“Learning to re-connect with and nurture our inner child is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves in adulthood” ~ Cezanne
Join me in the Gambia for 7 days of nurturing your Inner Child!
‘All children are artists, the problem is how to remain one when we grow up’ ~ Pablo Picasso
We were all naturally creative as children, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood some of us ‘lose it’.
Is your inner child crying out to be heard?
I was a blocked writer and artist for over 15 years; on this Retreat, I’ll take you through the same processes I went through to unblock, based on the book I credit with helping me to unblock, ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. The workshops are playful, nurturing, and designed to coax your inner child from out of the dark recesses of your mind, so that you can reconnect with your natural creativity. You will return home with something you created, and the tools to keep your creative juices flowing!
All materials will be provided, and I will always be on hand to guide you through this process.
I will also be teaching the benefits of Colour Therapy more indepth (I do an introductory workshop on The Self Love Retreat). I healed myself from Seasonal Affective Disorder (a form of depression caused by lack of natural sunlight) with the colours in my paintings. You will return home with something you’ve created using colours that will help you on your own Self-healing journey!
Leading up to the Retreat, I’ll give you two easy exercises that will help prepare you; your Morning Pages, and your weekly ‘Artist’s Dates‘. These will help you begin the process of nurturing your inner child! They are based on the book that helped me to unblock, ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
The ‘Nurture Your Inner Child‘ Retreat will held at my newly built 6 bed Retreat Home in Gunjur, which is 10 mins walk to the beach.
The total cost of the ‘Nurture Your Inner Child’ Retreat is only £599 per person (based on two sharing) which includes:
Breakfast & Dinner
5 Self nurturing workshops
All materials, including paints/brushes
Artist’s Date to feed your inner child IMAGES!
(N.B. Flights must be booked separately). There are only 8 PLACES (max) available to ensure you receive individual attention, book early to avoid disappointment!
Download the >> Booking Form <<, complete it and return to me by email asap
Secure your place with a £100 deposit and flexible monthly payments thereafter
If you have any queries, fill in the Contact Form:
*Full payment must be made a month prior to travel*
This is why it’s so important that you guard your subconscious mind, in fact the job of your conscious mind is to guard your subconscious mind. See, your subconscious mind is like a young child; it doesn’t think or reason for itself, it simply accepts any information given to it from your conscious mind, the (adult) gardener as facts. You can either plant your own seeds, or you can allow other people to plant seeds in your mind for you (this is generally what most people do). Your conscious mind takes IN-formation through what you see and what you hear, which determine the seeds that you plant. If this IN-formation is good, you’re going to feel good and plant positive thought-seeds. If the IN-formation’s not so good, you’re going to feel bad and plant negative thought-weeds in your subconscious mind. Now your emotions are the water which causes your thought-seeds to grow at a much faster rate. This is the easiest way I can explain this process, so let me repeat it again; your emotions water your thought-seeds and make them grow that much quicker. So for instance, if you allow your mind to be manipulated by the media, the news, and social media, your emotions will be all over the place. One minute you’ll be reading a meme that makes you think “Oh, that’s so beautiful, life is wonderful, the universe is for me, I can do anything!” and you feel positive, optimistic, and loving. Then the next minute you read or watch something that makes you think “Oh my god, how can this be happening in the world? That’s so wrong! Life is against me, I’m going to march to change it!” and you feel angry, frustrated, even depressed. So there you go; you’ve just planted two different thought-seeds in your subconscious mind; one positive, and one negative – just like your own garden; you plant a flower, and a weed will spring up right alongside it. That’s what I love about Mother Nature, she’s the greatest teacher; if you want to know anything about life, just look at nature! So as I was saying, you can plant seeds in your own mind, or you can allow others to plant the seeds for you. That’s why I stopped watching the news over 15 years ago – it just made me feel depressed! I spend very little time on social media because I just don’t know what’s going to pop up! I’m very careful about what I allow into my subconscious mind.
I can’t wait to get onto the role of the super-conscious mind, but first I want to make sure you understand – or innerstand – the roles of the conscious and sub-conscious minds.
