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Marguerite Orane
Evil Will Not Win
News, Other Topics, Spirituality
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parisOn the evening of June 17, 2015, a young man walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina with terror in his heart. For an hour he sat with the group gathered for a prayer meeting. Then he turned his thoughts into action and opened fire. His bullets were meant to start a race war.

I sometimes think of the young man, now sitting in prison awaiting trial, and how despondent he must be to see the results of his actions – the survivors and church community forgave him; people the world over came together to honour those who were murdered and the enduring symbol of oppression in America, the Confederate flag, came down from public spaces, not just in South Carolina but in other southern states. Sorry young man … your evil intent backfired.

As I gazed out my window this morning, 12 hours after the massacre in Paris, the evergreen tree outside my mind gently swayed to the whiff of a breeze; my dogs Betti and Itsy napped in their doggie bed as usual, and my morning coffee was as welcoming as always. Interspersed on my Twitter feed with reports of Paris were tweets like:

“Free tour of Hubspot”
“Steph Curry’s jersey sales are up almost 600%”
“Self stick extendable monopod with built-in wireless”
“These 5 Kenyans prove that innovation isn’t just a Silicon Valley thing”
“Osborne eyes housing benefits”
And my favourite, in its absolute inanity: “Happy National Pickle Day”

Life goes on. For some, life has changed drastically – the families and friends of those who were massacred, security personnel, world leaders. But life, in some form, continues.

I reflect on the aftermath of Charleston, and regardless of the still-dismal state of race relations in the USA and attacks that take place all over the world every day, I remain convinced that evil will not win. Its triumph is temporary. It only conquers when we succumb to fear and intimidation, when we stop speaking about injustice everywhere (not just in Paris, but all over the world), when we stop taking action to bring peace, love and justice to all.

To those who planned and carried out this and other acts, to all those who have and are planning to carry out such acts – be aware that your victory is fleeting. You can kill bodies, but you cannot kill love.

“Goodness is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Light is stronger than darkness.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Michelle Roberts
So he doesn’t want you……Pick up your P.E.A.R.L.S.
Family & Relationships, Spirituality


I just got off the phone with a client who was crying and I was listening and all she kept saying is he don’t want me. He doesn’t want me! I listened and listened, I got teary eyed too. But then I had to help my sister.

So he doesn’t want you…… First let me acknowledge that yes it is a bad feeling and it can make you question your self-worth, your mental clarity and your spiritual walk. I believe at least once if not more you will experience this when you are dating and even when you have been in a committed relationship or one you thought commitment was supposed to be there. Honestly it’s just not a good feeling.

But girl let me tell you ….. Pick up your P.E.A.R.L.S and move forward.  It was probably a good thing. (I know you making a face) But trust me and read on. :)


Pick up Peace of mind you were probably trying very hard and trying more than they were.  Let’s face it after you cry and reflect, there is nothing like Peace of mind.

Next put your Emotions in check, “weeping endures one night but joy comes in the morning” (Okay it may take you a week but do it), calm yourself, exercise, and breath, scream if you need too!

Take Action, get involved in other activities, call your family or your girlfriends that you may have been ignoring when you were caught up, stay busy and if you are brave start dating again.  Call that 2nd string, you know the one who said if he ever lets you go I will be there. (Be careful now, if you are one that can’t handle something new that quickly.)

Have a Reality check; examine the good, the bad, the ugly and what you want in your next relationship and the things you will improve upon and the things you will not put up with.

Love yourself like never before, get a massage, have a spa day, get your make up done, Change your hair,  go to the movies or a play by yourself (love you and be okay even when you are alone) .

And finally be Strong you can and will live through this experience, you will grow, you will love again and you will be position with your P.E.A.R.L.S. Peace, Emotions , Action, Reality, Love and Strength.


