Do you need help breaking through blocks such as fear? Do you need help creating and sticking to a success plan? Have you started and stalled several times? Maybe you need a success coach to help you break through these blocks, create a viable plan and to help hold you accountable to this plan so you can achieve ultimate success and joy in your life.
A mysterious red-tailed hawk that befriends Isabelle in Book I and reveals another form in Book II.
Almitra is the name of the seeress or prophetess in Kahlil Gibran’s (1923) book, The Prophet. It is she who first believes in the prophet and who bids him to give the people of Orphalese his “truth” saying, “And we shall give it unto our children, and they unto their children, and it shall not perish.” (p.10)
Lieutenant Commander, of the Royal Navy at the helm of Obeah.
In the Haitian religion, Vodou, Ayizan is one of the most important spirits. She is regarded as the first, or archetypal Mambo (priestess), and as such is also associated with priestly knowledge and mysteries, particularly those of initiation, and the natural world. Her full name Ayizan Velekete means (very well-chosen friend of the earth). She is associated with the marketplace and commerce. Ayizan is of Dahomean origin, her color is white and she is syncretized as the Catholic, St. Claire. (During slavery in Haiti, White French enslavers forbade the enslaved Africans and their descendants from pursuing Vodou as a religion and anyone caught practicing any religion other than Catholicism was severely punished. The enslaved people, still deeply attached to their African roots, were obliged to use images of Catholic Saints during Vodou ceremonies, pretending to be praying to them while deep in their heart they were praying to their African gods.)
Isabelle’s mother a.k.a. The Ice Queen
Derived from Cythonna: a goddess in the DC Comic pantheon. Cythonna was among the first gods of Krypton at the beginning of time. Unlike some of her brethren, Cythonna was an evil entity that hailed from the furthest regions of frozen blackness, bearing a hatred for all that was warm and full of light.
Cythonna wanted to make the sun god Rao her mate but Rao saw through her heart and learned that she knew nothing of love and rejected her. This infuriated Cythonna and incited a war between her and Rao, known as the Wars of Ice and Fire. She was defeated and the Kryptonian gods passed judgment upon her, Rao decided to exile Cythonna by banishing her into the frozen void beyond the borders of existence. She remained in the great darkness of the void where she gathered the souls of the unforgiving dead and vowed that if the power of the gods ever weakened, then she would return to get vengeance and finish the war…
The flotilla admiral of the convoy of 7 ships on the mission to Orphalese.
Personal, a familial surname of the author’s maternal line.
A Captain in the Royal Navy of Xamayca chosen to assist Isabelle sail the Erzulie.
Durga: (Sanskrit: “the Inaccessible”) in Hinduism, a principal form of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti. She is the warrior goddess, whose mythology centers around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity and goodness. She is the fierce form of the protective mother goddess, willing to unleash her anger against wrong, violence for liberation and destruction to empower creation.
Lindo: 1) Personal, a familial surname of the author’s maternal line, belonging to her maternal grandmother; Verona Isabel Lindo. 2) masculine form of beautiful in Spanish
A former privateer turned pirate chosen by Princess Isabelle to helm the Santa Marta la Dominadora.
Freya (Old Norse Freyja, “Lady”) is one of the preeminent goddesses in Norse mythology. She is associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr (a type of sorcery), war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, is accompanied by the boar Hildisvíni, and possesses a cloak of falcon feathers. Freyja rules over her heavenly field Fólkvangr and there receives half of those that die in battle, whereas the other half go to the god Odin’s hall, Valhalla.
Freya’s partner and lover, second in command aboard the Santa Marta la Dominadora.
1) Named for my late dear friend Lieutenant Jennifer L. Miles, RN, USN, Retired. Learn More: Sailing with Pirate Jenny
LISTEN/WATCH Princess Isabelle’s and my Interview on WHUR 96.3 FM with the always funny and insightful host of the Daily Drum Harold T. Fisher! We talked about How Seeing Your Life as a Heroine’s Quest and Yourself as a Heroine can help you turn lemons into lemonade, the #metoo movement and how to avoid the state of victimhood by being ASSERTIVE!
CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST NICOLE CUTTS ON WARNING SIGNS OF DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE (Click to View Video. My segment starts at 15:10)
As we know and have seen recently with the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade being wealthy and successful does NOT inoculate you against depression & anxiety. Just as we care for our bodies we must care for our minds and mental health. Whether you have ever been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or any other mental health disorder your self-care regimen should include taking care of your mental health.
FB Live: A Candid Conversation About Suicide & Depression (click image to view vid)
I was honored to appear on #OffScript on WUSA Channel 9 the other day with Anchor, Debra Alfarone, and her other guests to include Dr. Caitlin Thompson of the Cohen Veterans Network and Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post to discuss the warning signs of depression and suicidality.
Know the Warning Signs of Depression:
Clinical depression is characterized by the presence of 5 or more of these depressive symptoms:
Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feeling sad, blue, “down in the dumps,” or empty) or observations made by others (e.g., appears tearful or about to cry). (In children and adolescents, this may present as an irritable or cranky, rather than sad, mood.)
Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities every day, such as no interest in hobbies, sports, or other things the person used to enjoy doing
Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5 percent of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
Insomnia (inability to get to sleep or difficulty staying asleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much) nearly every day
More days than not, problems with sitting still, including constant restlessness, pacing, or picking at one’s clothes (called psychomotor agitation by professionals); or the opposite, a slowing of one’s movements, talking very quietly with slowed speech (called psychomotor retardation by professionals)
Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy nearly every day — even the smallest tasks, like dressing or washing, seem difficult to do and take longer than usual
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day (e.g., ruminating over minor past failings)
Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (e.g., appears easily distracted, complains of memory difficulties)
Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideas without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
*If you are concerned that you are clinically depressed or even suffering from depressed mood you should seek help from a professional i.e licensed therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist! Here is a list to National HOTLINES.
Whether you have signs of depression or anxiety there are things you can do to improve your mood and maintain your mental health.
10 Simple Things You Can do to Improve Your Mood:
Exercise (even a 15 min walk can help)
Spend time with supportive friends and family.
Laugh (be around funny people, watch/listen to comedy)
Get plenty of sleep
Prayer and Meditation (even a few mins every day)
Have fun! (take time to play, hang out with friends do something you enjoy)
Avoid negative thinking and focus on positive thoughts and emotions
To better understand what’s behind The Adventures of Isabelle series, check out these videos from interviews conducted by Sifu Wayne Rodney, martial artist, illustrator and creator of the new Global Fusion Tarot Deck and Guide Book!
GET BOOK II: JOURNEY TO ORPHALESE TODAY AND SAVE 15%
And, if you haven’t already gotten it, GET BOOK I!ONLY 5 COPIES LEFT (at the reduced price)!!
Book I, Also available in e-book format at Amazon.com
Princess Isabelle and I (as her royal biographer) reclaimed the city of Paris in the name of the Kingdom of Xamayca this May! We had last visited in May of 2008 where our adventurous princess was waylaid by the dreaded pirate, Capt. Flint. Both trips were taken in honour of the Princesse’s birthday but they were very different trips. These videos tell the story of this most recent and victorious trip through pictures.
In 2008 we went to Paris to paint and be inspired by the beauty and art of this legendary city that provided an artistic home to many notable figures of the Harlem Renaissance. This time the trip was more about taking in the beauty, writing and reveling in our liberation. Below are two of the exhibitions we were able to take in: an immersive exhibition of Gustav Klimt and an exhibition dedicated to Picasso’s seminal work of art, Guernica!
I’ve always loved old European doors and doorways. More than merely pretty, there is something sacred and magical about them. I think I love them also because they represent possibility. They are portals standing on the thresholds of unknown places, locked gifts to lives we may never know.
Doors also offer protection: we can open and close, unlock and lock those to which we hold the key. The magic of them is that we can knock on them but only the owner of the door can decide to keep it closed or open it and let us in. We don’t always know the secret knock or password to gain admittance but when we discover it we embark on new journeys! Sometimes, however, we find there are doors within doors (as you see in my video above). We may cross the first perimeter through this temporary portal but never penetrate the inner sanctum.
