Thank you, Jenai, for the wonderful opportunity to blog on your site. I am grateful to be sharing with your audience. In deciding on what to blog, I would like to talk about honesty, openness, and willingness to share with others who we are. These tools go hand-in-hand in helping us reach peace. I think willingness is the first step, as it opens our hearts and, thus, allows us to give and then to receive. That willingness starts by just being okay with stretching our heart, allowing it to open a bit, just a bit to let others see who we are, just a bit to show we are committed to the journey. What I mean by being committed to the journey is, being able and willing to experience, with an open mind and an open, non-judgmental heart, events that occur in the course of living our life on any particular day. Willingness attracts openness, others who are willing, who are on their own journey. We will recognize these people, and glean knowledge from the lessons they teach. And that is the receiving part of it. The giving part of it is that which we share with others, the interest we take in them. It is also about sharing of ourselves. Honesty is a central tool to employ, as we want to portray to others the true person we are. This can be frightening for some of us, especially if we came from an abusive background of any type. We have had to hide who we are for our very survival. Now, however, that behavior is getting in our way. Little-by-little, we share about our deepest thoughts, give hints to others about who we are and what we believe. Having been cautious about this step, I can say that people have received me with open arms. It has been safe to share who and what I am. These three tools - honesty, openness, and willingness - are indispensable in the pursuit of peace, and once we practice them, we will experience gratitude for the experiences that flow as a result.
Carolyn CJ Jones is the award-winning author, photographer, and publisher of the book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. If you are celebrating a transitional journey you have navigated, if you would like to embark upon such a journey, or if you are in the middle of one and struggling, this book will speak volumes. You will want to experience in your own journey what the author has experienced in hers. This book uses a collection of compelling and joyous verses, which, when coupled with photographs of wrought-iron gates, shows one soul's way to inner peace. More information about her and her book can be found at www.gatelady.com. Carolyn resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her feral cat, Izzy.
- Best Fine Art Photography Book, 2011 Bay Area Independent Publisher's Association - Honorable Mention, Spirituality, 2010 New York Book Festival - Honorable Mention, Photography/art, 2010 San Francisco Book Festival - First Prize, Poetry, 2010 Do-It-Yourself Book Festival