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Triaging Life

Triaging life—what are you making a priority?

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, and especially today, I want to thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey.

I was talking to my mom before I wrote this up, and I said to her, “I just want to feel better.” She said to me, “You are stressing yourself out, and honestly you just need to relax.” She was right of course. I was feeling a sort of heaviness from not having created much over the last several weeks. As you may have noticed, or maybe not, I have not posted either a blog post or a video in a few weeks. You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/LiGgRVhJo_8

In truth, the summer months have been good to me—I have absorbed family and friends—really feeling their presence after the long night of the pandemic. Sitting together in the physical space and presence of someone that you love is truly a priceless feeling. Being able to have long, rocking side to side hugs with my friends, that has been pure joy to my heart.

Cheers to good times with good people

We have also been busy with some travel—the last year really grounded me in the sense that I was not able to travel. I love to travel for a variety of reasons, and it is especially delightful if my travels lead me to the sea. So, it was with great joy that I got to experience a lot of the sea. As mentioned in previous posts, we went to the amazing beautiful Turks and Caicos, and then we got to experience the Atlantic Ocean in the Tybee Island—the Eastern most point in Georgia. After that, I went with some of my favorite people for a quick trip out to Ocean City.

Turks and Caicos…a dream
The lighthouse on Tybee Island
The Atlantic Ocean
Ocean City

The sea was never far, and my soul felt it. There is such a peace for me from hearing the water, from seeing it stretch out for miles into some mysterious and beautiful horizon point.

Enjoy the ocean sounds 🙂

Whether at sunrise or at sunset, the sky over the sea is always like a divine painting sprawled on an endless canvas.

And yet, somewhere along the way, some water born bacteria creeped into my body.

Enter from stage right, helicobacter pylori, or h pylori. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel really nauseous, dizzy, and faint. These are the symptoms for many ailments, so I made my way to my doctor for a series of blood tests and questioning. Science and medical technology are always something that I will be grateful for. Based on what I told the doctor, they were able to recommend a test which seemed a little weird at first. I had to blow into a bag, and then drink a clear liquid that tasted like some kind of weird Kool-Aid. I waited about 15 minutes and then blew into another bag. They air sealed the bags and sent them off to the lab, where their suspicions were confirmed.

The treatment for h pylori has been two weeks of two different antibiotics and an acid reflux pill. I was also given an anti-nausea pill because that was one of the main symptoms—the inability to hold my food down. All of this made me feel very weak, and most days I truly struggled to get through the day. While my brain said, “you need to be doing something.” My body said, “no, you need to rest.” And my friends and family said, “What advice would you give to us?” Use my own words against me, will ya? Ultimately, I had to submit to rest, and also the researcher in me found out as much as I could about h pylori. As it turns out a very larger portion of the world’s population has h pylori, but it doesn’t always do anything. Sometimes it just sits there in your tummy. Other times it causes stomach ulcers. In addition to my treatment, a few people also mentioned taking a probiotic, and I added that in.

This whole experience provided me with a valuable lesson. We can make plans, but sometimes we have to be flexible for what might unfold. In my case, I had tons of plans for the last few weeks, and ultimately, I had to triage things. Some days I had just enough energy to make it through the day—doing my regular work—slowly to my chagrin, and then making dinner lol!

The soup I needed to make lol! (Jamaican chicken soup I made previously)

It reminded me that sometimes our life requires triage. What are you triaging? What is triage? It is the act of making some things a priority—it is assigning a degree of urgency to a patient’s treatment by the severity of their condition or likelihood of recovery with and without treatment. This is a pretty common thing at the hospital, but it is also something that we do in our own lives. We make things a priority.

My peace is always a priority :p

Stephen Covey said this about life. “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” I also came across a quote that said, “Make yourself a priority; at the end of the day you are your longest commitment.” I felt that. So over the last few weeks, my priority has been on health, recovery, and rest.

Also shout out to this one for taking the best care of me ❤

We can feel so guilty about taking rest and about making ourselves a priority, but trust me—everything else that you want or desire in this life depends on your ability to also take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup either, so whatever you are trying to do for the world, requires that you make your care an important part of the equation.

Looking forward to more good times…ok…ok 😀

And that really is my message this week. In the game of life—we must triage somethings. We can make all the perfect plans that we want, but things can happen that seemingly cause everything to fall apart. Flexibility, and adaptability are very essential and beneficial tools for living. This week, triage yourself—do something nice for you, even if it is simply taking a nap. There is healing and peace to be found in the simple things—water, sleep, and stillness. Take care of yourself and may the stars shine brightly over your week!

Kindness

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. You may have noticed that I did not make a blog or video post last week, and this week’s blog and video post are up later than the usual time. In the recent weeks, I have spent some much needed time with some of my most treasured people. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/iaDFP5822ds

This quality time did wonders for my soul. There is a certain joy that comes with being in the physical presence of people that we love and care about, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I plan to experience many moments like this in the coming weeks and months with various friend groups and family members. The hugs especially, mean so much after not being able to hug for over a year. After everyone left, and my love and I settled back into our regular pandemic life routine, my allergies and sinuses joined the party with a big flare up.

I did not feel great, and spent most days just doing what I could to make it through the day, and then try my best to rest in the evenings. I just needed rest more than anything, and so I rested, and it felt nice. I will never apologize for resting over doing anything else. Rest is healing, necessary, and a valuable part of life’s equation. So if you are ever feeling exhausted, fatigued, or just wiped out, that is a major sign to rest.

Rest up buttercups

I have moments where I just do the absolute most, but my body will always remind me to rest. So I hope that you heed the signs that your body sends to you when you need to rest. Take a nap. Lay down. Sleep without turning the alarm on. I know that because of our societal structure not everyone will be able to easily do this, but if you can carve out some time in your life for rest, I promise you that everything else will feel more manageable.

So, after resting, I sat down to brainstorm about what to talk about this week. I have a running list of possible topics, but during the past week, the word “Kindness,” kept coming up very strongly. The dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Seneca said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”

Is kindness something that we have forgotten during the pandemic? Lately, when we have been out running errands or driving, I have noticed an uptick in road rage or just very aggressive driving by some people. I wondered if this was because I have not done a lot of driving in the pandemic, and maybe things just seem extra fast and weird. But others have noticed it too.

Then I watched a segment by Trevor Noah where he mentioned that it seems like people don’t know how to behave anymore since they have been mostly locked inside for more than a year. He mentioned how people have been fighting flight attendants, throwing things at athletes while they are playing their sport, fighting cashiers at the grocery store and just employees in retail and the service industry in general, and just being so nasty. I had hoped personally that when the pandemic was over that maybe humans would be nicer to each other since a lot of things that we took for granted were not available to us during the pandemic.

I have had conversations too with folks in the service industry especially, who thank me for my patience because they have been short staffed, and they are doing the work of several people. That compounded with more people being out and expecting pre-pandemic levels of service. As things begin to open up, my wish and hope is that people be kind to each other—as much as possible. We have to temper our expectations right now of what service means. Someone giving their best is generally offering good service, but if they are short staffed or just have more people than usual, it might not appear that way. Of course, this opens up other topics.

