Commemoration and Celebration
Written by Stephanie Renee on April 10, 2016
Last year, I was way too caught up. Doing what, you ask? I’m not even sure. I just know that it wasn’t hours or days. It was WEEKS before I realized it. Damn near a month.
How do you forget the anniversary of your own doggone nonprofit?
Last year’s faux pas was the beginning of an awareness that I was afflicted with a case of the Doing Too Much Syndrome. In addition to my facial scars (also a sign that something was/is out-of-whack with me), I realized that I was deep down the rabbit hole of self-neglect. And even worse, I was working way too hard to achieve slightly-better-than-average results. Far from feeling fulfilled by anything.
This is what software developers call a recalibration point. Your “thing” works. It’s adequate. Just not impressive or particularly enlightening. Merely functional. And while there is elder wisdom that says there is no need to reinvent the wheel, it is also vastly important that you not find yourself gazing out of the school bus window at your own life, happening. Letting milestones and big deals sneak up on you or, worse yet, pass you by, unacknowledged. Caught up in mindless breathing instead of being present in each and every moment.
I am not trying to be one of those people who would never remember a birthday or a great moment in time if it weren’t for Facebook notifications and memory posts. The way to not rest on past laurels is to keep creating new benchmarks and building on a greater vision. I have lived an amazing life which, thankfully, is still in the process of happening. Remembrances are great, but I’m grateful to have more time to continue creating them.
So, on April 10, I am gleefully celebrating the 14th Anniversary of Soul Sanctuary, my nonprofit arts foundation dedicated to the preservation and proliferation of positive urban culture. It is one of the crucial corner pieces that frame the jigsaw puzzle of who I am and what I was born to do. I may talk on the mic for a living, but what I sing into the mic, what I write, what I teach and how I preserve it for future generations is my life’s calling. It requires active participation and focus. Today, for tomorrow is not promised.
May you too take time to smell the flowers, blow out your candles, make a toast and keep climbing.