked me if I was okay. Telling him what happened, calmed me down but suddenly I realized I was talking to a complete stranger. He was a very compassionate truck driver, maybe he was an angel. All I know is that I was so grateful that he came by. He dropped me off where I asked him to and said that he would keep me in his prayers. I believe he was my angel, because I made it safely to my best friend's house, Melvin's.

When Melvin answered the door he knew immediately that something was wrong. Melvin and his friends were still up from just getting in. He told his friends that he would be back and turned to rush me up to the master bedroom. Sitting me on the bed he went to get a hot bath cloth and towel. He came back and wiped my face as he pulled me into his chest to embrace me. While he stroked my hair he allowed me to pour out my story, while he cried with me. His sympathy and compassion was just like a big sister. I felt so secure in his embrace. All of a sudden I started to laugh, and he looked at me strangely as if to wonder, was I losing it? I turned and said to him, “I don't know how, in the hell you guys do what you do… that shit hurts!” Melvin starts to laugh with me and says, “Well honey, first of all we don't do what we do in fear, because that causes one to contract. Plus, a big jar of Vaseline is a queen's best friend!” We both rolled on the bed and started laughing. His other friends came up to check on us because we were laughing so hard. We shared the moment with all of them then cried and laughed together. We looked like a bunch of teenage girlfriends rolling around on the master bed giggling and laughing about queen stories. That was the most I ever needed of therapy and when the guys went back downstairs, Melvin stayed with me for some stabilizing words of wisdom.

You listen here honey, he said. You came out of this experience with your most precious possession, your life! You have a precious daughter that needs her mother to protect her from the predators out there, so be grateful that the idiot didn't kill you. I am not demeaning that horrendous act at all, but he could not steal your precious soul which will pass on to other women the wisdom you gain from this experience. Honey, you only lost a petal, you are still the “Rose”! You know that all you have to do is say the word and we will be on him like white on rice! I know Melvin, but you have already done enough! You have been my best girlfriend, all of our days together. Oh, that was easy honey! Not always girlfriend, but most days, it's been a piece of cake! Oh Melvin, I love you. I love you too sweetie, now you get up and go take a hot shower, if that's what you want to do. Here's some pj’s and sleep in my bed this morning for as long as you like! Okay, thank you again Melvin. Don't mention it girl, that's what girlfriends are for! “Best girlfriends” Melvin, I said smiling.

To this day over 30 years later, I have not spoken of this experience because after being nurtured by Melvin I was empowered to go on and live my life with my head held high. I'm sharing this story now, because I know there is another Melvin out there that is somebody's best girlfriend and I want to salute Melvin’s life with this story. I saw that guy about five years later after the incident, and he acted as if he was going to approach me with an angry look on his face. I stood my ground and told him, “look here, you short SOB, I have family that said if I only say the word, you'll be looking for more than just keys and a gun in those woods!” He put his hand on his crouch turned and walked away. I never saw him again.

I dedicate this piece to my “best girlfriend” Melvin, who is no longer in this world but he’s always with me. I know this story is for someone out there and if you have a best girlfriend like my Melvin, be blessed. Know that a best girlfriend is not determined by the color of their skin or gender, but only by their character.

Hard Times… Home Is Where the Heart Is!

I didn't see it coming, but I understand now the inevitability of change! Just like everybody else, I was thrown off my rocker when I showed up to work after Labor Day in 2006. On the door was the notice announcing the closing of our company. Everybody at the company had been talking about closings all around us but we were truck drivers hauling the US mail, so we didn't think that we were that much at risk. We always had to be concerned at contract bidding time, but we were a well-established company with over 25 years at providing good service, so we all were pretty comfortable in knowing that. Every couple years, we got new trucks, and I was very happy with being still until I retired. There would be no company jumping for me. I had finally found a company that I was proud of. We had a union and in the South that was unheard of. The union to me was just a unified effort for the employees to be heard at the table without the “good old boy” system running things.

When the message came down the pipe to the drivers, we discovered that the owner was sick, and he just wanted to cut his losses and retire. However, the company that bought out the contracts did not accept the drivers because we were union represented. There was a long drawn out court battle, but the new companies attorneys found loopholes (politically correct; bought the contracts/ they bought the equipment and the contracts went with it) and over a hundred plus drivers were looking for work, including me. Normally in postal contracts the employees’ rollover with the new contractor, this makes sense, because of the familiarity of the run and continued on-time service. This did not happen, because we were union members. A lot of drivers had to return to over the road driving which they had not done for years. Our runs were to a point, and we had condos or homes at the destination we stayed in until time to bring the load back, which was an eight to 10 hour turnaround.

I understand when a business owner has to do what is in their best interest, however, as employees we always hope that they will take into consideration that what the owner walks away with as profit came from the hard effort of the employees to build that business. In saying that, I recognize that I had only six years with the company but there were those that had been there since the beginning. Most employees left with a good package however, there were a lot of drivers not ready to retire or able to. There were also drivers over the age of 50 that had to go back out into the job market. Even with experience, in our business that can be tough competition in hard times. I was blessed to find two local company offers. I lost about $15,000 a year in pay, which put me in a financial straitjacket.

