Don’t Ask Nelson For That

“Make me numb Nelson make me numb.”

In the words of the fictional character Sarafina

(as she looked at a photo of Nelson Mandela.  From the movie Sarafina;a young South African girl growing up during apartheid. If you haven’t watched the film go watch it).

The phrase has become an inside joke between my friends and I. Not because its funny but because its all we can do to keep us from crying. Keep us from feeling…

Isn’t it that what we do though? Do everything in our power to keep us from feeling? I mean that’s exactly what I’ve been doing all summer numbing. I’ve been depriving myself of feeling the fear of chasing my dream to be published and so many other big wild crazy dreams. So I partied all summer. Confessions.

According to my good friend Google Numbing is to:
deprive of feeling or responsiveness.

So why do people numb? Shahram Heshmat PhD says the reason is: To avoid feeling negative emotions that are part of being human. That’s the simplest explanation I could find.

We are all human. We feel. We go through our days constantly feeling some sort of negative emotion. Anger, fear, insecurity, anxiety, guilt, sadness, shame and so on. So to avoid feeling these things we turn to things like drugs, alcohol, sex, and even procrastination is a significant form of numbing. I personally found that binge-watching my favourite TV shows helped me forget what I needed to do to get to where I desire to be. So numbing comes up in a lot of different ways.

My point is try your level best to get yourself out of the funk. Ironically the only way out of the funk is to go through the funk. Allow yourself to feel what you feel so you can overcome your feelings!

Don’t ask Nelson to make you numb, rather let his life story of courage inspire you to face your fears.

I have missed ya’ll. Please share your stories with me.

let it

 

 

 

Take A Journey Back To Yourself

walking1

I remember the time when you were so joyful? Remember when your laughter came from the core of your soul? Remeber when life excited you so much you had butterflies and your heart warmed up at the simplest of things? The good old days?

I popped in today to ask you to make a journey back to your old self. Your happiness matters. Your excitement for life matters. We all get knocked down by life and lose ourselves, making this journey back to your authenticity, to your joyful self is just as important as climbing the corporate ladder or graduating school or pursuing your wildest dreams, if not more important. In fact, I believe that you’re not yet successful until you’ve made this journey.

This will not happen overnight. It takes time to lose yourself, and it’ll take time to rediscover what makes you happy. Just do the things you’re curious about, the what ifs. You’ll be nervous at first, scared to death even. Do it anyway. Learn how to comfort yourself, when you’re low,  how to make yourself laugh without hesitation and how to love your own company, your body, your “flaws”.  No one will ever do this for you. No person can fill that void for you. You have to do the work.

It’ll take time, but I believe in you. Have a blessed day.

My Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders

I have a lot of wonderful people in my life that believe in me. People that think I am extraordinary even on days that I don’t feel it.

This fantastic support system keeps me going. So when I’m dreaming so big, so wildly! They not only support me but they help me find solutions and throw in ideas and opportunities. We all think these people are rare but are they? Or are we too focused on the haters to really see the jewels in front of us?

I sent my weight loss results to a dear friend of mine, and she was so proud of me she posted the before and after shots onto her social media. She said people were asking her how I did it. I said “well, eating right and working out. It really takes commitment, blood,  sweat and tears”. She said, “well not everyone is willing to do all that, only extraordinary people like you”. Such a simple statement. I did not see myself as extraordinary at all, but the mirror of my support system said I am extraordinary. These are the opinions we ought to focus on. I know its hard to not get caught up in the negative, but everything takes practice.

Every time someone tries to drag me down into anger or bitterness, another friend of mine who has mastered the art of peace in her life always says to me “Don’t hitch a ride with them, let them go”. Many times people will approach you with the sole intention of getting a reaction out of you; you have an opportunity to decide to hitch a ride and go down the slippery slope with them or remain on the higher ground.

I was so curious about a male colleague of mine. We worked in a very negative environment. He was always calm and never let anything get to him. One day I asked him “Aren’t you pissed off?” He said “One day in high school a teacher punished me for fighting with a kid who was being racist to me. I got so angry, I felt the anger, bitterness and pain so deep in my soul. After a while, I decided I will never give someone the power to make me feel like that ever again.”

Wow! That was profound! A light bulb went up over my head because I now realised I was choosing to give this employer my power! I was deciding to hitch a ride in the negative bus, and I was ignoring all the other beautiful cheerleaders in my life.

