The Best Gifts to Bring Home

Dear World,

On January 28th, I celebrated another turn around the sun.  I am still smiling from the day and from the journey that this year- this life- has presented me with.  Life is good!

Vacations are good too!  And since I haven't blogged in awhile, this probably means that I've been on one hell of a trip!  What else could have kept me from writing?

Could it be that what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas? Did New Orleans bite my tongue?  Have I been getting high on my own supply?  Well, yes, yes, and more Yes!

Like any good trip, where do I begin?  In truth, my cup has been running over with all of the stories that I thought I'd be sharing, but writing them has been a new challenge.

The winds of change are blowing, and in our social media 'no filter' age, the ways we are sharing news and the ways we are being heard are also changing.  It has made me not only more selective of my circle of influence, but also more selective about what I choose to share.  I have come to appreciate the silence between what I want to say and what will serve the world best with what I don't say. 

What a phenomenal time we're living in!

I continue to keep a vigilant eye on social injustice, especially those that surround people of color, but my social activism has shifted to dismantling the injustice within myself.  I am more focused on what lies beneath the color of my skin and more focused on celebrating being alive.

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  -Howard Thurman

I believe that the steps that I am taking are leading me to my greatest and highest good.  As I continue to process this trip, I have unpacked some of the best vacation gifts to bring home.  May you receive them with love...

"One day I searched for them and one day I became them!"  Shawn Trimble

The Gift of Practicing Trust

With love I share the gift of practicing trust.
This gift has opened the door to incredible peace in my life and through this gift, I have learned that happiness and trust go hand in hand!

I have found that happiness has little to do with the circumstances surrounding me and everything to do with whether or not I simply trust this process called life.

When I began to pay attention to my feelings, I realized that when I felt fear or anxious about a difficult situation, I became stressed.  Yet, when I felt secure with a sense of trust that the situation would work out, I was at ease and happiness followed.

I coupled this awareness with the practice of releasing control of how I thought things should work out with the practice of surrendering to the way things did work out. I began to trust the process and  visualized the steps along the way.  I added a mantra to my practice:  Every step that I take is leading me to my greatest and highest good.   So, regardless of the way things do work out, I have come to believe that "it's ALL good!"

This practice and realization has morphed into a deeper understanding and conscious awareness that Wherever I am, God is - and All is Well!

The Gift of Practicing Gratitude

With love I share the gift of practicing gratitude.
This gift has opened the door to the feeling of bliss in my life. Gratitude fills my cup!

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. - Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude starts with a simple, "Thank You".

I remember beginning my days with, "Thank You". I remember ending my days with, "Thank You". I remember traveling with a "Thank You" altar on the dashboard of my car.  Today, if feelings of anxiety surface, I close my eyes and whisper, "Thank You".  I am convinced that this prayer holds a universal power that will light your path.

The beautiful thing about gratitude is that when you begin to focus on the things that you are grateful for, not only do less important things fade away, but the practice raises your vibration and opens the door to bliss.

The Gift of Practicing Presence

With love I share the gift of practicing presence.
This gift has opened the door to all of the presents that life offers me.  Presence brings them home to love and to be loved-unconditionally!

Children, peace, and joy, have been some of those presents.  But anger, depression, anxiety, have also been some of those presents too!

Meditation is a wonderful tool for opening up to presence and the gifts that these presents bring.  I was first introduced to the practice of meditation as a student intending to pursue ordination as a minister of Spiritual Life Consciousness.  It was not a tool that I first enjoyed.

Remember Dr. Suess, Sam I am?  "I do not like green eggs and ham!"

I did not like sitting still; I did not like wondering if I was doing it right; I did not like not feeling uncomfortable doing something that I didn't understand; I did not like traveling alone in my head without adult supervision; I did not like traveling to places that were down right scary to me.  I did not like meditation!

And, I did not like dealing with the chatter of my mind.  Monkey mind, is normal in meditation, but energy does flow where your attention goes.   My attention was usually on everything else going on in my life.  Homework; children; custody agreements; business meetings; rent; bill collectors; debt; getting the carpet cleaned; buying new furniture; what was next on the agenda; dinner; going to the bathroom; how was I going to pay for school; etc. 

Then, one day, in the stillness of my mind, listening beyond the chatter, and on a trip alone in my head without adult supervision, I heard a voice.  The master guide leading the meditation was Iyanla Vanzant.

Her voice guided me on a journey to a glistening treasure box.  I remember reaching in and pulling out the gifts of Love, Peace, and Joy.  Somewhere in the breath of that one moment, my attention shifted as I heard a message that changed my life!

With reverence, she said, "Recognize, that in this moment, there is nothing that you need."

I paused and took another breath.  I carried those words with me,  and in that moment I realized that there was nothing that I needed. I wept.  The truth had set me free!

Over the years, that one moment turned into another moment, that turned into other moments that have breathed life into moments that have filled my days, weeks, and years.

Of course we need food and water for our survival. And of course there are things that we hold in consciousness that are important for us to see and for us to do.  But presence, like nature teaches us to slow down and smell the roses.

"Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them....But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to."  Matthew 6:26-33 Living Bible (TLB)

So, I reached in and pulled out the gifts of Love, Peace, and Joy.  One day I searched for them and one day I became them!  

It's been a real trip!

With Love,

***This blog is dedicated to my daughter, Sunshine- Mommy loves you!
Catch me on: instagram @iamfreedomsdrum


"Aad Guray Nameh (I bow to the Primal Source of Creation)
Jugaad Guray Nameh (I bow to Creation woven throughout time.)
Sat Guray Nameh (I bow to the True Source of Creation,
the true identity of self)
Siri Guru Devay Nameh (I bow to Creation whose Great Glory will always be)"


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