I had just bought my first home at 45 years old. The monies had come from a lawsuit against a nursing home where my mother had passed. I dedicated my home to my mother's memory, so it was more than just a home for me. I hung onto my home for three more years living paycheck to paycheck. My credit score bottomed out, because everything was getting paid late and I was losing my health to the stress. Finally, I gave up after the entire emotional trauma of letting go and feeling like I had let my mama down. I realize now that my mama would have been the first to tell me not to stress over material possessions. So many times in my mother's life she had to start all over. I remember how happy my mother would be to just have her health to where she could start over. There was never a material thing, that mama held onto above her love for me. If we could just sit in a one-room apartment and break bread together, she was happy. Had I got to the point that my material gain had started defining me? Maybe? I think that this transition has caused me to look at the importance of family, because everything else material can change unexpectedly depending on an economy.

I think a lot of people have been learning this for the last eight years. It's been trying times for a lot of people, but it also has caused people to look at where they placed their value. Hard times cause people to look at what's really important. I've always tried to do better financially for me and my children. I realize now that nothing material can replace the time together,that building memories with my family has provided for me. I hope this has been the case for families all over America and the world. It is the strength within families that build communities which build the world.

The three years I spent trying to hang on to my home was more about the memory of my mom and the wrong that was done to her. I didn't spend those three years fussing about the economy, the politics of the country or that the union failed me because I've been a business owner and that part I understand. Life goes on, and we all begin to realize that with faith, determination and strong will, we will survive. The country is only as strong as its citizens and their families. I am grateful that I had all of the major areas of my life covered by the grace of God and I am blessed to understand that “hard times help us to remember that home is where the heart is!

My heartfelt prayers go out to the families everywhere that are rebuilding their lives with what they have in their new discoveries and understanding their true meaning of home!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Being True to Yourself… Prerequisite to a Happy Life!

I am going to stir the pot on the back burner at my café. It has been said that when something is dead it floats to the top. That may be a true statement; however, I'm no expert on dead stuff. If this piece floats anything to the top, let's throw it out! I try to keep myself present with life giving recipes.

I realize that by stirring this pot it could steam up the kitchen, but that's what it's all about here at The Writer's Café. The goal will be, to create a little steaminess and then when it clears, we’ll see what the fallout will bring. When we're always going with the same old recipes, it can make for a pretty boring existence. Some people can get very nervous at trying new things. However, until we are willing to try, no one will ever know what is really for them. Or, would we rather just stay in our little comfort zones of not throwing someone else off kittle?

When it comes to being true to yourself, it can be a task to separate oneself from the “group” analogy and listen to one's own personal intuitive response. Normally in our society, one does not trust their own instincts. They had indoctrinated themselves to the point of overload on what is acceptable for the group, rather than what is right for the individual. Where in all the chaos is the peace for oneself?

The questions one may ask themselves, from my experience, comes from a very unfamiliar authentic place within. What or who is steering this place is a question one may ask themselves. All of these observations and experiences of life through my lens, carry my own opinionated answers. Here at the café, you are allowed to have your own opinion without criticism.

I have listened to several conversations, whereby great souls question their own wisdom for what would serve them well. At the last minute, they will still be controlled by the “group” thought, amazing! Your own “happy life” can only come from your experiences, introspection and choices, not someone else's for you. Living in someone else's shadow will only steal your own shine. Being true to yourself can be (a)lone road towards an authentic life. What defines one's happiness may not be the same recipe for another.

Breaking free from “group” analogy does not mean that you have to sever ties; it just may mean establishing boundaries towards your own freedom. Sometimes a change of venue can be what the inner doctor orders. Your directives will come when you learn to trust yourself. Trusting yourself gives you the courage to know who to trust, with you.

Living in a world that is more than willing to advise you what to do is all the more reason to get in contact with you, the real you! If you don't know you, you will be directed by everybody else. We begin our lives by trying to fit in somewhere, so it should be no surprise when we wake up one day feeling like we don't know who we are or what we believe about anything.

The majority of our society lives on borrowed beliefs anyway; so, the road to discovery of yourself can be just as long as the road you've already traveled. I realize that this is not a comforting thought, but it can be a real one for lots of people. Believe me; I have these conversations every day with somebody. If you really open yourself to others to hear their stories, it will start to resonate within you that none of us are all that different.

I am discussing this topic because it is a recurring one across gender, race, age and religious lines. So, you thought that when people have religion, they are free of this topic? Not hardly! Probably this is the largest group, with all the self questioning of being real. To blame everything in your life that is not authentic on God is hardly an excuse. Being true to you is one of the biggest requirements in true happiness. God's business is “true happiness”!

Being a “great impersonator” is about observation, and within the eyes of the beholder. We learn as children to impersonate adults, because we want attention and acceptance. What are our excuses now? Be the originator of who you are now, because there is no one else you have to please! Living in your own skin is up to you. Just do it!

