It is said that if you want to be a great writer, you should study great writers. The same is true for those who aspire to be great musicians, actors and athletes. I also apply this mentality to my role as an educator and it has led me to invaluable lessons on my journey. Great educators don’t strive to insert anything into the minds of others, but rather they help others give birth to their own dreams, beliefs and discoveries by leading from a place of vulnerability.
When it comes to developing my own craft, I am always looking for great work from other writers and educators who have done the deep and reflective work it takes to discover the most powerful lessons worth sharing. One educator and writer that I’ll be adding to my list of people who have inspired me is Yolo Akili.
I met Yolo more than a year ago through a mutual friend. From our initial interaction it was clear to me that he has found a rare balance between being a serious educator and activist while remaining graciously humble by approaching conversations from a place of sincere curiosity. While he is consistently focused on the larger lessons of life and spiritual well-being, Yolo never misses an opportunity to laugh and show gratitude for the little joys of the human experience. For those who are brave enough to read his new book “Dear Universe”, you will find that Yolo brings his authentic self to his work by forging a path toward healing and empowerment for others.
With only 72 pages between the front and back covers, “Dear Universe” proves a lot about the power of small things. A collection of letters of affirmation, the book is packed with powerful lessons on every page that reach beyond the veils we wear down into the most well-kept and concealed aspects of our individual and collective experiences.