The Pearl of the Aha Moment!

Today, I am blessed to be swapping blogs with, Ber-Henda Williams.  Ber-Henda is a fellow poet, kindred-spirit, Sister of the soul.  She is guesting here and I am guesting on her blog -

My pastor preached last Sunday about finding your “pearl,” that one ounce of truth that no one can define for you, that moment when you go, “Aha!”

I have been shifting through the wheat of my life trying to get to the one thing that mattered most to me, that one thing that I could truly put myself in and find not just happiness but purpose. I have been hosting my own poetry series for five years this coming August but it was not until the earlier part of this year that I found the peace and acceptance of who I am: I am an artist, I am a Poet!

We are always who we are, but it was not until I found myself in a poetic euphoria, while reading the lyrics of Lauyren Hill's “When It All Falls Down” to my poetry class - at the moment, reading her lyrics - that I found my voice and rhythm. I forgot where I was...and when I looked up all the eyes of the class, they were fixed on me. I was not a focal point because I was the teacher; I was the focal point because I was on fire!

My voice made the words on the page quick. I took the lyrics of a woman to whom I revere and shared them with my students, but I found the “why" of my love for poetry, and when I collapsed back into my chair, much the same way a body falls when possession is over, I knew that I not only was called to be a poet but I felt a joyful obligation to write and share my work. I felt more secure in trusting the process of urging my poetry series forward.

My conviction of sharing with youth the power of their own voices cemented for me that day. I know that if I accomplish nothing else in my life, my validation will come from a place that no one can invade. My calling is the word, known to most as poetry. I have held all sorts of jobs and been some very interesting situations but I always find my way back to poetry.
My first awakening to poetry was from a singer by the name of Caron Wheeler from the Afro-European musical group, Soul II Soul. Her works were deep and emotive and “Blue Is the Color of Pain” is what lead me to write in the first place. Later, Latino and Spanish poets that I studied in high school and undergraduate school gave me the freedom and permission to write poetry in Spanish, yet proving that the pearl I found would allow me to transcend audiences. 

In life, we are blessed if we arrive at that “Aha Moment,” more so, if we come to it without the grief of losing a loved one or some catastrophic, life-altering experience. However, finding your “Aha Moment” is life-altering and sometimes frightening.

I cannot imagine my life without this art form, but more importantly, I know why I have this art form. Prior to poetry, my life trajectory was headed toward business, then education, retail, and then whatever paid the bills. I chased what mattered to my family, society, and even what I thought God wanted for me. When the pearl emerged, I organized priorities differently. I have a listed what matters most to me and the order in which I apply them. There is no wrong way to apply these principles, but this is how I honor the life God has given me and cherish my pearl. 

God/Creativity: The minute I get an idea for a poem or event, I know that God is talking to me. I am training myself to listen versus petitioning. Giving God the honor for not only my present life before the one he is unveiling is so very important to me. I am one with my creator and as an artist this connection is how I praise and worship him. 

My Family/Community: I have a lot to be grateful for and my family ranks high on my gratitude list. Even though we do not get to choose our families, I have close friends who I would give my blood for, and therefore, consider family. Telling someone what you do when you are a poet is met with a lot of confusion and curiosity and sometimes criticism, as to say your pearl may not be precious to everyone, but when you find your pearl it is easy to spot a gem. So, my rubies are my family! 

Love of self: We have to remember to honor who we are. With all that we are called to do, it easy to forget who we are. If you find yourself in place to where you cannot remember who you and what your elixir of life is, then it may be it’s time to go on an inward journey of reflection and dive into the depths of your existence and find what you have been put here on the earth to do, developing a plan to get there. The pearls that we find come from the obstacles that are meant to refine us. Poetry is how the soul expresses itself and the soul is the essence of who we are.

Please feel to contact to me about all things creative and community action at 

At this juncture of my life I am seeking to live a bold and beautiful experience. I don’t want to lose on minute on regret or pining for what I know I can create for myself. God has given us all gifts and talents to not only give him honor but to assist us in making this world better for all mankind. Greater gift is there than to know that you are a precious pearl and blessing to all mankind! 
Ber-Henda Williams is a published author and host of Poetry, Pages and Scribes a monthly poetry series at the Southfield Public Library. She is Fluent in Spanish and facilitates workshops for authors and other cultural events all over the metro area. Log on to for more information on her books and events.
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cardiogirl said…
You've made such an interesting point: an aha moment is not always born of tragedy. While I was reading, that's immediately where my mind went and I can name a few of those moments off the top of my head.

But naming a creative, positive aha moment is giving me pause. I think this might be a really interesting spiritual assignment for me.

Hey, I just thought of this! Do you think there's a difference between a defining moment and an aha moment or are they the same thing?

As I was re-reading my comment for typos that thought struck me. I classify defining moments as something that came out of a negative experience while I consider an aha moment something from a positive experience.

Man, your post really shook loose some thoughts in my head. Well done!
Kath Fearing said…
Your post has reinforced so many of my own convictions. I, too, am often swept away by the power of the word - especially poetry. And when I read poetry that makes me cry, I know where my heart belongs. I try to incorporate a poetic rhythm when I write prose for children. I think the two go hand-in-hand (prose and poetry). Thanks for writing from the heart.
Greetings, Cardiogirl!

I am so glad you found this post inspiring. Ber-Henda has a great take on the journey.

I agree with your definition. Defining moments for me were when the difficulties created opportunity, but the "Aha" moments were when the joy of what is my passion opens a window or door for opportunity.

Finding Ber-Henda's note and connecting with her was definitely an "Aha" moment!
Morning, Kath!

Yes, when I read something that brings tears to my eyes, I know that I have read something that touches the truth lying within my heart.

I love the way you write. Your children's books speak to the heart of a child. They have a wonderful way of sharing wisdom without talking down to them or lecturing.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, dear friend.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful Ber-Henda! Your story of reading Lauryn Hill's work in a class is beautiful. What an honor for your classmates this magical moment when we become our art and art moves through us. As a Native American ceremonial singer, I feel so humbled when the songs sing through me and I become part of them. Recently, I've discovered myself as a painter/artist and am thrilled to find that the same thing can happen while we are painting as well. I suspect it is true anytime we allow our selves to melt into our art and fully enter the sacred conversation. It is all about the "listen[ing] versus petitioning." Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us!
Dear Soulful,

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts.

Being "in the moment" with our art, regardless of what that is, creates a mystical experience like no other. What a wonderful gift we give ourselves and the Creator when we allow this to happen!
Marcie Eanes said…
Thanks for your thoughtful words. I always find it interesting to read how others dance with The Muse.

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