As much as it is swept by grief, life is washed with joy embedded in the simple pleasures of the Universe. 

Hold your face to the sun, I tell my dear friend caught in the throes of mental anguish.

To my thirty- something friend fatigued by the disappointments of corporate life, I say throw caution to the wind and pursue your heart’s desire. Create your summer palace because you are the one most suited to do so.

MARVALOUS MB 4 JULY 28As for me, coming to terms with loss and stepping onto new pathways this summer, I tell myself: go find yourself in the sea, holding onto e.e. cummings’ words, for whatever we lose (a you or a me), it is ourselves we find in the sea. One of my dearest friends offers guidance by her example of stepping outside of an unfulfilling marriage to start anew, setting up home by the sea and thus fulfilling a deep yearning of the soul even within this challenging time. Her message is one I share with you: Live the life and take time to find peace. These past months have certainly strengthened my conviction that within despair lies the magic of rising up and engaging in the potential of new opportunities; of seizing hope from the deep recesses of the dreams we harbor. As we journey through the Circle of Life, we recognize that as much as it is swept by grief, life is also washed with joy.

Time spent at the beach this summer has been the awakening of hope and journeying towards fulfilling new dreams. So I say to you my friends..

Step boldly. It’s time to see what you can do!


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Colors remind me that I can create my story in whatever shade I want.

As I celebrated my birthday this past week [much of it spent outdoors in the park, walking on the beach, and watching the birds come take a dip in the backyard pool] I couldn’t help thinking about how much I enjoyed the resplendent palate of Mother Nature which got me thinking about the way I absolutely love colors….and love to wear those colors!

Colors both energize and soothe me. Whenever I wear blue for example, I feel like I am wearing the ocean; its beauty, its magnificent force; the ebb and flow and the rhythm that’s in sync with my beating heart. Then there is the green in the landscape that takes me back to the gynep tree in my grandmother’s yard loaded with memories of long summer days spent swinging in that tree with my siblings and cousins while we devoured the fruit from the laden branches. This love of green nudges me often to reach for that deep green ring I bought in Cuba last year which I often pair with the soft fluctuating shades of green in the bracelet I bought in Chania, Greece the year before.  Not only do these variegated shades energize me but they also become symbolic of the fantastic experiences I had in these countries. Might this obsessive love of color be a manifestation of my Afrocentric heritage, I often ask myself? A woman born under the brilliance of the Jamaican sun whose ancestry is rooted in the distant continent of the Motherland.


Dirty Dancing Broward PC  (2)

Oh how I love the corrugated resplendent colors of the Jamaican landscape, shamelessly beautiful and intoxicating in its invitation. I am mesmerized by the variegated tones of orange from the corals to the tangerines and red splashes of sunset as I watch the evening steal across the sky while I sit and look out at the horizon from my mother’s verandah. Tropical, sultry and definitely with an attitude, orange offers an expansive palate to choose from. I experience such a sense of vibrancy when I drape myself in these tones, defying any challenges that may come my way that day.

Marvalous in Living Colors!!!

As much as colors excite my spirit, they also calm and cool. The white walls of my bedroom for example, are often a striking contrast to the rich bold colors I may enrobe myself on any given day, offering comfort and a chance to slow down.

Colors remind me that I can create my story in whatever shade I want. Sometimes I wear colors as a way of dreaming out loud without saying a word to anyone. I can walk around in creative bliss and simply Color Myself Bold!

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Is it Possible to Live a Life of Ecstasy in 2016?

Open your heart & be a loving witness to yourself in 2016

The Native Americans say that we can live a life of ecstasy everyday as long as we focus on the spiritual world and honor our place in it. From my perspective, this translates into the process of creativity and enjoying the endless possibilities of the natural world without succumbing to the limitations our fellow humans so often impose on us. Whilst it’s true that we will face challenges every-day, we can choose to accept this as part of life, face them with all we’ve got and continue the journey with the embodiment of an awakened heart that is attuned to all the beauty and blessings that abound around us. Writing, traveling and amateur photography are central paths on my journey to a life of ecstasy. These are activities that inspire, nurture, and transform me continuously. I know too that they won’t take place in happenstance; that I have to plan for them and in fact nurture the process as much as I expect to be nurtured. Picasso stated this so clearly many years ago: If I don’t show up at the canvas, there is no muse that is going to come get me.Cuba Primary School

This past year I worked intentionally to show up at the canvas and participated in events that were powerfully evocative and transforming. A visit to Cuba was an experience that reminded me of the tenacity of the human spirit as well as the serenity and power of the land. CUBA VINTAGE RIDENotwithstanding the fact that I developed intense gastro-intestinal illness and had to be taken to the doctor, (Yes, I swallowed the water although I was told not to), I was moved by the simple pleasures of the land and the vibrancy of the people. The magnificent architecture and the brilliance of the landscape provided me with exciting photo opportunities which I must tell you my friend, was pure ecstasy.

