After the fact: delayed gratification

I was sifting through my twitter account looking at how much junk ends up on my feed. So, I started to delete some people and follow others.  I started with Wayne Dyer, poaching his followers then Marianne Williamson, then Louise Hay…and as I read the bios of the handful of people they follow it started to get repetitive. New York Times Bestselling Author! Spiritual Healer! Psychic! Etc. I found it a bit obnoxious then asked myself, why shouldn’t they be proud of their accomplishments? It was then that I realized I’d gotten past the “You’re not ____________ enough” part of shame and was now in the “who do you think you are?!” loop. Yuck!

So I thought back to a desire I have sometimes, to be one of these great spiritual leaders. I was literally considering that perhaps there is a new generation of healers, gurus, mystics, that are blossoming right now, and maybe I am one of them. Then I thought, but I want to know the now generation! Then it dawned on me that (omg) I met the Dalai Lama!


His Holiness the Dalai Lama shaking my hand

I shook hands, was blessed by, have a picture with THE Dalai Lama! Of course, if any of you recall that actual day I met him, I felt so numb to it because I was worried about all the wrong things. Now, however, I look back and am like wait…this happened for a reason. This picture was captured for a reason. The only photo that was taken of him with the 6 students in the entire university and I was the sole graduate student…it has a purpose. I allowed myself to consider it as foreshadowing and total joy washed over me.

Taking also into account my meeting with Jack Canfield (the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Chicken soup series) I laughed as I wrote that. But I met him at age 8 or 9 and he said to me, See you famous! I have to believe that its no coincidence I’ve met these great influences in positivity and well-being. Oprah is coming.

I feel, sometimes, that my Self is the most patient being on earth as she often has to wait for me to “get it”. I worked for 3 years diligently on knowing that I am enough. I plan to get the “who do you think you are” much more quickly. I’ll borrow the words from Marianne as I often do,” We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, 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 that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s 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 own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Now that is something.

Letters to Oprah

Last night I bought the latest issue of O magazine instead of food…I just felt it fed me more.

As satirical as I was being (re: Carrie Bradshaw allusion) the sentiment was actually pretty befitting.  My Person got me into reading O magazine because before that I honestly figured it was a little out of my demographic.  The more I read, however, the more I found it to be right up my alley.  I am all about the power of positive thinking, changing from the inside out, and of course her signature: Living your BEST life.

Last night I flipped through her September issue and saw two things of note, the first was a photo of a woman who said, “After hearing this summer about OWN’s Thank You Game reader Fatiha Occialini wrote in to share here story of gratitude.  In 2012 Occhialini learned about vision boards from the Spirit Newsletter. She created her own board, starting with a photo of the Great Wall of China, which she hoped to visit someday.  Last year she traveled from her home in Philadelphia to Beijing and brought along her June 2011 copy of O.  ‘The words thank you on the cover of the magazine were a daily reminder of how grateful I was to achieve my dream of walking The Great Wall’ she said. ”  Only a few pages prior, I had seen an ad for Super Soul Sunday featuring who Oprah has called the “leading spiritual thinkers”.  There were names like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Marianne Williamson among others. I literally thought, why  not me?  Is it because of my age? Is it because I do not have a book? Is it because I do not have a following?  I asked myself again, this time more rhetorically, “WHY NOT ME?”

I do not want to meet Oprah because she is Oprah this media mogul billionaire who could, with one wave of a finger erase my student loans, buy me a house, and then tell me how to dress for success.  I want to meet Oprah as a peer and colleague in positive thinking.  I want to have conversations with her much in the same way that many of these leading spiritual thinkers do. Am I a leading spiritual thinker?  If I am not currently, I certainly have the potential to be.  That much I Know for sure.  The next logical question was, what on earth do you have to say to Oprah?  And thus, my letter to Oprah:

Dear Oprah,

As I have matured, and grown up I have come to recognize you as one of the world’s most vocal affirmation.  When so many women, men, children believe that they cannot, you have told them they can and through your life exemplified for so many that timeless haunting question of, “…but how?”

