Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 182 of Your Year to Wellness; Halfway There

                   Halfway There
For those of you who think the year is already over, let me inform you that at midday today, you will have arrived at the year’s halfway point.
I don’t know about anyone else, but this gives me tremendous courage and encouragement.
The halfway mark is a reason to celebrate and review
First; let’s review.
How is your BODY?
 Are you sleeping better, moving more (inside and out?) Are you drinking more water and eating six small meals a day. Are you cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing your skin? Are you touching and being touched? Do you laugh and enable someone else to do so? Do you Dance?
Because true wellness is not just about the body, let’s review for the mind and spirit as well
Do you exercise your mind? Are you learning new things and sharing them? Are you challenging yourself and your old ideas; are you replacing them with new ones. Are you reading or learning a new language; nothing fires the brain like these. Are you sharing your stories, good and the rough? Are you still? Have you taken the role of others and considered ways to stimulate folks to kindness and love? Are you thinking more clearly?
We do not have a spirit; we have a body and are spirit. Its needs are not great, but they must be met because at the core; this is who you are.
Are you Love; a reflection of creation and The Creator?
It’s so easy to write, but sometimes hard to achieve.
You may have noticed that I have not asked about the amount of weight you have lost because wellness is not about how much weight you lose; it’s about how much life you gain.

I’m sure that there is much more that I could have reviewed, but now it’s time to celebrate.
A sober person would not celebrate sobriety with a drink; so I will not celebrate this milestone with things that would have hindered me from getting here.

We are halfway through the year; what can you do with the rest of it?
Be you, be well, be complete.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 181 of Your Year to Wellness; Enough Really Is

"I'm good enough ...and doggone it,
people like me."


This morning while still in the state of I-just-woke-up-and-everything-is-possible, the word enough came into my consciousness, so I looked it up.
There it was; a beautiful/symmetrical definition that said what we all need to hear; sufficient for the purpose of satisfaction.
At first glance, the definition of enough can sound like a let-down; a settlement or compromise. It is anything but. Enough really is enough.
I looked at the word sufficient and got the image of  trying to repair something with the wrong tool. The right tool; the sufficient tool is the one that will get the job done. Yet we don’t jump for joy when we use a hammer to drive a nail, but if you ever try to do it with a shoe because no hammer is available, and then someone showed up with a hammer, you would understand the joy of being sufficient.
In the wee hours, I was also amazed to see that we seem to know when we have had enough of something we don’t like, but can’t turn off the switch when we have enough of what we do. I pondered the question of satisfaction and wondered how we ever came to think that being satisfied is not enough.
I will always strive to be better, do more, to reach and teach; but there has to be a point of knowing that you ARE enough.

So today’s lesson is sweet and simple, though I feel that the impact will be great.
I’d like you to do one of those touchy-feely things we were fond of back in the 70’s and I want you to enjoy it. (Wow, my mother skills are amazing.)
First I’d like you to look at yourself in a mirror and simply say “I am enough.” That’s it; nothing more or less.  Understanding that you are sufficient for your own joy is a major accomplishment.
Secondly, I’d like you to tell someone that they satisfy you. (Get your mind out of the gutter and get back to the work at hand.) In other words, let that person know that they are more than good enough, they are sufficient for the task of being your teacher.

I hope that this lesson leaves you knowing that it and you are enough.

Be you, be well, be at peace.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 180 of Your Year to Wellness; Stealing My Joy

