Thursday, October 29, 2015

Don't Forget to Dream

Don’t Forget to Dream

This morning while walking, I was reminded of a dream I had many, many years ago.

When I was a child, I lived on a street that was actually an alley. There were two houses, rows of lime green storage garages and the clubhouse of a motorcycle gang. The motorcycle gang was called the Thunder Guards, and that’s exactly what they sounded like.

Back then, I dreamt of living in a peaceful place; a place like the Brandywine Park. 

The Brandywine was within walking distance so I was free to go there to dream. It was like a fairytale complete with a river, waterfalls and marsh grass. The trees were bright green and the air was sweet.
I dreamt of living in a place like that, far from the alley where I actually lived.

This morning while walking down my road, I remembered the dream and realized to my joy that I was standing in the center of that childhood dream.

As soon as I made the connection, I thought of the other dreams that have informed my life. I recalled how every night I wished on a star that one day I would be able to go to that faraway place called college, paid for by the father who would come and reclaim me.

I did get to college. It was with the help of a beautiful man named Terry Evenson who became like a father to me.

I dreamt that one day I would entertain, educate and uplift folks and that I’d be able to make a living at it and I do.

And I fantasized that one day I would write books that young dreamers like me would read and I’m doing that too.

Everything starts with a dream; every theory, idea and invention. Every book, song, building, park and fashion design started with someone’s imagination at work.

Today, take a moment to dream. Allow your mind’s eye to conjure the most wonderful and positive notion it can create and then give yourself 5 minutes to dream.

You be so glad that you did.
Be you, be well, be a dreamer.

Bertice Berry, PhD

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Stop Being Taken for Granted

Taken for Granted
Up and Out
I was truly sick and tired of being taken for granted; but then I realized that the taking had been done by me.

I wake up giving thanks, but giving thanks and being thankful are two different things.

Then it happened; I couldn’t breathe and was losing consciousness. I woke up on the floor and an EMT was standing over me.

A few days later, it was discovered that I have been pushing though severe adult onset asthma.

When I tell you that I am now grateful for every breath, ever word, every song; I truly mean.

I ain’t got time to be otherwise. I am even grateful for asthma----well, I’m getting there, me and my harmonica.
Asthma is severe, but so am I. 

I feel like I’ve been given a chance to truly see. All of the crap that has been bothering me is largely due to this thing that had gone undiagnosed.

I’m much better and I am grateful. I’m even grateful for the steroid effect---pumped up, but still here.

Whatever you are going through, keep smiling.
Keep breathing.
Keep being grateful.

Stop giving thanks to something out there and be thankful for you, because that’s where God is.

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

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Monday, October 26, 2015


At the big kids table

The theme of belonging keeps coming up. I heard it yesterday in a brilliant sermon and I keep seeing it on the faces of folks who just want to fit in. 
I sometimes feel it when I’m seeing myself as the kid who did not belong.

We all want to belong, and at times there will be someone who decides that you are just not worthy. The more you try to fit in; the more they shut you out.

This in-group thing happens all the time, everywhere. Even as adults we often struggle with the cliques of life.

Every week, I get the opportunity to speak to thousands of folks. I am enriched by the stories they confide and I am encouraged by the letters and love they share. Still, I sometimes fixate on the one that won’t let me in.

In a few weeks, I’ll be old enough to set the world on fire. I have decided, and I’d like you to do the same that I already belong; I always have.

Right now I am sitting at the cool kids table and even though it’s in my kitchen and no one else is here, I belong.

No one can put you on the outside of your own life. No one should be able to make you feel unworthy. (You have to give them permission.)

While you may want to be accepted by someone in particular; know that you accepted by those who love you.

Share with those who already LIKE your likes.

Spend time with those in need; they will be happy to see you.

Tell jokes to those who like to laugh.

Share books with those who read.

Maybe worthiness is really about knowing where to plant your feet.

BE you, be well, be loved.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Status Update

Not Just a Single Mother


It’s been a long time coming. I’m no longer a single mother; although I never truly felt like one. Whenever folks asked if I was a single, I told them no, that I have children.

 Now, I can proudly proclaim that my status has been updated. I am now a single grandmother.

For years, I’have endured the strangers who flash pictures of the newborn grandchild. I have listened to thousands of stories about babies who could raise the dead –I mean their grandfather.

For the most part, I listened attentively, or at least I thought I did. I had no idea why grown men wept at the sight of pictures they knew they had, or why women waxed poetic about a vacation of diaper changing.

I do now. My son’s and daughter-in-love's daughter Alayna Rose has brought me to that same place of crazy. I too ambush strangers with stories and pictures of the most beautiful baby on the planet.

It is with more pride than I deserve (because I was not in labor all night) that I declare my new status as a single grandmother.

BE you, be bold, be NEW

Hey grandma, I just turned 4 weeks old