INTRODUCTION: THE AWAKENING

 

“Comparison and competition are meaningless to

an awakened soul. The only goal of importance is

your connection to your inner spirit and your

willingness to live from it.”

—Alan Cohen

 

At 5:00 a.m. on September 10, 2010, I had a spiritual awakening. For those who haven’t quite experienced this feeling, let me illustrate it for you using a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, Jerry McGuire. In this particular scene from the movie, the character Jerry McGuire, which is played by actor Tom Cruise, has a moral epiphany concerning his job. He was stressed by his job as a sports agent and was tired of bearing the weight of a guilty conscience. He was frustrated with the demands of the industry, the perceived dishonesty in the sports management sector, and the questionable immoral tactics used to achieve success.

 

As a result, in the middle of the night, he began to write a mission statement expressing the problems within the industry and expressed how he believed the business should operate. He distributed the mission statement throughout the company. His co-workers were proud of him for taking a stance on the issue. That night, he chose to seize the moment. He carried out the vision, and began to transform his outlook on life.

 

I, too, seized my moment and began a new transformation for my life. I wasn’t a sports agent making millions. At the time, I was a thirty-year-old wife and stay-at-home mother of two. I lived in a less than one thousand-square-foot condo. I continued to have the same daydream where I would ponder over what I wanted to do with my life? What was I good at doing? What would bring fulfillment to my life?

 

My career outlook was challenging because at the time, it appeared to be bleak. I wasn’t working. I was fed up with applying for over forty jobs a week and not receiving any callbacks.The cards weren’t falling in the right place for me, and I was flip-flopping with my career choices. One day I wanted to be a lawyer, the next day I wanted to be a real estate agent; the next month I wanted to be an event planner, when I initially began my career path wanting to be a news anchor. I tried my hands at several career choices but none of the choices were working. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, until that early morning.

 

I was lying in my bed when I was awakened by my daughter who was having a hard time sleeping. After calming her down and not quite ready to get back to sleep, I went back to my bed and began to daydream as I usually do about my life and my career path. I started thinking about what I was good at doing. What were my talents? As I was daydreaming, it brought me back to a time period when I promoted art shows.The first thing that ran across my mind was, Who could I promote? I will promote my husband! I had envisioned the idea of forming a mentoring program for African American young men. He would speak to the youth and encourage them to want more in life than what the pop culture portrays: thug life, cars, lust of women, and money.These thoughts began a snowball effect of many ideas concerning my life. I realized that I was great at public speaking. I did a lot of public speaking throughout my high school and college career. I also gathered that I was good at reaching people. People felt comfortable talking to me.It dawned on me that I possessed a lot of natural qualities. Why not invest in myself! The moment hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately praised God because I knew these ideas weren’t a coincidence. This was it! I was going to use my life experiences to encourage others. I was going to help people by telling my story! I started seeing myself speaking at colleges, youth centers, and at different organizations.

 

As soon as I thought I had it all figured out, I began to doubt my abilities. I wondered to myself, why would anyone listen to me? What have I accomplished? How would I be able to motivate and convince people to listen to me when I don’t have a clear path? I rolled over in my bed, closed my eyes, and went back to sleep.Then suddenly, an inner voice spoke to me saying, “Get up! Get a pen and paper.” I proceeded to get up, and got a pen and paper just as the voice instructed. The voice whispered to me, “Write about your life! Your life’s journey will be the gateway to your success.” My job search was over, and I proceeded to write my life’s journey.

 

Reflection Question

1. What dreams and gifts are you silencing?

2. What is your inner voice telling you to do that you are going to step out on faith and complete?