This article is compliments of Michelle A. Roberts, M.A., Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

Contact: Michelle A. Roberts 404-935-8113

Follow me : https://www.michellearoberts.com

Social Media:  www.facebook.com/michellearobertsinc
Follow on Periscope @ marobertsinc



Marguerite Orane
The Challenge With Having All Our Needs Met
Other Topics, Spirituality
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express yourself with care and authenticity

Many years ago I was going through a particularly challenging time financially.  I shared this with my friend John, and he introduced me to the affirmation:  “All my needs are met”.   It worked!  I noticed that “magically”, all my needs were being met – household bills, debt payments, etc.  I would get just enough money, just as I needed it to meet my needs.  The affirmation worked then, and continues to work now.  No matter what, when I declare that all my needs are met, they are.

Recently though I have started to ponder why only my needs, and no more, are met, and why I am not accessing this power to manifest even greater good in my life.  Yes, my needs are met, but just in time and just enough.  So I got to musing about this thing called “need”, and in particular what this word means.

The dictionary (www.dictionary.com) defines “need” as:

  • Requirement, duty, obligation
  • Lack of something
  • Urgent want
  • Situation of time of difficulty
  • Destitution, extreme poverty

The original meanings of words tell us what they really mean and the power vested within them.  When we understand where the word comes from, we understand the energy within that word.   The etymology (etymonline) of “need” is: “Old English nied (West Saxon), ned (Mercian) ´necessity, compulsion, duty; hardship, distress; errand, business,´ originally ´violence, force,´ from Proto-Germanic”.  This demonstrates a great degree of negativity in the root of the word and brings up the idea of a trap, something that holds you in its clutches.

Is this really what I have been affirming all along?  That all my “requirements, duties, obligations, lacks, destitutions, etc.” have been met?  No wonder that, even as I revel in the magic of needs being met, I still feel a sense of lack!

My lightbulb moment: “All my needs are met” is fundamentally a limiting belief.

Knowing how powerful my beliefs are in how my life manifests, I decided to search for a more positive, empowering word to use in my affirmation.  What is it that I am asking for to be met?  What could I replace “need” with, to be more positive, uplifting and aspirational?

Here are a few options from a list I brainstormed, with the help of the Dictionary and Thesaurus:

  1. Want: “Something wanted or needed; necessity: absence or deficiency of something desirable or requisite; lack: a sense of lack or need of something.”  In affirming that all my wants are met, holds within it the same idea of lack.
  2. Wish: “To wish is to feel an impulse toward attainment or possession of something.”  On a scale of negativity to positivity, affirming that all my wishes are met does seem to be an improvement over need and want, yet does not make me feel empowered.
  3. Desire: “A longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment”.  I like the sentiment of satisfaction and enjoyment resident when I affirm that all my desires are met, but remain a bit perturbed about the “longing or craving” which seems to me to be rooted in a belief in lack.
  4. Hope: “The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”.  Affirming that all my hopes are met is much more positive but still didn’t feel powerful enough for me.
  5. Intention: “The end or object intended; purpose.”  Particularly when I checked the etymology: “from Old French entencion ´stretching, intensity, will, thought´ (12c.), from Latin intentionem (nominative intentio) ´a stretching out, straining, exertion, effort; attention,´ noun of action from intendere ´to turn one’s attention,´ literally ´to stretch out´.”  Affirming that all my intentions are met ­resonated deeply with me, as it has the idea of focus, purpose and action and urges me to define what my intentions are.  I like this one, and decided to work with it.

Here are 3 ways to use this affirmation:

  1. Every morning, affirm out loud and in your journal: “All my intentions are met”.
  2. Write down what your intentions for your day are:  “My intention for today is …”.
  3. Give thanks for your intentions being met: “I am grateful that all these intentions have already been met”.

And now go about your day, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that your intentions are always met.

Rosemary McGuire
How Changing the Structure of a Sentence Saved My Life
Family & Relationships, Spirituality
VN words that describe you

The word ‘so’ is holding me hostage. How is it that two little letters have the power to paralyze a grown woman? I don’t know, but they do, or at least they did, until I changed its location in my awful repetitive sentence that was ruining me.

As a newly retired almost empty nester with few friends, my life as I had known it for the past 25 years was looking drastically different. And I was lonely.

Day in and day out, over and over all I could hear was myself repeating the same statement. “I am SO lonely”, I would cry to myself. “I am sooo lonely”. The life I had created while working and raising my children was vastly changing. And so was I.

