Weekly Tip #6: Do Your Duty

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These Weekly Tips are a reflective elaboration from my speech at the 2016 Muslim Women’s Literary Conference: “Just Let Me Bee: Finding Your Creative Niche”

When the bee does a job, she does it fully. She also recognizes that she will have different jobs at different stages. What would happen if the bees didn’t do their jobs? The world depends on them, just like whoever is around us depends on us. The world is depending on us too…to share our gifts and creative talents. You are here for a reason in the Divine Plan of things. Focus on cultivating your potential. Bees only work on one type of flower at a time. They don’t move to another type of flower until their work is done. I know sometimes life happens. I’m not going to stand here and pretend that I have it all worked out or that I write every time that I am motivated or inspired to. A lot of times I jot down notes and keep on moving with the mundane things I must do every day. But don’t let the worldly works that we must do stop you from reaching for the goals that you hold in your heart. If you know your calling, make time for it. The universe will thank you. The universe is waiting for you.

For me personally, I know I’m supposed to write. However, if I can’t find the time to write, then I read. They go hand-in-hand. If I can’t actually literally sit down with a regular book, then I pick up an audiobook and get the info that way. When I can’t even read, I “people watch” to inform my characters. The point is…make a regular appointment with yourself to do something that will help you actualize your goals in the creative world whether its daily or weekly. And be flexible with your creative pursuits in that appointment time because as we all know, life doesn’t quite go to our human plans. But we have to be ready to seize the opportunity and blessing of life and time, and be creative with whatever time and space we are granted for our own pursuits. Become literate in various forms of human expression to teach others. That means also getting to know people outside of your personal bubble and comfort zone. By investing in ourselves and growing ourselves, we become more approachable and more able to connect to others. The best teacher is the best learner, and vice-versa.

The bees know that there is a season for everything. Bees do not leave the nest when they are first born to go forage for flowers. They start with housekeeping and cleaning, protecting, and sealing their home. They then move on to mothering, nursing, and babysitting the young bees. They then graduate to working for the queen directly.  Then they become nectar collectors. As they get older and stronger, they turn to guarding the hive, and then finally, at the end of their lives, in their maturity, they work out in the field with the flowers. We humans seem to want the flower so early in life, but we must work towards it. We look down on certain jobs and want instant gratification. But what is the point of bringing back nectar or pollen to an unkept home? Housekeeping is important. Parenting and nurturing is important. Learning from the CEO is important. There is a time and place for everything. We must learn and then graduate to tackle the bigger, worldly tasks.

But do look outside the window of your your hive to find your flower goal. And then develop an action plan to work on that flower. When it is finally time to work on that flower, you work it and perfect your work in it. Then you have a choice: stick to that flower or set a new goal for mastering another job (be it flower foraging or meadow conquering). Only you can decide this. But do be patient with yourself and your seasons. Read the signs around you like the bees do. Then do what you know you must do–what you wouldn’t give up for a million dollars. What makes you breathe? What makes your heart thump? Do your duty. The one that keeps food on the table, a roof over your head, and clothes on your back so that you can actually survive. Then do you duty again–the one you were created for in order to shine and thrive–that goal you have in mind. Do you this New Year! Have a blessed 2018!

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