Later that summer, a meditation retreat in the Colorado Mountains heightened my awareness of the need to work intentionally to bring balance to my life. My wandering mind hasn’t quite gotten the hang of quiet meditation just yet, however, I consider myself a work of art in progress. With that said, I must say, I garnered new friendships which I hope will last a lifetime and yes…I marveled at the photo opportunities.

In October, after a few years of planning, my large, dysfunctional, eclectic and magnificent family from all corners of the globe came together in celebration of our Dressekie heritage hailing back to 1845 when my/our great grandfather settled in Jamaica from Scotland, bought land and married and had seven children with my great grandmother Elizabeth after whom my lovely mother is named.

Brrringtin Heights3  (2).jpgTruth be told, it was no easy journey getting here, however, the experience was transformative!!! As the convoy of nine cars journeyed through winding unpaved roads to the town of Dressekie founded by Great Grandfather, I experienced what the Native Americans know only too well as ecstasy.

In search of ecstasy my friend, I advise you to open your heart and be a loving witness to yourself in 2016. Dr. Marvalous

Posted in Family Reunion, feminine leadership, creativity, Finding Meaning in Life, Meditation at Shambhala Mountain Retreat, Transformative Practices | Leave a comment

Nothing Feels as Good As Becoming Who You Are Meant to Be!!!

 I am the Best Version of Myself!!The Spell of Sweet Moments
Grace ,Power & Bravery Marva & Christine 2 001

Keeping my Heart Open!
Keeping my Heart Open!
Posted in Challenging the Process, feminine leadership, Make-over, Renewal, Self Acceptance | Leave a comment


Two weekends ago I spent the time celebrating with childhood friends.  And I had the time of my life doing so: dancing, catching up on childhood memories and laughing till the tears flowed.

Marvalous at any Age: Vintage Marva 1989

Marvalous at any Age: Vintage Marva 1989

My husband and I traveled to Atlanta to attend my life long friend’s birthday anniversary party which was based on the seventies Soul Train theme. The music, decorations, and disco lights took us back to a special place in time and the nostalgia was pure magic. Winning the [Party Shop] Soul Train trophy along with a life- long friend was as thrilling as winning a coveted writing award. As I reminisce and savor the memories, I recognize how important it is to take ownership of my deepest yearnings; those seemingly small elemental desires that shape our mood and often deeply impact our demeanor. The disagreements, the tug of war over where to go, what to see, and what & where to eat were all part of the circle of events of a weekend that we aimed to make the most of. In as much as we disagreed, we also had moments of celebration and sheer delights which have left me thinking.  I cannot, should not, assign responsibility for my feelings to my husband, my friends, my family, or my children. There were several times over the weekend as we arranged to go site-seeing, prepared for the party or even while at the party that I was tempted to give in to the moment when something posed a challenge; when the moment wasn’t quite what I desired or expected. When my husband or someone in the group disappointed me, I was tempted to give in to my emotions and cast blame, holding someone else responsible for my feelings. I soon found however, that when I stepped outside of the box and refocused there was a special delight in the moment. Several plans didn’t work out the way we [I] intended: my husband refused to go site-seeing on day one. On day two my BFF’s partner refused to come on board while this time, my husband joined us. [Lesson learned-Men are as temperamental as women are.]

The Soul of Dancing

Soul Train Nostalgia

In the midst of it all, we negotiated and made space for possibilities. On the long train ride to down town Atlanta, my friend and I recalled childhood memories that had us laughing like middle school girls. Once we recognized that we had missed our way and wouldn’t get to the Aquarium as we had planned, we detoured and stopped for dinner at the first restaurant we saw. It turned out to be one of the most scrumptious meals I ever had. Worried that we might get back late for the party, we chose an expensive cab ride back to the hotel. At the party, we danced, posed for photographs and bonded with friends. The next day, we toured the King Center and were poignantly reminded of the wondrous possibilities that dreaming presents. The graphic imagery of the portraits of Dr. King and his gorgeous wife, the walk along the freedom boulevard, hearing Dr. King’s words at Ebeneezer Baptist Church stirred something deep in our soul that pushed us to let go of petty preoccupations and simply enjoy the day and all the possibilities it presented.

