When you visualize your goals, it makes them easier to obtain. A year ago when I launched my movement, #BlackMHM Black Mental Health Makeover, I envisioned eventually moving the dialogue from online to in person. Blog posts and YouTube videos were a great way to get people talking, but I wanted to connect in person. I thrive on human interaction.
When I’m confused and can’t see what is next on my path, I always ask God to send me clarity and confirmation. It can be as simple as seeing an inspirational quote on Instagram that speaks to my situation or finding $40 on a busy NYC street (yes, this has really happened to me). Regardless of the form in which God decides to send His message, I always listen and express my gratitude for the plan He has for my life. A couple of months ago, I was discouraged about the future of Don’t Die Afraid but after becoming an ambassador for AT&T’s #InspiredMobility I realized the importance of my message. My message truly is a catalyst for change and I need to own it!
Sometimes when we can’t find space for our unique talents, we feel pressured to place ourselves into boxes that don’t represent who we truly are. When participating in blogging surveys, I always felt uncomfortable because I didn’t fit into the pre-defined blogger categories of “Beauty, Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel, Food, Technology, or DIY.” I was forced to place a check next to “Other,” without any opportunity to write that I am an inspirational blogger.
Today I kicked off my week long birthday celebration by writing inspirational notes on brown paper bags for the homeless. #HashtagLunchbagDC is a non-profit that meets monthly to assemble sandwiches and package them with fruit and water inside of bags covered in love notes. When the lunches are complete, half are delivered to a shelter in D.C. and the remaining is distributed by volunteers who walk a mile from Gallery Place to McPherson Square giving them to anyone who wants one.
These lunches aren’t only nourishment, they are happiness. Every person I met during the distribution expressed their gratitude through words or a smile. Unbeknownst to them, I was equally as grateful for them allowing me to serve and bring an ounce of joy to their day.
Since high school, I’ve always wanted to share the stories of others in hopes that they will be an inspiration to my readers. That goal encouraged me to pursue journalism in college.
My friends insisted that I should not only focus on stories from other people but also share my story because there was power in it. For years I neglected to own my story until creating Don’t Die Afraid. Even after creating this space, I still disregarded the power of my story. Lately, I’ve been prancing in my truth. I am literally unstoppable. Whether it is, standing boldly in front of large audiences, sharing ounces of it through Twitter chats, or curating events with intimate small groups- I am taking advantage of every moment possible.
Months ago I had the pleasure of volunteering for The Naturalista Hair Show under the leadership of Angela M. Walker. I love volunteering at events because I enjoy helping the vision of others come to fruition. In contrast to attendees who only see the masterpiece, volunteers get to see all the working parts behind it. I observed the way Angela gave directions, addressed unexpected hiccups, and executed the event. Let me tell you, it looked effortless! Angela was calm the whole time; I had to find out what her secret was so I scheduled a lunch date with her.