Tag Archives: Mariandale Retreat Center

LIVING YOUR DESIRED FUTURE IN THE PRESENT – Part 12 – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself


This audio tape is the studied chapter from the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself,  by Joe Dispenza, which you can purchase on Amazon.  We are also excerpting the music of Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai , “Becoming Human” and Wade Imre Morissette “Still,” which can be purchased on i-Tunes.
“You have all the neurological machinery to transcend time, to make this a skill. What some might call miracles, I describe as cases of individuals working toward changing their state of being, so that their bodies and minds are no longer merely a record of their past but become active partners, taking steps to a new and better future.”
“Transcending the Big Three: Peak Experiences and Ordinary Altered States of Consciousness At this point, you understand that the main obstacle to breaking the habit of being yourself is thinking and feeling equal to your environment, your body, and time. . . .”

We will continue on Monday, at 8 PM, by calling 218-936-4986, pass code 48201.
Enjoy our other websites uplifting a consciousness of grace at http://www.spiritmuvmeditation.com (we are on over 1000 days of a meditation challenge); http://www.spiritmuvvideo.com (we post videos for our Miracle Minute Meditation, as well as our Metaphysical Bible Journey); http://www.spiritmuvblog.com (where we continue to uplift our community of growth in consciousness); http://www.myrtletreepress.webs.com (our publishing website); and http://www.spiritmuv.com (our main website).



2 – WHAT AM I?







Seeing Cover

WALK IN YOUR LIGHT By Cecilia B. Loving

ownership 8Your light is your legacy. It is so inseparable from you that you are obligated to let it shine. In Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a candle and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds.” You cannot pick and choose who will benefit from your light.

You must be generous enough to share it with everyone. How? By simply doing35 what I have called you to do – walk in your light, walk in your purpose, and walk in your calling. Do what you love to do, what you do best, what harms no one else – and the joy that you give will be beyond your comprehension. Sharing your gifts and talents has a viral effect that will flow through the universe and bless millions for ages to come.

What you don’t realize is that even after you make your transition from this life, your light will still shine so brightly that it will lead people everywhere. Paul told the Ephesians (5:8), to walk as children of Light. Walk in obedience to Spirit. Walk in the beauty of discipline. Walk in the power of faith.

Walk beyond the confines of your self-imposed limitations, so that I can shine through you. Walk as an unlimited expression of all that I AM. You cannot judge your gifts and talents. You 2cannot see the fullness and wholeness that you contribute to the Universe simply by being the best that you are. Don’t lose your way because of what other people say or do or think. You are uniquely you for a reason. The lack of support, criticism or condemnation by some of my other children is like the wind. It is as fleeting as a single breath.

Don’t be fooled by cowards and haters to be a second-rate you. You are more than a diva, you are the divine. Walk in the beauty of your light. Otherwise, you will never give me the life that you have promised me in the Spirit, and the Promised Land will always be a distant reality.

Your greatest achievements began as divine ideas that no one else believed in. Jesus said (Matthew 25:34), “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the11 - Copy (2) kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Come you who no longer care what others think. Come you who are no longer afraid to move forward into the greatness that you are. Come you who believe in the magnificence of Spirit. Come you who have brought oil for your lamp and are willing to let your light shine through.

Come all ye faithful. Come ye, O’ come ye to Bethlehem – that house of bread, that place of substance, that center of Truth. O’ come Beloved, from the far country, and behold the 25Christ within. O’ come Spiritual Rebirth, come with the Light of a new day. O’ come embrace the power that you were given, the true gift of transformation, the joyous deliverance that you can attain through a consciousness of Spirit.

You were called before your birth. The Buddhists ask “do you remember what your face looked like before your parents were born?” Jeremiah said before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. Before we were born, God set us apart (Jeremiah 1:4-6).

You may not remember exactly where you are going or know how you will get there, but I will lead the way. I will give you the voice and the vision and the victory that you need. I will part the Red Sea so that no one will deter you from your path.