Trying to Steal My Joy

When I was a kid and heard my mother talking about someone trying to steal her joy, I really wondered how someone could take what you could not see.
 Now that I’m “old enough to know better,” I actually do.
We have all experienced those moments of complete joy. For me, joyful moments can be as simple as having all of my laundry clean or finding my last hair band when I thought I had lost it. Sometimes though, the joy-filled moments are almost miraculous like the time  I had to catch a connecting flight but the originating one had been delayed. I was landing in Atlanta which usually means a 30 minute trek to another terminal; so when I got off of the delayed plane and found out that my connecting flight was just next door, I felt the joy.
Sometimes that joy happens when I plan to do nothing and I am able to do just that. Sometimes, I see a child laughing or hear my own child singing, or another playing his guitar.
Joyful moments enable us to see that all things are connected and it really is all good. Joyful moments are harmonious.
Whenever my mother spoke of the stealing of her joy, she was referring to someone who came crashing into the sound of peace. This person was being loud, obnoxious, but most often negative.
My mother often shared a story about how one day when she was walking home from work she had asked God, which she called Love, how she would feed her children. She had run out of money and pay day was several days off. She recalled that as she asked the question, she looked down and found $20.
Twenty may not seem like much but it was the 60’s and my mother could make a dollar holler.
As we ate dinner that night, my mother was exuberant. She said that this was surely a sign that our lives would be good if not great.
My brother mumbled something that he had picked up from a street corner philosopher; “The man is never going to let us get ahead.” My mother was as she would say “fit to be tied.”
“Don’t go trying to steal my joy.” She yelled. “Life is hard, but it’s also what you make it,” she declared.
“If you can’t enjoy the good, how in the world will you make it through the bad.”
I have come to understand her words and the emotion behind them.
I have seen the joy stealers and have felt the sadness and disappointment they carry; but even worse, there have been times when I have doused the flames of my own joy.

Here is one single tip for dealing with those who would steal your joy:

Be uplifted, and expectant of nothing but infinite good.

Be you, be well, be the joy
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 179 of Your Year to Wellness; Time to Let Go

Put Down the Weights and Run Your Race

Okay boys and girls; pay very close attention because this will be one of the most important posts I ever write. I woke up with a message for me and you and it was loud and clear.

It’s time to let go:

·         Of worry

·         Of anger ---especially when you have forgotten what you were angry for

·         Of the need to be right, correct, or even heard

·         Of pain from the past

·         Of recent hurts

·         Of someone else’s stuff

·         Of things you no longer need

·         Of your failure to laugh, smile and be fun

·         Of fear

·         Of loneliness

·         Of alcohol, and  pharmaceuticals (you know when you’ve crossed the line)

·         Of clothes that don’t fit

·         Of trying to make someone like you, love you, or care about you

·         Of being mediocre

·         Of anything that is not truly you

·         Of the notion that you are not good enough

Lay aside any weight that holds you down and  run this race with patience and joy.

Not easy, but do-able.

I love you

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 178 of Your Year to Wellness; Hands and Feet

Hands and Feet; The Real Revealer
A photographer once told me that he could not guess my age. He said that he’d tried but couldn’t figure out where to place me. I smiled and said, “Well, it must be the dimples.” I was already in my 50s at the time and knew that genetics could get you through your twenties, but you’d better have a great attitude and good products afterwards.
I told him that my dimpled smile, also helped. He laughed and told me that all of that was nice, but that the real age revealer was the hands. He said the feet were also a give-away, but many women knew to cover them and some even had surgery to correct the problem. Unlike crow’s feet or a sagging jaw line, the hands often went unnoticed, but it was what he and others like him check out first.
My mother was 87 when she died and she had the most amazing hands. She had long fingers and thick nail beds. Her hands gave her the appearance of a lady of leisure, but her hands were the hands of a working woman.
We used to joke that laundry was my mother’s hobby. She washed on scrub boards, a wringer washing machine and by hand. She refused to go to the dry cleaner’s having worked at one when she was younger. She said that the chemicals were extremely harsh and if you didn’t care about the clothes, you should surely care about your skin.
My mother also worked in a nursing home, lifting and cleaning patients all day and often on double shifts. I believe that the amount of activity she did actually helped her to have beautiful hands. She also made sure that she kept them clean and moisturized.
My mother’s feet were a completely different story. She walked to work in shoes that had holes in them so she lined them with newspaper. My mother stood on her feet all day. They were wet from the old shoes, rain and sweat giving her athlete’s foot. The activities that strengthened and beautified her hands had the exact opposite effect on her feet.
I am not here to endorse products or programs. You might have noticed that there are no banners or advertisements on this blog. I get up every morning and write it because I want to, not because I’m paid to. So when I find something wonderful, I can share it without any strings attached.
When I was at Red Mountain Spa in Utah, I was introduced to a method that was designed for your hands and feet. Actually, the method goes much deeper acting as a myofascial release approach, by increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage to the fascia; the soft tissue component of the connective tissue which provides support and protection for most structures in the body, including your muscles.
The M.E.L.T. ( Myofascial Energetic Length Technique) method is amazing. It produced the most immediate results of any exercise I have ever performed.
So why have the DVD and little balls that come with it been sitting on my bedroom desk for months untouched?
When I first tried and purchased the program, I did it daily. I could feel the difference in my joints and movement, but last year when I broke my hand and then two toes in unrelated accidents, I gradually stopped using them. Like with any good habit that is broken, I slowly walked away.
 But a few nights ago when I had a long lay-over in Atlanta, I decided to walk from where I landed to my connecting flight. Instead of taking the commuter train, I walked the entire airport and was rewarded with the joy I get from walking and the tired feet to match.
The next day, my aching feet begged me to put the DVD in and I was immediately reminded of why I fell in love with this program. My feet and hands felt new, but even more amazing was how my neck, back and joints felt.
You can find out more at
Until then, get out a small racquet or tennis ball and roll it under and over your hands and feet.
Your hands do the work and your feet get you there. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 177 of Your Year to Wellness; The Most Powerful Intention

