Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Prayer for the Full FLOWER Moon


Happy Full FLOWER Moon!
My morning practice of the Divine Dialogue Writing System includes many things like asking the question, “What do I need to know for my best and highest good today about…” 

Today I sought Divine Downloads. 
I sought how to best attract my 2017 Mantra of PEPSS: Prospering Expansion in Peaceful Sacred Service. 
Specifically, I sought a sign about hosting my next writing retreat possibly in October/November.

From the Voyager Tarot, one of the many intuitive decks I use came the reply of THREE of CUPS: LOVE.

After reading the guidebook’s explanation, I effortlessly wrote this prose—a first for me in decades. This prayer-poem affirms your beautiful blossoming in the weeks ahead…and perhaps at my next writing retreat. I love it when the Divine speaks so clearly, don't you?


EFFLORESCENCE

May...
Love migrate in you to release any disappointment, distraction, delusion or defeat.

Love unfurl in you to move through new doors of opportunities.

Love blossom in you to give and receive from an open heart.

Love flower in you to flow with another, with all of you, with the world.

Love grow glue in you to co-create community wherever and whenever.

Love seed communion in you to bless everyone and everything.
LOVE.

AMEN

I am still reflecting on this powerful answer and will noodle my thoughts on the page. It's there that I will happily come to a final decision about hosting my next writing retreat. It's there that I always find clarity, direction, guidance, and support.


P.S.  Efflorescence according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means “the period or state of flowering; the action or process of developing and unfolding as if coming into flower blossoming; an instance of such developmental fullness of manifestation, culmination.”



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sisters are fierce, fragile and forever!


Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Action
“Sisters are fierce, fragile, and forever!” - Miss Anon

Part One: My Tribe
While I have one younger biological sister, I am blessed to know dozens of heart-sisters around the globe!

Rewind: One of those precious tribes is my Judson College Sister Tribe pictured above. We’re gathered for a “Step Sing” in Jewett Hall, the main building on campus in Marion, Alabama—Deep South y’all.

At the Step Sing each week…
We forgot about school, home, friends, and boyfriend issues.
We lifted our separate voices as one.
We sang silly songs like “Mr. Moon” and emotional songs like Elvis’ “I Can't Help Falling in Love with You.”

Now: This coming reunion weekend, April 7-8, I’ve been invited for a book signing. I’ll also read Carbonated Holiness, my story in Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Opening to Gratitude and Grace by Inspired Living Publishing. It’s a story about a spring day my freshman year…driving in the Alabama countryside…daffodils…and feeling included. That afternoon helped me make a life-changing decision: I decided to stay and graduate at this all women’s college founded in 1838.

My tribe has invited me back to tell a story.
Members of my Judson Sister Tribe will also pick me up from the airport on Thursday.
My roomie from 46 years ago and I will share a hotel room, memories, and create new ones. In college they called us the “Odd Couple”—she was Felix and I was Oscar! And yes, there will be a Step Sing to wrap up the weekend’s reunion activities. While I’m singing, I’ll give thanks for the four decades of friendship from this Judson Sister Tribe who are indeed…fierce, fragile, and forever!

Part Two: Your Tribe
Fast Forward: You might say, “Nice story. This isn’t my experience.” Well, it can be. You can create your tribe or join a tribe.
With social media, there’s no shortage of groups to join.
Check them out.
If it isn’t a heart-match, keep dating!

You’re invited to join Writer’s VisionQuest, my writing tribe where we give and receive resource support to move our writing to new places.

And if you’re a writer or author, also consider the Visionary Female Authors group hosted by Linda Joy of Inspired Living Publishing.


As a result, check out what can happen in one year with sister support! You’re invited to visit my Amazon Author’s page.


P.S. Enjoy this song, WE ARE FAMILY(I've got all my sisters with me) by Sister Sledge (1979). 
After your comments, please add a link to your group with its intention.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Are you a tolerant person?


Spinning Your Gold:
Words that Open Hearts & Inspire Action

Tolerance is a tall order from whatever side of the fence you’re standing near. And it seems that many of us have run out of tolerance for the big errors, even the small ones like not peeling out the moment the traffic light turns green. Often dirty looks and finger gestures follow. 

And you know this. We BOTH end up at the next stop light…together. How crazy is that?! So why the intolerant fuss?

