"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one Step." ~Lao Tzu

Your Body Is A Temple: My light is on & Still Stepping!

I have neglected my body since August 2016 up until last week. I know certain foods disagree with me, in fact I am allergic but just because I take an allergy pill every day to combat the allergic reactions (hives, throat constrictions, congested nose and ears, swelling)—I live dangerously. I eat or was eating the very foods that I wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t taking an allergy pill. I thought that because I was taking the allergy, I had the all clear to eat anything and everything I wanted. Since August 2016, I have gained 12 pounds. You know why? Because I have been indulging in foods that are “easy” and require little to no effort from me to prepare. What is easy isn’t always good—breads and other things with gluten are not my friends. Although making sandwiches and grabbing a quick snack tasted good going down but the results my body produced were not/are not good. My beloved grandmother use to say, “A belly full is a belly full.” But then my mother would always retort with, “Is it a good belly full or a bad belly full?” I use to laugh a lot at these two growing up but I understand both my grandmother and my mother. As the author indicated, we just don’t wake up and decide to neglect our bodies. We do it subconsciously almost blindly. In the words of the author “losing self-control”. A “bad belly full” with the bad belly being “comfort” food or in my case foods that I am allergic to like yummy warm buttery yeast rolls from Texas Road House Grill, leads to discomfort. This discomfort can lead to weight gain, brain fog, and lack of energy—and I have had all of this.
Along with eating what I felt like eating I was also neglecting my body with doing “too much”. Getting up at 4 am and not getting home from work until after 5 sometimes 6 in the evening, feels like a rollercoaster and I loathe rollercoasters because once you get off you are in a disarray. Between 4 am and 6pm I do so much that I forget if I drank enough water during the day. I was sharing with one of my sisters that I was more than tired and as I was explaining to her my symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches, irritability, etc. I kept saying, “Oh it is just hormones” and she replied with, “Everything cannot be hormones.” Some nights once I got home from work I could barely move; my two sons would “put me to bed” because I was too weak to move my body and going up the stairs was just too much.
I finally decided to go get checked by a doctor. I felt a little crazy because my main symptoms were fatigue with cognitive and sensory issues, irritability and muscle aches. All these symptoms I thought were normal or came with the territory of being a woman. My doctor ran a lot of tests even called me at work to go back to the lab for follow-up tests taken 6 more tubes of blood in addition to the 4 tubes they had already taken. They tested for everything because my blood platelets were elevated and they were alarmed. The result—severely anemic with a condition called Thrombocytosis probably because of iron deficiency. My body was screaming at me. Although I was walking around as if I was “fit”—I was not. I was too tired to do anything so being “fit” for my assignment was just an illusion in my head. Looking back from August 2016 to about 5 days ago, I realized that I was just going through the motions with my “bad belly full”. My “temple” was full of bad stuff and I didn’t have room for the good stuff; the good stuff I did have my body was rejecting it hence the iron deficiency.
I am back on the journey destination wholesomeness to become fit for my assignment spiritually, mentally, & physically. Going through the process one step at a time. My light is on…


Olmeda, R. (2014). fit for YOUR assignment. Lake Mary, FL: Siloam.

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Still stepping…

I have lost track of the miles but I am sure it have been several thousand miles since my last entry and I am still stepping… Since November of 2016 I have been in a space, a different but a familiar space. As an educator who practice the whole child method, I was troubled by […]

via Still stepping… — Para el Amor de ELE

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71 Days. 184 miles.  A few weeks ago I went shopping with my boys looking for pants. I had no problem finding a pant that fit my oldest boy but that was not the case for my youngest. Amir is an average height for a 10 year old but his waist is small, making it hard to find pants that fit.  I honestly do not remember seeing what they call “an adjustable waist” when Barker Jr was younger, we simply used a good old fashion belt and even then I had to create another notch in order for his pants to fit. Nowadays the “adjustable waist” is installed in almost all of children’s clothes.  It is an ingenious creation!

In the past week, I have taken that very same concept and applied it to my life — I am adjustable. Please do not misunderstand, I am still on my journey and thankfully I have not been thrown off balanced due to added layers of life.  During what we teachers call summer vacation, I had more control of my schedule and I really did not have to entertain others or be responsible for them.  I got up before dawn, walked as  long as I wanted, I could read in peace, I could go and come as I chose, I didn’t have to cook, you get my drift right?  Now I can no longer adhere to my summer schedule or routine.  I have loosened my reigns making myself comfortable and most importantly adjustable.

Being adjustable does not mean that I changed my beliefs; it simply means that I am going to reach destination wholesomeness moving forward using different methods.  For example, the gym is beyond boring but I joined one this morning; it is one of my adjustments.  I knew eventually that I would have to be confined to the dreary walls of a gym. My husband and my mother both were a little concern about me leaving the house in the mornings at 5 am when it was still dark or coming home past dusk if I went walking in the evening. The thought of not hearing the early morning  hustle and bustle of the trees, the animals, my neighbors, not seeing the glorious sunrise, not hearing the winding down of the neighborhood in the evening or not seeing the magnificent sunset are really going to be some kind of adjustment  but it is necessary due to the changing seasons.