KING CENTER: Walking the Path of Courageous Dreaming

KING CENTER: Walking the Path of Courageous Dreaming

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Celebrate Everything!!!

My Dear Friends, Thank You For Your Delightful Source of Friendship & Wisdom!



It has been my greatest wish to foster a creative community of practice which allows the space for empowered women to fellowship and support the creative outpourings of each other. And  so I have been steadfast with my community of friends, Circle of Friends International, an inter-generational group that reaches out and uplifts each other.  My friends and I hold dear to Picasso’s words: If I don’t show up at the canvas , there is no muse that is going to come get me.  We have  come to realize that living a creative life requires focused and consistent work. Even when the muse doesn’t show up, we have to work steadfastly  at our practice. There is potency in such a philosophy and with this approach, I believe, comes joy. Joy in experiencing the support and oftentimes, the fanfare of good friends. Joy in the little steps attained & sometimes, the milestones. With my friends and family, I have chosen to consistently create, receive and celebrate joy especially when I have to step upon the rubble of disappointment and move with determination and claim that joy.  As 2014 comes to a close, I am shouting out to my friends:

Let the world see who you are fully, truthfully, and without apology. Take risks and seize the moment to go after your wildest dreams.


This coming year as I move to step boldly onto uncharted terrain I want to do so with full expression of my heart and soul. Instead of a resolution I have whispered a promise to myself, which I share with you now: Celebrate Everything!!!

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Share Your Legacy & Enrich the Future

Why We Should Write: The Miami Book Fair International 2014

How exciting and I must admit, also emotional for me, participating as a panelist on the African/Caribbean Diaspora Genealogy Panel at the 31st session of the Miami Book Fair International. While this was my third time presenting in the 29 times I have attended the Book Fair, this occasion was especially significant as I joined a team which sought to explore the roots of our heritage and I had the opportunity to share research on my Dressekie family roots from the manuscript in progress, The Dressekie Legacy: The Roots of Life-Writing & Identity in Post- Colonial Jamaica.  

Utilizing Face Book as a major research tool, I connect with my family worldwide and focus my research on the contemporary lives of the members of the DRESSEKIE FAMILY.  My story begins with my great-grandfather Sylvester George Dressekie who arrived in Jamaica from Scotland around 1858 and bought land and settled in St. Mary, Jamaica where the town was subsequently named after him. He met and married Elizabeth Martin and they had seven children including my grandmother, Enid Dressekie who named her youngest child, my mother, after her mother, Elizabeth.

My Mother-Dezrene Elizabeth Wade

My Mother-Dezrene Elizabeth Wade


The Dressekie Legacy: The Roots of Life-Writing & Identity in Post- Colonial Jamaica

Through my story, I question the textual marginalization of people of color in academia and literature and hold myself accountable to contribute to the global discourse on genealogy & share this story of empowerment –one that I think brings an interesting perspective of the Caribbean Diaspora and emphasizes that not only are we multifaceted but our stories carry themes of historical empowerment and contemporary achievement that are relevant to all people. It is one that tells a beautifully nuanced story that needs to shared and celebrated.


Tell Your Story & Empower Your Tribe

Nicole McClean-4th Generation Dressekie Tribe

Nicole McClean-4th Generation Dressekie Tribe

Every family has its stories; legacies that can inspire and empower future generations. Unless we write our stories, we won’t SHARE the problems they encountered; how they overcame them, their greatest happiness, and the wisdom they [could] have imparted with the passing of every generation. These ARE STORIES THAT CAN SUSTAIN & NURTURE US.

Unless we commit to writing them, Family Legacies are lost to us. Do you want your grand- children to know the lessons of your life? Will you share your wisdom? Will you inspire them to overcome their own challenges?  I encourage you to share your legacy & enrich the future. Take the time to write your scribblings, collection of anecdotes, aspirations, your stories, family jokes and remembrances. This is an invaluable reservoir that you can tap into & IMPART A LASTING LEGACY TO THE FUTURE OF YOUR TRIBE.

Unless you record them, these stories won’t be available to pass on someday. I believe that every one of us has a book inside of us.  I invite you to think about this and begin one of the most interesting and exciting chapters of your life: The exploration and recording of your life story. What’s preventing you from participating in this family legacy writing project?

A Festival of Books Words, Performances & Forging Friendships

Marva with Mitch Kaplan & Elizabeth Shown Mills

Marva with Mitch Kaplan & Elizabeth Shown Mills

The Miami Book Fair International 2014 was an exciting opportunity to enjoy the glorious world of books and words. Certainly, this festival of books reminded us of the power of words and that books are an indelible part of our lives. Most important, it reminded me of the value of writing in all of our lives. I am so delighted to be part of this enduring tradition.


