Mother: Shepherd of my dreams


When I was young, I lived inside of my head. I would stay up all night, writing stories and drawing pictures till the sun came up the next morning. They were stories of fantasy and of heroes who were powerful and just. I felt at home inside of my head because in there I was never judged. The outside world made me feel inadequate and I was uncomfortable in my own skin. Being a bi-racial child, I struggled with my identity and never knew where I fit in. I was skinny, pimple faced and shy, so rather than socialize or play, I would often retreat to my room. There I would find my pen, pencil, paper and pad. There I would create a world of dreams. It was a world where I felt I belonged.

As a man, naturally the love and support of a woman is an important thing. The first woman to ever truly believe in me loved my drawings (or at least appreciated the effort behind them.) She encouraged me to keep writing when the world thought my stories were a waste of time and energy. Her name was Leona Grant, and she is my mother,

She is the shepherd of my dreams even till this day. A shepherd you see is responsible for the wellbeing of his or her heard. When the heard is walking towards green pastures, the shepherd would usher them along. When they started to drift towards dangerous predatory land, the shepherd would steer them away. If the herd is attacked by wolves, the shepherd would ward off the predators and defend the herd with his or her life if need be.

My mother always encouraged me to look inside myself for guidance, so that I would always strive for the greenest of pastures. When approaching the badlands of my life, she would advise me subtly to make the right decisions. Ultimately, when I eventually fell into the pack of wolves that were my bad choices, she was always there to rescue me, and continues to do so till this day.

Above all she encouraged me to embrace uniqueness. When the world wanted me to conform and become “ordinary” she pushed me to be “extraordinary.” Through her I learned the value of being different. To this day, when students of mine tell me “People think that I am strange,” I give them my favorite quote inspired by my mother:

“We are not strange. We are different, and different people are the ones that change the world.”

My mother taught me to love myself and to embrace my individuality. If it were not for her, a shy insecure kid would not have written this blog post for the world to see. I would not have the courage to pursue my passion of being a martial artist and life coach. I would not have traveled all over the world living a life that most naysayers would have called a “dream life.”

I did not write this blog because Mother’s Day is upon us. To me, every day is mother’s day because there isn’t one day that goes by that I am not grateful for her. I write this because mothers come in all forms, just as fathers do. We all have the ability to become the shepherd of someone else’s dreams. Through kind words and loving actions, we have the power to help others manifest their passions into reality. My mother taught me that.

I love you mom.