Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. This week’s video is a little late but I had a busy two weeks and busy weekends. I had a very lovely time as usual, so don’t feel bad for me hahaha. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/eOXrIHrOCt0
That being said I was in a training class the week before last and my instructor asked a question that really made pause to think. She asked how many of us knew a foreign language. There were many people who knew a multitude of languages, and for some of the people in the class English was their second language. In my own life I grew up with British English as my first language and then Jamaican patois.
Some people would say that patois is a dialect but there are a multitude of words from other languages. Some sources say that patois is “a blend of African languages, English, Arawakan (the indigenous language of Jamaica), French, Chinese, Portuguese, Irish, Scottish and Spanish.” Some sources say that the primary foundation is from the Akan people of West Africa. I took this bit from Wikipedia, because the construct of patois fascinates me. It truly lives up to the Jamaican motto, “out of many, one people.” “Jamaican Patois contains many loanwords, most of which are African in origin, primarily from Twi (a dialect of Akan). Many loanwords come from English, but are also borrowed from Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arawak and African languages as well as Scottish and Irish dialects. Examples from African languages include /se/ meaning that (in the sense of “he told me that…” = /im tel mi se/), taken from Ashanti Twi, and Duppy meaning ghost, taken from the Twi word dupon (‘cotton tree root’), because of the African belief of malicious spirits originating in the root of trees (in Jamaica and Ghana, particularly the cotton tree known in both places as “Odom”). The pronoun /unu/, used for the plural form of you, is taken from the Igbo language…Words from Hindi include ganja (marijuana), and janga (crawdad). Pickney or pickiney meaning child, taken from an earlier form (piccaninny) was ultimately borrowed from the Portuguese pequenino (the diminutive of pequeno, small) or Spanish pequeño (‘small’).”
Maybe it is no wonder that when I was little and someone asked what I wanted my superpowers to be, I said, “polygot.” No, I didn’t want to be able to fly or become invisible. I wanted to be able to speak with and to understand anyone, anywhere on the planet. A polygot is someone who knows and is able to use several languages. This might have been what led me to pursing learning different languages.
When I was in middle school I started learning Spanish and that led to me going to an immersion high school. In high school I studied Spanish as my main language. I also took French and Japanese. When I started college I studied Spanish as one of my majors. I also studied Japanese intensely for one year. That’s when I decided that I should probably focus more on Spanish since there were other things I wanted to major in as well, and Japanese was just a little too intense. In fact, we had to learn not one, but three alphabets, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji was by far the most difficult for me. Escaping back to Spanish, my first love, was a welcome treat since I only had to deal with one alphabet that was a romance language, like English.
During college I spent time in the Dominican Republic and also in Madrid, Spain honing my language skills. So when our instructor asked us about our language skills and experience learning another language, I could do a mental flashback of my process. She reminded us that when we start learning a new language that we start with the basics—things like the alphabet, simple sentences, and numbers. But we also learn that we have to practice and we have to utilize what we learn. Repetition is one of the best ways to learn a language and also immersing yourself into that language and culture if you can. I know that this advice can be applied in many areas of our lives.
It is my opinion and it is just an opinion—that in today’s day and age, many people are used to seeing the more advanced or finished product of something. Social media may have a role in this but I do also think that a lot of humans want to start something and just be great at it. We want to be doing Picasso level art and yet if we start and jump to that place without putting in the work, the practice, the time and the focused energy we can miss some valuable and important lessons.
I had this conversation with a friend recently. There is someone that I’ve known in my life who has never taken the time to hone a craft. Whenever they see someone doing something that brings them joy but mostly attention, this person will start to do the thing but after a while they will get bored with it. Some of that is because they find that even things that look simple on the surface can take a lot of work on the substantive level. So it is with most things in life. In Jamaica they say, “if you want good yuh nose haffi run.” Essentially, if you want good things you have to put in the work. I also think it discourages a lot of people when they don’t become an overnight sensation. I think the most common sensation is actually the person who has put in the work and keeps at it despite feeling discouraged at times.
And that is some of the lesson of learning a foreign language. Some days are going to be hard—you aren’t going to get it, you are going to say the wrong word or just not get it, but keep practicing and one day you will wake up as I did—dreaming in Spanish. There is a delightful day when you get it, you get the thing that you have been practicing. One of my favorite writers is Robert Greene. In his book, Mastery, he says that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become a master at it. That book has so many amazing tidbits and treasures to support you on your journey to mastering something—anything.
For example, he says, “Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”
And this one, “Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”
But I really love this one, “In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them — those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn.” So, I suppose this is my challenge to you—what are you a master at? What is something that you can apply time, focus, and some intensity to learning beyond a superficial level? What is the thing that you feel passionately enough about that even when it feels like the odds are against you that you will keep going? I want you to think about it, and then I want you to do it. One step at a time.
Now, you might be wondering, how is she going to find a way to tie in astrology hahaha. You knew it was coming. Astrology contains its own language. It requires time, focus, and practice to get good at it. So the same rules apply. When you learn the basics, the alphabet, the numbers and the symbols then you can converse in the language. Most people who look at their birth chart for the first time feel overwhelmed because they see symbols, numbers, and lines that don’t make sense. However it is all about the language of astrology and it’s a beautiful one—as melodic as the Romance languages falling off the tongue. So a quick introductory class to some of the symbols that you might see when looking at a natal chart.
You will see:
· The natal chart
· The planets
· The houses
· The signs
Once you get a little bit more familiar with these symbols, then you will be able to start to understand the language of astrology. We will get into that more in the coming weeks, but I just wanted to say a few words about the lessons that come from learning another language. Sam Altman said, “Hard work compounds like interest, and the earlier you do it, the more time you have for the benefits to pay off.”
So practice, take your time, don’t be discouraged, and above all, just keep going. May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful week indeed! Let me know in the comments what you are attempting to master or have already mastered. Maybe it’s another language! And as always, if you are enjoying the blog posts and/or videos, please like, share, comment, and subscribe. Thank you!