Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 91 of Your Year to Wellness; The Power of Patience

Time Heals all Wounds

I am giddy with excitement about today’s post. I am that way most of the time, but I actually had to apply the principle of today’s lesson and wait to write this.
In my past, I was not a person with much patience; most of us are not. We live in a time when everything is instant. We want our food, weight loss and even education fast. We want medical treatments that are instant without a care about all of the instant side-effects. We want to be slim in 30 days never caring that if you lose weight quickly, you will gain it the same way.
I was one of those do-it-now people. I grew up with my mother’s contradictions; one moment we were told not to put off to tomorrow what could be done today and the next we heard that “Rome was not built in a day.”
It took me years to understand that my mother’s lessons were not a contradiction at all. She had grown up on a farm and she knew the very powerful lesson that requires that you to do the work now and everyday allowing time, nature, life and God to work together rewarding your work with an abundant harvest.
Yesterday, I stood looking out at my back yard. I look at it every day when I’m at home. The yard is on the marsh and the birds and butterflies really like it there. (So do other creatures and bugs but let’s not talk about those.) Yesterday as I stood watching a duo of heron fly by in what seemed like slow motion, my mind went back to when I first moved here. The yard looked nothing like it does now. It took 14 huge truckloads of dirt to level the yard. There was no pool, fence, hedges—heck there was no grass.
When we moved to this house my mother was sick and we needed to find a place that could accommodate our large family; one that had space enough for a separate apartment for my mother’s at-home care in the event she needed it. When we viewed the house the first time, I passed on it for something closer to town. I could see the house’s potential even though there were 6 drooling bull dogs and a confederate flag hanging as decoration.
When my sis Jeanine and I first looked at it, we did not see it as it was, we saw it as it could be.  “That’s your house sister.” Jeanine said to me. (We all need someone who can see our dreams with us; someone who has hope for our success.)
I worried about distance and steps and all of the other things you try to imagine that could be wrong so I passed on the house for another. But when my mom got sicker and required home care, we needed a bigger place and so I renewed my search. This house was back on the market and I was elated to find that even though the market had swelled at that time, the owners were willing to sale at the original asking price. The husband and wife said that they had discussed it and when they first met us, they felt that God wanted my family to live here. I was thinking, “Really, you don’t have to put God in the mix, we want the house.” But after living in this special place, I can feel what they meant.
Once we got here, I had to care for my mom and do the necessary renovations without causing any interruptions to her care. We did a great deal of work before moving in and waited to take on the “ugly” yard after we were here. I felt like things were taking forever and my mother kept telling me about how long it took to build Rome.
Well, you’ve seen the pictures. Yesterday when I caught a glimpse of the past, I remembered how I felt when the work was being done. I thought that things were moving too slowing and that there had been no progress. But when I looked it yesterday I realized that the yard had become what I had envisioned. I searched and found the old before pictures and I wept with joy for all that had occurred.
You may feel that you are progressing and transforming too slowly. Total wellness does not happen fast. It takes dedication, work and it takes time. When something is done the right way, it will last.
Remember, you did not get here in 30 days so give yourself the time you need to be well. When you do, you will be rewarded with an amazing transformation.
Wellness does not happen overnight; it happens every night.
Be you, be well, Be Patient
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 90 of Your Year to Wellness: Life is fast; avoid the rush

St. Louis archway (I'm not the driver)
Slow it Down
I live in a neighborhood that opens out to a two-lane highway. When we moved here about five years ago, you could stand in the middle of that road and not see a car for hours. The area has grown by leaps and bounds (whatever those are) and the road is full of traffic most of the day. Still, it doesn’t come close to the hustle and bustle I left in Southern California where sitting in traffic for hours was just a normal day’s commute, so when I hear people complain about the traffic here, I smile and remember.

Yesterday, as I was coming out of my neighborhood and into the traffic, I noticed another thing that is not typical of our little community. In the past if there was a small opening that would allow me to merge, the oncoming car would slow down and the driver would give a polite nod allowing me to move onto the road. Now, they speed up closing the gap between me and the opportunity to get in.

