Be a Miracle this Holiday Season

I have had the pleasure—blessing really—to experience real-life miracles in my life. Even more, I am fortunate to recognize when they are occurring. One of the most prominent in recent memory occurred about five years ago when I was renting out space in my house.

I posted an ad and got a response from a woman. She was in a rush to move in and came to look at my property with a discerning eye. She liked it a lot and stated she was planning to move in. Since this was just a viewing, I had not done a formal application with her with a credit check etc. was performed. However, when she indicated interest, I gave her the application and let her know the expected deposit to hold the place upon approval.

Now, it is important for me to mention that I was desperate. I was barely making ends meet and had determined that if I did not get a tenant then I would have to let the house go in foreclosure. I had gotten myself into one of those interest only loans (being young and naïve) and didn’t see a way out of it once I started drowning. Even buying gas to get back and forth to work was a struggle as my hefty paycheck went mostly to pay the mortgage.

I prayed and prayed for some sort of assistance. Some sort of miracle.

Well, the woman whom I mentioned, viewed my house at the end of October but decided not to move in since her situation changed. She did not put in an application, nor did she leave a deposit so I had nothing promising that she would move in nor did I expect it. Come December, I was down and out. I showed my rental space to a few others but had no takers. I did not know how I was going to make it through that month, let alone, the Christmas holiday with friends and family.

The answer arrived at my door. The lady that originally looked at my rental space approximately a month and a half before, left a Christmas card. It’s the one on displayed  on this post. She put it in my door’s window and inside it simply said, “Keisha, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.” But the kicker was the $750 check included. It was the cost of one month’s rent. I could not believe it. I called her and explained that although she indicated she wanted to move in, she made no commitment and so I could not accept her money (though I really needed it). She said she didn’t do it cause it was an obligation, she did it because she felt in her heart it was the right thing to do and she really wanted me to have it.

So yes, a total stranger that I met one time left me a Christmas check for close to a thousand dollars for no good reason. God is good and he will use us to provide miracles for people around us. This holiday season, please see how you can be miracle-worker and game-changer in someone else’s life. I owe that stranger so much and I am so glad she showed me the true spirit of the season.

Please share with others and leave your comments below.

Standing in Your Truth

Stand in Your Truth

Last year I stood up to speak in front of an audience of approximately a couple hundred people attending a spiritual conference in New York, led by The Daily Love’s Mastin Kipp (www.thedalilylove.com). I stood because a young African American girl shared her feelings of shame at being considered Black. You see she was a biracial child, the product of a white mother and Black father. However, because of her brown skin and hair texture, people identified her as Black—a label she did not want and felt in many predominantly White environments, that she was automatically labeled as lazy and stupid.

Mastin asked if other Blacks felt like that judgment in a room of white people. Yes. I explained to the girl and to the audience, that I have been blessed enough to reach heights in my career that are not afforded to all. At the time I held an admiral position at a college and I often sat at the table of advisers to the president. The people I sat amongst were all white and at least a decade older than myself. That was not the first time I have been in the position and, if I live long enough, not the last.

Could I feel judgments about me as I sat at the president’s table? Of course. But I carry with me a foundational belief that I deserve to be there and that the group is better off with me among them. First, I sit at tables such as these because my ancestors could not. And, as an African American I feel the obligation to repay, with dignity, the opportunities that their blood, sweat and tears availed me. Secondly, I always know that in time they will see how powerful I am and the value that I bring. It is not something that I go out of my way to prove but rather I let my work, the way I carry myself, and my interactions, become the proof. In those moments, I take a deep breath and I know who I am. I do not let others beliefs about me define me.

Even more, I know that there is a point in all human interactions where people lessen their judgments about you and allow the spirit of who you are and who they are connect and transcend any manmade, stereotypical foolishness to which we fall victim.

As I stood in front of The Daily Love’s audience that day, people were moved to tears and they hugged me and kissed me in the hallway afterwards. I was surprised. Perhaps they were moved so deeply because it was a spiritual conference and they were already emotional? Or, perhaps, they recognized a fellow spirit, God’s child, with boundless capabilities standing in her truth and sharing her testimony from that vantage point.

Do you carry your truth, the truth about who you are into all of your life experiences? Please comment below and tell me all about it.

Keeping Your Spiritual Awakening Alive

I believe a spiritual awakening is not a singular event. If we are lucky, and attuned, we will experience a myriad of moments that speak to our spirits and transform us throughout our lifetimes.

