What is the motivation behind “A Journey of Life on Purpose”?
I wrote this book because I know that many women like myself- intellectually curious and multi-dimensional in their gifts, with a strong commitment to family and community – struggle with finding meaning beyond their roles. This book helps readers, especially women, to reassign and reclaim value in the intentionality of their actions and words in their relationships and communities through candid conversations in prose and poetry. It delves into the primacy of the creative space, insists on the transparency required for real-ationships with others, including ourselves, and communicates a quiet urgency for more empathy as well as a deliberate understanding of what lies beneath race and identity; that is, the very soul and spirit of a being.
Separately, I struggled with my own displacement and belonging as a Black woman citizen of two countries – United States of America, by naturalization, and Commonwealth of Dominica, by birth – while honoring all of who I am. Illuminating themes of self-actualization, or becoming, in the context of our relationships with the women in our lives – friends, mothers, and even children- through candid conversations presents a powerful platform for cutting through some of the morass of identification that comes from identifying solely along racial lines. This too, is an important narrative that I wanted to highlight in print.
I want you to think of your favorite chapter/section, how would that part of the book describe you as a writer?
My favorite part of this book is the section titled “My Sister, My Self”. This section lends power to yet another narrative about the women’s collective. The tapestry of our love and the fabric of us as womenfolk is already layered individually, but collectively, we are formidable. We are often the gatekeepers of our homes, whether we acknowledge it or not. We have the ability to sway opinions, change minds, and appeal to the empathy of others, even our adversaries. Culling that power among us is critical if we are to move forward even on a personal level, let alone on a much broader level, but first it requires transparency with ourselves and each other. It is in this process that we’ll find our own strength. In our sisters, we can find ourselves.
I’m remembering when God let neighbors smack your hand for stealing
when God had you squealin’ cause Grandmama pinched you under the armpit
Sit still in church / Cross your legs / is what she told you the first four times
Grandmama knew all that and more!
I’m remembering God being there
Broke ankle / sprained back / cracked finger bone / car wreck
She would whisper, “thank you God, you’re still here”
when I found homemade hooch in the cellar
and decided to take a sip or two
God was there / so Grandmama knew!
she washed it down with a capful of castor oil
I never did that again.
This is some good information to keep in your pocket. You just never know…
Iyanla Vanzant: 5 Qualities to Get You Through the Hardest Times
3 Signs You’re Having a Soul Emergency
…that relationship did not end.
…the electric bill didn’t come on that pink piece of paper this month.
…the ‘check engine’ light did not flash on your car dashboard.
…your daughter didn’t ask, “why can’t I see daddy?”
…you don’t worry why your son doesn’t ask about his father.
…people discovered you aren’t who you say you are.
…you didn’t become physically ill when you walked into your place of employment on a daily basis.
…your wallet wasn’t stolen on your vacation.
…Grandma didn’t get sick.
…you weren’t caught in a huge web of deceit.
…you didn’t doubt you deserve goodness.
…the day wasn’t Sunday.
We wouldn’t have to seek God if we knew that Goodness was always in our heart.
Always within reach or hug or to Give.
“Give it up to the Lord”, literally has some people just stop. They stop asking, stop seeking, stop dreaming and wait for someone to knock on their door! Or perhaps they will meet this person at the pharmacy or at a traffic light. The opportunity will arrive via their AOL account or during a heated argument. As much as religion strengthens some people, it also weakens. The dictation of the scripture can encourage some to stop thinking or being creative. It also encourages them to follow the same path and stories as the scriptures and not take a chance on that road less traveled so they can mimic someone else’s blessing.
The common sense behind religion is what I compare to Harriett Tubman’s quote, she “could’ve freed more slaves if they knew they were slaves…” If more people considered religion as the noun and spirituality as the action, we would have a broader definition of freedom. A closer connection to the sun.