I Am the Way, the Truth and the Light!

searchfortruthMy journey to Self wareness started over 20 years ago. I never thought it would take so long to understand what was making me tick and how the pendulum was swinging to create my life story. I read all the books on spirituality I could devour, changed my diet, affirmed mantras, prayed and meditated. I saw signs of breakthrough followed by what felt like one step forward two steps backward syndrome. The successes that I envisioned were few and far between.

What I came to realise was that my reference point was that of Christianity. Whether it was the way it was interpreted by others or whether I took the words in the Bible literally, what was ingrained was that I was no good unless I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. The Bible says we are born in sin and shaped in inequity and we are sinners bound for hell if we do not follow the right path.

Aged 11 I converted to Christianity. It was all I knew. That was and still is the religion my parents follow devotedly. Aged 17 questions began to rise from within me. I questioned what I had been raised to believe IS the truth. I found the Christians I knew all had the same programmed response. Some have never read any other book but the Bible and were told not to read certain books because they were evil. One young woman stated the Anhk symbol I wore was evil. I was told that African spirituality, my origins is evil. I came to the conclusion that many are like sheep being led. I found not by God so much but by their leaders, who too have been programmed. God always speaks to us in that still small voice, but that voice gets drowned out for many by the indoctrination of society as well as religion . Many do not have a mind of their own. Their hearts are unable to lead for fear of going against the Bible and spending an eternity in hell.

I left Christianity aged 17 years. I was   ‘led astray’ by my heart and the free will that I came into life with. I have doubted my heart throughout this time of self descovery and wondered back to the outskirts of the fold many times but my heart, my spirit, my soul always guided me away back on to my path of soul searching to know who I am outside of the labels.

It has been a long journey filled with lots of joy but also lots of struggle trying to make sense of the various books I have read and the explanation of others. I have experienced highs and lows, fears of being struck down by God for blasphemy. I have searched my own heart and soul and made sense of my experiences that have shed light on what I needed to know and I can now make choices more confidently without excuse or explanation.

I have come to realise and embrace that I am a child of God, I have the DNA and spirit of the Creator which makes me a carbon copy of my Source, so how can I be sinful? How can I be no good? I am the way, the truth and the light. I come unto my Father/Mother through me, meditation which takes many forms. Walking, talking, cooking, living consciously moment by moment through intuitive impulses. These impulses guide so I can stop searching and begin to fulfil my soul’s purpose.

I am a black woman, a decedent of a great African people, a spiritual African people who understood and lived in harmony with Universal principles who were forced into slavery. All the good of my people and the effects of the unjust treatment is printed on my DNA. Living in a society where we are not viewed as equals further compounds what the Bible teachers. Subliminally it becomes inbedded and our choices are based unconsciously on not being good enough. The lie becomes real and a truth to us and we begin to try to prove our worth in a society that is constructed to deprive some. We feel that we have to climb ladders and achieve titles to prove our worth.  There is nothing to prove! If we come from a foundation of knowing we are sons and daughters of the Universe and if we apply the principles, we stand firm in the truth of who we are with no fear of life or death as there is no death. We are energy and the energy is neither created or destroyed, it only changes form!

Nanny of the Maroons never tried to prove her people were equal. She used her knowledge of Self, her connection to nature, the Universe, to God to defeat the those who tried to capture their hearts, those who tried to indoctrinate her people. Through this knowledge and knowing how to utiluse spiritual practices and qualities of a leader, she maintained free status, that with which we are all born into, for herself and her people.  She did not bow nor did she compromise. These were the same Universal and spuritual principles Jesus used to perform miracles like turning water into wine.

Spirituality is what we all must return to and put down religious teachings that divide. Those teachings that program us to judge and give one a sense of superiority over another. If we choose to lead, let us lead others to tapping the power within.

Just me connecting dots of my personal experiences in order to live an authentic life.

 

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Forgive, Give Thanks and Move On!

20181206_162608So today I am connecting the dots from a number of experiences I encountered with one woman, I became acquainted with many years ago. I’ll call her Winsome. We never were bonafide friends but would cross paths maybe once a year and not every year at an annual community event.