Wishing You Well

Yesterday, I was reminded of an important lesson and immediately applied it; the results were nothing short of miraculous.

We all have friends who we rarely see or communicate with, and then when we do, we are capable of connecting as if there were no time or space between meetings. My sister/ friend Gina is one of mine.
Yesterday, we had the chance to sit and talk for about an hour and it was golden.
We inquired about each other’s children and she told me about her son’s adjustment to his new baby sister. I have only heard stories and seen pictures of her son, and I am always amazed at how enlightened this beautiful boy is.
Yesterday, Gina shared that one morning, as she drove him to school, they passed a woman and two children whose car had been in a wreck. The car appeared totaled and the family huddled closely by; frightened but physically unharmed. The police were already on the scene and were handling the situation, but Gina’s son began to worry for the family; would the children get to school on time; would they be okay.
Then, suddenly he remembered what he could do and said, “Oh yeah Mommy, I will wish them well.”
This young child understood the power of the intention and he applied it.
So yesterday while I was on my way back to the airport. Gina’s friend and co-worker, Susan drove me in her beautiful bright yellow VW Beetle. As we chatted about life a large SUV ran over something that looked like it could have been a large mattress and then spun wildly out of control.
We were on the freeway and the fast moving vehicle swerved in our direction and was rapidly moving right at us.
Susan’s daughter is now in her twenties, but Susan must have flashed back to when she was a child. She acted quickly and reflexively used her own arm as a crash bar to protect me from the collision that seemed inevitable.
“He won’t hit us," I told her. "We are fine."
I continued to wish wellness to the two men in the SUV.
It kept spinning and was coming closer; there was nowhere for us to go. Then suddenly; with only an inch or two between us, both cars came to a complete stop.

I opened my window to the two young men whose faces were right next to mine and asked if they were okay. They were shaking and a little in shock. “Did you see that thing in the road?” They asked. “Yes,” I told them “and you are well. Everything is okay.”

The police were coming up behind us, so we drove on to the airport. Susan was amazingly calm and collected and when we got out of the car, she could feel the impact of what had just happened. We hugged and wished each other well.

I smiled to myself and thought of Gina’s son and how earlier that morning Gina and I had wondered what the world would be like if we all wished each other well.

Today, try it. Send good thoughts and wishes to everyone you encounter; those you know and don’t know. Do it for those you like and the ones you don’t care for.
Wish wellness on everyone you meet and watch how it comes back to you.

I wish you well.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 176 of Your Year to Wellness; Reborn to Live

Reborn to Live

Yesterday, as I stood in line to board what would be an extremely crowed plane, I saw him. I had read about him and seen him portrayed in movies, but I’d never been close enough to nod my head in support and sympathy.

