The God is Brown Girl Too® Retreat this past weekend was not a “retreat” at all. Rather than a retreat, it was as our spirit sister Oza described — a “movement forward.” The “Awaken to Love” movement was one of those unforgettable moments in time when all of the forces of the universe are in perfect alignment with an idea whose time has come. Thus, it was in divine order that “Awaken to Love” opened our minds to reach beyond the appearance of physical limitation to the divine rhythm of endless possibility. Our hearts were freshly anointed to beat beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary. Our consciousness was newly uplifted to realize the sacred in the simplistic. Our souls were synchronized in joyous surrender to Spirit by the story of God is a Brown Girl Too, accompanied by the beauty of Malesha Jessie singing Awaken to Love. We could not have planned a more perfect “movement forward”; the universe did it for us.
The moment we entered the sacred space of the Mariandale Retreat Center last Friday evening, we knew that we would be transformed forever. Owned by the Dominican Sisters of Hope, its captivating peace and warm embrace is a beautiful sanctuary overlooking Eagle Bay — that does not withhold its endless gifts of gentle breezes, peaceful shade, calm waters, and the everlasting witness of God.
With the convergence of many religions, faiths, perspectives, and beliefs, we rose above the division of differences to celebrate the fact that there is nothing that we cannot do, nothing that we cannot be, nothing that we cannot summon from God as our creator constantly creating. We carry the universe in our souls, justice in our wombs, and triumph in our magic. When we come together, we know that nothing and no one can stop us from attaining the good that God is expressing as us.
Auah Tuah Nera Freeman, a powerful actor from Washington D.C. , and I performed part of God is a Brown Girl Too, along with Malesha Jessie, we could feel the magic of the Holy Spirit baptizing us in new waters of faith. We could feel the incredible and the magical and the fantastic emerging as us. And we knew that it was something better than a fleeting moment, that it was — as Malesha sang — a change come over us — that would be transformational.
Sonya Johnson sang be Still and Know that I AM God from her beautiful Worship From the Heart CD — blessing us into the stillness and centering us in the wisdom that we must look neither here nor there but to the Kingdom of God within us.
Everyone was a divine contributor to our entire body of love and light, including worship leader Celestine Walker who brought the love of her spirit all of the way from Detroit with worship songs, testimony and exaltation of the words of God; healing goddess Cynthia Adams, who reminded us to lay our burdens down by the riverside; gentle touch visionary Bianca Townsend, who healed us with her gift of massage and the beauty of her photography; and Rev. Mari Rodriguesz Ragsdale, who centered us in the heart of ancestral love and spiritual de-cluttering.
Oza Plynton, Spiritmuv’s new Meditation Leader and sister of divine fulfillment, fed us with not only her wisdom but also her extraordinary culinary skills. If you ever have an opportunity to buy a piece of any of her dishes don’t hesitate to partake. I see a corner bakery named Oza’s smoothly unfolding. It is a blessing that a sister who is so open and receptive to Spirit can also “throw down” as a chef.
Aakhu Tuah Nera poured the libation in a way that not only honored those who came before us but also allowed us to stay connected with them forever.
As my mother, Rev. Dr. Myrtle Ross said during one of our circles of light — if we could honor our ancestors the way we praise Jesus, we could tap the full spectrum of power that is always embracing us and unfold our own magic with the help that all of our ancestors — all of whom stand ready to help us.
One of the highlights was the robing ceremony honoring Spiritmuv Prayer Minister Raquiba LaBrie, who is also one of the main visionaries and supporters of God is a Brown Girl Too. In the physical realm, she is really the spiritual glue that holds our prayer circle lifted in the love and light of God. Rev. Ross presented her with a prayer shawl on behalf of Spiritmuv and sisters of light stood with Raquiba because as Rev. Ross reminded us — “none of us should ever be made to stand alone.”
Early Saturday morning, Prayer Warrior Raquiba blessed us with an early morning meditational knock at our doors — to awaken us to love, and we were all glad that we did. An hour later, movement minister Esther Sylvester led us through our love walks through the labyrinth. Not only was there as celebration of what we wanted but also that we were grateful for Spirit’s immediate response.
Elizabeth Walker, divine diva of organization and beauty, shined her light of love on every crack and crevice of registration, assuring that we would take care of business as seamlessly as she does. Bayliss Fiddiman was by her side, assisting with all of the details.
It was Bayliss who ignited the passion of the creative Spirit in us as we drew goddesses to celebrate the divine within. We know that we are the inexhaustible force of an energy that is greater than the human body temples of God. Bayliss helped us re-discover and express love as us in a new way. The Creativity Room expanded beyond spaces of confinement and the boxes that we once stepped in were torn down.
Najah Brown reminded us of the importance of youth, tireless energy, and joyful presence. Both he and my husband Marlon Cromwell are all of those things and more — the men behind God is a Brown Girl Too and Spiritmuv — without which it wouldn’t run as smoothly and effortlessly as it does.
If you missed this powerful gathering of like-minded sisters of Spirit, don’t worry. There will be similar gatherings for you to participate in. But after this one, I have one piece of advice. Register early, and don’t miss it — at least if you want to awaken to the freedom of endless possibilities, divine opportunities, new dreams, quiet healings, and prophetic callings. Not only did we awaken to love but we also listened. In the peaceful stillness, we heard God praying us. We loved and felt beings of light in our midst praying as us. And in the end, we remembered, and stood proudly on the prayers of our ancestors — lifting us above every obstacle, every fear, every doubt, every hesitation, every appearance of lack. When we left, there was no uncertainty in our minds, hearts and souls — that we were our Mother God’s creation and our Father God’s child, which at the very least means that we are gods.
GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® is grateful for SPIRITMUV Member Bianca Townsend’s Photographic Essay of “Awaken to Love.”
All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® and Spiritmuv messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving.
This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART I OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON THE TWELVE POWERS OF HUMANITY, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.