When Phaedra Met Jane Fonda

Phaedra explains how her time vacationing with Jane Fonda inspired her to plan the Africa trip.

Happy New Year! Hopefully your holidays were all that you hoped for, and 2012 has found you with a renewed sense of purpose. This is the time of year for reflection and resolutions. The New Year spirit fosters anticipation of a tomorrow that is better than yesterday. The year 2012 is significant, as the number 12 represents order. Historically, the number twelve has great significance; most noteworthy, Jesus appeared in public and uttered his first recorded words at the age of twelve; there were twelve sons of Israel; twelve apostles; twelve imams in the Islamic religion; and twelve astrological signs of the zodiac. 

Similar to the number 12, in the past three episodes, we are inviting order into various aspects of our lives. Sheree and Kim give great attention to their physical beings –- by keeping their bodies in perfect tune. Kim and Kroy strive to bring order to their blended family. As they settle in to their new home, they address and set the tone of order by clearly communicating their expectations to their daughters. NeNe attempts to bring order to the relationship between her and her business partner. Cynthia and Peter open their hearts up to bringing order in their marriage as they receive counseling from Pastor Pollard and patiently work on communicating effectively. Lastly, Apollo and I explore order as it relates to our funeral home venture and our friendship with Cynthia and Peter. 

Often change requires an initial visit to an uncomfortable place both literally and figuratively. In order to effect change it may be necessary to "unlearn" some things and get into a place which forces you to think differently and redirect your perspective. In such a space the environment is ripe for mental and spiritual evolution. As I began planning our upcoming voyage to Africa, I reflected on a perspective changing vacation in 2009, which not only renewed my spirit but also enlightened my purpose. During that summer I had the distinct pleasure of vacationing with Jane Fonda in South America, touring the picturesque Galapagos Islands. This trip proved to be a pivotal turning point in my life. I soaked up the exquisite wisdom dripping from each conversation. Ms. Jane's courageous spirit and feisty personality gave me insight and direction. Even in the moments of silence, my spirit was afforded bountiful guidance and wisdom. Everybody knows it is not what you say but what you do that sets the best example for others. Listening to Ms. Jane speak about her experiences and her beautiful African American daughter and meeting her birth children gave me hope that anything is possible if you dare to dream and are willing to work hard.

The reflection of my time with Ms. Jane in 2009 propelled me to create a life changing experience for myself and the ladies by arranging an adventure to Africa. I want to pour into others that which has been poured into me – purposeful perspective, while having an amazing exploration. I knew it was imperative for me and the ladies to be mature enough to look beyond any unresolved issues to include everyone on this voyage to Africa. With the majority of us being descendants of Africa, as African American women we should lean on the wisdom of Jane Fonda who eloquently noted, "We are the pioneers of this generation, the ones who need to compose together a template for how to maximize the potential of this amazing gift of time, so as to become whole, fully realized people over the longer life arc." I know this trip to Africa will inspire a shift in perspectives while opening our minds and hearts to richer possibilities. During this New Year, I pray that you find your physical, spiritual, and mental beings in a state of order, and that your steps are ordered by God. 

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