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


The Girl Who Loved Ligers

This past weekend, a friend and her 14-year-old daughter joined me for what I believed to be their first yoga class. I arrived early to stake out the back row with mats, blankets, blocks, and straps. The back row not only allows for anonymity, it provides the best vantage point to see where to put the body parts.


Photo credit: Andy Carvin. A liger and its trainer, Dr. Bhagavan Antle, at a Renaissance Festival in Massachusetts, USA, October 2005

My regular “spot,” a thing Leigh Anne, the studio’s owner, doesn’t allow, is in the middle of the room under a six-foot-high window that begins half way up the wall and reaches to the ceiling. Laying on my back, I can see tree tops against an ever-changing sky; standing, my view expands to a row of well-appointed Victorian houses.



The Miracle of Mindfulness

I bought my first copy of The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh years ago, long before yoga was a part of my daily life. Thich Nhat Hanh, of course, is a global spiritual leader and Vietnamese monk who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King Jr. In his nomination, Dr. King wrote, “Here is an apostle of peace and non-violence, cruelly separated from his own people while they are oppressed by a vicious war which has grown to threaten the sanity and security of the entire world.”

Nhat Hanh wrote The Miracle of Mindfulness in 1974 as a long letter to another monk in charge of a school that trained students to help rural villagers deal with the effects of war in South Vietnam. Including about 40 pages of Buddhist sutras, or verses, the whole volume is only 140 pages.

If I expected any quick or easy fixes to soothe my overactive brain, I was immediately disappointed. References to being a beginner and exercises about counting your breath that should go on for months were overwhelming. A person could get faster results from Western pharmaceuticals, I thought.



Why Some Things In Life Come with a Guarantee


“Harvest on the Corner” vegetable stand in Atlanta. The watermelons are the enticement that get you to pull over.

I’ve been eating watermelon for weeks now. I get them from a vegetable stand around the corner from my house. It sits on a scrap of land that looks like leftover dough in the armpit of an interstate on-ramp.

A tiered display of watermelons shaded by a large red umbrella is the hook that gets you to pull over. The melons come in all sizes and varieties, with seeds and without.

The name, “Harvest on the Corner,” is hand-painted on a wooden sign that hangs over a burglar bar door that secures a small metal building. Jars of chow chow, muscadine jelly and other local preserves are for sales as are vine ripe red tomatoes, not-quite-ripe peaches, Vidalia onions, purple onions, baking potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Electric coolers display cold cucumbers, ripe peaches, and shucked yellow corn, among other delicacies. A fat seashell on the counter releases a steady stream of smoke that keeps the bugs away.



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.”


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