Just. Just. Just. My journey has been like a perfect sweet potato pie that's been placed in front of me as a gift. At times I’m in such awe I hesitate to cut into it, but would rather let it sit there while I admire its beauty and perfection. Before long I come to realize it really is okay to JUST dive in and partake of this decadence that was prepared JUST for me to enjoy in the first place. So that’s JUST what I have been doing since June of this year, enjoying every aspect of my growth and development during this amazing journey.
A key aspect of my Fellowship has literally been sweat and at times tears. Focusing on my health and wellness has not been easy. My poor health patterns have been my mode of operation for decades and therefore hard to change in a few weeks. I had to come face to face with this reality. Yet, the rewarding factor of having lost 35 pounds since June has made the pain and tears worthwhile. This ongoing health and wellness process also strengthens my mind, my determination, and most importantly my focus. I have discovered that when I set my mind on something, it can be done. I feel like the main historic shero in the movie "Harriet", it is up to me to concentrate, remain dedicated, and run on anyhow knowing the road will not always be easy. Yoga and Mindfulness retreats are and will continue to help me better balance the more challenging struggles. Yes, I have moments of being a bit emotionally down. For example, I realize that I should have lost 40 pounds by now, but there were days when instinctively I fell back into my old patterns. The wisdom comes in knowing that I cannot eat an entire pie in one sitting, but it is okay to have a nice slice every now and then. This also equates to my frustration when other goals set in my Fellowship became stifled because people who I admire nationally and in many cases internationally did not return my emails or phone calls. Once I calmed my inner-self down and adjusted to a level of patience (I seek greater patience in my Fellowship plan), I stopped taking it personally. Today I am pleased to report that some of those contacts have now gotten back to me with appointment dates and times to connect. Lesson learned for me – STOP thinking everyone’s pace and time management is the same as mine. These people who I am seeking to connect with are big thinkers who are doing magnificent things to help change our world in hopes of making it a more peaceful, healthier, safer, and anti-racist place for “all” to live. My goal of having a more in-depth conversation with Rev. William Barber, II will happen as I plan to travel to North Carolina Feb/Mar 2020 timeframe. Having unexpectantly met him this past July at the National NAACP Convention held in Detroit, Michigan was only the beginning – I know this.
Meanwhile, my goals regarding food culture and HBCU tours are being scheduled during warm weather months (Minnesota winter) intentionally. I'd say that makes me pretty smart. My suggestion to you is to have your travel well-thought-out. It is foolish for me to plan Louisiana July-October...that's hurricane season. Or why would I go to Mississippi in July/August...it's over 100 degrees everyday. Little things like that I now enjoy plotting out on my calendar.
Darn it! The Fellowship is for TWO YEARS, so I need not beat myself up running a marathon against myself and certainly not against the other Fellows. It is important to remember this Fellowship is all about me! Another contact that I have made, but will not reveal until my November report, re-affirms the prestigious value of this Bush recognition. For it comes with a substantial degree of influential possibilities. I am learning to take advantage of this influence without feeling any sense of guilt. In closing I pass onto you this: It is key to believe that when receiving a Bush Fellowship, it was intended JUST for you to do JUST what is needed for you. I am certain you will be JUST as appreciative as I am.