Monday, March 25, 2013

Art of Living Week 12--It's The God in Me

It’s the God In Me

In 1897 and 1903 fragments of an ancient Greek version of the Gospel of Thomas were found during an excavation in Egypt. The archeologists later found 5,000 more fragments of Gospels including the Gospel of Mary.
Stay with me, this is not going to be a lesson in Theology or archeology but a lesson in you.

Among those fragments was a passage that gives me great strength.

J[esus] said, "[If] those pulling you [say to you, 'Look,] the kingdom is in the sk[y,]' the birds of the sk[y will go before you. Or if they say t]hat it [is] beneath the ground, the fish of the se[a will go in, preced]ing you. And the king[dom of God] [i]s within you [and outside you. Whoever] knows [himself will] find this [and when you] know yourselves [you will know that] you are [children] of the l[iving] father. [But if] you will [not] know yourselves, [you are] in [poverty] and you are the pov[erty.]"

Coptic version:
Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

We are looking for God in anything but ourselves. We are only half right; God is in everything and everyone, including you.
When you know yourself, you will be known.

This week, I’d like you to identify those moments when you feel the presence of God dwelling within you. How does It manifest?
For me, it’s not a holy boldness, or the ability to do or have something; when I feel God in me, as me, I simply feel and know that I am good enough.

This may be a bit much for some of you, and I understand. I grew up believing that God lived in the sky and only came out to punish his bad children.
If you can bend your own beliefs to receive this then you will become known.

If not, keep loving yourself until you can.

I love you and I know that there are many roads to home.

Be you, be well, be known.
Bertice Berry, PhD.
Order a Year to Wellnes and Be Known


Friday, March 22, 2013

Working In My Sleep

Working in my sleep:
click on the link below and check out my day work

Working in My Sleep

Last week I heard a young man say that he wished there 26 hours in a day. That way, he said he could get more work done.
I smiled and gave the young man a look of wisdom. I stared at him until he felt uncomfortable and then I asked a question; “Do you know why there are 24 hours in a day?”
He said he didn’t and so I made my move; “There are 24 hours in a day because if there were any more, all of the type A people would kill themselves.”
He laughed and thanked me and we went our separate ways and I felt that I had earned another day’s membership to AARP.
Most hard working people stay up way too late, but I like to go to bed early. I’ve written about my love for working in the early morning hours, but now I’d like to share an even richer secret; I work in my sleep.
I know it sounds crazy, but some of the best things we have, we utilize, and enjoy were created from someone’s dreams.
You’ve got work to do, so I’ll just get to it.
Tonight before going to sleep write down something you’d like to work out. It can be a project, a relationship or even a question you have about your own past.
Carl Jung said that dreams were a completion of the day’s activities, and my mama said in your dreams you can have whatever you want.
Keep paper and pen near you and when you wake up, start writing. Don’t even open your eyes; just write.
There is a space between sleep and awake where we actually begin to forget the things we did in our subconscious. I find that by keeping my eyes closed when I start to write, I am still able to hold on to the thought.
Everyone dreams, but most of the time, we don’t remember the dream.
When you feel that you can recall what you dream, open your eyes and write down the impressions you got.
Whenever I’m working on a project and I need an outline, or blueprint, I take my work to sleep.
Sounds crazy I know; I learned it from Einstein.
Here’s a link to my TEDx presentation and something else I picked up from imagination and dream-work. Enjoy. The Space Between Life and Laughter

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week 11: Deleting Old Files

No hair--but I still have a head and I
still have a heart...and big glasses

Deleting Old Files

Okay boys and girls, let’s get down to the hard work. It’s time to delete the old files on your system’s hard drive.
You have been living your life based on old ideas, beliefs and teachings which no longer serve you so it’s time to hit delete.
In theory this should be easy, but in practice, it’s anything but. Our beliefs are a part of who we are and they help to shape us, but they can also be limiting.
I’m not talking about the big things like prejudice and misinformation I’m talking about that one word sentence that has plagued you forever; CAN’T.
When you were a child you were constantly told what you could not do. This was done to protect you and therefore “could not” was really “should not.” You couldn’t cross the street because you might get hit by a car, but as you got older, the “should not” became “can not.”
Stay with me, because this will get a little tricky. You now tell yourself what you cannot do and then you rationalize it.
“I can’t cross the street because it’s dangerous on the other side.”
I’ve been rethinking a lot of my old files concerning what I can or cannot do. I’m learning that you can teach an old dog a new trick.
We stay in our ruts and repeat the old patterns because we are programmed to do so. If we got the right results from a bad behavior even once, we will continue that bad behavior looking for that once in a lifetime result.
It’s time to try something new. It’s time to delete the files that no longer operate replacing them with something that bares good results.
I was raised in a culture that believed that a woman’s hair is her crown and glory. I never thought about it, or gave much credence to the belief but it was there on my hard drive.
It’s easy to not care about your hair when you have lots of it; but when I had a head injury and had to let the hair go, I cared about hair I no longer had.
I give more thought to my head with no hair than I did with it because I had that old idea about a woman’s crown and glory somewhere in the back of my mind. It’s no wonder that we spend so much time with something that’s already dead; we have given hair a life all its own.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to look at a bunch of old stuff; the behaviors and practices that no longer fit. I’d take them to be recycled, but this junk is as useful as one of those big floor model TVs that no longer works; it takes up valuable space, collects dust, and does nothing.

