My friend F. brought up a great point as we were talking this morning. After she read Miss Awa’s post on letting our voices as members of the African diaspora be heard, and as much as she loved and felt empowered by it, after the initial aha! moment, the ensuing moment was kinda like “hum! This is nice and everything, so what do I do now?”
And that’s the question that many of us ask ourselves as we enter a new year and start on the first days of the rest of our lives. What do we do now? How much else can we do that’s going to be so different than what we’ve been doing? And most importantly, where in the world do we begin?
Ok, life is tough…And for the immigrant, for the ones among us who’ve left what we’ve called home to settle in a faraway land, life can be particularly tough… With family spread out in the four corners of the world, responsibilities spanning the four corners of the world as well, in addition to our everyday worries, how can we possibly add more to our already overcrowded to-do lists?
After writing my first post of this year, I myself proceeded to sit back and eat an entire chocolate loaf cake, not knowing where to start! And since then, I have done nothing, ziltsch, nada, tuss (as we’d say in Wolof)! While I still don’t have an answer to the question, there may be a few things that ingesting a whole chocolate loaf cake out of sheer cluelessness has taught me…
When in doubt about what to do at first, DO NOTHING! There are just those moments when getting started on anything makes you feel like you just enlisted in the longest marathon of your life. And contrarily to popular opinion, hitting the PAUSE button sometimes affords us the extra time to start better!
When you’re ready, put it on paper! The Holy Bible teaches to “write the vision”! In the Al-Quran, the holy words are written for the faithful to meditate on! Whatever your vision, beliefs, hopes and prayers, write them down! Someone once told me that it’s only when you commit the vision to paper, when you write down the words of your spirit, that they start materializing in the universe. After all, how do we expect the forces of the Universe to rally around our purposes if we don’t put these out there? So as you’re still chewing on the rest of that chocolate loaf cake, grab a piece of paper and write the Dream down…
Let’s remember that Faith comes from hearing! Napoleon Hill’s epic motivational best-seller Think and Grow Rich teaches us not only to write our own statement of purpose, but to read it aloud to ourselves twice a day, once when we rise and before retiring at night. Although this practice may make you look totally demented to the rest of your household (my daugher’s always asking me why I talk to myself), little by little, you’ll start believing in your own words. And for an extra dose of faith in what we can achieve this year, why not sharing the vision with trustworthy people around us. As much as not everyone is ready to hear our vision, and we should not confide in everyone, there may be this one person whose support may just take us to that special place…
Well, that’s where I’m starting this year, with my chocolate cake, pen, paper and loud mouth! Let’s wish each other luck, we may be onto something (other than a couple of extra pounds)!