The Year in Review (2011)! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here’s a re-cap….of 2011.

Last year started out for me very busy – – I had started recording my new CD in late 2010 and that project carried over into 2011. At the same time I was completing my Unity teacher practicum that called for teaching a class (Teach Us to Pray by Charles Fillmore) and at last, graduated from the Unity Leadership Program in April 2011. In the midst of all this, let us not forget I was and am still working a highly demanding full-time information systems auditing-type job, which called for me to travel to Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Cleveland within a month’s time (March-April). The fast-pace of constant auditing schedule continued all year long.

In 2011, three friends of mine passed away at my church, and in my own way, I could sense a change was coming in how I would approach and live my life in a more mindful way. Our days are truly numbered here on this planet. So, whatever it is we’re doing, we need to make it count for something and really be about our purpose.

Also in 2011, I also attended Prayer Chaplain training in Sacramento and helped train eight new prayer chaplains. I also took on developing a new member class for church as I continued to record the rest of my CD. I released my new CD “Rivers of Living Waters” in July and kicked off the release by introducing it at the Sound Connections music conference in Lee’s Summit, MO. The celebration was capped off at my CD release party at Tommy T’s Comedy Club in early August. For those of you who attended, all I can say is “WOW! Thank you. My cup runneth over.” You gave me wings to help me fly.

Hats off to all of you at Jai Josef’s Saturday songwriting workshops, of which I was a member over the last year. You all helped me improve my songwriting skills, and I know that I am still growing. So, thank you!

As summer came to an end, I turned my attention to singing and marketing my CD and closing out my teaching practicum, (making sure I completed my 10 toastmaster speeches and final book reports!).  It was time to have even more FUN! (I must say, when you are doing your passion and purpose, it’s usually fun anyway…doesn’t feel like work!)  Some really fun times with my family culminated when we all gathered for the festive celebratory event of the year as my niece Vanessa got married October 8. We were all so excited for her, and the icing on the cake (wedding cake) was seeing and being with family….sharing moments of conversation, laughter, photo-snapping and all! I was SO proud of my dad who took his first flight at age 80 to come to the wedding!!

Right after the wedding, I got news of a dear friend’s passing (God bless you, Zelma), four weeks later a friend since childhood passed away at 59 (God bless you, Vickie) and three weeks later my uncle (my mom’s brother) passed on at age 61 on December 7 (bless you Uncle Larry). My emotions have been on a roller coaster, or so it seems. Here I was at the end of the year thinking we need to make our moments count. I wrote a song on my CD called “Make a Life.” Let us not get so busy making a living that we forget to make a life. So, this past Christmas my focus was on “I am LOVING the ones I’m with! right here, right now.” I would encourage you to share love, share peace, share yourself, your dreams, your hopes, your vision with the rest of us. The LIGHT that has come into the world is still shining in each of us if we let it. Go in peace. I wish you every happiness this year (2012) and always. Have a wonderful year.

And have a wonderful Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Over the Christmas holiday I traveled to Washington, DC and was able to see the monument. There I am in the photo bundled up in my coat.  It was beautiful.

Blessings, peace, and joy!

Dinah

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