I’ve grown accustomed to the hospitality of Savannah and the surrounding areas. I live in a community where people still pull over and stop their car when a funeral procession goes by. When a fallen soldier comes home, the local newscaster, Sonny Dixon will broadcast the route to the funeral home and everyone will line the streets to show support to the family. I’ve had my meals paid for by strangers in restaurants and if a neighbor is sick, someone will cut their lawn while others feed the family and watch out for the kids.

It’s odd to see people speed up to keep you out of traffic when you are accustomed to folks making a way. Yesterday, I began to notice that it was happening more and more and it occurred to me that we are all moving faster than we ever have.

I used to yell at the drivers telling them to slow down or leave early, but when I began to work on my own wellness, I realized that their speed was becoming my adrenalin rush. Now, I imagine the person arriving safely without causing harm to anyone or to themselves.

But the question remains, why are we in a rush? We are rushing from one holiday to the next and then we complain that we can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. We rush to work and then can’t wait for the day to end so we can rush back home with all of the other motorists who are rushing right with us.

Today, try something new; leave early and slow it down. If you gave yourself more time to do something, you wouldn’t need to rush. I know that this is common sense, but remember sense just ain’t that common. Try yielding to oncoming traffic and allow someone in. Even when the person doesn’t give the obligatory wave of gratitude you will find that you feel better, less rushed when you give in just a bit.

All of this rushing is having an impact on our health and wellness. We are stressed out because we are flying and rushing from one place to the next.

Today breathe.

·         Put your cell phone away while driving. Research shows that talking while driving, even when you are on a blue tooth affects your reaction time as much or more than alcohol. I don’t drink and never have, but I talk while driving like it’s a divine right. I know better so today and beyond, I am going to do better.

·         Leave early. Double the time you need to get somewhere and leave early. You will find that the drive is much more pleasant, you will see things you didn’t know were there and you will be much less stressed when you arrive.

·         When someone ask you how you are doing, tell them and then slow down and really listen to what they have to tell you.

Life is not short, but it can be fast so slow it down.
Be you, be well, be better
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 89 of Your Year to Wellness; Wake up and Start Dreaming

                                                     Seeing Your Outcomes

Today, I’d like to share with you the power of one of the best tools I have. You also have this tool and the more you use it, the more proficient you will be at using it.

We have all been chastised for daydreaming. “Stop imagining things," we are told, but everything that was made by hand was made by the imagination first.

Most people who know me would probably classify me as a person of action. I do a great deal and enjoy the action of getting things done. What folks may not know is that I have a wonderful and powerful imagination. I enjoy dreaming my outcomes.

When I was a child, I imagined being able to go to college. There were no models before me as no one in the family had been. I grew up without a father and so I imagined that I would find him and he would send me to college.

That did not happen, but when I was accepted to Jacksonville University in Florida, I was told that a wealthy benefactor who was a friend of one of the faculty members had offered to help put me through school. I did not meet Terry Evensen until my graduation day and from that day forth, he became my father figure.

When I first started the journey to become well, I saw myself as I look today. At the time, movement was difficult and painful, but I imagined myself dancing and running up the steps of my house. The more I imagined it, the greater the possibility became.

Imagining something is actually your mind’s way of rehearsing it.

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Creative visualization is a powerful exercise for your brain, mind and body. Today, I’d you to begin to imagine your outcomes.
Imagine that what you desire is already in existence. See yourself in the condition you’d like to be in. In the visualization exercise, try to avoid thinking in the negative. In other words, this is not traditional prayer whereby we implore, beg and cajole for what we are lacking. In this exercise, you become a part of the Creator and already know that everything is and is possible.

Plan a time each morning to do the exercise and enjoy the moment. (I don’t think I need to mention it, but I will because I should; do not do this while you are driving.)

·         Relax and center. Moving from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, allow each part of your body to deliberately relax.

·         Breathe evenly and effortlessly as you do.

·         In your mind’s eye, begin to see yourself in your desired outcome.

·         Paint the picture giving it more and more depth and clarity. The more detailed the image, the more powerful your outcomes.

·         Relax in the moment and accept it as true.

Do this for 5-15 minutes each day for the next 7 days and look for results.

