“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
OMG! Your hair looks so good.
That was the start of my Monday morning this week.
No, I hadn’t perfected my twist out; I had noticed one of my colleagues rocking her hair in it’s natural state with mini twists.
I’ve worked with her for almost six years and the entire time she’s always worn weave or hair extensions.
When I started working with her, my hair was natural but I always wore my hair straight. Two years years ago however, I stopped straightening my hair and began wearing it in its natural curly state.
As long as I’ve worked with her, my colleague has always commented on my hair and we’re always complementing each other on our outfit choice for the day.
She would always say that she’d love to “go natural” but that her African hair was “too hard and kinky”. I would always encourage her and say that was just what she had been conditioned to think.
Anyway, back to Monday morning.
I asked my colleague what inspired her choice to start wearing her hair in it’s natural state and she responded, you did.
I did? Wow!
I had a grin from ear to ear.
I still consider myself to be a natural newbie, and a pretty lazy one at that, so the idea that my hair journey had inspired another black women to embrace her natural beauty and challenge the stereotypes about African hair made me so happy.
So I thought what a great start to a Monday morning.
But it didn’t stop there.
One of my closest friends messaged me to ask me about the restricted diet I’ve been following for the past 9 months.
I’ve been following an almost vegan diet for the past 8 years or so, but due to a severe skin reaction back in October, I was advised to completely change my diet – eliminating wheat, soya, yeast and most importantly sugar.
My friend has been following my progress but on Saturday he told me that he had never seen my skin look so clear.
In his message he told me that I had inspired him to begin eliminating sugar and processed food from his diet. He asked me lots of questions about what he could and couldn’t eat, and I was happy to share my knowledge from my own experience with him.
After lunch, I received a message from another friend asking if I was free to speak after work as she had an idea to run by me.
I called her later that evening and it turned out she wants to start a blog but has no idea how to go about it. She passionately shared her motivation for starting her own blog and then said, to be honest Lea, you inspired me to do this.
Have you noticed a recurring theme?
I inspire people.
In my last few blog posts, I have referred a lot to the funk I’ve been experiencing since the start of the year.
I have been focusing on my fears and what I felt was missing from my life and as a result I’ve completely forgotten my unique gifts and the contribution I make to the people in my life.
I want to inspire people, that is one of my core aims and values in life.
But I always think some day, I want what I do to inspire others.
The truth is, I already inspire so many people. And the more authentic I am and the more I share, the more people I inspire every day.
We live in a society that is obsessed with fame and celebrity status which makes it easy to forget that the little things we do every day are making a positive difference to someone in our life, even if we’re not aware of it.
So whatever it is you’re dreaming of doing one day, some day in the future, I’ll bet you’re probably already doing it all the time, you just take it for granted because it comes so natural to you.
And if you’re anything like me, you don’t see yourself as anyone unique or special and therefore you’re constantly discounting your gifts and talents.
But, as cliche as it sounds, we are unique and special and it’s time we acknowledge and embrace what we each bring to the world and stop playing small.
I have shared the following quote by Marianne Williamson before, but I feel moved to share it again today.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Let me repeat that line again.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
So, go shine your light and share your gifts with the world.
Sharing is Caring
What natural gifts and talents are you discounting?