For example, there have also been people out saying that people don’t want to work, that they would rather stay home and collect an extra $300 dollars than work. I think it is unfortunate that we can live in a time where someone can stay home for an extra $300 and feel that they are better off than going into a job and others can be judgmental about that without knowing anything about that person’s life. Are they a caretaker? Has transportation services been cut in their area and it is difficult and costly to get to work? Was the environment that they were in toxic? Having worked in the service industry, I know these jobs are not easy—being on your feet all day, and suffering all kinds of behavior from coworkers and patrons alike. Some of these positions also do not pay a livable wage. Everything seems to be going up in price, and yet, we expect people to live on tips and below minimum wage. It is unconscionable. Not to mention if people have children and need child care which is often very expensive. I do believe that most people want to work, want to feel that life has some purpose, and that we are all contributing to society. That is a whole other conversation though. But I hope the pandemic made us really look at the things that are not working—and really think about ways in which we could make things better. One way in which things could be better, is if we all extend a little bit of kindness to our fellow human being. Bob Kerrey said, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

The events of the past year have deep implications on so many different levels, and I think it will take many years for a lot of people to heal from the mental strain, the grief, and just the ways in which our lives were turned upside down. This is different for everyone and will look different; some people did not experience the same depth of change, but we can all remember that we can’t look at someone and know what they have gone through. Did they lose someone or multiple loved ones? Did they lose a job? A business? Something that they had devoted resources and time to? Did they end a relationship? Did they hit rock bottom and feel devastated by that? Did their mental health suffer?

Recently, Naomi Osaka the tennis player announced that she would be focusing on her mental health. People lambasted her for wanting to tend to her sanity over “contractual agreements.” Nothing is more important than our health, and our mental health is included in that. I will always stand with anyone who says, I have to take care of my mind, my sanity, and my well-being.

Let us be kind to others now, and to ourselves. In extending kindness to ourselves, we can extend rest without guilt, we can take care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and we can revel in the things and moments that bring us joy and peace. To our fellow human beings, we can extend some kindness—a thank you, a moment of patience, letting someone merge in front of us on the road, understanding that lines may be longer because more people are out and people are still finding their way back after a year that impacted the entire world. We can help out in our communities; we can reach out to someone to listen and lend an ear.

There are so many ways that we can be kind. I think it is more important than ever right now. Charles Glassman said, “Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.” Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” And because I love to quote Lao Tzu, he said, “kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” What a loving place this could be if everyone extended even an extra ounce of kindness? What can we do today, right now, where we are, with what we have to make this world a better place for everyone? This is the question for the week. But kindness is the answer. Scott Adams said, “Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” I believe in this. I believe in kindness, and I believe in our ability—you and me—our ability to light a candle in the form of the human spirit, and to watch as that candle lights another and so forth.

None of us will forget the experience that we went through in the last year. This is something that impacted the world over, and we are still emerging from the collective dark night of the soul. I hope that as we have adjusted to a new way of living and being, that we have not forgotten what it means to be human, what it means to interact with others, what it means to live, love, and commune together. I am calling on you and on me to step up now, with an extra dose of kindness. To yourself and to others. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

If you are enjoying these posts and videos, please do like, subscribe, comment, and share. And may the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you both give and receive an extra dose of kindness this week.

A Moment of Peace and Joy

Half Moon Bay, Turks and Caicos

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me on this journey and in this space. This week’s blog post and video won’t be long. Check it out here (especially to hear the sounds of the sea and an inspirational message): https://youtu.be/XP2OqKXF6VA

First, we are in a Mercury Retrograde and if you have spent any time here you know that I love to use this time to rest, re-center, and rejuvenate.

It is also a good time to slow down, and chuckle—seriously—chuckle when things don’t go as planned. That is especially true for things dealing with travel, communication, and technology. So, if the VPN doesn’t work well this week, it might be time to say, I will get back to this, I am going to go take a walk.

Take a walk, like this iguana on Iguana Island…

Second, I am in the middle of a really special time. I consider myself as someone who works hard, and also likes to play and relax hard. During the pandemic, I did not really take any long blocks of time from work—essentially, I did not take an actual vacation, and I also did not get to see my college friends for our planned 20 year friend reunion. There was so much wrapped up in the last year in terms of grief, disappointment, and just an assault of things that shocked the conscience. Last week, not only did I take actual time away from everything, I was able to take my first international trip since the pandemic. We went to the Turks and Caicos islands.

Someone is super relaxed

I had never been there, and will make a video/blog on the trip later. It was phenomenal. I will also mention in my future post and video how I used astrocartography to help select the location for our vacation.Hahaha…

When we got home, my best friend came to see us, and so it’s been a lot of laughter and late nights. Later in the week, I will get to take a little adventure with my mom, sister, aunt, and love. I can’t tell you what this has all meant for my spirit. Unfettered joy, love, and peace have filled my soul completely!

Me and three of my best people ❤

I feel an extra ounce of gratitude for what it means to hug my friends, to spend time with my family, and to experience something truly beautiful. Being the water bucket that I am, I tear up just thinking about what we have all been through collectively! But the human spirit is resilient if nothing else, and as we emerge from a long night, I hope we retain the lessons that we learned from seeing the stars at night, but I also hope that we let the sun warm us—like the sun did for me in the Caribbean.

Glowy and happy

I hope we remember the joy of touch—of a hug, or the joy of having conversation face to face with our fellow human being. I had talked to a lot of strangers this week, and I think the consensus is a feeling of grieving what we all lost, but also one of learning to feel hopeful and happy about the future again. Please enjoy this short video for this week, as well as a video of the beautiful sea—a few minutes of peace for your day! And also a handful of the thousands of pictures that I took in the Turks and Caicos.

If you are enjoying the videos and posts, please do subscribe to both my blog and YouTube channel—Celestial Goodness1111. I appreciate it immensely. And may the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be as joy filled as it could be! Lots of love and beautiful blessings to all of you!~ Celestial Goodness

Have a great week!

Happy Birthday to Celestial Goodness

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. Even more than ever, I want to thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. Today marks our 52nd video, and a year of my YouTube channel Celestial Goodness1111 and blog www.celestialgoodness.com. So HAPPPPPPPPPY Birthday Celestial Goodness. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/6_y-MugKJFE

This had been a dream of mine for a long time—to share uplifting content, to spark the inner fire that we all have within us, and to remind us of the beautiful things that still remain despite the chaos of the world. As a Sagittarius, I do love to learn, but even more, I love to share what I learn. There have been a lot of people who have poured into me on my own life journey, and this space really reflects how some of those teachings, that love, compassion, and kindness have helped me to transform my own life for the better.

By that I mean, a life of trying to find balance in my overall wellbeing. It means finding balance for my mind, body, and spirit. It means maintain a deep connection to the earth, and to remember the love that connects all of us here on the planet. It has been a space and place to remind us of our inherent intuitive wisdom, but also a space where we can tap into the wisdom that we learn from others, and from our collective and personal experiences. I have shared things that have been deeply meaningful to me, and things that have been super personal. Thank you for absorbing whatever you needed, and thank you for your encouragement, support, and presence.

Thank you for being with me here on this journey as we learn, evolve, and continue to navigate what it means each day to be human. I truly believe that when we take care of our well-being, when we care for our physical wellbeing, when we care for our mind, and when we care for our soul and spirit, that it reflects outwardly and allows us to have good relationships with others, and with the Earth. I think this is important for many reasons, one of those reasons being that we get to experience living our best life. We get to experience the peace, the prosperity, purpose, and joy that so many of us seek. I wish all of these things and more for you.

As we move forward, I hope to continue bringing more delightful, useful, and informative content. I will look for ways to make this content more accessible, and allow it to transform as it needs to. We still have so much yet to learn, there is so much that is left to unfold in this life, so much to experience, people to meet, places to see, and cool things to do! 

I made my first official post on my blog on May 24th, 2020 and my first post on YouTube on May 25th, 2020. My blog post was about Dancing with our Fears. It started with this line, “the writer Susan Jeffers has a wonderful book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” In her book she says, “Often we think, I’ll do it when I am not so afraid. But in reality, it works the other way around. The doing it comes before the fear goes away. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”

This blog and channel for me have been a lesson in commitment, consistency, discipline, overcoming fear, and taking hold of my own anxieties. It has also been a reminder that there are so many beautiful people in this world, and so many beautiful experiences for us to have. When I have sat down to record my videos, I take my time, and each time I have gotten to my destination.