Still trying to figure out who you are? Take your time, one step at a time. Redefining oneself is all about your discoveries. This is your journey towards the person you really want to be in the world. When you look in the mirror, do you really know that person? If not, neither does anyone else! Present to the world, what you want them to remember. Live free… dance your dance… be true to yourself, what ever that means for you. Live from the place of the person you know, and allow others to know him/her also. Live your “Happy Life”!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doing It My Way

Like every seasoned chef that knows her way around the kitchen, I know that one has to come through many trials and errors to make the mark. Doing it my way has been the theme of every quest I have set out on.

There have been many times in my kitchen of life that well-meaning friends and family have wished that I would have prepared my recipes, the way they desired. Better yet, followed someone's already tried and tested ones but I always had to do it my way.

Now, mind you, I have completely burned up a few dishes and had to start all over again many times! Some of them even left the lingering burnt aroma in my kitchen, whereby others could detect it coming in the door! However, it was all those burnt dishes that cause people now to keep coming back to my café! There is something about tenacity in trial and error and doing it your way, which will even eventually lead you to a signature authentic serving. Many times it will cause people to come back for a second serving.

I share with young chefs in my kitchen to not be afraid of mistakes in their dishes, because it is rare that you will be pleased to satisfaction on the first testing. Great chefs spend lots of time doing things over towards perfection. That's why there are so many chefs calling their kitchens, Hell’s fury because it can get so hot, sometimes they just want to scream! The secret to cooling a hot kitchen is to breathe, flow and dance your dance. Enjoy the many combinations of spices that your life experiences bring to your recipes and never be afraid to alter it into your signature piece, by doing it your way.

Here at The Writer's Café, we welcome your authentic signature pieces done your way. There is no right or wrong way here. Your taste testing of life is appreciated, and all we ask is that you be willing to taste other dishes as well. Everyone has something to offer. Sharing each other's dishes brings us more in contact with another's experience. Once we have a little taste sometimes we are pleasantly surprised. There are also times that we discover, there are going to be dishes our pallets just don't take to. I have learned over the years to just be open to trying new recipes, to diversify my forte’. When I discover something that doesn't agree with me, I don't criticize it, I just bookmark that piece for later testing. It doesn't become an absolute no, until I've tried it prepared by different chefs. By just placing it on the back burner, it awaits further investigation at another testing, whereby it may or may not be more agreeable.

Life is that way. We don't always agree with something the first go round. There are only a few things in life that are absolute, mostly life or death. When I share life experiences with those that have chosen to diversify and stay open to life, I am willing to listen to their input. Their willingness causes me to have deep consideration and respect for their position of doing it their way. Rarely am I opened to even hearing those that are rigid in their thinking or one-sided in their belief system of my way or no way. That is usually my queue, to not spend much energy on them, because they also have turned their ears off to any of my suggestions. A promising chef of an authentic signature piece will be open for suggestions, and then they'll put their twist on it.

I am looking forward to the recipes that others choose to serve up at The Writer's Café. Your link to your kitchen will be posted for others to come on over, sit down and have a tasting. Hopefully you will be encouraged by their visit and continued to do it your way!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Answering The Call

Do you remember the first time you got the call? Did you take it? If so,what did you do? If not,why not? What is next for you? After reading "The Call" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer several years ago it helped me to realize that every day I get a call to action. Then there comes "The Invitation",to live your authentic life! Being true to yourself takes great courage, the kind of courage that sometimes puts others to running. At this stage of your journey some people can't be around you because you are constantly changing to the point that they don't know you anymore. Sometimes, even you question who you are!

"The Invitation", invites you to examine the most inner parts of your being against the backdrop of a world that wants you to be who it defines you as. Will you have the courage to ask yourself the questions that will bring you to that place of knowingness of who you are? Or, will you whimper off into your shell to become the fertilizer for the next generation, never truly knowing who you could have become if you would have just danced?

"The Dance" is the rhythm you hear to your own authentic drumbeat. To hear it is the challenge you are being invited to. It is the challenge we all are invited to and have to face in our journey to wholeness and wellness. Can you hear your own music?Can you feel the rhythm in your life? Are you actively participating in your own dance? You will feel awkward trying to dance someone else's dance but to be authentic and committed to your own, will ignite the fire in your loins to create something awesome!

To take the journey within for me was by route of reading about the paths of others thru the books they wrote. This labyrinth of turns in a circular motion into the depths of my being took me places I never knew were there. Some were familiar and others were a vague mystery but I was intrigued enough to continue. I discovered that timing was everything and to be patient with myself was a must. Being at the right place at just the right time was out of my hands because the "Great Mystery", would lead me into caverns that would unfold layers of my life for me to examine that only "She", could know when I was ready! This process was as natural as breathing but in order for it to continue I would always have to answer the call again when I stopped on the path to ponder and linger with constant analyzing. Would I continue, stop or move on was my choice to make. The demand for more was my constant desire as I started to recognize parts of me never discovered before. I had gotten lost in the demands of the world! Lost in the sea of "illusions", I swam to the surface to gather fresh air to fill my lungs with new life! This would be a starting over to speak my own mind. To hear my own words,my own ideas,my own self, my voice is what I finally heard and now I strive to stay in that place of authenticity. To not slid back into the sea of "illusions" will be my challenge, to break forth and be heard is my rightful claim to my destiny!