I’m reminded of something my mom droned into me as a little girl: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it all. What if for a day, you took this to heart? What if all the media and politicians did the same? I believe it would change the atmospheric negative energy that’s blanketing our country like Los Angeles's smog.

We could breathe again. 
Smile again. 
Think positive thoughts...again.

Did you realize that the word “tolerate” contains almost all the letters to spell HEART?
Let’s add a little more heart and tolerance to our lives.


Thank you in advance for sharing and commenting!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What's Your New Spring Mantle?




What new Spring mantle do you seek to unfurl?

In this season of spring, beginnings and second chances are sure to be a buzzin' in your mind. The signs are everywhere.
The butterfly metaphor appears in poetry and memes, blogs and podcasts. 
Sheesh, the Dollar Store displayed Sping stuff right after Valentine's Day!

Perhaps you might even rewind to your elementary school science class. Remember learning that the four stages of the butterfly are egg, larva, pupa and adult?

As a butterfly in process, who do you seek to be after your long winter's nap? 

And what if you're not ready to...
show up
unfurl your wings
emerge and claim a new title despite all the outer urgings to celebrate Spring.
What if you're just not ready?

My reply is..."Stay there. Stay still. Know your peace. It's perfect.You're perfect."

Perhaps you're like me. Still in your Stage Two, the caterpillar-butterfly phase.

Yes, I'm "going caterpillar" 
 I'm still cocooning...spinning my inner gold before I appear as a solo author. 


This means I am devouring the leaf I was born on. I am reading, reflecting, researching, and then responding in words. I am expanding and then molting.
This means I am okay with being in the dark.
This means I am where I am supposed to be.
This means I am faithing it until I make it.

Simultaneously, I'm spinning my gold for ideas of becoming a first-time poetess and podcaster.
I'm not ready to spring forth. Just sayin'.

Eventually, I will evolve to Stage Three: The Chrysalis Butterfly.

What butterfly stage are you in? What's your new Spring mantle?


Friday, March 10, 2017

Be kind whenever possible..

A week ago today a dear 83-year old man ended his life. 
You don't know his name. And perhaps you do know him because suicide shredded your heart with the loss of a loved one. He's one of the 34,000 sweet souls who take this action every year in the USA.

As a writer, all the "UN" words whoosh to mind....
Unbelievable.
Unfathomable.
Unjust.
Unreal.

He was a part of our family. Diagnosed with terminal cancer last week, he felt this was his only option to protect another dear one, my mom, from an extended Hospice exit.

Now that I'm swirling in this tsunami of grief, the waves of suicide-related facts, emotions, and words rage on. 

I also feel an aching regret.
I regret my unkind thoughts and words about him.
Words that were used to make him appear small and me BIG.
He was this. And that. He wasn't my dad.
Blah, blah, blah.

And why?
What purpose did any of my words and thoughts serve?
Nothing.

My new mantra is... 
BE KIND.
Sounds simple. Cliche. Trite.
I don't care. 

P.S. Please forgive me Mr. Al. 
I appreciate your many kind acts to my mom and me.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What's in a name?


4:44 am As I write millions of women are waking.
Many are rising not to go to work because of what is happening in America.
Peaceful protest.
Powerful resistance.
Positive boldness.

I don't know all your names.
And yet, I do know them.
It's International Women's Day with the theme "Be Bold For Change."

Applause to all the women of the world.
I sing the praises of you, the bold ones, the sometimes bold ones, and the ones still summoning the courage to be bold.

Praise to all the women who have gone before me to give me the life I enjoy.
I stand on their shoulders.

I boldly whisper, pray and chant:
Hello, my name is Lorraine Monique, mother of Nazlie, G-LoLo to Blake, daughter of Clare Ann, granddaughter of Ella and Helen and great granddaughter of Magdalene and Bessie, I AM!

What chant might you boldly speak in celebration of the women in your life?


Share your matriarchal chant in the comments:
I am _________, 
mother of _____, 
grandmother of _____, 
daughter of _____ and _____,
and great granddaughter of _____ and ______,
I AM!

If you don't know all the names, perhaps it's time you do. Powerstories Theatre and the visionary founder, Fran Taylor Powers, introduced me to this chant.

