Why Your Story Matters

Why Your Story Matters

I know I haven’t written for a while…

…And that’s because I’ve been a bit busy. I’ve been working on my book, Meditations Across the King’s River, which will be available for purchase sometime in August.

My wife, Stephanie, a former editor at Essence, is editing my manuscript and Mark Feijao Milligan, a gifted artist from St. Croix who’s shaking up the art world, is designing the book cover. You can learn more about Feijao’s art here: https://bit.ly/2J7IFBc

After working on this book for the past two years or so, I’m excited to be launching it soon…

As you know, Meditations Across The King’s River, is a collection of spiritual affirmations and short, insightful essays based on my journey and experiences in Africa and the Caribbean.

While writing this book, however, it became clear to me that I’m not the only one with something to say…

You’ll also be hearing some of the wisdom of my elders and ancestors who have passed over years ago. Plus, you’ll benefit from the insight of some of my clients too. I’m certain you’ll look at your life and struggles through a different lens once you hear what they have to say.

So many diverse, powerful voices in one book…

I want to encourage you to share your story one day because it matters too, probably more than you know. The world needs to hear from you because we’re all in need of a bit more healing, guidance, wisdom and encouragement. Let’s face it, these are tough times.

You don’t have to write a book or produce a film in order for your story to have a huge impact in the lives of others Think of the souls that poured so much into you but are no longer in this world. By sharing your story, those powerful souls get to expand their legacy because your stories are connected. They can live again and teach others through you!

Don’t know about you, but I find that exciting…

And think about your children. Don’t they deserve to learn more about you? Things you’ve done, places you’ve gone, lessons you’ve learned? Don’t assume you don’t have much to share, I know for a fact you do, and it’s probably way more powerful than you think.

I would love to hear more about your story and if you plan to share it one day. If so, when? If you respond to this newsletter, I’ll write back as soon as possible. For now, I’ve got to run. Still tweaking essays in my book here and there, but soon it will be on it’s way.

Talk soon

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River

Time Can Heal You

Time Can Heal You

Time can heal you, says my friend, Omitosin…

But you must “realize healing is not shiny or pretty. It is not lotus flowers and singing bowls. It is gut wrenching, emotional, mind and spirit blowing,” she says.

However, “once you acknowledge the pain and are able to work within that space, that’s when the healing starts. Healing is a daily process. It is day by day, minute by minute,” says Omitosin.

I met Omitosin at an Ancestral Healing Conference in Seattle last November. She’s a healer and does hands-on Reiki. Omitosin is also a priestess in the Ifa spiritual tradition and does readings in her Seattle office or by phone.

We plan on doing some retreats together in the future. Omitosin studied with the famous Iyanla Vanzant who she says is an “amazing spirit and gives so much love, compassion and caring into everything she does.”

Omitosin

I believe we’re all on a journey of healing – no exceptions…

…We’re either healing from what someone said, from what someone did, or from something we said or did ourselves. Or maybe it’s from an event we had little or no control over.

I believe one of the most important healing we all need is to break free from the opinions of others. Caring too much about what others think is hands down one of the biggest killers of dreams ever.

Fortunately, we can all learn from each other.
I asked Omitosin to share a bit about her life and her journey as a healer. Here’s what she had to say.

Q: When did you first learn you’re a healer?

A: I first learned I had gifts when I was 13. My grandmother Lillie took me to her church (Pentecostal) and I was called to the front. The pastor began to pray and put “anointing” oil on my forehead. At that moment, I began to cry and speak in tongues, something which I had never done before. Then I remember my grandmother taking me home and telling me that I was a special person and that I was blessed with the gift of healing. She then told me her story of how her hands just started getting hot when she was around certain people and then she decided to listen to the messages that Spirit was giving her to touch people with their permission. Once she told me that, I decided to do the same. I would just touch someone’s arm or hand at first, then I would ask if I could touch them wherever the pain (emotional or physical was). I used to also get anxiety in groups of people and not understand why. I learned later that I am also an empath that has the gift of feelings others feelings.

Q: What do you like about doing spiritual readings for others?

A: I love showing people a reflection of themselves from a different perspective. Everyone has some sort of spiritual gift that they are either afraid of, don’t recognize or are in denial of. I feel my job is to show people a different version of themselves, their gifts, and on some occasions, relay messages from their Ancestors.

“Some people just really need to know when they aren’t loving themselves and need to be shown how! It can be as simple as telling someone and showing them that there is nothing wrong with them, or showing them how to connect with their own spiritual higher self via ritual, meditation or other tools and modalities.” – Omitosin

Q: What do you like about doing body work for clients?

