The name says it all.
“I discovered that the thread line between a lot of my work, is communication, and it took me a very long time to figure out.”
Poet Ali, ironically, is a poet. Using his words and languages to create more than verbal comprehension, Poet ventures into emotional connection, gifting his audience a feeling.
“For a lot of my life, I was told that I was dipping into too many areas, and I didn’t put the design together until very recently, that the things I was passionate about, seeking and going after, all related to human communication. I guess it is an infatuation, I just hadn’t realized it at the time.”
It becomes rather fascinating when we look at the underlying constants in our lives. Constants that, when pieced together, create the bigger picture which oftentimes hold the answers we were searching for all along.
Being the Minority;
“It’s tough, but it’s necessary.”
Poet Ali speaks on behalf of something that can’t be seen, but is rather felt. Creating a sense of connectedness, understanding and unity through his performances, which are better referred to as ‘conversations’.
“I’ve often felt that that’s the exchange. It’s like the world is telling you, ‘if this is what you’re really about, if this is who you really are, if this is what truly matters to you, prove it.’
If you want to make the difference, you have to be the difference. In order to achieve what the minority has achieved; you have to do what few are willing to do. Poet Ali gives his audience the opportunity of a lifetime, to connect with themselves and with one another, by ways of bringing his humor, pain and whole self into his practice.
“It’s not an option. Anyone who thinks it’s an option, is fooling themselves.”
We may find it challenging to connect when someone isn’t true to their word; and It becomes especially difficult when trying to appreciate a speaker who lacks passion or truth within their message. Unfortunately, more now than ever, we are faced with these empty speeches, just turn on the news.
“We’re much better off if we really delve into ourselves and take a look at our personality, see where our gifts lie, and wholly infuse it into our practice.“
What the world needs from us, are our unique interpretations. You and I may be looking at the same thing, but the way you see it, is what I’m missing, and the way I see it is what you’re missing. By bringing ourselves, wholly and fully into our crafts, we fill the spaces where your understanding and my understanding fail to align.
There seems to be a pattern of preference, being away from others and becoming withdrawn, living in a state of disconnectedness and separation. The tools that were created to bring us closer, and connect us together, end up being the same ones to tear us apart and close us off to the opportunity of participation in the world around us.
“Humans are gregarious by nature. But we have now arrived at a place where, for whatever reason, people annoy us, and we’re disgusted by people. We are inundated with constant stimuli, thus needing more alone time to regenerate, causing us to retreat and withdraw.”
Our social lives begin, from the moment we check our phones in the morning, until the moment we turn off the screens before bed. Yet, communication seems to be one of the leading causes of conflict in our relationships.
Risk = Reward;
How do we take action and start speaking the languages of those around us? How do we begin to listen to the voices of those wishing to be heard? In Poet Ali’s opinion, risk is the antidote.
“I think that everything starts with a little bit of risk.
When talking to someone, if we don’t understand what the person is trying to say, instead of going along and nodding our heads, we take a risk, and we clarify.”
Taking a risk, digging a little deeper, and becoming curious towards our differences, are where the true answers to our questions lie.
So Much to Say;
Mr. Ali’s voice can be heard across numerous platforms, including TED talks, Youtube, and Spotify. Yet, even though his words are accessible, and his voice heard, there’s still ‘so much more’ he longs to share.
“Growing up, I felt heard and I felt like I mattered, and when you water those seeds, they bloom. I knew I was heard, and I knew I had a voice, and that’s all because of my family.”
When we do not feel heard or listened to, it shows. Whether it be in conversations, interactions, or personal promotion; the driving force behind the action, is the hunger to be acknowledged and listened to. Voices are raised and conflicts arise as we try to talk over one another.
By listening to, and acknowledging others, we create a space where everyone feels heard, and no voice needs to be raised.
Short Lived vs. Timeless;
Poet Ali is engaged in social justice and youth intervention through performing and speaking with school groups and communities; feeding younger generations timeless wisdom, as opposed to short-lived trends, comes as a priority to Mr. Ali. After asking the importance of relaying concrete, rather than lofty messages, Poet says that the reason lies in the question; one message is withstanding, while the other is short-lived.
“A piece of advice that I received from Darell Scott, someone whom I consider to be a mentor of mine, is, ‘There’s truth for the masses and there’s truth for the ages. Truth for the masses can be categorized as a short-lived trend. Sometimes you will reach the masses, but never sacrifice the truth of the ages for the truth of the masses.”
“I do work with children as well as adults, but the difference between the two is that with adults, you first have to scrape away a layer that has hardened around them. Children are fresh-eyed, while adults need the lens to be cleaned, in order to see how they once saw.”
With countries in combat with neighbours, races being discriminated against, and leaders pulling us apart, a sense of unity and connectedness often seems beyond reach. Due to this reality, using our voices to relay messages of togetherness is more crucial than ever.
“It’s very easy to distinguish which people are operating from where. The bottom line is, we need each other. The people who live in fear and doubt, have missing pieces to our puzzle; and without their pieces, we, as a whole, cannot be complete.”
We need to be of service to those living in the dark. As quoted in bible verse 5:15, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
The same is practiced in yoga, Namaste’s true meaning being, ‘the light in me, bows to the light in you.’
If we choose to shed a little light wherever we go, we will come to find the world really can be a better and brighter place.
“A coach of mine once told me when I was young; follow your heart, that’s where the money is. I didn’t fully grasp it at the time, but what he was really saying is, follow your heart, that’s where the meaning is.”
When we act from a place of love and follow our hearts, we step into our truth and our power. As quoted in our conversation with Jesse Israel, ‘Love is a choice.’ The simplest sayings hold the greatest meaning, but the importance lies in whether or not the words are acted upon.
By following his heart, Mr. Ali has been able to give the gift of commmunity, connectedness and compassion. Yet, within the giving, lies the greatest gift he’s ever recieved.
“The magic lies, not in the ‘watching me’ or the ‘attention on me’ part of performing, but rather what’s happening to both the audience and myself.”
Poet Ali gifts wisdom and a feeling to those admiring him speak, and in return they give him the gift of their attention, vulnerability and their willingness to learn.
We asked Poet Ali what he knows 100% to be true, his answer;
At TrooMe, we believe that love is real.
We know that the feeling of being held by someone you love is incomparable to anything in the whole entire world. Just as we know that when telling someone you love them, a nameless spark ignites inside of you.
Love starts from within. Loving ourselves deeply and truly allows goodness to emanate from inside ourselves, to then touch the lives of countless others.
May we follow in Poet Ali’s footsteps; taking a stand towards timeless truth, culminating connection, leading by example, and believing in our hearts that this is indeed, a kind universe.
We are overjoyed at the news that Poet Ali has released his first book, P.O.E.M.S, find it here on Amazon.