Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

       Today, I would like to talk about the virtue of helping people. I know that this is something that people project all the time, because people know that this is a highly-admirable character trait. So they are so loud about how good it is to help others, how we all need to help refugees, and so on and so forth.
       But I would like to talk about the deep virtue of helping people. The virtue that is not only Facebook-deep. You see, the universal problem in the world today is this: That people want forgiveness, but they don't know how to forgive; that people feel entitled to receive help from others, but they don't know how to help; that people want to be seen as good people, but they don't actually act like good people.
       We should not help others if it could cost us our lives, or if it could cost us everything we have. I am not an advocate of taking one's shirt off of one's back and giving that away to another person. But if you can help, and when you can help, even just a little, then why the hell not?
       It seems like when someone is in need, the reaction is to turn away rather than to run towards. Why is this the case? If you can help in a way that is not going to rob you of what you already have, then why aren't you going to do that? Do you not realise that one day, you will also need help? And do you not know that if you do not know how to help others, then help will also not be there for you? It is even possible to be a kind of person who always helps others, and yet, you do not receive help from others in return! Goodness is not always repaid by goodness, in this world. How much more if you do not know how to help another! Then surely, help will not in return come to you. Seldom is evil repaid by goodness in this universe.
       We must know when to help and when not to help. But one must always know the virtue of honestly helping another. My mother, father, and I— we have been helping people for as long as I can remember. My parents are the kinds of people who would take their own shirts off their own backs and give them to others. I am not that kind of person, simply because I have seen that there is no justice in this act. I will not take my shirt off and give it to you. But if I can, I can buy you your own shirt! Or I can give you a different shirt of mine, if I don't need it.
       Since I grew up with parents constantly helping others (my parents aren't perfect people, but one thing they truly are— are givers), helping people comes naturally to me. But I never really knew what it feels like to be helped, until the time came that I was stuck in my own hours of need. In your own hours of need— that is when you will learn the virtue of helping others, because you feel the need, yourself. It is something that (hopefully) you will never want any other person to feel.
       I know that this message has been taught and preached and taught and preached over and over again, to the point of sounding worthless; but I just want to say, that the people of the world need to ask themselves, "What is my worth in this world, if I am unable to help other people?"
       If Facebook points counted as points going to Paradise after death, then I'm sure, everyone would go to Paradise! But as it turns out, Facebook points don't count as real-life Paradise points! Passing Jesus' face around on Easter Sunday isn't going to help cleanse you of your sins. If you want forgiveness— forgive others. If you want help— help others in the ways that you can help. If you want to be a good person— act like a good person. This is just a friendly reminder.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beta Reader Tayla

This is Tayla Beaumont. Tayla lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

This is what Tayla has to say about her experience reading The Conversation of Venusta:

“As a long time enthusiast of Ms JoyBell’s work, I was extremely honoured to have been given the chance to read the book prior to its release. There is something delicate and graceful in the way C. JoyBell C. writes – providing messages that resonate deeply with my soul. Throughout the book, much introspection was needed and I found myself learning and trying to unlearn many characteristics and mannerisms of who I am and who I strive to be. Learning to love yourself, and doing so selfishly, because you are worthy and deserve so much – but also not being blinded by the ego. Many emotions were triggered in these profound 215 pages and it was ultimately necessary to help me gain a better insight into myself and my actions. It is almost as if the author is speaking to me – this allowed me to confront and grow from those experiences and aspects of who I am, which I am extremely grateful for. I will be returning to this book often. I recommend the Conversations of Venusta to everyone who hopes to explore themselves in a raw and reassuring way. Everyone can learn and take guidance from it.”

And here's more to discover about her:

Tayla is the youngest member on my team of beta readers. She just very recently began her first year in University, working towards a Bachelor of Law at the University of Cape Town. I am thrilled that Tayla has been reading my work from high school, crossing that bridge on into University.

Zulu Land is Tayla’s hometown, she grew up on a farm in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal where she rides horses and also competes as an equestrienne. Tayla says that her animals have been a large part of her life, taken up a big space in her heart. Another thing she cares about is Women’s Rights, especially when having to do with her native land. Women’s Rights in South Africa has become a passion of hers, particularly in the context of race and gender intersecting, which is an area needing urgent attention in her region.

Tayla says that she aspires every day to become a better person than she was yesterday, and to hopefully help those around her in a way that will benefit and transform her society.

Tay would like to bring attention to the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town

You can connect with Tayla via her LinkedIn account

You can also follow Tayla on Instagram: @Tayla_Beaumont

Tayla is smart. Be like Tayla! =)

The Conversation of Venusta is available on Amazon, at CreateSpace, and at many other online stores. If you would rather place an order of this book via your brick and mortar bookstore, simply order it at their front desk and it will arrive in two weeks, regardless of where you are in the world.