I reminded myself of that fact every single day since my phone stopped ringing. There were no longer play dates to schedule no PTA meetings to attend and no more office meetings to complain about.

Then one day, when I couldn’t take the loneliness any longer, I changed my sentence. I move that dreadful adverb to the front of my thoughts and it became, “So, I’m lonely”.

“So, I’m lonely”, translated for me into, “So what, you’re lonely, do something about it woman!”.

That new structure gave me new hope. I no longer felt desperate. I no longer felt anxious. Changing the position of that one word, empowered me to do something about it. I was no longer a helpless victim of loneliness. I was now feeling lonely and I intuitively knew there was something I could do about it.

And I did. I now make lunch dates instead of play dates. When the silence of my life seems too much, I take to my computer to write. I begin a new job search. I signed up for night classes and I even applied to graduate school.

So I’m lonely. Big deal. It’s not a death sentence.

There are so many things I can do and wallowing in the helplessness of whining “I’m so lonely”, is no longer one of them.

Michelle Roberts
I found my power through wanting something better for myself
Spirituality, Work & Money
This is me today!

People often ask me, “Did you always speak so positive?”, “Has Affirmations and speaking the Word of God always been second nature?” So to answer truthfully, Oh NO!! LOL. Although being raised in church I did not always apply what I was hearing and therefore didn’t even realize the power I had.

My story is like many women who face challenges of different magnitudes, you will either give in to the struggle or you will win the battle and come out victorious. I will share with you that there were times in my past I faced deep depression and felt that I didn’t love myself like I should and therefore looked to food and negative relationships to feed that void I was missing.

I found my power through wanting something better for myself and the 3 children I was left to raise as a single parent. I asked myself a few questions, (sometimes you have to talk to yourself) :-)

1. What are you showing your children about coping with life’s challenges
2. What can I do to make this situation better
3. Who can I talk to and get support from?
4. What can I say over my life positively to change my mindset
5. Take action on all of the above, one day at a time until I win!

I answered those questions — and a few more — honestly and I began the journey of rebuilding my life through:

  • Speaking positively over my life
  • Going back to school to better our financial situation
  • Embarking on health and fitness and also
  • Gathering a Tribe of Friends and family for support.

I not only found my Power to change, I found my voice to share my challenges and my success with others. I encourage you to take a self-evaluation of the things you want to change and improve and start now. Begin to answer the questions positively and begin to speak over your life and the life of others to affect a change in your life and everyone you come into contact with.

Some of my favorite Affirmations are the following:

  • I am Blessed
  • I am Favored
  • I have more than enough
  • I am smart
  • I am loved
  • I feel great passion about my goals
  • When I commit to doing something I always see it through
  • I am committed to being the best ME! That I can be
  • I am healthy
  • I am Awesome, Fabulous and Amazing

Affirmations along with practical application will change your life for the better!

Read more about Michelle’s Weight Loss Journey here.


This article is compliments of Michelle A. Roberts, M.A., Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

Author of Affirmations for Success

Contact: Michelle A. Roberts 404-935-8113

Purchase your copy at: http://www.michellearoberts.com


Flower Bear
One For All And All For One
Geese at libraray

There’s no denying that Autumn is a feast for the senses. The color pallet for this season burns its beauty into our eyes and hearts. There is a certain smell in the air, a crispness that whispers to us that winter is just around the corner. We enjoy the fruits of the harvest on our dinner tables and the aroma of apple pies baking gets our taste buds watering. One of other things I love about Autumn relates to a particular sound. What? Didn’t think Autumn had a “sound?” Oh, but it does and the minute you hear it, your eyes are drawn skyward. Know what it is? Of course, it’s the geese.

From the moment I feel that first crispness in the air, I strain my ears to listen for that familiar sound of the geese making their way to the pond down the road from my house. I have been fortunate that for the last 23 years I have lived near a body of water that attracts flocks of geese each and every year with a place to stop and rest themselves on their journey to their winter homes to the south. Even when I moved away to the city for 15 years, I was still within walking distance of a branch of the Chenango River, and the geese would fly right over my apartment from north to south as they headed for their next rest stop.

