Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Couple Highlights: Bah'Dori and Lynda

Bah'Dori Oyanna
Lynda Harris
Atlanta, Ga.

I am always fascinated by how relationships begin. Where did you meet and what were the initial attractions?  Bah’Dori Oyanna: We met at a church conference in Winston Salem North Carolina given by TFAM( The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries . Lynda came and spoke to me given a word and my first thought was she was a really sweet older lady and definitely a potential friend.  Lynda:   We meet at a church conference in Winston Salem North Carolina given by TFAM( The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. The word, Spirit gave me for her was, “You are different and you’re not understood… from both sides… family/church. Don’t change for no one. (WOW! That was on point).  Bah’Dori was working in the Spirit, healing someone’s leg and I saw such caring and attention given.

You have been together for 4 ½ years. First, Congratulations. What advice would you give to other couples and why? Lynda:  Talk about the little things… all the way out. Hold space for everything that comes up. Laugh and have fun as much as possible and remember those times.  Bah’Dori:  It is imperative that you have a good understanding of self-first before entering a relationship and your willingness to learn more about yourself by the reflections of your partner. We attract to us people who show us our light as well as our shadows. It is important to always ask, what is this and why is the energy here and what has it come to teach me.

Getting together is easy. Staying together is difficult. I am sure that your have weathered many transitions and storms? How did you manage and what was the hardest part?   Bah’Dori: For me it was identifying and understanding some of my defense mechanisms I had adopted to protect myself emotionally and how those mechanisms really became more of a hindrance to my growth and my desire to have an authentic connection. I had to take a really good look at myself and begin the work in trusting my energy and choices. Lynda:  Recognizing what is/was mine and working on myself and trust Spirit will give the true answers.

Our personal histories greatly influence and inform our lives and determine how we deal with adversity. So how have your personal histories affected how you deal with and face challenges (family acceptance, money differences, etc.) as a coupe? What is your strategy? Lynda:  Revealing (being vulnerable) about what’s really going with me. Having courage to face what I see in myself and asking for help with understanding the wounds that come to be healed.  Bah’Dori: We do a lot of sharing our stories, analyzing of self and going down the rabbit hole on the whys. We also practice listening to each other’s heart which requires understanding how to hold sacred space, allowing the other to speak and to listen without ego attachment. This is definitely requires us to be very conscious and intentional. 

I know faith is important to both of you. How do you practice your faith as a couple and what role does spirituality play in your relationship?  Bah’Dori: Coming from a non-religious but spiritual in nature family, I had a wonderful opportunity to be able to experience various religious and spiritual belief systems and develop a very intimate and unique relationship with Source and do what honors the Spirit that exists in me as me. Lynda is very spiritual as well and very much a justice for Jesus person. We enjoy praying and mediating together as well as honoring those who shoulders on which we stand our ancestors. We study and practice various forms of African spirituality and Metaphysics which has really created a deep spiritual intimacy between us and our relationship is overall enriched by the energy of it all.  Lynda:  I relay on Spirit to guide my walk each day. With a Pentecostal background, I had to un-learn a lot and re-learn so much more as I see Bah’Dori walk-out her beliefs and path. No judgments.  

After ­­­ years, how do you keep the fires burning? What role does sensuality play in your relationship? And how do you guard against lesbian bed death?  Bah’Dori: Our Intimacy and the Sex are off the chain! We are intimate daily, since we been together she brings me coffee every morning, runs baths and still puts on my favorite cologne that awakens my Yoni energy. I must admit our energy is very intense together and it really took me a minute to embrace this level of intimacy. It took me trusting myself to allow someone to love me fully and authentically. I prayed that Source would allow me to experience this kind of Love and I am definitely blessed by the experience.  Lynda:  The sex (love making) is WONDERFUL; however the sensuality is the best EVER!  Bah’Dori will catch me lustfully looking at her and she will blush like a school girl.