In her book, “Big Magic,” one of my favorite writer’s Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because your creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.” She also mentions that while fear can ride along in the car with her and creativity, fear has to ride in the back seat—it cannot drive. And that is where I find myself—on a dance—a beautiful and elaborate dance with my fears. For many years, I let fear lead, but this past year has taught me that even when I feel nervous, or fearful, that I can still do the thing that needs doing. Fear can ride along, but it can’t drive. Perhaps there is something that you have wanted to do, a vision, a dream, or just the initial tingles of something to come. Take your time, and begin the drive. If you knuckles turn pale, that’s ok, keep driving, keep going. One day, you will find yourself face to face with the most amazing view of something that only you could create. I can’t wait to see it…. Keep driving, keep dancing.

It has been amazing to take a look back at all of the amazing thigns that we have discussed in the past year. One of the prayers that I wrote before my video on water really jumped out to me again.

“I am deeply conscious of all that is going on in the world right now, and so we will begin with a small prayer. To the divine, all knowing, all loving energy of this universe, we pray that our collective mission will be to move this planet and humanity towards a place of more love, more kindness, more compassion and more joy for ourselves and our fellow human being. We desire a better world for everyone. Please protect those who are in need of protection at this moment, please fill the hearts and minds of those who need it with love. Inspire and provide us with the energy to do what we can, where we are, with what we have, so that this world may be one that we desire to see. May we all be blessed. May we keep our hearts open to love. Blessings to you!”

If you missed any of the videos or blog posts, please do take some time to check it out. We started off talking about how to create sacred space for yourself. This is a personal sanctuary where you could carve out some space for you. This space is where you can go to find some peace from whatever is happening in the rest of the world.

It is a space that you decorate and mold according to your personality and your needs. After that we discussed the elements—air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, and what we can learn from each.

Nature is filled with such abundant lessons, and they are constant, right in front of us at all times and all seasons. With fire, we learned to shine and to not be afraid of our power to create, yet we also learned that fire has the power to both create and destroy, and both are essential. Sometimes we need to destroy what needs to be let go of from our lives. Water teaches us how to flow. Water is such a powerful element, it can be soft, yet it can take out almost any obstacle in its path. Air reminds us of the power of our minds and our intellect, and also the beauty in new beginnings. Earth reminds us to ground, to decompress, and reconnect to nature. In nature, so many things make sense. The element of Spirit reminds us that a connection to the Divine can be helpful in facing whatever happens in this life. It also reminds us that love even when we can’t see it, can’t feel it, is still present. We just have to open our hearts and mind to it. It’s like what Dumbledore said to Harry Potter, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Turn the lights on my friends. The time is now.

On the channel, we have also talked about hope, inspiration, friendship, travel, reading (we talked about my favorite book—The Alchemist). One quote from the Alchemist, “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” It’s true!

We talked about caring for our physical wellbeing—are you moving enough? Are you sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? I learned how my body responded to intentional rest and hydration—let’s just say it was happier lol! We talked about meditation, and I shared a meditation that I wrote. We made a journey through the seven chakras, and learned how we can incorporate more of the chakra energies in our lives. We talked about astrological and cosmic happenings. By the way, this is a huge cosmic time.

Right now we are in Gemini season. Gemini is an air sign—a sign of the intellect and communication. We are also going to be experiencing two eclipses—a lunar eclipse in the sign of Sagittarius on the 26th of May, and a solar eclipse on June 10th in the sign of Gemini. We will have Saturn go retrograde, and Gemini will go retrograde as well. We also have the planet Jupiter in the sign of Pisces—a place where it is extremely happy and content. Any of these things by themselves would be a lot, but all together the energy can feel intense. I have made videos about weathering retrogrades and eclipses, but this is just a reminder—ground, and use any of your healing and coping mechanisms to face anything that comes, especially unexpected things that happen quickly. All of these things indicate endings, and beginnings in some area of our lives. Because of the Mercury retrograde, there might also be the usual breakdown in communication and technology—enhanced because we are in the sign of Gemini—a sign ruled by Mercury. I love retrogrades because they remind us to slow down and smell the roses. That is my advice for you now. Slow down where you can, rest where you can, and be as much in the flow of things—laughing as you need to, to make the most of this time. I have also heard several trusted astrologers say that it is a time when you should attempt to become as clear as possible about what it is that you desire in your life—especially now.

Going back to our reflection on the past year, we have also talked about visualization, vision boarding, and affirmations. I hope that all of these tools have helped you in some way. Please check it all out, and know that I believe in your dreams, your vision, and your ability to live a beautiful and prosperous life.

In her book City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert said, “In my experience, this is the hardest lesson of them all. After a certain age, we are all walking around this world in bodies made of secrets and shame and sorrow and old, unhealed injuries. Our hearts grow sore and misshapen around all this pain – yet somehow, still, we carry on.”

I am pairing this with a quote from her from her book, Eat, Pray, Love—a book which transformed my own life. She said, “We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”

So here is what Celestial Goodness is hoping for you now—that you know your treasure, that you see it, hold it, and live it daily. Thank you again for being here. I hope that we have many more beautiful experiences together. Promise me too, that you will take action on one of your dreams. Just one small step will get you there—whether you are driving along with your fear or not.

May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful week indeed. If you are liking these videos and blog posts, please do like, comment, share, and subscribe to both the blog and channel. You are appreciated.

A Moment of Grace

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. Last weekend, I shared travel tales from Greenville, SC. This past week was a busy one for me; this isn’t surprising, I am usually busy doing something, and I enjoy that. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/d0og8Ojax1c

However, there are weeks like this past one in which I found myself overthinking about a lot of things.

So real…

I thought about things that I had to do, things that I didn’t do that I wanted to do, or have hoped to do by now, people that I hadn’t thought about in a while, other people’s problems and as someone wise pointed out—“you are trying to solve the problems of the world.” Heavens. One of the good things though is having people who care enough to tell you when you are going down that road, and then remind you to come back to the present moment.

Visual representation of me trying to solve the problems of the world…

Through years of working through my own stuff, I have many different coping methods for bringing me back to center and coming back into the present moment. I am thankful for that. I learned a long time ago that overthinking is one of those byproducts of either being too far into the future or too far into the past, and that staying too long in either place is no Bueno. Unsurprisingly, by the time Friday rolled around, I was mentally tired from keeping up with my regular work, adulting, and thinking about life in its entirety. Ha. I also started beating myself up a bit about all of this, and realized after a very delicious nap that what I needed really was to offer myself a little grace.

Sometimes we just need a nap…

Grace can mean many things to many people, and depending on your level of religion or spirituality, it might also have a specific meaning. When I am talking about offering myself grace, I find myself thinking about offering myself some kindness, some compassion, and some peace. I am giving myself a pep talk, and it is a simple one that says, it’s ok. Right here in this moment, you are trying your best, doing your best, and sometimes it doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues, it does mean that if you rest and give yourself some grace, you can approach whatever needs doing from a more focused place. 

I also have a card deck by Cheryl Richardson called the Grace Cards, and sometimes when I am feeling like how I was feeling this past week, I will sit somewhere quiet, try to quiet my mind a bit, and have a conversation with the divine. It is not necessarily a prayer, more like a conversation—I speak, and then listen intuitively to how my body feels, and if I sense any thoughts that would represent a response.

Speaking of my body, checking in with myself and listening to my body has also been helpful. A quick way to do this is to lay down or sit straight up. Close your eyes and starting at the top of your head, pretend you have a scanning wand, and go from your head to your toes. Scan slowly and see if there are any places that feel tension, tiredness, or where you think you might be holding on to something. Also, check to see how you are breathing. And give yourself the gift of a deep, slow, and loving inhale and exhale. I generally hold stress and/or tension in my upper back and shoulder area. If you have found any places on your scan that feel tense, mentally visualize massaging that area. Also send that place some loving energy. You can literally say, I am sending my shoulders loving energy for all the things it carries. I also say thank you to my body, because it does so much for me. Sometimes it is easy to take for granted what works well because we grow to expect it to. We don’t realize how much our bodies for example are doing until something is not working right. In this small way, I offer my body some grace.