I dedicate this piece to my friend and fellow writer Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Call, The Invitation and The Dance. I would like to thank her for being the microphone to the world and asking me to answer "The Call"!

Friday, August 14, 2009

“Dem Punkins Gone South!”

Looking at the pictures the girls started laughing, while going through them at the kitchen table. “What are you girls laughing at”, I hollered from the living room. I couldn't hear myself think, and I was working on a new thread that had just started to flow to me. They know I hate interruptions, but just like little kids, they still need mama's attention even though they are grown women now! Mama, did you have on a bra in this picture with the grandkids at the zoo! Yeah, but you know “dem punkins done gone south girl”, I hollered back! I could hear them just falling out with laughter at the table. I love to hear them laugh, and especially now that I can laugh with them about women's issues. Growing older gracefully with laughter about things that just don't hold the same importance now is a wonderful freedom. Of course, they don't think I have changed a whole lot since we have always joked about the natural aging process. My mother was a very good example in that department too. She certainly knew how to make lemonade out of the lemons in her life. When she had to remove a breast from cancer, she told the doctor to take both of them because she didn't need them anyway! Why come back for a second procedure, she said and plus the imbalance didn't suit her. She got the artificial ones but never used them any more than she used her false teeth. Being comfortable was what mattered to Mama, and “take me as I am”, was a must or leave her alone! Wow, she sure was a good example without a lot of words. That's why my kids loved her, just as much as I did, because she was about keeping it real. Boobs are for feeding the babies and entertainment she would probably say. Well, I ain’t feeding babies, and I sure ain't trying to entertain anybody. Sooo, I guess I'll just buy a good sturdy bra for when I won't those punkins to stand up; otherwise, they can just head down south for retirement, with no complaints from me! Of course, for years to come and generations after these pictures, they will continue to tell the stories to the women in our family; to not sweat the small stuff when nature takes her course, just roll south with “dim punkins” and enjoy the journey.

(This serving is dedicated to my mother, who taught me, in the midst of the fire to come out flaming and head for the kitchen to make some cold iced lemonade from the lemons I'd been given and everything would be allright! I pass that gift on to my children that they may pass it on to theirs!!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Calling Out

Soft, intoxicating, jazz is playing lowly in the background of the circle of women sharing their souls. I listened intently to a friend speak to herself; I could hear my soul reaching out to me, to provide to me memories of my spirit truly hearing me. Isn't that what we all want, to be truthfully heard? Reflecting on a thought, about what I really want to do with the rest of my life, came in the form of a puzzle piece, which landed in my hands at a spiritual gathering on a Sunday morning. It read “empower others”. It was an honor, at this time in my life to be called forth to do this. I realized in this seasoned time of my life, it was time to integrate all I had been gathering over the years. The tools that gave me inner peace and courage to be able to empower others lay within my reach. In contemplating a way to continue my own empowerment as I shared with others, it was given to me a way to co-author this vision. Creating an environment, where others could invest their minds, hearts and souls would be a powerful place to cook up something grand. That is where the idea of The Writer's Café came into view. This would be a place where chefs could come to cook up something to offer to the world. There are times that we wait, while the dough rises, and there is a time when we cook, expecting the aromas of delicious sharing as a desired result. The Writer's Café allows us to support one another in our “Soul Food”, preparation. Our society is in great need of the original recipes being restored with some new spices of life added. The energy flowing through the earth at this time is ready to be birthed into the world. For those that are being called out I am inviting you to be nurtured toward a serving up of what has been simmering in your kitchen. A diversity of dishes is requested at this time in history. Being at the right place at the right time is what brings fruition. There are times in our lives when we work collectively and then there are times that we have to discover the authentic “I “, to bring forth our unique dish to the table. Bring it out, so we all can applaud you and say, job well done! Let “The Writer's Café”, be a place of birthing for you and your creation. We are here to serve one another in the process. Let's kick it up a notch!

If you would like to post at “The Writers Café”, your recipe for others to partake a serving please forward to me at and I will post it!
If any serving has been a positive reinforcement in your life please let me know, it’s greatly appreciated to know as a following through on my part of “Follow Your Dreams” that I’ve “Served it Up” in the world. Thank-you all for your support!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Stories; Yours and Theirs

If you want to give your children, family and friends a true gift, give them your story! I realized this by listening to my children detail what they interpreted of my story. In reality they were telling their stories from being with me from their view. I would catch myself saying to myself, as if I was crazy, who are they talking about! That wasn't who I was, what I was feeling or saying. It was puzzling to hear them or figure out why they felt the way they did. But I realized this was their story with me in it.

