SUM 20 - POWER
GARDY ST. FLEUR
ART ADVISOR. ART COLLECTOR.
What was your first encounter with power? What parts of your childhood informed your perspective?
My first encounter with power came from experiencing loss. Losing my grandfather and both of my parents forced me to cultivate my power because I no longer had a safety net. I had to be self-reliant to survive, and it was up to me to make things happen for myself. So my power initially came out of necessity.
Did you have to unlearn anything you were taught?
I had to let go of self-doubt and fully embrace who I am. I realize that it does not serve me to compare myself to others because everyone has their path. I bring a unique perspective to everything I do.
What’s your relationship to power now? How has it changed over the years?
I have a more natural relationship to power now. Although I am always learning, I now can naturally harness my power.
How do you define power? What is power to you?
Power is doing what you say you’re going to do. It is your legacy and what you contribute to society. Using your platform and the opportunities available to you to impact others and when you are no longer here, it is a message that you create that carries on.
Power is trust, building, sharing, and mentoring.
It is spiritual as well. It is the spirit within. A lot of people don’t discover that. We are all spirit children and so many people deny it. With it, you are able to elevate and open doors once you tap into it. It requires belief, meditation, understanding yourself, and connecting to it. Power is within and will guide you and your steps within this universe.
How is it cultivated internally? How does that translate externally?
For me, learning and self-acceptance helped cultivate my internal power. Once I fully embraced my diverse background, quirks, previous failures, and everything that make me the person that I am today, I learned that I have all the tools I need to accomplish any goal and defeat any adversity. Nothing can stop me. With that said, that mindset enabled me to take advantage of more opportunities and grow my business. More importantly, it also allowed me to share and make a positive impact in the lives of many artists.
Where are the unexpected places you see power manifest?
Perhaps for others, this is unexpected, but I have seen the strongest example of power from Haitian women. Haitian women are the backbone of our families and the soul of Haiti.
Talk about spirituality. Where are the intersections for you?
I believe in a higher power, and that my ancestors are with me in my journey.
How would you advise someone to cultivate their personal power?
Let go of fear. Let go of self-doubt. Use what you have now to push boundaries and accomplish your goals.
A Yardie question: What are you reading now?
Book I just finished:
Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies By Mimi Shelter
Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market By Janine R. Wedel
The Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-35 by Jean Price-Mars
Tell Them I Said No by Martin Herbert
Forrest Bess: Key to the Riddle by Chuck Smith