Have you ever watched a flock of geese in flight? I once read up on them for a project I was working on. When the one in the lead begins to tire out, another one will move forward and take his place so the first one can fall back and rest. If one of them goes to the ground because of injury or fatigue, another will go and stay with it until it is fit to fly again and will lead it in the direction of the rest of the flock. All that cackling and honking that goes on when they are in flight are for two reasons: First, they will alert each other if there is any danger from a predator in the area; Second, they call to each other to encourage the flock on, to keep them flapping and flying, to boost their morale. Truly, these beautiful animals are living examples of the old saying, “one for all and all for one.”

I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – we can learn a lot about life from watching our animal relations. They have so much to teach us. Can you imagine a world where we watch out for one another, encourage one another and take care of each other without question or expectation of payment? Can you image a world where it’s citizens act out of love and compassion without even stopping to think about it but out of sheer instinct? I believe that instinct is in all of us although for many it has lain dormant for so long that they have forgotten it is there. Sometimes we need  Mother Nature to send us a reminder that makes so much noise we just have to pick ourselves up and look skyward to get the picture. We accomplish nothing when we work against each other. When we work with each other, everyone reaches their goals.

Once the visiting geese have moved on, the local geese, who have nice warm barns to winter in and have no need to become snow birds, will fly overhead and check out the pond to see if there is still time to get some fish to augment their diet of grain before the pond freezes over. When I hear them coming, I look up and see these hearty souls who, although their numbers are few, stick together, urge each other on, and watch each others’ backs for the short trip from the farm to the pond and back again. What’s that other old saying? Oh, yes: “Where two or three are gathered …” – love is in their midst.

And so it is.

Flower Bear
As Above, So Below



When I moved to the Village of Marathon, New York the first time some 23 years ago, I lived on Front Street, so called because it fronted on to the Tioughnioga River (don’t even try to pronounce it). Shortly after I moved there, I would wake up in the wee hours just as the day was waking up as well to see a blue heron standing in the shallows on the river bank right outside my bedroom window. I would sit for a while and just watch this beautiful creature standing silently, not moving, as the rest of the animal world went about their business of greeting a new day. I knew it was waiting for its breakfast to put in an appearance and didn’t want to scare it off by moving about, but to me its silent presence seemed more mysterious than that.

You see, it only appeared if I was struggling with some kind of decision or problem that I needed to resolve. If I went looking for it on my walks along the river, I was never able to find it. Yet I could be walking along with my mind on some issue or other and look up only to find Mr. Heron standing there like a statue, his feet in the shallows and his majestic body standing tall. Most of the time, I saw it at dawn and dusk, but I also saw it at other odd times of the day. The most magical time was one night around midnight when I was walking home from my daughter’s house after spending the evening babysitting while she worked second shift at a nursing home (yes, Marathon is the kind of place where you can walk around after midnight and no one will bother you). As I was crossing the bridge, thinking about how glad I was of the fresh air to wake me up, something made me look over the railing. There, standing in the shallows in the glow of the lights on the bridge, was my heron. I swear he looked at me.

I was at that time immersed in my Native American studies, so I looked up the meaning of having a heron as an animal totem. I learned that heron medicine is the power of knowing the self by discovering our gifts and facing our challenges. It urges us to dive into the watery world of our feelings to find the truth. Heron reminds us to stay grounded in our beliefs (under the water representing our inner most or spiritual selves) while operating in the outer world.

This teaching has always stayed with me. Over the years that followed, and especially the 15 years I spent away from the village, I always tried to stand firm in my truth when facing whatever challenges life threw at me. Sometimes I would lose my footing and then I would have to dive deep back into that watery world to find the answers.

Now that I am back in Marathon, I am a little more than 2 miles from the river. I sometimes catch a glimpse of a heron majestically flying overhead, its long legs out behind those beautiful wings. Is it my heron? I rather doubt that, but who knows? Only last week 3 different people shared photos or videos about herons on my Facebook page, and only one of them knew the significance of that bird to me. As it happens, I am wrestling with a new writing project, something bigger and more daunting than I have ever undertaken before. Perhaps heron has come back to remind me to go deep, find my truth, and stay grounded in order to face my fears and do what spirit calls me to do.

