20 Things to Know In Your 20’s – Part 2 (Reposted)

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

My next post is titled ‘Navigating Your 30’s’ and I thought before I drop that, I’d repost an oldie but goodie from 2017. I wrote this in the days leading up to my 30th birthday, and much has changed, with me that is.

For now, a quick refresh on things to know in your 20’s and at any age for that matter.

“Continuing on from my last post on Sunday, here are the next 10 things I have learnt in my 20’s:

  1. Not everyone’s opinion matters, in fact yours is the most important. And if yours is self-depreciating then you need to remedy that immediately effectively.
  2. Heartbreak hurts like a bitch, but one day you will be better. I was in love with someone for years and I honestly thought my little heart will never mend. It did. Now, I look back and laugh (cackle) at how dramatic that period of my life was. It was also one of the biggest teachers I have ever had.
  3. Don’t be okay with the okey doke. If you believe you can have different, then go for it irrespective of what people say or the environment you are in. Many Greats started at the very bottom.
  4. For my ladies, you can say no to sex if you don’t want to. Men, you don’t have to sleep with a girl, you control your membrane. Society might encourage that behaviour but for us all it is okay to say no, not today. The opposite is also okay too. But do so with caution and sense
  5. Let go. It requires way too much to hold on.
  6. Cut and or reduce communication with those that do not add to your life. Honestly, the power is in your hands. You absolutely have a say in who should be in your life and who shouldn’t. It takes one person to ruin your life, don’t let that happen on your watch
  7. Travel. If it’s your thing and even if it’s not, a few visits to new places won’t hurt you, it’ll enrich your life.
  8. Work on your discipline. To live the life you want will require sacrifice and discipline, otherwise years will go by and nothing in your life would have changed.
  9. Think carefully about what you want your future to look like and start to work on it now.
  10. People will let you down, repeatedly and you’ll do the same to others. Its life, nobody is perfect, don’t beat yourself up about it (I’m working on this as we speak), just do better.

I hope you find some of the 10 tips useful, what are your tips?

Xo”

LATEST POSTS

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Transitions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been drafting this post for weeks, and with each passing day I say I’m going to finish it and click publish.
My perfectionism has had a firm grip on me, and it’s baby, procrastination, has been tap dancing all around me, however, I— I think today is D-Day.
It’s fortuitous as our friends stateside near the end of the presidential election, and my family and friends in England are preparing for a lockdown and I, well, I’m already in a lockdown in France. It’s all systems go and transitions of all sorts are afoot. 

Transitions can be ugly, messy and traumatic. Even the beautiful and welcomed ones can still be difficult and sad.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all experiencing a transition period of varying degrees, consisting of upheavals, rapid change, deep losses and lots of growing pains.

Naturally, there’ll be emotions that come up as you go through this phase, but don’t dismiss or suppress them as they surface. Allow them to breathe and work through them.
By doing this, you’re clearing the way and getting rid of the gunk in a healthier fashion and in turn making space to think clearly, and direct your energy where you truly want it.

Trust me, I get it. There is so much going on and it’s challenging to sift out what is for you and useful, and what isn’t.
With this in mind, what has become increasingly clear over the past few months is the power of words. And in this era of instant send and receive, it is crucial to own and use language that is not only yours, but in cultivating the circumstances you want to bring to life.
So be intentional. Create a haven for yourself with whatever you have. Envision something greater and keep going—You’ve made it this far, you’ll get through this too!

Xo

P.s I am still not entirely pleased with this post. The words just lack synergy, it feels gritty, but the aim is progress, not perfection.

LATEST POSTS

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Advocate For Yourself

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I have a picture frame on my chest of drawers, and when I feel like it I change the picture to suit my mood.
This time around I chose a baby picture of myself, and what I saw was my zest for life, excitement and innocence. I was full of promise.
I also saw a little girl that over the years was unprotected, not well supported, disappointed and sad. Perpetually sad.

In that moment I decided that whilst others may not have taken up for me as a child, because of their own things and not having the best tools, I, will take up for me.
I am not child anymore, and although she (I) still needs nurturing, I am now better equipped to give myself the care, support, and gentleness that I need(ed), and advocate for myself.

What does advocating look like for me currently? Advocating for myself is investing in therapy for 3+ years and counting, setting and maintaining boundaries, changing my environment, starting all over again, doing things that bring me joy, shedding old ways, thinking for myself and doing what I want to do, not what society, or family, or friends think I should do, guarding my heart and all my senses, and much much more.

We no longer have to wait for a Knight or Dame in shining armour. The person you have been waiting for is you.
So how will you advocate for yourself?
The beauty of it is, you get to decide how it happens.

Unlearning and learning the things that edify you is never easy and is seldom straightforward, but commit to the process and to designing a life that you not only love, but are proud of.
And as you consider how you will support yourself, the compassion, grace, and care that you often extend to others, gather those things and give it to yourself.

