My Deepest Fear…

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

I am sitting here at the library and thinking to myself, I can’t lie to myself anymore. I am absolutely tired of it. I can’t pretend anymore that I don’t see streets paved with Gold (on this earth mind you) on which my feet will soon walk on… I can’t pretend anymore that I am nothing special. I can’t lie to myself anymore that I don’t have something to offer the world…that I am not needed here. That I have nothing to contribute.

And the greatest fear of mine is to live up to this truth of my uniqueness. There is a spark that has been deposited in me by my Maker, a light that is not meant to be hidden under a bushel. My fear is coming to terms with the reality that I have a voice the angels in Heaven envy, the kind of voice that mountains are more than willing to echo. My fear is being able to stand up confidently in front of the thousands of people I see before me, and being able to believe them when they tell me that they are here to hear what I have to say….

And I have to say, at this moment, I have to try and sniffle as hard as I can to prevent this drop of tear developing in the corner of my eyes from falling down…I’ll excuse myself after I finish writing this!

My greatest fear is owning up to the fact that there is absolutely nothing ordinary about me. And I am sitting here at the library, thinking to myself, “why did it take this long?”

Why did it take this long, to realize that “my playing small does not serve the world.“, that “there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around me.

And so, today I let those fears go….

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

This is in the spirit of the lessons I’ve learned through my LeaderShape experience, coupled with a lot of self-reflection, especially over the past month. I started keeping a Gratitude Journal at the beginning of this month, and I was stupefied as to how much of life I actually missed before now…the simple little things we count as insignificant! Like the smile of a child, the hellos said by strangers, the fact that someone said “thank you” for something you did for them, laughter, music, poetry, running in the rain, the fact that I had something to bite on, the fact that I was able to run, and catch the bus before it passed by me….

And today, just in the space of 12 hours…I received two news that reminded me that there is something in me that others see, which I’ve refused to see for a long time.

One: One of my poems, which I wrote as a memorial for the victims of the Dana Air Crash that happened on June 3rd in Lagos, (my country) Nigeria, was selected to be included in an Anthology meant to commemorate Dana Airlines Flight 9J-992 from Abuja to Lagos, Sunday June 3, 2012.

Two: The mid-course evaluation of my Philosophy Professor, who at the end of his helpful comments wrote: “Keep up the overall consistently strong work” This is a very challenging class, as a boatload of work has to be done over a period of 5 weeks. Gruesome to say the least! And so far, I’m in the A minus range, and it might stay that way if I, according to my Professor again, continue to “keep up the good work in class!”

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. – Marianne Williamson

As for me, I am done with being fearful of how awesome I am…

MEPHOBIA: Fear of becoming so awesome that the human race can’t handle it, and everyone dies.

…And I give you permission to go do the same.

Life is too beautiful not to dream. This is the purpose of this blog, to document those dreams, and the deeds that are being done as I journey to achieve them. However, I am interested in not only documenting mine, but others’ as well…which leads us all to the next chapter of this journey.

More about that soon….

In the meantime,

If your heart turns blue, I want you to remember
This song is for you, and you are full of wonder

What A Daredevil’s Taught Me About Dreams.

– 11:50 PM

I am not in bed, as I should be. I actually really was, but then I woke up. I just can’t go to bed without saying something (and I’ve said a lot) about the magnificence of the day. Let me show you a glimpse…

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, you will in a minute! This amazing story that will forever go down in history happened just a few hours ago! And, I just thought I should write something down to preserve the freshness, for as long as this inspiring coffee is still brewing within my soul. At least to create some sort of permanence before we move on to the next big thing (don’t we always?)

This post is by all means related to the last post I wrote about possibility. It is as Art, and it is endless. Read here —> It is that same spirit of possibility that this daredevil, Nik Wallenda, exudes when he decides to walk across the Niagara Falls on a rope – 1800 feet from American terrain, crossing over to Canada. Which he did! Might I add, in 25 minutes! The first man in world history to do that! – cross directly over Niagara Falls, on a highwire! I mean, look at the guy! Just watch as he makes his strides towards the finish line:

He defied the odds! He’s living completely in that realm of absolute possibility. His next mission, which he said he already got the permit for, is to do the same defying walk, but this time across the Grand Canyon. Yes, the Grand Canyon! And then, what?

One of my friends called me, while watching him as he moved closer to the finish, and said “That’s something you would do, Ayo”. And I replied him, I’m not that crazy. The guy is definitely my hero! I’m far from a daredevil, but I’ve been known to do stuff that seems daring to my mates…simple things like jumping over stuff, parkour-ish. Nothing much, but they always scream though, well especially my good friend who called. He screams like a girl too (Sorry Idee, love you man!) But man, I am really short of words.

Now, I did make a promise in the About page that everything I post here will have something to do with my experience at LeaderShape, and so far so good. You probably are wondering how this relates, but I’ll show you in a minute. Like I said, this ties to what I talked about on the last post – the art of possibility…and interestingly enough, on Day 3 of LeaderShape, the theme was “Challenging What Is, Looking to What Could Be”. It screams of the glorious nature of the world of possibility. Here is a quote I found in my LeaderShape manual:

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. – Patanjali

Such is the promise that is made in this world of possibility. It is indeed a new, great and wonderful world. There are no barriers. What really amazed me about Nik was that, being aware of the fact that there were definitely going to be challenges to deal with, for example the mist, the roars of the waters below, the loneliness he’s prone to feel while he’s on the rope in the middle of an expanse of water, fear possibly of the likelihood of failing, the wetness of the rope which might cause a slip; he remained calm and he proclaimed that being on the rope was to him “a blessing”, “an opportunity”.

This world of possibility begins with the pronouncement of these words, reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr, “I have a dream”. And for two years, he fought against comments that tried to discouraged him. Officials who were supposed to be responsible for handing him a permit bluntly denied with comments like: “Not in this lifetime”, but he kept fighting, and still did not give up his dream! He has this to say, and I quote him loosely:

“People say I’m insane all the time, but they don’t get it, I love what I do”

His goal was to inspire others to dream, and not give up. And that, he’s certainly done!

On Day 3 of LeaderShape, we learned about the key dynamics of a powerful vision, which are:

It is vivid – something pretty clear

It is challenging – pretty much speaks for itself doesn’t it? Tough! Not easy!

It’s service directed – it’s a selfless act, for others.

It is expandable – it is something that can be built upon

It is compelling – there is no way you’ll be able stop people from talking about it! It resonates.

And if you analyze Nik’s vision, it certainly encompasses each of these key dynamics. I’ll end with this:

It’s tough and challenging, but we can all start to #WalkTheWire…one step at a time. Like he said, the first step is very very essential. It’s pretty much all that matters!

Culled from Wikipedia: As he was taking his first steps over the water he told reporters “It’s a beautiful view… A dream in the making.”

…Something he’s been dreaming about, like most of us,…since he was young (20 years to be exact!)

– 1:00 AM