You have probably heard the phrase, “We are what we repeatedly do.” It is our habits that define us, not our circumstances. If you want to change your character, change your habits. Life can be a struggle when our habits and actions don’t correspond with the type of person we desire to be. Habits are […]
To see the empty nature of mind is liberating. It’s like a room full of furniture. Originally the room is empty. The furniture is brought in piece by piece. The person living there knows that anything they brought into the room can also be taken out — chairs, beds, tables, and so on. Similarly anything brought into the mind by…
It is interesting how life can seem to flip in the blink of an eye. One moment things could seem dire and something can happen to turn events in your favor. There is a saying in golf: When you are playing well it feels like you’ll never play poorly again. And when you’re playing […]
As many of you know, I wrote a short story collection a couple of years ago. Although it wasn’t my intention to write about stories centered on women, I soon discovered there was a thread at the end—female protagonist with issues stemming from domestic violence to obsessive-compulsive disorder and more.
Last year, I self-published, “Things Do Fall Apart,” a story that got me an invitation into my first workshop and I soon came to love this story for its powerful character Vivian, who became a bigger than life person. I could and still can see Vivian as a one-woman play. I have often toyed with the idea of staging her in all her glory.
On September, 19, 2017, I am proud to announce that I will be self-publishing another story from that period titled, “The Mackie-Keyes.”
Below is a short summary that will appear on Amazon in a couple of weeks…
For Cecilia everyday mirrors, each other. It starts with an inhale, followed by a five second hold, exhale, and another five second hold. Then the Lord’s Prayer, and her husband’s daily routine—seven minutes in the bathroom each. This same routine is instilled in the children. They all move in a succession of events, chores, structures that make up a full day up until night fall. Inhaling on the same count and holding for the same seconds and expelling all at once.
When the routine is off their breathing quickens and panic sets in for Cecilia. The tragedy of the past surfaces to take her further away from her daily routine and threatens to paralyze her in the present.
The Mackie-Keyes is a story about Cecilia, a wife and mother of six, who cannot escape an orderly life filled with repetition, counting, and strict routine triggered by the witnessing of her brother’s tragic death in childhood.
As always, Thank you in advance for your continued support.
I have a habit of going on Forbes every day and if for nothing else, I read the quote of the day.
The Forbes Quote of the Day
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde, Writer and Activist.
Then I copy and paste the author in google and read until I’m satisfied—bon appetite!
“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”
I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
What I Know for Sure
I’ve Mastered the Art of Letting go so well, I forget to be angry. Ask anyone who really knows me, and they will confirm: I don’t hold grudges very long.
I learn the Lesson, yes (this person cannot be trusted–or is toxic, dangerous, rude, whatever), but the grinding replay of what was done or said, looping over and over in my head, I let go.
For me, it comes from years of practice. And from listening, over the decades, to thousands of stories from people who couldn’t release the past and got stuck in it. For sure, that’s one of the great tragedies of human behavior I’ve witnessed: seeing grown men and women who can’t stop playing the mind tape from an event that happened days, weeks, sometimes years ago.
What a loss of precious time and energy, being a prisoner by your own hand, laden with the burdens of the past.
Eckart Tolle speaks beautifully of this in this book A New Earth, when he shares the story of the two Zen monks:
Tanzan and Ekido…were walking along a country road that had becomes extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near the village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep, it would have ruined her kimono she was wering. Tanzan at once picked her up and carries her to the other side.
The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer. “Why did you carry that girl across the road?” he asked. “We monks are not supposed to do things like that.”
“I put the girl down hours ago,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”
That’s reality for so many people. Maybe you’ve one of them, holding on to what happened or what you think should have happened.
But I ask you: For what purpose? To feel right? Righteous? Justified? Validated?
Proving I was right used to be a major character flaw. I had to do some conscious work to change it.
A single question got me started: Do your want to be right or do you want peace? Those 11 words released me years ago and put me on the path to freedom.
Whatever your reason for holding on to resentments, I know this for sure: There is none worth the price you pay in lost time. Time you could have given yourself to love and live more fully. Time you can never make up.
This time is now. Let go!
**This piece is an original article taken from Oprah magazine August 2017 issued.
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
“Questions and answers that I hope can bring peace to those awakening souls that have awaken to find themselves so far from home.” ~W38
“I always wonder what healing really looks like—in body, in spirit. I’m attracted to the idea that the mind, the soul, can heal as neatly as bones. That is they are properly set for a given period of time, they will regain their original strength. Healing is not that simple. It never is.” ~Hunger by Roxane Gay
What does a healed spirit look like?
A violated body.
When I was younger between the ages of five and seven my spirit was broken. Although I would not say it was painful, it was more confusing than anything because it was an act of betrayal. As a child it was hard to relate distrust and violation with someone who tickled you until you cried or protected you from the world. I measure my brokenness of spirit solely based on the damage it produced in my life. Like a run in a pair of stockings the damage ripped through my childhood, teenage years and into my early twenties.