In front of me, boarding the plane before everyone else was that soldier who escorts the remains of a fallen comrade. I watched as he placed the hat on the empty seat next to him and felt the tears stream down my face. I felt for the mother, the father, for the family and friends who had lost someone dear to them and I cried for that escort who nodded back to me.

As others boarded the plane, I knew they were not aware of the importance of our flight. They complained about people who moved too slowly and the lack of space in the overhead compartments. An irate family yelled at the flight attendant and gate agent telling them that their luggage had better make it to the plane. The woman demanded that a car seat be rented for her. The gate agent calmly explained that they had two choices; they could either take their seat on the plane that was already delayed or they could deplane and wait for their luggage and the next flight. The man said that he would take his seat, but if his things did not arrive with him, there would be trouble.

I wondered how they would have responded if they had known about the hat in the seat and then I remembered that I could only work on me. The man in the seat next to me showed me pictures of his nephew born just that day and of his wife and kids and then it happened.

Just before the plane landed, the pilot made the announcement asking everyone to remain seated until the escort had left the plane.

Everything went silent, and while the engines still roared, I could not hear them. The soldier made his way to the front door and everyone applauded, but the door was not yet open, so he stood there bravely fighting the tears that had formed in the corner of his eyes. His face flushed but his chest and sholdiers were squared and strong. The silence was amazingly beautiful and I hoped that the living realized that things like time and space only mattered when they were occupied with love.

After we all got off the plane, everyone stood at the window and silently watched as the remains of fallen soldier started the trip to its final resting place, for that soldier; his spirit was long gone, leaving only his remains to remind us that we should live.

I called my brother Kevin, the 32 year Marine and I told him I loved him and was grateful for him.
I’m in Cleveland for a graduation of adults at the University of Phoenix; folks who somehow realized that if you ain’t dead, you ain’t done. So they went back to school to do what they had longed to do and they made it happen. Like the spirit of the fallen soldier, the Phoenix rises from the ashes and is reborn.
Today, I am reborn and I am reminded to live.

What can you do with the life that is left? What goal can you reach? What dream can be fulfilled?

Dream, reach, strive, laugh, breathe, love; stop complaining, worrying and fretting, waiting. Don’t waste another moment to do what you set out to do. LIVE.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 175 of Your Year to Wellness; Pushing Through

The Outcome is Better Than What You Go Through

People who know me will tell you that I a neither a “half full” nor a “half empty” kind of person; for me the glass is always completely full.
There are molecules and particles unseen to the eye, so just because I can’t see them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
Like anyone though, there are times when some days seem a bit more difficult than others; days when I feel like I can’t roll my own self over to get up and out of my own bed.
Yesterday, my kids and I did something that we have not done for a long time; we a had two movie day. Years ago when I had been traveling and had missed several of the new movies they wanted to see, we would have a two-movie day. The movies were already discounted and on their way out of the theatre, so if they’d completed all of their chores and had done well in school, they’d be rewarded with two movie day. I typically slept through these movies but always had to relive them on the way home and even afterwards as they recited favorite lines from movies like Nemo and the Lion King.
Yesterday, there was no animation; just live action and CG’s (computer graphics---the kids hipped me to that one.) We saw Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (the book was amazing and so was the movie) and then we saw Prometheus (I was praying for Nemo). I had to close my eyes in both movies, but unfortunately you can’t close your ears and mine were killing me.
This morning, I had a headache and didn’t want to get up to write, exercise or do anything else, but I pulled out an old trick that I use to get myself together.
Today, I’d like to share one of my crazy tips for getting over the hurdle days. It’s a simple thing, but it is rather unorthodox, so please stay with me.
I allow my future self to speak to my present. (I already said it was crazy, so close your mouth.)
Remember, we can’t see and don’t know everything, so open you heart and try something new.