·         Find a meditation class, book or CD (okay MP3,) and learn to go into your system.

·         Take a real and wonderful look at what you’ve been storing.

·         When you find something that no longer serves you---delete and reboot.

Life is for living and growing and sharing; find your fun and run with it.
Be you, be well, be living.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 11: System Restore

Look at yourself through a
diffferent window(s)

System Restore

What if you lost everything on your hard drive? Relax, I’m not talking about the one on your computer, I’m talking about the one in you.
What if every idea, thought and belief was somehow erased leaving you only with the basic functions. Who would you be and how would you survive?

Here is the simple truth, you have spent more time backing up and protecting your computer files and online identity than you have protecting your own self.

Last night, I watched a documentary that my friend Daria recommended. She had prepared me for the nudity and some of the content, but I was not prepared for the willingness with which people give up their beliefs in order to follow the guru and the crowd.

Let me explain, the documentary was about a group of people who attended a week-long workshop. The film opens on the attendees arriving. They all swiped their credit cards before entering and then the session began. Within minutes folks were standing naked introducing themselves to one another and saying whatever came to mind.
I tried to watch without judgment (or critique because let’s face it some folks look better in clothes) and for a while, I was doing a good job. Then I noticed a few things that just kept bothering me; the folks were not allowed to leave the place while attending and they were told to question everything.

Okay, I get it, the guru wants them to really think outside of their boundaries; but here’s the thing midway through most folks had abandoned their belief in monogamy, but they had somehow adopted a belief in aliens.
Alright, this is not a film critique, but you must admit, it was a great starting point. Here’s the thing, we all need to question our own beliefs, ideas and even our gurus and ministers; but we must do it for and by our self.

From time to time, we need to do a system restore. We need to delete old files and update our hardware. We need to get rid of old programs and replace them with something based on new findings.

This week, we will take a hard, long look ---keep your mind off of the documentary---at our beliefs and old ideas. What can you get rid of? What can you update?
I won’t ask you to take your clothes off and you won’t have to divorce anybody. You will have to question your own junk.

Stay with me, it’s going to be a beautiful ride.

Be you, be well, be restored.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Week 10 See Yourself Better

Seeing Yourself Better

If you want to see the world in a better light, you have to see yourself that way first.
That’s the plain and simple of it, because the way we see the world is the way we see ourselves. Our own insecurities cloud our vision.
If you don’t believe me read an email at night when you are tired and then read the same email early in the morning. You already know what I mean.
When you are tired and have the stress of the day on you, everything else will be seen through the window of that stress. After you have rested and rejuvenated your body and mind you will see things in a clearer light.
I’m going to let you in on a secret; the best hours of the day for seeing and creating are from 3:00am to 6:00am. During this time, vibrations are much higher. Things are quiet and your mind is much clearer.
Now I know I’ll hear from some late-night folks on this, but give it a try anyway; tonight, go to bed as early as possible and then get up as early. Aside from feeling much more rested, you will also find that your mind is much, much sharper.
You can go back to bed, but before you do, imagine yourself the way you want to be seen. Imagine yourself as healthy and whole. See the beauty in your own eyes that you want to reflect for others. Tell yourself that you are better today than you were 10 years ago and begin to believe it.
Write down a plan for the things you’d like to see happen for you and for those around you. Visualize the peace, joy and happiness you need and then create your plan for living it.
Everything starts with a mental image; clear your mind before painting on the canvas.

Be you, be well, see yourself that way.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 10: How Can I Change?

Watching a TV from a hotel mirror...
still watching old shows

What Can You Change?

Today I’d like you to ask yourself this powerful question: “What can I change—about me?”

I don’t mean your physical appearance, I mean your you.

How can you change before change happens to you?