On the Grace Card deck, Richardson says, “There is a benevolent force of energy available to guide your life, and it always has your best interest at heart. This energy is grace. When you open yourself up to its influence, you’ll begin to see the signs, symbols, and messages that are placed in your path to lead you in the right direction.” I may pull one, two, or three of these cards depending on what I am guided to pull in that moment. Recently, I pulled two cards and asked, what is it that I need to know right now—here at the end of this week.

The first card was “Peace.” The back of the card said, “When we balance silence with activity, we discover true peace of mind—the source of all joy and happiness.” The second card was “Chance.” It said, “Take the leap. Divine protection is always by our side.” These really spoke to me. I ended up taking a solo walk of 5 miles. In that time, I let my mind wander freely, and I came to a place of peace with some of the things that I had been overthinking. I also took a very long nap after that, and really that was probably some of what I needed.

For the other card, that spoke to me as well. There are a few things that I really want to do—dreams, goals, and musings from my vision board. For some things, I know that the only thing stopping me is that I haven’t actually taken the leap. This was just a reminder that it is never too late to pursue a dream. Sometimes we needed the time to build in either experience or training, but we can’t stay in the cocoon too long. I also like to remind my loved ones that if they try something and failed, it really is a more valuable experience than never having tried at all. I also have to take my own advice.

From a recent walk!

So, this week is as much a pep talk for you as it is for me. I know so many of you have things that you are thinking about doing—things you are overthinking—problems that need solving. I would say this—offer yourself some grace this week. Rest as you need, and then get up and take even one small action in the direction of what needs doing, saying, or releasing. I am going to pull three cards from the Grace deck, and just whatever resonates for you, take that into the week. The amazing thing about life and about everything being connected in some ways, is that no matter when you read or see this, adding your desire to have an appropriate message come will result in that happening. So thank you in advance as well for contributing to our collective Grace.

To the divine, I ask that these cards provide a clear message and guidance for whoever needs it. Let this be a reminder of the love, protection, beauty, and grace that is all around, no matter how the world seems to be. Let us be reminded as well of our role in helping the world to be a better place for everyone. Thank you.

The first card that came up said, “Direction.” Its message was: “Look for clues. Grace will lead us to the exact events and experiences we need at precisely the right time.”

The second card said, “Listen.” Its message was: “When we feel overly attached to an outcome, it’s simply an indication that we need to reconnect with our Wise Self.”

The third card said, “Support.” Its message was: “Expect help. A Divine power more magnificent than anything else that exists on the planet is ready to support our every move.” 

I think this message is pretty clear. There are things churning in the cosmos, stars aligning for us, and places we need to be, and people we need to meet. All of these experiences lead us closer to the things that we desire for our lives. We do need to listen though, and this is the type of listening that requires a connection with our self. It requires us to do that soul listening, to tune into the wisdom that is inherent in all of us, should we choose to embrace it. Finally, we are always supported—divinely supported—even when we forget. I think this is a reminder as well to stay in the flow of things and life.

Flow

So that is my message for you this week. If you can take a few moments to check in with yourself—to see what your mind, body, and soul need from you right now, please do. Please remember that for all the things that you want to solve in the world, and for other people, that kind of charity begins at home. Home is you. You too need rest, and love, and reminders that the present moment is truly a gift. We cannot change the past, so don’t become a prisoner to it. Learn what needed to be learned, and move on wiser and focused. Don’t spend too much time in the future either, because the present moment is what creates the future, and what needs your energy the most. Take care of you, and offer yourself some grace this week.

Sending you lots of good vibes this week!

May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a divinely inspired one! If you are enjoying these videos and the blog, please continue to like, share, comment, and please do subscribe to the blog and the channel. We are almost one year old! Thank you for your support, encouragement, and for trusting me with your time.

Greenville, SC…Southern Hospitality

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. I hope that all of you had a wonderful last week, and that you are enjoying life wherever you are. Last week we wrapped up our conversation about the seven chakras. What a lovely journey that was! I hope that you are able to apply some of the tips to your own life for healthy chakra living.

Speaking of journeys, I recently took a real trip to Greenville, South Carolina. I can honestly say that Greenville, South Carolina—there is also a Greenville, North Carolina, had never been on my radar of top places to visit within the United States. I am glad that I opened my mind to a visit there! See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Id6oL9I7vSg

I have a list of places that I would like to visit, both domestically and internationally, and at the top it says “This or Better.” I trust that if there is somewhere that I should see, eventually I will end up there. I suggest making such a list for yourself, as you never know when you may get an opportunity to have a little adventure and to cross a place off the list. I also suggest picking a variety of destination types—go somewhere for great food, or for great natural treasures, or for a great cultural experience. All of these different experiences add to the kaleidoscope of your travel experience.

My 2017 list 🙂 …it’s amazing which places I have seen since!

Last fall we went to Asheville, North Carolina for a long weekend. It was cool, but I learned quickly that traveling during a pandemic required a lot of advanced planning, making reservations, and just being as patient as possible.

The Biltmore

As the world, begins to open up bit by bit, and as my travel party and I were all vaccinated, we felt that a weekend trip was in order. One of my best friends grew up pretty close to Greenville, and so that was some of the inspiration about why we went. It is similarly situated to Asheville, so I had something to compare in my mind. I have visited South Carolina before—during the Solar Eclipse of 2017, my family and I drove down to see the end point of the eclipse, which happened in Charleston.

Pineapple Fountain, Charleston, SC

That was an experience. During that trip we also made a stop in a place called Moncks Corner to see the Mepkin Abbey—home to Trappist Monks, and home to the Mepkin Gardens which are both peaceful and stunning.

Monck’s Corner, Mepkin Abbey Gardens

Greenville, SC is approximately a two hour drive from Atlanta, GA, 1.5 hours’ drive south west of Charlotte, NC, and about an hour south of Asheville, NC by car. There is also the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport if you are interested in flying in. For our Greenville trip, we chose to stay at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Greenville.

Aloft Hotels are part of Marriott Bonvoy, so if you are staying, make sure to connect your Marriott account so that you can get points. The Aloft was perfectly situated for walking almost anywhere we wanted to go. It was clean, organized, and unique.

They also welcomed dogs—we didn’t have a dog, but it seemed like Greenville as a whole was very pet friendly.

Our room offered a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so if you are a nature lover, this is a big plus.

Our hotel was located pretty close to Main Street, so once we checked in we were able to go exploring. I found the downtown area to be really beautiful, clean, and filled with fountains and artwork. There are also butterfly exhibits or artwork all over town. The city really promotes art and music.

Downtown off Main Street…

Our stroll took us to Reedy River Falls and to see the Liberty Bridge—a pedestrian suspension bridge that allows you to get a great view of the falls.

Before we went onto the bridge we stopped for a sweet treat. At Spill the Beans, coffee bar and ice-cream shop, we tried a unique ice cream creation. They let you choose a base and then your toppings. After that they blend it all together. I think I had a vanilla base with pineapples, pistachios, mango and Nutella. It was a beautiful day weather wise, and so we enjoyed our ice cream while taking in the natural beauty of the falls.

Later that even, we went to dinner at a place called the Trappe Door, which was conveniently located across the street from our hotel. It had a Belgian pub theme, and reminded me of the Ratskeller in Memorial Union, at the University of Wisconsin where I went to school. The food was excellent, and the service was even better.

After dinner, we strolled along Main Street. You can learn a lot people watching, and also just slowing down to pay attention. I learned about how students from Sterling High School played a role in ending segregation in the area—including at the lunch counters at the Woolworths, and their role in integrating the library and other public spaces.

We also stopped by the Savannah Bee Company to do a honey tasting—we also did this in Asheville, and if you ever get to do a honey tasting at a honey bar, I highly recommend it. One unique flavor was the Black Sage honey, which had a very herbal undertone. We also stopped in a crystal shop—shocker—and got to take in a beautiful sunset.

