: able to think clearly and to notice things



Alert (adj.): “on the watch,” 1590s, from French alertevigilant” (17th century), from phrase à l’erteon the watch,” from Italian all’ertato the height,” from ertalookout, high tower,” noun use of erto, past participle of ergereraise up,” from Latin erigereraise” (related to: erect). The adjective is attested from 1610s, the noun from 1803, and the verb from 1868.



“I long to journey endlessly, always in search of something new. Always alert.”

Enrique Vila-Matas (b. 1948, Spanish novelist and author of several award-winning books that mix different genres like meta-fiction)

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“To find a new word that is accurate and different, you have to be alert for it.”

Mary Oliver (b. 1935, American poet; her fourth book, “American Primitive,” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and the National Book Award for “New and Selected Poems”)

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“Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur.”

Muriel Spark (1918-2006, Scottish novelist, poet, playwright; also wrote short stories, radio plays, children’s books, reviews and essays, as well as biographies of nineteenth century literary figures including Emily Brontë and Mary Shelley)

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“Sleep makes people calmer, more alert, less fearful – just plain happier, or so I see around me and in me. I am sure that if this great nation were to concentrate on getting more sleep, we would be happier, more confident people, and that by itself would be a major achievement.”

Ben Stein (b. 1944, actor, speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, author, television personality, lawyer, and political commentator)

Bio Source:

“Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love because suddenly, all your senses are at the setting marked ‘on.’ Suddenly, you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world.”

Pico Iyer (b. in 1957, British-born essayist and travel writer, best known for documenting a neglected aspect of travel, the “surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture”)

Bio Source:


“Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love because suddenly, all your senses are at the setting marked ‘on.’ Suddenly, you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world.”

— Pico Iyer


When we are conscious, awake, and aware we become alert to the big and small magical moments of our lives.  We see our world as we have never seen it before, and we are sometimes spellbound.  We don’t have to travel very far to do so.  Sometimes all we have to do is step outside our doors and witness life from new perspectives.

Life has a great deal to teach us, but we have to stay observant and opened to the possibilities, or we will miss the miracles of love and how it heals and transforms.

Dark forces of our world know when we are sleep-walking, and seeks what areas of our world are committed to love and have no tolerance for hate.

A few Christmases ago, after my grandmother turned 90 years old, I went to stay with her.  I hadn’t seen her for a while, and although it was challenging to travel in the cold during, I wanted to spend some quality time with her.

Although frail and unable to walk without the aid of a walker, my grandmother insisted on walking to the busiest part of town, 125th Street in Harlem.  As a gift, Nana also wanted to buy me a subway metrocard to travel around the City.  So, I patiently accompany her for blocks and took the transit elevator down to the subway level to reach the tollbooth.  I had to breathe my way through, but was on full red alert, watching out for her and my safety, simultaneously.

On the way back up to the street level, I held the elevator door for Nana, but also for a young mother who had a stroller and small children, making sure they got safely inside.  When I did, my grandmother walked a little too far ahead of me and caught the malicious attention of strangers who dwelled in the shadows.  I quickly and protectively came to her side and looked one man straight in the eyes, and when I did he and his accomplice walked away.

If we stay present and alert in the Light, in the Love, and in Faith, we will be given the appropriate insights we need to act wisely.

Stay hopeful, sojourners!

With Love, Tonya


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