I see myself as more loving and understanding. As I paint the picture more clearly, I am relaxed and at ease. I love myself and am more capable of loving others. I am smiling and actually have a glow about me. As I open my heart and mind to my own potential, I begin to see the potential in others. I am joyful and playful enjoying every moment with you.

Be well, be whole, See

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 88 of Your Year to Wellness; If you Believe

        The Lesson of a Lifetime

Today I’ll be in Martinsville, Virginia. It has a major significance for me. It was the first city I visited outside of my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware but it's also the place where I learned a very important lesson.
The high school choir of P.S. DuPont was on a tour when we made our first stop in the hometown of our choir director, Mr. Leander Morris. He had told us stories about growing up in Martinsville. His family was poor but they got by and every one of his siblings had gone to college.

When we got there we sang a concert for what seemed like everyone in the town. In addition to singing in the choir, I sang with a trio of friends; Kathy and Tia who sang first and second soprano to my alto voice. I also sang a solo and often won state competitions with the only song Mr. Morris allowed me to perform.

“Bertice, when you sing “If you Believe” you make everybody cry. He told me in his southern drawl. I wanted to sing something that played on the radio, but the hit song from the broadway show, The Wiz was as close as I was going to get. I had few clothes and only one performance dress. My shoes were well worn but Mr. Morris was right, when I sang no one saw my poverty. Instead, they felt the power of my belief in that song.

“If you believe within your heart you’ll know, that no one can change the path that you must go.

Mr. Morris was an amazing teacher and mentor and was well loved and respected. He had arranged for the choir to stay in the homes of people in the town and everyone was excited to be someplace new.

We performed to an appreciative audience receiving ovations and requests for more. We sang songs ranging from Ave Maria to Go Tell it on the Mountain. Our trio sang and I sang on my own. My friends teased me as I went to the mike mouthing the words to If you Believe. I paid them no mind and was rewarded with another standing ovation.

After the concert, we were tired but happy to be someplace new. Everyone was dropped off at the homes of the families they would be staying with. We were excited to see all of the different suburban houses that seemed brand new and much nicer than what we had come from. Kathy, Tia and I wondered when we would be let off the bus. We waited and watched as each home seemed nicer than the next but when no one else was left on the bus but Mr. Morris and the trio we figured he had saved the best for us.

The driver pulled out of the sub-division and drove into a not so new section of town. We asked Mr. Morris why we didn’t get a new house and he smiled and just said, “Don’t you worry about that.”

We were dropped off at a little house that leaned to the left. An old woman greeted us kindly and showed us to our room. We wondered what we had done wrong. The place was old and hot. There was no air conditioning and behind my bed, there was a hole in the wall. We whispered all night about ghosts and witches moving from to fear to laughter until we finally fell asleep.
The next morning we awoke to the smell of heaven.
We washed (the shower didn’t work) and dressed and went down to the kitchen to find the old woman whose name I (sadly) cannot recall. She had made a breakfast of eggs, grits, bacon and pancakes and she had also fried chicken and fish, made greens and sweet potatoes and had baked the best pound cake I have ever eaten. We ate until we were past full and then she packed a huge bag of food. The woman hugged us and cried. She said that she hadn’t had young folks in the house for a long time. She told us that she was so glad that we had picked her. We were ashamed that we had judged the woman and her house but were grateful that Mr. Morris knew better than we did.

When the bus came for us, it was already full of the rest of the choir. We boarded the bus and everyone laughed and mocked us saying things about the beat up house that looked even more worn in the day light. Everyone talked on and on about the modern conveniences of the houses where they stayed and my little trio just smiled.

When they were all done bragging and making fun of us and we were well on our way, we each pulled out a piece of the delicious pound cake and ate without offering anyone a morsel.

Mr. Morris was grinning from ear to ear because the old woman had given him and entire cake and because he knew what we had learned; that just because something is not new and polished on the outside doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful and unforgettable on the inside.

Since that first trip with the choir, I’ve traveled all over the world but I will always remember the lesson of Martinsville. There I learned to believe in myself, my abilities and talents and I learned that great things and people come from humble places.

·         Today, reflect on your travels.

·         See the lessons that have brought you where you are.

·         Open your heart and home to a young person and share what you have learned.