As I told the Psalmist, “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15). Just stay on the path, as Denzel Washington said in The Book of Eli. Stay on the path70 of righteousness, regardless of evildoers. Return from the far country. Go on about my business. Don’t just get a glimpse of the Promised Land, but be in the right consciousness to enter it. Be a believer – not just in somebody else’s testimony, but know me for you. Shut up and listen to Spirit for yourself. Be liberated in the unlimited power of all that you are.

Walk the walk and talk the talk – with the sword of my power. Watch a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand fall at your right hand and nothing come near you (Psalm 91:7).

7 - Copy (2)This reminds me of the Israelites who were at the edge of the wilderness, when Moses blessed them as they journeyed into the Promised Land. They were not just standing on the bank of a river to cross. They were on the threshold of a new consciousness. They were not just leaving the wilderness because they had traveled a certain distance, or mapped out a particular strategy, or had served a certain amount of time. They were crossing over because they were ready.

The Promised Land is not a physical place. It is a place in consciousness that gives you spiritual food that feeds your mind, soul and heart, the unlimited feast of my Kingdom. It is a place where you will no longer be captive to the wilderness of your own negativity, grumbling, and strife.

It is a place where materialism and greed will no longer enslave you. But you cannot get there until you are ready.

The number forty in the Bible symbolizes preparation rather than a specific number. Forty years in the wilderness means as long as it takes to get ready.

You are ready when you realize that I AM always working with you for your greatest good. I will always feed you enough manna – enough spiritual food to sustain you.

great 7 You are ready when you stop worrying about what other100 people say or think. As Terrie Cole Whitaker says, What You Think About Me is None of My Business. You are ready when you are willing to make the sacrifices that need to be made to accomplish what you want. You are ready when you learn that I AM within.

You are ready when you can bless even the appearances of life – whether they are bad or good – because you realize that they are the motivation that you need.

You are ready when you understand that love is the spiritual law that supersedes all others.

Love does not judge but is unconditional.

Love has an all-encompassing heart that fulfills Karma with Grace.

You can accomplish anything with the power of love.

If you are worried or doubtful or in need, all you have to do is bless the situation with the power of love.

LOVELove is my energy in its most powerful form.

Love allows you to be compassionate toward everyone, even when they second-guess you, because you know that they are part of your blessing.

Even when others mean something for evil, I mean it for good (Genesis 50:20).

They serve as the catalyst that pushes you beyond your comfort zone and make you aim higher than you ever aimed before.

You cross over to the other side when you know that you are blessed with my anointing.

You never know how you are going to make it there.

But you can trust that I will put the right people on your path to push against your resistance and pull you across the threshold to something better and greater.101

You have spent enough time in the wilderness.

You are ready to do what I have called you to do – ready to walk in the newness of life,

and nothing and no one can stop you.



Psalm 102:2 says “let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.”

At the 2012 God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat, which was held at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Westchester County, New York, we all did just that.  We told our stories, and the more we told them, the more we realized that the stories that we tell are not based on what we experience but on what we believe.

We realized that we had the power to decree a thing and make it so.  The most powerful thing about the retreat is that the story that I really hoped and prayed would unfold – did unfold:  The words we decreed and the stories that we told when we arrived on Friday, the first day of the retreat, was not the story that we told and the words that we decreed when we departed the last day, the following Sunday.

Each one of us decreed, spoke, claimed — told a new story.

God is a Brown Girl Too teaches us that we have been telling the same stories for so long that we no longer know truth from fiction.  We have no idea who we really are in the Spirit as opposed to who we appear to be in the flesh.   Most times, the person who was abused, neglected, rejected or condemned in the past – is given a starring role while our real selves take a back seat.

The only way that we are going to see ourselves reflected as God’s image and likeness is to free ourselves from the past limitations that we imposed upon ourselves, and tell a new story.  We have to  throw away the regret and the pain and the hurt that has been passing for fulfillment and see ourselves with a new light.

In the book God is a Brown Girl Too, God speaks for the first time as a woman of color to women of color, saying:

You are not who you were yesterday . . . . You are different.  You are reborn.  You are free.  Begin to see yourself with a new light. . . .  Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 22. . .says that the light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  The light is the wisdom that is providing you with a lens through which you can see all of the experiences that I have given you with a new insight. 

