Today I discovered myself. Again. Not only do I realize that when things get down and dirty, I'm more likely to go inward than when things are going great and worries are few, but I find that some of what I seek is already in front of me. Stocked and stored within is an arsenal of guidance and instruction from my Spirit Guides. My own kind of wisdom. My own key to happiness. Things that make me smile and say to myself: "You know, RoRo, it's gonna be all right. Yeah, girl." My journey of self-discovery started Friday. I'd run into two sistah's I know and adore, Maylei and Andreana. With laptops and paper scattered about, I knew that they were there to work. It turns out that I was there to do the same.
I gladly accepted an invitation to join them. We chatted it up quite a bit but managed to stay focused. I finished an article I was writing for another site I post on. The article was about the effects of alcohol on the heart. From there I was ready to move on to another writing project. However, the Universe had other plans for me so I followed orders and let the Spirit guide me. I was led to the bi-monthly Sisata Circle in East Oakland at Youth Uprising. This is a space for Black womyn to gather and talk shit out, laugh, cry, sing, shout and dance. Just be. Ourselves.
That evening's topic was "Amnesty." We were finding and discovering ways to "pardon our offenses, the offenses of others, extending a state of grace to one another, assuming an attitude of cutting each other some slack and forgiving in advance of any offense," even our own. It was just what my Soul needed. Isn't that shit amazing; if we would just stop to listen, we may learn something.
I'd been holding on to some stuff. In my mind and heart it seemed and felt offensive. But it was tearing me up inside. It was eating away at my Soul and my Joy. I was angry and bitter and didn't like the way that felt. I needed to release that toxic bullshit and find peace. I found a nugget of it in that space. I allowed myself to be taught by my feelings and from the experiences of other sistahs in that room, that space where we were safe and where we honored each other. Where we left judgement outside so that the evening air could carry it away.
On Saturday afternoon I attended a half-day retreat at the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC). "Cultivating Gratitude in Difficult Times" was the name of the 4-hour meditation and dharma talk for people of color, facilitated by Dr. Marlene Jones. More on that later as it's worth a post all on its own. But I will say that I departed feeling better already about my life in its current state of flux. I left the center full of gratitude, hope, love, and lighter than I was going in. I was unloading some shit. That felt damn good.
A friend I'd reconnected with at EBMC, Connie, dropped me off at the home of a fierce and fabulous sistah, Mildred, who was celebrating her birthday. Once I arrived, I knew it was meant for me to be there. There was so much love and laughter in that backyard and later inside her home filled with the most amazing artwork (Mildred is a batik artist, a damn good one!) where we drank bubbly libations and watched in joy and anticipation as Mildred opened her wonderful, thoughtful presents. The remains of the day spilled into the night. The weather had been nothing short of miraculous. Sunshine and warmth prevailed through the weekend. I was shifting. I could feel the ground move gently beneath my feet. Each step I'd taken was in Faith and Trust. I was releasing fear into the hole that had been dug for it. I buried it and put flowers on its grave. I didn't have use for it. The Universe knows just what the hell it's doing. It's me that tends to get lost now and again. I'm just as wayward as I wanna be sometime, but I'm grateful for the days when I find my way back home.
My dear friend Elaine (who also had a birthday this week!) brought me home Saturday night. I was floating on soft, supporting clouds, maybe from all the sparkling wine, but mostly from the events that held abundant messages of promise and bundles of healing for me in each instance. Every moment was a gift and a blessing. I was caught up in some kind of sweet dream. I could taste and savor every morsel of time that was at my disposal. I had been drenched with love and was open to what would grow from it. I had buried fear and in return found that what resurrected was one of its sisters, opportunity. I had been given the opportunity to see how beautiful life and the people in it can be. I had found that I needed to keep my heart open, be willing to receive and to give thanks for everything.
Today was a miracle, too. Although it began with a slight hangover, I managed to drag myself out of bed and go for a walk. I ended up where I began at the beginning of this piece, in my favorite stomping ground, World Ground Cafe. I received a free coffee and sat down in my favorite spot to soak up the atmosphere and great music that Brian and Matt had blasting through the cafe's speakers. I'd intended to read a bit. Instead I grabbed my notebook I'd labeled "Dharma" and began to read the first few pages. In those pages, I found myself. I discovered words that I'd written a few years ago that came back to give me grace. I decided that I'd like to share those words with you. They were written as letters to myself. My inside self to my outside self. Yeah. We can easily get outside of ourselves. In that state of being, we're really in the way. We get distracted and disconnected from our truths. From what it means to be human and to remain in a state of gratitude, amnesty, generosity.
In my next post, I'll begin with those letters and hope that maybe you'll join me in writing some of your own. Stay tuned, folks, and stay in touch with the inner you. Listen to the Universe. She's speaking to you. Hear her out, you just might learn a thing or two and rediscover your beautiful self.