So let me explain it again; your mind is the GARDEN, and your thoughts are the SEEDS. Your conscious mind is the gardener, and your subconscious mind is the FERTILE SOIL into which the seeds are planted. I first learnt this metaphor from the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. I’ve been thinking about being rich for a very long time – I had to, in order to change my religious programming of being a poor, wretched sinner. Why do I want to be rich? So I can reach my full potential, and help others reach their full potential too; I want to be able to travel the world, and see all the beauty of Mother Nature; I want my three ‘suns’ to be able to travel too, so they can realize that there’s more to life than working a 9-5 job to pay bills. I want to be able to buy my house with cash, and I want to be able to inspire others to live their dreams too. So what seeds are you planting in your subconscious mind? All thoughts are either rooted in LOVE or FEAR. Those are the only two places that they can come from. The root of all hateful thoughts is fear, so fear is the opposite of love, not hate.
If you look at my painting ‘Self Love‘, you’ll see that her thoughts are rooted in LOVE:
Her mind is the garden, and it’s growing beautiful flowers – not a weed in sight! You can’t see the root of her thoughts, because they’re buried underground, in her subconscious. But you can see the results of her subconscious thoughts, the beautiful flowers.
So how do you know what your subconscious thoughts are? Now this is where it begins to get interesting (if it wasn’t already!)…
In Part 3, I’ll show you how to get to the ROOT CAUSE of any issues you may be facing, and how you can begin the process of transforming your life for GOOD! Click here to read it!
If you haven’t already, ‘follow’ this blog to join me on this wonder-full journey, and share it on social media using the buttons below!
Join me for the Art Exhibition Launch and Taster Workshop @ Katakata!
The last 3 paintings from my collection ‘Nature’s Art’ will be in a joint exhibition at Katakata, a lovely vegan restaurant and art space on Brixton Hill! ‘Self Love’, ‘Blue Lotus’ and ‘Black Orchid’ will be on sale, and you’ll also be able to get a set of 9 Prints from the collection! (Framed prints can also be ordered)
‘Self Love’ 24″ x 30″ oil on canvas £350
(the butterfly was stuck on and is not included)
‘Blue Lotus’ 48″ x 38″ oil on canvas £750
Black Orchid 48″ x 38″ oil on canvas £450
Join us for the Open Evening on Thursday 2nd November 6-10pm, tickets are FREE with drinks and canapes, but booking is essential, book your free ticket here!
Self Love Retreat Taster Workshop @ Katakata!
On Sunday 5th November, join me at Katakata from 2-5pm in a Taster Workshop for The Self Love Retreat! (Gambia) I’ll be giving you tasters of some of the workshops we’ll be doing on the Retreat, including Colour Therapy, where I explain how I healed myself from Seasonal Affective Disorder (a form of depression caused by lack of natural sunlight) using the colours in my paintings, and showing you how you can use colours to lift your mood and emotions! It’s also my birthday that day, so come and celebrate with me! Tickets are just £15 which includes a delicious vegan lunch, and signed copy of my novel ‘Journey of a Sister’! (<< read the reviews) Click on the flyer below for more info about The Self Love Retreat:
Get a FREE personally signed copy of my Self-help novel ‘Journey of a Sister‘ when you book your ticket for The Self Love Retreat Taster Workshop! It features my artwork in full colour, so you’ll be healing yourself in more ways than one as you read! If you’re unable to attend you can still order my book below:
I look forward to seeing you at one or both of them!
If you’re looking for an alternative to Christmas (which is more about consumerism than the birth of Christ!) why not celebrate Kwanzaa with us this year?
What is Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa is originally an African-American concept which celebrates 7 Core Principles (Nguzo Saba), represented by a different candle each day. It begins on the 26th of December, and ends of the 1st of January, culminating in a feast and an exchange of gifts. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa honors a different Principle; these Principles are key to building strong, productive African families and communities.
Kwanzaa is based on year-end harvest festivals that have taken place throughout Africa for thousands of years. The name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” The Founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana “Ron” Karenga chose a phrase from Swahili because the language is used by various peoples throughout Africa.
Items Used During Kwanzaa:
Action: The symbols of Kwanzaa are arranged on the mkeka, which may be made of straw or African cloth. It symbolizes the foundation upon which communities are built.
