Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wiser on Wednesday - Our Deepest Fear - Marianne Williamson

Our Deepest Fear - Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela who quoted this poem in his inaugural address on May 10,1994. It was made most popular when it was used in two recent movies Coach Carter [2005]
and Akeelah and the Bee [2006] .
I began a counted cross stitch with this poem for my first grandson soon after he was born [hopefully I will finish it before his fourth birthday-which is soon! yikes!! or at least before he can actually read it! :-o ]

This widely acclaimed poem is actually not a poem at all, but an excerpt from A Return To Love, a book by motivational speaker and author Marianne Williamson. The passage has such inspirational power that it is now a stand-alone mantra for a generation of exceptional individuals who wish to motivate themselves and others to live up to their fullest potential.The words "deepest" is often replaced with "greatest" in reprints of the passage, although the original uses "deepest", as seen below. "Our Deepest Fear", as it is best known, is a cultural phenomenon as it is quickly becoming one of today's most well known sagacious quotes from an author who is still living. (accessed October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wiser on Wednesday - October 21, 2009

Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in.
I am lost...I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street
This poem continues to teach me about my choices and being responsible for them. (staying in Chapter Five is harder than it seems. Chapter Five can be quite elusive!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting on my nerves...


Like many of us I don't know where many of our little sayings come from. Such as a "running around like a chicken with it's head cut off" (never lived on a farm and don't know any live chickens) or "still water runs deep"(don't live near any water to speak of still or otherwise) or "you never miss your water until the well runs dry" (no wells either) - you get my point... this is also true of the saying: "getting on my nerves". I thought it was a general kind of thing, a slang phrased used when someone/something was really annoying...( it is, but that isn't my point.)

I thought this right up until the middle of September this year when I ended up with Shingles. I didn't know what was the matter at first but the itchy, burn-y, pull-y feeling made me know I needed to see a doctor. He told me that Shingles were induced by stress. Seriously? So what do you mean exactly?

Me - I shouldn't have stress? I should manage it better? I'm physically sick?

Doctor - yes

The doctor went on to instruct that I take medicine three times daily for the next seven days and that I should rest, rest, rest. He also mentioned/emphasized that Shingles were "very, very painful". Actually he said that more than once, more than twice -maybe like four or five times. (When a doctor speaks in excess we should all worry! and he was right ...they were painful and really itchy too.)

So of course I'm thinking about my life and yes the previous week had been awful with my work life threatened and my ministry life in shambles - yes I could honestly say that I'd been stressed! but I've been stressed before, right? What was so different? I didn't think this time was worst than any other time...I mean really...on my nerves like that? who knew!?!

Once I made myself share and not be embarrased I learned that my case wasn't as bad as others. But the most important thing I learned is/was that I get this prickly feeling when I'm getting stressed. I've now noticed that sometimes, "the prickles" - (which is what I call this new, weird feeling that I get in my skin ) are the only indicator that I am even feeling stressed!

So the way I see it now...I have been duly warned by my body and I am determined to pay closer attention!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wiser on Wednesday - October 14, 2009

Max Ehrmann

(in the 1920s not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church"!)

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

This poem had a profound affect on me when I first saw it written on the side walls of a covered stairway leading to one of the dorms at Syracuse University. I carried a copy with me for years and when I couldn't find it one day, hand copied it from a friend's wall hanging (no Google - really there was a time! ;-) and eventually counted cross stitched it in order to always have it. Stitching it was wonderful (! ) as it was a way to recite it and memorize it and internalize it. Each row took about an hour or more to complete. It is the first piece that I ever charted and I cherish it as much for the work womanship as for the poem itself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My 15 minutes of fame! -

On Page 6 of the "Mid-Atlantic Regional Connection" a newsletter for the Mocha Moms, Inc. I am mentioned ---alongside my daughter---for participating in a public awareness event for Infant Mortality. I am excited to have participated and to have been acknowledged as a Mocha "Mom-Mom" (smile). Thanks Daughter and Mochas for including me!


Lately I have been trying to "find myself" as this stage of life is commonly called. Frankly I know exactly where I am! I am a very educated, talented, smart, funny African American woman of a "certain age" trying to make this time of life meaningful. It is not lost on me that people (my children) are watching how I handle and navigate this.

So one day my DD shoots me an email suggesting that I might be interested in a public awareness project on Infant Mortality. Certainly I thought, I could easily make the 10 hats requested and hopefully before I left on vacation. But as I was packing I decided to take yarn with me "just in case I had a moment". Well we know flying is about waiting these days and I had plenty of time!
So my project went from making ten hats to "how many can I get made before the mailing deadline?" My DD says I was getting obsessed clearly she's right because I had to make myself stop at 70!


Chapter Spotlights
Mocha Grandmother "Hats Off"

Almost 2 months ago Southern DC Mocha Claudia Booker sent out a Mocha SOS for the "Heads Up on Infant Mortality Public Awareness Project" for Wash-ington DC. She asked Mochas to knit or crochet in-fant hats. These hats would be given to the local hos-pital NICU’s. Mocha Claudia posted the request on the Yahoo Group to get the word out. [One Mocha] shared the request with her mother in [another state]...Last week Mocha Claudia received 70 beautiful infant hats ... As an added bonus, this Mocha Grandmother has decided to help head this project for the NICU babies in [her home state]! "HATS OFF" to Mocha Claudia for serving the "Head’s Up" project from the heart, to [our] Mocha for sharing her mom, [and ] for [her mom for] being [such] an angel for the NICU babies!