Tag Archive | Decade of Enlightenment

And a New Journey Begins…

Dear Friends,

This post feels difficult to write. Not because I shouldn’t, but because I feel like there is so much to say. I just don’t know where to begin. People often say, “Write from the heart.” In fact, I’m one of those people. But what do you write when your heart is overflowing? What do you write when your heart feels emotions that your mind cannot express?

On June 13, 2011, I began this incredible journey here with all of you. It has been a journey of discovery…a journey of unveiling all the secrets in my roux…a journey of perfecting the gumbo that is me.

…the process of turning simple flour and oil into a rich pot of complex flavors and aromas is much like the process of transitioning from a young, naive girl into a strong, confident, and self-assured woman. It takes time, thought, and careful consideration.

~Donloyn LeDuff Gadson, The Creole Magnolia

Those were some of the first thoughts that I shared with you all.

As I reflect on all the emotions, inspirations and fears that I have shared on this blog with all of you, I see a woman freeing herself… moving away from the young, naive girl she has carried inside and making room for the confident and courageous woman she has become. I see a woman who understands the complex relationship between growth and acceptance. I see a woman who once undervalued her uniqueness but who now has gained the courage to celebrate it.

As I reflect on the ideas shared here, I see themes surrounding love, courage, fear, vulnerability, self doubt, uncertainty, growth and strength. But, above all else, I see the theme of Clarity.

My most insightful assessment regarding Clarity was when I recognized I was Looking for that which I cannot See.

Sometimes We Must Dwell In Darkness In Order To Appreciate The Light!! By darkness, I do not mean despair or gloom. What I mean is the unknown, the uncertain, the unchartered, the absence. Finding Clarity is not like finding a lost hairbrush or your favorite lip gloss. You don’t just happen upon it. Clarity is a presence, a knowledge, a breath of fresh air that is Attained! It is not tangible. And it is immeasurable!

I’m not sure I’ve truly gained Clarity. Some days I believe I’ve achieved it. And others, it’s gone. But I have come to accept that there is a large portion of Chaos that comes with Clarity. And you must work through that chaos, one layer at a time.

Clarity requires action, a continuous moving forward. And that is what I am doing…moving forward, embarking upon a new journey, working through a new layer of chaos.

This post will be last here on Creole Magnolia Cafe. This is last serving of inspiration I have for you. And the truth is, you’ve inspired me more than I have inspired you.

I will be moving forward, not as The Creole Magnolia, but as Donloyn…Donloyn LeDuff Gadson. I will step out from behind the moniker, and I will be whom I have always been…me. I will embark upon this next phase of my writing career with transparency and vulnerability. And I will take comfort in knowing that Clarity will come.

This blog has served me well. Not only has it given me the platform to inspire all of you, but also it has given me the opportunity to find the courage necessary to accept me…a unique individual who has never fit into any one box. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I do know one thing…

Clarity is always closer than you think.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. I will keep this site active so we both can reflect when necessary. Because sometimes, you have to remind yourself of where you’ve been in order to fully appreciate where you are.

I’d love for you to join me at my new website and blog, www.Donloyn.com. I pray my new  journey will inspire you to develop, accept and celebrate your own beautiful uniqueness.

Wishing you more Love, Peace and Clarity than your hearts can hold.

Happy New Year,

Donloyn_Logo

Diving into Purpose: Thoughts on Life in My Forties

In my twenties, I knew it all! Or so I thought. I was stubborn and strong-willed and convinced I had it all together, despite the crumbling walls that enclosed me. I had no idea who I was, what Life was really about or what my purpose was in it. I was a selfish, hungry caterpillar, whose prime purpose was to feed my EGO. I didn’t intentionally set out to be selfish; however, like most “twenty-somethings,” it was all about me.

When I reached my thirties, I was swiftly smacked with the realization I actually knew nothing at all! All the truths I held dear began to unravel, and I was thrust into a Decade of Discovery–a time to develop, explore and transform into the real me. During the early years of this decade, I was unsure, doubtful, fearful. I longed for the comfort I had created in my disillusioned twenties. Although that was the time I lacked purpose and was severely misguided, I had created comfort for myself. And even though the security and self-esteem of my twenties was created through immature tactics and lies I told myself, it was still comfort all the same.

Once I entered my thirties and recognized there was much work to be done, I had to become comfortable with the unknown…the unanswered questions…the uncertain outcomes. I had to learn that it was okay to spend time in the dark, uncomfortable places because it is only then that we grow. My thirties can easily be equated with entering a cocoon, where a magical transformation occurred.

When my 40th birthday arrived, I was ready! I had emerged from that metamorphosis knowing exactly who I was, ready to share my newly found sense of purpose and womanhood with the world. I had emerged as a beautiful butterfly, ready to test out my wings.

40 marked my New Beginning…a new decade…a new journey. It was to be one of Enlightenment. There I was on the threshold. Walking through the doorway, away from being a girlish imitation of a woman and into being a fully grown, fully matured woman with a voice.

And at 40, I stood there, gazing out into vast ocean of possibilities, excited by all that lay before me. Dismal clouds of fear, comfort and self-doubt were far in distance. And I stood there, a lovely Butterfly, God’s love and light shining upon me, illuminating all that was in store. I spent a year testing the waters, spreading my wings just enough to exercise them, but not quite enough to show that I had truly accepted my Purpose. And I continued to stand there, gazing upon the waters of possibility that made the Decade of Enlightenment so phenomenal…patiently awaiting the day when I would dive right in.

And when the day came, I knew…

I knew that at 40, I had to continue to reflect, continue to prepare, continue to take it all in. The sun had risen on my new day, but I had to wait for each inspirational ray to fill the sky, warm my skin and illuminate all that was designed for me.

As I approached my 41st birthday, I had an epiphany. I realized why I had been waiting…why I had moments of forward momentum followed by long periods of rest. In that realization, I discovered the difference between being 40 and being in your 40s. Being 40 means having the wings and testing them out. Being 41, means having the confidence to spread them far and wide. Being 40 means standing on the side…standing in the doorway…standing at the threshold, watching, waiting patiently. 41 symbolizes the jumping right in.

And so I did…

Diving completely and gracefully into my Purpose. Embracing all that my 40s have in store.

Diving completely and gracefully into my Purpose. Embracing all that my 40s have in store.
Artwork by Donloyn LeDuff Gadson ~The Creole Magnolia

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, I jumped right in. With complete trust, faith, hope and love, I jumped into all that God has prepared for me. I am committed to my purpose with no fear of the future.

And I have the promise that with each passing year, my Purpose will continue to become clearer and clearer, and my Decade of Enlightenment will become more fruitful and more gratifying than ever.

How will you live life on Purpose?

~

RememberInspiration is a dish best served with coffee!