Dickinson shares intimate reflections in ‘Suffering Sweetly’
On an otherwise average night in February, Tamala Dickinson was woken out of her sleep at 4.44am.
With ideas racing through her head, she started writing and, two weeks later, had completed her first book, Suffering Sweetly.
“It’s very small; a book of reflections. People are normally attracted to thrillers and exotic books and stuff like that. This is a book of intimate reflections, very simple, but very thought-provoking,” said Ms Dickinson, a mindfulness practitioner, instructor and educational therapist assistant.
The title came from a good friend who was also a mentor, Dawson Swan.
“[He] transitioned to the spirit world in August 2021. When asked, ‘How are you doing?’ he would always respond, ‘Suffering sweetly’. His response went hand in hand with the reflections that I was writing.”
The 27 reflections in her book are designed to help anyone who is actively looking for change.
“I think it's more geared towards people who are actually seeking to do things differently,” Ms Dickinson said. “People who want to connect with their inner selves; people who want to let go of things that have haunted them for a while. [The reflections are there to] teach them how to go through the actual process. People who are not already interested in change are not even going to be able to connect with it.”
Before she was woken in February with the urge to write, she had never thought about publishing a book.
“I never considered myself to be an author, a poet or anything of the sort,” she said. “This was the farthest thing from my mind. I just woke up and started writing and it continued on for a few days until I got to 27 thought-provoking reflections.
“They’re a little poetic, but they’re reflections. And if you read them and if you sit with them, they're geared towards people who are on that healing journey; they’re for people who are seeking to become whole.”
Most of the reflections were written early in the morning, having come to her “in real time”.
“They are all based on present time as I'm going through something, and by me having a level of awareness.
“It's very contradictory. It's very paradoxical, but it's part of the human experience.”
As she describes in the introduction, Suffering Sweetly is “a book of intimate reflection about the complexity and ever-changing human emotion and its reflections convey the intensity of my personal experience on my journey of self-discovery, enlightenment and empowerment”.
People who do not practise mindfulness are often unaware of the many coping techniques that are available to them.
“People don't know they're going through these things because they don't have a level of awareness; they aren’t able to process or are unsure what's going on.”
Ms Dickinson is to host a “book club event” rather than a signing.
“Because when you do things like this, it's not because something is trending,” she explained. “It's more for people who authentically want to connect organically; who want to authentically connect with who they are. There's a lot of spiritual trending things going on out there. You have people who have a calling to make that change and those are the people I'm getting to connect with. Everything else is sort of a spiritual bypassing. People want to wear crystals, but people don't want to put the actual work in.”
Her reason for promoting her mindfulness techniques are so that they can be of “service to others”.
“I definitely used one or two of these [reflections] in my practice. I was [pleased] to be able to share them with my clients. Especially when they were going through something I was able to pull out the reflection and have a conversation and was able to help them to actually connect with what was going on with them,” she said.
“So I am going to [continue to use the book] in my practice to help them navigate through difficult times, through shadowy times, but I plan on having the book club event for people who are interested in purchasing the book. We can all come together in intimate sharing and meditation.”
She has shared Suffering Sweetly with “a few people just to get their feel”.
“They were inspired and excited because they knew where they were coming from and where I was coming from and it was through sharing it and having a conversation afterwards. I think it’s essential to read, reflect and share the compassionate heart check and conversation.”
Suffering Sweetly is available on Amazon.com and at The Griot Bermuda, where Tamala Dickinson will offer a guided meditation and discussion next Friday from 6pm to 7.30pm. Admission is free. Register on 261-2665 or firstname.lastname@example.org