Jeannine and I are so excited that we’re coming together to create a dream of ours, The Good&Sharp Studios. It’ll be a hub for spirituality and the arts where we can help others to grow, expand and awaken to their life’s purpose, creating a clear vision and plan for the dream they want to bring into the world.
Construction on the studios is even starting early now – this month! Can you believe it?! Here I am moving things out so construction can begin.
Join us in our first ever Live Your Dreams retreat in September 2021. We want to support you in manifesting the dream you have. Find out more HERE.
Recently, I was looking at this photo of myself from childhood. I was 5 years old at the time with my lively, brown eyes looking straight into the camera. A young boy, filled with innocence and hope, unaware of how his life’s journey would unfold.
I return to this photo again and again and ask myself,
Who am I now?
Have I been living my life’s purpose and contributed to making the world a better place?
Have I allowed this young child to reach his full potential?
Am I doing the work that God has intended for me to do in my life?
These are good questions to ponder. They are a way to check-in with myself and stay aligned with my higher purpose.
As a child, I was raised in a strong, loving community. My parents always found joy and strength in their friends, church community and in their creative expression in the world. For instance – for fun my mother loved to tap dance and my father, who was a minister, would play jazz music on his saxophone. Me and my sisters would join in. These family jam sessions were so much fun! Our home, with God as the center of our lives, was always filled with creativity, music and dance. These both, that is, spirituality and the arts, gave us strength and hope and permission to dream that we could make our place in the world as well as make the world a better place.
When I was in the 3 rd grade, I was in a school speaking contest where I recited Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If. And I won that contest! That day I discovered how my God-given instrument of the speaking voice could be used creatively as an inspiration to others.
My father, who worked as a pastor and also alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and others in the Civil Rights struggle, created in me a sense of hope that I could do what I set my mind to. As African Americans, we had dreams that things would change, could change for us - in our own country. This change would afford us the freedom to take up all of the creative dreams that we desired without running into obstacles that were based on the color of our skin. I carried this hope into my later teen years.
Through the ensuing years of high school and then on into college as a Drama major, I learned I could not only speak, but that I could dance, sing, and act well enough to try to make a living as an actor and performer. I realized what a great joy it was to inspire thousands of people through performance. After college, I performed in Hollywood movies and television and on the Broadway stage.
But, to be honest, I discovered the harsh reality that trying to pursue my dreams in the world in this body, this culture and this race - a young, black man in the United States - with the history of what had occurred in our country, was not going to be an easy path. Hollywood was not the land of opportunity that I had naively hoped it could be.
I questioned what God was doing… and eventually felt called to be able to help others on their life’s path off of the stage as well as on the stage. So I decided to go to seminary. Though I loved acting and performing, I knew I could do something else, and was willing to learn.
But I remember one particular time in my life, right after I graduated from seminary, I was hired as a young African American pastor in an all-white church in Los Angeles. What a wonderful opportunity for me to minister in a church that was in LA, the center of the arts! I was so excited, and was eager to follow my calling and share my gifts with the world in the heart of the City of Angels, Los Angeles!
I stood at the pulpit, the one African American in the church filled with a sea of white people stretching before me in the pews, attentively waiting for the inspirational word of God that I would deliver on that day.
I wanted not only to speak, I wanted to find ways to include the creative arts that I did so well. I wanted to tap dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to dramatically express my message in creative ways, bringing inspiration to those who were listening.
But, alas, I could not.
I was told that in my new job performance was for the choir, not the pastor. My gifts were not desired. Only to preach and teach and counsel. They wanted “pastor” Sharp, not “performer” David.
Not to share my God-given gifts with others?! In Los Angeles? I thought to myself. ‘How can that be?’
I gave it my best for several months. I truly did. Trying hard to meet the expectations of the role for the church, even though I felt like it was choking my spirit. But I couldn’t do it. It was draining the joy of life that usually filled my soul.
By the end of that first year, I quit that job. I realized I needed to be true to who I was. My soul longed to find a place where I could be who I was meant to be in the world, sharing the creative gifts I was intended to share. I knew that I had to have both as a meaningful part of my life and expression in the world in order to live my purpose – inspiring people through both spirituality and the arts.
And that is what I have forged… what I have done as I’ve continued on my life’s journey; whether it was the Tap into Transformation series Jeannine and I developed and did for 5 years… or the stories, training, guidance and words of wisdom I now share in my published books. (You can check them out HERE!).
Now, when I look back, I can see how the power of Spirit and the power of the arts has been the golden thread in my life; the place where purpose and expression find life… and where I find joy and can share my gifts with the world.
Through creative expression and performance including tap dancing, singing, writing, music and poetry… as well as writing and speaking - I am helping others to expand their experience of spirit, not give up on themselves, and look at life in new ways.
And this is why I’m so passionate about what Jeannine and I have come together to create; a dream of ours! It’ll be a hub of spirituality and the arts, The Good& Sharp Studios, an oasis where we can help people to grow, expand, and dream as we help them align with their inner calling and purpose in life.
It doesn’t matter what age you are! There’s a golden thread throughout the years of your purpose in life, and we’ll support you in discovering and developing it to your highest potential, expressing it in the world to make it a better place for all of us.
When the construction on the Good&Sharp Studios is finished, I think I’m going to look for a special place where I can place that photo of my 5-year old self. It’ll be a wonderful daily reminder of my life’s journey and the discovery of my purpose in the world.
Come and join us in our first ever Live Your Dreams retreat in September 2021 at our new oasis, The Good&Sharp Studios. Jeannine and I want to support you in manifesting the dream you have. Find out more HERE.