P.S. Lore, like millions, is an American because of the bold courage of her grandmother, Ella Marie, an immigrant from Scotland. Her great gram sent her 4-year old daughter to the states while dying of malaria. A bold Scot for sure!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

4 Benefits of Crafting Your Writer's & Reader's Autobiography

The New Moon on February 26 calls for planting new seed thoughts that will then become the harvest of your life. The New Moon is like a blank celestial blackboard calling you to write new words and intentions. Why not craft a Writer’s & Reader’s Autobiography?

Take a moment to reflect and assess the words you now use to describe yourself. Start by answering these five questions:
What adjectives do you use to describe yourself, business, and brand?
What does the current description on your website or social media sites say?
How does the bio for your blog or author’s description read?
How do you introduce yourself to strangers or new clients?
How do you now answer the question, “Who are you?”

Do your answers feel true, accurate, aligned, and dynamically descriptive?

The questions above came from yesterday's re-reading of my author’s bio in the newly released book, 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments that Changed Everything.
Yikes! I thought. That’s not entirely accurate anymore.
My vision, focus, and I have changed since submitting this 50-word bio last August to my publishers.

Re-reading one of my three stories in the book also jolted me. I had forgotten parts of the 2008 story that reminded me of who I am. Here’s an excerpt from “Soaring in the Andes”:
 “Little by little, one walks far.”
- Peruvian proverb
If someone asked, “Do you know who you are?” what would you say? Would you list your driver’s license information, job title, graduation degree, or favorite hobbies? The answers are as unlimited as the blue skies over the Andes Mountains. As children of the Pachamama (Mother Earth), we are always changing, responding to the windswept questions and the circumstances around us.

It was freeing to give my ego a rest that crisp, sunlit morning many years ago. I shared a rock bench with Don Jorge Luis Delgado, a new shaman friend and my co-leader of our Peruvian church tour. He had just completed a cleansing ceremony. In his tradition, he burned Palo Santo wood and stoked it with his impressive feather fan with a silver and gemstone hilt.

We silently watched group members complete their releasing rituals at the sacred portal, the Doorway of Aramu Muru. Unexpectedly, he turned to me. Then, from his shamanic fan, he pulled out and handed me a shiny, black condor feather – the sacred bird of the Incas, the great messenger who holds the “big vision” for our world.

“Do you know who you are?” he softly asked.
I paused and whispered, “No.”
Louder, he said, “You are a chacaruna – a bridgekeeper – and it’s your job to connect people here on Earth to their Heaven.”

This prompted me to re-read other places where I described myself. Again, my responses included “Not me anymore. Somewhat accurate. What was I thinking? Too many words.”

Gulp. 
It’s time to edit and rewrite my self-descriptions to better reflect WHO I NOW AM.
Enter the idea and desire to write a new Writer’s & Reader’s Autobiography.

Consider the 4 Benefits of Crafting Your Writer’s & Reader’s Autobiography:

Unearthing word gold.
In this spiritual archeological writing dig, you can write everything! More is better this time. You’re telling your story and not someone else’s. There’s no need for self-editing. The unearthed treasure of writing and reading memories might include your books, ideas for books plus favorite books and authors. Include your adventures of hopes, dreams, events, and more! This allows you to see patterns and threads that can be captured in new, more accurate self-descriptions.

Having fun!
Using the metaphor of the spiritual archeological writing dig, go somewhere fun and different (like a retreat) where you can enjoy the organic, unfolding process that writing an autobiography brings about. Can’t go on a retreat? Find a place outside to write or visit a place of creative inspiration—maybe the zoo or a museum. This is not a one-night homework assignment to complete. And it doesn’t have a deadline unless you give yourself one.

Leaving a legacy.
This autobiography becomes a living document. Each quarter schedule time to add to your Writer’s & Reader’s Autobiography.  Be sure to reflect and then review it when writing your New You, New Year’s Intentions.

Clarifying Who You Are Now.
You’re always changing unless you’re dead. And so you might change your self-descriptions. The ongoing process of this spiritual archeological writing dig will unearth word gold, provide fun, and leave a legacy. It will also provide you with continuous clarity to better answer the question, “Do you know who you are?”