Meaning: the candleholder, which holds seven candles
Action: It symbolizes stalks of corn that branch off to form new stalks, much as the human family is created.
Meaning: the seven candles that represent the seven principles
Action: A different candle is lit each day. Three candles on the left are green; three on the right are red; and the middle candle is black.
kikombe cha umoja
Meaning: the unity cup
Action: Celebrants drink from a wooden cup in honor of their African ancestors. Before drinking, each person says “harambee,” or “let’s pull together.”
Meaning: fruits, nuts, and vegetables
Action: These remind celebrants of the harvest fruits that nourished the people of Africa.
Meaning: ear of corn
Action: Traditionally, one ear of corn is placed on the mkeka for each child present.
Action: Traditionally, educational and cultural gifts are given on January 1, the last day of Kwanzaa.
The Kwanzaa flag consists of three blocks, one in each of these colors. Green is for the fertile land of Africa; black is for the color of the people; and red is the for the blood that is shed in the struggle for freedom.
Poster depicting the seven Symbols of Kwanzaa:
The Seven Symbols of Kwanzaa and What They Mean:
Day 1: Umoja(oo-MOH-ja)
Action: building a commUNITY that holds together
Day 2: Kujichagulia(koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-yah)
Action: speaking for yourself and making choices that benefit the commUNITY
Day 3: Ujima(oo-JEE-mah)
Meaning: Collective Work and Responsibility
Action: helping others within the commUNITY
Day 4: Ujamaa(oo-JAH-ma)
Meaning: Cooperative Economics
Action: supporting businesses that care about the commUNITY
Day 5: Nia(nee-AH)
Meaning: a Sense of Purpose
Action: setting goals that benefit the commUNITY
Day 6: Kuumba(koo-OOM-bah)
Action: making the commUNITY better and more beautiful
Day 7: Imani(ee-MAH-nee)
Action: believing that a better world can be created for communities now and in the future
The colors of Kwanzaa are red, black and green. The Kwanzaa flag consists of three blocks, one in each of these colors. Three of the seven candles are red, three are green and one is black.
During the celebrations, candles are lit and libations are poured from a wooden cup. A libation is the name given to a ritual pouring of water or white rum as an offering to our ancestors.
A Kwanzaa ceremony often includes performances of music and drumming, a reflection on the Pan-African colors of red, green and black and a discussion of some aspect of African history. Women often wear brightly colored traditional clothing. Some cultural organizations hold special exhibitions of African influenced art and market stalls during the period of the celebrations.
During Kwanzaa, celebrants greet each other with “Habari gani,” or “What’s the news?” The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa form the answers.
I’m getting all excited; what I’ve been doing in the dark is finally coming to light!
The Revised Editions for both my Self-help books have gone to print, and I’m expecting 1,000 copies of each! It’s been a labour of love, patience and focus, to bring you these Revised Editions! (I’ll be explaining why I felt the need to revise them on the day).
On Sunday, we’re going to be discussing ‘How to Get the Ring On Your Finger‘ – some of the brothers who contributed to it will be on the Panel to answer your questions – get the FREE download so you can come and join in the discussion!
Watch a clip from the Book Launch of the First Edition to get an idea of what to expect:
BOOK Your Seat!
Visit Eventbrite to book your FREE ticket, or pre-order your book to guarantee your seat! (please only reserve a free ticket if you know you’ll be able to attend). Pre-ordering your book in advance means you won’t have to queue up to get it signed on the day!
(You can pay for books and the Online Course by Paypal, credit or debit cards.)
I look forward to seeing you there!
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Marcus Garvey Library is less than a 10 minute walk from Seven Sisters station, or you can get the 149, 279, 259, or 349 two stops. If you are coming on the underground, turn left when you come through the ticket barriers, and go up the stairs past the sweet shop. When you get off the bus (two stops), stay on the same side and take the path towards the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, you’ll find Tottenham Green Leisure Centre behind it (take the path to your right).
Growing up, I had a natural ability to write and draw; my two favourite subjects at school were English Literature and Art. However, I never pursued a career in any of these areas because I lacked self confidence and didn’t believe in myself or my abilities.
