Rose Medicine by TheSageGoddess

Rose Medicine by TheSageGoddess

Happy New Year’s eve everyone!

Fireworks are already radiating across the globe streaking across the skies from Australia, allover Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shangai, China….. LOL!

Let the Good Times roll……. mmmm….

Welcome New Year, WELCOME! 😉

(and in case you need a man! Here’s another version, too:)

And for the link to this gorgeous image, and the incredible Sage Goddess behind it all…….

https://www.facebook.com/SageGoddess

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSageGoddess

have FUN! ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ •.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•´ ♡ ☆ .•*´♡ ★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥ *̣̣̣̥★ ★ ★ ★ ★¸

Festive greetings! May your New Year be very blessed and prosperous ★•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•´ ♡ ☆ .•*´♡ ★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥ *̣̣̣̥ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

̣̣̣̥·̣☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́Raïƞː̗̀☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́·̣̥̣̣̣̥★*•.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★The Awesome Dawson, Leonie! and her wonder works in the world★ ★ ★ ★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★ ★The Awesome Dawson, Leonie! and her wonder works in the world★ ★ ★ ★ ★

http://leoniedawson.com/affiliate-redirect/?w=amazingyr&p=rainjewel

“LEONIE DAWSON IS AN AMAZING ARTIST, SPIRITUAL TEACHER AND GODDESS WOMAN.

She’s inspiring, wise, kind and oh-so-talented!”

Lucy Cavendish, Hay House author + oracle card creator.

Leonie In Dot Points:

I’m a self help author/artist/hippy who has also evolved into an entrepreneur + philanthropist.
I’m the CEO of a half million dollar a year company.
I only work 2-3 hours a day. I’ve never worked full time hours in my business – even as it doubles (or even triples) in size each year.
My priority is to spend lots of happy, gentle, creative + adventure time with the two loves of my life: my husband Chris and my daughter Ostara.
I’ve written two books, blogged for 8 years and created dozens of e-courses, workbooks and meditation kits. I get shit DONE.
I’m the founder of the world’s best business + life training resource for women.
I’ve coached tens of thousands of women to create their own incredible lives and businesses including crystal healers, celebrities, coaches, best-selling authors, award-winning singers, fitness experts, yoga teachers, multiple-six-figure entrepreneurs.
I’ve previously worked as editor of business.gov.au – the Australian Government’s portal for businesses. It also happened to win a United Nations award during my time there! Wop wop!
I’ve worked in in the Minister’s Offices of Parliament House + been a top achieving economics + art history student at Australian National University before dropping out to become a successful artist/hippy/woman living her own wild dream!
My spiritual path drives everything I do – from business to money to relationship to what I decide to do next. Whatever I do, it’s gotta be on my soul’s purpose.
I’m a gigglesnorter. An incorrigible optimist. I’m often found up trees. I have an undying love affair for stationery, art supplies, the smell of books + documenting the beauty in the world.

Of course, my life hasn’t always looked and felt like this.

I still remember so deeply the times when it wasn’t. The times I was completely adrift at sea. When I didn’t know who I was, what I was truly here for and why things felt so shitty and painful.

And on a business level, I didn’t understand why I was floundering so much and why on earth I couldn’t make it work. I couldn’t even dream that a sustainable income was possible from sharing my gifts with the world. And yet I knew I was supposed to be helping people. I craved the kind of life where I would be living my soul’s dream.

Along my spiritual & business path I’ve learned some incredible lessons and medicine. Lessons that changed everything for me.

And I’m going to teach you how to do exactly the same.
Why?

Because I have a big, beautiful dream, dearest.

Imagine a destiny where you and me are meant to change the world.

Imagine we share our gifts with the world.

Imagine a world where we help millions of people.

Imagine a world where we live the life of our dreams – no more sacrificing our lives, sanity, health, relationships or family as we do it.

Imagine a world where we live wherever we want. However we want. Making whatever lifestyle and childcare and happiness choices we like.

Imagine a world where we are nourished by our lives, be abundantly supported by money so we can make powerful, soul-centered choices.