A few days ago, I began to think about the technological changes we have made. When email was first introduced into the workplace, most folks were kicking and biting. Now, if you were to suggest getting rid of it, those same folks would be willing to enter a cage match.

I recently asked my daughter if she had gotten my email and she laughed. “Mom, she said, you are the only person who sends me email?”

I asked her if she was serious and she told me that some of her professors send email but most of them just send a post. “How do you communicate with people,” I asked. She told me that she “connects” to friends who live all over the world and uses a translation app to communicate and learn a new language. She said that she uses another site to post her wonderful photos and shares them with her people. She talks to friends in Germany about a popular band there and she communicates with locals through text messages but rarely talks on the phone.

I reflected back on my mother’s joy when she was able to successfully send a fax. She was 87 when she died and had never driven a car but could ride a horse sidesaddle. (Alas, we had no horse---nor a need for the word alas.)

I’d laughed at my mother’s horse talk the same way my daughter does when she sends me a text message from her bedroom.

The world is changing around you, what can you change before you are forced to?

Can you be more loving? Can you read a new book that requires new thinking? Can you learn a new language? Can you take up a new hobby or learn a new craft? Can you learn to read music or play an instrument? Can you do something new?

You’ve got the rest of your life to keep on keeping on.

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


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

See the Truth in Yourself

Seeing the Truth in Yourself

The way we see the world is the way we see ourselves. That’s the plain and simple  truth but rather hard to take.

Still, deep inside, we know that it’s correct, that to our own self we must be true.

Yesterday, I was having a not so "pretty" day. This does not happen often, in fact, I look almost the same all of the time and I almost always feel beautiful. Somehow yesterday, I felt that I was less than that.

Everything seemed to be off, wrong and downright against me. I immediately knew the source of this conspiracy "against me"; it was me.

I shifted my thinking back into beautiful mode and the world went right. (Okay, I had the help of my sister and a very handsome friend who made me laugh at my own ridiculousness but we all need somebody to lean on.)
When we hide the truth of who we really are and how we truly feel, that truth creeps up in our attitude toward the world.

If you want to make the world a better place, start with you.

As you begin to feel better about yourself, you will feel better about the world you live in.
I know you have work to do, so I will let you get to it; but the real work is the work we all have to do on ourselves.

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”~~ Shakespeare's Polonius was speaking to his son Laertes, but was also speaking to himself.

What we tell our children, is also what God is telling us.

“Don’t worry about what Bookie is doing, worry about yourself.”~~Me to my son and God to me.

Be you, be well, be true to you.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, March 11, 2013

We Just Don't See It

Find a little joy wherever you are

We Just Don’t See It

Research and my mother point out that at any time there is much more good happening than there is bad; we just don’t see it.
We are wired, then socialized, then trained to find the bad so we can root it out like the Rotor Rooter Man, or worse;The Exorcist.
We watch a movie and zero in on what the director did wrong or what we didn’t like. We can go to a great restaurant, eat the food that someone else is paying for and talk about how some other place is much better.
We just don’t see the wonder and life that is happening all around us all of the time, because well---we just don’t want to.
I don’t know about you but I’m old enough and have been around long enough to fixate on all of my flaws. I know them inside and out. I know my flaws so well that when I do better, I tell myself that this is not good enough.
Today, I’d like you to take a temporary holiday from the job of witch-hunter and I’d like you to see the good.
Look closely and see the smile on the kid's face or the couple holding hands.
See the bird soar across the sky and watch as the squirrel stores a nut. If that doesn’t move you take note when someone actually says thank-you and someone else says please.
Look deep into your newspaper for that story that makes you smile and avoid the gossip magazines.
Look beyond the wrinkles on your own face and see the wisdom in your eyes.
Instead of looking for what’s wrong, today, I want to see what’s right.
“When a person seeks their Purpose, the Universe conspires to answer.”
Seek the truth and you will hear angels and my mother saying a hearty Amen.

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

Week 10: Stop and See

Stop, Look and See

Let’s jump right into this, because we have wasted enough of life’s precious moments.
This week, we will focus on focusing; the practice of actually seeing our own life.
Pay attention, because this is powerful yet simple and can pass you right by.
Read this and then do it.
 Close your eyes for a moment and take in the stillness. Allow yourself to be lost in nothingness before you. Then open your eyes. Look at everything around and before you.
Did you see something that you didn’t before? Where the colors more vivid or dull? Do you hear more clearly?
We don’t see most of what goes on around us and we appreciate even less.
This week, I’d like you to simply and wonderfully pay attention. Give attention to your ride to work and even more to the one back home.
Listen to the voice that is speaking and focus on nothing else. When you send an email or text message, do only that.
Drive without the radio and please don’t answer the cell phone. See and listen to the world around and inside of you.
Watch the birds and listen to their songs.
You will quickly find that there is a life behind the one you have been pretending to live.
Today, imagine a giant doorway. Imagine that as you walk up to it, it opens itself for you.
Walk through and see.

