“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 

Maya Angelou

Five years ago, a story found me that has not let me go. It has pulled me into research across four hundred years of history, and thirteen generations of my family tree.

It has uprooted what I thought I knew about myself, and the history of my nation. It has challenged me to change how I show up in my life.

I’ve written and written, read and read, listened to learn beyond my own point of view. I’ve surrendered to where the story is taking me, into new collaborations, actions, and beliefs. I’ve surrendered to show up for it, every day.

I agree with Maya Angelou: there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

It’s a beautiful agony, and a necessary one. I need such a tension to get out of my own way, to push past my fears and resistance, to birth something creative into the world that is unlike anything I’ve written before.

Without this tension, I’d keep my story locked away where it’s always safe. Or I’d keep working on drafts and researching forever, never taking the necessary steps to complete what I’ve started and offer it to readers.

It feels like there is always something more important than writing your truth. The work folks pay you to do. The work folks expect you to do. The work folks ask you to do.

But inside, when there is a story untold, only you hear its call. Only you feel the agony of ignoring it. Only you hold the power to give it what it needs to grow.

I commit to courageous creativity.

I started writing this book five years ago, believing it would be at least a five-year project.

The racial violence and deepening systemic inequities of the past years make it even more urgent that I honor that timeline and make this book happen now.

By the end of this school year, I aim to have something to share.

That’s my goal.

It’s a long view, on a long work.

I can’t die with this story unwritten. I can’t live with it unwritten, either.

Come what may in 2021-2022. I will keep my commitment to courageous creativity.  Courageous creativity in how I write, in how I serve schools, and how I collaborate for a better world.

Some Questions for Reflection

  • What is a your priority intention in this school year?
  • What conditions do you cultivate to support your success?
  • How do you nurture courage in your life?
  • How do you nurture your creativity?

If you are feeling courageous, please share a reflection in the comments below. I appreciate it.

I am a keynote speaker, author and educational leader helping educators teach and lead for equitable schools. My books include EL Excellence Every Day, Breaking Down the Wall & Opening Doors to Equity. I'm a descendant of colonizers and enslavers deeply committed to transforming my family legacy for healing.

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