Live from the 6x5+3

You ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and feel that extra pep in your step? Where you feel like you have the juice to accomplish whatever the day throws your way? THAT’S what 33 feels like so far - peppered with a few good cries in black princess. Just 21 days into my new year, I'm learning so much and gaining more clarity than I’ve ever had - which happens to be October’s theme over at Oratory Glory.


Clarity. In our actions, beliefs, behaviors, and ultimately, through our communication. I think of it as what we find when we dance the complex line between transforming, becoming, and being. It’s the clues that lead us to the perfect balance in our lives. In that quest to get clear (and stay there), I’ve found myself embracing and leaning into three things that have made a world of difference.


1. Confidence.

Since my birthday, I’ve had this newfound sense of confidence. I literally trust and believe in myself and my purpose more than I ever have. There’s no doubt in my mind that my role in this lifetime is to help activate as many people as possible to own their voices in order to do what they love, with love. In knowing that, I understand that everything I do is bigger than me and that fires me up every day. As long as I’m contributing to the whole, I believe that I’ll always have everything I need to bring my visions, dreams, and ideas to life.


2. Creative Self-expression

Who are we if not our fully expressed selves? Last night I wrapped up my final session of ENTR100 this fall at Oberlin College and thought about all the creative freedom I’ve had in my entrepreneur-in-residence role. Free rein to design the course, connect with students, and develop programming that sparks creativity, leadership, and entrepreneurship on campus.


It’s been dope having a blank canvas to build and facilitate meaningful learning experiences for the next generation and because of it, I’ve been inspired to kick my creativity up a few notches as I’m working with my team on some dream projects we’re releasing next year. And I’ve also been super motivated to tap back into some of my passions like radio hosting, songwriting, and singing (beyond the shower). I’m learning to fully acknowledge that I feel the most free when I’m creating and that freedom is like clarity to the umpteenth power.


My COO, khoLi., said it best: “Allowing myself what I need for myself keeps me filled with purpose and possibility.”


3. Connectedness

While I have some incredible friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world, my free spirited lifestyle leads me on a lot of solo adventures. But over the last three weeks I’ve been constantly reminded of how important it is to share and make room for moments with the people who mean the most to me. At play, at work, in love, I asked myself - how can I be more connected?


So I started with the place I’ve been the most disconnected; my relationship with my mother. Our past is checkered with some painful memories and after more than three years of isolating myself from her to avoid and suppress them, I paid her a visit over the weekend.


I’ll never forget the look on her face when she showed up at the bus station and embraced me. Teary-eyed, proud and relieved. “I love you, Mommy.” -- the words flowed like I was 6 years old again.  I immediately reached for her hand and held it tight as we walked to her apartment. We didn’t talk about the past at all. There was no need to. Instead, we shared a home-cooked meal (lamb chops, mac & cheese, green beans and yams; ooouuu!) and focused on the present, a fresh start. It's never too late to let go and rebuild.


We’re in this crazy world together. Sometimes that’s easy to lose sight of but the reality is, we need each other. To live fully, to love fully, to make our greatest contributions - we need each other.

With the final months of the year among us and grand opportunities to raise the bar and step into who we’re supposed to be, what do you need to do to get clear?