This Little Light of Mine

When I was going through a huge moment of spiritual growth, I began to learn about the inner light.  The inner light is the glow of your spirit that shines even when you do not speak, illuminates a dark situation, and radiates and attracts people to you in ways you cannot understand.  That light can be so powerful that it attracts great things, but at times it can attract people or situations that want to steal or dim your light.  Your light is your power.

I always loved people and being around people, but learning about my inner light allowed me to permeate into the lives of strangers without them even realizing that they let me in so quickly and so deeply.  As a healthcare provider, it puts families and patients at ease when they are in your care, your colleagues trust you, and you leave an impression no matter how long or how short you are in a place.  Your light is your power.

It is hard to put in words how I discovered my light, but once I understood it, embraced it, and used it naturally, I had to learn quickly that I had to protect my light.  Light does not only attack good things, but it also attracts negative things and people.  I went through a rough period where it seemed that life was trying to dim my light.  It was one bad situation after another bad situation, and yet even if it dimmed for a minute, I centered myself and allowed my light to shine through my situation. Your light is your power.

I have interacted with people who have tried to dim or turn out my light, but I learned how to detach from those who sought to snuff out my light and recognize those characteristics early.  Many times it is hard to detach, because the light thieves are the ones who should be protecting your light or teaching you how to protect your light.  Relationships, jobs, and financial situations can all come as darkness and overshadow your light, but when you know your power, purpose, and position you remove those things or you remove yourself from those situations to ensure that your light is always illuminating at its full capacity.  Your light is your power.

I have met some of the most amazing people in the past 3 months.  I have reconnected with many amazing people I met growing up and all that remains between us all is that they don’t overshadow or attempt to steal my light, and their light is shining just as brightly as mine.  The power of presence is within your light.  Everyone has a light.  How brightly you allow it to shine is up to you.  What you put out in life will always return.  Light will produce light.  Darkness will produce darkness.  Enhance your light by putting out light.  Protect your light by disengaging with darkness.  Your light is your power.

This little light of mine.  I am letting it shine.  My light is my power.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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What is Ambition?

Dreams + Action = Ambition

Ambition can be seen as a verb.  A verb conveys an action.  Ambition conveys you to use drive, determination, perseverance, resilience, and courage to elevate and complete the steps necessary to fulfill your dreams.  Ambition is taking the dream that no one may believe in, and writing out a plan of action.  Ambition is taking the plan of action and working on it day after day after day.  Ambition is failing and still believing in yourself.  Ambition is making small success along the way.  Ambition is starting a movement with just a few friends and creating a change that affects the world.  Ambition is getting an education or a job to help your family.  Ambition is getting up everyday to provide for your family as you try to remain passionate about your dream.  Ambition is being involved in your community, reaching back to lift as you climb.

Outside forces are diluting the hard work that goes into the word ambition.  The legs, backs and shoulders that ambition stands on did not dream, wake up then succeed.  They dreamed, failed, became doubtful and then kept dreaming.  Ambition allows you to develop your craft.  Ambition pushes you when you have become complacent.  Ambition is not fancy cars, clothes and houses.  Ambition is having more than enough, being fulfilled physically, spiritually and mentally.  Ambition is being in a place you never thought you would get to because someone kept telling you that you are undeserving, unqualified or unworthy.

Ambition. The word begets a cloud of dreams when you say it. Ambition.  It brings forth hope and power.  Ambition.  The blood begins to rush through your body and adrenaline kicks in saying, “Do something now!”  Ambition is not benefitting from an activity that diminishes those around.  Ambition is not elevating while tearing others down.  Ambition is not succeeding while everyone else around you fails.  Ambition is power.  Ambition is strength.  Ambition is also grace.

Be ambitious in your words and actions.  Be ambitious as you smile through it all. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your story.  On your own terms.

The Art of Storytelling

There are so many ways to tell a story.  Some people are loud and animated.  While others are softer toned and rhythmic.  And yet some are a hybrid; they will flow from one comedic belly aching moment into a serious and powerful historical testimony of the upmost importance.  This artistic ability is one to truly be admired.

I have learned over the years that telling a story is not about just being heard, but it is about captivating the audience and making them yearn for more.  It is about creating an electric atmosphere full of an emotion that you continue to charge with your stylistic “and then,” “I said,” “she said” electrodes of power.  Some people are born with this talent, while many others learn it by watching some of the greatest storytellers around.

