Monthly Archives: October 2010

Four Gates of the Heroine’s Journey

Some quick notes on my interview with Jemitra Hairston

All technical and timing snafus aside, I really enjoyed my interview with Jemitra Hairston. We touched on what I thought were some really interesting points about life purpose and spiritual self-care in connection with the transitions we go through in our lives.

I didn’t get a chance to ask nearly all of the questions that were on my mind. It looks like a follow-up is necessary, and I am glad Jemitra has already agreed to a second session at the beginning of 2011!

In speaking about transitions during the journey of the heroine, Jemitra also focused on the stories in our lives that shape not only how others perceive us, but how we perceive ourselves. It was her contention that our conscious decision to accept or reject certain stories directly impacts how “at home” we are in our own skins, as well as how our own particular journey in life progresses.

Jemitra described “Four Gates of the Journey of the Heroine” as follows:

  • Gate One: “Building Your Identity – This stage calls for you to become  conscious of the stories that shape your inner perception of self. What are the things you are told about yourself – by your parents, family and friends; but also by society and the media? These stories play a part in not only defining you  as an individual, but also as a member of a variety of sub-groups; i.e. as a woman, as a black person or as an American.
  • Gate Two: “Questioning Your Identity – Once your level of awareness concerning the variety of stories surrounding you has increased, you reach the point of “trying on” different stories to check their fit. Which of the stories that are used to define you really reflect the person you are (as well as the person you hope to become)? How many of those stories are, in actuality, a more valid reflection of someone else’s agenda than your own? It’s at this point in our lives that we can begin to make a conscious choice as to which stories we accept as “true”, and realize which narratives must be altered – or discarded completely – in order for us to maintain the level of authenticity we seek in our lives.
  • Gate Three: “Searching for Purpose” – This is the stage of our personal journey that sees us on a quest to discover the overriding theme in our lives. Jemitra referred to it as a “Vision Quest”. More important than any job we might take on is the rôle our purpose plays in mapping out the course of our lives.
  • Gate Four: “Integration” – This stage, occurring as it does after we have made significant headway in our search for purpose, sees us re-evaluating our stories (those that already exist, as well as those that are in the process of being written) against the all-defining backdrop of our purpose. Which of our narratives strengthens the foundation we need to live life on purpose? Which ones detract – or distract – from it? Once we’ve reached the stage of integration, we intuitively know which stories belong in our collection, and which ones we must re-write or dismantle to move forward.

Jemitra also recommended some important tools as a kind of “Reset Button” to quiet down what is sometimes referred to in yoga as the “Monkey Mind”: That hyper, raucous – often negative or destructive – inner voice that attempts to drown out the voice of our “True Self” or “God/dess Voice” or the voice of their “Higher Self“.

  1. The physical cleansing we experience during a trip to the  sauna or steam room helps us detox our bodies and shift the focus of our mental activity
  2. Fasting – even if it is only for a short period – can also help us achieve a shift in consciousness, as well as detox our bodies
  3. Practices like yoga, meditation or prayer help us to be more conscious of our thoughts on the way to opening ourselves up to the pure voice within ourselves.

Jemitra’s comments about taking a “media fast” especially resonated with me, as the media – with its incessant fear-mongering and message that we are “somehow not good enough” – has become a huge purveyor of wholesale negativism and insecurity.

Pressing that proverbial “reset” allows us to wipe our minds/emotional slates clean, so we can approach a story or vital transition or new gateway in life without the emotional/spiritual ballast that has built up inside to distort our judgment.

Asked about another way to positively impact the narratives that accompany our lives, Jemitra mentioned the practice of identifying and claiming an intention (or affirmation) before beginning your day. This can be something as general as “Today is going to be a wonderful/productive/successful/happy day!” or something as specific as “Today the best answer to this question will be revealed to me!” With practice, using conscious intentions/affirmations helps us shift the storyline in our own narratives. It helps us be more sensitive to making the decisions and taking the actions that best reflect the outcome(s) we desire in our lives.

If you missed last night’s interview with Jemitra Hairston, you can access it on the dedicated BlogTalkRadio page as the current on-demand episode.


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Update: On the Radio

Due to an unexpected time zone glitch (no, BlogTalkRadio, I did not move from Germany to American Samoa in the last month…), we will unfortunately have to postpone tonight’s show with Jemitra Hairston.

Jemitra has been kind enought to re-schedule for next week: Same date, same time.

So please excuse any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please add the new date and time to your planner.