Last year, I visited Peru on a spiritual journey. I met a Shaman, practicing in Columbia, Maryland who organizes the annual trip (Harriet McMahon http://harriet.mcmahon.com/. The plan was to visit sacred Peruvian sites while offering cleansing and healing ceremonies as well as many meditation opportunities. It did not disappoint. I visited ancient Inca civilization sites and felt the pure energy of mountains and lagoons while eating wholesome and delicious food in the clean, open air. My energy was vibrating and my intuitive tools were sharpened. I became “unplugged” in a number of ways and I became clearer about my life’s purpose. Life as I knew it before the trip would not be the same. Or at least I thought. IMG_3123

Slowly life went back to normal. I worried about money and reattached myself to consultant work that I knew wasn’t a good fit for me. Understandably, I worried about the bills –we need money to sustain our lifestyle. It is sad to feel the magic of an experience waning.

Then I realized that life is made up of moments. During the trip, I made the decision to focus on my spirituality, ask the big life questions, and view the world in a way that was mystical and surprising. It occurred to me that I could decide to bring the magic into my everyday life. And you can too.

I am not perfect and struggle with these items every day, but these are some actions that work for me.

Pray – I try to begin and end my days with prayer. Both are usually a thanks to my creator for having another day and a talk about what I’ve learned or need help solving.

Meditate – Perhaps my greatest tool and my greatest challenge. Morning meditation (for at least 15 minutes) helps me connect with my creator and allows answers to my life challenges to flow into my consciousness. Someone once said, and I agree, that prayer is when you talk to God and meditation is where he answers.

Walk – I like to take short walks, particularly if I can connect with nature. Although I am an extrovert, when I walk I can review the day and work through goals with myself. I also practice deep breathing during my walks, all life starts with the breath, and deep breathing actually recharges you.

Journal – I have always documented my life. Committing my thoughts to paper at least a few times a week helps to release the stresses or joys (energy) of everyday life. It also becomes my living record. It is fun to review your life at the end of a year.

Do you do any of these already? Or, do you plan to incorporate them into your life to keep you spiritual awakenings alive? Comment and let me know.

Three Travel Destinations for Your Spirit

Have you ever traveled somewhere that electrified you? Made you feel like new?

If so, that’s what it’s all about. And, that’s what traveling is for me—spiritual. It’s a time when I let loose, let wonder, and let exploration consume me. A new sun rise, a new landscape, a new orange-streaked nightfall—all recharge my spirit and put me in deeper touch with the creator.

When I travel I feel like I am a student of the world. In addition to the fascinating people and the way they relate to, and interact with one another, I love the breathtaking landscapes and the unique energy of a place. I have been fortunate to visit many countries, and among them, here is my list of soul-stirring, must-sees:

1. Lake Atitlan – Located in Guatemala, this is the most sacred of locations for me. The lake sits 5,125 feet above sea level and 50 square miles wide. It is surrounded by three volcanoes, sweeping mountains and tree-trimmed, grassy terrains. There are seven Mayan towns that surround the lake and it is mainly regarded as sacred from the villagers as well. When you arrive by boat to any location surrounding the lake, you can feel a shift. Time and worry no longer matter. You are in a healing place and victory over life’s challenges is yours just by inhaling the scene around you. Lake Atitlan is the picture of inspiration; it is a place that will truly speak to your heart.IMG_0967

2. Machu Picchu – Located in Peru, people travel to this destination from all over the world. It is a 15th century Inca site, located approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, mainly on mountains. The site contains ancient temples, sleeping quarters, calendars and many statue and carving symbols that were sacred to the Inca, like the puma. Amongst the relics of the ancient civilization, there are many places to tuck away to pray and meditate. Many meditation groups can be groups can be found in scenic areas overlooking the land below. Here, you may get the feeling, as I did, that the Inca’s with their knowledge of the stars and their beliefs of the different levels to life, knew far more about the nature of the universe than we would ever know in modern times. This is a place of wonderment and wisdom.IMG_2779

3. Maji Moto, Arusha (Natural Hot spring) – Located in Tanzania, this site defies belief in that it is about an acre oasis, lush with trees, vegetation, birds and warm, aqua-blue waters, juxtaposed amongst a vast desert-like area. It is quite surprising when you arrive although quite difficult for the average tourist to venture there. If you go to visit from Moshi like I did, the last leg of the journey has to be made from the spring’s closet town to the remote location. There are people on motorcycles that let you purchase a ride. Simply put—this place is magical. It is quite an unexpected surprise amongst an otherwise desolate terrain.