What you see in the flesh is around you, but it is not  you.  Jesus tried to explain this when he said, “I am not of this world” (John 8:23). Spirit is the only thing that matters.  Look only to me.  Seek first my kingdom.  Wait upon me, and I will heal your wounds and allow you to move forward with them as a blessing rather than a hindrance.  When you fail to keep your focus on Spirit, you will find yourselves like that beggar on the roadside – blinded by your lack of faith.  

Without my light, it’s difficult to tell a new story for yourself because you cannot see who you really are.  Spirit is the light that unifies you in consciousness and centers you in peace, clarity, creativity, joy, and abundance. 

Only when you are centered in my light do you realize your oneness with the entire universe.  If you achieve this going forward, you will not be limited the way that you were in the past.  You will realize that the heartache or the pain that you experienced can be released and you can stop re-living it.  You can begin to recreate who you want to be rather than who you used to be.  

One of the Tell a New Story retreat participants, Pamela James, blessed us with a powerful affirmation.  She said, “I AM the Great I AM.”  We are indeed the Great I AM, and the stories that we tell about ourselves should reflect nothing more than that.

In 2013, our Fifth Annual God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat, entitled “Our Hope of Glory” — will be aboard a cruise ship, the Carnival Glory.

It’s our maiden voyage because it’s the first time that we will bring our energy to such a relaxing and wonderful environment.  We know that it will energize us.  We are cruising to Nova Scotia on July 29, 2013, for five days during which we will lift up that profound mantra that Paul inspired when he said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

This is an opportunity like no other to reconnect with the God in us.

You can find more details about the cruise at www.godisabrowngirltoo.webs.com.  But you have to book by July 13, by putting down a deposit as little as $25.00.

Just call Bert Vigueras at CRUISE ONE –(800)619-1694 OR (718) 673-9003.

In the interim, join us for our “Spiritual Boot Camp” for the next seven Sundays, starting June at 2:30 PM, at the Unity Center of New York City, located at 213 West 58th Street, near the Time Warner Building, right off Central Park.














On my way into the New York Sports Club this morning, I was moved by their current promotion.  A big sign out front reads “Re-Resolution Sale.” It is a great reminder to get back on track.  Even if we have not done the things that we resolved to do, we can still get back on target.

weight lifting oneRe-resolution provides a second chance to get it right. Re-resolution allows us to re-trace our steps and re-dedicate ourselves to the mission we were committed to when we first began. Even if we swore to abide by our resolutions and then failed, re-resolution re-opens our desire to ask again and receive; to seek again and find; to knock again and allow the door to be opened.

mountain oneRe-resolution re-ignites our faith to start all over again. As a colleague was telling me last night: when we make it to the top of our mountain, we only find ourselves at the bottom of another one – realizing a resilient determination to face new heights.

moutain threeRe-resolution is the opportunity to re-create ourselves with a new determination, a new chutzpah, a new energy, a new strength, a new resolve. Re-resolution fills us with a new appetite, a new hunger, a new thirst for renewal.

I start my day by working out each morning – except for Sundays. That means I get up at 5:00 A.M. and go to the gym.  It’s like brushing my teeth; I have to do it – or I just won’t feel right. But I didn’t develop that discipline over night. It took about ten years of resolving and then re-resolving until one day — with the foundation of trial and error under my feet, I did it. That day turned into months. Those months turned into years.

mountain fourThe good news is that re-resolving – that is starting and then messing up and then starting all over again – is all part of the process. We only know what we need to do to stay on track when we’ve had the experience of falling off.

Re-resolution was what Lazarus did, when he rose from the dead.  Jesus deserves some credit, but he teaches that it is by our faith that we are made whole.  It was Lazarus who got up.  Jesus says “these and greater things shall you do.”  In other words, you shall rise from your mat by the pool of BethesdaYou have been wanting to see without success, but now you’re going to see beyond the appearances into the power of Creating Outside the Box Onerenewed possibility — because of your faith. You are going shake the dust off your feet and re-claim the resurrection of the extraordinary in the ordinary course of your day.  You are going to walk the water of your success.

