‘There is the life we live, and there is the unlived life within us. And between them is the Resistance’
You may call it fear. You may call it negative thinking. You may call it the devil.
Whatever it is – it’s that thing that stops us from living the life we want to lead.
From advancing our spiritual, physical and creative state.
It’s what stops a singer from singing. A writer from publishing. An actor from performing. An entrepreneur from starting a business.
I’ve known Khafi for over two years and in that time we’ve shared many conversations on creative suffering. The struggle to write. The struggle to publish.
The struggle to live the life within.
So when I got the message that she was publishing her first book I was delighted.
Often when I see someone do something that I want to do, feelings of envy and unhappiness emerge. I feel inadequate in their presence.
This happened slightly, yet the overwhelming feeling was one of joy. It was like seeing a fellow slave break free from the plantation. Yes I was still enslaved as I wasn’t expressing myself in writing – but there is hope. It is possible.
Going to the event I wasn’t expecting anything. Knowing Khafi and the effervescent personality she is however, I thought there’d be something interesting up her sleeve. And that inkling was confirmed.
When she opened up with singing it was like angels calling. The tone was set – this was not going to be any old book launch.
Action Jackson as the host for the night was a perfect fit. I’ve crossed paths with him many a time. He’s one of those people that you feel momentum just being around. He’s moving and he wants you to move too.
‘Everyone Smiles in the Same Language’ and ‘Don’t Accept The Poo’ were the first readings. Smiling I got… I did not think shit would be on the agenda. Shhhhiiiiiiiiitttt was very appropriate.
It’s what my genius had been mired in.
The bullshit stories of starting tomorrow. I’m not good enough. I don’t know what I’m doing. Nobody cares. I’ve lost my mojo. I haven’t wrote in months and mon…
Don’t accept that! Looking around the room I saw kindred spirits. Dreams deferred. The Resistance swarming over the magnificent creative armies.
The night continued and I got a paperclip to play the networking game. I met a couple of inspirational characters in Emmanuel and Samson. Holy warriors joining the fight with laughter and empowerment.
By the time the greatest storyteller Alim Kamara got on stage to tell a tale of the shrieking donkey that wouldn’t stop howling I was lit. Everyday I’ve thought about creating. The howling never went away.
No matter what I did… it was calling to me…
After this there was a Q&A with Khafi and Action Jackson. When Khafi said the message for tonight was that anyone can do it, he wasn’t buying that! And I liked that, because as he explained it was the example.
What you’ve done and are doing….that’s the real message.
And then she proceeded to break out in 5 languages…show and prove baby!
By the end of the night the question was not if I would create….it was when. Reading the book on the way home I was buzzing. Yet there was a warning sign.
‘Beware of unused inspiration’
Khafi received many gifts tonight. The gifts of friendship. The gift of love. The gifts of book purchases! (Thank you Mrs Ogunyemi!)
Yet she gave us the greatest gift. And that is the gift that any artist can give to another – to serve as an inspiration through their creations.
Through living that life that was within her.
Darkness is the absence of light. She is the light. So use it.
You don’t have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.
And you are the greatest when you can restart.
So shake it off and step up
A Quarter Centenarian’s Guide to the Galaxy will be released on the 30th of November 2015 and will be available to order from Amazon.co.uk. For updates on the book follow Khafi Kareem at @KhafiKareem on twitter and like the facebook page -www.facebook.com/25by25book