Every relationship develops "Relationship Rules” that support your union? What are your spoken and unspoken rules? And how did those rules form? Lynda:  There are no rules.  The boundaries I have incorporated are based on the values I hold for myself. (Do unto others) Trust and Respect trumps rules… every time.   Bah’Dori: We definitely had conversations about what we expected from ourselves in regards to the kind of quality relationship we desired, and we both have a great understanding of that with one another. We don’t necessarily have Rules because they are too stationary and mostly set out of Fear; we do have our individual and collective boundaries based on our interdependence growth and how the relationship naturally flows and evolves. 

Every relationship challenges us in different way. What did you have to learn and UN-learn to love her fully and faithfully?  Bah’Dori:   Because I am a very passionate person and my energy can be very intense, I had to learn how to channel my energy in a way that does not disrupts or cause imbalances for and around Lynda. She truly assists in keeping me grounded and anchored and I help her to fly and experience her powerful Artistic energies.   Lynda:  Bah’Dori can be ‘fire’ at times (this is not a negative.) I had to un-learn not to take things personal and learn to understand her, struggles – fears – desires – hopes – dreams. 

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?  And her? Lynda:  I’ve learned my past wounds have influenced many of my choices.  Bah’Dori will hold space for me to work it all out… without judgment.  Bah’Dori: Our relationship has really taught me how to allow love to really love. I learned that my conditions and expectations in my past really came from what was truly voided in me and my need to seek outside of myself for what I thought would be “perfection”. The Love that we share is based on us just showing up as our Best selves for ourselves which is the natural process that we experience with one another in our relationship. I learned that my wife’s core values definitely reflect my core values, and that provides us with a level of quality in our relationship which is the foundation of our growth as individuals and as a couple.  When you experience this Kind of Love it makes you a better person, just because that what love does.

When you think about your relationship, what makes you most grateful that she is in your life? Bah’Dori: I am most grateful for how attentive, kind and truly loving Lynda is. Lynda is truly the kindest person I know. I love how she never meets a stranger and avails herself to assist others; she truly is a wonderful example of the Heart of Source.  Lynda:  When I asked the Universe for a life partner, I requested a woman that was NOT religious. I am most grateful of Bah’Dori ability to feel – hear – see Spirit. I’m so grateful to be a witness to her life.  She is willing to walk-the-talk… she is serious about her connection to Spirit.  

What 1 word most captures her essence and your love?  Bah’Dori: Ascension. Lynda: Gratitude

What will be your legacy as a couple?  Bah’Dori: Our Legacy would be the timeless and selfless love we have for one another transcended any kind compartmentalization and we shared our lives and love with all those who Source allowed us to touch. We exemplify the Energy of Twin Flames, Soul Mates.

Lynda:  1.) They loved each other immensely.  2.) Held space for everyone that showed-up at their door – phone – FaceBook.  3.) Cooked a good pot of beans & rice. 4.) Sheared everything with each other. 5.) Showed others it’s ok to have a soft side and see the POWER they hold.  6.) Use your gifts to heal the community and the world.

Lynda Harris and Bah’Dori Oyanna are the Wisdom Teachers and Spiritual Practitioners at Om Concepts and Provisions and facilitators of the Transformative Light Spiritual Gathering and Meditative Circle. We provide various indigenous and metaphysical holistic and spiritual education, services and products for individuals and couples.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Chapter 24: Stumble but Don't Stop, Success is a Process

I have learned that on your road to success, you will stumble. On your journey to greatness and significance, you will have mishaps, you will make mistakes, and you will make miscalculations. You may slip, trip, and fall even when you have properly planned, prepared, and positioned yourself to win. Unfortunately, you may also lose your balance because of competing demands, and you may lose your footing under the weight of mounting pressures. You may wallow, waver, and wobble privately and occasionally publicly. Stumbling is inevitable when you passionately pursue your dreams.

