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”
Dance out of joy. Do a joy jot, as Anse Tamara would say! If you can’t physically dance, can you dance with your pen? your voice? your heart? The bee’s dance points to the good. The bee is never too busy to share or care or communicate with her hive–her community. Her success is shared. Her success doesn’t diminish anyone else’s. She wants her community to also be successful and tells everyone where she has found flowers. Her success is everyone’s success. Her dance is infectious and causes the party to start! She gets everyone on the dance floor! She directs everyone to the flowers. “The one who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer.” [Muslim]
The Quran is like rain for the heart…it makes our hearts and souls grow, heal, come alive, and be fruitful. Likewise, our words can be like rain for others that points them to the Qur’an…points them to the sky above and to Allah. We have to become pollinators like the bee. And though some might feel that they are allergic to our writing…our songs…our dances…that’s simply not our problem. It’s not for us to sway hearts but to show gratitude to Allah by using our gifts in the best of ways. And one of the best ways we can do this is in inviting to Allah—and not just to people of other faiths but those within our own faith.
The wisdom of a truly great dancer though is the ability to change her steps based on her dance partner and based on the rhythm of the music. Sometimes we must change our rhythm so that others may follow. Sometimes our seven-step-wonder must become a two-step so that others won’t be too intimidated to join us on the dance floor. Once they are on the floor, eventually they will get your seven-step routine, inshAllah.
Some people will not approach the Qur’an on their own. Sometimes there needs to be a medium…a buzzing reminder–that’s where you come in…with your dance! Bees do a dance to point other bees to the flowers they’ve found. We have to also dance and point people to What and Who we’ve found: Allah and His Messengers. And all of the blessed flowers of wisdom, talent, and skill that we’ve gathered along the way.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to “dance” in public and share your joy, talent, and skill–it is a mark of gratitude. The wisdom of dancing in public and not just privately is to proclaim the blessings of your Lord and direct others to harvest their own blessings so that they will also hit the dance floor, doing their own dance number of pure joy and gratitude, that will undoubtedly infect and encourage others to find the flowers and also hit the dance floor. Dance on, dear readers, in the best and most appropriate of ways! Don’t be a wallflower–be a bee!