Monday, March 28, 2016

And So It Is Easter

       Today is Easter Sunday. We all have seen many posts about this Holiday, many beautiful pictures, and most probably you have also seen many articles about the Pagan origins of this particular Holiday; articles peddled by those who would seek to "enlighten" the masses and "set them free."
       Yes, I am aware of the Pagan origins of Easter. Also of Christmas, and nearly everything else. Even Thanksgiving is a Holiday celebrating the harmonious banquet that took place between Animist Native Americans and the newly settled Protestant British colonies in Northern America. But so what? I mean, really, so what?
       So, you have some ancient information that not everybody knows about— so what. So you feel that you have been set free by knowing the truth about a Holiday— so what? Does this make you a kinder person? A more loving person? Because if it doesn't, then what good is this knowledge in your hands? No good at all.
       It is amusing to me, to watch many people say to many other people, "Do not be a sheep! Wake up! Follow the Truth! Become enlightened! You are a slave, stop being a slave! Do not walk with the blind masses! Forge your own unique path!" And I am amused by this, because, while they are advocates of forging a unique path, they all share the same exact opinion. And they are all saying the same things. Therefore, they are another group defined as "masses" who share the same ideas, same opinions... albeit they are different from others, but then that just means that the others are also different from them. :-)
       So, Easter is all about Ishtar, and also all about Idunn, and also related to the Goddesses like Iris and Selene and Venus... so what? The eggs are all about Ishtar, Spring and the rabbits are all about Idunn, The rainbow belongs to Iris, the deer are loyal to Selene, the Love and Beauty is all about Venus... so what? Who said that all the gods are fighting, anyway? Jesus rose again after three days, therefore overcoming darkness, just as Spring overcame Winter... the reemergence of life! Is it not only man who makes the gods appear to be fighting one another? Men want to fight one another, and so they want their gods to fight one another, as well. Just because Easter is about Ishtar, that doesn't mean Ishtar hates Jesus. And Jesus doesn't hate Ishtar, either. The gods get along. All except for Loki, of course. So why can't people all get along?
       More valuable is the man who, in his heart, is steadfast to his religion, oblivious to "truths" and "enlightenments", than the man who has all knowledge about all ancient and secret things, yet holds no innocence within his heart. Innocence is far more valuable than knowledge. I could stand here in front of you, and know every single truth in the universe, and yet, none of that would be as valuable as the innocence that I also hold within my heart.
       More valuable is the man who visits Cathedral and bows a knee to pray at the marble feet of a Saint who, oblivious to him, is actually the reconstruction of an old Roman Deity; more valuable is he than the man who says, "I am free because I have knowledge!" Yes, knowledge sets us free, but sweetness of heart brings us eternal life. Religion does not bring us eternal life; sweetness of heart does that. There is far more sweetness of heart in a prayer on the lips of a man who humbles himself, than in the knowledge of the other man that does not cause him to be a more loving person or a more caring person.
       Blessed is the man who spends not his time finding fault in others, or in the ways of others. Blessed is the man who lives his life in love, harmony, humility, and acceptance.  May you have a blessed Easter, whether you are innocent or not.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Beta Reader Laurie

This is Laurie Anne Jackson. Laurie lives in Massachusetts.

This is what Laurie first had to say about Venusta, while she was still reading it:

“Five minutes in and I have the chills. I am only a few pages in and I was meant to read this book. Completely teary. Bless your beautiful heart and Soul.”

“This work of yours is truly needed in this world right now. These words are light and breath combined.”

And this is what Laurie is saying about The Conversation of Venusta now that she's done reading:

"From the moment I began her new novel and saw the introduction by C JoyBell C which read, 'This is for the Brave, This is for the True, This is for the Seeker, The Sage, The Pure', I knew that I was about to embark on a beautiful adventure with this book. I was ready to dive in and that I did. Whenever I have connected in the past with the words of C Joybell, I would always find myself at my deepest source and engulfed in words of truth. From that point on, I became almost obsessed with looking for more of her words, more of her quotes so that I could feel that sense of true understanding again! This book is no different from before. She helps the reader tap into their true nature of being whole and broken all at the same time. She does so by her own incredible capacity to share her deeply rooted, soulful and humanistic perspective with us. I wept at times and quite frankly I couldn't put the book down. It was as if I was reading precisely what I needed to hear at that moment as if an angel came to me whispering... 'Here, this is what you have been waiting for!' I felt truly seen while reading this book and after all, isn't that all we crave and desire: to feel seen by another?!