You always know who the best storyteller is in the room because everyone who was there always turns to that person and says, “Girl you tell it!”, while they hold themselves together, waiting for the anticipated punch lines.  Storytellers are an energy that attract many, a light that draws in the crowd, and a magnet that people can hardly pull away from.

Then you have those historical storytellers who know the history of the entire family or the diaspora.  They began to spit the facts about great-grandpa, and a great-aunt and a cousin who went to war and never returned.  Or they begin to tell you about the warriors of forgotten African Kingdoms.  They resurrect the spirits of men and women you may have never met but are proud to be connected to.  Those type of storytellers make you feel so proud to be you, proud of your name and proud of the shoulders on which you stand on.  Those storytellers are gems of the family and academia.  They remain connected because they have a charge to continue to tell the story.

I have always loved to hear a good story.  Whether from a friend, a family member or the verbal vision created by those who are deemed professionals in the art.  Somehow the story strings pieces of your own imagination with the imagination of others and you have a powerful moment full of emotion.  Just thinking about the electrical energy gives me the chills.

We have to reclaim our position as storytellers.  Storytelling builds community, builds connections and builds a human coalescence.   When you tell the story, you are in control of how everyone around you views the narrative.  In order to restore, empower and progress, we have to regain that control.  The next time you are around a group of people, take a look at the story being told.  If you see that the story is not one which will uplift and inspire, take control and infuse the room with the emotion that will make that moment memorable.

Take control of the story.  Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Roses and Fairy Tales

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, or a lot of jewelry or invest in too many material things because I have never seen my life as a story of roses and fairy tales.  I have grown up on the defense, prepared to fight many battles, many times alone with no one by my side to help me fight or to protect me.  I have tried to keep my life simple, because I was not sure what would happen next, good or bad.  I have lived, even in my happiest moments, cautiously, awaiting an imaginary gavel to fall and for the things I love to be taken away at any moment.  I am always ready and prepared to stand against any enemy because I have always felt under attack.

Throughout college I worked hard to maintain financially and emotionally.  I look back and regret never taking the time to experience and embrace the beauty of my present because I was so focused on the past and the unknown future.  I missed out on many opportunities because I did not feel that I was worthy.  I second guessed myself many times and lost out because I was afraid of succeeding.  I ran from things that I really wanted.  The only person that short-changed my experience was me, myself and I.

When I look back at all of the pictures that I took over the years, I captured many great moments.  Our first celebration of a group birthday, our first homecoming, my roommate walking in the fashion show, seeing my idols on stage and meeting celebrities in the cafeteria on random days of the week.  It appeared that I had finally received my roses and was living in a fairytale and that I had accepted that role wholeheartedly.  These pictures failed to capture the moment I found out that my grandfather had passed away and how my friends were there for me as I walked across campus to turn in my papers and get my business in order.  The images failed to capture my emotional instability, my anger and my lashing out at others because I was hurting so much inside.  There were no pictures of me in the counseling center knowing I needed help but unsure of the exact reason.  The pictures showed roses and fairy tales but that was not my truth.

My life has never been roses and fairy tales but I had to learn to let go.  Let go of my past and stop allowing it to control my present and incorrectly predict my future.  I had to learn to enjoy the moment, to stop beating myself up for taking a trip or enjoying a concert with some friends.  I had to learn to cry even when everyone else was smiling.  I did not have to fake the funk for the sake of others comfort.  I had to learn to never put on a mask but to always be myself at all times, whether the world liked, loved or hated it.  I had to learn to stop and smell the roses and dream about fairy tales because it was fun and worth it.  I had to learn that no one’s life is roses or fairy tales but that does not stop them from living out their wildest dreams.

Now my life is full of roses and fairy tales not because it is perfect but because I declared it.  I surrounded myself with beautiful people and love myself for my outer and inner beauty.  I have my King, a prince and a dog.  We live in a kingdom that is full of light and love.  My life is far from perfect.  I cry, I get frustrated, upset, I disappoint myself and others.  I aim for an unattainable level of perfection as a mother and wife and push myself too far at times.  Despite the ugly, my life is full of roses and fairy tales and I would not trade it for the world.  Live the life that you want, not the one that you think you deserve.  Be you.  Do you.  Live in your truth.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.