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Friday, February 28, 2014

“Live, Laugh, Love”

"Produce Stand at Eastern Market" photo by Pheralyn Dove
Only Today. We
only have today to live,
to laugh and to love.

Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Instruction Manual

"Morning Lilies" Photo by Pheralyn Dove
Seek Love. Find love. Seek
peace. Find peace. Seek freedom. Find
freedom. Take wings. Fly.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Prayer for the Homeless

"Evening Prayer Sign at St. Mark's Church" photo by Pheralyn Dove
Please spare some loose change
or some leftover food to
help someone today.

The huddled figure steps out of the shadows and almost collides into you, strategically jockeying way too close to your personal space. 

“I’m hungry. Spare a dollar so I can buy something to eat?”

You hold your breath in as you quickly decide whether to dodge or indulge the abrupt request.

Their lives take them to the Center of the City. Their hope is one more day. “Hopefully” is the thought that dominates their minds. Hopefully enough strangers, passersby, will have enough grace, enough mercy of spirit, to fill their cups with a few coins. Men. Women. Children. All ages. All races. All down on their luck. All turned out on these unforgiving streets. Each and every one of them at the mercy of total strangers for their very survival.

Their pride is behind the knot in their throat. They ignore the scorn. (Or at least as much as possible.) They beg. One person at a time. They shuffle along. On to the next hopeful. Most of us won’t even make eye contact. Not even those of us who give. Think about this when you are accosted. What will you do the next time you are approached? Can you spare a dime? A quarter? A dollar? A knowing glance? A smile?  Will you have mercy? Will you give someone grace for another day? Or if you don’t live in a community where you come in contact with the homeless, will you consider giving to a charity that helps them? Please let me know your thoughts.
Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Get Rich Quick!

"Spring Time in Overbrook" photo by Pheralyn Dove
Prosperity can
be defined as a grateful
Heart and peaceful mind

Ever think you need a get rich quick scheme? Well here’s one for you that you can activate immediately: Be grateful. Yes, it’s that simple. You’re breathing right? Then why not be grateful for the prosperity and blessings you already have. You’re obviously reading this post. Be grateful for your eyesight and your ability to read and comprehend. Be grateful you’re in your right mind. Are you enjoying a reasonable amount of health and strength? Then be grateful. Do you have heat when it’s cold outside? Air conditioning or a trusty fan when it’s hot? Then be grateful. Do you have clothes to wear? Enough food to eat? A safe place to sleep? Be grateful. Have you answered “yes” to most of these questions? Then you are already wealthy beyond measure.

If you have friends, family, income, meaningful work and creativity on top of all of the essentials for living, you are reaping a huge dose of wealth that deserves to be acknowledged on a daily basis. I am sure you get my point by now. Success and abundance can’t always be measured by how much material wealth you have accumulated. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have any problem with folks “getting paid” (myself included).  I do, however, think it is wise to pause and appreciate those things in life that can’t necessarily be equated with dollars and cents. Make sense?
What are some of the blessings you are grateful for that make your life “rich?”

Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life is a Gift

"Pink Lillies" Photo by Pheralyn Dove
Choose to believe that
life is a glorious gift
that keeps on giving

Some people cling to the belief that life is hard and then you die. Others, like me, choose to believe just the opposite. In my world, “life is a glorious gift,” a never-ending series of opportunities to grow and learn and communicate and love and thrive and, well…… just be.

Just. Be. Grateful.

I thank the Universe for the joy of spreading and receiving joy. I thank the Universe for the gift of creation – for creating me – for creating you. I thank the Universe for the gift of gratitude. Here’s to the gift of gratitude for today. Here’s to the gift of the infinite powers of love, praise and gratitude. Here’s to the gift of life.

Asante Sana. Peace & Blessings Always.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Is In The Air

"Laura's Amaryllis" photo by Pheralyn Dove

Whether romantic
or agape, love is the
magic elixir

Love is an emotion. It is a verb. It is a noun.  It is an adjective. It is a state of being. When you feel love, when you express love, when you receive love, you are connecting to the divine source. Indeed the expression of love, whether romantic or agape, whether for your lover or your child, whether for humankind or even for yourself: when you get to the true expression of love, you are in a sacred space. Too many of us these days don’t get to this state, or if we do, the incidents are few and far between. What can we do about this?  I believe it starts inside our own hearts, in our private souls. As I sit here and reflect, I wish you love, I wish the world love, but above all, I wish myself love and unconditional acceptance. I embark on a journey toward that holy place where I can love the gift of life that breathes through me each and every day. (Regardless of the circumstances.)  When I arrive at this destination of love, I know deep down, that I am a success. And for this I am forever grateful. I trust and pray the same is true for you.
Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Pay It Forward"

"Winter Night Moon" photo by Pheralyn Dove

Be blessed, so you can
be a blessing. There’s someone
out there who needs you.

