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LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT!  

Take charge of your greatness.


Welcome to my BLOG!

Here you'll find an ongoing, slightly random, but meaniful series of informational entries written from lessons I've learned from the Universe meant to better my life! 


I've used writing to express my human experience, “to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly for newer and richer experience,” as long as I can remember and now, I AM using it to continuously advance me on my path of being of service to others, to support a greater cause and emphasize integrity by creating a state of wholeness for all. 


Now go browse around!



Spinsterhood: Sure Sounds Good to Me!


“You're getting old. You need to stop living with your head in the clouds, find a man and settle down.”


“That's not what I want though. I like my head in the clouds. I'm connected to so much more. I can feel it. My heart rejoices the more I transform my goals into realities. I have so much personal growth to do that if I were to get into a relationship right now I’m certain it would fail. Besides, I just got out of one three months ago. I'm finding myself. Nobody, especially not a man, can do that for me.”


“Find a man soon or you're going to end up an old cat lady.”


When I hung up the phone, my heart felt heavy. I knew the female on the other end of that call had not gotten my point. Was there something in the air making the majority of women focus on my lack of a love life more than the fact that I was trying to make something of my life?


Feeling like I needed a serious dose of girl power, I paid a visit to the Women’s Museum of California. There I had the pleasure of experiencing the, "Beautiful, Brilliant and Brave: A Celebration of Black Women " and Women's suffrage exhibits.


To read the challenges that these women endured just to live their dreams, which make mine possible, made my challenges seem small by comparison.


Despite never personally meeting any of the women featured in the exhibits, I want to thank them all for their strength, sacrifices and courage to make the key events of the women's rights movement what they are today. 


My right to stay single, not have kids and reach for the stars is only possible due to the braveness of such women.

It hurts that despite the progress the women throughout history have made, many of us ignore it and focus more of our energy on our relationship status than our purpose in life.


I'm not saying being in a relationship is bad, but I do believe that the most important one you will ever enter into is the one that you have with yourself. I know personally that I have much more work to do on a personal level before I can make me, into a we.


When we follow our dreams, it's a personal journey but life will see to it that we will meet other amazing people along the way and it's those type of people, not the ones that go with the flow and do things just because it's expected, that I want to share my journey and life with. I may be single, but I know I'm not alone. I have a purpose in life that no man can fulfill for me. 


Happiness comes from within. Always has, always will.


March 8th is International Women's Day. Personally, I wish it were a global event. I say women should be recognized, celebrated and supported in their dreams every day.


Hopefully one day my story will end up in a museum or a textbook and inspire the women of the future to put romance on hold while putting personal progress first. 

Love, not Judge


Recently, something occurred that shook my world up!


I am a positive, happy person; not because I'm oblivious to the reality of the world around me, but because I believe that while you can't stop the waves (in life) you can learn how to surf and conquer them ride them.


The thing about being human is that not one of us has ever done it right. No one has ever been able to lead a perfect life. We all sin, just in different ways. 


When you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you. Go on, point that judgmental finger and see for yourself!


In my third decade of life, I still can't comprehend how people preach about love, yet limited the practice of it. How can loving our fellow humans be restricted to age, sex beliefs and whatever criteria people are limiting love to these days! 


I'm not sitting here knocking anyone’s beliefs because believing in something is necessary. Belief helps us set goals, get through tough times and make something of ourselves. 


I'm simply reminding, mostly myself, that the best thing anyone can do in this life is love honestly, love fully and love unconditionally. 


We all will have things we believe in, yet if those beliefs are causing more damage than prosperity, don't be afraid to reanalyze what you think you know. 

When You Just don't Know


If, in this moment, you truly believe that you don't know your purpose, you have two choices:


1. Continue to go on existing, living purposelessly

OR

2. Simply create a purpose by giving of yourself

by doing things that matter with your time.


Creating joy in the world around you, creates it within. You may not immediately end up on, 'figured it all out lane,' but you will be closer to knowing something & feeling better, both better alternatives than just not knowing.


We're not here to figure it all out anyway, just figure out what we need to in order to live while being the best version of our true SELF.


To create the kind of impact needed on the world, we have to open ourselves up to new possibility and trust our feelings and intuition.


Don't have feelings and intuition? Get out a sheet of paper and make a list of YOUR beliefs and values. Don't know that either? Start by making a list of what's important to YOU & why. Doesn't have to have 100 things on there, but what is listed, use it as a catalyst to discover what else brings meaning to your life.


Passion is the result of action, not its cause. Discovering what you're passionate about in life and doing what matters to you is a trial-and-error process.


Still lost? First off, stop selling yourself so short, but if you can't yet allow yourself to hear what you already know, exploring new opportunities to connect with & help others is a great place to start!


Start with something that gives your heart a shout-out, not somewhere you think others would like to see you. In doing so, you'll discover that you're already a lot closer to knowing a lot more than you give yourself credit for!