Just as a writer develops their characters, it was interesting to hear the life they had given my character in their life story. It caused me to look back at the fact and fiction of my character. In looking at the facts at the heart of my character of me, I realized there were very little realities in their character of me that actually was drawn from me.(children often make our character fictious to suite their acceptance or denial;remember your parents?) I became content when I realized that my oldest child, missed about 18 years of info by the time she drew a serious opinion of me at 15. My second child lost about 23 years of my life by the time she got her strong opinions at 15. My third child lost about 25 years of my story before he got to the point of his life whereby I knew nothing.

The way I came by this equation was. You take the age you were when you birthed your children into the world, and realize that by the time they start developing your character in their stories of who you have been to them for the first 15 years of their lives, they don't know who, where or how you got to be that person that they think they know. They form an opinion with very little facts, and then start drawing the character they called mom or dad. Remember, that at this stage of their lives, they also want very little to do with history, because that old stuff, that doesn't matter anyway, because that's the past! They don't understand how the past connects to the present, but you do. That's why it's important for you to tell your story, because when they get old enough to look back to realize that their stories and your friends, family etc… do not mesh together from their view, they’ll understand why. You can fill in all the missing pieces (all those details that filled out that character they called mom or dad) or allow second hand information from family and friends fill in the gap. Never underestimate the power of stories, especially your own!

I can remember when my children were raised by the tenement of, “…if you spare the rod, you spoil the child”. Of course this was before all the laws were put in place, whereby if you discipline your child(with spankings) it could be considered abuse. I remember all of Dr. Spock's theories of child rearing, spanking less, explaining more intellectually. (Time out:-). I did a little of both, whatever was necessary, a balance was the goal. I am all for progressive thinking, it's just that you have to understand the hand you were dealt and what is needed. Now, that's wisdom! (Just my opinion!).

A lot of parents today do not appreciate any of the values and wisdom in yesterday's application of discipline. You have to know how to interpret yesterday's message for today's world. If you spare the discipline, you will spoil the child. What does that mean? It's kind of like reading the handwriting on the wall. You need to see the signs and act accordingly. If you come upon spoiled food, what does that bring into your mind? Rotten, stinking, obnoxious, something you just want to get rid of, quick and in a hurry! Ask your schoolteachers, how they feel about something that is spoiled. That's the way it is with some of our children without guidance and discipline, others just want to get rid of them period. Who do you want to emanate in your training?

These are some things that I thought would benefit our communities and help to establish bridges if we will see the value in our stories. The next generation is beginning to gather the missing pieces, and that shows progression. May all our stories be heard if the recipe will be complete. In a recipe if I miss a spice, it will not be the same outcome, it will be something else. Enjoy the gathering and reaffirmation of your families, stories.

(I wonder now if Spock was an abused child or got lots of spankings; explaining his theories). I question sometimes if all that theory was studied as to the outcome miles down the road. Looking at this generation with hindsight it is questionable as to appreciation and respect. The question is; did the spankings create respect for consequences with lasting impressions of pain from the wrong choices or not? Are there right and wrong choices or are there only decisions about what you want to experience to grow and develop, at what and whose expense? That’s how we come to who is telling the story. Everyone has their own role in our life stories and depending on who is telling it the characters can change positions and opinions. That’s the power of words to change history according to who’s telling the story. Who will tell your story? Compare the facts by speaking out!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Off Your Nail

Stories are really not that different from person to person when it comes to getting off your nail. The analogy that Les Brown referred to in one of his motivational seminars of the dog that laid on a nail day after day moaning and groaning from the pain but he never made the effort to move off the nail is what I want to talk about. This reminds me of the anguish that faces everyone when it’s time to move. I like that story because there are two other elderly people sitting on that porch that ignore the dogs moaning because they know that when it hurts bad enough he will move. This helps me to be patient with myself as well as others when we get stuck with our lives. I argue with the idea of living in the moment because even though that is a good idea we still have to deal with the fact that the choices in the moment come with the consequences that control future choices. So, the moment is tied to the past as well as the future, all in one. Does that mean that in reality there is only the moment? Duality could really be oneness when you get deep into the reality of everything. Of course I realize to some this could be very confusing and questionable. However, questions are what I have had all my life and possibilities are what have kept me going. Possibilities are the mystic unraveling of God’s promises to the trusting ones. I listen to others as they share their current stories with me and I reflect on how at different times in my life their story is not all that different from mine. One strives to be the best they can be and then they try to share their life with someone. I say try because we never realize what we are getting ourselves into until after we have jumped off that safe ledge. We only know ourselves when we finally choose, “to go for it” and when we can accept that we will probably need some “Divine Intervention” lots of times in a relationship with someone else. That is the icing that makes the choice sweeter. Knowing that we all have something to work on in our lives is very humbling. There are also some things I believe are more tolerable than others. It is important to look at character traits that complement one another when considering such closeness as sharing ones personal space. I have learned that the older one gets it is very important to consider what is acceptable in sharing ones space because we start seeing life and priorities a lot different. It is one of those things that come from different stages of your life. To understand those stages before you get there is impossible because it is part of the process in “coming home”, to your real self. It’s just like that dog lying on the nail. He’s just content with laying on that nail moaning and groaning because he hasn’t gotten the nerve or motivation to do anything different.