As a child, I was constantly told I was worthless, good-for-nothing, didn’t deserve it (anything I wanted), and that I was ugly. These heterosuggestions went deep into my subconscious mind, and became the program I ran on as an adult. I subconsciousy believed anything I produced was also worthless, good for nothing, and ugly. 💭
I grew up with low self-esteem, lacked self-confidence, and didn’t believe in myself. I would screw up any piece of writing or drawings I did, because I thought they weren’t good enough – a reflection of how I felt about myself! 🤕
So instead of pursuing a career that utilized my natural God-given talents, I ended up doing Accounts, when maths was my worst subject at school! 🤦🏾♀️
By my mid twenties, I had stopped being creative altogether. This was the last picture I drew (using pastels) back in 1986:
Clearly you can see I was good at art, but my perception of myself was reflected in how I viewed my work. My boyfriend/lover/friend had asked me to do a portrait of his favourite singer, Alexandra O’Neal from the record sleeve; when he saw my creation, he threw the original on the floor!
Still, I remained a blocked writer and artist for over 20 years after that. My inner child was crying out to be heard, but I ignored her.
I was unfulfilled, and miserable in my job as an Accounts Clerk.
After the birth of my second ‘sun’ in 1995, I decided I wanted to do something that would work around them. I wanted to go back to being creative, but I didn’t know how. A book came into my life calld ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, which helped me begin the process of unblocking.
This book literally saved my inner child’s life! I didn’t just read it, I did all the daily and weekly tasks (it’s a 12-week course). The first thing I was required to do was to start writing my Morning Pages, 3 A4 pages every morning of any thoughts that came to mind (it didn’t have to make sense). The second thing was to take my inner child on weekly ‘Artist Dates‘. This was fun!
Some parts of the process involved going deep into the recesses of my mind, to uncover where that critical voice in my head was coming from that kept saying “You? A great artist? LOL” or “You? A best-selling author? You could never amount to that!” . The exercises helped me get to the root cause of my insecurities, and to begin counter-attacking them with POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS like “I am a brilliant and successful artist”, “I am a prolific writer”, “I have rich creative talents”, “I am confident and competent in my creative work”, “I am a channel for the Creator to create through”, in order to get my creative juices flowing again.
‘The Artist’s Way’ taught me how to nurture my inner child, and to give her the freedom she desired to create. As the adult, I had to learn how to step out of the way, and allow her to be free.
Before the end of the 12 week course, I was writing and painting freely!
The first painting I did when I unblocked as an artist in 2009 was of my inner child, and one of the first poems I wrote was called ‘My Artist Child’ (inspired by ‘The Artist’s Way’) which explains the inner struggle I went through to set my inner child free:
Cezanne (my artist) is a child.
I call to her, and she answers me
With a poem, a dance, and a squiggle-diddy!
She loves to be free, my artist
Free to explore her creativity
With no limitations, or boundaries
So what’s stopping her?
Yes ME, the adult,
Constrained in what I can see
Stuck in my blocks, and adult mentality;
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” I scold,
As she tries to break free;
“I want to paint!” she says.
“NO!” I reply,
(frightened of what she may tell of me,
as she paints away freely)
“I want to write!” she cries.
“No, NO!” I squeal,
(At the thought of my thoughts on paper,
she may reveal!)
“I want to dance!” she pleads.
“No, no, NO!” my senses scream
“At your age, start to….PRANCE??”
“Please, can I sing?” she begs…
She wants to paint!
She wants to write!
She wants to dance!
She wants to sing!
How can I deny my artist-child these things?
How can I refuse her the right
To be free to express her creativity?
So….I give her the paints, AND the time of day.
I give her the dance classes she’s always craved.
I allow her to write when her spirit takes
And to sing, yes to sing with the voice that God gave!
I take her out on our ‘Artist’s Dates’
And feed her IMAGES for her to relate
Back to her play-play-work-day…
Now my child, GO and CREATE!
As you can see, there was a real struggle going on between my adult self, filled with ego, self-consciousness, and learned restrictions, and my uninhibited, free-spirited inner child. Thank goodness, my inner child won! 😅
So when I started writing my novel (now re-titled Journey of a Sister) my job as the adult was simply to step out of the way and let her be free. I used the painting My Inner Child to illustrate the front cover of the e-book for Year Two, because there’s a part in there where Suzanne inspires Charles to awaken his inner child! (in the section ‘Lace Seduction’).
