Anyone that is even slightly familiar with Oprah and her current productions knows the meaning of an AHA moment: an epiphany, a new understanding, a moment of initial enlightenment, a pronounced truth, a fact of life that has made itself evident. At least that’s my definition.
I met with a close friend today, someone I consider my sister, and in the course of the conversation we started talking about the paths that we have taken, or created rather, as 20-something young ambitious professionals. All things considered we could have simply become someones very skilled employee with a bright attitude and a ‘great future’ ahead of them. A great future would usually entail work in something that we are not passionate about for an extensive period of our lives with little or no financial flexibility, what could be a great marriage and some respectful and humble, but not so privileged kids and dreams that are just that, dreams. We simply are not cut out for that and we realize what we want.
My friend asked me, “What clicked for you, when did it just click for you, how did you know.”
That really sat with me because it’s the topic of my my journal entries: New discoveries and understandings and counter intuitive or affirmative events and conversations and experiences and observations. There was no one moment when everything became clear to me I have just learned lessons and had Aha moments and I took them and ran with them, I held on for dear life. I couldn’t get all of those things out while we were there but I knew I had to come back to my computer, not my journal, and write them down to share.
The following is somewhat of a belief system of mine that is really a quilt constantly being added to. I will warn you now, this may not be coherent or in any specific order but it should all make sense. Also not that this
Be humane; We are all in this together
Operate in love: the experience of life is so much better when we look at others through the loving, not judging, eyes of God.
No one is living your dream, the people you admire and look up to have not soaked up all of Gods goodness, his grace and will cannot be exhausted. As an actress I could easily be saddened that I didn’t get to play Nina Mosley in Love Jones, or Miranda Priestly, or Olivia Pope or Eve in Eves Bayou but I know now that there will come a day when something beyond my wildest dreams comes to me in a role and I will know: THIS IS IT, this is my Eve, this is my Nina, this is my Olivia, this is my Miranda!
I have learned how to pray all over again and I would say that I am much more spiritual than religious, I understand that religion is an institution not a universal truth. My journey in faith has been to find my own personal truth and understand that I should test my faith an KNOW WHY I BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE! I came to the realization that someone somewhere or some situation in life was going to test me and I needed to be prepared for sake of my own sanity and possibly my salvation. I believe that if we don’t test the waters and cultivate our own belief, whatever concoction we may come up with, then intelligence will challenge faith and brilliance can corrode sanity if we don’t awaken to some of the bigger truths in the world.
I live with belief in the quote “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain on my soul”
I know that I am a source of energy and I focus on meditation and practicing being present.
I found it really astounding how the issue of presence constantly presents itself. In life it is so vitally important to be present, to be there with the person in front of you, to be taking in all of life and leaning into the moments of importance, to be aware of your energy and what you put into the universe. I have not studied or glanced over a faith system or a guide to success that does not stress the importance of presence. In yoga and meditation most of the practices are centered around breathing and around presence. At the most fundamental level is about feeling the energy that is you, I am not sure yet if it is your spirit or your soul or your heart but its definitely not your mind, it is what comes when you quiet your mind, its that feeling of existence. I was raised in a christian church and it blew my mind when I made this connection: When we pray, we ask for the presence of the lord to fill a room, to cover those seeking salvation, and in meditation the main focus is often…. wait for it….. PRESENCE. Presence is our connection to our inherent and shared divinity, it is there no matter what else is going on in life. What the calculating and logical left brain cannot read but can be detected by the right brain is your energy.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.
You think and then you feel and then you act. This is concept that I first heard structurally in reading “The Secret” but I bear witness to it everyday, I am a walking testimony of it!
If you feel a certain way and you decide to re-calibrate and adjust your attitude and your thoughts your feelings will change. If you think negatively, you cultivate and act out of fear, if you think with optimism you begin to feel and act more positively.
I have learned life is about fulfilling a purpose that God has for you, it is about living to the fullest and taking chances when your heart says you should but it is also about patience and making sacrifices and tough choices but ultimately knowing what matters and what matters not.
A life living someone else’s dream is not worth living if that is not your purpose. I had moments in life that continuously led me to follow my own dreams and aspirations and take my own journey even when that means doing things alone and sometime being alone.
I am a runner and I can truly say that this sport has taught me the meaning of the phrase “Life is a marathon not a sprint” Its a journey, not a trip.
Patience truly is a virtue and if you do not cultivate it you may find yourself in a losing fight with life, this takes me back to one of my first points, listen to life!
There are about 6,000 aha moments I had while reading A Return to love by Maryanne Williamson and about 4000 I have come across since beginning my acting studies which I consider an art of observation, honesty and fantasy that tells so much of the human story.
One of the biggest realizations I have come to is the importance of having a vision and working actively in it and towards it. My friends and family know that I keep a vision board up in my room and I update it roughly twice a year. Getting up in the morning and seeing the words and images that remind me of who it is I am becoming and what I want to create in life, what I am attracting to me and it puts things into perspective, its not a magic piece of paper that does all of the work but it has ‘powers’
I have learned to give myself credit and to practice courage and gratitude. So many times in life I have found myself ignoring my hard work and positioning and saying that things are coming ‘out of nowhere.’ Things don’t come ‘out of nowhere’, you attract them to you, you work for them and they may not come on your watch or in the same box you were expecting them in but they will come and if you are looking for them you will realize it. I have learned that where I am, what I have accomplished, opportunities that have come my way are not falling in my lap, they are when opportunity meets preparation: Oprah’s definition of luck. I have learned to prepare for what I want, to constantly practice gratitude and to be a walking testimony to Gods grace and the fact that “the universe is conspiring in my favor” – Marianne Williamson
Trust the process: Nothing is coming for me, but something is waiting on me. In other words, that looming feeling I get that there is something I should be doing or somewhere else I should be or something in life that is at the end of or at another point on this journey that I am on its not coming for me, its not going to fall on me like a ton of bricks or dissipate if I cant get to it RIGHT NOW but I have to listen to life and to trust the journey even when I am not certain how what I am doing now connects to my future, it never fails. Life builds on itself and the trail to destiny is not always clear, it changes and we stretch and shrink to fit life and we learn things that become invaluable to us. Because I have always had this sense of purpose, this deep-rooted devout belief that I was on a journey to something and since I was about 15 years old I can remember my constant prayer asking God to give me strength to do what he will have me do and to give me guidance. Nearly everything I needed stemmed from having that prayer answered day after day.
I cannot possibly claim that I have it all figured out or that my journey of life is done teaching me but these are some of the beliefs that guide and explain they way that I operate, how I got where I am and what I have learned so far. I hope everyone that reads this gets either affirmation, or has an aha moment or at the very least is provoked to think about anything, at all, just to challenge or awaken thought.
Stay beautiful people!