In my experience, people will try on new and different things for size with motivation but unless there is great passion, desire and intentional personal ambition with purpose it will just hang on them like a cloak. When it no longer has real appeal anymore it can easily be cast aside and the original clothing that is more comfortable will be returned to. It’s only when “enough is enough” has been reached in ones life that real permanent changes will take hold. Everybody’s pain threshold is different but I do know that the longer one lies on their nail the more tolerable the pain becomes. What does your nail feel like? Is it time to get up off it? Only you know for sure. In the meantime, think about what you want your threshold to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Invitation to Action

I am putting out an Invitation of Action to Living The Life You Love!!!

I would like to invite others to create groups to study,
“No Matter What! By Lisa Nichols. This plan will entail an action plan at the end of every chapter for personal transformation. Lisa has created a groundbreaking program that builds “muscles” in ones character in 9 different areas of your life. These muscles are referred to as “bounce-back” muscles:

1) Developing Your Understanding Muscle:
*Some gifts come wrapped in sandpaper
2) Developing Your Faith-In-Myself Muscle:
*Pressing the stop button on your minds negative chatter
3) Developing Your Take Action Muscle:
*Stop lying on the nail
4) Developing Your I-Know-Like-I-Know Muscle:
*God Is Good, Good Is God, Woo-Hoo!
5) Developing Your Honesty Muscle:
*Keeping It Real
6) Developing Your Say-Yes Muscle:
*Being Willing to Play Full Out
7) Developing Your Determination Muscle:
*Doing what it takes to get to the Mountaintop
8) Developing Your Forgiveness Muscle:
*Finding Your Way Back to Love
9) Developing Your Highest Muscle:
*Meeting Your Needs from the Inside Out, and Then Aiming for the Stars
10) Finding Your Rhythm
*Living in Joy and Possibility

I would like to create groups in age differences for the purpose of the experiences focused upon being brought back to the larger venue for community growth together.

Teens / Young Adults / Adults / Seasoned Adults / Meantime / Mid-Time / Sage
(13-15) (16-20) (21-27) (28-35) (36-46) (47-57) 58+

After we finish in our groups, we can come together as "One Group" to share our discoveries and select our "Rocket Booster Buddies", to assist us in our accountability Action Plans.

For those that are interested in this proposal of accountability and Action forward to living the life you Love please contact me via email or phone:

336-259-5086 (cell)

We can do this in our communities and feed back online each week as well as locally at our meetings. This can be a pro-active way of peeling back layers as well as prevention for the young ones of layering on from the residue already existing in our communities. I would like for each one interested to go to your local “Borders”, “Barnes and Nobles” and/or Favorite bookstore to pick up a copy of:

“NO MATTER WHAT!” by Lisa Nichols

Grab you a cup of coffee/ tea, read first chapter that interests you most and then make a decision if you are ready to take Action in your life, your community, your relationship, your career, and/ or this Invitation. Buy the book now if you are and I will be happy to be one of your "Rocket Booster Buddies".

We can check back in with one another after the project as a group in 4-6 months with our journals to see how our progress has been.

I am excited to invite all of you to Action! Hope to hear from you soon!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Over here at the writer's café we are stirring up things in the kitchen. My sisters need to awaken from their slumber. Every time I hear of another fallen sister it nudges me to say out loud… wake up! The lover we search for through others is within ourselves. There is no way to draw a picture of what I mean but it is a retreat to self that you have to make, in order to spare yourself a lot of unnecessary drama. If you have someone and still don't understand why you feel like you're missing something, it's because you are. That longing you have has nothing to do with the other person as much as it has to do with you. It's great not to have to walk alone on your journey but if that person does not respect your spiritual boundaries and vice versa, you might as well be alone because there are going to be a lot of lonely days ahead. When you get to the crossroads together you still have to spend time alone in the wilderness with the one who loves you beyond boundaries. Your Beloved demands time alone with you. If you cannot hear the gentle call, it can get very loud. The gentle nudge can be very comforting but when you get so distracted that a tremendous stop has to take place in your life, you wonder what happened. Sometimes we even get called home because we are so stubborn. That is what I am seeing with child abuse and spouse/partner abuse. When we allow ourselves to stay in abusive relationships we really need some, “timeout”, to evaluate ourselves. To be truly honest means to go out in the wilderness even if it means putting our families in safe hands while we get with ourselves. Most of the time in abuse cases the victim loses connection with their core being, their center, which is our connection with all that there is. Every being that has experienced abuse knows that center place, because in the early stages of abuse you can hear the subtle warnings within. The signs pop up everywhere. You know what I mean. Yes, I'm talking to you! One on one! We know who we are. Why do I need this person so-o-o-o bad? I deserve better treatment than what I am getting! I don't deserve this s-h-i-t-! Why don't I just walk away? I can do better by myself! What am I afraid of? Do not put so much energy into what you do not understand. Remember back in school, what we were told at test time? Don't spend a lot of time on what you don't understand, go on and do what you do know! Same advice goes for the tests in life. Fake it, until you make it. Self-confidence, faith and strong will, it will bring you through every time! This power I'm talking about is not left behind in the counselors offices, in the churches, these institutions are only tools to direct you back to your center, your source within your self. When you don't have the money's to get the finest doctors, ministers, books, foods, etc… remember, what you need, will be provided. That is a promise in your faith that you can bank on. The first step to avoiding abuse is to not go there. Read the handwriting on the wall. Do not ignore the signs and try to be a s/hero in order to avoid loneliness. Teach your daughters, that they hold the jewels and someone is always going to try to get them. If you have already crossed that safe zone, is never too late to turn back. Let there be no shame in your game to step back and take a second look at yourself, reevaluate yourself about what you deserve. Know thyself, is one of your greatest discoveries. Broken dreams can be rebuilt, restored, and redefined. You came to the world to bring something to the table. Be strong and serve it up! Explore the ingredients in your recipe, add to or take away but make it original. Your authentic self knows all of the spices you came to the table with. Do not be afraid to stir things up in your kitchen and when you're ready, do what you need to do! Ladies be an example and passed on those valuable recipes! Live your life and kick it up a notch! Do not wait until someone is trying to kill you for what you have. Get out while you can because an abuser is so far down into self gratification and not knowing their self-worth that the only thing they can do is try to steal someone else's jewels. They want to control, what they cannot within their own lives, their direction. We always have a choice to change the ingredients to the recipe (directions) but we have to have the balls!! I challenge you to check out the recipe to your life and add to it whatever you need to make it authentically say; I’ve got the balls!! Serve it up!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Pen; My Microphone to the World