My very first encounter with Winsome was as students enrolled on a 10 weeks drama course over 25 years ago. In an improvisation task set by our drama teacher, I became very uncomfortable with the remarks Winsome made. It felt like a personal attack. What I experienced was a venomous barrage  of words that hit way below the belt. It cut at gut level and was masked as ‘being in character!’

Further meetings which were few and far between, has given me reason to question the character of this woman. At community events where she has been a part of the support team, I have experienced avoidance, neglect and down right disrespect. On one ocassion, Winsome left me standing, waiting, wondering what had happened to her when she was given instruction to collect and bring items for me. Being next in the queue to be served dinner by Winsome, on another ocassion, she pretended to be in a day dream as I approached her and when the drinks on her tray ran out at the person sat next to me, at one of the annual event, she claimed she would be back with more. She came out with a full tray of drinks without checking to see if I had been served and headed to the other side of the room. As these incidents took place between one or two years apart, they were forgotten. The last incident triggered my first meeting with her at the drama workshop.

Years later, when seeking an English tutor for my son, I received a message from a friend that my number had been passed on to Winsome and that she would call me. When a month passed and there was no response, I was not at all surprised. A few weeks later, whilst walking in the town centre, I saw Winsome walking towards me. My mobile phone rang and I stopped to answer it. When I looked up in what was just a few seconds she was no where to be seen.

However, half an hour later there was nowhere for her to turn when I happened to walk into a store in which she was browsing. I entertained a conversation with her. I mentioned the tutoring to which she mentioned she would call. I have never received that call.

In the summer of this year, with who I assumed was her new partner, a man who some might consider to be high-profile, Winsome walked arm in arm with him up the street that I was walking down. I had made up my mind there was nothing to say and made no attempt to address her. I was surprised when through the corner of my eye, I could see her making an effort to greet me with smiles and a wave. I continued on without looking back.  I am sure my action prompted her acceptance of a FB friend request I had sent to her at least a year before! Interesting!

I attended a teacher’s workshop a few months ago and there she was. We exchanged pleasantries. Months later when, information promised was not received, I sent a message giving my feedback and requested the information. Her response ignited frustration in me and again caused me to think of previous years. I was done with her once and for all.

In a brief conversation with an acquaintance about my experience, it was suggested I let Winsome know as she may be unaware of her actions. Funnily enough, the acquaintance had received similar treatment by Winsome. As our paths appear to cross more regular as a result of her relationship with her partner, I entertained the thought of addressing the matter.

In my going through the incidents, to make sense of it all, a revelation came. I have recently set up this blog where I share experiences that have taught me lessons. The strap line is ‘connecting the dots’. In looking at recurrent incidents in life whether with the same or different people, looking at the situation at a deeper level will bring to light what is to be addressed to break the pattern and change the experience.

What I realised was, all those years ago, Winsome was the channel used to draw attention to my insecurities about being a black woman of a darker hue. The issues were hidden at subconscious level. Over the years her avoidance, neglect and the disrespect she displayed are evidence of the views and treatment held and received in this society. Obviously this had affected my self-image. That weakness though covered by hair extensions and make-up, the mask some of wear as black women, was detected by Winsome.

It was interesting when I attended the teachers’ workshop to hear Winsome’s account of being a black girl in a predominately white school and how she had been bullied. Had Winsome been transferring her powerlessness on to me? Had she tapped into a weakness in me that she identified with? Did she now feel powerful as she was many shades lighter than me? Did this make Winsome feel privileged, superior and justified in her behaviour? Was she inflicting on me what she had experienced? Yes this prejudice exist within black culture! Molatto/Negro, light-skinned/dark-skinned, nice hair/natty (nappy) hair!

What I have learned is that, there was work for me to do. It may have appeared that Winsome was being nasty and some may say yes she was but there was something for me to heal even if she didn’t recognise she needed to address things about herself. I can only be responsible for the change I want to see and be.

Over the years, I have done a lot of self- healing and today I am the happiest I have ever been in my skin of dark complexion, with my broad nose, thick lips and short, course nappy hair. As I have acknowledged who I Am, I am not phased by other’s opinion of me. The neglect, avoidance and what may appear to be disrespect does not cause irritation and was evident in my  decision to not give Winsome my attention. She soon sought mine! By just walking past, it confirmed my own healing of the place she shone a light on that caused pain so many years ago.

