Unveiled:The MadonaRism Story

MadonaRism” came into existence for me when I encountered a cellist a few years ago at the African American Museum, which is now known as the Joysetta & Julius Pearse African American Museum of Nassau County. What started as an exchange of pleasantries progressed into a quasi-philosophical level of interaction in the 10 minutes my husband and I spent talking to her.

We had met a kindred spirit who, after a brief encounter, exclaimed, “That is a Madonaism!” The perplexed look on my face must have engendered the clarification… “only you can express yourself the way you do.” Even though I did not see that coming, I was most appreciative of, and impressed by, her willingness to reveal her characterization of my mode of verbal expression. In my book, it takes a special individual to engage a stranger with attentiveness and generosity of spirit. The donor of this inspirational gift fits the bill! What I believe she gained from her empowering gesture was satisfaction from being true to herself. A telling reinforcement of humanity!

The warm smile and knowing glance my husband and I exchanged in reaction to what had unfolded said it all! It was clear we were in agreement that Madonaism was indeed “a thing.” Without uttering a word, our ever-present oneness arrested and embraced this gift as yet another vehicle to further my philosophy of life’s lessons. My dot-connecting tendency wasted no time in tweaking the term to Madonarism! I introduced r to represent empowering and personal development words, which start with the letter R

All was well until I received a diplomatic alert – “I think Madonarism should have been Madonaism.” I must have unwittingly created room for meaningful, casual engagement with someone who cared enough to find out what the r was doing there. As welcoming as that side effect was, I could not ignore the necessity for a solution to mitigate doubt in the minds of the masses! The fear of this poetic license backfiring by deflecting from the expressions preceding the “MadonaRism” credit was real. Undaunted, I went on a redo and re-emphasize mode. The once embraced Madonarism would now read MadonaRism to highlight the importance and deliberate placement of r in the word.
Besides sharing the origin story of MadonaRism, I have designed a logo which I plan on affixing to all MadonaRism-related work created and published. This should do it!

MadonaRism Mystery Summarized!

“The whys and wherefores of MadonaRism emanate from an inspirational gift the first female African American Cellist I met presented to me. Thanks to her; my free-flowing creative juices, and available poetic license, I have tweaked the original word – with R in place to symbolize empowering r-word concepts in my lessons of life expressions.”

Please share memories of unexpected sources of inspiration and what you did with your gifts.

Connecting the Dots of Gratitude and Empowerment Series

“The mindset to express gratitude once put in motion, unwittingly celebrates the gift of humanity.A MadonaRism by Madona Cole-Lacy

This sentiment comes from my penchant for, and belief in, the limitless, all-inclusive nature of healthy expressions of gratitude. Not unlike kindness, one cannot express too much gratitude, and with that in mind, I shine the spotlight on one of such experiences last year – The Conversation – Molloy University 2022 Women’s Initiative and Symposium.

Determined to keep off the “Gotcha list of the unrelenting claws of cumulative grief”, I took advantage of this opportunity, to rekindle my identified purpose! Navigating the effects of the passing of my dear supportive mother and exceptional husband, who labored with me to engender youth and community empowerment, has not been easy! Thankfully, the option to maneuver a new normal with intentionality is available when the side effects of grief strike!

Another reason I stepped out of my “comfort zone” was the quest for meaningful human connection centered on my purpose in life. It was time for more inspiration to set ablaze an already determined flame of empowerment. I was so revved up that I arrived way ahead of time at Molloy University’s Madison Theatre. And yes, there were others in the lobby who had shown up much earlier! That, to me, was confirmation that I was going to be in good company! Once ushered in, I had a fleeting ‘fish-out-of-water’ moment, even though I initiated small talk with attendees around my table. Happily, it was not long before I considered giving myself a proverbial pat on the back for stepping out in faith.

The panelists were quite adept at connecting the dots of their passion and purpose with the theme, Redefining Your Purpose: How To Align Your Actions With Your Life’s Passion. The featured speaker, author and Nonprofit Founder, Genevieve Piturro, gave a presentation that indicated a lack of shortage of creative ways to pursue our passion! Guests received a copy of her book entitled; Purpose, Passion and Pajamas! The empowerment process continued with Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Allison Haunss. The Creator/Host and Producer of The Working Woman Report passionately moderated the panel of purposeful women who follow their respective bliss. Wendy Abrams, Senior Vice President Regional Manager – DIME, and Kerry Gillick-Goldberg, Founder/KGG Enterprises, LLC. made valuable contributions by identifying their chosen purpose in life, and responding to questions posed by the attendees.

It was an especially invigorating moment for me when Ms. Haunss mentioned youth empowerment. The opportunity to ‘reconnect’ with ‘pre-adversity Madona’ had come! This attendee who, for once, was more intent on being a silent observer – rather than ‘the outspoken one’, without hesitation, placed her hand up. That the program was winding down with less than 10 minutes to go did not seem to matter! The fear of the likelihood I would hug the mic had now taken a back seat. I instead embraced the realization that there was nothing I could have done to prevent myself from sharing my determined purpose with others. The sound of those two keywords had awakened my enthusiasm and something had to be said! Time was of the essence, so my knee-jerk response had to be a test of my ability to be succinct. Thanks to the patience and graciousness extended to me, I completed the ‘task’ at hand. I found it comforting that grief had not robbed me of the passion to empower and to be empowered! The spirits of my loved ones must have been relieved that their expectations of me were still intact! This experience, without a doubt, has uplifted my spirit in ways that go beyond what the naked eyes could see. Besides the opportunity to reconnect with familiar movers and shakers and meet with staff essential to my youth-oriented cause, it had enhanced and elevated to another level, the rekindling process of Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.

It is with profound gratitude I shine a spotlight on Molloy University’s Office of Advancement and Ms. Costanzo Metzger.

In addition to making this much-needed experience possible for me, the unwavering support of my youth empowerment initiatives over the years

As Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. prepares to execute its 2023 activities, the board of directors and I look forward to more of the Molly University Community Empowering posture in our organization.

When the passion to empower others as much as ourselves becomes uncontrollable, we invite purpose as an ally to help us preserve the health and welfare of humanity.” – A MadonaRism by Madona Cole-Lacy

Click here for more about Molloy University’s Office of Advancement and here to find out how you can join Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. in our quest to make a difference in the lives of youth and families in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and neighboring counties.

Feel free to respond or share your own gratitude and empowerment story.

It is your time 4 talk too!