Thank you in advance for liking this blog post and sharing why you would now write a Writer's & Reader's Autobiography. Which benefit most inspired you? Thank you also for Tweeting or sharing!


P.S. We’ll be crafting a Writer’s & Reader’s Autobiography at the Treasure Island Beach Writer’s Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul, April 23-28. Expect more creative writing projects like this reinforced with art! Claim one of the few remaining sacred spaces now as the early pricing closes, Thursday, February 23.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

5 Ways of Writing to Express Love with Gratitude

How are you feeling after yesterday’s Love Day?
As with any holiday, you may be among the many who didn’t feel the loving energies that yesterday intended to express and celebrate. And who hasn't been on the receiving end of feeling unloved, unwelcomed, and unappreciated? I've rented space in these unhappy places.

Flashback: On Valentine's Day at Judson, an all women's college, I painfully recall looking out the 2nd-floor window. All day. Dozens of times. Every chance I could.I tried to spot a florist delivering roses to the Julia Barron dorm. 

"Could that be for ME?" "Oh, those MUST be for me." The monkey mind chatter increased with every passing hour that "he" didn't remember me. The flowers never arrived. Emotionally exhausted, I went to sleep feeling angry, jealous, upset and unloved.

The next day he called to say he'd been very sick and apologized for not sending flowers; it had been his intention and I believed him.

I then resolved NEVER to expect expressions of love from an outside source and in my controlling, pre-conceived way like flowers. I released the illusion of rejection. This intention has since guided me through life-- though I do slip up with expectations on occasion!

So if you find yourself “down in the valley” of emotions after yesterday’s Love Day (or any holiday), how do you shift your energies for regaining equilibrium-- or even increase your vibration to a happier state of mind?

You’re invited to write your way up into a higher, happier vibration and...
 1)  Write an Alphabet Gratitude List
Using the alphabet, make a list of all the people who have ever liked or loved you. It's sure to fill your heart and cause some tears to flow. Be sure to include people who haven’t liked or loved you yet gifted you with lessons learned. Once your G-List is completed, it won't matter anymore if cards, calls or roses arrived -or didn't yesterday; at least, it might matter less.

2)   Write 5 Thank-You Notes
Using your Alphabet Gratitude List, choose five people to write an old fashioned thank you note to. If they are no longer in the physical world or you don’t have an address, write them anyway! Make a copy of each one.

3)   Write a Calendar Love Letter
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Include everything you love or like about yourself. Be sure to add the many differences you’ve made in your successful turns-around-the-sun. Start with January and close with December. No act or thought is too small to be included. Then self-address an envelope and give it to a friend or family member to surprise you by mailing it to you whenever they choose.

4)   Write an Always in Advance Appreciation List—An AAA List
Mentally walk through your day. Visualize how you see it unfolding: peaceful, successful, easily, happily, etc. Capture your positive emotions with AAA statements like the ones I wrote this morning:
I am always giving advance appreciation for the…
·       Engaging phone call with my new client
·       Lots of  H.U.G.S. > Happy Unexpected God Surprises
·       Divine Downloads for  the outline of my new book
·       Perfect writing sisters now joining me at my retreat
·       Happy, inspiring mother-daughter date at the Frida Kahlo Exhibit

  5)   Write your “I am Love, Loved, Loving & Loveable Autobiography”
Fueled and inspired with the writing activities above, write this autobiography to coalesce and condense the hopefully happy emotions they produced in your body, mind and creative soul.

Keep everything you’ve written including:
the Alphabet Gratitude List; copies of the five thank you notes; Calendar Love Letter; Always in Advance Appreciation List and; your I Am Love Autobiography –all handy to re-read often or whenever you find yourself  “down in the valley” before or after the next Love Day or holiday.


Thank you in advance for liking and commenting. What idea opened your heart to take inspired action and why?

P.S. Why not give yourself the gift of self-love? Pause now and unplug to start or finish that creative writing project. Your special invitation awaits you to the Treasure Island Beach Writer's Retreat, April 23-28. Sacred spaces are almost filled! Take advantage of up to 20% off early pricing that ends February 23.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

3 Ways to Celebrate the Full Snow Moon & Lunar Eclipse!


I am fearless, I am! Hear me roar! I speak up to shift!
The Full Snow Moon and Lunar Eclipse in Leo 
on February 10/11 mark a time of great changes and shifts. 
Are you ready?