Doors also offer blank canvases on which we can project our dreams and imaginings. We can leave the doors closed and continue to imagine what we want, we can risk opening them and being disappointed or we can risk opening them and embarking on a heroic and fulfilling quest.
You may find it of interest that in the first act (Departure), of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or hero’s journey which begins with “The Call to Adventure,” “Crossing the First Threshold” is the fourth stage. In this stage the person [who would become hero or heroine] actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.
Campbell: “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions — also up and down — standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.”
In the middle of April I decided to go to Iceland. I had been wanting to visit for some time and with the way the world seems to be going, something inside of me said, “What are you waiting for?!” So, I headed off to Iceland to coincide with my birthday in search of adventure (doing recon for Vision Quest Retreats, travel blogging/vlogging and throwing myself into things I had not done before in a land I’d never seen before)! Below is an accounting of my experience via pictures and videos. I hope you enjoy!
Day 1: Arrived Keflavik airport at about 6:15 am, got a transfer at Reykjavik Excursions desk to the Blue Lagoon that would then take me to the city of Reykjavik and my hotel: Center Hotel Midgardur.
Day 1: Walking around Reykjavik and getting settled in my room. Below are some scenes from my first day in Reykjavik after I arrived from the Blue Lagoon. I hope you enjoy my little video!
Day 2 Part I: A Trip to the Original Geysir
Today I took a tour of the Golden Circle in southwest Iceland which included a trip to the Geysir/Geothermal Area, Þingvellir National Park, and the Gullfoss waterfall.
Day 2 Part II: Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier!
Day 3 Part I: Hiking Sólheimajökull Glacier
Day 3 Part II: Soaking in the Secret Lagoon!
Day 4 Part I: Snorkeling Silfra Fissure
Day 4 Part II: Riding Icelandic Horses-Laxnes Horse Farm
Take the “30-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge” (If you missed us in real time, no biggie, you can follow along with the vids below. Just click on images below to view episode)
Spring is a perfect time to do some clearing; letting go of false constricting beliefs and patterns and replacing them with positive supportive ones (Gawain, Shakti 1995). Likewise, in order to live your Vision of Success efficiently, you must be free of all clutter, toxins and debris (physical, emotional and spiritual)! While we often associate Spring with a time of rebirth and new growth we don’t often reflect on the fact that we must clear out what is “dead” or no longer of use to us to make room for this new growth. Think of your garden for example where you clean up and prune out dead branches etc. to make room for new growth and to make a healthier bush or lawn.
What is it time for you to shed, let go of and clear out?
If you are ready to make more room for your SUCCESS join us for this FREE 30-Day Spring Cleaning Event on Facebook where we will be tackling the following topics:
Week 1- Clearing Out Closets (getting rid of old clothes and other mind clogging clutter that lurks in the dark recesses of your home).
(Click image to view Episode 1: Clothes & Closets)
Week 2-Office & Paper Purge (clearing your office and home of old, useless, spirit-strangling paper and related crap and organizing your space).
(Click image to view Episode 2: Office & Papers)
Week 3-Mind/Spirit Clearing (letting go of stuff like negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, unkind thoughts about self and others as well as character defects like hate anger, jealousy, or selfishness, ego, and low self-esteem. This includesBehaviors: procrastination, unkind behavior, laziness, acting out, addictive behaviors (including workaholism and constant worry), obsessive-compulsive behavior and pushing yourself too hard.(Click image to view Episode 3: Mind & Spirit Clearing)
Week 4-Body Cleansing (Your body is your temple and the vessel through which your good work comes. Do you need to purge toxins such as alcohol or cigarettes, stress, foods that aren’t good for you like excessive fat, sugar/carbs? Do you need to get moving and burn calories?)
(Click on image to view Episode 4: Body Cleansing)
Do you fear your own power? This may be blocking you from career success. Do you want to learn how to stop doing this?
Check out this article in Black Enterprise by Contributor Karima Mariama Arthur, Esq., who caught up with me to learn more about the unique challenges women face in achieving success in their careers (Please comment directly on the article and share)