A: I actually love seeing and feeling other people connecting to their own energy. Most people who get reiki really don’t believe in it and aren’t sure what they should be feeling. I actually perform small activities with them that allows them to feel and connect with their own energy. After the session, I call them and ask them questions about the systems in their body and generally they will tell me that their stomachs growl more, or they notice the beat of their heart. They also notice their body heating up or cooling down with certain breathing techniques

Q: What was it like studying with Iyanla Vanzant?

A: It was a painful and beautiful experience. Painful in that, I learned how many limitations I had put on myself and how blocked I was spiritually and energetically. I discovered anger that I was holding on to and really didn’t realize that I had. Going through the program with Iyanla was a life changing experience! For the first time, I got to really meet myself! I got to discover who I am, and what I want from my life. Iyanla is a tough love master teacher! She is unwavering in her mission to help people heal, but at the same time, she gives so much love, compassion and caring into everything that she does. She is an amazing spirit!

Q: What three tips can you give to those who are seeking healing?

A: First, realize that healing is not shiny and pretty. It is not lotus flowers and singing bowls. It is gut wrenching, emotional mind and spirit blowing. But once you acknowledge the pain and are able to work within that space, that’s when the healing starts! Healing is a daily process. It is day by day, minute by minute. Those small “a-ha” moments that we have daily become the stepping stones for overall healing and enlightening on a big scale over time. Time can heal if you take baby steps and give yourself small rewards along the way!

Second, be gentle with yourself! You are not as flawed as you make up in your mind! You have had experiences and situations that have colored your perspective of your life and yourself. Free your mind! Last, find some way to be quiet and still every day. Meditation is when Spirit speaks to you! Even if it is only for 5 minutes. If you need help, contact me and I can teach you!

If you would like to book a spiritual consultation with Omitosin, you can contact her at goodworks4u@gmail.com or by phone at 832-282-2485.

In the meantime, I would love to know where you are on your journey of healing or what you’re struggling with. So feel free to comment on this blog and sign up for my inspirational newsletter at the link below.

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Blessings

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River

Ancestral Return

Ancestral Return

Last October I got an email from Ade Anifowose…

The email said: “I’m a Nigerian who is learning more about my country, traditions and roots in America. I feel a resonance with your energy and your perspective on African spirituality. I would love to connect with you and talk about your experiences and to look into the possibility of doing a radio interview.”

I was happy Ade reached out to me. I called him and we spoke at length about my experiences in Yoruba culture and my trips to Nigeria, West Africa. We will be doing a FB Live Event soon to share our respective journeys. (In fact, we were supposed to a a FB Live event today but had to reschedule because of technical difficulties.)

…Ade is a life coach, a healer and a sacred drummer. You can learn more about him at: https://www.lifecoachade.com/

His website says: he has a “passion for helping people connect with their unique sense of self. He does this by shining light on hidden fears in the dark recesses of the mind. He is on a mission to bring true love, deep peace and respect to all of humanity.”

Like many Nigerians, Ade did not grow up immersed in his own spiritual traditions and was shocked when he discovered there’s a huge interest in Yoruba culture throughout the diaspora.

I’m looking forward to my FB LIVE session with Ade…

In the meantime, I received a phone call from another Nigerian today. His name is Ola and he wants me to do a spiritual reading for him. He’s never had an Ifa divination reading before and has been doing a lot of soul searching. Like many Nigerians, Ola was raised Christian and was taught to despise his own spiritual traditions. He has so many questions and wanted to know how the divination process works.

It amazes me that Africans are looking to us in the Diaspora to acquaint them with their own spiritual traditions. I feel honored, confident about what we have to say. We are a bridge to the Motherland.

I haven’t done the reading for Ola yet but I told him so many people are benefitting from his culture, one way or the other. Shouldn’t he be benefitting from his own culture too?

The ancestors have returned. The ancestors have never left. The ancestors are speaking…

I made it clear to Ola that it’s clear his ancestors are guiding him to return to traditional ways. It would be wise for him to listen.

I would love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter at the link below.

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Blessings

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River

Expect a Miracle

Expect a Miracle

Happy New Year to you and your family…

If 2017 was a rough year for you, I’m hoping 2018 is much better and finds you in good health, good spirits and on the path to spiritual growth and abundance.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short post about miracles on the Across The King’s River FB page. Can’t remember exactly what I said, but I basically said you should be open to miracles.