But it is at those critical times when you are slipping and sliding your way to success that you will be forced to make a critical choice. You will need to decide if you will become discouraged and stop or if you will become courageous and proceed. Both are choices, decisions, and options that only you can make. But remember that your decision will directly determine and/or influence your destiny and the trajectory of your life. Your choice will determine if you move closer to your dream or if you will move further away from your purpose.
So when, not if, you stumble, I hope you will choose to stumble but not stop. I hope you will use your mistakes to help you correct your course and redirect your efforts. I hope you will use your miscalculations to reassess your strategies and reallocate your resources. I pray that you will use your mishaps to consider new ideas and ponder new approaches. I hope that your slips encourage you to reevaluate paradigms and explore creative options. I hope your blunders reveal your true friends and expose your most destructive foes.
What I know for sure is that a stumble is just an event or experience; it is not an ending. It may be a fumble but not a finish. It is an error but not an exit. It is not just a loss but a lesson. It is not a defeat; it’s data. It is not fatal; it is fruitful. Stumbling is a process of small failures that set us up for significant victories. So be encouraged. Never forget that we stumble up to success; we don’t fall to fail.
Stumbling is a critical part of our journey. It plays an important role in our development and refinement processes. That’s good news! So follow your dreams, and don’t worry if you stumble, because the stumbles we make today will prepare us for whatever emerges tomorrow. So stumble but get back up, stand up, move up, and don’t give up, because God will always show up.
Are you ready to stumble? I am. Can’t wait to see where our stumbling leads us.

This is an excerpt from SharRon's newly released book,
I Have Learned A Few Things.
Accepting Pre-orders now...


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Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Single Highlight: Kay

Kay Oates
Atlanta, Ga.

Kay, since you have been single, what have you learned about yourself?
Each day, I learn a little more about myself.  If I can say it in one word it would be GROWTH.  I’ve always known my strength, but singlehood allows me to focus on growing more comfortable with my authentic self. I love my “me time”!  I enjoy my company.  I love taking myself on wonderful dates.  I am comfortable going to a nice restaurant, concert, play, and/or movie with myself.  I always so “with myself” and never “by myself”. 

What are you doing now to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship?
In preparation for a healthy relationship?  Honestly, I’m not doing anything different than what I feel I should do day-to-day.  I continually work on loving and treating myself the way I deserve.  I grow in love with myself more and more each minute of the day.  I know that a healthy relationship can only exist if there is self-love.  I pray, mediate, and seeking direction from God.  I have several rituals that I do to make sure that I am centered and emotionally healthy.  Whether it’s the physical or emotional detoxing regiments that I do, I know that I am working on making sure that I am receptive and approachable for what life offers.

In my relationship, I tend to struggle with sharing my inner fears and insecurities. What areas do you tend to struggle with most in relationships? Ouch. Getting out of my own head.  I tend to over think things.  If there’s a problem, the simple thing to do is talk it out…..but NOOOOOO!!!  By the time we sit down and discuss the issue, in my head I’ve figured out what caused it, what the responses will be, and how we are going to handle it….lol.  This is definitely an area which I continue to work on and pray for more understanding.  I’m really focusing on relaxing and accepting that I don’t have to fix everything; you know, getting pass that Superwoman syndrome.    

Since you are spending valuable time by yourself and learning yourself, what characteristics and traits do you now find most compatible? Which ones are most problematic and why?  Honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness, without a doubt, are the traits that I find most compatible.  I am very loyal in ALL of my relationships: friendship, love, business.  I will do my best to make sure I don’t intentionally hurt anyone and if I learn that my actions have caused harm, it bothers me. 

Controlling behavior, lying and cheating are the most problematic traits for me.  Once I learn that someone is lying to me or can’t be trusted, I will question everything they ever said to me.  If there is no trust, we can’t work together. AND….once that line of trust has been breached, I release you!  We’re done!  No go-backs!  No do-overs!  It’s that darn Capricorn trait.

Kay, what do you love about love? TRUE love….EVERYTHING.  I love the openness and the restoration that comes with love.  I love the growth that loves brings.  When I’m truly and honestly loved, I can be free.  I love sharing and creating memories and then smiling and laughing together over those memories.  I love the healing that comes from true love.  I love being comfortable enough to be vulnerable and trusting that my vulnerability will never be used as a weapon.  I just love LOVE.  (Love this Kay)  

Every relationships offers rich lessons about who we are and who we are not. What has being in a relationship taught you about you? Being in a relationship has taught me that I really do love deeply and I will give my all to the RIGHT relationship.  I am a nurturer and once I commit, I will work to make the relationship grow.  I don’t take love or a relationships lightly. 