2017 & the Bravery to Dream


An article I wrote less than 48 hours after quitting my job got published! Read, share and comment!

http://candidchronicle.com/index.php/2017/03/24/2017-and-the-bravery-to-dream/

The Time is Now.


Women.


The time has come for us to stop living life from a broken, in need of fixing, we'll only love ourselves conditionally perspective, AND to also stop teaching it. It's time to starting living from that place within us, that place where we are truly already perfect, whole, with nothing broken.


If you're saying, “easier said than done,” or maybe you think I'm full of **it, you're absolutely right, it is easier to say than do, and I am full of something, mySELF.


All you need do is look around you to see the truth of what I'm saying. Society has pushed a very false sense of reality upon us so much so, that adolescents, our young queens now feel “unpretty” and unworthy if they don't wear makeup and have a boy holding their hand.


We have been fed so many lies that we now associate who we are by a job title and short description. The reputation we have amongst others has become more important than the one we have with ourselves. We have stopped looking within to find our grounding and have fallen prey to the trap of looking outwardly, to others, to express our value, our worth.


Looking to another to live our lives works about equally as well as living our lives for another.

We are not our jobs, the opinions of others or the horrible things we say to ourselves.


Yes, there is work that must be done.


I was dealt a certain hand, far removed from ideal. In taking that hand with me, into my adult life, trying to to operate realistically within the limits of that hand, those circumstances, instead of just playing the hand, I did nothing for myself but inflict more discomfort, insecurity, doubt and fear.


We are all born into circumstance, but choosing to stay in them is a personal choice.


Women, sisters, beloved, take a breath with me. Allow my words to touch that place within you that has been crying out to you for acknowledgment, that place that you try to avoid because it's not pretty and hurts.


Living, no longer aware of who you truly are, hurts. Recovery from the damage hurts hurts too, but it is only through that inner recovery will we allow ourselves the space we need to transform!


Women, we are divine in every aspect. It is time for us to become conscious of who we are, what we want and what we care about.


The time is now. 

On the Surface.


My name is Syltoya S. Sterling, but that's not who I am.


On the surface, I've appeared to be many things: a dark skinned black girl born to a single mother seraching for love, a girl that never met her father, a girl raised believing my dreams were useless to those I was told to live for. 


On the surface, I've been someone who couldn't love or be loved, someone who believed they were not enough, continuously looking to the next guy or drink to help me cope in just being me.


On the surface, my wants and needs were suppressed and, as a result, I lost my desire to live because, on the surafce, it looked like I had no reason to. 


At times, breathing was the only indication that life was in me. 


I was dealt a hand, just like many, far removed from ideal. I tried to take that hand with me, into my adult life, tried to operate realistically within the limits of that hand, those circumstances, only to meet defeat time and time again. 


Yes, on the surface, I've been so many things, but it was only when I turned within did I see the truth of me. 


Once considered broken, I've come to realize I was always unbreakable.


Only in abandoning what was on the surface, was I able to look deeper, within, and see the perfect, nothing broken human being I was always meant to be! 


I am a female that learned to not only change my story, but start writing it for myself!


We aren't born to simply guest star in our own life.

A Brief, yet Charming Interview with members of the Nation's first Buddhist Fraternity 

5/6/17


Yes, you read the title right. San Diego State University does indeed have the Nation's first Buddhist Co-ed Fraternity, and this is how it happened!


Downtown San Diego, CA is known for great restaurants, bars, events, nightlife, and so much more and for over a decade it homed a little gem known as The Dharma Bum Temple, which has since relocated. 


Located at 541 2nd Ave, with no signs in the windows, or on the door, the temple shared its walls with the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. It was a place where anybody, regardless of faith, sex or orientation could go and just sit.


The Dharma Bum Temple opened its door, ten years ago, with a very different approach than other temples. Jeff Zlotnik, co-founder of the Dharma Bum Buddhist Temple and adviser to Delta Beta Tau says, “The average westerner would visit a temple once or twice, see a Buddha statue, think it was cool but then not go back. The bowing, the chanting, the robes, and incense could be too overwhelming. The reason we started The Dharma Bums in 2006 was to be a bridge to help people, in their own culture, in their own way, just be who they are and still learn the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”


By 2009, that essence had spread and The Dharma Bums were introducing people to meditation and Buddhism not only from their downtown location, but also from a second one, Buddha for You, in the college area.


Zlotnik continues, “When we started classes at Buddha For You, I noticed that we had a handful of students showing up each time. One Saturday I announced that we were going to start a Buddhist Fraternity at San Diego State and a writer for the school paper was in attendance. She wrote a story on it, and from there, channel 6 called, radio stations, and eventually it was national news, all within a matter of ten days. Keep in mind, the fraternity didn't even physically exist at that point!”


Fast forward a bit and not only does the fraternity exist, but it's thriving. In 2015 The co-ed Buddhist fraternity Delta Beta Tau built their first chapter at San Diego State University and are now building their second chapter at UCSD!