Be you, be well, Believe

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 87 of Your Year to Wellness; Weighing In

Weighing In; the Killing of Trayvon Martin

I’ve been asked what I think but I’d like to tell you how I feel about this and other killings of young folks.

As all mothers do, I have always feared for the safety of my children. I have been overly sensitive to what can happen because of what has happened. My children could not do what many of their peers did. I feared for them when they went to the mall or simply walked in the fancy neighborhoods of their childhood friends. My son William, who played defensive line back was always more muscular and mature for his age. Kids at the private school he attended in La Jolla,California often wanted to prove that they were tough by taking him on. William was soft-spoken; a gentle giant who preferred talking  it out to fighting it out.
One day a young man from one of those “good “families challenged him, calling him all of the racial slurs I feared would be coming. I had been in Pittsburgh for an event, but as soon as I heard, I caught the next flight home to deal with the situation. I was pissed. I had worked hard to send my children to the schools I felt they needed and I had also tried to protect them from people who would reject and harm them on the basis of race, class or any other reason.
When I arrived at the school, I was greeted warmly by those in charge; “Good Morning Dr. Berry, we are so glad to see you.” The principal said.

I informed them that Dr. Berry could not make it, they were going to have to deal with a pissed off mother. After everyone clutched their pearls (even the men,) I explained to them why I was pissed. I told them what year it was and how we should have evolved. I told them that William’s bully had been harassing him and other kids in the past and that they knew because he told them. I told them that I worked hard to send him there and I expected better.
The boy had been suspended and the school decided that they could not take their standing in the community for granted. They recognized that they had work to do and set about doing it. They hired more diverse faculty and staff and openly dealt with race and bullying in forums and classes where attendance was mandatory.
When I share my fears about my children simply going to hang out to my friends some of them nod in agreement, but some have to admit that they had not even thought about the things that are the real and present fears of many parents.
In our great nation, racism, sexism, homophobia and violence against our children  are still real problems. I know for a fact that things have changed for the better, but I also know we still have some changing to do.
In my book, The Ties That Bind; A Memoire of Race Memory and Redemption, I wrote about the fact that in order to be whole, we must look honestly at our whole story. We must forgive and we must be forgiven.
"The only thing that can win over evil is learning and loving. So learn to love and strive to love, ‘cause babies, we ain’t got time for nothing else.”

Today, let’s act like adults. Let’s learn to move beyond the side that we want to sit on and stay on the side of right.
Each step we take towards change takes this nation in the direction it needs to go in.
I seriously believe that we must be the change we want to see. As with anything else, if we want things to be better, we have to change. We must do more than talk, we must act.

Today, smile at every child you see. Tell them something good about themselves, because they have  heard everything else already. Do something real and positive and stay focused on the truth that Love never fails.
Light a candle, say a prayer or see the hurt as healed. Remember the parents of children who have died. Think of their pain and loss.
And as a  parent who has lost a daughter to the madness of life, please stop asking what I think and  try to imagine how I feel.

Be well, be you, be Free
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Day 86 of Your Year to Wellness; The Real Goal

Wellness does not happen over-night. It happens every night

Staying Focused on the True Prize

It’s that time of year when advertisers begin their mad push for last minute diet supplies; the time when we are all told that it’s not too late to get into that bikini for the summer.

The real prize is not a body that fits into a bikini but a spirit, mind and body that are aligned in wellness.

It is so easy to get distracted. I was about to feel less than perfect when an amazing thing happened.

Last week, out of some place wonderful, I heard from my ex-husband. We haven’t spoken in almost 20 years and then suddenly, the guy who had been my best friend and then wasn’t got in touch. He let me know that he was sorry for how things ended and then he told me something much more powerful than losing weight.

He told me that I have been a major influence on his career and life and everyday he is grateful to me. WOW!

Just so you know, we have no intentions for getting back together (as a matter of fact I may be fixing him up.) The powerful thing in all of this is that he gave me something I didn’t even know I needed.

I truly feel that by working on myself to be well, and whole, I am manifesting the things that I need and the things that I need to be rid of.
Keep your eyes on the True Prize; total wellness.
Remember, we are not our bodies; we are the spirit, or psycho-social self that dwells in a body.
While we are individuals, we are also a part of a collective whole. In order for the whole to be well, you must be well.
Today pay close attention to the following
·         An increase in diet and gym advertisements.