I am a big fan of including time on trips for some downtime and rest. So we had a little break, and then met up to go to the Swordfish Cocktail Club. You do have to make a reservation by phone in advance, but this place that gives the vibe of a speak easy was super worth it! The club clearly values quality of the drinks they make. Everything was beautifully presented, and the drinks were delicious. Each drink was a work of art—science meets art.

All of the bartenders were great, but Brad, who we garnered was one of the co-owners, wanted to make sure that we had a good experience, and we did. One of the drinks that I had took twenty minutes to make. He placed it in a salt water container, and allowed science to do something fancy.

What resulted was a beautiful frothy beverage (that came with a spoon). When I took my first sip, it felt as though I had been transported to the far East—for an evening under the desert skies. He also taught us about good gin, and after swearing gin off after college, I felt like, I could make a pleasant return.

Probably the best gimlet ever…

We topped the night off with warm milk infused with Brandy, and homemade (at the cocktail club), cookies. Needless to say, I slept really well that night.

The next day we had brunch at Tupelo Honey, literally also right outside of the hotel door. Everything was scrumptious.

One of the trends that emerged during the pandemic that will probably stay is restaurants using QR codes that you can scan to see the menu. I think this will be around even after the pandemic. Of course, everyone does not have a smartphone, so they will always probably have some menus on hand, but this cuts cost, and having to clean down paper/plastic menus.

After brunch we went for a walk/mini hike on the Lake Placid Trail at Paris Mountain State Park. The park was beautiful, lush, and green. I love to be out in nature—there is something peaceful, healing, and soul stirring about seeing greenery, and hearing the natural flow of water. We also drove all the way up the mountain after we walked the trail, but there was limited parking, so we just got the scenic view.

Glammed up for outside…

Afterwards, we explored a bit more of Main Street. This included stopping at one of the many art galleries that are in the city. The one we visited was the artist guild of Greenville. I got two prints, one by a black artist and engineer named John Pendarvis. The other piece was by an artist named Pat Grills. He was actually in the gallery at the time and gave us a tour pointing our pieces by different artist that were really notable. He was a very kind soul, and even signed the print that I bought from him. He taught art and art history for the Greenville County Schools for over 42 years. A few years ago, his students surprised him and his wife with a trip to Europe. He and I talked about some of the travel experiences there, which was super cool. You just never know where you will meet a kind soul.

After our art gallery visit, we stopped at a super cute coffee shop called Coffee Underground. I had an amazing white chocolate beverage and a piece of apple cider pie. We laughed and chatted and then headed back to the hotel for some downtime.

Later we met up with the parents of one of my best friends for a delicious dinner. Nothing beats a good meal and good company! Post dinner we marveled at the beauty of the city at night, went for drinks at a place called Up on the Roof, and laughed and chatted into the night.

On our final day, we had brunch at a place not in the downtown—but worth the drive—called the Fork and Plough.

I really enjoyed my visit to Greenville. I think if you are planning to take a trip during the pandemic—and yes—we are still in it—and even once it ends, it helps to do some research and planning in advance. 

We made reservations at a lot of the places that we went to. This is helpful especially at busy meal hours. 

Also call ahead to make sure that places are actually opened. One of the galleries that we wanted to see seemed like it was open according to Travel Advisor, but Google seemed to indicate that it was closed. When we got there it was permanently closed. 

Also, open your mind to new experiences and sights.

Luggage sculpture in downtown Greenville

These are some of the things that make travel fun—you never know when you might fall in love with a place. Greenville reminded me that Southern Hospitality is a thing. Everyone, everywhere we went were friendly, kind, and helpful. I always felt safe, and I really was pleasantly surprised at how cool the town was. Someone we met at the cocktail club, had grown up in Greenville, and said, “Don’t tell anyone how amazing it is here…” Well, the cat’s out of the bag! Enjoy, and if you ever visit, let me know how you enjoyed it.

Have a beautiful week!

As always, may the stars shine brightly over your week, and if you are enjoying these videos and blog posts, please like, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel. Have a beautiful and adventurous week!

Blissing out with the Crown Chakra…

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. After some necessary detours, we have arrived at long last to what would appear to be the final destination on our chakra journey. I say “would appear to be a final destination,” because most people who speak about the crown chakra see the arrival here as a rebirth.

It is in essence as much an ending as it is a beginning. Liz Simpson said, “This is not a destination, but a rebirth, as we prepare for continual unfolding of new experiences.” We will learn a little bit more about why this is in just a bit. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/_wczaWoGqUg

In our last conversation on the chakras, we talked about the Ajna, or the Third Eye Chakra. We talked about the type of knowing and wisdom associated with the third eye chakra and how it really comes from having experiences. Embedded in this conversation, was also a conversation about trust and intuition. It makes logical sense for me that after we have gone through learning about ourselves and others, and learning how to open our hearts and minds, and step into our purpose and power, that the next step would be reminiscent of a lesson learned from the comic books. I have often said the quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Most people attribute it to Uncle Ben from the Spider Man comics, but my trusty friend Wikipedia let me know that, “first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962), in which it is not spoken by any character; instead, it appears in a narrative caption of the comic’s last panel…And a lean, silent figure slowly fades in the gathering darkness, aware at last that in this world, with great power there must also come — great responsibility!”

The original statement was from the 1962 version…

To me, the crown chakra is the enlightenment that comes with knowing that we are powerful beings, but then also being cognizant that we are all connected, and that we are connected, so we should use our power wisely. This is the chakra of enlightenment, consciousness, and connection to the divine. There is a quote that I love that says, “Knowing others is wisdom, but knowing the self is enlightenment.”

Many people in this world believe it or not, are afraid of getting to know themselves deeply. I was like that once, afraid to go deep, afraid of what I might find inside. What I found under some of the stuff that I had to acknowledge that I did not like, were also amazing parts of me waiting to be dusted off. I also don’t know if this is a product of me getting older, but I seem to also care less about certain things that bothered me when I was younger. Call it maturity or growth, I don’t know…but I like it here.

Dust off the treasures within yourself!

If you watched Game of Thrones, you may recall this amazing quote from Tyrion Lannister—one of my favorite characters. He said, “Let me give you some advice. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like an armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” I do believe that when you are aware of your whole self—flaws and all, that those things can’t be used to hurt your feelings because you are already aware of them—you have already battled with them, and made peace with them. At any rate, the Crown Chakra is not about battles—it is about the feeling when you have surmounted and transcended all of that. It is about the peace that passes all understanding.

There are some really great quotes about this—enlightenment. Morikei Ueshiba said, “Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.”

Eckhart Tolle said, “The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your nature state of felt oneness with being.”

And also, Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Enlightenment is growing all the time. It is not something that happens once and is then complete.” I think this is all important to remember because as humans we complicate a lot of things that could all be very simple. This journey into the crown chakra is one that happens over and over again. Its essence is also something that can be found in the simplest of moments.

The Sanskrit name for the Crown Chakra is “Sahasrara,” and it means “thousandfold.” It is usually pictured as a white lotus with 1000 petals. Each of the other chakras led to this point and to this place. It is said that when we awaken the Crown Chakra, we active Kundalini energy (a conversation for another day). Liz Simpson explains it in this way, “When we awaken the Crown Chakra we are open to the possibilities of infinity of space and time and have the Divine wisdom and understanding with which to reap the benefits. The Sahasrara is elementally linked with cosmic energy and thought-boundless and unrestricted by previous patterns.” Many people have equated this feeling with rapture, bliss, or ecstasy.

When I think about the Crown Chakra, it feels like everything is at peace, and for even a moment, all is right with the world. I sometimes experience this feeling—for example, when taking a walk on the most beautiful of days. The temperature is just right, humidity perfect, breeze just right, and the sunshine, not too hot, but just warm enough to tickle my skin. On these days and in these moments, I feel connected to everything, and yet, I also feel a sense of peace that really passes all understanding.