Cezanne’s mission is to ‘Spread Love through Creativity’
The thing I love about my inner child is her ability to write about adult topics with the uninhibited innocence of a child, and to express herself in a way that I (the adult) wouldn’t dare to! When I was writing ‘Journey of a Sister’ I kept hearing that critical voice inside my head saying “You can’t write that!”, but I just ignored it and allowed my inner child the freedom to write whatever she chose…so in 2009 I felt compelled to write ‘Part Two‘ to my poem:
My inner child is wild and free – she has no boundaries!
When I decided to set her free I KNEW it would cost me my privacy!
(and anyone who’s had anything to do with me
so if that’s you, I’m sorry.)
She sits in the seat of my subconscious mind observing all I’m doing
Then she turns my experiences into a song, story or poem!
Thanks to her, my life is an open book,
Go on, open it, take a look!
And she’s left me (the adult) to deal with all the DRAMA she creates
Did you enjoy the free read? Order your personally signed Limited Edition paperback with my artwork in colour WHILE STOCKS LAST!
Outside the UK? Order direct from www.lulu.com (ships worldwide)
Where Did the Name ‘Cezanne’ Come From?
Cezanne is my ‘spiritual’ name. What do I mean by that?
When I was around 14 years old, I was in the back of class one day at school, doodling on the back of my textbook (obviously bored!). As I was drawing randomly, the name ‘Cezanne’ appeared in the doodles! The name stuck in the back of my mind all the years I was a blocked writer and artist, and only came back to me when I had to name my inner child as part of the course in Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way‘.
I’ve now changed my name by Deed Poll, in the hope that eventually, my inner child will take over completely! Setting her free has enabled me to write and record over 30 poems, write 3 books (one is the Book of Lyrics to my award-winning poetry collection ‘Seeds of Love‘), painted 11 paintings, and I’m still creating, including building this website, writing my first speech, and developing workshops for my Retreats!
Join me on the ‘Nurture Your Inner Child’ Retreat!
Would you like me to take you through the same processes I went through to unblock as a writer and artist? Then join me for 7 days of work-play in the sun! This is essentially a 7-day holiday for both women and men, with 5 days of workshops thrown in (you can do as much or as little as you like!). All materials are included, as well as accommodation, daily meals, and 5 days of nurturing your inner child! You’ll return home with something you have created, and the tools to keep your creative juices flowing! As part of the course, I will also teach Colour Therapy (I healed myself from Seasonal Affective Disorder using the colours in my paintings!)
Visit my Art page to learn about the Colours & Symbolism in my paintings and to download them to your device so you can benefit from the Colour Therapy in them too!
Use the Contact Form below to register your interest in the Nurture Your Inner Child Retreat 2019 (monthly Feb to May) or email email@example.com
In your service,
Promoting LOVE through Creativity!
‘Follow’ this blog to receive an email every time I update it!
In it, I’ve explained how I found my purpose, and how I can help YOU find YOURS!
If you would like help with this process, start by reading Year One of my Self-help novel ‘Journey of a Sister’FREE!
BONUS ARTICLE: What’s in a Name?
Tomorrow is the last article in my Blog Tour, written exclusively for CaribDomain, don’t miss it!
Help ME help YOU by ordering your signed copies of my Self-help books before Friday – you’ll get a FREE copy of my award-winning CD ‘Seeds of Love‘, and a free invite to my Book Launch taking place on Sunday 6th November! Will you be one of the 200 people needed to help me reach my target? Click on the image above! (Please wait a few moments for it to load). You can also get a signed copy of ‘How to Get the Ring On Your Finger‘ (with contributions from over 30 brothers) for only £5.00 if ordered by Friday, get yours TODAY!
If you haven’t read my exclusive article ‘Finding Your Purpose‘, go HERE to read it now!
In your service,
Visual & Spoken Word Artist|Author|Blogger|Events Host|Workshop Facilitator
Promoting LOVE through Creativity!
