I am over the moon elated to share my debut book, The Lineage of Love, with you all. This baby has indeed been a labor of love and a source of deep healing and transformation for me. My prayer is that soon it will be for you as well. Beginning Tuesday, April 5th, The Lineage of Love will be available for pre-order at https://littleengineproject.com. So please grab your copy and tell a friend too.
There is so much I want to share about how the book came to be. And all of the souls on the journey that made it possible. I will continue to share as I am moved to do so. The calling to write this gem came upon me in September 2018. I had just finished a two-year journey with a blue book titled “The Way of Mastery” I had no idea that this book would change my life in the way it did. I had been journaling profusely and became so evidently clear that those journal entries were not for me alone. So, as I began reading back over my journals, I launched this blog to share more of my insights and downloads and as a consolation prize to this unyielding message to write a book. A book? Well, how about a blog. Spirit said start your blog, but you still have to complete the book.
I vacillate between being super obedient and requiring 50 signs when told to fulfill something bigger than myself. In this case, I needed all the signs– in walks TheHoodHealer. An angel, I believe, was placed on my path to be a confirmation in so many instances. I connected virtually with Imani, and when I learned she would be in Atlanta in early 2019, I booked a reading. Of course, she looked at me and said, “you are writing something.” That was the confirmation– ok, fine, I am writing something! I have been writing something. In Cranes In The Sky, when Solange said, “I tried to write it away,” I did… I really did. Imani gave me some tips on keeping my writing pure. Although all of what I write comes through conversation with Spirit, sometimes my ego will interfere, usually when something feels too personal to share. I honed my gift of clairaudience to assist me deeper with this project.
I read through six different journals– the pages and lessons spanning many cities and locations. I wrote under the trees in Atlanta, Georgia, and on top of mountains in Cape Town, South Africa; across bridges from Brooklyn to New Jersey; in the clouds while traveling cross country, at the foot of the ocean in Malibu, on the floor of the temple in Lagos. In between sips of tea in London. Under the rising sun and the sounds of chanting prayers in Istanbul. In a treehouse in Mexico and on the grass in Washington, D.C. After reading through all I had written, I began to type up my notes to form a book. I reached out to a few friends to point me in the direction of a good editor. My first round of edits came from a sister named Jahan, based in NYC. She affirmed that I was working with something. She helped me develop a structure and suggested I begin the refinement process and get additional eyes on the manuscript.
A few months into refining the content, I saw a post from Venchele Saint Dic sharing her business offerings. Her company, Pathway Coach Writing, would become the editor that got The Lineage of Love to the finish line. I first met Venchele in Senegal in 2013 while traveling with Estelle’s All of Me Foundation. Venchele was doing Peace Corp at the time and was such a gracious host and guide to our group. Another story for another day is how pivotal the Senegal trip was in hindsight. I had written about it, and Venchele was able to jog my memory in such an indispensable way. She had this way of asking me all the right questions, forcing me to dig deeper and tap back into how I felt, the weather, the colors, the sights, and the sounds. In one of our sessions, I remember she said, “you can’t leave me hanging like this, Shyah,” and she was right. I pushed myself not to skimp on the details even when the recollection of memories left me in a deep state of grief. Recounting my Grandmother’s death provided me a space to heal from the immense grief that sat so heavily on my chest. Venchele pushing me to share more became my greatest liberation in this writing process. During one of our last sessions, she told me, “it’s time to find a designer.”
Honestly, after I wrote the book and re-read it, I felt like I did what I needed to do. I had learned, grown, and evolved in unimaginable ways. I experienced every emotion, so certainly, I must have accomplished this mission. I had to go back to Spirit with the manuscript, like, “we good?” We weren’t. I really had to share the book. Shopping the manuscript around to different agents or publishing houses was not an option. I needed to create the foundation and maintain creative control of the entire process. The Lineage of Love would then become Little Engine Project’s very first project. How fitting.
The universe conspires; I know this, so when I whispered that I needed to find a designer that could bring this book to life, I heard a whisper back– “Lauren Johnson.” Lauren is my line sister, she’s always been extraordinary and excellent at design, but I had not spoken to her in some time and was unsure if she was still designing or if book design was even in her wheelhouse. So I reached out, and our conversation left me so full, so grateful, and so content, just like the days that I would run into her in Douglass Hall and feel immense joy at the sight of her curly head. The alignment in our conversation left me in awe of the divine unfolding of this life. You see, Lauren and I always had a very special connection. We experienced the heart of each other and would lovingly call each other “kindred”; our souls were familiar. I had a very loose but very particular vision for my book– I had colors in mind and a mood board that consisted of lots of flowers. What I knew for sure was how I wanted to feel. Lauren understood the assignment. The cover image still makes my heart flutter. The interior design is so beautiful, so warm, and so nourishing. To deliver the way Lauren delivered, you really had to get the essence of me, and she did. She bought this project to life through her designs.
To be continued…
So so much more to share. So many thank you’s to give. But for now… on behalf of Little Engine Project, I present to you The Lineage of Love, an ode to the ancestors.
I pray that this text finds you wherever you are on your journey and wrap you tightly in the love that grows you. Your strand can never be lost or broken. Your entire lineage is rooting for you!