From a recent walk—perfect weather, breeze, humidity, and sunshine! Bliss

I don’t know what moments for you cause you to feel this, but it is truly worth the work to heal and develop your chakras so that you can feel this. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for these moments especially after a long or stressful day. Life is so cyclical, and we will have a constant stream of experiences. In each of those experiences and in each moment, we can make the decision to utilize the lessons learned from our chakras, and to make decisions that align with the love and desire of our highest selves. I think more of us feel these moments than we even realize. It’s probably that since they aren’t a constant, we don’t always recognize it. In most days we are experiencing the death of something and the rebirth of something else.

Rise from the ashes…

I learned from Mr. Rishi that, the Crown Chakra governs clarity of mind, connection to God, the Divine, and spirit and also to your belief systems. Imbalance causes depression, obsessive and manic thinking, frustration, confusions and you may suffer from dizziness/migraines or brain/nervous disorders. When this chakra is not functioning well you may also feel constant fatigue, no sense of belonging, and you may find it hard to feel connected to others. You may also find it difficult to make decisions. Once balanced you achieve “miracles” in life, experience transcendence, you feel at peace with yourself, you develop a magnetic personality, you experience divine connection and you manifest wealth. The crown chakra resonates with the colors violet, gold, and white.

I believe that when this chakra is in harmony, everything feels blissful and makes sense on a cosmic level. 

So what are some ways to balance the Crown Chakra?

· Meditation to balance the Crown Chakra. Mediation is a super important function of the crown chakra. Spending time in silence is very beneficial to this chakra. Silent meditation is useful, but if you are someone who may need sound, it is useful to remember that each Chakra is also associated with a particular sound. The crown chakra is associated with the sound/mantra AUM. Meditating and chanting to AUM for even a few minutes can be beneficial to helping balance the crown chakra. Listening to 963Hz while meditating is also great—this frequency resonates with the crown chakra. It helps to connect with higher consciousness.

· Crystal Healing. Crystals vibrate with different energies. Helpful crystals crown chakra healing work are crystals that are violet, white, or gold in color. These include: Clear quartz, Herkimer diamond, amethyst, ametrine, selenite, lepidolite, howlite, and tanzanite. Carrying these close to you and placing the gemstones on the area of your crown chakra (top of the head) while lying down can be very beneficial to helping with alignment.

· Colors. Surround yourself with the colors violet, white, and gold. Wear these colors or add some to your décor.

· Foods. The crown chakra focuses more on fasting and detoxing, but also on drinking water. Water is a great detoxifying agent.

· Seek therapy. Therapy really helped me in this area. It helped to have someone neutral to talk to openly and honestly. As always, I will always include this, but I am aware that it can be difficult for some people, whether due to financial barriers or through other forms of access. There are resources available for low cost or virtual therapy. Here is a resource from SAMSHA: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

· Aromatherapy is also great. You could use fragrances like lavender and frankincense.

· Practice your affirmations! Here are a few:

I am a unique, radiant, and loving being.

I am open to the abundance and greatness that the universe offers.

I am divine.

I see the divine in others.

I am connected to all that is.

I remove all limiting thoughts and beliefs.

As always, I hope that this information was informative and that you can apply these in a practical manner in your life. Please let me know if anything works well for you!! Also, please feel free to drop more tips/suggestions in the comments. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you remember that you are divine and see the divine in others. Thank you.

The divine in me bows to the divine in you ❤

Do it for the Gram…(Grandma, that is…)

Hello beautiful people, and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey! A few months ago, I had the joy and the honor of hosting a very special guest—my mom.

This week, I have another special surprise for all of you. You may have guessed from the title of this week’s blog and video—My grandma. The Jamaican Queen herself! See the video here: https://youtu.be/0rawcaTpY0M

So we are going to have a conversation and I hope that it will leave you feeling inspired, uplifted, and warm inside. In a similar disclaimer, made for when I spoke with mommy, I realize that many of you may not have a good relationship with your mom or grandmother, and you have may already had the experience of losing your grandparents. I am sending you an extra burst of love.

Here we go!

  1.  Celestial Goodness (CG): So grandma, who are you? Beyond the title of mother and grandmother how would you describe yourself?

Grandma: Well, I would describe myself as a loving caring person. And of course, I remember that I was a teacher—a proud graduate of the Shortwood Teacher’s College.

CG: That’s in Jamaica everybody!

Grandma: They say once a teacher, always a teacher. I think everyone is created by the same creator, the divine. No one is better than anyone—some people have better opportunities, and that makes it better and easier for them, but that doesn’t make them better than anyone else. We are all connected. We are all brothers and sisters—children of the universe. I would like to remind everyone of this little gem—of this saying. “Full many a gem of purest ray serene. The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And shed its sweetness on the desert air.” It’s just the opportunity.

CG: Grandma is very poetic by the way….One of the things that she is describing about herself is that she is very poetic, and she writes a lot of poems, herself!

  • CG: So grandma, what is something important that you feel like you learned from your parents and upbringing?

Grandma: There will always be struggle in life, but we should never give up. There is always hope. The darkest part of the night is next to dawn, so when you feel like you are in a dark place, just remember that dawn is coming. If at first, you don’t succeed. Try, try, and try again. Never stop trying…

CG: And never give up.

Grandma: Yes, and never give up. Something we need to remember, God, the creator of the universe and all things, he could have created this world with just one sentence, by speaking. But he took seven days to complete creation, and that is a lesson for all of us to know that we will get there. Never give up. Some things take time.

CG: That is a very wonderful lesson.

Nature reminds us that some things take time…
  • CG: And so, one of the things I would like to know… Please tell me some more about your parents? Maybe some of your favorite memories or something that you would like for me to know?

Grandma: My parents were also kind and loving. They believed that every child was their child and that we are all the same. They taught us to be respectful to the elderly, to love the land, the creation, and to embrace the goodness of the air, the fire, the water, and the earth. They were thankful for the sun also—everything in life is sacred, and we depend on the sun to help give us that energy. Even the tiny plant that is embedded in a seed is precious and we should respect that!

  • CG: So gram, what was the experience like for you leaving your life in Jamaica to come to the United States?

Grandma: Oh, well…that was a journey. That was a journey and it was different. Everything was different. The first visible thing was the climate and the temperature. Jamaica is tropical, and here we have the change of seasons. Especially the winter. At first, I loved the winter, the snow—this white thing coming down. It was the first time that I had ever seen snow. I was glad. I remember my brother said, “Aha, you love it? You wait. You wait. You don’t see anything yet.” And it was true…it was really cold!

The next obvious thing, and this one was kind of sad—was racism. I remember I went into a store to purchase some things, and the employees followed me around in the store. Someone else said to me, maybe because you had your bag over it [arm}, and that is how they do to black people here—they followed us around. It didn’t stop there. Little things kept on happening. They weren’t even subtle, just right open. One day when I was working at a nursing home—the health care center, a nurse, he said to me, “What can your black skin do for you?” he said it, believe me, “what can your black skin do for you?” I said, my black skin makes vitamin D for me, in the presence of sunlight, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. He walked away and never said anything. I never let it bother me. According to our national hero, Marcus Garvey, he said, “the black skin is not a badge of shame, but a symbol of national greatness.” Marcus Mosiah Garvey, that’s our national hero.

CG: One of the things grandma has taught me is to be proud of who I am. Now you are hearing it from her.

Grandma: Another thing that I instill in my children—as a group, Jamaicans as a whole—our blackness, our national pride…although Jamaica was colonized by the British, and they were racist too—it was subtle—they were subtle with it—not all white people are racist—you know, but the British were subtle with it. [In Jamaica] we have a group of people there—the Maroons. I will tell you a little story about the Maroons. Just to let you understand. The British went to Ghana, in the time that they were colonizing, they went to Ghana and they captured these people. They were mostly the Ashanti or the Akan tribes. They took them to Jamaica to be slaves. A little about the Ashanti empire and the Akan empire—are believed to be the same.

