This site is about the practice of learning and practicing self-love. Here I’ll share my own personal experiences and insights as well as techniques, resources, books, recipes and inspirations that have served me. Join me. Take what you need; forget the rest.

Sign up to come along with me on my walks.  You will get my posts specially delivered to you each week.   – Love, Sibley


Ask This One Question Before Embarking on Any Endeavor

Buddha in SnowSeveral years ago I had an enlightening conversation with a young man, who could have been my son. He was telling me about a trip to Spain to run with the bulls.

He said you run in front of a bunch of bulls—and you get gored or trampled, or you don’t. He couldn’t figure out the “upside”—there was no cash reward or even a trophy for getting away from the bulls, so he decided to participate as a passive spectator. After that, he told me, he began asking himself before he jumped into any endeavor, “What’s the upside?”



Remembering Celestine Sibley

On Thursday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of speaking to a local chapter of P.E.O. International. The meeting was held at the home of Gilda and Lee Morris in Brookwood Hills, a gracious neighborhood that sprawls on the eastern side of Peachtree Street, opposite Piedmont Hospital. The chapter is 148 years old; many of the women I met were second-, third-, or even fourth-generation members of the group.


P.E.O. members Laura Cline, Katie Henry, Stephanie Davis Neill, Pam Kilmer, Deborah Gimson, me, Kim Ader, Barbara Bradshaw (both seated); standing, Claudia Gimson, Gilda Morris, Kelly Cooper Smith, Linda Cox, Allison Vasquez, Sarah Kerr.













When Claudia Gimson asked if I’d be interested in speaking one Sunday during coffee time, after church, she explained that memberships in this chapter were largely passed down from mother to daughter—sort of like a “secret society,” she joked.



Three Things You Should Do Right Now


“Savor little joys now, travel now, and love now.”

—Donna Ellen Conrad


My friend Donna with her husband Russell.

Donna and I met in the early ’90s at the New Orleans Writers’ Conference. I was working for Peachtree Publishers as assistant to publisher Margaret Quinlin, standing in for her at the last minute. Among my duties—a public talk, my first (memorable because I learned a lot about what not to do).

Also, I conducted a morning session of speed dating for writers and publishers, with 10 minutes allotted for a book idea or advice.

Whereas most of the writers went by in a papery blur, Donna made an impression because she was so very well-prepared—with professionally designed storyboards, and a well-crafted pitch that she delivered in a soft New York accent (smooth on the edges, direct, probing). She had done her homework.



Betsy’s Wedding


Betsy and Seth with the redwoods.

My little sister, Betsy, is getting married next Saturday on the other side of the country. She lives just north of Seattle, where she went to graduate school and met her finance, Seth. And she almost came back to Atlanta for the nuptials but decided go with scenic Grants Pass, Oregon—the gift of adventure.

Most of us, she reasoned, would never think to see that beautiful part of the world if she hadn’t given us a compelling reason to go. She was right—the Internet is burning up with our plans—car rentals, hotels, Facebook pics of first plane rides of small nephews.



SalonRed Owner Jessica Soler: What Every Female Entrepreneur Should Know

Jessica Soler Recycle Dress

SalonRed owner Jessica Soler models her “recycle” dress she made for the salon’s 15th anniversary.

SalonRed creator and owner Jessica Soler heads a mini empire with 100 employees who are spread out among five Atlanta locations—downtown Decatur, Candler Park, and Brookhaven (Candler Park and Brookhaven also have SalonRed Kids locations). Jessica started building the business 20 years ago because she couldn’t get a break as a 22-year-old with a felony record.

In fact, it was her record that launched Jessica, when she found herself standing before a judge who told her if she didn’t straighten out her life, she was going to end up in an orange jumpsuit permanently. The next day she enrolled in hair school.



Barrier Breakers: Center for Black Women’s Wellness

In the shadow of Turner Field and Downtown Atlanta is the neighborhood of Mechanicsville. It’s bounded by I-20 to the north, the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector to the east, and the Southern Railway lines to the southwest. It’s one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, founded as a multi-ethnic community of working- and middle-class families.

Mechanicsville Community Sign

Photograph on the first floor of the Dunbar Recreation Center of the Mechanicsville sign.

Today, Mechanicsville is marked by urban blight and crime. However, amid the vacant shop fronts and poverty is a beaming ray of hope: the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, situated on the third floor of the Dunbar Recreation Center, arguably the nucleus of the community.

With a budget of just $2 million, CBWW’s small staff improves the lives of roughly 5,000 women each year. It offers programs and services that touch on issues including teen pregnancy prevention, youth development, maternal and child health services, micro-business training, and even healthful cooking classes. Healthcare services are also offered through its two exam rooms, using paid and volunteer staff.

Rahkia Williams

Rahkia Williams, CBWW family support worker, in the waiting room.

Family support worker Rahkia Williams describes the center’s holistic approach this way: “We are the barrier breakers,” she told me over a cup of coffee in one of the classrooms. “If you don’t have your GED, you can go downstairs and get your GED. If you don’t know what steps you need to take to build your baby’s brain, we have a class for that. If you need fellowship, we have Sisterhood. If you need leadership, we have Sisters With Voices.”



Collaboration Among Women Shouldn’t be a Foreign Concept

equal signThere was a meme on LinkedIn that pictured a group of happy women all fraught in togetherness. Emblazoned over the smiling faces were the words “Successful women don’t compete, they collaborate.”

It was one of those girl power/chick power/women power moments—everyone had a comment—most of them about empowerment. I did, too. I responded based on my own experience, beliefs, the way I operate in the world. Of course women support each other, I commented indignantly. We have mothers, sisters, girlfriends, and daughters—of course we support each other. “Collaborate and mentor!” was my feel-good battle cry.

But it wasn’t true for all women, not by a long stretch.



Advice for a 14-Year-Old Girl Entering High School?

teen girl studyingA friend asked me what advice I had for his teenage daughter, Olive, who’s going to high school for the very first time next week. She has a soft space in my heart; I’ve known her since she was a baby and I often feel like I learn more from her than I could ever teach.

Advice? I couldn’t think of any. When I was a little girl, I overheard two women in my family speculating on what all of the kids would become when we grew up; when it came to me, they said “and Sibley will marry well.”

While I never married for money (though the older I get the less that seems like such a bad idea), Olive is already light years ahead of where I was at her age. She’s going into a bio science program and her class schedule includes yoga as PE, bio science, honors biology, honors algebra 2, honors English 9, Spanish 2 and AP US History. The other program she was considering—but liked less—was engineering.


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