My advice would be if you are faced with experiences that continue to cause a certain unpleasant feeling, instead of being angry with the person or people or situation, go deeper. Ask the question not why is this happening to me? But what do I need to learn from this experience? As you reflect and connect the dots, the answer will become clear. You can then decide how to move forward.

I will not be making attempts to interact with Winsome, she came to teach me what I needed to know and I do not think her character has changed but now without any negative emotions attached, I see her for who she is. I forgive her, thank her and move on to enjoy life more abundantly.

When we make a decision and commit, the Universe conspires to make it happen.

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I had returned to retail in 2015 with the intentions of settling into a career where I would work my way up the ladder. I expected to achieve job satisfaction and financial security. However after a year in the role, one morning as I approached the sliding doors of my place of employment, the words ‘I dont want to be here any longer’ rose up from inside of me. I fought against this compelling feeling for months after. What else was I going to do now I was approaching my fifties? I continued the grind as I put the mask on each morning and faked the smile to get through each 5 hour shift.

When it is time to move, the Universe will provide subtle signs and guidence. Resistance leads to increasingly painful experiences.

When the team leader’s role became vacant, it was given to a young lady with very little experience, who had started with the company 3 months earlier.  The department manager had taken a fancy to the new colleague and had taught her aspects of the role. I returned to work after a week’s holiday to be told in passing that she was the new team leader for the department. I was somewhat angry that I had not even been considered as I had been given much of the responsibility for the department prior to her arrival.

I soon developed vertigo and was off work for 6 weeks. Anaemia set it and each day being on my feet, lifting rolls of fabric on the window dressing and haberdashery  department became a struggle as I experienced dizzy spells often. I would  ease myself slowly up from the chair after completing the orders for customers and worked my way gracefully around the fabric cutting desk pressing my hips along the edge for balance, to get from one side to the other.  I took my time to bend and rise whenever I had to take items from the cupboards and from shelves below waist level. Any sudden movement would make me unstable. In addition, even though she was a lovely young lady, I struggled to provide information about the department when requested by the new team leader.

Connecting the dots, all the signs  supported my intuition that it was time to leave.  My fear of not trusting that all would be ok, began to affect my health. With enormous amounts of doubt, I handed in my notice twice and retracted it both times. Tbroughout this tkime I sesrched for alternative employment nut could find nothing suitable.

I decided to hand my notice in for the tjird time. I was simply not taken seriously and the manager declined from entering my termination onto the system.  Within the four week’s notice period, I finally decided to put myself forward for a supporting actors role. I had signed up with a casting agency two years before but never responded to  the many enquiry that flooded the inbox of my email address.

Whilst deliberating whether to retract my termination letter and having the manager query my decision in the last  week of my notice period, I received a response from the casting agency stating I had been booked for a weeks work on Casualty, start date 6 April, the day after my final day in my job. This was the confirmation I needed. My gut instinct was right all along and provided when I made a commitment to staying on track.

2017 was a very good year. Practically every other month I received week long supporting actor roles that ensured I kept a roof over my head and food on my table. I worked on the films Johnny English 3, where I met Emma Thompson and Rowen Atkinson and 3 Seconds where I was treated like a queen by the actor and rapper C’mon. Other shoots included Dr Who and Descovery of Witches and further shoots on Casualty where I recently was successful in being booked for a feature role, singing!

The working day sometimes see me rising at the crack of dawn to get to locations in beautiful remote country and quarry settings. As I drive down country lanes and up and down empty motorways , I take long deep breaths as I watch the sun rise in the morning. I feel so free, liberated and I am enjoying life. No struggle to arrive to work on time in comparison to the rush in the past to get across Bristol, scrambling to board 2 buses for a start at 9 or 10am. I would arrive just in time to take off my coat and head straight onto the sales floor.