Imagine a world where we are incredible custodians of money, inspired philanthropists who know WE are the ones who’ll make the difference.

Imagine a world where we step into our radiance, our joy, our divinity, our wisdom and love ourselves – completely – every cell and every bone.

I’m here to make this world a reality for you, just as it is already for me.

Official Bio

Leonie Dawson is a mentor to women wanting to create + grow massively successful and heart-centered creative + soulful businesses. She is also an author, retreat leader, visual artist, mama and guide for the tens of thousands who receive her free “AMAZING BIZ + AMAZING LIFE” eZine each week.

Leonie has taught alongside such luminaries as Arielle Ford, Julia Cameron, Gay Hendricks and SARK. Leonie has coached tens of thousands of women to create their own incredible lives and businesses including crystal healers, celebrities, coaches, best-selling authors, award-winning singers, fitness experts, yoga teachers, multiple-six-figure entrepreneurs and artists.

Leonie has a rare gift at working from both sides of the brain – she guides clients with both heart-centered sage wisdom and practical strategy, how-to’s and business advice.

Her strategic musings and practical wisdom have been featured on Problogger, Tiny Buddha, magazines like Spellcraft, Life Images, Goddess and Spheres, and in three of SARK’s best-selling books on creative fulfillment & freedom.

Previously, Leonie has worked as editor of the Australian Government’s business website business.gov.au which garnered a United Nations award during her time there. She has also previously worked in Minister’s Offices at Parliament House and as a legal secretary. Leonie was formerly a top-achieving economics + art history student at Australian National University before dropping out to become a successful artist.

Purposeful, passionate & unendingly prolific, published her first book at 22 and has gone on to create a solo art exhibition, lead women’s circles and retreats, create popular e-courses, workbooks + meditations. and create the Amazing Biz & Life Academy.

In the process, she has built a half-million dollar a year company that doubles in size each year and helps thousands of women every single year. Her mission is to help as many earth angels – women with creative or spiritual gifts – to have profoundly profitable businesses so they may nourish themselves and heal the world.

And Now the Love Letter!

I think a lot of people assume that I’ve had a pretty charmed life in order to be this happy/glittery/overexcitable/optimistic.

That I haven’t undergone real pain. That I had the perfect childhood + that everything for me is easy.

I just wanted you to know: that’s not true.

I’m a normal person. One who had a real childhood with its own blend of blessings + tragedies. Some people have had better. Some have had worse.

I don’t share about all the tragedies because I’m not called to.

What pain taught me most of all was this:

I’m still okay. The pain + the craziness wasn’t true. The thing that was true all along was the light inside me. The shining spirit of the divine. Of wanting to create + make miracles + remind the world that it was beautiful.

*

I’m one of five children. Two brothers, two sisters. I’m #4. I’m probably the funny one, if we were in the mood for assigning roles. My eldest brother Clinton died in a farm accident when I was 14. He’s now one of my correspondents from the rainbow side. He still likes to eat milk bottles & banana lollies by the bagful.

I grew up on a cattle farm in tropical paradise, North Queensland, Australia. My first memory is of being lifted into my dad’s arms as he sat on his chestnut mare, Noeleen. He had just come back from mustering cattle. I had just been to town. I was wearing a lemon frilly dress. I was two. Ever since, I’ve had an aversion to lemon frilly dresses, and a deep adoring love of horses.

I spent most of my childhood riding horses, swimming in rivers, being best friends with dogs, reading far too many books, attempting to become a horse whisperer, writing poems in a red star covered journal, spending far too long in the tops of trees, sitting at the big bench in our art corner & creating elaborate rituals with my sister.

I also used to work a lot on the farm, but mostly used cattle-mustering-time to whisper secrets to my horse, worship my brother, daydream & broadcast Leonie FM – a radio station that I was the singer, announcer & newsreader for. And by broadcast, I mean “talk to myself”.

I used to be an overachieving academic type who thought an A- wasn’t good enough. I graduated as school captain in the top five percent of the state. Thankfully, I grew out of being an overachiever (mostly).