GBGIIFor the last few years, I have been using the God is a Brown Girl Too retreat to re-solve, re-invigorate and re-create. This year’s theme of “Tell a New Story” introduces the pure potential of the Holy Ghost power that is constantly expressing and re-creating as us. All we have to do is re-claim it. All we have to do is re-member it. All we have to do is re-resolve that this is a special time of re-establishing who we are in this journey called life. This is the time to re-resolve that we can cross the finish line with the wind at our backs and victory on our breath.  This is the time to go within and pray as though we really will get everything that we ask for, and then some – and then some more.  Join us.

SPIRITMUV Photo FourNamaste,

Cecilia Loving

Join us every Sunday, at 2:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street, between 7th Avenue and Broadway.




 During this Lenten Season, we often talk about what we are going to sacrifice — the chocolates that we are going to give up; the alcohol that we are going to refrain from drinking; the something — anything in the material world that we are going to deprive ourselves of in order to establish our connection to God. But the only thing that we really have to do in order to practice the presence of the divine in our lives is what Jesus taught us, and that is to seek first the Kingdom of God. When we get still — even for a moment and re-connect with the loving energy of the Holy Spirit, everything else falls into place. We attain the serenity, peace, harmony, focus, and renewal that we need to be our best.


Once again, we will slow down and listen to the divine within at the GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO Retreat at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, New York, during the weekend of April 20-22. This year’s theme is TELL A NEW STORY and focuses on how we can go within, listen to what God tells us to do, and re-create ourselves. THIS WEEK IS THE ONLY WEEK THAT YOU CAN ATTEND THE RETREAT FOR HALF PRICE: $225 per person for the entire weekend. This Saturday, March 3, the price will go up again. To register and learn more about the retreat schedule, go to www.godisabrowngirltoo.webs.com. For this week only, there is a PayPal link for this special price. You can also purchase the God is a Brown Girl Too book on the website and begin the journey of finding the Kingdom of God in yourself.


In the interim, join SPIRITMUV every Sunday, at 2:30 PM, at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 W. 58th Street, near Columbus Circle.



The other day, I received some sage advice from a seventh grader. The Pikesville Peak Winter 2012 Edition features a front page article written by my niece Christa Loving, for those “in the middle point in [their] life.” Christa wrote that when you are in the “middle point” in your life, “[y]ou can make it the best time of your life or the worst.”


Cecilia and ChristaI believe that this seventh grade wisdom is applicable to your life, regardless of whether you are twelve or ninety-two – or any age in the “middle.” We are all in the “middle” of something, and we can make it the best time of our life or the worst. So I was interested in sharing Christa’s perspective, who wrote that even though she was “new to Pikesville, [she does] know a little bit about how to survive middle school.”


In summary, Christa offers the following words of wisdom:


What Are You Calling YourselfBe Yourself:  Be your “crazy, original, happy, and loving self.” This rings true for all of us. We have to listen to the inner voice of Spirit and be receptive to whatever makes us uniquely us. We were all called to do something phenomenal.  As Jeremiah taught us, God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 5:1).


Hold HandsDon’t Let Anyone or Anything ‘Slow Your Roll’:   You can use being bullied and being picked on to “become stronger” and no matter what, “do not let people get [you] down.” Nothing and no one can prevent us from receiving the absolute good that the universe has in store for us. As Paul says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”


doveDon’t Think You Know Everything:   There’s always an opportunity to “learn new things, so don’t waltz into 6th grade acting like you know EVERYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.” It’s important to
“[c]ome in like everybody else with an open-to-learning mind. No one wants to hang around someone who thinks they are a know-it-all.” (Emphasis in Original)  This is consistent with what Job concluded when he said that “we were born only yesterday and know nothing” (Job 8:9)). We are in a constant state of growth and transformation. As Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32)). We are smartest when we allow ourselves to be fed not only the food of flesh and of intellect but also of spiritual substance – realizing that the Holy Spirit will “teach [us] all things” – more than we can ever begin to imagine (John 14:26).