Do you ever stop to appreciate all your life’s good fortunes? Ever pause during the course of your day and realize that you are lucky and gifted and talented and accomplished in so many ways it would be difficult to count them all? Do you ever admit to yourself how pampered your life is compared to so many less fortunate others?

I know it’s easy to get caught up in the mix of our daily routines and doldrums. But don’t forget we are all here on earth for a reason. I am convinced the noble calling of our existence involves making the world a better place. A good part of that calling involves helping others. Throughout the pages of this blog, and in my personal life I am forever harping on finding your passions and doing what you love. Magically when we concentrate on being our best selves, we outflow our divine inspiration, and find we have come to the aid of others.

The other day I ran into my friend Yahimba at the supermarket. I was rushing, but she stopped me, said wait a minute, she had something for me. She reached down and handed me a flyer about a life skills and esteem-building workshop shop series she’s starting for young women, ages 12-19. I quickly skimmed the notice and thought, “Oh this is nice,” then neatly folded the piece of paper away in my bag. I gave Yahimba a quick hug and hurried along my way.   

Later that evening, as I was cleaning out my purse, I came across the flyer again. This time I carefully read it over. I soon realized this was more than a workshop my friend was organizing. It was a call to action. “We are our sisters’ keepers,” she wrote. I turned to face my computer, summoned Yahimba’s email address and answered with a confirmation:

“Peace Mama Yahimba! How you be Sister Girl? Great seeing you today! Thanks for sharing the flyer about your new venture. I am willing to volunteer to teach a writing lesson (or two) during the course of the series. Keep me posted.”

Writing and teaching writing are gifts that come to me naturally. The least I can do is share my gifts with young sisters in my own community who could use the extra care I am able to provide. How can you use your skills to help someone in need? Will you take the time to pay it forward? I hope you find it in your heart to send someone a gift of your love today.

Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.

Monday, February 10, 2014

As the World Turns

"Twigs in Snow" photo by Pheralyn Dove

Icicles and deep
snow drifts precipitate the
arrival of Spring

The air is frosty. Temperatures are at an all time low. Snow storm after snow storm keeps closing in on the heels of the last brutal assault.  Yet I keep thinking about how beautiful the blooms will be this coming Spring. A perfect metaphor for what my life looks like right now. Is the same true for you?

The frozen barren ground is doing its work in secrecy, preparing for an awakening. A rebirth of lush trees, plants and flowers await in gestation.  I too am in a suspended space. Waiting to be born again. An amorphous blob surrounds me, like so many snow drifts covering the surface, hiding what’s underneath. But I continue to work away in the silence of cold nights, dark mornings. Everything appears frozen - lifeless. But Spring is almost near.

There are some aspects of Winter I absolutely adore. Grace and stillness and purity suggest such romantic poetry. However the magic of the beautiful falling snowflakes is so fleeting. Fresh powder soon gives way to grey slush, muddy remnants of the elusive fleece. One minute the idyllic crystals turn the city into a winter wonderland. And then Poof! The magic is gone! It’s replaced by the tough conditions brought on by the harsh cruelties of the season. But wait!  We awake one morning to find lavender and white crocuses popping up. Later on we notice it’s still daylight, yet it’s after 6 p.m. We breathe in, breathe out, smile, shed a few layers and revel in all the new creations springing up. Suddenly we realize we survived the roughest Winter of the 21st century.

So my friends, hold on. For many of us, (myself included) the going is rough right about now. But please. Hold on. Keep the faith. Keep chipping away at your passions. Know deep down that the steady work you are doing during this unprecedented polar vortex will one day bloom and blossom. The deep freeze will thaw to reveal a revival of beautiful freshness. Spring is on the way soon. I promise.

Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Now is the Time

"Trees Among Clouds" photo by Pheralyn Dove

List five things you must
do before you die and then
make time to do them.