I was never a good student. Never the kind the nuns liked. I really wanted to get straight As and have my name called with honors. It just never happened. I knew I was smart and great at some things but something inside of me stopped me from excelling. I can blame it on the ten million things that traumatized my childhood but I am an adult now.
I can not tell you what exact thing or person or place changed my life. I can not tell you that one day I woke and I was no longer sad, no longer felt blocked, no longer felt the weight of the world on me. I can not tell you that because it is not just one thing or one day. It is the work that I have done since I was a child to lead the life that I am meant to live.
I was never good in school but I did read a whole lot. That is how I got through my childhood. Book after book, trip after trip to the library, I traveled to other places, met different people, learned about life in a way a couldn’t of in school. I love learning. I am just not a traditional learner. Right now in this moment and it has been a real long moment I feel full, grounded and calm. I see all the possibilities and somehow have the energy to make those possibilities realities. I have made difficult decisions that have freed me in ways that sometimes I think I have wings. I have not done this alone and I am thankful to my loved ones that love the complexities that complete me. One of the ways I have grown is through reading. This is not a full list but I wanted to share with you some of the books that have helped me transform and cry and laugh and grow and bloom. Please share yours.
May you always seek light and see the infinite beauty within you.
I Know why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
Muhammad (pbuh)- Karen Armstrong
The House on Mango Street– Sandra Cisneros
Awakening the Buddhist Within- Lama Surya Das
The Art of Happiness- The Dalai Lama
Heart, Self and Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony– Robert Frager
True Love– Thich Nhat Hanh
The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran
All About Love: New Visions– bell hooks
Bone Black- bell hooks
Salvation: Black People and Love- bell hooks
Sisters of the Yam: black women and self-recovery- bell hooks
Love Dharma: Relationship Wisdom From Enlightened Buddhist Women-Geri Larkin
Waiting in the Wings– Cherríe Moraga
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color -edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santería- Marta Moreno Vega
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf- Ntozake Shange
The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships- Sobunfu Somé
Falling Out of Grace: Meditations on Loss, Healing and Wisdom- Sobunfu Somé
Down These Mean Streets- Piri Thomas
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose- Eckhart Tolle
The Color Purple- Alice Walker
The Autobiography of Malcolm X