TCreating Outside the Box Oneake Advantage of What You Don’t Know to Make New Friends:   Asking questions like “where is this class” or “can you help me with my locker” are perfect ways to make friends. “[B]e open to meeting new people: don’t stay stuck in a little cult.” You have to “be bold and walk up to people” and “hang out with as many people as possible.” Jesus said it another way, he said “love one another” (John 13:34). When we love one another, we are compassionate about their feelings; we get to know them; we make time for them; we celebrate them; we help them push through the rough spots; we hold their hand when they need companionship; we praise them when they need uplifting; we forgive them when they’ve made a mistake.


Windows of HeavenDon’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions:   Don’t worry about being made fun of for asking questions. You are probably asking the question that several other people want to ask. Jesus said “ask and you will receive” (John 16:24).   When we open up our minds and are receptive to the universe, we receive certain questions because they are necessary to push us farther along the path. Our questions themselves are blessings, and if we fail to follow up on them, we don’t open the door to that channel of good.


IBible 7t’s Cool to be Smart:   “Bad grades are not cool! Try to be the smartest. So what if people say ‘you’re some kind of smarty pants.’ Take that as a compliment. You’ll be the one who becomes that millionaire everyone dreams of being. If people say you’re a nerd, those people will end up working for you most likely.” In 2 Chronicles 1:11-12, God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Wisdom is the greatest wealth we can have. The best wisdom we get is from God, and when we seek first God’s Kingdom, all else will be given – including wealth, leadership and divine ideas.


Eagle BayKeep Your Cool Peer pressure is not good. You have to be an independent thinker. At one extreme, peer pressure may cause you to “do something dangerous”; at the other extreme, it can also make you do something like “skipping class” or “hitting someone.” Regardless, “it’s not good. It can get you into serious trouble if you mess with the wrong person. So always keep your cool.” Jesus said “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39). Being cool requires us to realize that God is the only leader that we need to follow, in a peaceful, graceful, loving mood.




Cecilia Loving


Join us every Sunday, at 2:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street, between 7th Avenue and Broadway.



When we are confronted by the adversaries of life – be it the pain of healing, the worry of making ends meet, the maintenance of a roof over our heads, the struggle to forgive, the challenges faced by our loved ones, the demands of time commitments, or even the fear of our journey into the unknown – it is important to remember that the Kingdom of God is neither here nor there, it is within us (Luke 17:21).   Jesus taught us that a comforter called the Holy Spirit is within us, always providing the wisdom that we need, always directing our passage (John 14:15-17).  He reminded us that our own laws say that we are gods (John 10:34).  His beloved Paul also teaches that we live and move and have our being in the Spirit (Acts 17:28).  We are so connected to the Divine that if we put our doubt and fear aside just for a moment, if we listened to the silence, if we stopped trying and simply learned to “be,” we could hear God saying “I am here.”

“I am here” with you at your crossroad of crisis.  “I am here” with you in your deepest desire. 
“I am here” with you on your bed of affliction.  “I am here” with you in your acceptance of new love.  “I am here” with you in your career change.  “I am here” with you in your fundraising efforts.  “I am here” with you on your marketing campaign.  “I am here” with you on every blank page of your life and endless circle of light where you stand ready for redemption.  “I am here” opening infinite channels to your Absolute Good.

If you take a moment and listen, you will hear God saying, “There is no place where I am not.”

At Spiritmuv, each Sunday we anoint ourselves with the realization that God is everywhere.  We move beyond the cracks and crevices of limitation and find salvation in the ordinary and the sanctity of our ability to believe that we are more than good religion, we are the greatness of  God expressed as us.