I truly believe this, but I know some folks will say it’s wishful thinking and others are already stressing about what 2018 will bring. OK. I get it. I’m an optimist, but I’m no fool.

… Sure, I know we’re up against major challenges in 2018. I’m not disputing that.

Just saying miracles also exist — not only do miracles happen, they happen far more often than you might think. So don’t go into 2018 assuming a miracle can’t happen for you or for someone you love.

I’ve witnessed many miracles in 2017 — in my own life and in the lives of others…

Last month, my friend Orisade Awodola, told a packed crowd in Seattle about a blessing she received. Orisade is an influential black psychologist. In fact, she has a Ph.D psychology.

And every year Orisade hosts an Ancestral Healing Conference which brings leading scholars, activists and artists from the African diaspora together to share insights that can help promote healing and unity in our communities.

I was blessed to be one of the featured speakers at this year’s conference in Seattle…

But anyway, the miracle Orisade shared is how a man that was previously homeless made a significant financial contribution to help fund this year’s conference. His generous investment helped make the 5th Annual Ancestral Healing Conference a huge success…

It was first class all the way. In the words of Orisade, the conference was “the cream of the crop.”

Alright, I know you’re probably sitting there wondering how a homeless man could help fund a major international conference. Great question and here’s the answer. It’s because he won a court case against his former employer and was awarded BIG money.

…So, I’m pleased to tell you he’s no longer homeless. In fact, by many standards, he’s a wealthy man now. His name is Victor, by the way, and he’s a man of unshakeable faith. He’s on a mission to touch and transform as many lives as possible.

Orisade’s story is a powerful testimony of what’s possible. I was moved when I heard her story and felt you would appreciate hearing it too. All of us can use an infusion of hope because most of what you read or hear in the news these days can send you in a deep depression.

Turns out Orisade and Victor first met several years ago. Even back then, when Victor was homeless, walking around in the streets with only a backpack, going from shelter to shelter, he saw something special in Orisade and vowed to support her vision when money came his way.

Victor kept his word: the money came, the investment came, the scholars came, success came…

So don’t tell me miracles don’t happen. I’ve seen too much. Heard too much. Know too much…

Here’s a tip for you as you navigate through the storms of 2018. Don’t rule out anything. Don’t rule out anyone. You have no idea who might be in your presence so try to not to judge others. Orisade says you “could be entertaining an angel” at any given moment, an angel that is determined and equipped to change your life for the better.

Trust me, I met an angel at the conference. My life has been transformed in many ways…

And here’s the other side of expecting a miracle. YOU can be a miracle for someone. YOU can be that angel. YOU can be that rock or light in someone’s life. I find this notion empowering and exciting. I’m accepting the challenge.

YOU can do this…

You don’t have to change the whole world but you definitely can change one person’s world. Victor says the highest calling is peace and love. “Don’t give up,” he says. “With faith, hope and love, you’ll find what you’re looking for.”

“There’s a future,” he adds, “and it’s bright.”

I like the way Victor thinks. I’m going down that road. You can choose to be empowered and inspired in 2018. It’s all up to you! What will you choose?

Would love to hear your thoughts and your plans for 2018 so hit reply and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

And if you’ve enjoyed this article, please sign up for my inspirational newsletters at the link below. Talk soon.

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All My Love

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River

Are You Living Your Purpose?

Are You Living Your Purpose?

My friend Vanessa messaged me on Facebook recently…

“How does one discover their purpose,” she asked. “Does your Spirit guide or teacher tell you? I wonder if I’ll ever know mine. I want to choose something that makes me feel happy or fulfilled. But I want it to be aligned with my life’s purpose,” she said.

As a spiritual advisor I hear this question fairly often. The search for purpose is universal and it’s one of the core themes of my upcoming documentary feature film, Across The King’s River.

For many, the search for purpose is elusive because the struggle to survive is so time-consuming and draining that it often leaves little time for addressing the needs of our spirit. Yet our souls long to be fed in a meaningful way.

I believe living a more purposeful life is attainable for each of us. Spirit did not send us to earth to drift aimlessly. Here are some tips for connecting to your purpose.

The clues to our purpose are often around us but it’s our responsibility to put the clues together. Ask yourself these questions: What are your hobbies? What causes are you drawn to? If money was not an issue, what would you spend most of your time doing? What problems are you good at solving? When do you feel most fulfilled? What kind of help do others come to you for? Who are your heroes and what do you admire about them?

