March 30th-Maria Abegunde “Begin with Wholeness, End with Joy”

The Author

E. Alana James

E. Alana James

Dr E Alana James is reinventing herself again! Coming full circle to the first love of her life - art - and bringing back to her images all the lessons of her life as author, researcher, academic and wife. Concerned mostly with the idea of images as vehicles for expression of the truth of our inner and outer life experience.

I met Maria at a conference and the prayer I send with this blog is that she and I grow our friendship rather than letting it go.  THIS RECORDING will give the reader a taste of who she is and the values / practices she lives by.

She asks her students what does it mean to be….? (in my case – me, white, tall, driven, a woman, self-defined as polyamorous, etc)  for that matter what does it mean to be whole? joyous?  All good questions.  Here are my rambling thoughts.

The question is the hard part – what does it mean?  Meaning to whom?  myself since I am writing.  but how do I define meaning?  I suppose it is by impact.  So the impact of being tall was hugely significant in my early life, whereas now it is almost nothing. Likewise although significant to many my early heterosexual encounters and sexual definition had much more life impact that later choices – yet those later choices lead me to the love of my life – Margie, my wife.  So what is meaning?  is it sand slipping though an hourglass to be measured by point in time data?  Or is it like the wind on a still lake, to be measured by the waves it kicks up? I honestly have no idea how to even approach asking myself what does it mean to be me?

Yet I can easily answer what about my life has meaning – my relationships and loves, the times I listen deeply and am moved by another, the connections I make that form an energetic bond that is tangible in its strength.  My work has great meaning to me and the potential for positive impact on both student lives and the institutions they look to for guidance.

What does it mean to self define our reality so that we always start with wholeness and end with joy?  What small actions do we need to take everyday to continue on that path? Then what would life mean?  A source of joy, of love, of beauty that was so great that no matter the crazy darkness that also inhabits this world that faith was never lost and that our True Selves were always available so that we respond with compassion and forgiveness.

What does it mean to be Alana?  It means being driven, to strive for that level of integrity, inspiration and openness – for all people in all situations.  May this always be my path.