When we listen to the God within, we climb outside of our boxes of convention and tradition and normalcy, and we step up to the plate of trusting the Divine Within.  I know that we say that we love God, trust God and are believers, but we don’t always exhibit our love.  We often stop short of our true selves and lose ourselves in someone else’s bad vibrations.  We often forget that we are heirs to the throne.  We often forget that we are temples of the living God.  We often stop listening to what the Psalmist calls “stillness” and turn a deaf ear to God always reminding us, “I am here.”  But not April 1-3, this past weekend, at the God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat.  This past weekend, we opened the door to honoring the goodness of God forever by fully exploring the Kingdom within for three days at the Mariandale Retreat Center, and we found Endless Possibility.

We were drawing and painting and stitching and sewing and evolving and being and dancing and singing and igniting and liberating and moving beyond limitations – when we suddenly realized our Endless Possibility.  And neither rustle nor stir, tree nor sky, bush nor bird, mountain nor molehill could dispute the rumblings of hallelujah in the air to welcome us.  Suddenly, we could hear the silence between thoughts; we could feel the impossibilities lifted beyond despair; we could sense the release of the stuff that we didn’t really need; we could rejuvenate ourselves with restored freedom to pursue old dreams and new revelations.

Endless Possibility anointed us as new sweetness in our fragrance, new movement in our forward; new dazzle in our genius; new sparkle in our eyes; new force in our energy; new boldness in our courage; new glory in our victory.  No one and nothing could contain us.

We moved from the confinement of our boxes to the present moment – always evolving and always breathing God as us.  We were able to laugh again, be free again and triumph over struggle.

We told a new story that now speaks us in the wind.

The prophecy of Quilt-ologist Pamela Jones, the healing hands of massage therapist Bianca Townsend, the visionary vibrations of prayer warrior Raquiba LaBrie, the artistry of actor Rahima Wachuku, and my own God is a Brown Girl Too guided us to wholeness.

We realized that the soul of the Motherland is in us – and speaks through us and sings as us; that we are all woven from the same cloth, the same secrets, the same love.

We each have beautiful patterns to create and colors to draw upon and lift up and share as the incredible, the miraculous and the strong.

We remembered that God does not merely braid our thick soft hair but puts a million tiny universes in a single strand, covers us with stars and bathes us with living waters.  We opened our eyes again so that we can see the eternal in everlasting locks and twists, rivers and streams, paths and purposes.

We discovered that we are sweetness and trust, gingersnaps and vanilla wafers, laughter and butterflies, answers and prayers, magic and miracles.

We began yet another chapter to the story of God is a Brown Girl Too® and heard with lasting clarity “I am here.”

Reverend Cecilia Loving

© 2011 Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.


It’s easy to say God is good but more difficult to be good to God.  Being good to God requires us to be good to the divine ideas that God gives us.  Being good to God requires us to tap into the Universe’s unlimited potential – expressed as our gifts and talents.  When we don’t share our gifts and talents, they dissipate.  A singer who doesn’t sing loses their vocal ability.  An artist who doesn’t paint loses their technique.  A dancer who doesn’t move loses their flexibility.  Pamela D. Jones, Master Quilter extraordinaire, is a perfect example of someone who is good to God because she shares her gifts and talents.  Her phenomenal quilts are exhibited everywhere – from Ethiopia to Detroit to Dallas – and will be a perfect complement to next week’s “Creating Outside the Box of Conventionality” Retreat at the Mariandale Conference Center.

When  her brother, the late jazz poet, hip hop-ologist, author and journalist Kenneth Jones, used to sit behind me at Cass Tech in 1972 and pull my pony tail, I had no idea that his little sister was at home designing doll clothes.  Detroit has an extraordinary creative energy, a magnetism of vision that vibrates even deeper than Motown, even more profound than futuristic car sculpting, even more daring than Xhibit’s sonorous voice or David Alan Grier’s genius – as it keeps expanding into endless forms of artistic expression.  Pam’s artistic expression first took shape in her wearable art fashion line called “Fashions for Sisters with Attitudes Today” which was featured at major department stores and praised by the Michigan Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune and other papers.  But when she began quilting, she was hooked.