What kind of jobs have you done in the past? Is there a connection between past jobs and what you’re doing for a living now? If so, what is the connection? Don’t assume there’s no connection. Thirty years ago I worked as a journalist. My skills as a writer helps me to fulfill my current path as a healer by enabling me to reach large audiences through my inspirational writing.

While someone can give you insight into your purpose, no one can tell you everything about it. Why? Because you’re not a cog in a machine, you’re a spirit with infinite potential. Your purpose can change over time depending on the needs of your ancestors and the universe. The spirit world is the employer, your purpose is the task or the mission the spirit world is asking you to fulfill.

Your family members can lead you closer to your purpose. Shortly after I met my wife, Stephanie, she helped me launch my career as a writer. I might not have considered it otherwise. My eldest son led me to my path as a healer. Pay attention to what members in your family are inspiring you to do, but also pay attention to issues family members are struggling with. Their struggles might lead you to your purpose.

Knowing your purpose does not necessarily make your life easier, but it does make it fulfilling. Though I have clarity about what I’ve been sent here to do, I face hardship and obstacles along the way just like everyone else. Malidoma Some, the great African shaman and author of the book “Of Water and The Spirit,” was kidnapped by Jesuit priests as a child and was taken away from his culture and people for many years. He had to go through that experience in order to fulfill his purpose. You have to go through certain tests to bring you closer to your purpose, too, and that’s precisely what your going through right now. Embrace it. Try to see it as a friend, instead of a foe.

Envision who you feel called to serve. What is his or her story? What keeps him or her up at night worrying? What is his/her deepest fear? How can you help? What will happen to him or her if you don’t do what you feel called to do? What will happen to YOU if allow your own fears or insecurities to get in the way of being of service and following your purpose? What steps are you taking on a daily basis to sharpen your skills? What legacy would you like to leave for others to follow?

I have so much to share with you, but I can’t say it all in one blog. I’ll be sharing more in a few weeks. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Sign up for my monthly newsletters if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. That way I can send inspirational messages to you via email every month.

Blessings,

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River

Rebuilding From The Rubble

Rebuilding From The Rubble

We’re rebuilding from the rubble. There’s no other choice…

…And there’s a lot of rubble left in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria that swept through the Caribbean last month, as well as from Hurricane Harvey that caused extensive damage and flooding in Texas.

I haven’t been home to the Virgin Islands yet, but thankfully Mom and the rest of my family are doing okay.

But the island, like many others, has been devastated…

For my people, climate change is not an intellectual debate. We see it.The evidence is in all the rubble staring back at us every single day.

“Climate change is the human rights movement of our day,” says Elizabeth Yeampierre, an internationally-known environmental activist of Puerto Rican and African descent.

“Our communities continue to get hit time and time again by climate catastrophe. We cannot choose between a Black Lives Matter protest and a climate justice forum because our survival depends on both of them,” she says.

I’ve only learned of Elizabeth’s work recently but she’s been fighting for environmental justice for more than 20 years. She’s challenging all of us to raise our fists and our voices.

“Our communities know another way. As people of African and indigenous ancestry, we come from societies and ways of life that protect and nurture Mother Earth. Now is the time to reconnect with our old ways. The knowledge is there – it is in our historical memory,” she says

I love what Elizabeth says about reconnecting to our old ways and how the knowledge we need is in our historical memory. It reminds me of something one of my mentors often said when he was teaching me the Ifa spiritual tradition. “When we break the rules of nature, nature breaks us,” he told me.

Professor Wande Ambimbola, a Yoruba scholar says: “To the ancient African mind, animals, plants and human beings were part of one large family. Planet earth is a very sacred place,” he adds. “She was not meant to be exploited as human beings have done for centuries.”

We have a lot of rethinking and rebuilding to do. Yes, we have a lot to learn from the indigenous world, but we also have a lot to learn from each other too. We’re all in this together, like it or not.

There’s something we can all do; we just need to find what that something is and we need to do it.

And we have a choice…

We can choose to see the current crisis as an opportunity, says my good friend, Maria Stiles, an artist and activist from St. Croix.

“Those of us who have been spared have a responsibility,” she says.”We have to restore balance and harmony with the earth. We need to wake up. If this is what it takes for us to look up and see the sky, then so be it.” says Maria.

“We have to plant more; we have to connect more. Times like these force us to realize how fragile we are, and how we’re totally at the mercy of the wind, the earth and the sea,” adds Maria.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Respond to this blog, and I’ll write you back as soon as I can. Would also love to hear what’s been on your mind lately.

Also, be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter if you enjoyed reading this blog.

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All my love

James Weeks
Producer, Across The King’s River