Even within this week, this journey has reminded me that I am not in control of anything really. I did not make my 200 physical mile benchmark by August 31st, so I had to re-evaluate, look at the progress I did make, and adjust to the layers of life that has been added in the recent weeks.  Now, I will keep moving adjustably a little closer to destination wholesomeness.



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176 miles 2 months and 2 days. I was so tired that I couldn’t even talk to my mother last night. I could barely crawl into bed so I knew I couldn’t hold a phone to my ear. One would think that this first week back to work would be refreshing and have a teacher geared up and ready to receive the students with open arms; this is not the case. With the myriad of meetings, never ending handouts, and the unexplainable urgency to create bulletin boards and word walls, I could barely keep focus.  I walked into my house at 7:30 pm, after waking up at 4:30 am and yes I did go for my walk yesterday morning.

This morning though, that was not the case; my brain decided to allow my body to sleep in until 9 am. All during the day my husband kept asking what was wrong with me because although I had been busy since waking running around with the boys, he said that I was slow moving, not smiling, irritable, tired, and shockingly eerily quiet according to him.  I kept telling him nothing was wrong but I too could feel a shift in my spirit and when I looked in the mirror I could even see it. What were these strange symptoms?

Just because my brain decided that I was too tired from all the hustle and bustle of the work week to get up and physically walk this morning, my body responded with the strange symptoms — WITHDRAWAL. I realized this during my walk this evening, which I decided to go after telling my sister that was feeling some kind of way and it wasn’t a good kind of way.

We can experience withdrawal from good and bad habits and in  every aspect of this journey. Learning from this morning, withdrawal can happen quickly and when I lack in one area all areas will be affected, throwing me off my balance. However, I am back on track and those physical walking withdrawal symptoms have faded away. I am currently feeling euphorically addicted on my way to destination wholesomeness.  🙂

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Way of Life

56 Days. 161 miles. Looking over these past days, I have interacted with a lot of people, visited different places, and had all sorts of situations thrown at me. Nevertheless, I am steadfast.  This journey doesn’t stop because I change geographical locations or I meet people who may not see eye to eye with me; I continue on regardless. This mindset will be more prevalent as I add another layer to my journey, tomorrow I return to work.

Working in a school building there is all kind of stuff going on with all kinds of people with all kinds of personalities.  Something can happen instantly: something as little as people not speaking to you when you speak to them or when they walk in room, or someone “borrowing” something from your desk or classroom. Just like that, you can be thrown off your balance, your vision gets cloudy and you just might forget that you are on a journey to wholesomeness.  However, you cannot just be on this journey part-time or when you are in certain places or around certain people.

I reminded myself of this today while I was teaching Sunday school.  One of my students, who attend a middle school in the city, expressed to me that it is hard to stay on the journey while in school around her not so nice peers and not so nice teachers.  I told her that is when she needs to be more aware that she is on her journey. Is it easy? No it is not but this journey isn’t something that stops when it is convenient or when things get too difficult.  It is an everyday decision to seek wholesomeness. This journey encompasses every aspect of your life. This isn’t something you put on and take off at will, this need, this want to be balanced, this journey to wholesomeness it is a life style, it is my way of life.

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Things in the Past

Day 51 153 miles. Yesterday and the day before I was feeling a little under the weather but it was not enough to stop me from moving; one hundred fifty-three miles ago, it would have been a different story.  I woke up this morning still a little congested and I thought I was going to have a slow start due to the congestion and the appearance of my monthly cycle yesterday morning but I did not.  Normally during my time of the month which is a two week event for me, i have irritability, cravings that I actually give in to, lower back pain, and don’t forget the awful cramps. No one in my household is happy during this time but for the past two weeks and this morning particularly, I did not have any of those symptoms.  They are things in the past! I believe that my journey is dissipating the unnecessary in life and believe me premenstrual syndrome is definitely not needed ever!

This past weekend, I enjoyed my family and I didn’t exhibit any of those symptoms.  Well my sister might say that I was a little irritable but then again she might also say that I am always a little irritable.  I won’t say that I am perfect but it is I am way better than I was before 153 miles. Did I eat cake? Yes, Did I eat ice cream? Yes, but only because Stewart’s has the best ice cream and there isn’t one in Maryland. 🙂  Did I eat good food and have a few drinks? Yes and yes but all in moderation.

On this journey, I can feel my being aligning accordingly on my way to wholesomeness. The place I was spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and especially physically prior to the start of this journey is a place I do not want to go back to; that place along with all that other unnecessary stuff are things in the past!

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Left Behind

Four days ago, it was day 41 and I was up to 129 miles, what a difference a few days make. 145 miles and it is day 45. As this summer is winding down, I am finding myself busier and busier with less and less time but I am determined to stay focus.