·         An increase of friends who are jumping into a program and want to take you with them

·         The changes in your feelings about others.

·         The changes in the way others relate to you.

·         The change in how you see yourself

We are in this for the long haul. So ignore someone else’s idea of beauty and stay focused on the real goal of Wellness.

Be you, Be real, Be well
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 85 of Your Year to Wellness; Emails, Texting and IMs , Oh My

Click on the picture,look closely and see pre-historic text messages

Meaning what you Say
Okay, if you are just joining us in this year of wellness, you might be wondering what communication has to do with wellness; in a word, everything.

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Then what about texts, ims and emails?

It’s been said that we lose about 70% of what we mean to say in an email. If that’s a fact then we must lose another 20% with a text. We communicate electronically because it’s quicker and we believe that quicker means more efficient.
A great deal of misunderstandings stem from our current mode of communication. It’s bad enough that we don’t know what to say, now, we don’t know how to say it.
There are unwritten rules by which we should all abide, but what are the rules? Who put them in place? And if they are so efficient, why aren’t we any better at saying what we mean?
Today, I’d like you to actually talk to the people in your house. STOP TEXTING THEM and I’ll stop yelling in caps.
Call the people you want to talk to and don’t be bothered if they don’t answer; do that thing we used to do back in the day before we just checked the caller id record and actually leave a voice mail message.
How we feel about ourselves is reflected in how we communicate. Begin practicing your love for yourself by expressing love for someone else.
Lately, I have become even more attentive to tones and phrasing. The pleasant sound of a loved one’s voice can soothe my soul. When I hear my children say Mommy, my eyes water with pride and when one of my siblings calls me by a childhood nickname I am renewed.
·         Today, talk someone’s ear off.

·         Listen without interrupting (I’m really working on that one.)

·         Leave a message for someone who rarely calls back --- just act like you don’t care.

·         And say I love you to others at least 13 times and to yourself even more.

From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
  From the wisdom of life, we listen and respond.

Be you, be well, be heard.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 84 of Your Year to Wellness; See What You've Been Missing

           Hidden in Plain View

The title Hidden in Plain View comes from a book about the freedom quilts that were made and hung out during slavery. These innocent looking quilts were in actuality road maps to freedom. They were hung out in the open where anyone could see them but hidden within the quilt were the real directions to freedom that only the fugitives from slavery knew how to read.

I often think about the quilters who sat peacefully looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths as they took their part in what at that time was classified as criminal behavior. The fugitive slave law act had been established to punish anyone who in any way aided and abetted a runaway slave.

Yesterday, I found hidden in plain view the directions to my own freedom.

I had just landed from being on the road lecturing for a week; to say that I was tired is an understatement. Still, I love the small household errands I have to do when I get back in. They ground me in ways that only life can. We often complain about the little things in life that get in the way, but they are there to keep you balanced, not throw it off.

I dropped my daughter off on campus and went about the business of my errands but then I allowed myself to be led in a direction that I had no intention of taking.

I took a turn down a beautiful stretch of highway to an area I’ve been to many times before. The local NPR affiliate is located on the property of the Ocean Institute and while I’d been to the station many, many times, I had never bothered to go into the aquarium that sits on the same property.

I went in and a world of wonder opened up. I looked on in awe as I wondered how I had been missing all of this. As soon as I began to chastise myself , I dropped my shoulders and reminded myself that “I’m here now.”

We have the freedom to go places and do things that our ancestors could not yet we do the same things the same way every single day.

Look closely at the fish behind the stingray
What is hidden right in front of you?

Today, take a turn and allow yourself to get lost and when you do, may you find the freedom you need.

Be you, Be well, Be Free,
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 83 of Your Year to Wellness; It's Not You

Above it All

Sometimes it’s Not You
A few days ago, my sisters took me to a five star restaurant and I had the chance to recall a very important lesson; it’s not always me.
We got to the restaurant a little before time for dinner seating and were told that the bar area was open; that we could eat there. One of my sisters explained that we hadn’t seen each other for a while and wanted to catch up. She batted her eyelashes and smiled her amazing smile and just when I was about to go into feminist mode to correct her, the manager opened up dinner seating just for us. I recalled the lesson from yesterday and decided to leave well enough alone.

