Within the span of 24 hours (from Tuesday night to Wednesday night), I learned four very important lessons. A better descriptive word might be “revelation”, or as my Auntie Oprah calls them, “A-ha moments”.
These four crucial frames of thought found their ways into my consciousness through various means. While engaging in a Twitter conversation. In the midst of giving advice to a friend. After giving myself a pep talk while driving on the highway. After hearing a phrase repeated over and over again. Four different methods that showed me that messages are all around us, and will seep in once we open up and allow them to.
Leave Room For Surprises
Yesterday morning, I read a great piece on Ebony called “Love, Beyonce Style” by Josie Pickens. I engaged Josie on Twitter (@jonubian) in a discussion about her piece, and discovered that we both had a lot in common with various things surrounding love and life in general (“we’re kindred”, she tweeted to me). As I mentioned to y’all before, I’m working on my control freak issues. Even though I adopted “Let life happen” as my new mantra, I started slipping recently. Instead of letting life happen, I was starting to play my puzzle game again, trying to slot the pieces into the kind of picture I thought I wanted (and needed) to see. During my Twitter chat with Josie, she mentioned the same control issues, but wrote “My morning meditation was centered on the idea that we need to allow ‘surprise’ in our lives.” Immediately, I snapped back into reality and cooled off on the control tip. For someone who loves surprises as much as I do, I was doing a great job at making sure there was ZERO chance that life would ever be able to grant me any. A-ha moment #1.
Do What You’re Good At
I was having a conversation with a friend about the work we’ve been doing outside of our respective 9-5s. We talked about the kind of gelling that happens when you’re doing something you love, and you get feedback from the outside world that you’re pretty damn good at what it is that you’re doing. I said to him,
See, that might be where we’re worrying about the wrong things…so many of us are trying to figure out what our thing is, and wasting time trying to fit square pegs into round holes, simply because we think the round holes are where its at. When you find something you’re good at, it comes naturally to you, you want to learn and grow and do better at it, and people love the shit? To me, THAT’S what your thing should be.
He nodded and agreed, but I was the one who sat back and took in what had just tumbled out of my mouth. I’ve been (am?) that person trying to get in where she fits in while turning a blind eye to the fact that she doesn’t really fit in. That person who has described herself as a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. That person who has beaten herself over the head about things she feels she’s not good at – yes, there’s something to be said about taking on the challenge to do things that are difficult, but there’s another thing to say about the person who continues to self-sabotage by forcing improvement where there probably won’t be any. Am I spending enough time learning and growing and doing better with the things I love and am good at already? A-ha moment #2.
What Speaks To You?
This lesson somewhat fits with the lesson above. On Tuesday night, HomieLoverFriend and I attended Dwayne Morgan’s Spoken Wordz 4 event. One of the poets (and the only woman on the billing) Lishai started off with a dope piece about the motivations behind being an artist. She kept repeating “What speaks to you?” and I was enraptured. Even my date noticed, and leaned over to whisper “You really liked that one, didn’t you?” Wednesday morning, I was driving to work when I heard an ad on the radio that asked “What speaks to you?” and I immediately flashed back to Lishai. At lunch, I overheard two women talking – in the middle of a mouthful of McDonald’s french fries, one said to the other “So, what speaks to you?” By then, I wanted to yell out “OK! I get it!” – but that would have been crazy. I’m taking that constant repetition of the phrase as a notice that maybe I should be paying attention to, or further investigating what speaks to me. A-ha moment #3.
Expecting Bad vs. Expecting Good
I was on my way to an important appointment on Wednesday evening, and was giving myself a little pep talk while breezing down the highway. Sometimes I feel the need to get my thoughts out in the open, and a 45-minute drive all by myself was the perfect opportunity. I was thinking/talking about how I realize words have so much power – in the past, I’ve been surprised when things I’ve said pointedly came to fruition, and noticed that it almost always happened when I focused on the negative. “Why is it so easy to expect the bad, and not to expect the good?” I wondered aloud. Why is that? Maybe it’s just the way my brain is wired, but it’s so much easier to imagine the worst things happening – meanwhile the best things seem like unreachable, lofty goals. Is it possible to re-wire my brain, and make my hopes and expectations of good things just as possible to manifest as my fears and worries of bad things? All I know is, I’d much rather speak of positive things and see them come to fruition than to give the negative an open-door invitation to my life. A-ha moment #4.
I reached home on Wednesday night and sat in front of my computer while it hummed and came to life. I’d been scribbling notes and phrases on scrap pieces of paper, and couldn’t wait to get home and into the loving arms of WordPress. Thinking back to these various messages and lessons, one thought came to mind: “Tomorrow is going to be a different day.” If these messages can stick with me longer than it takes to say “A-ha”, that will most definitely be true.
What do you think of these “lessons”? Has anything come to you recently that you’re trying to implement into your own life?