When I was 18, I took off to live in Malaysia by myself for a couple of months. It was momentous and gorgeous and junglyish and strange all at once. I look back and think how extraordinarily brave I was at 18. I think we must be born with courage.

I fell in love at first sight with my love when I was 18. (A couple of days after returning home from Malaysia) He’s a Scorpio, I’m a Scorpio. We’ve been deep in love for over a decade, and I’m very proud of this. Chris continues to be my sage teacher, student, muse & journey partner. He’s also very hot. He is the same Myers-Briggs type as Mr Darcy. This is a new discovery, but it totally delights me.

After falling in love, we decided to go on an adventure. We moved across the countryside to an alpine city (Canberra) that neither of us had been to before. We treated the freezing cold like it was an adventure, and for the next seven years, we grew up together there. We found ourselves & our coupledom. We both worked for the Australian Government. I did short stints working for Ministers in Parliament House, but mostly I insisted on spreading glitter as web editor at business.gov.au. On weekends, we made art & music & went on adventures & did shamanic drumming. Corporate hippy artists! Wee!

And one day we drove back to my hometown, and stood in the sea where we first fell in love, and my love asked me to marry him. I said “Only if you’ll marry me.” I’m not quite sure why, we were both giddy & teary & giggly & nervous. But it was a Yes.

We travelled – to India. To Uluru. All over & over Australia.

It was a very, very good life. Easy & joyful & a whole lot of fun.

And then one sweet Sunday afternoon, there is a moment I’ll always remember. The sunlight was pouring in the windows, and my love and I suddenly knew a little soul wanted to come into the world. And there before us lay a big, beautiful opportunity. And we said Yes, with tears sparkling in our eyes. Within a couple of months, she arrived.

I told the world on my website when I was six weeks pregnant – just a few days after I’d found out myself. Also: I was one of those types who was so sure that she would know the instant she was pregnant. And then one Sunday in July 2009, I was eating a felafel wrap with my love, telling him how I kept feeling like I wanted to puke, that my periods were late, but I definitely, definitely wasn’t pregnant. My love gave me a look that he knew something else. And he did. As he most always is, he was right.

Our daughter was born eight months later.

You can read her birth story here.

Three weeks after she was born, the calling in us was too loud to ignore:

we needed to leave the city.

So we put our house on the market, and took a huge leap of faith. We quit our jobs, and we moved back across the countryside when Ostara was five months old.

We lived back in my hometown Proserpine again, in the 100 year old cottage that my grandmother used to live in.

Oh, and ten years to the day I snogged that beautiful man for the first time?

We returned back to the same beach, and declared we’d spend the rest of our lives together. We have a relationship that is both immensely human + immensely divine.

We made art + love + miracles.

(Not to mention one very cute baby!!!)

At the same time, I learned huge soul lessons from Post Natal Depression.

I used to be called Goddess Leonie which was beautiful and perfect and resonant and sacred for me for a really long time. Now I just call myself Leonie.

Two years later, after thinking I’d settled down in one place for the rest of my life, we got the soul’s calling to move even further north into even more tropical paradise.

I realised I went back to my hometown to discover it was the place I was born, but not the place I was meant to be.

We’re now very happily living in the enchanted mountains beside the ocean of Cairns. We live in our dream house, with lots of beautiful land to run around wild on. We have rainforest outside our windows and birds and turquoise butterflies and a resident family of wallabies. It’s pretty freakin’ dreamy.

I’m an online business goddess. That’s my “job”. In fact, it’s not just my job – it’s my whole family’s job. My love is a stay-at-home parent with me, and we get to spend a lot of lovely, gentle, happy time together with Ostara.

Most days you’ll find us at the beach, exploring the amazing place we live, making art & being gentle. And in the afternoons, I pop off to my studio to write + coach women + create miracles. I pour out whatever is inside me that needs to be heard.

We have lots of family time. Lots of creative time. A life that is free and in balance and happy.

I’m so damn grateful for it all.

Becoming a spirited entrepreneur has profoundly changed me. It’s been the best spiritual journey of my life. I’ve learned so much and grown so much.