We sat down and our server, a tall beautiful woman glided over and began to do her thing. We quickly began to notice that every time she came to the table to clear a plate, remove the crumbs or serve a dish, she explained each and every detail.
“I’m going to take these plates, but don’t worry, I’ll bring back a clean one.” She said.
We laughed about it at first, but then we she tried to tell us which fork to use we were real tired of her, Let-me-help-you-country-people-know-how-to-eat-in-the-big-city routine.

In the past, I know that I would have taken this personally. I would have wanted to leave and eat someplace where people treated all paying customers the same. I would have allowed the woman’s behavior to be a refection of me but this time I made a choice to see that her actions were a result of her own stuff and that if she didn't do something about it, she would suffer the consequences.
 As I looked more closely, I could see that this physically beautiful woman was not comfortable with her own self. I began to notice small signs of insecurity as she served us.  When more customers came in and the job was a bit more demanding, she grew even more insecure.

“You’ve eaten a lot of bread, would you like more?” She said to a couple seated at a table behind us.
My frustration became pity and I felt for this woman who may not have dined in a restaurant like this one before working there.
I imagined the children she might be working to support or the classes she took during the day. I thought of a customer who may have yelled at her for taking a plate because they didn’t know it was being replaced.
All of this may be true and none of it may be; the point that I’m making is that someone else’s behavior towards you may have nothing to do with you.
We had an amazing dinner and a wonderful time with one another. We had the unusual behavior to laugh at, feel for and then analyze.

 And we had the wonderful opportunity to see up close and personal that while every lesson is for you, the source of the lesson is not always about you.
Be you, be well, be observant.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 82 of Your Year to Wellness; Going Overboard

 Far enough

Learning to know when Enough is Enough

Today, I’d like you to look at your behavior through one of my mother’s many sayings.
My mother was a very complex and complicated woman. It took many years for her to come into being the wise and amazing Being she was before she left this earth, but even before then when she was drinking, yelling, or just mad, she always had great sayings. It took me many years to decipher most of them.

“You need to learn to leave well enough alone.” She’d say.
I know now that she meant that I may have started out with a good intention or action, but then I went too far.
I still fall into this trap of “over-doing it” and I can hear my mother saying,
“Alright, you ‘bout to find out that fat meat is greasy.” In other words, “A leopard never changes its spots.”
Today, I’d like you to look at the following:

·         Can you tell when you are about to go over board? If you’re eating something good and then you go back for more and more, do you know when you should have stopped? If you are making a point and you can tell from the look on your co-workers’ faces that you have gone too far why do you keep talking?

·         At what point do you finally stop yourself? Does someone have to interrupt you; do you hear my mother too? Try to recall the point of correction and use it before you have gone too far.

·         Do you beat yourself up when you go too far? If you do, chances are you will punish yourself by repeating the same behavior. “Wallowing in mud won’t get you clean.”

·         Anything that is learned can be unlearned.---That one was from me.

This exercise is simple, but you will see that it can have a great impact on changing the cognitive script you have played over and over again.

Once you begin to change your own behavior you will begin to see that “Every dog has his day.” ---I’m still working on that one.

Be you, be well, be in control.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 81 of Your Year to Wellness; Outcomes