P.S. Visit my Events Page for details of Events I’m taking part in leading up to my Book Launch! (I’m performing at the Black Cultural Archives this Wednesday!)
As the descendant of an enslaved African, I had been disconnected from my spiritual roots, displaced, and had no sense of Self-identity. I had inherited a slave master’s name, while being DIS-inherited from the wealth of my Motherland. The religion I had been indoctrinated into wasn’t serving me, but rather gave me an inferiority complex, with constant feelings of guilt and condemnation. These feelings were preventing me from living the life of my dreams.
As I got older, I began to question what I’d been taught to believe.
In my Self-help novel ‘Journey of a Sister‘ I shared everything I’ve discovered since asking God for ‘the Truth!’ in 2007 – it tackles taboo topics in an entertaining, yet informative way. You are invited to join the main character on her transformational quest for ‘the Truth!’ about sex before marriage, the creative power of her thoughts, her African ancestry, and the history of the religion she had been indoctrinated into!
My Self-help book ‘How to Get the Ring On Your Finger’ has contributions from over 30 brothers, and looks at how our past affects how we relate to each other today. It will help you identify any issues you have that might be preventing you from being able to maintain your relationship, so that you can heal before seeking to meet your match. It then introduces the ‘DIY ArrangedMarriage‘, guiding you through the whole dating process for the best chance of getting the ring on!
You can get a FREE download of ‘How to Get the Ring On Your Finger‘ when you subscribe, or if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow it from their lending library FREE!
I’ve been giving away FREE downloads of the ‘Journey of a Sister‘ e-book series; the last free download is THIS WEEKEND! (Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August)
If you missed the FREE downloads, they’re only 99p/$0.99 each – you can even start the journey by reading Year One FREE!
I have a burning desire to help my people break free from mental slavery, and to heal from the psychological trauma that has been passed down to us genetically. I am especially passionate about helping my sisters develop a positive Self-identity, and to helping us build healthy, sustainable relationships.
Get your SIGNED paperbacks!
The First Edition of my novel was printed on-demand, so my artwork which illustrates it was printed black-and-white. I aim to raise £4,790 by 1st September to print the Second Editionn bulk, enabling my artwork to be printed in FULL COLOUR – this means you’ll benefit from the COLOUR THERAPY in them while you read, healing your Self in more ways than one! When you pre-order your SIGNED books you’ll also get a FREE copy of the ‘Seeds of Love‘ CD – all 13 poems feature in the story! Watch the video:
Visit my indiegogo campaign to get SIGNED copies of ‘How to Get the Ring On Your Finger’ for only £5! I’m sure you’ll find a perk to suit your budget; my campaign ends on 1st September, help me reach my goal, while helping your Self at the same time!
Check back here at the weekend to download Years 11 & 12 of ‘Journey of a Sister’ FREE! The SEQUEL is exclusively in the paperback! I’m taking part in a number of events from October onwards, where we will be discussing the topics raised in my Self-help books, see the Events page for more details!
Artisan Impression – Promoting LOVE through Creativity!
Sponsor my Book Tour!
I’m in the process of organising Book Signing & Discussion Events both in the UK and abroad, where we will be discussing the topics raised in my Self-help books openly. These are good opportunities to ask me any questions, and to meet like-minded people. If you would like to help me take the messages in my books far and wide, your contribution will help with travel, accommodation, venue hire, marketing and filming (for details visit the Events page).
If you own a business, reap the benefits of being my sponsor which includes your company logo and website on my flyers and promotional material, as well at the opportunity to promote your business at my events!
Journey of a Sister features my artwork and poetry; I used my painting ‘My King’ to illustrate Year Five, and my painting ‘Black Orchid’ to illustrate Year 6 (Joint Chapter in the e-book series). In Years 5, a series of fortunate events leads to Suzanne achieving her goal of publishing her first collection of poetry. She learns how to order things from the universe and decides to have fun with it, ordering what she thought was her perfect man. Read an extract from Year 5:
R U ‘The One’?
Whilst out performing one night, one of the organisers of the event told Suzanne about a poetry competition that was open for submissions. They were looking for poets of African descent to include in an Anthology, and the overall winner would get their poetry collection published for free. Suzanne eagerly took down the website details, and the following day, went online to get more information. This was it! This was just what she needed to get her book published; she was sure to win – she could just feel it in her guts!