Although each one of us has indeed been broken in the past and maybe some of us even today still feel broken from loss, grief and heartache, The Conversation of Venusta is a reminder of what we each one of us share collectively and all that binds us as earthly human beings. What a way to heal! She articulately communicates (with passion that only she can do!) the fundamental need to feel connected to one another as human souls and that to be needed and to want another for intimacy, love and connection is our souls' highest purpose.

It is so easy to get caught up in the trance of feeling 'less than' in our society these days where we disconnect from ourselves and the world, but The Conversation of Venusta brings us directly home. Home is the place we most long for isn't it!? The place where we can be ourselves and weep if we wish to do so! This is the perfect book to pick up when we need the reminder that we are not alone in our hopes and our dreams. This is the perfect book to rediscover a glimpse into our soul and to cry even, as I did many times reading The Conversation of Venusta.

From a dialogue on the truth of the soul, the truth of the whole self, emotionality, shame and fear, she is able to emerge this great sense of knowingness within the reader which is incredibly familiar and profoundly beautiful. For someone seeking Freedom within their mind, body and soul, this is the book for them."

Discover more about Laurie:

Laurie provides mental health services in Southeastern Massachusetts, serving all populations from children to grandparents. In this capacity, she specializes in chronic relationship and family issues, facilitating children’s emotional and behavioral strengths, the impacts of loss, domestic violence, substance abuse and treating post-traumatic stress.

Laurie is currently an adjunct faculty member and Senior Instructor at both Bridgewater State University and Cambridge College in their Counseling and Psychology programs. Ms. Jackson’s passion is in the field of trauma as she received a Post Masters Clinical Certificate in Relational and Multi-Contextual Treatment of Trauma from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts in 2010. She earned a Master of Education degree from Bridgewater State University in 2009 with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling.

Her experience has primarily been with those impacted by trauma and also with diverse populations in low income communities. Her dedication to working with diverse populations affected by trauma is reflected in her travels to Uganda for an international service project in 2010 and also as a former child protective social worker. Ms. Jackson served as State Program Director in MA for the FEMA Crisis Counseling Program due to the tornado that devastated Western, MA. Ms. Jackson had the honor of being an external reviewer for the New Jersey Crisis Counseling Program grant application due to the Sandy disaster. Ms. Jackson recently completed the Fema-SAMHSA Train-the-Trainer Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program: Training State Trainers in 2012.

Ms. Jackson has conducted trainings related to all phases of the FEMA Crisis Counseling Program in Massachusetts. She is also familiar with the SAMHSA Crisis Counseling Program Data Collection and Online evaluation database. Lastly, Ms. Jackson has recently joined SAMHSA as a mental health disaster consultant.

You can connect with Laurie via her website and through her LinkedIn account:

Laurie is definitely smart. Be like Laurie. =)

The Conversation of Venusta is available on Amazon, at CreateSpace, and at many other online stores. If you would rather place an order of this book via your brick and mortar bookstore, simply order it at their front desk and it will arrive in two weeks, regardless of where you are in the world.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Beta Reader Melita

This is Melita Lami. Melita lives in Greece.

Here's what Melita has to say about her experience reading The Conversation of Venusta:

“The Conversation of Venusta is a book written by the soul, and for the soul. At once tender and fiercely courageous, it challenges you with an embrace while seducing you with a discerning blade that points directly at the heart of what matters most in life and in death.

C. JoyBell C. has made it certain that she will connect to her wide range of readers; juvenile or adult, loveless of love-lots, and the whole concoction of what a man can be. Regardless of your status, you will surely find a quote that you will keep for the rest of your lives, or might as well may even stand as your new principle in living.

She built a conversation that will not let you imagine what is happening between the pages, but will make you realize some things about your life itself which have been obscured all along. And when you have finished the last word on the last page, even if your logical mind doesn’t completely understand all that you’ve read, your eternal spirit will be dancing with joy!

I have adored reading this book, and I will read it over and over again. It is like sinking deeply into your own joyful and bleeding heart. It is purity, kindness, eloquence. It is comforting and real. It came at the perfect time in my life and has truly nourished me. It has challenged my thoughts, torn at my vulnerability and comforted my aching. It should be recommended to anyone who is willing to be open to see what truly lies within.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!"

Discover more about Meilta:

Melita is currently working with SLUMS DUNK an organization that aims at improving the life conditions of children and youth living in the community of Mabathini (Mattare slum, Nairobi). Basketball is the tool they have chosen to involve, mobilize and attract the beneficiaries and it is the medium used to facilitate life skills and health education in twenty informal primary schools located in the slum.

She is also the founder of Humans of Athens (HOA), an organization inspired by Humans of New York (HONY).