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

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Be Happy TODAY


The Message today is simple. Go out and find a way to be the joy you need.

Dance freely.
Sing loudly.
Smile Big.
Tell a joke and laugh before you finish.
Feed someone who is hungry.
Yield to those who want to be first.
Smile at every child you see.
Sleep the extra hour.
Love as if you are Love itself.
Call someone who is lonely.
Do what you say.


Be you, be well, be wonderful.
Bertice Berry, PhD.
Order a YEar to Wellness and HAVE FUN

Friday, March 8, 2013

Take Control of Your Happiness

Taking Control of Your Happiness

There are some who argue that our happiness is not up to us, that it is up to our genes and the circumstances around us. They are right, but only partly so.

Current research (and my mama) points out that your happiness is only 50% genetic. You may be genetically predisposed to be happy or less happy; still the other 50% is up to you.

In Western cultures, we have been socialized to believe that having more, looking better and being the best in whatever we do will make us happy.

We are only now beginning to see that not only will this not make us happier (someone who is richer, wealthier and of a higher status always walks into our room,) but the constant pursuit of these areas will tend to make us unhappy.

So what’s a gorgeous woman to do? The answer is simple but the application takes dedication: go inside yourself and seek ways to actually be a better person.
It turns out that personal growth, better relationships and community involvement will do much more to boost your happiness scores that losing weight ever could.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t control the weather; so I’ve decided to live with it and be happy. When I have a flight that connects in the middle of a storm, I go around it. It may cost me more to do so, but I’m grateful that I can afford to.

When things seem a bit off, and I feel like I have not done enough in the Universe or I begin to feel fat, I talk to one of my kids who always remind me that I am crazy anyway and that life is good.
I may have to do the same for them the next day, and such is life.

We are here for one another. When you shine, you help others to do the same, but their happiness is not up to you. Your happiness is not up to them.
When someone rains on your parade, start singing in it. Read a book, watch a documentary about something you’ve always wanted to know about. Take a class, learn something from someone you need to feel better about and give thanks.

Every day won’t be rosy, but you can be the rose in your own day.

Be you, be well, be wonderful.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Find Your Joy

Find YOUR Joy

A big part of happiness requires that you find the thing that gives you joy. The trouble lies in the fact that most of us have been told what to like when to like it and who to like doing it with. (Really-- no pun intended.)

When I was a kid, I loved to sing. I sang before I could talk; I sang the words I wanted to say or I’d hum just for the pure joy of it. I’d make up songs as if I’d been born to it and I was.

Even now when I write a song, I hear it in its complete form; lyrics, melody and all; so why is it that I’m not a singer.

Somewhere along my path in life, I was told that I could not be a singer; that I was not the “type” that people would pay to hear. I wasn’t pretty enough to sing.

Even as I write this, I can hear the crazy logic, but this is the way of our world; we think the voice must come from a pretty person and then someone else decides what pretty is.
I don’t regret not being a singer; I regret very few things.

Here’s the thing, singing gives me joy. Composing gives me joy, so I do both.
I may not do them for a living, but I do it for life. When I’m tired or frustrated, I sing. When I’m happy or sad; I sing.

Singing connects me to myself; it gives me joy and makes me happy.

Find your thing and let it fulfill you; let it lift you up.
Take a class and learn your craft. Join a group of others who love what you love and build a community around your “thing.”
Folks who connect around something they enjoy age better than those who sit alone.

Life is for living; do it with joy.
By the by, you can go to my website (Click here)

Click on the services page and make sure your volume is up.
Hope you like my song---find yours.

Be you, be well, be happy.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Being Happy or Being Right

Being Happy or Being Right

Our ego needs to be right, but our soul longs to be happy. So why do we strive to best others with our right-ness?
True happiness enables you to let go of the constant need to be right enabling you to allow others to teach you.

A few nights ago when I landed from a long flight, I went looking for the driver who had been scheduled to pick me up; none was there.

I had been traveling all day and still had an hour long drive to go. I was tired and just wanted to be in the bed of a strange hotel. I quickly became frustrated and a little angry. The anger spiraled into an indictment of the folks who were hosting me.