This morning, the me from tomorrow, the one who will be speaking at the graduation that I have to catch a flight for today, told me that there was a group of hard working adults who have worked even harder to complete a degree. They have deferred gratification long enough to get what they will need and now it is time to celebrate, encourage and remember.
My future me reminded me that I needed to do laundry, complete a chapter on a book and answer email. Then she gave me the goods; she said that all of this would be done and I would feel great when it was accomplished. She said that she remembered when I was struggling to complete my doctoral degree and thought I would never finish but she showed up and showed me the life I have now. She reminded me how I thought I’d never be able to raise my kids on my own. She had shown me the first day they came to me when the 19 year old was just 3 months old and how I knew nothing about raising no babies. “Look how far you have come,” she said.
So I pushed through the headache and the tinnitus which is always worse when I’m tired or exposed to loud noises. I pushed through that old “I’m fat” feeling that comes from time to time and I got up, made my bed, said thank you and did my morning prayers and meditations.
I watched as my future self merged with the present me and I actually danced as I put a load of clothes in the washing machine.
We all have tough days; but always remember that the outcome is so much better than what you go through.

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 174 of Your Year to Wellness; Taking Control

Changing Your Channel

Yesterday I got back home after a great time working and an amazing time playing. I was with a group of over worked underappreciated folks who work in hospital food service and then I hung out with two of my sisters. I was flying out first thing in the morning, so of course we laughed all night.
When I got in, I was more tired than normal so I decided to take a nap but it became an all-day sleep-in.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and had a difficult time trying to read, so I decided to try to watch something on TV instead; I should have stuck with the book.
I was watching a sweet little story on the Hallmark channel called The Magic of Ordinary Days. It was about a young woman, played by Kerri Russell, who got pregnant by a soldier on leave who was forced to marry a nice stranger; played by Skeet Ulrich; the thinking woman’s Johnny Depp. I know sounds great, right?
With the exception of me trying to understand why the woman could not love the incredibly wonderful farmer dude played by the Skeet, the movie actually had my attention. What drove me nuts and made me try to find the well hidden remote (no I could not get up and turn the TV off like in the old days) was the fact that there were more commercials than there was movie and each one was more menacing than the next.
I began to fear for my identity, my money and my health. Let me explain; these commercials informed me that right then at that moment, someone was trying to steal my identity. The next one was about wealth building and how I was losing money and the IRS was going to take it and where is that remote.
Then came the obligatory you can lose weight by tomorrow commercials and all I wanted to do was find out if Kerri was ever going to love Skeet.
I kept thinking that TV was like a cigarette company; they sell you on the tobacco and all the cool that comes with it, but they’re really delivering nicotine. In the process, you are addicted and can’t control it. (Where is the remote?)
In my haze, I began to wonder what life would be like if it came with a remote control. I could stop the drama I didn’t want and turn to something informative. I could fast forward past the commercials and watch only what I wanted to see.
 Then suddenly without warning, my TV went black and I didn’t know why. A few moments later, it came back on and it occurred to me that I do have a remote and I am in control of the channels; it’s called choice.
 I can choose drama or comedy and I can choose action. Your life can be a thriller or it can be a musical. You can fast forward past the commercials or you can get hooked on someone else’s pitch.

I finally did find the remote; so I turned off the TV and tuned into my own dreams. And yes, Kerri finally fell for Skeet.

Be you, be well, Choose your own story.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 173 of Your Year to Wellness; Dumbing Down

Keep rising

Fitting In by Putting You Down

They say that confession is good for the soul so here it is; a few days ago, I told my daughter that I often find myself trying to dumb down just to fit in. Now since I’m telling the whole truth I’ll tell you that I don’t call it “dumbing down” because I really have a problem with embracing my smarts. I think I’ve been accused of “trying to be smart,” one too many times.
My daughter actually jumped up and screamed, “Oh, mommy me too,” she said. “I want to tell people, I don’t know anything about the Kardashians and I don’t care, but I know plenty of other things I’d like to discuss.”
She told me that she often felt the need to be less than herself just to fit in. We both shook our heads and acknowledged that intelligence and the desire to learn should never be hidden but realized that in the real world it’s often ignored, frowned upon and even rejected.

