Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Live an Abundant Life by Janet Autherine
“DON’T WORRY, EVERYTHING IS IRIE.”
Island Mindfulness creates a path for transformation through self-empowerment, meaningful relationships, spiritual fulfillment and the creation of a purposeful life. Who you become and how you experience the world is a result of how you see everything that exists around you. When mindfulness is practiced, the mind has the ability to ride the waves of life and find calm in the midst of all the sun, wind, and rain that we encounter on our unpredictable journey.
Janet invites you to slow your pace, and in the spirit of the islands, mindfully and intentionally embark on a journey to nourish your mind, body and soul. Her “island mindfulness” journey is filled with heartfelt stories of navigating love, marriage and divorce, adjusting your sail in the face of financial and career challenges, and having an Irie time raising children.
EXCERPT – Honoring our Roots: The Strength of a Woman
I was raised by strong Jamaican women, strong because of the circumstance of their birth. They carried water on their heads, farmed the land, raised their babies and the children of others in the community; they worked as many jobs as they could get to make ends meet; they kneeled down to dig yam and climbed trees to pick mango and breadfruit. They didn’t have time to be vulnerable. If they cried, the tears were quickly dried because there was work to do.
Children had to be resilient and disciplined because there was no time to coddle anyone, no time to give time-outs or talk through “feelings.” Their men were often undisciplined; they could be relied on to work and fix things but they laid their hats at several homes. Point being, you were raised to be tough, to rely on yourself and to solve problems, instead of crying over them. Reflecting on their journey, I wrote this poem.
Strong. Black. Woman
Hold on to a shred of dignity.
Let the tears fall behind closed doors.
You are your mama’s child
and she is a proud black woman.
She would be disappointed
if she knew that your heart breaks so easily.
That you blow in the wind
when she raised you to be strong.
Strong. Black. Woman.
Each word is non-negotiable,
so swallow hard,
and carry on.
I have never enjoyed being referred to as “strong” because it felt like that praise just took away my ability to show any signs of weakness or vulnerability. Many women are strong because they have had to gird their waists and sharpen their edges to survive. Sometimes, the person praising them for being strong was the one causing the challenges. Vulnerability should be a right because it is an intricate part of our humanity, but for many, it was and is a privilege.
Many of us have mothers and grandmothers who have had to sacrifice so that we can be vulnerable, so that we can have a voice in this world. These women are our roots. Speak their names often. Learn their stories even though they may appear to be secretive. That generation believed that what happened in the house stays in the house, and that their lives may not be significant enough to write about.
Don’t make a fuss but stay close and listen and absorb the bits of wisdom that you will receive. For those that have passed, remember their names and speak their names to children and grandchildren. Mention their names with gratitude in your daily prayer or meditation.
Most importantly, gift yourself with the vulnerability and self-care that many of our ancestors could not. I recognize that my ancestors of Caribbean and African descent have already paved the way for me to live an abundant life. The same holds true for you. Remember their stories as you embark on a mindful journey to an abundant life.
( Continued… )
All rights reserved. Copyright ©2020. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Janet Autherine. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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About the Author
Janet Autherine has a heart for storytelling and youth and women’s empowerment. She uses her extraordinary journey from a struggling Jamaican immigrant to a respected attorney, author and administrative law judge to inspire others to embrace their unique journey.
Janet is the author of Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters (youth), and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul (poetry).
In her latest book, Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Live an Abundant Life, Janet invites you to slow your pace, and in the spirit of the islands, mindfully and intentionally embark on a journey to nourish your mind, body and soul.
Her “island mindfulness” journey is filled with heartfelt stories of navigating love, marriage and divorce, adjusting your sail in the face of financial and career challenges, and having an “Irie” time raising children. Her books are available on Amazon.
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