CG: Grandma was a teacher, so we are getting a complete history lesson.

Grandma: King Tutu the first, there was a story about the golden stool that was descended from the skies. It was the stool for the kings. I am cutting this short, but the British wanted the golden stool. They [British] went there and started to fight the people so that they could get the stool. They [Ashanti and Akan] fought bravely, but the British had allies—India and some other Africans. The Ashanti and Akan too had allies from different places. There was a queen mother—Yaa Ashantewaa.

Yaa Ashantewaa

She hid the golden stool, and she told her men to make a fake one. They had lots of gold, so they made a fake stool and gave that one to the British to help stop the fighting a little bit. They sent Yaa to a place called the Seychelles. They plundered and robbed, and still didn’t finish taking all the gold. They took the people as slaves to Jamaica. A group of those people [the enslaved]—there was a woman, Nanny, and a man Cudjoe.

Nanny of the Maroons
Cudjoe

They along with the others spoke the same language so they could communicate with each other. When they arrived in Jamaica they ran [escaped] to the hills and formed their own colony. They fought the British. When other slaves got to Jamaica from all over Africa—when they ran away, the Maroons kept them in their camp. They fought until the British had to sign a treaty with them. Those set of free people, they set up their own laws and everything. They kept the culture.

CG: This remains even today.

Grandma: Until today! So the Maroons are said to be the true Jamaicans because the colonizers had killed the Arawaks.

CG: The Arawak were the indigenous people on the island. Jamaica’s actual name is Xaymaca, the Arawak word for “Land of Wood and Water.”

  • Celestial Goodness: What are some of the things that you are most proud of in your life?

Grandma: I am thankful for my children, I wouldn’t say proud, but thankful for my children. I was very excited at the birth of my first granddaughter.

Me the baby, with grandma and Sam

CG: I don’t know who that is…LOL

Grandma: She’s right here. This princess here. And so, I thank God for his blessing towards them, and they are open to receiving those blessings to try and prosper, and to help other people as well.

CG: Very good.

  • CG: What advice do you want to share with your children and grandchildren?

Grandma: Keep moving. Although you are prospering and doing well, there is always room for growth. Never stop. Keep growing. Keep helping. The more you help others, the more blessings you receive. Blessings cannot be too much—it cannot be measured.

Blessings can’t be measured

CG: I love that!

  • CG: I am pretty fortunate that I was able to know all of you—all of my grandparents well. I have learned a lot from everyone, but you have probably helped to shape my life more than any of the others. You have been the most present. You have often encouraged me during difficult times in my life, and you have advised me to look problems right in the face and tackle them head on.  In your own life, what has helped you the most in surmounting life’s obstacles? Do you feel that your outlook and thinking about life and all that comes with it has evolved over the years?

Grandma: Yes, I think so. I think so. But, problems and obstacles are a part of life’s journey. When you fail, or fall, or get disappointed, you keep going. I always say that when I fall, I will not stay down. I will roll until I can get up. I get up, pick myself up and start over again. Things happen, as part of the divine plan and sometimes, some disappointments are God appointments. It’s all in the divine plan. Sometimes people or situations come in your life for a special reason. Sometimes, people come in to accomplish some aspect of life.

CG: They come to help ignite something.

Grandma: Yes, and when that is accomplished, that is a divine act. Either they stay, they depart, or they move on. It’s all a part of the divine plan. We never feel disappointment. Disappointment as I said before is sometimes “God appointment.”

  • CG: So gram, what advice would you give your younger self?

Grandma: Ahhhh…

CG: Just keep rolling.

Grandma: Haha, just keep rolling. Keep rolling, keep loving, keep being kind to others, and that’s it.

CG: I love that.

  • CG: As my grandmother, what about me most reminds you of yourself?

Grandma: Ahhhhh, your honesty, your laugh. Your love of nature, and you love to travel. I’ve traveled to five different countries.

CG: I remember, you are the great adventurer.

  1. CG: I think that you are a very brave person. Tell me about one of your favorite adventures?

Grandma: The first adventure was when I boarded the plane for the first time. I think everyone has that excited, and I boarded the plane and went to the Grand Cayman.

CG: I love that.

  1. CG: Is there anything that you regret not doing?

Grandma: Well no. I believe in divine intervention, and all that happens is part of the divine plan, and for the greater good.

CG: Well you heard it from her yourself.

  1. CG: You have seen some major moments in history—for Jamaica, for the United States, and for the world. What are some of your most memorable historic moments in life? I believe that you saw the moment when Jamaica became independent?

Grandma: Yes. It was a great moment, and I feel great, everyone was happy. You might think this strange or unusual, but although I was happy, and like the rest of Jamaicans, glad for our independence and such, but what I felt most, was the time when President Obama signed the Marriage Act, and then again after the Supreme Court upheld it. I remember the White House was painted in all the colors of the rainbow. I felt that joy because before that, I saw horror.

The horror of hate, and not just only to black people—the horror of hate among whites and of hate among other group of people. And [also] those who were gay or just trying to be themselves. I have seen children trying to take their own lives, children being sent to therapy to change who they are, and it was really really horrifying. I could relate to that because many of our ancestors endured the horror [of hate]. I wrote about it in one of my poems, and if you don’t mind you can read a part here.

CG: So grandma’s poetry book. “Poems by Mount Humble.”

Grandma: So you don’t have to read all of it, but this is how many people who are [LGBTQ] feel. [The feeling of persecution and judgment]. This is explaining how they felt, and this is where their fate was “too abominable.” I remember my ancestors; the black people being persecuted. Their fate was too abominable. “As they hung for all to see.” That was lynching. “They did not get a wooden cross, instead they got a tree. And as they hung and in agony and in pain, their hearts reflected on Jesus who suffered thus the same. Each drop of tear upon the Earth, in splendor grew tall trees [their ancestors and off spring], each drop of blood vaporized, then fell on rivers and seas. The seas took them round the globe with glorious glee they went, bright rays of sun descended, and they were back to heaven sent.” This is saying, and now alas the radiant sun which shines their offspring bright. This is referring to when President Obama signed the Marriage Act. Magnificently he, the silent sword—the pen with the other hand did write. Goodwill and freedom for us all, and yet there is a fight. We all forgive, we do love still, and bid you do what’s right. So even though there are [some who hate] and persecute us and do terrible things, we still love them. The creator said you aren’t supposed to hate. They are killing us every day; we see that right now. So, we still have a lot of work to do. We cannot follow them down the path of hate.

CG: Good. Grandma teaches us to embrace everyone, and allow people to be themselves, and allow people to live in the way that is you know—as long as we aren’t harming other people, we are letting people be their authentic selves.

  1. CG: What are some things that you are grateful for? What are some of the biggest lessons that you learned in life?

Grandma: Well, I am grateful for good health.

CG: Grandma is in good health, I mean look at her.

Grandma: I am grateful for my children, my surroundings, for wisdom. I am grateful for the younger generation, who I see—they are not sitting down. I am grateful for the knowledge that they have and they are using it up. There is hope for mankind through the younger generation. There is hope for a better world.

CG: This past week was Earth Day, and I have seen so many people making an effort to take care of the Earth and the climate, so that is really great too.

  1. CG: What is your hope for your children? What is your hope for your grandchildren? What is your hope for the world?

Grandma: That my children and grandchildren may continue on the path that they are…and you know, world peace. I would love to see peace all over the world.

  1. CG: Very good grandma, and Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Grandma: We need balance, whatever in life that we do, we need balance. We have to respect the Earth, and learn to heal ourselves. We can heal ourselves, and learn from our mistakes.

Thank you, Grandma, that was very insightful. I really love and appreciate you.