As I have continued to listen to the still small voice inside and with certainty taking action as guided, doors are opening and the way is clear. The financial security is manifesting.  I have space and time to connect with my innate creative skills, skills that I was never encouraged to use. I am now performing as a singer and have reconnected with art and have recently wrote poetry which is in the process of being published. I experience more joy, peace, happiness from within and above all have a sense of freedom.

The habit to doubt surfaces on ocassions but I remind myself that all is well. I know for sure that when the prompts come from the source within and we make the decision to act on our true dream and desires, those that fall in line with our purpose, the Universe conspires to make it happen with ease.

 

 

 

 

Ask and you will receive…..

SHOES IN MY NAME

On a fine day, in the Autumn of 2017, I decided to go for my usual morning jog. As I took my first step, I felt heavily off-balance. I later discovered that my left foot had landed in a pot-hole that had been covered by fallen leaves.

I made no attempt to stay upright. The twist of my ankle flipped me clockwise. I surrendered and relaxed into the inevitable. For a few moments, I lie on my back on the grass, stunned and then began to laugh at myself. Oh well  I thought, just take the opportunity to give thanks for the day as I looked up into the blue sky through the branches of the tree I had fallen beneath. The sun’s beams warm on my face.

Picking myself up, I scanned the area, checking to ensure there was no reason for embarassment to surface.  There was no one about. I was out so decided to  do a power walk instead along the Peace Mile of Eastville Park and then headed home.

It was sharp and it was intense.  I was forced to resit. The pressure placed on my foot when I tried to stand from the computer chair on which I had been sat for a few hours, was excrutiating. I looked down. That was not my foot! That was a brick! 12 hours after my fall, the pain and the agony pulsing in my left foot was unbearable. I had to be carried by my brother who I had called,  to his car and into A&E

Strapped to my foot was an anti-inflammatory paste I had some how managed to make using my natural remedies which included a good measurement of turmeric powder. By the time I was finally called in for an X-ray, over a hour later, I was able to decline pain-killers. My home-made natural remedy worked, just as I knew it would. I didn’t mind the curry coloured discolouration nor did the Asian doctor, who smiled knowingly as the flakes of the paste fell on the X-ray table.

So I tell this story to say this. A year on, after wearing a pair of high heeled shoes, a second X-ray revealed that  I had irritated the sprained cuboid bone from the fall. The tissue around the bone was inflammed and physiotherapy, necessary. Heels and tight shoes do me no favours. I lovingly released two bags full of my most precious stilettos. That was a big deal!

A prayer before I left for Broadmead shopping centre 2 months ago went something like this. ‘Dear Father Mother God. I need a pair of flat, black, everyday wear shoes, at a reasonable price, that I can wear for comfort that will not irritate my left foot. Thank you for my shoes.’

I walked into the first shop, T K Maxx, a shop I love but they never seem to have the nicely unusual shoes in my size. I stood in front of the size 7 section and there in front of me was the only pair of flat black shoes. I liked them.  Turning them over, I could see the price was right. The fit was perfect. I inspected them a little closer and was pleasantly surprised. My prayer flashed into my mind and I declared to the friend I was with, ‘The shoes have got my name! They are called Vanessa’.

Coincidence! Yes all things co in cide when you believe, trust and act on the guidance, when you notice and follow the signs. There is a Jamaican saying that also comes to mind, ‘What ah fi yuh, cya be un fi yuh!’ (What is meant to be yours will always be yours).

More thanks and praise and my heart is always filled with gratitude.

As we continue to connect the dots, the signs and guidance becomes clear on what to say, not say, do or not do, and our lives become a constant blessing even in challenging times. We will embrace all that is for us.

 

An Angel Came

An Angel came into my life and encompassed me.
Beams of light penetrated and illuminated my whole being
And me became acquainted with I
A part of me
Little I barely knew.
Forgotten attributes
That doctrination did its best to diminish
Obliterate into non-existence.

An Angel came into my life
And as he lovingly, kindly, gently
Made himself known to me,
I felt a fountain of peace, of happiness, of joy
Refreshingly spring from within me,
Restoring the respect, honour and power
Of a Goddess that had been overthrown by negativity.