My pen is my microphone to the world. When I think of all my best ideas I remember my pen being the first one to convey them. Whether I was writing to myself, God, my audience(whomever they may be) or just hearing myself out loud it was on paper first. Well, maybe it really was in thought first but it had power when it became words on paper. I remember thinking back to when I first lost my voice shortly after the abuse, something that I didn't understand at the time of course. Aren't you supposed to be able to trust the adults in your life as a child? That is what everyone in my world was trying to convey, however I realized quickly that was not an absolute! You know the story, don't you, because it's not new I would discover in the years to come. It was through the experiences that evolved from my rebellion against the man-made rules for girls and how they are suppose to behave that awakened my voice again. There were also those unwritten laws of "our" boundaries of how we were supposed to act because everything was our fought just by the nature of our gender. This awakening stirring inside of me caused me to pull more and more away from others back into myself until I was able to clearly hear again and then something wonderful happened. The flow came through my pen and my life would never be the same because there was a releasing of feelings that was dammed up for so long. Of course all of the rough, nasty, decayed stuff had to flow out first to get to the clear waters but then it was pure freedom and no one could stand in my way. I remember at 15 years old and my love for music lead me to a choir at school whereby a wonderful African American Chorus teacher took me under her wing and directed the flow through my voice out of my head and heart through singing in the Spring Concert. That was the first time at recognizing that one can give themselves over to their passion and it will take on a life of its own. When she played back the lead recording I was performing from Jesus Christ Superstar, "I don't know how to love Him", I was blown away because I did not know who that voice was!
It wasn't until years later after my divorce and three children to raise without child support that I rediscovered to go within to find that voice for survival and rejuvenation. I had to regain courage to go out into the world to be heard and be reckoned with, I would survive! I had to rethink the debilitating words that were currently in my life and how to replace them with more empowering words to push me through victoriously. This began with pulling forward the memories of surviving ill experiences in the past and re-membering what it was in the process that fused me. Affirmations (empowering words) daily were a must once I decided my direction (goals).I was going to become a Cosmetologist and have my own business. I decided that no one was going to control my destiny anymore. I started envisioning my future as I wanted it to be through writing and so it became my reality!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Say You Love Me…

You say you love me… I dare to question that love when you so passionately refuse to love yourself. I am with you when you question all that you have been graciously gifted with, while still trying to impersonate to please others. It is only I through your love of yourself that should concern you. I am you and you are me, do you not see? In your secret closet you hear my voice but when you go out into the world my voice becomes faint and you quiver with fear of non-acceptance when it is I who still accepts all your beauty just as you were designed. Have you forgotten the beauty of the great hand that designed your every crest? Seek not the approval of others and know that you are as free as the wind and uncontained. It is at that moment in time that you will recognize you love me as I have always loved you, unconditionally.

You say you love me… I say, when you love you, it reflects your love for me.

Who Am I…?

Who am I, is a question that at different times in my life I've had to ponder.
Now in my sage years, everything is beginning to fall in place. I can now understand
why I wanted to have my own personal sage in my unfolding years. Around every bend
in the journey one wants to know, what’s next but there is no rushing it before its
time,when it comes to understanding.

One spends their entire life gathering, just to get to a point of trying to
figure out how it all fits together. There seems to be a lot of time spent on
denying that certain pieces even belong to ones puzzle of life.

