Published on January 29th, 2013 | by thevyne0
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey
Twitter handle: @my52wow
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Roles you play in life: Entrepreneur, Educator, World Traveler, Comedian, Philosopher, Delta, Author, Sister, Daughter, Friend. (More at http://my52wow.com/who-are-you/)
Education: BS Symbolic Systems, Stanford University; MS, Computer Science, Northwestern University, Graduate: The Second City Conservatory Program, an advanced study of improvisational comedy and theater.
Tell us about your journey as a writer. Where did the idea of your book come from? In April, 2009, my only living grandmother died unexpectedly. In August of the same year, my father died after a long illness due to cancer-related complications. Additionally—as if this was not enough—in October of that year, the most significant romantic relationship of my life also ended, which was no small thing for a 30-something year old woman dreaming of marriage and children. When the new year began, I wondered how I could possibly heal from all my pain.
I decided to take a spiritual journey—one that I called My 52 Weeks of Worship. During 2010, I committed to visit a different place of worship every week—whether that place of worship reflected my religious tradition or not.
The result was an experience that, as it evolved, I realized I had to write about. My journey was a personal one, so I didn’t initially intend to write a book. But as the subtitle of the book states – I learned many lessons and grew compelled to share them on the hunch they could bless, inspire, and encourage others.
Give us an overview of your book: Week by week, chapter by chapter, I take you with me to 61 different churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, and sacred spaces in the US, Mexico, the UK, Nigeria, and South Africa. I share what they were like, who I met, how I felt, and what I learned from them.
After people read my book, I hope that they feel hopeful, inspired and optimistic. I hope that it makes them examine how spirituality can help them address whatever challenges they may be facing, and hopefully help them to strengthen their faith before adversity inevitably comes. Finally, I hope that people learn a little more about different faith traditions – especially those they may have never contemplated before – and how it is completely possible to believe strongly in one thing, and respectfully stand shoulder to shoulder with someone who believes differently than you do.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned through writing your book? I learned about the “Power of 52”—of doing something BIG by breaking it down into little, weekly pieces. This power fueled my year-long spiritual journey, fueled my book-writing journey, and continues to fuel me today.
What was the most gratifying thing about going through this journey? Developing a practice of seeking and finding the goodness of God everywhere I looked – and in the eyes of everyone I meet – has served me up until this day. It brought me through my grief and back to myself- a better version of myself.
What about the most challenging? To answer this, I will quote a favorite runner of mine, John Bingham, “The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.” Finding the courage to start the journey — that was the most challenging.
3 words that describe you: Passionate, Intelligent, Evolving
Finish this statement, “To feel more centered I…”…make sure to connect with my sisters, girlfriends and Sorors, who have known me forever and who love me unconditionally.
One item you cannot live without: My passport! I love to travel!
Favorite beauty product: I love bubble baths, and essential oils – lemongrass, lavender, and eucalyptus are my favorites!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? In My 52 Weeks of Worship, I share how my father encouraged me to pray and meditate. The best advice that I received from him is that I should dedicate some time every day to quiet contemplation and meditation. It is something that I try to do every day, and I find that I am a better person when I do.