BUSINESS & LIFE: Giving Thanks the Year of “Stop!” (Part 1)

Valda Henry PhD
Valda Henry PhD

I had not heard from one of my friends in quite a while, and she kept intruding my thoughts and prayers, and one day in mid July, with her insistently coming to mind, I called her.  She told me she had been in a terrible accident and had not been at work for eight months.  She was slowly recovering and had made it back to work that very day I called her, for the first time in eight months.  I was shocked.  I asked without thinking, “Why didn’t you call and let me know?”  She responded, she was fighting for her life.  Of course, she could not call me!  About two weeks later, I sent a message via WhatsApp to enquire about her progress.  In one of the responses, she wrote, “Giving Thanks for what had been a year of Stop.  Through the accident I was made to stop.  It saved my life. Changing outlook, aspirations.”  This was profound.  I answered, “Sometimes we need to ‘Stop.’  I have had my Stop moments. I think I am in one right now and giving thanks.”

I began thinking about this and just could not shake off the concept of “The Year of Stop.”   In the month of June leading up to this conversation, I had experienced a great spiritual, emotional and physical awakening.  Interestingly, this started out as a physical journey of physical exercise and turned out to be so much more!  I made a daily video blog of the journey and shared it with my family.  I would take daily long walks along the beach, pray the Rosary, get into deep prayer and reflection and I ended reviewing and rethinking my life path and the road ahead.  One day it dawned on me that come September 6, I would be entering the first year of the second half of my century and I was preparing for that journey.  I was excited and felt rejuvenated:  I was going to embark on a new journey and I couldn’t wait to embrace the future!  A fresh lease on life beckoned! I decided I would start afresh and anew come September 1, 2016.  I would resume my DNO Column, “Business and Life: my Marpin TV Programme, “The Cutting Edge of Business,” and my Dominica Catholic Radio Station Programme, “Your Business Professional Is In.”  While thinking about this, I knew the first programme of all these comebacks would be “Giving Thanks for the Year of “Stop.”

I made a commitment to do things differently with respect to many aspects of my life: motherhood, business, family, friends, prayer, sleep, diet, exercise.  That journey started in June and I am keeping to that commitment of preparation for “the beginning of the second half of my century!”  I love the sound of that, hence my reason for repeating it!!  A “Year of Stop,” does not have to be a literal year.  It can be a day, month, quarter or even years. In the year of Stop or period of Stop, there are also periods of “Go.”  Stay with me for awhile and you will discover that in the “Year of Stop,” there are many moments of thanksgiving and grace.

In the last five years, I have had many “Stops.”  Some of these stops were prolonged, some were painful, some were reminders, some were life changers, some were God’s way of saying, “slow down, take time to savour and appreciate the beauty around you.”  There have also been many periods of “Go,” interspersed with the “Stops.”

I remember telling someone early in June, before embarking on this physical journey that turned out to be so much more, that in the last year, so much had happened in my life, it felt like I was in a whirlwind and I was an outsider looking in at someone else’s life.  A few days later, I fell ill.  At first I thought I was just tired and needed a good night’s rest, so I had a good night’s rest.  When I got up, I still felt tired, however, I continued with my plans for the day.  About 3pm, I felt I would collapse and so headed back home, took a shower, rubbed myself with a concoction of bay rum, oil of Ojas, coconut and castor oils and went to bed.  And therein came the rub…a fever of 104 degrees.  The fever lasted 3 days.  I stubbornly refused to go to the doctor but after day 3, I had no choice.  I was diagnosed with the flu. Incredulous! The flu!  I had little or no coughing. Impossible!  Yes, a Severe Case!  I was given medication and slowly began to feel better.  This was a “Stop.”

I began a series of introspection and diagnosed that I was not taking good care of myself. I had a soon to be seven-year-old son, who I needed to be there for, to see him grow to adulthood.  I needed to stop, take stock and act, otherwise the consequences may be fatal.  I could not afford that.  I could not leave a seven-year-old motherless. I needed to reorganize my life and priorities.  I needed to exercise more dutifully and therein was the decision to recommence my daily walk.    I needed to keep to the course and not fall off.

On the first day, I headed out about 5:30 a.m. and walked along the beach for about 45 minutes.  While walking a flight of birds were ahead of me, chirping ever so merrily.  I have a thing about and with birds.  Every time, I see a bird, I am reminded of the Bible passage where Jesus tells us we need not worry for he takes care of the birds of the air, and we are worth so much more than them to him, he will take care of us.  A bird for me is a sign that I will be okay, no matter what is going on in my world.  A whole flight of birds!  Thank You Lord! Confirmation of my decision to embark on this physical journey of fitness and that I would be okay.  And every day on this journey, the birds have been there. I give God Thanks! On the second day, it dawned on me that with this long walk, I could recite my Rosary and so on day 3, I added my Rosary to the walk, and with the Rosary, came deeper prayer, deeper reflection and by Day 7, I knew that this was not a physical journey. It was not a journey of weight loss, though this would be a welcome bonus!  This was a journey of rediscovery, spiritual re-awakening, renewed purpose, deepened peace, emotional strengthening and physical fitness.  It was a journey of growth and becoming.  I am still on this journey and committed to staying the course! Remember, I am in “the first year of the second half of my century,” and it looks like the “Year of Stop,” is going to be followed by a “Year of Go!”  I Give God Thanks!

May the Lord continue to Bless, Keep and Hold Us in the Palm of His Hands, until We Meet Again!  Love and Blessings Aplenty!

I can be contacted at or 767 449 9649.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-topic

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. Kabwit
    September 6, 2016

    Deep Article!

  2. Phenomenal
    September 6, 2016

    Happy birthday!!!!

  3. Lyn
    September 5, 2016

    Thank you for your article. This is the first time I have read your article and look forward to your column.

  4. thoughtful
    September 5, 2016

    I missed your column. I too, have had my STOP moments and this year 2016 has been one of my most challenging years. But somehow every time the road gets foggy, God sends someone to just uplift me spiritually. These are the blessings I name one by one. Thank you for your inspiration. The Rosary is indeed a powerful prayer .

  5. Sylvester Cadette
    September 5, 2016

    BEHOLD A PHENOMINAL WOMAN whose articles, works and undertakings always makes my heart glad – IN AN INSPIRATIONAL WAY!! :) :) .
    Dr. Henry, thank you so much because you are always at the right time to inspire and uplift. I am just entering a new and uplifting chapter in my journey. I will be cognizant of the “Moments and occasions of Stop – and uplifting moments of “Go”. Moments of introspection are so critical to personal development and direction.

  6. sisterb
    September 5, 2016

    wow.. The year of stops.. Just last week the Lord told me that ‘I am refreshing you to relaunch you.. I needed to be reminded of this. You know the word of God says that All things work out for the good to them that love God and to them that are called according to his purpose.. I have had those years of stop when my plans did not work out the way I intended them to but in my quiet times I say Lord if you say it will work out for my good even if I don’t see the good , because you say say i believe and i look forward to that good. I really enjoyed reading this piece and i think I will read it again until it sinks into my spirit. Thanks for sharing .

  7. Wheel again
    September 5, 2016

    Valda, I really missed reading your column, glad to have you back. All glory and thanks to the Father. Amen and Amen.

  8. dee am
    September 5, 2016

    Lovely…thanks for the reminder of life is a precious gift and God is the ultimate savior and protector.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available