It has been raining and wet for the past two days and thankfully I have only been delayed but not deterred on my quest to wholesomeness. This morning however, I had to make the decision to take my phone with my handy dandy app into the wetness or leave it. I was going out in the dreary morning rain ultimately my phone was left behind.  I didn’t think much of it until I went out this evening to complete my daily goal of 4 physical miles a day.

As I was walking I realized that while on this journey some things, people, and what have you just might get left behind. Being left behind is not a good feeling. That is why we wait for our friends when one goes to the bathroom, we toot the horn telling someone to hurry up because we don’t want to leave them, and that is why we double check our grocery bags before we leave the store because we do not want have to go back.  However, this morning it was a matter of don’t go because I cannot take my phone because the rain might damage it or continue on my journey without it.  I chose to continue. I believe this little decision  is what could  start people thinking about the amount of determination it takes to stay or start this journey or they start thinking they should quit all together because it is way too much ‘work”. 

This decision to leave stuff behind applies to all aspects of the journey.  People, material things, and concepts that you may have grown accustom to on your journey maybe be slowing you down or putting negative thoughts in your head making your journey even more difficult than it already is.  No one is on your journey but you! What works for others on their journey may not work for you on yours.  Leaving people and things behind does not mean that you are cutting them off, it simply means that everyone has their own journey.  People’s paths may intersect but in the long run  you are responsible for you. Your pace may be different from the next persons therefore you may have leave things behind or someone may leave you behind.  Don’t take it personal, they may have to catch up with you and they need not dissuade you from yours.  So I am pressing my way to wholesomeness, I do not want to be like my phone and get left behind!



Forty-one days and 129 miles. “Wow, you’ve been doing this for 40 days! That’s a long time!” Someone said that to me yesterday and I just smiled. Starting at zero make 40 days seem impossible to reach but in reality, 40 days is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of time while on this journey. Being unbalanced didn’t just happen. It is an accumulation and increase of little bad habits, bouts of negativity, and laziness here and there.  It may take years for people to realize that they are unbalanced and even longer to find balance. Twenty, 30, 40, 50 years and beyond is a long time to be unbalanced, longer than 40 days for sure and some people don’t realize that they are unbalanced and some people know but choose to continue in their chaos.  Those of us, who have chosen to be find balance,  destination wholesomeness, know that although some parts of this transformation take less time than other parts but we ultimately know that this journey is a continuous lifetime commitment. Unless it is a supernatural miracle, no process happens just like that or as some say “Nothing happens overnight!”

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From my hair follicles to my toes nails I was covered in rain this morning when I started out, there was a little drizzle which didn’t deter me from my walk. As I finished the 1st mile it looked as if it was going to clear up so I kept going. Not long after I decided to push on the  rain kept getting heavier and heavier until I couldn’t see what was in the front or the back of me. This happened to me once before during the first 100 miles. It was actually clear and sunny when I started but then the thunder and the lightening came. Being a south southern gal, I started counting the seconds between the thunder and the lighten bolts and I knew that I was going to be caught in the storm. I made up my mind right then that I was going to push through that day and every day rain or shine. I had no cover and in my mind no chance of rescue until I saw a silver Honda accord that looked like mine; it was my husband Barker Sr.  The day before I actually showed him the routes I take when I am walking. He was worried about me being in the down pour and came to “rescue me”.  I laughed but I thought the gesture was sweet.

This morning however there was no sweet gestures; it was me and the rain. As the water was dripping off me and as I kept moving I realized that there may not always a be a rescue team coming to save you from your storm. Sometimes you have to just walk, run, sweat, cry, laugh, and keep it moving through your storm. Trust me; even though you may think you are alone, you are not. It is all a part of the journey — your journey. Needless to say I made it through also realizing that my journey will not always be butterflies and sunshine but there may be some mosquitos and rain. Day 39, drenched with 118 miles to wholesomeness.

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Natural Order

It is day 37, 113 miles and I want to be clear— I am not on a diet.  I am not denying myself anything; I am not dieting, I am living. When I started this journey I told myself that I will not be that person that everyone loath to be around. You know that person who is mad all the time, never has a smile on their face, always complaining about this or that, all is wrong in their world because they are HUNGRY for food and beyond. Yes that person! We all have been around that person who can get your mood all haywire because they are ones hungry but have you asking yourself “What just happened?”  Yeah, I will not be that person. Walking is helping put things back in natural order. We are too busying taking away things we think we can do without or adding things we think we need and in the process creating disorder. I believe that is what happens when we diet, take short cuts in life, or take on too much at one time.  Since the 1st mile, have I lost weight? Probably, I haven’t checked but I do know that I feel great. Have my eating habits changed? Yes, from random eating to consciously eating to fuel my body. Has my attitude changed for the better? I think my husband and boys would say for the better. Am I more focused on God and understanding His plans for me? Yes! Everything is starting to fall into place. My spiritual walk, my mental walk, my emotional walk, and my physical walk are all intertwining becoming something wholesome; one might say its natural order.

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