It's probably not surprising that Oprah's Master Class series is among my TV faves. In this past week's episode, the beautiful (inside & out) and brilliantly talented Cicely Tyson was in the spotlight. When I learned this special presentation was airing, I was uber excited, as I knew she was going to dish up some yummy nuggets to ponder.
I was first introduced to Miss Tyson's work as a child when my mom, who was a diehard fan, encouraged us to watch "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," originally a 1971 novel. I remember being mesmerized by her performance; especially the scene where she takes that slow and steady walk, as a fragile, elderly woman, to drink from the "Whites Only" fountain (she shared some of the details about how she embodied that character). I've followed most of her performances over the years.
As I watched & listened to her share some of the delicious morsels about her life, I was once again mesmerized, particularly because I learned that she is now 80 years old. Look at her in the videos below, I mean really, this woman is 80 years old. Yeah, she's wearing makeup, but look at her, she is 80 years old . . . beautiful, simply beautiful!
I was inspired by her lovely & energetic presence, & I was deeply touched by her story & the way she shared it. For example, I learned that Ms. Tyson only took on acting roles aligned with her values; she used her career as a platform. She never took on a role just for money. She said, "I could not do anything that would not enhance humanity, especially women." That's something to think about, huh?
She was a typist before becoming a model & actress; she knew there was more for her. Once on the modeling & then acting path, she passionately pushed forward even though her mother did not approve of her decision. Her mother thought this path was indecent, that she would make a fool of herself. This all changed after her sister brought their mother to one of Cicely's performances where she witnessed firsthand her talent and how well she was received by the audience.
HOW MANY OF US HAVE EITHER HEARD OR WAS TOLD
THAT SOMEONE'S WELL-MEANING, PARENT SAID,
"WHY DON'T YOU GO OUT & GET A REAL JOB"?
Ms. Tyson fully embraced her gift, she didn't give in and today, she's created a body of work that she's not only proud of, but one that has impacted the lives of many in a positive way. Once we're clear about our gifts (we all have 'em) & what we're here to contribute, it behooves us not to waste time & get on with our life's work.
Learning to listen to our unique inner voice is imperative if we desire a life lived on purpose, with purpose. It's much easier to listen to the opinions and counsel from others, who, again, mean well, but we pay a price for that. It's like enduring a slow death, as we numb into dissatisfaction, accept the status quo and settle into mediocrity. Going through the motions is unacceptable in a culture with so many possibilities & opportunities, possibilities and opportunities that perhaps our parents and/or grandparents and generations prior simply did not have. We've got to change that tape playing in our own heads and stop trying to change it in our parents' and grandparent's heads. Show them with passionate commitment, willingness and persistence what we're here to do.
Kick that old way of thinking about work to the curb. Don't compromise your happiness because you're scared. There are so many creative ways to get on with your life's work, the first step is answering that call that you've been suppressing for months, years, decades. It's never too late to begin, start right where you are.
None of us, when our lives are coming to a close, want to have Regret #1 in Bronnie Ware's book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Listen to YOUR intuition/instinct, your unique inner voice, stop wasting time &
start doing what you love!
Aspiring Sage, Creative Maven, Fancier of Books, Guardian of Student Experiences, Inner Explorer, Lover of Living & Learning, Partisan of Play, Princess of Joy, Purveyor of Possibility, Vibrational Recalibrator.