Ahmad Dixon, the fraternity's president, says, “It began as a very small gathering of SDSU students in the Library, with our founder Jeff and a few members. I got to the school in the fall of 2016 as a freshman knowing its reputation but also knowing me. I ran into Jeff one day and from there got involved with The Dharma Bums. From there I was asked to join the fraternity and I really loved it and became its president the next semester because of how often I was around.”


While members are not necessarily Buddhist, nor is the intention to become Buddhist a requirement, the fraternity, just like The Dharma Bum Temple, is based on Buddhist principles of generosity, morality, patience, diligence, meditation and wisdom and the practice of sharing these principles and practice of them, with all.


Delta Beta Tau and its Pledge Program works like this. They meet twice weekly and participate in various forms of community service from a food redistribution program, in which they make pb&j sandwiches and pass them out to those on the streets, working with kids or doing beach clean ups. They also participate in four retreats. One consists of a half day of silence with sitting meditation, working meditation (cleaning the temple) and walking meditations at The Dharma Bum Temple, another is a visit to PB's Zen Center, Metta Forest Monastery and one overnight retreat at a Taiwanese Buddhist Temple in Irvine.


Buddhism is huge in San Diego and while the Dharma Bums and Delta Beta Tau encourage and welcome it's members to explore Buddhism more, one shouldn't assume that each group is related to another because they aren't. As of yet, there is no scheduled meetup of all Buddhist in San Diego.


Speaking of the fraternity meetings, Dixon says, “Our meetings are in place to talk about not only the state of the fraternity, but what needs to be done. We also use the time to meditate together.”


Currently the co-ed Delta Beta Tau doesn't have a fraternity home on campus but that doesn't mean one isn't in the works. According to Zlotnik, “I want it to be like the Dharma Bum Temple where we don’t separate the men and the women, everybody comes in as they are and that's it, we don't label. Buddhist practice is going beyond labels and not categorizing but I understand that we also have to have an awareness. The house will be male and females living together. There will be rules to follow.” Zlotnik says 2018 is the hope for a permanent home Delta Beta Tau.


Zlotnik continues, “Members date and have relationships. They are just regular college kids applying Buddhist principles into their lives." Dixon adds, “We have social gatherings like beach bonfires and house gatherings but there's no drinking or pot. That’s not to say that all of our members are sober at all times, it's just the idea that while we're having our Delta Beta Tau events, sobriety is adhered to. We are the layest of lay people when it comes to the Buddhists Precepts. We're not monks and nuns, we're just students. Members have boyfriends and girlfriends. We aren't all vegans or vegetarians. Some are really into the environment and sustainability. Delta Beta Tau is a very diverse community. We're co-ed with an equal distribution of men and women with people from all over the world. Some of us are practicing Buddhists, others are just people that use meditation to better their lives and enjoy the stories of the Buddha. Our motto is to be a benefit to others and we embody that with our work and in our daily lives while being students.”


Ben G, Delta Beta Tau's secretary sums it up nicely saying, “We're not a full-blown Buddhist establishment. We offer a nice introduction to Buddhism and Buddhist practice, but our main focus is to bring peace to busy minds and benefit others through community service. At fraternity meetings, we meditate and discuss Buddhism in more depth. Daily life does not change. We are still just as motivated and driven as before however, through the practice, we are equipped with tools to deal with a busy mind and the hectic life that we all live. I can't speak for all but in my opinion having a safe space in which we are free to discuss how we feel really opens the door for genuine and deep coed connections. Our relationships are born out of common interest and self growth not out of any societal or peer pressure. We all have a certain level of mutual respect for each other.”


For more information about The Dharma Bum Temple and Delta Beta Tau, check out https://www.thedharmabums.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q30f9_CY8XU&feature=youtu.be


Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life


At this time last year, I was a hot mess train wreck. I had no idea where I was going, destination dead-end I assume, and I felt so far detached from happiness that I feared I would never find my way back to it. I felt that no matter how hard I tried to better myself, life did all it could to keep me down.


Aww, sweet reflection. 


Today, my life is so different I don’t even feel like the same person. My life isn’t perfect but it’s constantly improving and I look forward to each new day. So what changed? Simply put, my thoughts.


Back in the day, my thoughts were constantly negative making every day worse than the last. I was in a sad state of believing that I was stuck, so I always felt stuck. 


Today I’m mentally stronger. I realize that I alone have the power to replace negative thoughts in my mind with positive ones and that fact alone is so powerful but good thoughts don't guarantee a good life. Action must be taken based on those good thoughts which I'll address how to do soon.


Until then, think of this. It takes serious effort to stay in a state of misery. You have to constantly be thinking of it to keep getting it! Why not put forth the same effort to think of something slightly less miserable, like a few simples truths; we can’t force people to feel the way we want them to or to act like we want them to, but if it's control you seek, know that you can have it, but only over your our attitude and thoughts.