I stood looking around and stared at my schedule hoping that a phone number would manifest, but none did, so I began to get nervous. Suddenly out of nowhere, something told me too breathe and smile and so I did.
When I did, the woman who ran the information desk came up and asked if I needed any help. I told her what was happening and she began to tell me how drivers usually stand and wait with a sign. I was about to become frustrated again; I had been picked up by a driver before and knew how the whole driver-thing worked.

I smiled and just let her know what she knew and when I did the woman suddenly became my heroine. She appeared to be much older than me, but she ran outside with a gate and speed that made her suddenly look like a youngster. She walked up and down until she found a driver from the company my host had hired and had him call to confirm my ride.
There had been a mistake. The company had scheduled my pickup for the following night, but the driver was prepared to take me on my journey.

The driver told me that my people were the ones in error and I smiled and said "Thank-you." When I did, he called in to make sure that I had a pick-up to go back to the airport. I didn’t but he assured me that it would be handled.
When I got to the hotel, I was told that I didn’t have a room. I just smiled and said, “That may be, but could you check again.” The woman did and found my room.

I was amazed by the response of folks when I simply allowed them to be right. More importantly, I was amazed by the response when I let go of my need to be.
Today, look for opportunities to let go of your ego. Enable those around you to know what they know and do what they do.

I know, you have to stay on top of things, but maybe, just maybe, you can be involved without trying to control the whims and will of others.
Seek happiness and joy rather than rightness and authority. I believe that you can have both, but one will bring the other and one will bring frustration.

I could tell you which is which, but, I’ll be happy and let you be right.

Be you, be happy, be whole.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Art of Living Week 9: Being Happy

If your'e happy and you know it
clap your hands

Being Happy

Truly living rather than merely existing requires that you learn to be happy. I don’t mean faking it, or smiling until you feel like smiling, I mean being truly happy; so happy that when life does happen and you encounter the inevitable suffering, you are able to recover.
People have been researching depression for hundreds of years but in contrast, we have studied happiness for only a few. What we have learned in these few years though can have a great impact on how you live and how to live more fully.
Research shows that happy people are more productive, creative and healthy. Happy people live longer and are more active.
Most people seek happiness from outside of themselves, but true happiness comes from within.
We seek wealth, status and an external beautiful image without seeking ways to be more for ourselves and the world we live in.
If we were to look inside ourselves seeking personal growth, ways to better our relationships and community involvement, we will find happiness that is everlasting.
This week, I’d like you to design your own 401  Happiness Plan. Begin by looking for something you have an interest in. Find a class in your community or online and enroll in it. Get a book on a subject of interest and start learning.
Make the commitment to better your relationships, starting with the one with yourself. Take yourself out to a movie or concert and learn to like you again.
While working on yourself, look for a ways to do for others. What do you know or have that you can share? The things you no longer need are needed by someone else.
The knowledge you have acquired can reduce the suffering of many.
This week, I will share what I am learning about happiness and joy. I hope you will take the time to learn, be and become happier with me.

Be you, be well, be happy.
Bertice Berrry, PhD.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fighting Fear with True Faith

Get up, get ready, get grateful

Overcoming Fear with True Faith

Okay, I’m excited to share so I’m going to jump right in.

Fear and insecurities go hand in hand. In fact, we fear that which we are insecure about.
Our anxieties usually stem from an early event or series of events that resulted in harm, failure, abuse and neglect.

As life goes on we either avoid or conquer this fear. Most often, we stand on the fringe of life even when our fear outweighs the real situation.

The number one fear for most folks is speaking in public; number 2 is death by dismemberment. WOW!

I speak publicly on a regular basis and I am not unlike anyone else; I am still nervous and somewhat afraid.

I calm my fear by what I know and what I believe; I know that the audience is as nervous about a presentation as I am about giving it. I also know that they are not hoping for my failure; they are hoping for my success, for something that will not put them to sleep. They are looking to learn or hear something new.

But this knowing is not enough. I can always imagine that someone is hoping that I fall on the stage so they can take a picture and put it on the internet. (You see my fear and imagination can do amazing things.)

I allow my faith to get me through; my faith in action takes the form of gratitude. I give thanks for what I will do and what I want to accomplish. I give thanks for the day, the audience and the outcome.

I give thanks to myself for years of study, discipline and training and I give thanks to the audience for showing up.

Of course I am grateful to God, but so is the rapper who gives thanks before getting his M-F-ing award. Our praise is often hollow; done for show.

We must do as the leper did when Jesus healed 10 but only 1 returned. That one said thank-you and to this Jesus said “Your faith has made you whole.”

What faith? The faith displayed in the form of gratitude.

Give thanks for what you desire because what we give energy to will only expand.

Be you, be faithful be fearless, be grateful.
                                                                       Bertice Berry, PhD.
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