She called the number. A baritone voice answered.
“Hello, Black Independent Publishers, Solomon speaking, how can I help you?”
“Oh hi Solomon, my name’s Suzanne; I was just calling to get some more information about the competition you’re running.”
“Okay…what would you like to know?”
“Well, I’ve been on the website and viewed the criteria, and, well I just wanted to find out what type of response you’ve had so far?”
“We’re really pleased with the quality of submissions we’ve received so far – are you trying to weigh up your chances of winning?” he asked in an amused tone.
“Well, kind of,” Suzanne confessed.
“Well you’ve got just as good a chance of winning as anybody else – but you’ve got to be in it to win it, so the sooner you enter the better! What type of poetry do you write?” he asked.
“Love poetry mainly; anything to do with relationships.”
“That always goes down well, I’d say go for it! You can recite one for me now if you like, I love poetry,” Solomon requested.
“Really? Well most of my poems are quite long, so I’ll just give you a snippet of one, okay?”
“This one’s called ‘Ode to My King Part 1’ and it’s written in the style of ancient Egyptian poetry, okay?”
“Sounds great so far…”
Suzanne began: “Beloved, what shall I compare you to? Spiritually, you are like a tree standing tall and strong, with roots that go much deeper than our wrong: You remember the richness of our history before slavery, when we ruled as Kings and Queens, scientists and inventors, building empires! And now, you bear the mark of our ancestors; you are strong both physically and mentally. You have the Genius Gene; man, you don’t know how much you inspire me! …Shall I stop there?”
“No, no, keep going!”
“Okay… Let me study YOU and get my degree from Mother Nature’s university, for there is nothing more I’d like to achieve: Your eyes are like two pools, sparkling and watery, and in them I see the perfect reflection of…me. Your nose resembles the ones cut off the great statues in Egypt; too defined for the white man’s mind, but I like it!”
“Your lips are like two juicy mangoes, and your kisses, sweeter than honey. Your voice is like a deep, dark river, carrying me away to ecstasy...I think I should stop there.”
“Why, is it ex-rated?” Solomon asked, “I was just getting into that!”
“No, it’s not ex-rated – that comes in Part 2!”
“Well go on then, give me some more!” Solomon urged.
“Okay…Your neck is like a tower, strong and sturdy, and around it you wear a reminder of our history…”
Solomon interrupted; “I’m wearing a reminder of our history!”
“Are you? What is it?”
“Some cowrie shells!”
“Oh! Well you’ll like the next line then;
“Your teeth are like a string of cowrie shells, and when you smile, you light up my world!” (Solomon laughs again)
“Sorry Solomon, but this poem is six pages long – I couldn’t possibly recite it all to you over the phone!” Suzanne concluded.
Watch the video I created for you to listen to this poem:
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For many years, I suffered with depression. I went in and out of dark tunnels, searching for the glimpse of light at the end of each one.
I had constant self-defeating thoughts, hated the way I looked, and felt as if my life was pointless. The birth of my two older ‘suns’ in 1992 and 1995 gave my life more meaning, but I still suffered from bouts of depression. At times, it was so bad that I couldn’t even do simple things like open the curtains, or put the laundry in the washing machine.
Fortunately for me, I was not one to go running to the doctor’s for every little ailment, and when I did finally go, my G.P. housed an alternative homeopathic doctor who prescribed me a remedy called ‘chocolat’!
It did ease the symptoms, but the root cause of my issue was my THOUGHTS. I didn’t know how to control the negative thoughts that were constantly bombarding my mind, causing me to have low self-esteem, to lack self-confidence, and to fail in life.
While I was a stay-at-home mum raising my suns, I put my Self through a series of Self-development programs, worked with Positive Affirmations to ‘re-program my mind’, and read lots of Self-development books. Then in 2006, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a weekend seminar with Anthony Robbins. I was eager to learn something that would help me deal with my negative thoughts once and for all, and I did. He said “DEPRESSION is just a FANCY NAME for NEGATIVE THINKING PATTERNS”. I had never considered that before. Anthony went on to explain that thoughts are like trains; if you have a thought, another like-thought will come after it, then another, and before you know it, you will have a whole series of thoughts following one after the other. If these are positive thoughts, you’ll remain feeling happy in a state of bliss. But if they are negative thoughts, they can lead to sadness, stress, anxiety, anger and ultimately, depression.