I’m so thankful for all the lessons + wisdom I’ve learned along the way. What works and what doesn’t. What makes the biggest changes in our lives and businesses.

I truly believe that this work of creating the life + business of our dreams is one of the most important things we can do.

I’m so so committed to helping you do just that… creating + living your amazing life + business.

Let’s make miracles happen!
CREATE YOUR OWN AMAZING LIFE + BUSINESS

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The danger of a single story: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – TED.com TALK

Inspired by Nigerian history and tragedies all but forgotten by recent generations of westerners, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels and stories are jewels in the crown of diasporan literature.

Why you should listen to her:

In Nigeria, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun has helped inspire new, cross-generational communication about the Biafran war. In this and in her other works, she seeks to instill dignity into the finest details of each character, whether poor, middle class or rich, exposing along the way the deep scars of colonialism in the African landscape.

Adichie’s newest book, The Thing Around Your Neck, is a brilliant collection of stories about Nigerians struggling to cope with a corrupted context in their home country, and about the Nigerian immigrant experience.

Adichie builds on the literary tradition of Igbo literary giant Chinua Achebe—and when she found out that Achebe liked Half of a Yellow Sun, she says she cried for a whole day. What he said about her rings true: “We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.”

“When she turned 10 and read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, about the clash between Igbo tradition and the British colonial way of life, everything changed: ‘I realized that people who looked like me could live in books.’ She has been writing about Africa ever since.”

Washington Post

Quotes by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

““The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.””

Watch this talk »

Transcript: I’m a storyteller. And I would like to tell you a few personal stories about what I like to call “the danger of the single story.” I grew up on a university campus in eastern Nigeria. My mother says that I started reading at the age of two, although I think four is probably close to the truth. So I was an early reader, and what I read were British and American children’s books.

I was also an early writer, and when I began to write, at about the age of seven, stories in pencil with crayon illustrations that my poor mother was obligated to read, I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather, how lovely it was that the sun had come out. (Laughter) Now, this despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria. I had never been outside Nigeria. We didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.

My characters also drank a lot of ginger beer because the characters in the British books I read drank ginger beer. Never mind that I had no idea what ginger beer was. (Laughter) And for many years afterwards, I would have a desperate desire to taste ginger beer. But that is another story.

What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books by their very nature had to have foreigners in them and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify. Things changed when I discovered African books. There weren’t many of them available, and they weren’t quite as easy to find as the foreign books.

But because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye I went through a mental shift in my perception of literature. I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature. I started to write about things I recognized.

Now, I loved those American and British books I read. They stirred my imagination. They opened up new worlds for me. But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature. So what the discovery of African writers did for me was this: It saved me from having a single story of what books are.

I come from a conventional, middle-class Nigerian family. My father was a professor. My mother was an administrator. And so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help, who would often come from nearby rural villages. So the year I turned eight we got a new house boy. His name was Fide. The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. My mother sent yams and rice, and our old clothes, to his family. And when I didn’t finish my dinner my mother would say, “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.” So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.

Then one Saturday we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket made of dyed raffia that his brother had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.

Years later, I thought about this when I left Nigeria to go to university in the United States. I was 19. My American roommate was shocked by me. She asked where I had learned to speak English so well, and was confused when I said that Nigeria happened to have English as its official language. She asked if she could listen to what she called my “tribal music,” and was consequently very disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey. (Laughter) She assumed that I did not know how to use a stove.

What struck me was this: She had felt sorry for me even before she saw me. Her default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa: a single story of catastrophe. In this single story there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.

I must say that before I went to the U.S. I didn’t consciously identify as African. But in the U.S. whenever Africa came up people turned to me. Never mind that I knew nothing about places like Namibia. But I did come to embrace this new identity, and in many ways I think of myself now as African. Although I still get quite irritable when Africa is referred to as a country, the most recent example being my otherwise wonderful flight from Lagos two days ago, in which there was an announcement on the Virgin flight about the charity work in “India, Africa and other countries.” (Laughter)

So after I had spent some years in the U.S. as an African, I began to understand my roommate’s response to me. If I had not grown up in Nigeria, and if all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals, and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind, white foreigner. I would see Africans in the same way that I, as a child, had seen Fide’s family.

