Women’s History Month is ending, but your journey to achieving greatness is not ending. For most of us, it is just the beginning. These five African diaspora women used spiritual secrets to catapult them into the lives of their dreams and we can do so too!
Secret 1 – Viola Davis tells us to DREAM BIG
“If you are not living a life bigger than yourself, then you’re not living a life at all.” -Viola Davis
Viola Davis was born in a one room sharecropper’s home in South Carolina that had no toilet or running water. Her family then moved to Rhode Island where she lived in abject poverty and dysfunction. Her alcoholic father beat her mother every day. A group of schoolboys would chase her and throw bricks and rocks at her while shouting,“We want to kill you, you ugly, black nigger.” Yet, she was able to overcome that background in order to become one of the greatest actors in the world. She became the first black woman to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. When asked how she did it – she replies “If you are not living a life bigger than yourself, then you’re not living a life at all.”
You must dream big and have amazing and extraordinary goals for yourself and your life. You must not look at what is, but imagine what could and shall be!
Secret 2 – Octavia Butler shows us that you must PUT YOUR BIG DREAMS IN WRITING
Octavia Butler was born as the only child of her mother who was a maid and her father who was a shoeshine man. Her father died when she was only seven so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. She consistently saw the horror of white supremacy as she would witness the wicked ways in which employers would treat her mother. As a child, she was shy and socially awkward and struggled with dyslexia. She thought of herself as “ugly and stupid, clumsy, and socially hopeless”. However, she would rise from such humble beginnings to become a best-selling science fiction writer and multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards and also received the MacArthur Fellowship which is also known as “The Genius Grant”. How did she do it?
Of course she worked very hard! But she also dreamed big and put those dreams in writing. See her notes below. She wrote her life into existence. You can too!
Secret 3 – Michaela DePrince shows us that we must VIVIDLY IMAGINE OUR DREAMS
Born as Mabinty Bangura in Sierra Leone, she was brought to an orphanage by her uncle. According to the orphanage, Michaela DePrince’s father was shot by rebels during the civil war and her mother starved to death. In the orphanage, peers teased her incessantly by calling her “the devil’s child” because of the white patches on her skin due to her vitiligo. How on earth could someone in that position become a wildly successful dancer for the Dutch National Ballet?
Of course she has spent countless hours honing her craft. But from a spiritual perspective, she vividly imagined her big dream of becoming a ballerina. While at the orphanage, she fixated on an image of a ballerina who looked soo happy and then vividly imagined herself becoming one. She kept the image. Later, she would be adopted by a family in NJ and she showed her adoptive mother the ballerina image. Her adoptive mother put her in ballet class and the rest is history. Are you vividly imagining your big dreams?
Secret 4 – Adenah Bayoh tells us that YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOME CONTROL
“I learned that becoming a victim in difficult circumstances is a choice and that it was not going to be my choice.”
Adenah Bayoh was only eight years old when she had to move to a refugee camp because of the civil war in her homeland of Liberia. She would immigrate to the United States at the age of 13. However in a little over a decade, she went from struggling refugee to wealthy entrepreneur. Adenah is the founder and CEO of Adenah Bayoh and Companies, which is the parent corporation that owns IHOP franchises in Paterson and Irvington, New Jersey and a real estate development portfolio with over $225 million in urban redevelopment projects. Because of the success of her flagship IHOP in Irvington, she is the second largest employer in the Township. Next year, Adenah will launch Cornbread, her signature line of fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurants. How on earth did she do it?
Of course she studied! Of course she worked hard! Of course she sacrificed! But from a spiritual vantage point she credits her success with her ability to never cede control. She says, “I learned that becoming a victim in difficult circumstances is a choice and that it was not going to be my choice.” In life, it is easy to play victim. It is harder and more rewarding to play victor and to recognize that you always have some control. Regardless of what happens you always have control of something. You always control your attitude, at the very least.
Secret 5 – Oprah Winfrey tells us to CALM DOWN BECAUSE IT ALWAYS WORKS FOR THE GOOD
“There are no mistakes” – Oprah Winfrey
On your journey towards your most amazing and extraordinary life. There will be hiccups. There will be tough times and sometimes you will think to yourself, “I really messed up big time”. But Mama Oprah will tell you that there is no need to beat yourself up because there are many roads to greatness. There are no mistakes or accidents. It all works for the good. It all leads to the same path or supreme destiny. Oprah would know. She grew up in poverty and her grandmother used to advise her to pay attention when the grandmother was washing clothes because the grandmother believed that Oprah would also become a maid. Oprah experienced sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, and other trauma. However she rose to become one of the wealthiest and most influential human beings on the planet!!! Don’t get flustered in the day to day. You will be okay! Hear it directly from Mama Oprah below!
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By: Ama Karikari-Yawson Esq., Author of Sunne’s Gift and Founder of Milestales Publishing and Education Consulting. Purchase Sunne’s Gift at http://www.amazon.com/Sunnes-Gift-Overcame-Bullying-Reclaim/dp/0991480805/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.
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