“it’s our time to reawaken a sureness of purpose within ourselves and our people. Vigilance, optimism and our pointed participation are so needed now.”

By Susan L. Taylor

When I joined Essence, I was 24, parenting solo and struggling on every front. Anxious, sad and lonely, I was desperately trying to keep it all together for my precious little Shana, while answering the charge to work hard and help build the fledgling magazine. I didn’t understand then that every crisis is a call from God-a summons to deep reflection, life-changing decision making and commitment to spiritual practice.


I know this now. One of the joys in growing older is gaining the wisdom and confidence to heed the call of your soul-before life slaps you upside the head again and again. I’ve promised myself to be accountable and responsible for who I am and what I want to become. My psyche and soul have suffered so from “hurry” sickness. Some friendships, too. But life is good; in each moment, we get to choose again.


So after 25 years of writing In the Spirit, I knew I needed to pause, stop writing for a moment to catch my breath, read, reflect and listen. I wanted to spend time with some of our master healers and teachers exploring how we sisters can learn to cherish ourselves more, have healthier intimate relationships, and knit to our own vision and purpose the well-being of our community. (I also wanted to share their wisdom with you. If you missed any of these inspiring interviews, you can read them by visiting the Related Articles section.)


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Refreshed and challenged by these conversations with some of our finest minds, I return to writing In the Spirit knowing so deeply that this is a time of transformation for you and me. Our awakening. It’s our time to rise, Black women’s time to reawaken a sureness of purpose within ourselves and within all our people. Vigilance, optimism and our pointed participation are so needed now. Whisper these few promises to your soul in the quiet of each morning-or create your own affirmations. This will create a sacred space for healing and inner cheering. It will help you honor the perfection God made and find and follow the divine-right path life has prepared for you:


I promise myself to live by the authority of my own soul today and to practice being my own best friend and motivator. I promise to speak to myself kindly and to give myself the attention and nourishment I need. I promise to remember that others’ opinions, judgments and deeds can’t diminish me. I promise not to hide out or play it safe, but to bring my open heart and Master mind to each moment with confidence. I promise to believe in myself and in the genius of my people.


I promise myself to live this day with joy and enthusiasm, to allow only love and light to flow through me no matter who or what life sends my way. Everywhere I look I will see beauty and possibility, and I let my light shine in service to my people, giving joyfully from a full cup.


I promise myself to remember that every circumstance is a pathway to God, that every crisis is temporary and lasts not a moment longer than it takes for me to surrender it to God and ask for a divine solution.


I promise myself to remain faithfully aware that God is always here, with and within me. That no matter what the question, God is the answer. No matter what the need, God is the fulfillment. I promise myself to remember.

Susan L. Taylor