This single story of Africa ultimately comes, I think, from Western literature. Now, here is a quote from the writing of a London merchant called John Locke, who sailed to west Africa in 1561 and kept a fascinating account of his voyage. After referring to the black Africans as “beasts who have no houses,” he writes, “They are also people without heads, having their mouth and eyes in their breasts.”

Now, I’ve laughed every time I’ve read this. And one must admire the imagination of John Locke. But what is important about his writing is that it represents the beginning of a tradition of telling African stories in the West: A tradition of Sub-Saharan Africa as a place of negatives, of difference, of darkness, of people who, in the words of the wonderful poet Rudyard Kipling, are “half devil, half child.”

And so I began to realize that my American roommate must have throughout her life seen and heard different versions of this single story, as had a professor, who once told me that my novel was not “authentically African.” Now, I was quite willing to contend that there were a number of things wrong with the novel, that it had failed in a number of places, but I had not quite imagined that it had failed at achieving something called African authenticity. In fact I did not know what African authenticity was. The professor told me that my characters were too much like him, an educated and middle-class man. My characters drove cars. They were not starving. Therefore they were not authentically African.

But I must quickly add that I too am just as guilty in the question of the single story. A few years ago, I visited Mexico from the U.S. The political climate in the U.S. at the time was tense, and there were debates going on about immigration. And, as often happens in America, immigration became synonymous with Mexicans. There were endless stories of Mexicans as people who were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, that sort of thing.

I remember walking around on my first day in Guadalajara, watching the people going to work, rolling up tortillas in the marketplace, smoking, laughing. I remember first feeling slight surprise. And then I was overwhelmed with shame. I realized that I had been so immersed in the media coverage of Mexicans that they had become one thing in my mind, the abject immigrant. I had bought into the single story of Mexicans and I could not have been more ashamed of myself. So that is how to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.

It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is “nkali.” It’s a noun that loosely translates to “to be greater than another.” Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali: How they are told, who tells them, when they’re told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power.

Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, “secondly.” Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.

I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called American Psycho — (Laughter) — and that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers. (Laughter) (Applause) Now, obviously I said this in a fit of mild irritation. (Laughter)

But it would never have occurred to me to think that just because I had read a novel in which a character was a serial killer that he was somehow representative of all Americans. This is not because I am a better person than that student, but because of America’s cultural and economic power, I had many stories of America. I had read Tyler and Updike and Steinbeck and Gaitskill. I did not have a single story of America.

When I learned, some years ago, that writers were expected to have had really unhappy childhoods to be successful, I began to think about how I could invent horrible things my parents had done to me. (Laughter) But the truth is that I had a very happy childhood, full of laughter and love, in a very close-knit family.

But I also had grandfathers who died in refugee camps. My cousin Polle died because he could not get adequate healthcare. One of my closest friends, Okoloma, died in a plane crash because our fire trucks did not have water. I grew up under repressive military governments that devalued education, so that sometimes my parents were not paid their salaries. And so, as a child, I saw jam disappear from the breakfast table, then margarine disappeared, then bread became too expensive, then milk became rationed. And most of all, a kind of normalized political fear invaded our lives.

All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

Of course, Africa is a continent full of catastrophes: There are immense ones, such as the horrific rapes in Congo and depressing ones, such as the fact that 5,000 people apply for one job vacancy in Nigeria. But there are other stories that are not about catastrophe, and it is very important, it is just as important, to talk about them.

I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.

So what if before my Mexican trip I had followed the immigration debate from both sides, the U.S. and the Mexican? What if my mother had told us that Fide’s family was poor and hardworking? What if we had an African television network that broadcast diverse African stories all over the world? What the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe calls “a balance of stories.”

What if my roommate knew about my Nigerian publisher, Mukta Bakaray, a remarkable man who left his job in a bank to follow his dream and start a publishing house? Now, the conventional wisdom was that Nigerians don’t read literature. He disagreed. He felt that people who could read, would read, if you made literature affordable and available to them.

