Over three years, R. Smith-Angel experienced the dissolution of a thirty-year marriage, a major surgery, the deaths of closely-loved relatives, the life-threatening illness of her mother, retirement and permanent relocation from Washington D.C. to Atlanta.

These experiences led her to what she describes as a “dark night,” a time wherein she felt like she lost control over her own life and lacked the self-awareness necessary for personal development due to the attention she needed to pay to her situation in order to survive that trying time.

However, as she began to move past her difficulties, she noticed the impedance they represented for her personal growth but also the clarity they provided her in terms of visualizing her potential.

This time also gave her a new perspective on her life; while she previously had goals for her professional future, she had never had such specific ambitions for her personal growth.

During the time of her struggles and the resulting realizations, Smith-Angel began writing poetry as a form of self-therapy, and these therapeutic poems formed the root of her poetry collection entitled Heart Vision, published by XLIBRIS last November.

Smith-Angel wrote this collection of poetry with the intent to explain to other people how to see with their hearts instead of their minds and thus create emotional and spiritual goals for themselves so as to further their personal growth.

Calling these works “poetic inspirational messages,” Smith-Angel’s book does not require sequential reading or intense interpretation; the messages of positivity and encouragement shine on surface. They strive to help the reader remember their spiritual origins, seek self-acceptance and embrace the love they require from others.

As Smith-Angel was writing these poems and pondering which would be included in this publication, she grouped them into four distinct sections (wisdom and growth, facing challenges, self-acceptance and renewal and love and honor).

After noticing the universality of their messages, she published them in this arrangement so that the reader can intuitively understand how the messages are intended to relate to their own lives.

Unlike many collections of poetry, this book also features periodic interruptions with food for thought and affirmations, which Smith-Angel intended to use in order to better focus the message of each section as well as give the reader a resting point at which to digest the implications of previous sections.

As the author says, the poems are written such that, regardless of the reader’s position, they can bring their own situation into the reading and gain insight from it. The poems are not so specific that the reader cannot relate it to their own journey.

While this work is described as spiritual, it does not rely on a particular religious tradition and Smith-Angel is emphatic in her recommendation of these messages to people of any spiritual affiliation; the ideas transcend the question of religion with their focus on the connectedness of all people and the struggle with understanding and handling a universe which is unimaginably larger than themselves.

These ideas, as well as those of focusing on one’s spiritual origin and uniqueness and accessing the power of oneself as the co-creator of one’s own destiny, will be further explored in her next work, tentatively entitled Heart Signature.