We all need something that helps us to stay grounded in our truth. It’s what keeps us authentic. It helps us to find our voice, and it shows us how to use our gifts. May we all have herons in our lives to remind us to when to stand tall, and when to fly.

And so it is.

Cara - VN Staff
Friday inspiration
FILE - This April 7, 2011 file photo shows Carrie Fisher at the 2011 NewNowNext Awards in Los Angeles. Fisher says she's coming back as Princess Leia for the new “Star Wars” films. The actress confirmed that she'll return as the iconic character in an interview posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013, with Florida's Palm Beach Illustrated. Casting for the films has yet to be announced, but Fisher answered a simple “yes” when asked if she would be reprising Leia. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, file)

Great quote from an impressive vibrant woman.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”  ~ Carrie Fisher

10-23-2015 3-28-22 PM

Flower Bear
A Touch of Frost

This is what greeted me one morning last week:

The first touch of frost dusted the grass and reminded me that, even though we would probably still have some warm days yet, the year was winding down towards winter. There were more months behind us for this year on the calendar than there were left ahead of us.

The year I turned 60 was a lot like that as well. For some reason, as long as I was still in my 50’s, I never gave it a thought, but after my birthday I suddenly realized that I had more years behind me than I was likely to have in front of me. That was a sobering thought for sure. It’s not as if I thought my days were numbered, but when I looked back at those previous decades, I realized that I could not say with any certainty that my best days were behind me as well. There was nothing outstanding about them except for the birth of my two beautiful daughters which I consider my crowning achievement, but I didn’t feel as if I had achieved any of the goals I had set up for myself or made more than one of my dreams come true – leaving the city behind and moving to the country. For a while I wondered if there was still time for me to go for the gold and make the rest of my dreams come true. Was I now “too old” to give birth to them?

Then I discovered my hero, Louise Hay, who affirmed: “Each age has its own special joys and experiences. I am always the perfect age for where I am in life.” Maybe that was the key to it all. When I was having and raising my children, I was the perfect age to do that. Now that I am older, and my children are off living their own lives, I am the perfect age to experience the special joys and accomplishments that come with the wisdom of having lived 60+ years. As I sat down at my desk and picked up my pen again, I discovered that my writing had taken on a different hue, a warmer, deeper voice, and I knew that it wouldn’t have been possible to write like that in my younger days. I needed a touch of frost, a touch of life experience, to add the color that my writing needed. I have since published two ebooks, have been writing this blog for three years, and am working on a new book that is longer and deeper than anything I have done before. I could not have even begun that project until I had lived it first.

Yesterday morning I woke up to yet another surprise:

Our first snow of the season (no, the bear isn’t real. He has been standing guard over my gardens for the last 20 years). It’s all gone now, melted away by the Autumn sun and temperatures reaching back for the 50’s. Change happens. Seasons change. There are special joys and experiences in each of them and I know I am the perfect age to experience each and every one of them as only I can from where I am in my life.

And so it is.

Cara - VN Staff
Friday inspiration
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A good friend of mine just shared this thought on a different social network, and it feels perfect right now. Sometimes we need a reminder to keep the fire lit. Happy Friday, ladies!

Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.

St. Catherine of Sienna


Flower Bear
Happy Anniversary To Me
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Happy Anniversary To Me - Moving to the Country

On October 1st I celebrated one year since I moved to the country. I can’t believe that it has already been a whole year. I have watched all the seasons come and go with a new fascination like a small child who experiences them for the first time. I still become overwhelmed with emotion when I watch the magnificent colors of the sunset every night, and am currently being blown away by the explosion of Autumn color all around me. Even the piles and piles of snow outside my window last winter were amazing to me although I admit to wondering if I would every see Spring again. When Spring finally got here, it came with tulips, and daffodils, and the return of morning birdsong, and soft breezes instead of frigid ones.