Rewind: The Native Americans of the northeast named each full moon; they've been shared for decades in the Farmer's Almanac first published in 1792 during George Washington's first term as president. It's no surprise that the Indians named February's celestial celebration the Full SNOW Moon as they huddled and struggled to stay warm and survive the winter's of Northeastern America. 

Combine this with astrologers who call this full moon a Lunar Eclipse in Leo the LION which hasn't happened in a long time--not to mention coinciding with a New Year's comet! Heavenly fireworks guaranteed at 4:33 pm PT so grab a telescope or watch online.

What does this mean? It's an auspicious time for paying attention and taking action! 
That's why I'm using the SNOW LION as the symbol for helping you to successfully shift through these full moon and eclipse energies. Eclipses are times of endings and beginnings. Never before in American history except when our nation was founded, have so many changes been issued, legislated, perpetrated, resisted, and acted upon from sea to shining sea. Almost every known landscape --political, governmental, judicial, agency and law-- is shifting, hour to hour, day to day, like the high Himalaya's snowdrifts where you find the Snow Lion.

Allow the Snow Lion to open your heart and courageously lead you through these shifts as you PROTECT, ROAR and PLAY:

Tibetan flag introduced by the 13th Dalai Lama in 1912. 
1)  PROTECT! 
The Snow Lion can be found in sculpture holding up the Buddha's throne on both sides as Buddha's protector. Two Snow Lions can be seen on the Tibetan flag used by the Government of Tibet in Exile and outlawed by the Chinese.  
Inspired action: When you witness something unfolding at the gas station, grocery store, or waiting room that is racist, sexist or violent--pause--and then take affirming, non-violent action to protect the peace. Stand in your personal power. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.  


2) ROAR!
"The roar of the Snow Lion is the sound of courage and truth, and it implies freedom from karma and the challenging call to awakening. It was considered to be so powerful that just a single roar could cause seven dragons to fall from the sky." -Wikipedia

Did you know that the word "courage" has its roots in the early French curage, from coer meaning "heart"? So it's no surprise that the Cowardly Lion sought the Wizard of Oz to find his heart. Let the Snow Lion help you find your courageous heart!

Inspired action: Let out a single, courageous roar every time you feel an emotion that calls for truth, justice, or rethinking.Your gut will speak up and tell you --even if you're listening with your head and not your heart. Your roar can be a call, text, fax, postcard, or letter to anyone or any organization affecting and effecting the shifts.


3) PLAY!
The Snow Lion is the personification of the primordial playfulness of "joy, bliss." One has to only to think of cats and how they play full tilt with each other, everything, and everyone until they're done. Then playtime is over. Finis. Until the next play escapade!

Inspired Action: Despite outer appearances, find time to play every day, especially when the shifts and shifting seem too much. Too painful.Too overwhelming. George Bernard Shaw captured the reason why, saying, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." 

Numerous studies and articles extol the benefits of adult play. Some of these benefits according to HelpGuide.org include "...relieving stress, improving brain function, boosting creativity, and improving relationships and your connections to others..." 
Find time in the midst of shifts to find your joy and bliss.

After PLAY, you'll return recharged to PROTECT and ROAR to celebrate more of the Full SNOW Moon and the Lunar Eclipse in Leo the LION!

Thank you for your likes, comments, shares and tweets.
Which one of the three strategies spoke to you?



P.S. Your special invitation awaits you to join 9 other writing sisters & messengers at the all-inclusive Treasure Island Beach Writer's Retreat, April 23-28 in Florida! A few sacred spaces remain because of getting up to 20% off early pricing by February 23! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

5 Reasons Why to Retreat! Fall Back to Fall Forward

There's a Japanese proverb, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
And what if you can't get back up...even one more time?

Do you now find yourself in this awkward and overwhelming place? Are you hearing the "Should's Choir" singing in your ears all day? 
You should finish that project. 
You should resume your exercise program. 
You should complete that client proposal.
You should write a thank you note.
You should sort that clothing and Leaning Tower of Pisa paper pile.

What do you do?

