Don’t dim your sparkle
To blend into the shadows
Be your brightest star
Some days I wish I were normal. Mediocre. Average. Our world is designed for the average to flourish. But I’m very abnormal. And it’s hard. But I’d rather be myself than be miserable trying to be anything else.
So for all of you sparkly stars out there that are driving yourselves mad just to fight to fit into a group that will never truly understand you anyway, remember you— as you are — are your greatest gift to the world. Dare to be true to YOU!
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Plowing through hassles
I am capable and strong
I can accept help
Asking for help has been tough for me. In my life, historically, asking for or accepting an offer of assistance has always come with a string or two — a hidden tit for tat clause. I don’t like feeling like I owe someone something or that I’m always under their debt and control because I accepted a favor.
So I’d rather just do it myself. Even if it’s the hardest or most complicated path, I’d rather do it alone and know that I am free from anyone’s leashes or expectations. But I’m softening. I’m learning that there are genuine gifts. I’m learning that I don’t have to wear all hats and handle all tasks and manage all things. I’m learning that some wonderful gems are happy to help because it is their pleasure to assist — not because they’re making a downpayment on a future favor; not because they’re holding a pot of boiling water over your head until you repay the gesture; not because they feel entitled to your time, energy and submission.
I’m grateful to be surrounded by people that give and love and help for giving and loving and helping’s sake. As I look at my friend-circle, I see genuine support and care, not leverage or manipulation. I see it in my church. I see it in my GirlGang. This is God. Caring for your neighbors and never standing idly by watching them struggle to their feet. This is what it means to hold each other.
It is a beautiful gift to help others. It is a more humbling gift to accept help.
Cheers to the best friends and the most sincere care.
Things I used to hate
About myself are the things
I love most today.
In couples therapy, I learned that each day is a conscious decision to want to be with your partner. “I love you today. I want to be with you.” Taking that same theory with me, I started practicing that for myself, to myself. “Today, I love me. And I want to be me.” Now, I don’t want to be me everyday. But I do more often than I used to, and it took me years to get this far. 2019 will be another year of radical self-acceptance and self-love.
I’m not bipolar. I don’t have high highs and low lows.
I just have high highs and higher highs.
And that gives me a larger-than-average capacity to be active and create stuff. I don’t think it’s an illness but it is definitely an abnormality. I’m frequently misinterpreted.
I get a lot of microagressive comments like “ew just looking at you makes me tired.”
Or “just hearing that stresses me out.”
Or “Octavia you’re such an over achiever.”
Yeah maybe compared to you. Jerk.
Or my favorite, “You do TOO MUCH.”
No. I. Don’t.
But whatever. It works for me. I don’t do anything out of the ordinary for me. I am my normal.
And yes, I do sleep.
On the other side of that is all of the support and cheers and encouragement from my friends.
“Wow, you stay busy!”
Or “You’re doing what I always wanted to do.”
Or “I want to be you when I grow up.”
Look, I may not be rich or famous or even moderately debt free and I pretty much just barely pay all my bills and yes, I just cried this morning…
I’m living my best life and I am really truly and honestly so comfortable in my skin and in love with ME.
And if me being my best me helps you be your best you, then let’s do this life thing together, baby!
I’m Octavia. I’m an author, an artist, a cellist, a dancer, a mother, a speaker, the founder of Tavinda Media, the host of three podcasts, and I’m just getting started.
Follow all my stuff:
I recently wrote about my presentation at my church small group. Part of the expectation is not only to introduce our business but to also explain how that connects with our spirituality.
My business (which is kind of a secret right now, but I’ll introduce very soon!) is a “company” version of myself, but not limited to my own talents and products and brands. The beautiful thing about the model I’ll present is that there is always room for more creativity at the table — not just mine. I want to elevate others with similar platforms, too.
I nearly ran out of breath listing the sorts of products my company will offer — both entertainment and retail — not only because I was on a clock and I was talking very quickly, but also because of pure passion and excitement to put all of ME out there in a marketable way.
When someone in the group asked about my spirituality, I suddenly stalled. I had a hard time spitting out the words that were on my heart. But finally, I boldly went for it. “I feel like I’m called to redefine the face of Christianity,” I said. Wow. It felt weird enough saying it out loud then but it absolutely feels just as strange and fresh typing it here. I’ve actually been avoiding completing this post for a week just because I was afraid of this…confession.
It’s so jarring to me because it seems like a very heavy burden to carry: How could one person reroute what’s been ingrained for more than two thousand years? Well, with one little drop of me, being myself and doing what I was created to do. What if your greatest call to worship, your purest form of prayer, and your most genuine communication channel with The Divine was by simply being yourself?
What if your greatest call to worship, your purest form of prayer, and your most genuine communication channel with The Divine was by simply being yourself?
The Grand Canyon wasn’t formed over night. Maybe it was one tiny pebble that diverted trickling rain water just enough to make it into a river. And maybe every rainfall that river grew a little bit wider. And after millions of years of H2O molecules passing and leaving their tiny impressions, an enormously stunning landmark was carved into the earth.
Not one of those molecules said, “Today, I’m going to make The Grand Canyon.” No. Every molecule simply existed.
Water has been teaching me a lot over the past several months. I even referenced water in a Facebook live event I hosted, reading a piece of The Hibouleans and debuting the first track in The Hibouleans book score.
Skip to around 6:50 — water doesn’t strive for perfection. Water is gonna do what water is gonna do. The water doesn’t ask permission to be there. Water is. The journey I shared here was that I’m learning to accept (my)yourself in not only what (I)you do, but in each phase that (I)you do it.
So as I spoke to my spirituality, I offered this — that my faith is woven into every fiber of my company because I touch every grain of my company with my rawest most unfiltered gifts and talents. My quest to cultivate my passions and share them out of love and pure positive intent, not only shines my gratitude and adoration into those around me, but it is also a mirrored reflection of what is shone into me from The Divine.
I cannot separate my spirituality from my work. It is impossible to unbraid worship from my craft. Me being true to my gifts is my most authentic form of worship.
I don’t have a big conversion testimony. I can’t tell you the day Jesus saved me. I can’t tell you the moment I heard God speaking to me not from above but from within. But I can tell you that God speaks. God exists. God is love so great and abundant our humanness cannot even begin to quantify it.
I can also tell you that my faith is not a product — I’m not in the ministry “business.” But I do have a calling to be the sort of Christian that makes people reexamine spirituality, Christianity and truly living the way Jesus — and others — showed us: let everything you do come from a place of love. Not superiority. Not judgement. Not hatred. Not condemnation. There is no other to judge — only us.
You see, when you recognize offering yourself — your gifts, your skills, your excellence — as a form of worship, it eliminates all the mechanics of doing it right. You’re already doing it right! Another reason why I love praise dance, or just playing my cello for the pleasure of making a joyful noise: I’m eliminating the limitations of conscious planning; I’m circumventing the human process of articulating and opening a direct channel between myself and the heavenly plane. This meditative, hypnotic, trance-like state, I believe, is what prayer is. Prayer, perhaps isn’t an action, but a state of being.
…when you recognize offering yourself — your gifts, your skills, your excellence — as a form of worship, it eliminates all the mechanics of doing it right.
How many times have we all gotten caught up in interpretation and rules and words and how we might sound or look to other humans? Our worship isn’t for them — it is for above. And that gate deserves to be fully opened without fear of imperfection, shame, humiliation or ridicule.
You are a gift to the world. Shine through your positives and in doing so, you honor God, whatever you perceive God to be.
I can’t wait to introduce you to my new company! Coming in just a few more weeks. Stay tuned…