I see so much beauty in you, and thus in myself.  This larger than life black woman with wild hair, dark skin, and hips who refused to be silenced.  When I realized that the things I admired in you were the things I loved about myself it was then that I understood God.  God allows us to be connected to one another regardless of time, distance, or socioeconomic status.  We each know fear, doubt, joy, and passion and because those experiences are shared we are unified by them.  OPRAH is not some unattainable figure living in an ivory tower or in my television screen, Oprah is right there in my mirror.  And when I see the things you have done, , I know I can achieve greatness because my reflection has done so already.

The letter that Marianne Williamson wrote to you that said, “Until you accept the magnitude of your function, your unconscious mind will sabotage any attempt to show your full magnificence. In fact, if you diet and lose weight, your mind will either put the weight back on or trip up in some other area. In order to lose weight on a permanent basis, you want a shift in your belief about who and what you are. This is the miracle you seek.” When I read this letter something inside of me wept. How could this amazing woman not see that she is so much more than her body? That regardless of her size people believe in her, she is changing lives, she is changing the world and yet somehow it falls mute to the scalding of the scale. You could because I could. I did.  I still do sometimes.  But I tell you as I have learned to tell the reflection in my mirror, this place you are in is not you. You are infinite, you are limitless, this body in this moment is not.

As I study in school and people ask me what I eventually want to do…the answer is often rehearsed and mechanical. How dare I tell the truth? I want to start a movement. I want to help others unlock their own potential. I want to show people that the universe is self-sufficient and we need only trust in it, surrender to it, for it to give us everything we need.  God conspires in our benefit for the betterment of us all, we only fail when we fight.  How dare I say that? Are people ready to hear that?  Are people going to think I am crazy?  Did you say it?

When you dreamed of having a talk show, did you know you wanted to head a movement in positive, inspired, intentional, and better living?  Did you say that?  Deepak offers that there is great importance in speaking truth.  Not just recognizing it, not just knowing it, but speaking it because for all intents and purposes it is truth.  Why should I not answer truthfully? For fear of being held accountable? For fear of being ridiculed or doubted?  The best advice I was ever given was be present, tell the truth, and let go of the consequences of telling the truth.  I offer that to myself. My best life is an honest one.

As much as I adore and admire you, I realize that it is not you; what we are seeing in your persona is how greatly God’s light can shine when one surrenders to divine power. What we are seeing is a great example of intuitive living. What we are seeing is our greatest affirmation that we, too, can be larger than life.  Thank you.



5 great works

I have to bring a piece of prose to class tonight….I am not sure which of these 5 I will choose, but they have made such a difference in my life at different times so I thought I would share them:

  • 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, talented, 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 that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s 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 own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
  • Max Erhmann–> (For full text click HERE)

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.

  • Lao Tsu–>

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.

  • Geneen Roth–>

Here is the letter I wrote to No One in Particular who is hoping to be Someone Special and creating a weight problem in the meantime:

…Even when you become Something because they were right, you really were Going Places–even when you arrive at being Someone because you are where you were going–your life may not be any better if you haven’t learned to be awake, alive, now. To take this moment for what it is. It’s just as easy to be miserable when you are Someone Special as when you are No One in Particular. Because even Someone Special still has to live in her own skin and deal with boredom, rejection, loneliness, disappointment. Even Someone Special comes home and night and does what the Nobodies do: falls asleep alone. You might as well learn how to pay attention now. How to inhabit the life you’ve chosen. How to take up every inch of your skin. Occupy the space in this body you were given. It’s your place. Only yours.

The write Annie Dillard says, “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.” Be unwaveringly honest. Ask yourself how you want to spend your days…The singer Pearl Bailey said, ‘People see God every day; they just don’t recognize Him.” What if every day was a chance to see a new version of God? What if what you needed was right in front of you and you were not recognizing it?

You already have everything you need to be content. Your real work, despite the corporate ladder you are climbing, is to do whatever it takes to realize that. And then it won’t matter if you’re Someone Special or No one in Particular because you’ll be fully alive in every moment–which is, I imagine, all you ever wanted from Going Places to be Someone.

  • Elizabeth Gilbert–>
People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…