My suggestion, "Retreat! Fall back to fall forward."
Here are five benefits of retreating that might save your sanity, serenity, and soul:

1. Practice Sacred Self-care
This is the obvious benefit because if there's no gas in your tank, you can't get anywhere. It's time to refuel. During your retreat time, you can choose activities and thoughts that feed and nourish you. This might include new activities that both inspire and educate like hand gliding, rock climbing, or camping. Maybe it's time to summon the courage to have a massage. ( I can't tell you how many women my age (63) that I've met who have never experienced a massage's transforming power, much less a facial.)

2. Reduce noise pollution.
Yes, you might choose a quiet place for your retreat. You live in a world filled with louder and louder noises. Restaurants are often filled with numerous big screen TVs making conversation challenging; cell phone users hold loud, intimate conversations on speaker phone mode in waiting rooms and; the TV shows you watch are often intentionally programmed to be loud so you hear the commercials from the other room should you get up during the commercial.

A retreat is sure to also help quiet your monkey chatter of shouldas, couldas, and woulda's. Being in a different place removes all the normal physical clutter that seeks your attention and can overwhelm your to-do list. As the saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind." A retreat site will soothe and calm your spirit, not agitate it!


3. Enjoy Zen therapy.
In a quiet retreat space, you begin to "unplug to plug in." This is self-therapy to refill your cup to seek new awareness and enlightenment. This space allows you to ask questions that are on your mind and heart and to allow for the space to hear the answers.

These are questions that you haven't allowed yourself the time to respond to. Questions like: 
What's next for me in life? My job? Our relationship?
How do I heal this situation? Body dis-ease? Chaos? Conflict?
What am I fearful about creating? Having more of in my life?


4) Meet water spirits.
Water is life-giving and you have an ancient, DNA connection since adults are 50-65% water. It's no surprise that retreat (and vacation) sites often include being on or very near a body of water. Science confirms that being around bodies of water has tangible, positive effects. We breathe in healing air through our nose and skin, all the positively charged ions which have health benefits.

On a spiritual and emotional level, water represents mystery and emotions. Walking the beach, sitting by a river or tossing rocks into a pond allows you to be taught by the guardian water spirits that are always present. They have many names including earth angels, water faeries, sprites, nymphs, and mermaids. Being unplugged in a quiet space will allow you to see them--if not literally as some people have, but in your mind's eye of imagination.



5) Bust stress addiction.
Taking a retreat addresses a national pandemic of stress being a distraction from our true selves. Stress has become a normal and accepted (even encouraged) way of life. You might not even be able to remember life without the high levels of adrenaline, tension, and drama! You rationalize that this roller coaster makes you feel worthy and alive. And you know what happens next: MORE STRESS!

On a retreat, you can get off the roller coaster of stress long enough to reflect and ask some heart-centered questions:
How am I creating stress in my life?
Who or what is benefitting from this stress?
What would my life feel and look like if it were more stress-free?
What two action steps can I take to start breaking the stress addiction?
Who might I engage to support me in these efforts?


Again, why retreat to fall back to fall forward? Sacred self-care, reducing inner and outer noise pollution, enjoying Zen therapy, meeting water spirits, and busting stress addictions are a few of the many benefits of going on a retreat.

How long should my retreat be?
Consider the number "4" as your starting place --it's the foundation number. Buildings often start as an outline of a square or rectangle. Likewise, retreating rebuilds your sanity and serenity.
Best case scenario: Gift yourself with four or more days for your personal retreat.

Next options: Treat yourself to 4 hours off, once a week and design your own personal retreat away from your home and near water where it's quiet. This could be in a park, by the beach, in the mountains, or even in a museum which often includes beautiful gardens.

Final options: Enjoy 40 minutes, once a day, for your personal retreat. Include a sitting or walking meditation where you won't be interrupted or distracted. Allow yourself the sacred space to ask heart-centered questions and then, to hear your inner whispers or what some call your intuition. 

If any of this seems like too much time, start with taking just 14 minutes, once a day, for your personal retreat. This might include sitting silently in a quiet, beautiful part of your home, garden, or neighborhood. Practice your breathing...ask your questions...and listen for the replies.

Whatever amount of time you choose, Retreat! Fall back to fall forward. Which benefit spoke to you the most and why? Thank you for leaving a comment.

P.S. Your special invitation to a dream of mine awaits you: It's the Treasure Island Beach Writer's Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul, April 23-28. Until early pricing ends on February 23, you can get up to 20% off all prices! 

