“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear. I mean really, no fear.”- Nina Simone
My knees buckled as I raised my leg to mount the snarling beast. Placing my hands on the shoulders of the man sitting in front of me, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I opened my eyes and looked down, casting all of my fears into the grass field below us. Then, facing out towards the road across from us, as cars and motorcycles traversed rhythmically, the engine revved and we started moving.
The ride was smooth. We drove around in large circles for a bit, then headed out to the street.
Finally relaxed, triumphant, actually, I loosened my shoulders a bit. ‘C’omme t’appelle tu? I asked him, scanning my brain for all the French I could remember from the French class I failed in freshmen year.
After my motorcycle ride, I bought some amazing clothes and accessories, ate good food and had good drinks. The beach was jam packed on a Sunday evening.
I had many beautiful experiences in Togo, West Africa that signaled growth and elevated vibrations of trust within my creative endeavors. Lome, the capital city, is filled with charming hues, elegant architecture and creative entrepreneurs. There is so much artistry in Togo’s everyday life. If I had a dollar for every time I saw an elegantly dressed woman on a motorcycle, I would be rich. As a creator, I was nourished by this environment. The national language is French, and many people speak a dialect of the Ewe language and 30+ other native tongues. One of the people I was traveling with, a native Ghanaian, is of the Ewe so we were able to communicate with people better, seeing as though neither of us spoke much French. I will definitely polish up my French and learn some Ewe for my next visit.
I stayed at the ‘Bar Orlane’, a vibrant hotel with a beautiful outside lounge on the bottom floor of the space. The feel of the place was rich and culturally diverse. I was surprised to hear Spanish music playing during my first night there.
I have many irrational fears that I am in the process of overcoming. I cannot put my finger on exactly why I was afraid to ride motorcycles, nor can I tell you when it began. What is of utmost importance is that I faced my fear; I became stronger and more rooted in my strength as a result. I put my trust in the driver, a friend of a friend whose kindness I felt beyond words. We did not share any languages so I could not communicate with him extensively but we still managed to build connection.
Most of the people I met in Togo were extremely nice to me, even though we did not speak the same language. It reminded me just how connected we are as seeds of the African Diaspora and human beings.
Experiencing the friendliness of Togolese people beyond language barriers and facing my fear of riding motorcycles, has inspired me to harness my creative passions with a ferocious fearlessness. Once we allow ourselves to see, understand and reject fear, we conjure up a liberation that transcends the physical and catalyses a journey of fulfilling purpose. In turn, we are inspired to be fearless in the pursuit of our endeavors, whether it be our passion projects, writing, or any entrepreneurial endeavors.
Through this visit to Togo, I was inspired to take risks, step outside my comfort zone and grow by doing. When we say no to fear, we proclaim that we will be successful regardless any obstacle that may comes in your way. It means we know we will keep going, and that makes us unstoppable . So, whether this leap manifests as taking a ride on a motorcycle, zip-lining through a forest, or starting one’s own business, we are empowering ourselves to build a future reflects our most intimate passions and highest selves. Say yes to breaking down barriers between your aspirations and reality. Now, you can manifest your passions. Are you ready to get to work?