I had a paradigm shift that weekend.
In 2007, I was about to fall asleep one spring evening when the image for my painting ‘Self Love’ flashed into my mind:
It was as if my subconscious mind was telling me I needed to learn how to meditate. Not long after, I was introduced to ‘Inner Space’ in Covent Garden, where I started attending meditation classes. I learned that our thoughts are like seeds, and our mind is the garden. In order to keep the garden of our mind well cultivated, we have to learn how to ‘weed out’ the negative thought-weeds, and replace them with positive thought-seeds. My painting ‘Self Love’ illustrates that by rooting all our thoughts in LOVE, we can remain in a positive state of bliss.
The colours that I intuitively used to paint ‘Self Love’ also healed me from the symptoms of SAD, a form of depression caused by lack of natural sunlight! (see my Art page for more details). I used this painting to illustrate Year Three of my Self-help novel ‘Journey of a Sister’, and also on the front cover of my poetry collection ‘Seeds of Love’.
Here’s an extract from Year Three, which features my poem ‘Fertile Soil’:
Meditate to Create
Suzanne liked the metaphor of the garden; she had learned first-hand from her own back garden how long flowers took to grow, compared to the weeds which sprang up quickly! It was the same with her mind; her job was to cultivate her positive thought-seeds so they could blossom into flowers, by nipping her negative thought-weeds in the bud before they could spring up and stunt the growth of her flowers.
When a negative thought-weed sprung up, instead of watering (dwelling on) it, and letting it grow into more negative thoughts, she began practicing uprooting it and replacing it with a positive thought-seed. So if she had a thought which suggested “I’m not good at that”, she would immediately uproot it and replace it with “I am good at that!”.
Suzanne learnt that all thoughts are either rooted in Love or fear, so she began focusing on planting seeds of Love in the garden of her mind. A positive thought was rooted in Love, and a negative thought was rooted in fear – there was no other place for them to come from. Learning how to meditate helped Suzanne to control her thoughts, which in turn helped her control her feelings.
Thoughts Create Feelings
During a class, Suzanne learned that by focusing on her solar plexus or ‘sun centre’ (located at the back of her stomach) she could instantly tell if she was thinking positively. Good thoughts created good feelings. If she had good feelings, like butterflies, she would be radiating positive energy. If she was feeling bad, she would radiate negative energy. Depending on how she was feeling, she would attract people, situations and opportunities on that same frequency.
Her thoughts were creating her feelings, but her feelings were the fuel which made what she was thinking about, saying, and acting on happen even faster. So her emotions were the real attractor factor!
…She ran a hot bath, adding some sea salt and lavender essential oil. As she relaxed her body and mind in the water, words came floating to her. She reached for her notebook and pen lying on the floor beside the bath. By now, she knew to always be ready for when those bolts of inspiration struck:
I am fertile soil!
When I plant Seeds of Love in the garden of my mind
They’re gonna blossom…
Think of every THOUGHT you have as a SEED
The thoughts you sow, you will reap;
Thoughts rooted in Love will grow into beautiful flowers
While thoughts rooted in fear
will grow into fast-growing weeds!
“Every day is a seed to your future happiness,
success and well-being, so plant the seeds TODAY
for the FUTURE you want to see BLOSSOM!”
Just remember, you reap what you sow…
Acoustic Guitar: Theo Calliste
Needless to say, I no longer suffer from depression!
Year Three is FREE to download TODAY! Every Wednesday, I will be making a different ‘Year’ of Journey of a Sister FREE to download, leading up to the Book Launch!
If you missed the free downloads of Years One & Two, download Year Three FREE, then download Years One & Two (they’re only 99p/$0.99 each!) Read an extract from Year One FREE!
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Next week, I’ll be sharing a technique from Year Four which has helped me ‘switch focus’ to avoid stress – don’t miss it! ‘Follow’ this blog to receive an email to let you know when Year Four is FREE to download!