Shortly after he published my first novel I went to a TV station in Lagos to do an interview, and a woman who worked there as a messenger came up to me and said, “I really liked your novel. I didn’t like the ending. Now you must write a sequel, and this is what will happen …” (Laughter) And she went on to tell me what to write in the sequel. I was not only charmed, I was very moved. Here was a woman, part of the ordinary masses of Nigerians, who were not supposed to be readers. She had not only read the book, but she had taken ownership of it and felt justified in telling me what to write in the sequel.

Now, what if my roommate knew about my friend Fumi Onda, a fearless woman who hosts a TV show in Lagos, and is determined to tell the stories that we prefer to forget? What if my roommate knew about the heart procedure that was performed in the Lagos hospital last week? What if my roommate knew about contemporary Nigerian music, talented people singing in English and Pidgin, and Igbo and Yoruba and Ijo, mixing influences from Jay-Z to Fela to Bob Marley to their grandfathers. What if my roommate knew about the female lawyer who recently went to court in Nigeria to challenge a ridiculous law that required women to get their husband’s consent before renewing their passports? What if my roommate knew about Nollywood, full of innovative people making films despite great technical odds, films so popular that they really are the best example of Nigerians consuming what they produce? What if my roommate knew about my wonderfully ambitious hair braider, who has just started her own business selling hair extensions? Or about the millions of other Nigerians who start businesses and sometimes fail, but continue to nurse ambition?

Every time I am home I am confronted with the usual sources of irritation for most Nigerians: our failed infrastructure, our failed government, but also by the incredible resilience of people who thrive despite the government, rather than because of it. I teach writing workshops in Lagos every summer, and it is amazing to me how many people apply, how many people are eager to write, to tell stories.

My Nigerian publisher and I have just started a non-profit called Farafina Trust, and we have big dreams of building libraries and refurbishing libraries that already exist and providing books for state schools that don’t have anything in their libraries, and also of organizing lots and lots of workshops, in reading and writing, for all the people who are eager to tell our many stories. Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

The American writer Alice Walker wrote this about her Southern relatives who had moved to the North. She introduced them to a book about the Southern life that they had left behind: “They sat around, reading the book themselves, listening to me read the book, and a kind of paradise was regained.” I would like to end with this thought: That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise. Thank you. (Applause)

11.12.13

11.12.13

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

by Marianne Williamson

★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´ ♡ ☆ .•*´♡ ★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥ *̣̣̣̥ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ *•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´ ♡ ☆ .•*´♡ ★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥ *̣̣̣̥ ★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´ ♡ ☆ .•*´♡ ★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥ *̣̣̣̥ ★

Opening of the Gates… *̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡ Shifting of the Guard

Opening of the Gates... *̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡ Shifting of the Guard

Do you recall, swinging on the gates as a child?

I do. It was one of my favorite past times….

Yes, I did incur a hole in my head (literally, from bumping rather hard)

…yet the sensation of joy and resilience lives on.

On this auspicious day of 11.12.13, I wish to honor our beloved Tata (Father) of the African “Rainbow” Nation – Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela, 1918 – 2013. *̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡

Freedom fighter, prisoner, icon, hero, legend. Africa is blessed.

Now the gates are opened, and it is the changing of the guard. *̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡

Now we are the Guardians.

The New Earth is born of our every choice, each moment – starting in the Present.

As our mobile carrier texted nationwide on the day of his departure – reminding all to celebrate Mandela’s life and his service to humanity – let us remember his words:

“The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement”.*̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡

Rest in well-deserved peace, Tata Madiba, we release you amongst the stars *̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡ and may the Magic of the Madiba legacy live on – in each of our deeds, this day and forwards.

Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika, Amen.*̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡

gratitude and blessings… Always,

May dignity and Beauty reign

★ *̣̣̣̥ ·̣☀̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ Raïƞ ː̗̀ ☀̤̣̈̇ ː̖́ ·̣̥*̣̣̣̥★*•.¸♡ ♫• »¸.•*´♡

Madiba Magic lives on….