Thanking Out Loud.

Gratitude is not overrated.

I’d like to kick off this follow-up article with a massive thank you to everyone for the response to my last one. To say the least, I was not expecting or emotionally prepared for that amount of love. Whether you commented publicly or privately, know that it touched my heart and I take none of those messages for granted. My life has seriously taken off in unforeseen directions and I can honestly say I’m struggling to keep up with its new pace. That aside, the blessing in it is that every opportunity has been something I take pride in putting all of my hours into.

And that’s a perfect segue into the rest of what I have to say.

Last month I performed at Toronto’s Luminato festival with the Awaaz Ensemble and we had a discussion about our future life plans. After I gave my answer, someone spoke up and said:

“Sometimes you need to sit back, look at what you’re doing, and ask yourself why. Ask yourself what it’s all for. Why you’re here.”

Amidst these new opportunities I’ve found myself taking on, all my mind focuses on is doing. Running to this meeting, this rehearsal, this phone call, this photo shoot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all so freaking cool. That being said, at the end of the day I’m so exhausted that I pass out, wake up, and repeat. Getting so caught up in doing, I forget about being.

These interim life check-ins are becoming incredibly important. Checking in to see, re-evaluate, and question why I’m doing the things I’m doing. Why I’m maintaining the relationships I’m maintaining. Why every time I see something happening of enough importance, I’m compelled to pull out my phone and post it as opposed to enjoying it in real time. Legit, what’s up with that?

Thanking my lucky stars for what I already have is a huge aspect of the check-in process. Of all the countries I could have been born in, I got Canada. Of all the human beings who could have been my parents, I got two people who were exceptions to their cultural/traditional rules and raised me with a level of understanding of the world that I couldn’t imagine not having. Of all the people I’ve met in my life, I got the best of the best. Whether they were in my life for 2 years or 2 months, each of them shaped me and remain an important part of who I am.

It has become abundantly clear to me that these blessings weren’t given to me just to be there. That’s why in everything I do, I seek to give back. Somehow, somewhere, I feel it my duty to use the fullest extent of my skillset to contribute to the positive development of humanity. Part and parcel with that comes refining my abilities so that my contributions only grow in value. If I’m not feeling thankful and affirming the positive aspects of my life, I point blank remove my capability to deliver.

So here’s my point. People keep fixating on what they don’t want, and then wonder why that’s all they’re getting. They only talk about what’s going wrong and I often find myself wondering why. Then there’s the attempt to pass it off as realism as if I can’t tell that it’s dissatisfaction and faithlessness. I look at these same people and see beauty. I see potential, I see light, and I see love. I can see who they were before they had their heart broken and were made to feel pain and who they’ve grown into as a result.

You know, you’re probably much more than you’re giving yourself credit for. Every hardship you faced, you got through out of the sheer strength of your will. You healed from every heartbreak, every loss. You experienced blessings in many different forms, some of which you outright rejected because you didn’t believe yourself to be worthy.

Remember that you have been the cause of someone’s smile, someone’s joy, and someone’s pride. You have been a support system for those who needed you and you’ve been a true inspiration whether or not you were made aware of it.

Once you start to feel a sense of importance within yourself, something about your personal power is going to change. And with that, I’ll leave you to figure out exactly what that entails.

For those of you who asked, yes, I have 2 investment portfolios and I actively play the market. And yes, it’s as stressful as it is enjoyable.

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