Then I remembered back when I was told by my daughter's teachers that she and her siblings did not iteract much with other students. I asked my normally chatty crew what could be the matter and they told me that all the other kids watched and talked about television shows and that because they didn't watch TV during the week, they had nothing to say. I relented to the no TV during the week rule and at first they were all happy, but then they took to watching nature shows, PBS programming and shows on the Discovery and History channels.

My youngest daughter watched popular shows and then researched them. I had to laugh when the teachers then told me that they still didn't fit in because they were trying to be "too smart." I wanted to say "Hey isn't it your job to ignite a passion for learning."
I reminded my daughter of all of this and she laughed and said "Once a nerd, always a nerd."
I told her that she should never feel that she is above anyone else, but she shouldn’t feel beneath them either.
Now, I believe that what we tell our children is what God is also trying to tell us, so I recognized my own truth and I decided that from that day on I would rejoice in my intelligence, always seek wisdom and understanding and would celebrate who I am becoming. I asked my daughter to do the same and so we shook hands on it.
I’ve got an early flight and a new book to read, so let me get to what I hope will be a great lesson for you.
Today ask yourself the following:

·         In an attempt to seem more normal, are you hiding your greatness?

·         Do you try to make others feel better by putting your own self down?

If you do either of these, STOP.

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 172 of Your Year to Wellness;Taking The Role of The Other

In Someone Else’s Shoes

I’m at a beautiful resort in Miami. After being carted to my room, Miami style, I was happy to see that I had an enormous end room complete with an outdoor patio. I also noticed that there was a quaint lobby area outside my front door and the ice machine and maid’s closet were right on the other side of me.
So late last night when the party people came in I was not surprised. They were loud and happy so I tried to remember that I was at a resort and I tried to sleep before an early morning lecture. I found my way back to REM and was greeted with a party on the other side.
Then this morning I was awakened again; this time by the loud voices of the cleaning staff preparing for their day. Some spoke in English, some in Spanish and I was amazed that after so many years I could still hear my High School Spanish teacher’s drills. I could pick out the Puerto Rican accents from the Cuban dialect that was similar to that of my undergraduate professor, Dr. Martha Perez and I smiled as I remembered her arroz con pollo, pero, para mi; sin pollo.
I wanted to be angry. I wanted to call someone to tell them that at 3 a.m. This should not be, but then something wonderful happened; I took the role of the other.
I thought about having to leave your home and family so early in the morning to be at work. I thought of the bus ride to this remote area and I thought of the hard work that would be done throughout the day. With these thoughts in mind, I listened again and could hear that every one of those voices sounded happy. No one complained about the early morning job that had to be done. As I listened to the joy in their voices, I realized that it was time for me to be up anyway and so I laughed at myself.
I’m in Miami speaking to the Association of Healthcare Foodservice and I am reminded of how easy it is for the sick to complain about the one thing they think they can control; their hospital food. As I walked around yesterday and saw just some of the preparation and information that goes into the work that these amazing folks do, I realized how much we don’t see. There are classes and information on everything from ethics, contract negotiation, healthcare and safety to issues of environmental protection. These professionals don’t just need to know how to cook for the sick, they also have to know how to nourish and help them heal.
It’s easy to judge, complain and criticize the behavior of others when we don’t consider the lives and the work behind the work, but when you put yourself in their shoes, you can see so much better.

Today, take a look from the perspective of others and enjoy the view.

Be you, be well, SEE and be grateful
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 171 of Your Year to Wellness; Feet Firmly Planted