An angel came into my life
Teaching me to accept the good and not so good
That personifies who I am.
I was strongly advised
That attempting to change just to please,
There was absolutely no need.
I was reminded just to give thanks
For the gift of life I take in each breathe.
To embrace opportunities on my life’s journey
That presents themselves and dig deep to overcome each of my tests.

An Angel came into my life
And inspired a new way of being.
Living in the moment,
Taking it only for what it is
Nothing more, nothing less
Not demanding, not resisting,
Not digging in heels to have that which cannot be ‘haved’.

An Angel came into my life
A truly beautiful, restorative experience
Now etched in the memory of my body’s every cell.
And now when life becomes cumbersome
And I need a place to rest
The Angel taught me how to return to that place,
The source of my happiness.

An Angel came into my life
Revealing wonderful truths,
I am so grateful to be left with.
An angel came into my life
And I now know again
what it means to live.

Ladybug in my life!

ladybird flying_0If Ladybug has flown into your life…

About a month ago, I stood at the threashold of my back door looking into the garden. As I gazed out, my attention was captured by something flying towards me. It came into focus and I recognised it to be a ladybug. It was on a mission, heading directly at me. I flashed by hand across my face, to break its path.

I thought, how lovely as I inspected one of nature’s beauties, now settled on the wooden framework of the back door. Childhood excitement tickled my senses, as I was fixated on counting the spots on its back.

With my count complete, I returned to enjoy my garden and saw another 2 ladybirds flying towards me. In my world, that is a sign! So I decided to google the nature and metaphysical meaning of ladybirds.

Nature: Ladybirds seek bright, light and slightly humid places to hibernate. I have lived in my home for a number of years but never before, have I had them seek out my home.

Metaphysical: The appearance of a Ladybug heralds a time of luck in which our wishes begin to be fulfilled. Higher goals and new heights are now possible. Worries begin to dissipate. New happiness comes about. This insect also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams. Let things flow at their natural pace. In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true. Alternatively she could be signalling that you can leave your worries behind and that new happiness is on its way. This species of beetle signals you to to not be scared to live your own truth. Protect your truth and know that it is yours to honor.

In January 2017, after living a life that for years seemed to be so hard, heavy and just a constant struggle, I made a decision to do only that which makes my soul happy. I first had to connect with my soul. I walked out of my role in retail on 4 April 2017, the day before my actual termination date and took my first role as a supporting actress two days later.

This was now a time for me to take little steps of faith. A time to trust my gut instincts again just like I did as a child. Family, culture, society and most strongly religious teachings and expectations plagued me growing from child to adult and had steered me away from my inner compass and guilt rested upon my heart and weighed me down.

Eagar for a change to my story, I acted upon the guidance of the small inner voice. Sometimes the instructions make no sense to my rational mind especially when I am being guiding to let go of people and things I love. With time some choices have made sense. With others I am still connecting the dots that I know will eventually reveal the reasons and answers.  All I know is that letting go has been the right thing to do as doing so has moved me closer to my dreams suprisingly very quickly.

What is most important to me, is that in ending some relationships, I have developed a better relationship with my gut instinct and I am  honouring my truth. The path is lighter, brighter and clearer.

I give thanks for the confirmation that the Creator has sent and continues to send through nature, where lies my deepest love and connection. My wishes are being fulfilled and I am constantly in awe and very grateful.

I am so thankful for the many doors of opportunities that keep opening, effortlessly. I have fully connected with my truth that I am a performer, singer, song writer. Something that I was never steered towards as a way to earn my living. My parents instruction from an early age was for their 8 children to become a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher, based on their experience of hardship having to take on mediocre jobs when they arrived from Jamaica in the early 1960s. The majority of their children are creatives. I am a round peg that was trying very hard to fit into a square hole.  I became frustrated, unhappy and depressed for finding no success in trying to fulfil their wishes.

Our souls only requirement, is that we listen and follow her guidance to live our best life. So, make sense of the slightly unusual things that happen in life and descover and experience the wealth of joy, happiness  peace and love that resides inside and flows outward into the world as we learn to connect the dots to reveal the purpose of life experiences.

To be the change…….trust your gut instincts. It is directed by your soul, so……….be still and know and live your best life. Life is for living abundantly!
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