Marva with Mervyn Morris & Claudia Rankine

Marva with Mervyn Morris & Claudia Rankine




Posted in African Diaspora, Family History, feminine leadership, creativity, Genealogy, Life Writing, Miami Book Fair International | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Nature & The Life of Inner Peace

Rocks, Water & Plants: Let the Power of Nature Renew Your Spirit!

The Imagination is Everything. Einstein

???????????????????????????????I am always amazed at the power and potency of the land when I travel or even when I walk and observe familiar landscapes. I often wonder what is it about the land that allows it to exert such power over us. And how wonderful it is to be able to experience this power, to be charmed and captivated by it without having to answer to anyone or even pay a price, if we choose. On the other hand, ownership of land and access to it seems to imbue mankind with power that often leads to tyranny and oppression. Land ownership it seems gives us access to power, an opportunity to lay down roots and establish our territorial rights. Yet, the Native Americans believe that man cannot own the land; it belongs to all of us to be shared and enjoyed and of course, to utilize its healing powers to revivify and renew our lives. While this idea is appealing, I remain plagued by questions of how we may balance this noble idea with imperialistic notions of land ownership: How in this modern era bloody wars are being staged over land and our local geographic locations and zip codes determine the quality of life we live. Without answers to these questions, I find solace in the notion that my mind itself can be a landscape that no one else but me can lay claim to; that within this private internal space I can traverse vast depths and be as wildly imaginative as I want to be; that I can take wings and fly and settle in whatever corners of the earth that I choose. This, I believe, is true power!


Plant the seeds of your dreams today, tend to your garden daily & watch your life blossom. Anonymous

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Turn Your Face to the Sun & the Miracles Will Come

Marvalous Welcomes de Sun


Amidst the cliches and all the self help talk  that abound one is challenged to determine what makes sense and how to focus one’s energy and attention towards achieving one’s most important goals. Oftentimes, disappointments are slung your way one after the other in such a manner that you are seduced by the notion of giving up, moving on,  or retreating. This is the moment, my friend,  when you need to dig your heels in and continue with your agenda for the miracle you want is just around the corner, waiting for the perfect blend of your own effort, optimism, and opportunity.


In facing challenges and setbacks,  I find I must work hard at being vigilant about  acquiring  more skillful and creative ways to deal with the pain and thereby circumvent or at times, even forcefully thrust off  the habit of waging war on myself. I have learned to cast a critical gaze inward, accept the emotions for what they are, and gently nudge myself to rise above the pain and turn my face to the sun.


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Open Your Door to The Excitement & Delight of Discovery!!!

The Best Day of Your Life

Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.

I am not sure just where I read these words, nor can I claim them as my own. However, what I can do is to claim the simple message they convey and embrace it as part of the foundation on which to rest the pillars of my life. This powerful metaphor works to remind me of the value of embracing each day as a fresh start; each morning I wake up as the first day of my new life. As simple as this philosophical approach may seem, it is without question one of the hardest stances to take in life, for it seems that the challenges and the problems and the issues that confront us are always conspiring to keep us in their grasp, holding on so tightly that we forget the small and wondrous things that also inspire and uplift us and bring us joy.


The Ocean is a Delightful Source of Renewal

The Ocean is a Delightful Source of Renewal

Realizing this, I have decided to make a commitment to seek out and hold onto optimism and make that a deliberate focus of each day. It is simple. While I face the challenges, the disappointments and heartaches, I also examine ways in which I can tackle them and accept with gratitude, that there are strategies and approaches I can utilize to lessen their impact and perhaps even to conquer them. I now stand up to that nagging voice that insists that being a midlife adult I should have it all figured out. Confronting that voice, I hold myself accountable to examine opportunities for celebration in any day and to lift them up and enjoy the splendid pleasure of doing so: The feel of the sun on my back while walking through the park; the sound of a baby’s gurgle; the butterflies flittering around in my backyard and the unexpected words of a love song on the radio connecting to deep primal chords within. How wonderful that these sensory delights are abundant and free!!! Driving to work this week, anticipating a meeting I would rather not participate in, I turned the radio on to hear the uplifting refrain, “Gonna make this the best day of my life. Life…life!!!” I simply turned the dial up and bounced my head around to the beat knowing that this wonderful feeling was my mine to grasp and hold onto all day. And indeed, I did.

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