Both Jemitra and I look forward to sharing with you then!

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Affirmations: Powerful Conversations with Ourselves (11)

TODAY: Help Other Women See The Brilliance Within

Because we are all phenomenal – and it’s time we realize it!



This picture* captures an often-repeated scenario in my family’s history: My mother and I saying “goodbye” to one another at the airport. Last week, though, the scene was played out in the other direction as my mom left for home after a four-week stay here in Germany.

As I get older I become more and more aware of all the forces who have given me the strength to go out into the world and be who I was destined to be. Without a doubt, my mother has been both a lighthouse and a pillar of strength in my life.

  • If I had the ambition to excel academically, it’s because my mother encouraged me to embrace, love and trust my own intellect.
  • If I had the courage to travel to Germany at 14, it’s because my mother taught me that – even as a black woman – the sky is the limit. Literally.
  • If I had the courage to start my own business, it’s because my mother raised me to believe that there is no one out there better than me, and I can accomplish anything, if I only put my mind to it.

Does this mean life has always been  a smooth ride for me? No! Because not all the voices inside my head are my mother’s voice. Sometimes the variety of voices and their contradictory messages confuse me; sometimes the negative voices overpower even the most positive message.

My mom’s visit, however, was one long affirmation. It/She reminded me not only where I come from, but who I am and where I’m going. The powerful charge of spiritual energy that flowed between us also strengthened the connection between me and my own daughter, and helped me relish in the promise of the future my granddaughter represents even more.

Of course, my mother is not the only source of inspiration in my life, nor is she the only woman who has shown me a reflection of the brilliance that (still) lies untapped inside me. But I think it’s fair to say that she was the first one to see something special in me and think it worth nurturing and protecting. And she’s the one who has silently and prayerfully always had my back. Unconditionally.

I’m not your mother, but I know you are all brilliant, too!

  • Even if you didn’t hear it often or loud enough while you were growing up, believe it now!
  • Even if there are forces in your life trying to break you or hold you down, believe it today!
  • Even if you feel you are off track in your life, believe it like your life depended on it!

And now go out there and live your life – brilliantly!



* Taken at Philadelphia International Airport in approx. 1976



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On the Radio: “The Journey of the Heroine – Navigating Life’s Transitions with Grace (or NOT!)”


Special Guest: Jemitra Hairston (Netherlands)


About the Show:

The journey of the heroine is a voyage of the heart and mind that each and every woman embarks upon at some point in her life.  The journey is characterized by several transitions or gates.  Transitions are inextricably woven into the fabric of life.  Yet, oftentimes we approach life’s transitions with a sense of apprehension and even dread.  When we fight against these transitions, we make our passage through them more difficult.  In this interview, we will explore the four major gates of the heroine’s journey.  We will learn how to recognize the gates we must pass through, and learn practical tips that can help us navigate each transition.

About Jemitra:

Jemitra Hairston is the Creative Director of The Green Doorway.  She has almost a decade of experience as a lifestyle coach, massage therapist, whole foods cook, workshop facilitator, and yoga instructor.

Jemitra holds a Masters Degree in Health Promotion from Marymount University, is a certified Thai yoga massage therapist (Touch of Asia), and a certified Holistic Health Counselor (Institute for Integrative Nutrition).

Through customized holistic lifestyle programs, Jemitra serves as a guide who assists her clients on a personal journey toward attaining radiant health, finding inner balance, and unleashing their full potential.  She specializes in helping people who live busy, fast-paced lives.  Jemitra’s programs draw from a wide range of techniques and modalities including:  Thai yoga massage, yoga, whole foods nutritional therapy, story reality, and the social ecological model.

In addition to her education, Jemitra has direct experience with the healing effects of the modalities she uses with her own clients.  She maintains a regular, strenuous yoga practice and eats a diet composed of organic, whole foods.  As a result, she is in better health and has more energy than when she was a teenager.

Jemitra is also a motivational and dynamic public speaker, Jemitra lectures across the country and internationally on a wide variety of wellness and lifestyle related topics.

  • Topic: The Journey of the Heroine – Navigating Life’s Transitions with Grace (or NOT)!
  • Special Guest: Jemitra Hairston
  • Date: 19 October 2010
  • Time: 7.30 pm CET // 1.30 pm EST
  • Duration: Approx. 60 minutes
  • Dial-in: +1-323-784-9710
  • URL (To listen via internet and share your thoughts and questions via live chat option!)

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