How much power are you giving to the negative in comparison to the positive in your life?

Striker vs Defence

What’s your position?

In soccer, there are two leading positions that any soccer laymen like me are aware of.  Centre forward (Striker) and centre back (defence). The centre forward’s main purpose is to score a goal. The centre back’s primary purpose is to stop the centre-forward from scoring a goal.

When you get into a relationship with the wrong person you will always find yourself playing centre back (defence), your main goal becomes making sure this person doesn’t cheat, doesn’t abuse you or doesn’t betray you in any way. Your time and resources and thought process become invested in making sure your partner doesn’t score their goals. The choice to play centre back comes at the expense of playing centre-forward (Stiker), which is the equivalent of chasing your dreams and making sure your career goals are set stable, that you’re emotionally and physically healthy.

All positions in a soccer match matter but in your life, you want to play centre-forward always, and your life partner should be your second striker. The second striker also known as support striker is there to help the centre-forward score goals. In this case, score your life goals. Your life partner should be there to hold you accountable to your ambitions, and to make sure you’re taking care of your emotional needs. Note that I said “you’re taking care of your emotional needs” because that’s your responsibility to communicate them so they can be met but that’s a conversation for another day.

If your partner isn’t your second striker than they are a distraction you might want to reconsider the whole relationship.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Shame, Shame Upon You…

shame

Its take an incredible amount of courage it takes to live authentically. It’s really not easy to not hide behind a persona. To stand fully in who God created you to be and say to the world “Here I am and I am not apologising for anything”, To say “here I am, and I am equal to all of you”. I am equal to Monarchs, presidents, philosophers, pop stars and the homeless man on the street. Standing in your truth is not easy. If it were, we’d all be free from shame…

Shame a word that envokes the feeling of it just by saying. “Tohoni”, cower because who you are isn’t good enough. “Kenohoni”, because not being ashamed of who you are is somewhat a disgrace. These are regular everyday phrases that have put a burden on people for many generations. To not be ashamed is to defy cultural expectations that are placed on young people especially African women.

shame2

It’s much easier to hide behind a persona. People choose personas based on how they think is best to protect themselves from inner pain. Are you really the “angry black girl” or is that just a protection? Are you even angry? If so why? Do you want to shout from the rooftops, tell everyone the source of your anger? No? Why not? Is it because then they will see you and shame you for not being as perfect as you seem on the Gram?

What if you shouted and told everyone your pain and they say “I hear you” “I feel you” “I stand with you” “I support you” “I thank you, had you not said it. I would have died.”

Shout your pain from the rooftops. You will get shamed, ridiculed, you will receive support, and you might save a life. Live authentically for yourself, for others and for the glory of God.

A Happy Place

“I live in my head a lot. I might as well make it a happy place.”

This is what I said to myself after years of self-torture. I would wake up after a night of partying, and the first thing I would say to myself is “I have a headache, and I’m pretty sure God is upset with me”.

I would spend the rest of the day condemning myself because the word says drunkness is a sin. So now I am a worthless sinner. But in 1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We live in a generation of people cutting each other off. I mean this generation is brutal with the scissors!

in my head

Which is perfectly fine if that’s what you need to do, but if you really stopped and listened to half the things you say to yourself you might want to consider cutting yourself off as well cos you’re toxic to yourself and your own progress. Cut it out!

“You yourself as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection- Buddha”

Sisterhood

Sisterhood

Sisterhood to me means women coming together and empowering each other. It means having a sister’s back, defending her honour even when her back is turned. Defying the catty stereotype.

You may wonder why bother? Because we are stronger together. Imagine what we can achieve if we put down our claws and really got down to the business of helping each other take over boardrooms, politics, stock markets, arts, science… If you combine this with our compassion for humanity, our intuition and our motherly instincts that incomprehensibly powerful.

The reason why I’m addressing this is that for generations we’ve been fighting each other for crumbs. Fighting each other for the attention of men (Yikes! been there, done that) and many other petty reasons. Y’all know what I’m talking about the unnecessary shadiness to women you barely know.

Isn’t the battle hard enough for us? Why do we have to make each other fight twice the struggle? You go out into the workplace as woman underestimated, undervalued and underpaid and then come back to your social life to shady encounters from sisters who are fighting the very same battles. Why? We are better than this.

Watch Zimbabwean born actress Danai Gurira express my sentiments better than I could ever in her essence speech