How a Poetry slam reminded me to live in the present!

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Living in the present seems like something everyone does so you wouldn’t really need to talk about it. For me though, the dreamer that I am, I tend to focus a lot on the future. My Strengthsfinder test results put “futuristic” as my number one strength. For some people you could instead be focusing too much on the past.

Last night I discovered that I’ve been missing out on a lot because of that. In my past, partying and drinking was the order of the day. Now that I don’t do that anymore I spend a lot of my non-work time reading, writing or watching videos online, mostly for self-development and spiritual growth. In essence nourishing my soul and working on my future. This means I’m always at home. I was quite content with that. But what it meant is I wasn’t living in the now.

Then a friend invited me to a poetry slam. The feeling I got watching first hand, artists giving me open access into their minds, into their hearts and into their souls, is unexplainable. Although it was brief access, for those few minutes for each poet, I got a chance to share in their story, to feel their pain, their joy, what they whispered out loud or shouted softly. Experiencing that made me feel alive and reminded me that being in the present matters. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, you learn by living. I’ve been learning but I’d forgotten to live.

As someone who’s been following the likes of Jannette…Ikz since discovering her a few months ago, I failed to see the amazing talent right here in my own home town of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Watching something online doesn’t compare to experiencing live the poets that have something to share and are willing to let us into their world, even for just a little bit.

As one poet shared his feelings about the need for racial unity and topped that with his love of Christ I wanted to freeze the moment to capture what I was feeling as goose bumps spread all over my body. Another poet brought me to tears as she expressed her feelings towards men who prey on young girls and use them for sex. At one point I wanted to jump and scream with excitement when one poet performed a ragga-rhythm centered piece that had the crowd in a frenzy when he was done. I wanted to take all the performers home with me and just watch them perform all day!

So my message today is that yes follow your dreams, develop yourself and work on your future BUT don’t forget to live in the present as well. There’s a lot you could be missing out on.

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