As the seasons changed, so did I. I have spent the last few days taking an inventory of the things I’ve learned since I downsized my life. I’ve learned that one can happily exist with very little, freeing up time and space for experiences and pursuing hobbies or passions. I’ve learned that a home cooked meal from fresh, local produce and other food items not only feeds the body with better health, but feeds the mind and soul as well because every time we slice a tomato or pick some produce from our own gardens, we are connecting with the Spirit that created it all and us as well. I’ve learned that taking time to just sit and listen to nothing isn’t a waste of time, because there is no “nothing.” There is the sound of birds chirping, geese in flight, the wind in the trees, cows mooing, rain dripping off the roof and so many things that resonate like a beautiful symphony. I no longer have to lock myself in a closet to get away from the cacophony of cars, trucks, fire engines, sirens, buses, and people driving by with their music turned up to ear-bleeding volume, while sucking in exhaust fumes and other toxins.

Some folks have wondered how I survive out here when I sometimes go days without seeing another human being up close (I am surrounded by farms so I wave daily to the guys and girls driving the hay trucks and tractors as they go by). The biggest gift I have received from moving here is that I have learned to like myself and my own company. It has not been an easy process, and I spent many a dark, snowy winter day getting reacquainted with myself. There was a little girl inside that had been yearning to hear someone tell her that she was perfect just as she was, that she was capable, and creative, and strong, and smart, and enough. So I put my arm around her and told her all of those things, and more. When the snows melted and the days grew warmer and longer, we went for walks together and watched the earth rebirth and renew itself. We rediscovered our love of cooking and, having made the decision to go vegan – no small task in the middle of cow country – we discovered how creative we could be. Most of all, we found our voice again and it began to speak once more on the page, and we began to tell the story of our journey.  Hopefully by early next year we will be able to birth it to the world.

So Happy Anniversary to me. May the peace and love I’ve found find its way out into the world to inspire someone else to leap into the life of their dreams. Don’t be scared. It’s so worth the journey.

And so it is.

Flower Bear
A Matter of Trust

This is Charlotte. She is 8 years old. I adopted her when my daughter informed me that they had discovered a tiny, hungry kitten just a few months old licking out dog food cans in her recycling bin outside on a cold October morning 8 years ago. At first I said no. I had already dealt with the grief and sadness of two beautiful felines who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and a third whose time was quickly coming to make the same trip. However, the moment I held her and we looked into each others’ eyes, I knew that she would have to be mine. In those few minutes, there was an undeniable feeling of trust that moved between us, a feeling that we would be there for each other no matter what. That feeling of trust has proved to be as solid as stone. There is nothing I would not do to take care of her and give her a good life, and she has shown me unconditional love even in those moments when I was not even aware that I was in need of just that.

“God has entrusted me with myself.”


Have you ever noticed that we have no problem making sure that we provide those that we love with everything they need to have a good life, but have a huge problem doing the same for ourselves? We might say, “Well, my children/pets/loved ones trust that I will be there for them.” The reason that they have that degree of trust in us is because we established that bond of trust with them when they were entrusted to our care. So how is it that we don’t have the same degree of trust in ourselves to treat ourselves the same way we would treat those we love?

As the quote above tells us, God (Creator, Universe, Great Mystery, whatever you’re comfortable with) had enough faith in us to entrust us with a precious, loving creation to care for. Love created us. How are we showing our gratitude for that trust Love has in us? Certainly not by letting ourselves go without the things we need, not only to survive, but to thrive? Not just food and shelter, but love, and companionship, and a life that speaks to our spiritual as well as physical well-being. When we take good care of our health, our minds and our hearts, we are showing that we are worthy of the trust Love had in us in the first place. When we fill our lives with poor eating habits, stress, worry and drama, we aren’t. Living an authentic life means doing those things that are in our best interest, just as we would do for those we care for. If Creator has that kind of trust in us, who are we to deny our own worth?

This is Laura. When I realized that Charlotte was lonely while I was away at work, Laura came to live with us. Charlotte trusted me to do what was best for her, and, I have to admit, having both girls with me certainly makes my life richer. I think maybe that’s what Love had in mind for me anyway.

And so it is.


Marguerite Orane
The Power of “I AM”

The scintillating performances of World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing are still on my mind, he having now chalked up 11 gold medals at the Worlds and 6 at the Olympics.