The Outcome is Better than What You Go Through

Yesterday one of my sisters sent a note asking how I was doing. Karin knew that I had been traveling and was in Waterloo, Ontario and she knew that I was dealing with tinnitus; a maddening ringing in my ear that does not stop.
I wanted to tell her how frustrating it has been and  how I had been a "bit" short tempered.
 Earlier that morning in the airport, my ear had been ringing louder than normal. Airports are very noisy places. The constant announcements, multiple cell phones (which are all in use) and the muzac version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It were all trying to harmonize with the sonar like pitch that’s playing loudly like a morning DJ without the commercial interruptions.
My head was killing me when I got off of a small commuter plane and went to retrieve my bag from the small ben where they had been thrown. I was tired and in pain and when I saw that the bags had all been thrown on top of one another, I sighed and mumbled “really” to myself and myself alone. The gate agent heard me and decided to give me “a piece of her mind.”
"If you don't like it you should check your bag like a normal person," she told me.
Things like this don’t normally bother me. I travel enough to be prepared for cancelations, missed connections, EWA’s (employees with attitudes) and crying babies (a quick game of peek-a-boo always works and besides they’re babies.)
When the flight attendant decided to mouth off, I snapped and told her something my mother used to say to me and my siblings.
 “Look little girl,” I said. “Don’t start no s-h and there will be no i-t.”
I could not believe my own ears. I tried to stop myself but the ringing would not let me.
“You ‘bout to get an old lady beat down.” I told her.
I was embarrassed but had to put my laptop in my bag and as I did so, I noticed that the mouthy employee had turned into a sweet lamb. She was all smiles when she said, “I’m so sorry about that. I was having a bad day, can I help you find your gate?”
I shook my head mumbled something about not normally being like this and went to find my connecting flight.
I laughed about it later to my sister and manager Jeanine, and she asked if the tone in my ear was starting to sound like Bette Midler singing God is Watching Us.
When I got in, there was the email from Karin asking about my ear. I was going to tell her the airplane story and then I noticed something miraculous. I looked down at my hands and realized how quickly my fingers were flying across the key board.
I looked at my right hand and thumb and just cried.
A year ago, I broke my hand; long story and I won’t go into it here, but it was the right hand. I have always written long-hand. When I write a book or anything that requires creative writing, I write it by hand first and then I, but more often, Jeanine (bless her) types it for me and then I edit on the computer.
In the past, if I were to try to write directly on a computer, I could not find the flow that came from writing by hand. When I broke it, I had the freedom of a few fingers but could only write on a keyboard.
Before the hand was broken, I had not been writing much but now I do it every single day.
The miracle was simply this, the injury/interruption/blessing in disguise forced me and my brain to bend enough to do something differently.

So when I wrote to Karin, instead of telling her that the ringing was driving me nuts, I told her the real story; that while it annoyed me, it seemed to be happening a little less and that the day before when I sang before my lecture, (something that is now extremely difficult to do) someone told me that I had perfect pitch.
We all have struggles and interruptions in life, but when we are mindful, grateful and willing to see things to the end, the outcome is always better than what we go through.

Be well, be you, be still
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 80 of Your Year to Wellness: The What

Who are you when no one is around?

Bringing Forth; Finding the Way

I received a wonderful comment and question to yesterday’s post. It prompted me to do something I have not done; a sequel. Like Steven Spielberg, I’m not that big on them, but this is not E.T. and life has no real end.

The reader commented that the posts often leave them speechless and then wanted to know how to bring forth that which is within.

The answer is like the question; simple and yet profound.

 For too long we’ve allowed others to take us in the direction that they’d like us to go. The advertisers, media, government, religion and family; agencies of socialization that are supposed to teach us truth have fallen into a trap themselves. This trap has kept us from our true North; our path to Freedom.

The question of how to bring forth is really a question of what to bring forth. I have been teaching the idea of finding your purpose for over 20 years and during that time all kinds of systems, classes and techniques have cropped up. No one can answer the question of who you are but you.

We must uncover our own purpose; our calling in life; our uniqueness, but as the reader pointed out, we all need a guide. Today pay close attention to the following:

·         Your nature; how are you really?  Are you gentle, headstrong, bold, or curious?

·         Your energy; are you high strung, easy going, fast paced or do you sit still?

·         Your heart’s desires; without someone telling you, what do you want?

·         What do you want to change in the world?

·         What are your talents?

·         What was the nature of your parents? (You chose them, and it is the combination of their spirit that has made you.)

·         What has been your biggest hurdle?

·         What do you love to do?

Your purpose lies in the answer to these questions.

This is a huge quest and not something that can be done in just one day. Write these questions down and keep them with you. (Use your own hand to write them. It will have a bigger impact than cutting and pasting.) Throughout the remainder of the week, think about who you truly are and what you are here to do.

I love this journey and I am so grateful that we are on it together.

As we become well, we make the world a better place.

Be you, be well, be YOU
Bertie Berry, PhD.