One day, I was talking to someone and I said, "I just want to be a great person and do great things" and he responded, "what does great mean to you?" In that moment, I did not have an answer. So, I went home and reflected on that question. When I wrote out my definition of greatness, I realized there was a disconnect between what I was doing/saying and what I was thinking. Since that moment, I've challenged the meaning behind "it". “It” for me is any grand statement that declares belief in something. For some people "it" is security, while for others "it" is love, or "it" is excellence. Words have meaning and bringing clarity behind that meaning can bring us closer to authenticity.
So, when I made my list of greatness, I noticed that what I was thinking (I want to work at a big company, become a leader, and make money), did not match what I was doing:
- Speaking to at least one loved one a day
- Making environmentally friendly and ethical choices
- Meditating and journaling daily
- Volunteering my skills and resources to my community
- Cooking meals with friends and family
- Writing on the blog
- Mentoring my nieces and nephews
As I wrote out my list, I realized I was already great. Every day, I work on being my best, helping others be their best, and advocating for a better place to live/work. That is great. Acting on those thoughts brings me closer to my power. And that is changing the world. Changing the world doesn't have to be on a large platform. Changing the world is simply moving it one inch closer to liberation, peace, and harmony.
As I reflected on my meaning of greatness, I started to think about authenticity and alignment. The more our thoughts and actions align, the closer we are to power. This is what I strive for everyday; finding my personal power through expressing myself fully with conviction. Expression does not necessarily have to be audio or written, it can be art, it can be sports, it can be teaching, it can be engineering. Anything that is shared with others.
When I think of people who represent to me authentically expressing themselves, I think of Patrick Day – a member of my extended family who recently passed away after falling into a coma following a boxing match. The emotions are still covering me, but mostly it's shock and sadness. However, as I think about his life and hear people from all over the country and world speak of him; I realize that I was blessed to have met someone who was authentic. Patrick wanted to be a boxer. He thought about it and then did it. Not only did it, but did it well. He did what it took to be a good boxer, by eating well, exercising, and pushing his peers to be better. But it wasn't just his expression of his profession that was authentic, but it was his expression of love. Love for his family, friends, and community. Expression of love for his heritage and spirituality. Overall, someone who embodied what power should look like.
I don't have a clear message for you all this month. But if I had to sum it up, it would be: to reach your authentic power, try defining what "it" means to you. And then once you define “it,” work on it everyday.
Dèyè mòn gen mòn | Beyond mountains are mountains – Haitian Proverb
Piti, piti, wazo fe nich li | Little by little the bird builds its nest – Haitian Proverb