Flying With Your Feet Firmly Planted

I’ve been doing a bit of time travel lately. I know, sounds crazy even to me, but that’s exactly how my past few days have felt. I spent a few days at the same beach I hung out at 30 years ago. Back then I “ran” with a bunch of folks from the theatre department. We'd go to the beach to swim and would end up singing and reciting lines from old movies.
On Sunday evening, my sister Chris and I spent about 5 hours at a gospel concert with folks like the Gospel QC’s, Dottie Peoples and Shirley Caesar. Then yesterday, my daughter asked if we could go to the local bamboo farm to take pictures. As I ran barefoot through fields of green I thought back to my childhood when I longed for days like that one and I realized that my dreams had come true.
I grew up in a Pentecostal church listening to the kind of music I heard a few nights ago. Back then, it was all I listened to. When I went to college, I was exposed to music that had already been popular and I learned to embrace a bigger world through the eyes of friends in theatre and music.
I majored in sociology, still I was welcomed into the small circle of elite performers as something of an oddity; a girl with talent who preferred research to a chance at the big time. When I graduated from Jacksonville University, I had two job offers; one performing with a theatre group and one doing research for the Victim Assistance Agency of Jacksonville. I could get paid to act and sing, or I could go to work developing research tools to understand the needs of crime victims; I chose the research job and then later went off to graduate school.
 I used to wonder how my life might have differed but then I stop wondering and just kept on living.
I earned a doctoral degree by the time I was 26, hosted a nationally syndicated talk show, have been able to sing and record with amazing performers and I get to write.
As I walked along the beach, listened to gospel music and ran through a field, I looked back to see that I am right where I dreamed of being; in the center of a life full of choices. I can choose my music, my work, and the people I hang out with all because I dared to dream, dared to learn and decided to truly live.

Today, take a quick look back and see where your dreams have brought you.

Be you, be well, be aware that you occupy both time and space

Bertice Berry, PhD.
Dottie Peoples bringing the joy

Me running with it

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 170 of Your Year to Wellness; When My Neighbor Does Well...

The Sun shines for us all

When My Neighbor Does Well I Do Well Too

In the United States we have been raised on the idea that we should want to be the envy of our neighbor. That socialization has gone something like this:

You drive a new car down the block and all of the neighbors come out to admire your good fortune. At first they are smiling but then their faces turn to jealousy and envy as they compare your new vehicle to their old one.

You go out to mow your lawn and it’s looking good, then suddenly you hear the sound of twenty lawn mowers as your neighbors begin to cut and out hedge you.

Your daughter is getting married and you throw a lavish event, so all of your friends and neighbors go broke out lavishing you.

And on and on and the out lavishing and out doing never ends.

It’s time we take a more holistic approach; one that recognizes and ancient wisdom that says when my neighbor does well, I do well too.

Last year one of my neighbors lost his job. His wife called to say that they would be selling their home and if I knew of anyone who might be interested to please let her know. I told her that I would keep a look out but wondered what magic she thought I could bring since my house was on the market as well. (After raising 5 kids here, I can now move to a smaller home.)

My sister and had been thinking good thoughts, keeping them in our intentions and focused meditations and we believed with them that all would be restored.

Last week we heard news that made us dance. The husband not only got a new job, they were relocated and his company bought his home.

We danced and sang with and for them. Their joy was our joy and we actually felt that it had happened to us too.

It’s time that we all grow up beyond our jealousy and envy. When we truly rejoice for the success of others, we will feel and reap the joys of that success as well.

That’s it. I’ve gotta go. I still have some dancing to do.

Be you, be well, be happy for someone else.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 169 of Your Year to Wellness; Listening to Your Heart

Listening to Your Heart

There is a great deal of research which indicates that our heart knows the truth, so the question becomes, why don’t we listen? I’m not talking about the big things like who to love and what job to take; I mean those everyday indicators that tell us to love our own self. ---Okay, maybe I am talking about the big things.
Your heart knows when you are in a rut, it knows when you are not being true to yourself and it knows when you need a break.
So today, I am telling you with all my heart to listen to your heart.
We are connected; there is no space between us; so allow my heart to speak to you.

Take a moment for yourself.

Believe that you are wonderful, loveable and incredible.

Seek wisdom, but also get an understanding.

Take better care of yourself. Take a long bath, long walk, sing a long song or listen to a long piece of music. In other words, take the time you need to do what you need.

Expect the best and accept it when it is given to you.

Ignore the lies and things said about you in anger.

Be more loving, more loveable, more likeable more you.

Read a book, take a break, do a little dance.

Breathe and breathe again.

Be still and know that God is love.

Love you, love me, love your heart.

That’s it, my heart says to tell your heart to go and live.

Be you, be well, listen to your own heart.
Bertice Berry, PhD.