Thank you to everyone for joining Gram and I as we have this conversation. I hope that you may also feel inspired to talk to your loved ones about their life, you may learn some interesting things. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be an amazing one. Thank you as always! Have a wonderful week!

Grandma wants you to have a good week!

Taking some time to rest this weekend!

Hello beautiful people!

I hope you all had an amazing week. On Friday I got my second vaccine 💉 dose.

Vaccine outfit lol 😝 🍊🍑🧡

I feel relieved and hopeful about whatever is to come. I am excited to give hugs and to travel again…

This weekend however I made the executive decision to rest, rest, and more rest. So no video this week!

I’ve slept a lot and been drinking my water.

I also got to have a yummy dinner with some friends!

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes ✨👌🏾

I feel pretty good since the vaccine… I know my cells are hard at work, but as I say… it’s the simple things that add up to big things. Hope you are resting as well and hydrating Rest makes a big difference in my life and allows me to do more of what I love.

💓✨ I’ll be back soon with more uplifting content and a special special guest 🤗💓✨🤩 Have a wonderful week ahead! May the stars shine ever so brightly over your week.

Water, Rest, and Movement…A Check In!!!

From Unsplash

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. So, we were going to wrap up our conversation on the Crown Chakra, but my spirit led me in a different direction for this week. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/kIxX1fyw0h4

I actually wanted to check in with everyone and just see how you all were doing. Are you resting, hydrating, and moving your body? Are you engaging in self-care? It might not seem like these simple things matter, but they do—they matter a lot. Sometimes I do think that life is actually trying to remind us that the simple things can often bring about the most profound blessings into our lives.

From Canva

Many moons ago now, I wrote blog posts and videos on the topics that I just mentioned: The importance of sleep, the importance of hydration, and the importance of moving our bodies. I wanted to make sure that I was also practicing what I preach, so here is a mini report on rest, hydration, and movement, probably not in that order. 

Rest:

Since working mostly from home for the past year, one of the biggest chunks of my day actually got removed—and that was the commute. Now, instead of riding the metro for about an hour each way, or driving into DC (driving time varied based on traffic conditions), I have basically been able to get up, clean up, have some breakfast, and then commute by walking to my desk. I thought initially that being home more would also mean more rest, but then I found that pandemic fatigue was a real thing. That and it also felt like I was doing more work at home. The ease of having the computer right there, meant that it is not difficult to check email, or to finish one last thing. But the buffer between commuting and work, also meant that I felt a loosening of my work/life boundaries. I also noticed that my sleep patterns felt off, even though I wasn’t doing much, and really time itself seemed to have lost some meaning.

From Unsplash

Since doing my research on rest, and sleep, I have definitely tried to get more rest in the nights. I try to follow my circadian rhythm, and rest when I feel tired, if possible. If not, then I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. What I have found is that my body wakes up pretty early on its own accord, and generally feels more rested than not. I have also tried to create a routine for myself logging in to work at around the same time each weekday to create a sense of consistency. I have also tried to take downtime for rest, and to allow my own creative projects to flourish. I noticed benefits from this including feeling more refreshed, less groggy, and able to have more energy to do some of my own things. Have you been resting? If you would like to see some benefits of resting and of sleep—please check out my video here: https://youtu.be/r_WrMm4Ygr4

Movement:

With regards to movement, for the past 39 weeks, I have kept a record of walks that I take during the week. Things like weather, events, travel, and even honestly just needing a nap more than the walk, have impacted dates and times, but for the most part, I have been able to walk at least 4 times per week. I set a goal for myself of 3 miles per day, and so my weekly goal is 12-15 miles. Sometimes on the weekends I will take a longer walk of about 5 miles. I will push myself to do my 3 miles, but anything over that really feels like a plus. I don’t overdo it because I have hurt myself before, and recovery takes time. It just feels good to give myself the gift of physical movement.

There have been multiple benefits from walking for me. First, I feel stronger. When I first started my walks, I had been in pandemic world for a few months, eating delicious things that I had been learning how to make from the Food channel, and epicurious, but I hadn’t really been moving. I could feel it more in my clothes, and then I started to feel more sluggish. Walking, helps me to feel more energetic. Second, I get to spend some time in nature. That means grounding, and earthing. By taking a walk, I have some designated time when I am not connected to everything else that is going on in the world. My brain gets a break, and I find some peace in my day.

Third, I truly feel that by observing nature, that there are more things that make sense for me. For example, I have talked about the seasons that we go through in our individual lives. That’s no accident. In nature, everything gets done—things grow when they are supposed to without rush. In nature, we also witness the power of sunshine, water (rain), rest, and growth. Walking has genuinely put me in a better mood, and I am thankful for the opportunity to spend that time outside. Check out my video on movement and drinking water: https://youtu.be/vnfBpT0AQmQ

You can also check out my video on disconnecting and decompressing: https://youtu.be/Nv7DwmYntp4

And my video on Earthing and Grounding: https://youtu.be/01RUU0L_2Qk

Water: 

The journey to better hydration has probably been my most challenging, but also my most rewarding journey. Out of the last 37 days, I have completed 35 days of drinking 1 gallon (128 oz) of water. Prior to this, I had started feeling really brittle within myself. My bones and joints felt achy, and I knew instinctively that I probably needed more water. Since I had also done research on the benefits of water, I also knew that if I increased my intake, my body would be thankful! I did some research on water bottles, and found one that I liked on Amazon.

The Fidus water bottle in a beautiful shade of blue green and pinkish purple. It also had motivational quotes that started at 7am and went until 9pm. Sort of cynically, I said, who is drinking water from 7am – 9pm? As it turns out, me. There is something about seeing the bottle that made me feel like I should be drinking it. The result of my month of water are that:

a)     I definitely FEEL hydrated. My joints and body as a whole feel better and more fluid.

b)    I think my skin also looks better, and more glowy.

c)     Water is definitely a detoxing agent. If you want your kidneys and intestines to thank you, drink water. As a matter of fact, I think all of you will feel better!

d)    Yes, you do have to go to the bathroom a lot initially, but as time progress, I think my body got used to the amount of water it could hold without constantly running back and forth.

e)    I think it has been helping me to sleep better. 

f)      I feel more energized.

g) I snack less, because when drinking that much water, there is no time to be doing anything else. LOL

h)    Drinking water begats drinking more water. Probably the most surprising thing has been that even after drinking a gallon of water, I still feel that I could drink more. 

I think if you want to get more water in your body, my suggestions are:

a)     Just start!!! Just start drinking a glass or two more, and work your way up

b)    If you don’t like the taste of water (and I know this is a thing), maybe add fresh fruit to help you with the taste

c)     Schedule your day around this. I know that if I was commuting, I wouldn’t be able to drink my water consistently through the day—what it means is that I would break it down into time clumps. Morning, Afternoon, and Evening, with enough time to get home. As it stands, I schedule my water around my walks. If I know I will walk at 6:30pm, I might stop drinking water at 5. When I return from my walk, I want to drink more water.  

Another thing that I learned from a very wise woman recently, was that I should work with my water. Right now, I have just been drinking it to keep me hydrated, but I haven’t thanked the water for all the amazing things that it has been doing for my body. With this in mind, today as I held my water bottle, I asked the water to work with me. As I took my first sips, I let myself feel the water flowing through my body and I thanked it for purification, cleansing, healing, and love.

This wise woman also said, What does the world need to be carried from you by the water? When I think of that, I think—what toxins need to be removed so that I have the energy to use my gifts in the ways that are most of service to the world, and also to my own dreams and goals? This has profoundly changed my experience with water and my hydration process.

I hope that you are resting well, moving your body as you have the capability to do, and also hydrating. These are simple things—are the foundational level of our lives. We need air, we need water, we need the earth, and we need the inner and outer fire to sustain us, nurture us, and to help us give back to the earth and its people. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you be hydrated, rested, and energized.