One Day My Soul Just Opened Up


Kicking back after finals is going to be a challenge, as my mind seems to never want to quit.  But the next month shall be constructively used for finishing Book Two – “The Mirror Sliver” of my Legends of Green Isle Series and preparing for a History Conference in Dahlonega in which I’ll be presenting a paper on the Colors and Cockades of the French Revolution.

While rattling around the house today, and fixing the Christmas tree, because two very playful little puppies decided to introduce themself to lights and beads, blowing out half the strand, I started organizing a lot of my history books and other stuff, and found something that didn’t belong with them.  Tucked away on top of some of the books,  I came across a brand new book which I don’t remember buying called “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up”  by Iyanla Vanzant.  The caption above the title read “40 Days and 40 Nights toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth.”  It caught my attention.

Lately I’ve been having a feeling that my spiritual growth has been a little stunted.  Seems my joy has been in the lacking department too.  I find myself crying at weird things, and I know my boyfriend probably thinks I’ve gone a little insane.  I have really been talking with God lately about the issue because I THINK I’ve gone a little insane.  God’s answers seem to come in little things like a page I’ll read in an article, a phrase I overhear from a conversation, and I think the discovery of this book too.  The author begins her introduction with writing about how she discovered the truth out about her “so perfect” life in the middle of night, as she slept. The reality of it, was her life was not what she told herself it was.  Here let me quote something from the book:

“The feelings of misery, confusion, and despair began to grow like an annoying fungus in my mind.  My thinking was fuzzy. I was snapping at people.  I had become professionally aggressive and competitive to the point of being combative.  Each day, I would push myself to exhaustion so that no more truth could be, would be, revealed to me when I was sleeping.  I clung to the relationship {talking about her boyfriend here who was a married man} believing that if it ended, I would surely lose my mind.  It did. And I did. I lost the mind that had kept me in denial for the better part of my life. I lost the mind that was so full of distortions, half-truths, and the ideas of others that if fed my misery like a ravenous dog. I lost the mind that was angry at my mother, hated my father, resented my brother, wanted to control everything and everybody in its midst that could in any way hurt me. At the time, I didn’t realize what was going on.  I thought I was having a string of bad luck. As I watched my life fall to pieces, I did what any mindless person would do.  I got totally pissed off! It is called temporary insanity.” (pg 11)

This particular paragraph reminded me of a time before my wonderful Henderson came into my life.  I was at this point about three years ago when my life fell apart.  This paragraph reminded me of that shift when I began shedding all the things I covered up in my mind, exposing to myself mis-truths about my life, hanging onto the notion that I could control the outcome of my existence, and believing that the bad relationship I was in, was good.  I moved into that temporary insanity position and remained pissed off for about a year.

My life continues to evolve.  I believe that we humans all are in a great process of finding Truth. I think I am feeling stunted in growth right now, because there is a lingering Untruth  I am hanging onto too at this moment.  The unwanted crying is my soul’s process of shedding those layers, peeling them off until that Untruth is exposed, bared for me to see in all its horror, so that the joy of knowing the real Truth can be experienced.

I leave you with this wonderful poem by Ms. Vanzant.  Dedicated today to my friend Phyllis, who believes in some crazy notion that I am inspirational.  Hugs to you P.

One day my soul just opened up

and things started happenin’

things I can’t quite explain

I mean

I cried and cried like never before

I cried tears of ten thousand mothers

I couldn’t even feel anything because

I cried ’til I was numb.

One day my soul just opened up

I felt this overwhelming pride

what I was proud of

only God knows!

Like the price of a hundred thousand fathers

basking in the glory of their newborn sons

I was grinnin’ from ear to ear.

One day my soul just opened up

I started laughing

and I laughed for what seemed like forever

wasn’t nothin’ particularly funny goin’ on

but I laughed anyhow

I laughed the joy of a million children playin’

in the mud

I laughed ’til my sides ached

Oh God! It felt so good!

One day, my soul just opened up

There were revelations, annihilations, and resolutions

feelings of doubt and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness

memories of things I’d seen and done before

of places I’d been, although I didn’t know when

there were lives I’d lived

people I’d loved

battles I’d fought

victories I’d won

and wars I’d lost.

One day My soul just opened up

and out poured all the things

I’d been hiding

and denying

and living through

that had just happened moments before.

One day, my soul just opened up

and I decided

I was good and ready!

I was good and ready to surrender

my life

to God.

So with my soul wide open,

I sat down

wrote Her a note

and told her so.

[by Gemmia L. Vanzant]

Glad I’m not the only who realizes God is a woman. 🙂

History as a Writing Tool.

My son Chase and his girlfriend, Elizabeth, helping with the tree last Christmas.