I understand the slow-moving river looking at the vast deep ocean with all of its
wonder and asking the question, who am I; what is my meager purpose?

Then the ocean answering; your magnificent purpose is so significant because you
are an offshoot of me,for all those that need the slow quietness, gentleness of
your waters,for reflection, rebirth, rejuvenation, solitude,reconnection and
everything that brings them back to the deep vastness of who they are is part
of your purpose. Just as you come from me and flow back to me, this is a
reminder to all those that seek your presence, to remember who they are and their
purpose as well.

In observing this dialogue I can hear my own echoes so many times crying out in the
darkness, who am I? It is becoming clear now, I am re-membering, re-membering
back to that deep vastness that connects within me to my true identity, almost lost
in all of the busyness, clamoring voices of confusion trying to distract me
from the faint whisperings of you, echoing back to me, you are
mighty, powerful, and majestic
in all that you are!

Come home little one, find your voice within and allow yourself to hear
your roar, to let the world know, oh yes, who am I?

Now, I remember!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals; we have more food, but less appeasement; we build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology has brought this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit "Skip Ahead"... By Dr. Bob Moorehead


Thursday, April 30, 2009


Recently I have been reading several books written by Paulo Coelho…whatever this could mean at this time in my life is still unfolding to me…however I am aware of what has been cooking in my kitchen which I will be sharing very soon. Please enjoy a few lines below from Paulo’s book “The Pilgrimage” that struck home with me:

"Everything you have learned up to now makes sense only if it is applied in real life. Don't forget that I described the Road to Santiago to you as the road of the common per¬son; I have said that a thousand times. On the Road to Santiago and in life itself, wisdom has value only if it helps us to overcome some obstacle.
"A hammer would make no sense in the world if there were not nails to be driven. And even given the existence of nails, the hammer would be useless if it only thought, 1 can drive those nails with two blows.' The hammer has to act. To put itself into the hands of the carpenter and to be used in its proper function."

"One more thing," he said, before going in under the falls. "This waterfall will teach you how to be a Master. I am going to make the climb, but there will be a veil of water between you and me. I will climb without your being able to see where I place my hands and feet.
"In the same way, a disciple such as you can never imitate his guide s steps. You have your own way of living your life, of dealing with problems, and of winning. Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself"

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Everybody has been asking me when are you going to finish that book and when are you going to let us hear it! So what I have decided to do like any good cook is to let you test taste a spoonful. So here it is…

The discovery of the secrets that had been held in our family for so long always carried the shadows in to my aunties stories that always made me wonder were they real or were they fiction? Auntie always said that a good writer would leave you wondering. Heading into the kitchen to put on a pot of water for hot tea, I reflected on my day. I don't believe it could have been a more empowering day if I had planned it myself. Of course I was resolved to know that it was completely out of my hands at this point. Maybe those books I have been reading lately about the Law of Attraction have more validity to them than I realized. After all I did come back to this small town with thoughts about what I wanted rather than what I didn't want. I think the author referred to that as deliberate thinking or invisioning. You know, (thinking to myself) just maybe, it's true that the teacher appears when the student is ready. Wow, maybe I can turn aunties book into a tool to help others with understanding this Law of Attraction. The more mom and her sister held on to their old stories, the more they got of what they did not want and the story just kept growing. You know what, that could become generational and it kind of proves itself through our family story but now I can tell a new story, my way, with new spices. (Laughing to myself) I’ll have to balance my spices between the hot, sweet and bitter to get my points across. Sierra is very good with her gift through her art. Just maybe this little sleepy town bordering Charleston is ready for some spices. We shall see! Looking out the kitchen window and sipping on my tea, I just exhale while I look at the beautiful colors across the sky with deep russet oranges from the sunset. I don't think this could be a more beautiful moment with the exception of hearing the beautiful laughter of two wonderful women in this kitchen that molded my life into what it is now, forever more. Reflecting back, how I wish that they were still here now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today, January 20, 2009 is a day that I will never forget. It all began for me 44 years ago when I was eight years old, I heard a great man give a speech about unity, justice and freedom for all. That man was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., little did I know at that time my life would be changed for ever. It's funny now that I look back I realize when children are left with only the raw essentials they will not harbor hatred, prejudice and all of the things that has existed in our society to divide us.

Looking back I realize that the very core of our being knows when something is right, just and fair. That compass will lead us in the direction of all truth if we will only adhere to it. If we will choose not to be distracted by the thoughts and plans of others but to only follow the drumbeat of our own hearts we shall not fail.

Today, 44 years later I had the great privilege and honor of witnessing the first African American president of the United States at the Inauguration of
President Barack Obama.I am aware that this day means so many different things to so many different people, however, for all of us, I think that it means as long as the dream is alive in our hearts and with expectation for it to come to fruition we will never be disappointed. For those of us that have never given up, it really was “our” day!

I sincerely look forward to the next chapter of this great book that we all will play a part in, for United we will always stand but divided we will fall.

“Sacredflower” Brenda Williams