From 2012 – 2013, she was the Marketing Manager and Producer of Ten is Love, a basketball-based charity project in Europe, by the JR Holden Foundation, she was also the Public Relations Manager of JR Holden and helped with the worldwide promotion of his book, Blessed Footsteps.

She says that airports is one of her favorite places in the world, and that is why she worked for eleven years in sales and promotion at the Athens International Airport for fashion brands like Armani Jeans, Porsche Design, and Disney. Fashion is her “thing” and this claim is backed by the fact that she is a fashion model, herself.

Melita spends her days pursuing her spiritual endeavors through the means of Reiki. She loves music, basketball, reading and traveling, and says that she could never choose one over the other because she is passionate about them all equally.

Additional information: Mel is the sponsor of the Kindle editions of my Conversations series of books (The Conversation of Merachefet and The Conversation of Venusta). She has sponsored the Kindle versions personally, through the name of her organisation, Humans of Athens. Thank you, Melita! And thank you, HOA!

Melita is smart. Be like Melita! =)

The Conversation of Venusta is available on Amazon  at CreateSpace and at many other online stores. If you would rather place an order of this book via your brick and mortar bookstore, simply order it at their front desk and it will arrive in two weeks, regardless of where you are in the world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beta Reader Lilly

This is Lilly Burchstead. Lilly lives in Los Angeles, California.

This is what Lilly is saying about The Conversation of Venusta:

"The Conversation of Venusta is a beautiful, magical, profound book. Each page astonishes you and challenges you. It helps you to know yourself more and understand the choices you have made in your life. It is a profound conversation between your inner and outer, soul and mind. It helps you to learn from your past and at the same time guides and nurtures you through the process of letting go. It will accompany you on your journey of living your best life. It is truly written with love. You feel this love throughout the entire book. This is a book that you will want to read again and again, and discover and feel something new and different each time. It helps you to move from the darkness to the light, to accept and love yourself in the new light.

I have never been moved and touched by a book as I have been moved and touched with ‘The Conversation of Venusta’. It has been one of the hardest and most beautiful, elegant books that I have read. It took me to my past but in a painless manner. It was a different feeling. It was more about understanding, accepting and saying a definite ‘good bye’ to pain, disappointment and loss. I felt as if you [C. JoyBell C.] had been with me through my painful moments and had felt them just like me. Just like you [C. JoyBell C.], I believe in signs. The time for me to read this book was perfect, as if you knew or felt I was ready to read it. This was a sign. You truly are an angel.

As I was reading each page of The Conversation of Venusta, I did not want the book to end. You have this beautiful connection with the book that you never want it to end as much as you want to read how the book ends. You want to feel it close to your heart forever. This book is the hug that you had asked or desired to have when you were in so much pain, the hand that you wanted to hold so tight when you felt alone and betrayed, and the beautiful voice that you wanted to hear when you felt weak, lost and dead. And as you ‘meet’ the last page, you realize that it is a beautifully bright beginning. You recognize your light and how it has always been there throughout the journey.

Thank you, C. JoyBell C., for this beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing your light, love, passion and beautiful gift of writing. Your words have helped me to stop looking for the old me in the dark and accepting my new me in the light and to smile again and again. While I was reading The Conversation of Venusta, I kept on holding the manuscript so tight, close to my heart. I cried because each page is written with love. I felt it. Just as Vademecum, I want to carry The Conversation of Venusta with me, forever in my heart. Thank you for this beautiful gift. You will never be forgotten, God bless you always."

Discover more about beautiful and loving Lilly (in her own words):

"I live in Los Angeles, California. I am a Finance Manager at Paramount Pictures and have been working at Paramount for almost 12 years. I have been fortunate to work with incredible people who have become mentors, friends and family. I have a beautiful daughter named Madeline, who inspires me every day.

I am involved with Mixed Roots Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization. Mixed Roots collaborates with individuals, businesses and organizations to promote and support organizations, create awareness and inspire future generations touched by adoption and foster care to achieve their dreams and goals. It educates and inspires the greater community about the importance of knowing and embracing your own identity of being mixed roots, including your biological, cultural, and spiritual roots which ultimately makes up and brings together the diversity in the community.

My friend and I produced 'Stars Are Already Dead'. It is an independent film that will be released this year. The film is about hope, faith and light."

You can connect with Lilly on LinkedIn HERE.

Lilly is smart. Be like Lilly. =)

The Conversation of Venusta is available on Amazon, at CreateSpace, and at many other online stores. If you would rather place an order of this book via your brick and mortar bookstore, simply order it at their front desk and it will arrive in two weeks, regardless of where you are in the world.