Going back to school in my mid forties was a challenge.  Maintaining a business and working a 40 hour plus week, plus full time classes seemed like an up hill battle, but I was determined to do it.  As a history major, there is a load of reading and paper writing the accompanies your classes.  Along with research and outlines, you must learn to write with an eye towards the analytical and argumentative, especially as a student aimed at obtaining a PhD.  In accordance with the required dressing of a CV Resume, you also strive to submit articles to history periodicals and journals, as well as presenting papers at history conferences.  Writing and research become your second life, next to the life as a student.

It was during the first semester that I was also finishing up Book One of my series.

I can honestly say that going back and re-reading the manuscript before I came back to school made me ill.  My writing pretty much sucked.  I used to be very eloquent and artful with my words back in youthful days when I wrote alot.  But when you do not use your talent, it grows tarnished.  History became my writing tool as I delved back into school work and writing papers.

I was blessed to find myself amidst three wonder History professors who helped me shine off the dullness.  Dr. Thomas Stearns, Dr. Natalia Starostina and Dr. Matthew Byron here at Young Harris College are very kind to their pupils, but they push for excellance, in a polite, but demanding way and make you believe its for your own good.  It is the push that has helped me pick up the pace in polishing my skill.   I can certainly tell a difference in my writing.

It took me a semester to go back over Book One to re-create the chapters.  I had my boyfriend review it, as well as my son who was in boot camp down in Ft. Benning, Georgia. (I sent him a couple of Chapters at a time with his letters.)  He is a much better writer than I, and if it passed his examination, then I know I succeeded in getting to where it needed to be for publication.

While teaching History is my career objective, writing is my passion.  With preparing History papers and articles, it is the tool I need to help bring out the skill I once possessed.

Me and my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin

Book Two is shaping up pretty well.  I was very excited as I did some additional research on the Formorian connection in the book to find some other interesting things as I studied the theory of Atlantis.  I ran across a book by Frank Joseph called “The Atlantis Encyclopedia.”  What was fascinating to me was some other connections I discovered.

During last fall’s semester, I took Dr. Stearn’s History of Middle East Studies.  My research paper for the class was centered on the Berber people of Morocco.  I do not know why they peaked my interest, but they just did.  In Joseph’s book, I found a section in the “As” that along with the theory of Atlantis being a continent or land just beyond Spain and North Africa, the Berber people hold a tradition that they are descentants of the people who were refuged from Atlantis.  It excited me because this interest in the Berber people seemed to come from nowhere, but now I believe it came from a higher power. It is worth researching further.
I am amazed at all the connections I am finding between my writings and history.  Things which at first seemed to have no connection in my mind are now coming together as I study deeper into the history of our world.  History has become not only a writing tool, but has opened me for a doorway into a much higher thinking of who I am and my place in this lifetime.  Going past the trends and lessons which we are taught from childhood, I find myself seeing a much bigger picture of my place and task here during my short span of time on this planet.
Happy writing to you, and may you find your connection also.

Is writing good for your soul?

If I could, I would write everyday. It is unfortunate that life does not want to allow me that gift. If I could, I would squeeze a couple of more hours into the day just to quiet the desire of my soul, but with school, full time job, three grown kids, a boyfriend, four dogs and (I’ve lost count) cats, I am not able to pinpoint when those hours will be available. Writing is my art. I find I write best when I have been upset, or if my heart is sad. The emotion swirling like a tornado up from the essence of my being, the impressions of the discord inking the paper with feeling. Writing is an outlet, my words parallelling the disjointed life which I live. It is good for my soul. As a form of expression, it is an outlet for the damage from which my soul has traveled through, bringing forth healing.

I once had a fellow writer tell me that he admired my stories.  He commented that I wrote with heart, and that was very rare to find.  I’ve kept those words tucked away.  If I feel that I am writing to just to please the audience, I take them out and review them again, reminding myself to find the words of my heart – and my soul.  I try to encouage my children to be the same way about their art.  All art is good for the soul.  I believe our children have strayed from creativity because of so much stimuli with TV, video games, computers, etc.  Our technological world is making our next generations distant from art.  Without art, we have no beauty, no solace, no repair of injury to our souls, no magic of imagination.

Technology can make us machines, without feelings, without creative awareness, if we do not connect to our souls and feed our essence by our art.  Tolkien wrote his famous books because he felt the same way after WWI.  He saw the new weaponry, new machines used by humans against humans, saw the evil it brought.  Writing my series “Legends of Green Isle” I use the metaphor of technology replacing the soul, thereby destorying art.  Uthal, the Black Warlock is the machine, advancing on human kind, seeking to elimate all magic and magic creatures.  His spell is all powerful because it steals the life force of all, magic creatures as well as humans.  While writing my books, I wonder if that is our destiny?  Will we allow technology to consume our world, feeding off our souls, and procuring us to become slowly inhuman? Or will we stand to write, paint, sculpt, play our instruments, create for the benefit of our souls and the healing of the people of this planet?  I chose to do the last.