Additionally, I’ve learn to trust my instinct/my first mind.  If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t sound right, believe the things that “aren’t being said”.  No more wait it out.  Because of this awareness, I have learned to never settle.  I know my worth and I deserve the best because I will offer my best.  I understand now that the greatest blessings can come after the deepest hurts.

I admire that you are such a gentle, generous spirit who is always ready to offer a kind word to people. What do you admire about yourself? So many things. I admire my strong commitment to family and friendships, my ability to empathize and accept people right where they are without expecting changes to fit my desires.  I also admire my resistance, my ability to give when I don’t necessarily receive, and my strength in the face of some really difficult decisions.    After my last relationship ended, I went through a period of deep sadness and it took me some time to feel comfortable with the thought of allowing anyone in my space.  One day I decided “the pity party is over”.  So, I dried my tears, changed my prayer request, and truly began the healing.  Now, I am at a place of peace and joy.  That’s resistance!!!

How would your friends describe you? Let me think…..funny, caring, loving, moody, trustworthy, a loner at times, loyal, good mom, and deep thinker.  I believe my true friends will say that I’m a mixture of these things.   
If a person wanted to take you out, what would you like to do? What do you like to do for fun and why?  There are so many things that I like to do for fun.  If I tried to list them all, it would take up this entire article.  I love quality with my son.  He inspires me.  I love the beach, music, and traveling.  Now if I can get all of three in one adventure….HOORAY.  I am growing and learning to take chances and I love trying new things.  I will seek opportunities to go horseback riding, skiing, zip-lining, learning to rollerblade, or anything that will make my friends say “girl, you are always doing something different”.  I don’t like complacency, so if it sound like fun, count me in.
How do you experience and receive love? What is your love language and how did you learn that about yourself? My primary love language is Words of Affirmation and secondary if quality time.  I love quite moments together, a “just-because” card, sweet call to find out how my day is going, a simple sticky note that reminds me I’m in someone’s thoughts. 

How did I learn that about myself?  LOL…I realized that I was expressing my love language to my partner and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t reciprocal.  Why?  Because it’s my love language. 

I feel grounded and ready to receive love when I tap into the power and wisdom of a Source. How important is spirituality to you? Spirituality is the essences of my being and the very reason I am alive and well.  I’ve experienced some really difficult situations in my life and I know that had it not been for God’s mercy and grace, I would not have made it.  Even when I didn’t know the words to say or when I didn’t feel I had the strength to make it to the next day, I would utter the simple prayer HELP.  For God, that’s more than enough. 

I constantly remind myself that my current situation is only a chapter of the greater story which God has designed.  Life's circumstances may cause me to be unhappy, but I'm so glad I still have my joy. There is a difference in happiness and joy!  Because of my unwavering faith, I can say that I am deliberately, unapologetically GRATEFUL and full of peace.

Finish this sentence…..before I die I want to _______________________________.
….finally have a relationship with someone who wants and loves me as much as I love and want them. 

What important lesson did you learn from your mother that has helped you in life and in relationships?  I wrote in my journal about this very topic last year when I was dealing with depression, heartbreak and grief.  I will repost my comments. 
“My mother passed away when I was only 13 months. I don’t remember her voice or even her face (I do have pictures). I miss that mother-daughter relationship. There are times when her absence is so overwhelming that I feel numb.  It is those moments when I feel this comforting spirit coming around me and providing this soothing for my troubled spirit. The topic of our mother is somewhat hard for me and my brothers (who were babies when she died, 7 and 3). I finally got my heart and nerve together to ask them questions and I am still in tears from the responses of my oldest brother.

1.    When I am overwhelmed or really lonely, the small sweet odor of vanilla will come to me; didn’t know why. My brother said, our mother would put a dab of vanilla behind her ear as perfume and she often rubbed my body with it when she bathed me.

2.    I will find pennies ANY and EVERYWHERE and always pick them up; didn’t know why. He told me our mother ALWAYS collected pennies and kept them in mason jars around the house.”

My mother is around me constantly and always providing that comfort that I need.  I guess you can say the lesson that I learned from her, even in her absence, is to surround and support those who are close to your heart.

(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your journey of happiness in singlehood! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other singles. We wish you continued success and

Create Love -- Founders

Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison
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