The most important thing in the world is to be who you really are.

You owe us that. The mask you wear—that normal, half-smiling, beer-drinking, weather-discussing, people-pleaser that you pretend to be—has been done before.

Show me your face.

Tell me a story of your idea. Paint me a picture of your craziness. Sing me a song of your inner world. I will not understand it, at first, but I will sit back and marvel at what has been brewing within you for all this time.

Don’t fuck with me. You are not regular. You are weird in all kinds of magnificent ways.

And that inspires me.

I do not want your lukewarm smile. I do not want your white bread words. I do not want to play patty-cake with your mediocrity.

Give me your claws or tears or blinding radiance.

Give me everything.

Show me your face.

A Mother and Her SonToday is my mom’s birthday. It’s only the second birthday she’s hasn’t had.

I’m still not over that. My eyes hurt and my expression turns sour when I think about it. But I’m getting better. It makes me happy to think that she lives on through me.

For example: last night I made plantain and eggs for my friends and family. They loved it like I used to love it on Sunday mornings when the aroma from the kitchen would sneak its way into my room and wake me up.

I made an effort to learn her secrets because she was the best, and that’s something I’m always striving to be.

She would host parties at the house, even if they were inconvenient and stressed her out. Everybody felt warm in her presence. And they loved her cooking. She knew that and couldn’t deny them her gifts. She would give and give and give because that’s what she was good at—and how could she deny giving the world her greatness?

I think about that and it inspires me.

What I am giving to the world? Is it my greatness? Is what I was put here to give?

I don’t always feel that it is…but when I do…in those moments of extreme presence and courage, when what I “should” do is supplanted by what I am, I feel her with me, even if it’s just my mind validating what I already know:

I give with every action, every thought, every word. My whole being is a gift—flaws, warts, awesomeness and all. Imperfect and perfect, everything I am is an idea working its way through me. And it’s not for me to judge, but to express, as naked and honest as possible.

And in a way…my gift to you, is her gift also.

Happy birthday.

I used to be a server in restaurants. I prided myself on my customer service and my ability to upsell unhealthy desserts.

The height of my career was when i graduated from a small mom n’ pop Italian joint to The Cheesecake Factory.

I had made it.

It was about 5 years into my career so I was a veteran then. I was way above the workplace drama of “Fuck that table, they didn’t tip me 15% and they asked for way too much ranch” and “Geez, Jessica is such a cokehead, she’s always in the bathroom and I have to run food for her tables.”

I was heavily into my Philosopher phase then. I would carry the Tao Te Ching in my apron and preach words of wisdom at any chance. When I would hear them bitch about tables, I would walk over and say something really profound like:

“Ask yourself how serving them ranch is like serving them love…”

One day, a new blonde server cut herself as she was slicing bread. Blood was squirting all over the cutting board and her freshly ironed apron.

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I spoke to an ex-lover last night.

Her eyes were large and curious and her smile was as crooked as it has always been.

She talked about stalking me on Facebook and we laughed about how so much has changed and yet we both still talk about sex more than is socially acceptable.

There was something sparked in me during the conversation.

I feel it when I get snot & tears vulnerable; I feel it when I’m with friends that knew me when I was chubby; I feel it when in the face of a beauty that I cannot reason.

I want to call it love but I am no expert.

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How juiced are you right now?

Seriously.

On a scale of 1 to FUCK YES, what level of passionate energy is pulsing through you in this moment?

We’ve all heard the self-help clichés. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and all that shit.

I mean, I love Gandhi but I can’t stand that quote. It’s just so cute. So cute that people love repeating it but don’t often have the balls to live it.

I want to know how alive you are. I want to feel it.

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There is something unique in you that only you know.

You’ve heard it, felt it, tasted it since childhood: a unique expression that seems strange and different, yet is entirely necessary.

It is creative, it is spiritual. And your job is purely to express it––fully.

The more you look away from the material world that you “see” and look inwards towards that thing, the more you desire to cultivate those special talents that have been given to you, the more courage you have to speak honestly and express your truth, the louder that restless voice inside you speaks, and the easier it will be for you to share your gift with the world.

Your “job” is simply to love and be passionate and create.

That’s it.

And in doing so, you inspire others to look within themselves and do the same.

Then, and only then, do we evolve as people.

That’s how we move the world forward. And that’s the kind of world I want to see.

Let us begin.

I tend to curse when I write with passions so please excuse me if these words offend your precious fucking eyes.

But I have to tell you something about you.

Yes, you.

You sit here and read these words and you think to yourself, “What does Obi know about me? You don’t know me, son!” with your head wagging and your finger snaps.

But the truth is, I do.

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focus apl american president lines obi okorougoI keep this pin near me while I work.

It belonged to my dad, and I found it in one of his old suitcases while I was reading letters written to him from friends and family and ex-girlfriends overseas.

Apparently, he was fast.

So fast that he came to the United States in the 70s to train for the Olympics. His goal was to represent Nigeria in track & field.

He was focused.

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I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge this morning. It was cold and foggy and my tank top was already damp with sweat, but I let my internal body heat do its work.

Near the entrance, a kid with huge eyes stopped me and asked if I could take his picture. He broke my rhythm and my face told no lies and so he said that he would have asked someone else but I was ‘the only one running.’ I obliged.

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LoveI’m on a mission of love.

(That may be the least cool or the most inspiring thing you’ve heard today, depending on what kind of a person you are.)

The Sharknado Red Volkswagen Jetta shall be my chariot; the sprawling coasts of California and Oregon and Washington and the unknown roads of Canadia shall be my trails.

This adventure will last 45 days, give or take a few moments.

The first question to be asked is usually, “Why?”

(Perhaps you have not asked why in your head but I will ask it for you.)

Why?

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