Can't go? You'll be missed.
Instead, might you be a dream-maker-come-true? Thank you in advance if you would kindly support this tender dream by sharing and Tweeting this blog post.






Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7 Sisterhood Lessons from Hidden Figures, America's #1 Movie

Critics agree Hidden Figures is 
"ASTONISHING!" 
"A TRIUMPH!" 
"An inspiring, family-friendly historical drama."

It is all this and MORE.

Last Sunday, I found myself with a writing sister waiting for the movie previews to finish. Little did I expect while watching Hidden Figures for two hours that I would find myself engaged with and connected to strangers as we clapped and cheered together many times! I felt ONENESS.

I can't remember the last time this happened at a movie.
Can you?

It's been a long time.

The film is based on the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. Set in the Jim Crow deep south of 1962, Shetterly masterfully weaves a story of black sisterhood between Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan. 

The surprise setting unfolds at the NASA research center in Langley, VA, where the three women work. It was the time of Cold War America and we were engaged in intense competition with Russia for space dominance. On everyone's mind loomed the ultimate question: Who would land on the moon first? 

Johnson, Jackson, and Vaughan played pivotal NASA roles as "colored computers" to calculate and formulate before IBM became a part of America's infrastructure for business and government.

This is the movie America needs right now.


Author  Margot Lee Shetterly

Here are seven lessons from this black sisterhood that inspire hope, inspiration, and collaboration:

From author Margot Lee Shetterly:
1) "Katherine Johnson knew: once you took the first step, anything was possible."
Sisterhood Lesson: Take the first step regardless of being told you can't or shouldn't. If Katherine hadn't taken that first step, America might not have been the first to land on the moon. She was called on in 1962 to manually verify the computer's numbers because John Glenn asked for her personally; he refused to fly unless she verified the calculations.

2) "Their dark skin, their gender, their economic status--none of those were acceptable excuses for not giving the fullest rein to their imaginations and ambitions." 
Sisterhood Lesson: Remind yourself, "What people think of me is none of my business." The three friends embodied this message and distinguished themselves despite constant obstacles: a NASA building carries Johnson's name and she received the National Medal of Honor in 2015; Jackson became the first African-American woman engineer at NASA and; Vaughan was promoted as the first African-American woman to serve as a head of NASA personnel.
L-r Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan

From Al Harrison, leader of the NASA Space Task Group played by Kevin Costner:
3) "Find the genius among the geniuses."  
Sisterhood Lesson: Look for brilliance in unexpected places, even when it seems everyone is shining; there's always someone with an even brighter light you can learn from!

4) "We all get there (outer space) together or we don get there at all."  
Sisterhood Lesson: A reminder of the classic acronym for TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More! Think of ways how you can unite instead of dividing. Collaborate instead of separating. Compliment instead of judging. Appreciate instead of denigrating.

From others:
5) "They did not complain. They just got up every day and fought the good fight." -Taraji P. Henson who played Katherine Johnson
Sisterhood Lesson: Stop complaining. It's wasted energy and serves nothing and no one. Start doing and being what you believe in every day, not tomorrow or some day. 
Now.

6) "The film is important because sisterhood is important." -Janelle Monae who played Mary Jackson
Sisterhood Lesson: A new way of working and being is replacing the old way. Become a part of a sisterhood! Everywhere the global sisterhood is being called into the spotlight as a collective force for the collective good. Katherine, Mary, and Dorothy's story remind us of what is possible!


President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Katherine G. Johnson, November 24, 2015
7) "Well, I was just doing my job." - Katherine G. Johnson, 99, the only one still living of the three friends. She was honored with the National Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Sisterhood Lesson: You and I have a job to do. We came here with a purpose. It's time to align with your true purpose and take inspired action. You and I are the ones the world's been waiting for. There's a job to do.

Again, this is the movie of many sisterhood lessons that America needs to embrace right now to fly high!

Which lesson spoke to you? 
Thank you in advance for commenting, sharing, and/or Tweeting if this spoke to you.

P.S.  Is your job to now share your message with the world? Your invitation is waiting for you to join me at the Treasure Island Beach Writer's Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul, April 23-28. ** Early pricing closes on January 23.**