A new “quilt-ology” emerges from this registered nurse and Masters of Divinity candidate at New York Theological Seminary.  I call her work “quilt-ology” because it blends healing, regeneration and Spirit into cloth that not only covers us or hangs for our pleasure but also anoints us, prophesies for us and summons us to see as well as listen.  Ms. Jones’ quilts force us to go within and realize that God is here because we witness in them the craftsmanship of the Kingdom.  We know the divine moves through her quilts because they sing scripture and they dance devotion and they even shout hallelujah through color, imagination and intricate, delicate stitching.

Her quilt called “Awakening” was featured on the cover of “The York College Commemorative Quilt” book.  Her “Women of Masi” was featured as the promotional quilt for the Citicorp Quilting and Art Exhibition.  Harvard University School of Divinity, the Black Christian Women’s Conference, and the State Office Building in Harlem are just a few venues that have recognized Pam’s amazing talent through display.  She is Chair of the Maafa  Quilters at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn who shares Pam’s passion for healing deep wombs of oppression and liberating souls from suffering.  She is also the lead instructor for “Black Men Who Quilt”, the only known Black male quilting guild in the country.  My favorite collection is Pam’s “Living Waters: Women of the Bible” series, which consists of 20 quilts depicting some of the women in the bible and their stories.  I love her work because it buries victimhood and celebrates triumph.  She creates outside of the box of tradition through a soul that resonates with victory.

Pam’s quilts tell a new story of victory.  Her witness testifies through texture and shape and form to preach the parables of creation, love and hope in a way that doesn’t just inform us but delivers us.  She says “Art is instinctive to me. It is a talent, which I feel, is best expressed through my quilts.  I enjoy painting but prefer letting the various fabrics I use be my color pallet, expressing the boundless contemplation and evolution of divine ideas.  Spirit always leads me to a mixture of fabrics from hand dyed to African prints, as well as more traditional American fabrics to blend the tapestries of my ancestral inclusions from Native American to Africa.”

She says “beadwork and shells embellish my quilts and work along with embroidery to add dimensions and life to them.  Sometime I also use paint to for added dimension as well.”  Each quilt magically anoints the viewer with a positive and peaceful state, in part, because Pam often creates them as she recites scripture.  These quilts wear the blessing and bring it into new shape and form and texture.  “When starting a new piece, I never really know what it will look like in the end,” she says.  “I see each one emerging like a mystery novel.  I must keep reading – keep adding fabric – in order to reach the end of the plot. Most times the true meaning of the piece is not revealed to me until it’s finished.  Quilt design is my way of allowing my imagination to soar.”

In the book God is a Brown Girl Too, God reminds us to let our imaginations soar – to embrace each moment with poems, hugs and twitters, to radiate new joy, solve new equations and fulfill new prophecies.  When we are daring enough to go with the flow of wherever creativity takes us, we find ourselves giving shape to form and substance well beyond convention or norm – to the miraculous and the genius and the divine.  Being made in “God’s image and likeness” means that we, too, are co-creators with light, energy and power.  We carry the notes of the musician giving birth to new music, the harmony of the rapper reaping hip hop beats, the whisper of the writer typing word magic, the ministry of the sculptor shaping faith from blocks, the prophecy of the painter blending answered prayers, the stitch of a quilter moving beyond ordinary squares to extraordinary surprises.  When we take time to listen to Spirit and allow it to direct our path, we realize that the things we devote most of our time to are not the most important.  We have to bold enough to move beyond the margins, to bend them into something beautiful, to create a master-piece by coloring outside the lines. Creating outside the box of conventionality is what really sustains us because we are here — not just to be good for ourselves but to be good for God.  Being good for God only happens when we allow God to use us – in the basic, simple, honest, most extraordinary ways.

If we listen, we can hear God saying move out of your way:  “I will open new doors.  I will send new ideas.  I will bless you with the wisdom that you need.  I will lift you to dance into and leap out of my realm of infinite possibilities.”

Artists like Pamela Jones remind us that using the gifts that only God can give us is a starting place, a foundation for a triumph that will flourish so much, it will become the ground upon which we stand – but only when we give way to it.

© 2011 Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, at 213 West 58th Street.