I hadn’t intended to stay away from this blog for so long, but here we are, in mid-March, with many of us preparing to spring our clocks forward in honor of the U.S.’s Daylight Savings Time mandate and to welcome the looming change in seasons accompanied by longer days, warmer winds and sunnier skies.
I’m here with a smile in my heart, after giving myself some space and time to grieve the death of my brother during the Christmas holiday season; to appreciate a return to better health after a challenging year, and to sit with my thoughts and in prayer to determine which projects from my Dreams & Goals List to focus on in 2023.
My novel-in-progress has remained atop that list, and I’m earnestly revising my completed first draft. I’ve also been supporting an author friend by championing his amazing body of work, which continues to resonate with readers of all ages – from children to seasoned citizens. Thank you, Kwame Alexander, for taking me on the journey with you. I’m learning at your feet as you do the work of changing the world, one word at a time.
I’ve continued to mentor a small band of writers who are members of my online Focused Writers Community. Last month, we celebrated the first anniversary of the anthology On Womanhood that we jointly published in 2022. This book is still resonating with readers of all ages and stages, and for that we are grateful.
If you’ll invest your time to watch (solo or with a group of friends!) I hope you will savor all that is expressed and end the experience changed for the better. May the truths and aha moments offered during the program help your heart open, your courage rise, your empathy grow and your understanding (of self and others) multiply. For you are a pearl in progress and your story is worthy celebrating, too. Onward!
Someone I care about entered hospice a few days ago, beginning a process that is both dignity-rendering, yet leaking with sadness.
Only our Creator knows the exact time left, but this person would want no pity, and if possible, would be cracking jokes and setting you straight on your attitude and actions at every turn, with declarations that life is to be enjoyed and celebrated.
With that in mind, I issue this Wednesday Wisdom to:
Love on yourself more, just because.
Tell others what they mean to you while you can (I have and I regularly do).
Cry when you feel like it.
Laugh every chance you get.
Forget about yesterday’s grudges.
Love those who love you back.
Be kind to those whose rudeness often means they need more kindness.
Challenge yourself to leave everyone better than you found them – with what you say and what you don’t; by how you share and where you set boundaries; and by giving with no expectation of receiving.
Let your heart break. The only way through grief is through.
Say Thank You for everything – because every breath, every day, and every person who crosses your path is in some way a gift.
When Bern Nadette Stanis – aka Thelma from Good Times (and more recently, Nee from The Family Business) – visited Richmond, Virginia in the fall, I couldn’t let her get away without learning more about her journey before, during and after becoming the first Black teenager on American television.
She shared some gems about her professional life and about her experience of serving as a caregiver for her beloved mother who lived with Alzheimer’s.
Her sweet spirit shone through during our chat, along with her message to always be yourself and to always lead with love.
Two weeks into offering tickets for sale, my inspirational brunch sold out. I promised those who weren’t able to secure tickets that in addition to starting a waiting list (see details here on my website), I would share some content to inspire you in real time in the weeks leading up to Still We Rise: Celebrating the Power of Women’s Stories.
My conversation with college student Caliyah Bennett will do just that, and it’s one you may want to share with your youth group, any struggling teens you know, and the adults who care for them.
Thank you to Caliyah and her mom for allowing me to share their journey!
A dear reader friend shared the quote meme below on her page earlier this week, and then I ran across this sister-love pic of Madame Sheryl Lee Ralph and Quinta Brunson, and it struck me that each is a reflection of the other, because in our own unique ways aren’t we all trying to do all of these things?
Love the people around you, flaws and all, and yourself. Celebrate others and yourself, and trust that you’ll receive reciprocated patience, openness and grace along your way.
Serena (no last name needed) shared in the inspiring remarks she gave during her post-game celebration last night that she hopes her journey from the tough streets of Compton, California to the world’s stage has inspired little girls everywhere to dream and do. It has indeed.
Just know that you hold that same power. You may be touching people around you who may never tell you, and/or transforming the lives of those you may never meet.
How? By being the best at being you. And being yourself with an authentic mix of boldness, humility, enthusiasm and purpose.
So just be you. Do you.
Choose to enjoy your journey.
In living your life fully, you’ll help others rise to their own occasion.
On this post-Juneteenth Monday, it feels appropriate to share the covers of my Jubilant Soul series – my three women’s fiction novels set in the fictional town of Jubilant, Texas.
I created Jubilant to symbolize how we as humans (and characters) are often searching for happiness “over there” or “somewhere” that feels just out of reach. But when the characters in each of these books find themselves back in Jubilant for a season, they realize, in their own ways, that happiness really does begin within; and since YOU are with you wherever you go, it pays to find ways to fill your soul with joy.
Hope you’ll enjoy reading (or re-reading) these novels as I continue to work on my latest! (Available wherever books are sold.)
I share it at this time to enjoy and be inspired (or inspired again!), while also asking you to SAVE THE DATE for the second time around!
Yes – eight years later, it will happen again – same place, same time, on OCTOBER 22, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
I will be sharing more details in another month or so about the amazing speakers and other participants, and I’m honored that I’ll be partnering with them to bring you their inspiring personal stories and more. In the meantime, please mark your calendar and spread the word!
How did we get halfway through 2022? Hopefully with some beauty, some growth and lots of gratitude.
#welcomejune #LifeUntapped #lifemusings
We move through life in ways that are both unique to us and collectively familiar, and perhaps many of you join me in wondering how half of this year has zoomed by.
Welcome to June!
Some of the things I’ve come to appreciate about the first half of 2022 are the experiences that have stretched me the most, and in the process, helped me get to know myself all the better while appreciating others as they are.
I make that sound easy, but we all know this is where the work lies!
In these six months I have learned to find peace in surrendering to every day’s measure of work, rest, hope, contentment, and mutual giving and sharing.
I invite you to reflect on your highlights and challenges thus far, too, and to celebrate how far you’ve come, while seeking lessons from the valleys you’ve traversed and the mountains you’ve scaled.
There’s so much to reflect on and grow from, and in some cases celebrate, including the simple gifts of each day and the aha moments that have opened your heart.
So, with what I pray are miles to go, I say hello to June, and to the possibilities and promises the rest of this year holds. They are ours for the taking, if we’ll believe, trust and invite these blessings in, however they come.