“I am a legend,” he declared in 2012. Some thought him arrogant to make that declaration. Now, 3 years later, he has certainly manifested legend status. He is the greatest athlete of our time: “I am the greatest,” he prophesied, channeling the spirit of Muhammad Ali, another great athlete.

It is said that the two most powerful words that we can utter are “I am”, for they define who and what we are. Whatever follows those two words is our reality and forms the perspective from which we view and experience our world. Whatever we place after “I am” becomes a label that defines our lives. This also creates otherness as we choose between one thing and another, either consciously or, more often than not, unconsciously.

Why is “I am” so powerful? Let’s go back to the basic grammar we were taught at school. Recall that “I am” is the first person conjugation of the verb “to be”. According to www.dictionary.com, a verb is: “any member of a class of words that function as the main elements of predicates, that typically express action, state, or a relation between two things, and that may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice, mood, and to show agreement with their subject or object.” The verb is a linking word that defines the subject. So whatever we place after “I am” defines what we are.

Say, “I am tired” and what are you? Tired of course. Choose, “I am sad” and you are sad, not happy. Say, “I am an American” and you view the world from whatever experiences being American denotes. Declare, “I am a Christian” and you experience the world through Christian principles.

Reflect on how many times per day you use “I am”. At the very least every time you speak to someone and they ask, “How are you?” you are likely to respond, “I am ….” many times without thinking.

As I muse on the power of these two simple words, it occurs to me that they also stand for:
I = Intention
A = Acceptance
M = Manifestation

For when we say, “I am”, we are signaling our intention for something, our acceptance of it and its manifestation. We should be so very careful about what words we choose, for whatever they are WILL manifest.

“But Marguerite,” you may ask, “Suppose I AM tired? Shouldn’t I truthfully acknowledge it rather than deny it?” Is your being tired your fundamental state of being, or is it just how you happen to be feeling in this moment? For if the latter is the case, then you might choose to say, “I feel tired”. I learned this distinction from my mother many years ago when I was going through a tough time financially. “I am SO broke,” I declared. And she, of boundless wisdom, retorted: “No you are not broke, Marguerite. You are just temporarily short of cash.” And I have NEVER been broke since.

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be; that is the question.” We answer that question with whatever we place after “I am.” Whenever you notice yourself saying “I am”, remember that what you are really saying is: “It is my Intention to Accept and Manifest … “.

Tiziana C Dearing
At the intersection of K Street and Pope Francis
News, Spirituality
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I was standing at the intersection of K and 14th Streets in Washington, DC early this morning, noticing how quiet the roads were with so many shut down for Pope Francis’ visit. On every light

A flyer for a climate change rally at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

A flyer for a climate change rally at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

post were flyers inviting people to a climate change rally tomorrow morning on the National Mall.

As many know, K Street is famous as the center of lobbying in Washington, riddled with offices of the powerful and influential. It’s not too far from the White House, and one of the roads that serve as a corridor between special interests, the White House and the Capitol building. As I took it all in, two thoughts struck me.

First, I recently read several chapters from Larry Bartels’ Unequal Democracy. In it, Bartels makes a disturbingly strong, data-driven case that lawmakers are unresponsive to the interests of low-income Americans, even when controlling for pretty much everything – voting patterns, political action, campaign contributions, etc. Instead, lawmakers and elected officials consistently make choices that align with the interests and preferences of high-income Americans, again controlling for all kinds of factors. K Street symbolizes the line of communication between the powerful and the elected.

Second, Pope Francis isn’t about that. He clearly, consistently and tirelessly represents the voice and the interests of the poor and marginalized. He is unelected, and consistently responsive to their wants and needs. His recent encyclical, Laudato Si, not only calls on the global community to protect the climate as a “common good, belonging to all and meant for all,” but also to pursue a “civilization of love” that puts the poor and marginalized at the heart of our economy and our personal actions.

That, today, traffic to K Street is reduced because of the presence of someone who represents interests that don’t effectively penetrate there, and yet, every 20 feet one finds an invitation to rally in behalf of the climate and how it impacts the poor, is truly symbolic of Pope Francis and his message.