Xo

The Ground Is Fertile

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The ground is fertile.

Everything is moving at lightning speed. And having paid very close attention to the times (yes, with all that is happening), now is the time to sow seeds, and to sprint towards your goals.

All we’ve known is being uprooted, things are shifting quickly, people are realising more and more what’s important, and ultimately change is afoot.

There are no blueprints to follow, because at this moment in history, everyone is figuring it out for themselves. Everyone.
This is the perfect opportunity to do away with the things you’ve always felt obligated to do, and carve out something new, something brilliant, something specially thought of for you, and by you.

Xo

P.s Don’t say I didn’t give you the heads up.

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

A Whole New World

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

As each day passes, it seems like those in office are making Ip Dip Doo decisions concerning our lives, and I am both appalled and fed up. 

I am in that delirious stage of dealing with change, where I experience bouts of hysteria, because what we are experiencing is so unbelievable. I keep expecting the director to shout ‘cut’ to end scene, as surely this cannot be real life?! 

It caused me to think of my childhood, and how I was conditioned to believe that ‘grown ups’ were all knowing and made sound decisions. Ha!
Of course that isn’t entirely true, and truthfully it’s unnerving, because who do you trust? Who can you rely on to make decisions that have your best interests at heart? Decisions that will impact your future and other generations?
Those that we have elected intentionally or not, are simply not connected to the issues that affect a majority.

With that said, we cannot afford to give all the power to people evidently ill-equipped. It is up to us to design a life that works best, despite the recession, pandemic, Brexit, questionable leadership, and myriad of other things.

This might mean changing your lifestyle, moving cities, taking up causes, career changes, retraining or doubling down on the vision you have for your future.
And no, you cannot half-heartedly do it. There can be no dipping of toes into water, or observing others go for it, looking for evidence in their moves as to why perhaps you shouldn’t.
You, must pursue your dreams, with reckless abandon.

A whole new world (a whole new world)
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us, “No”
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Tenets

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

A little while ago someone asked me for some tips on blogging, and so many thoughts came to mind.

I had much to say; things I regret not doing, things I could have only learnt on the job, things I wish someone had told me, and things that are difference makers.
I gave her my most significant lessons, which in all honesty apply to many things, and I am sharing them with you today.
*record scratch* I had initially typed up the seven points I gave her, but upon reflection, I changed my mind as I really, really, really want you to focus on the important stuff. And now we have three.

  1. No, your idea is not stupid. Run with it. The journey from inception to fruition might be a jog, sprint, or marathon, whatever it may be, just start! It doesn’t matter what it looks like, if there are errors or if it’s not exactly how you envisioned it, put ALL of that aside and start with what you have. And yes, you might be the only one who believes in it, still do it!
  2. The best way to get better is to ‘do’. Do more, and that means practice, practice, practice! Practice precedes progress and improvement. Practice well.
  3. Consistency. This one will make or break what you do. Do not underestimate it at all. Your work and purpose depends on it. It won’t be like that forever, but at the beginning and perhaps for a (very) long time, make consistency your goal. Think of anyone you consider to be successful, were they an overnight success? Absolutely not. It was consistency, trial and error and patience.

The chances are, you know these things already, and if so, I’m reminding you again. There is no escaping these tenets, so you might as well concede, and be on your merry way to hopefully, a more enriched life, doing the thing(s) you have always wanted.

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Death, Loss, A Gift?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

We don’t belong here, if we did, we’d be here forever.
We’re merely passing through. 

Many people see Chadwick’s death as a deep loss, which it is, yet I can’t help but think, what a gift. 

4 years ago he was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer, and God said we could have him for as long as we did? To do all that he did?
A gift 🎁

My friend Franklin ascended 4 months after diagnosis. And whilst his life was even more brief in years, I still feel very grateful to have known him. 
A gift 🎁 

God could have called them home a lot sooner. 

We do not determine when we will leave, so with what you have, make sure when it’s time to go, you’re empty.
Franklin gave me his belief in me and constant support. 
Chadwick gave us a piece of history, and a reconciling of who we are, not just in Black Panther, but in his life’s work. 

Be a gift, leave a legacy.
🎁

May they and those who have left this earth, rest in perfect peace.

Xo

 

Truth Hurts

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I came across this post two days ago by Monika A Mazur, and felt attacked by it. 

Can’t complain about results you don’t have for work you didn’t do.


It convicted me, and reiterated that doing the work isn’t a part-time gig.

Enjoy your weekend, but next week, we’re going to be on job!

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Today Is A Good Day To…

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Yup. Got a piercing and went blonde.

You see the nice clothes in your wardrobe that you are saving for a ‘moment’ in your life? Wear it, because being alive is THE moment.

The business you’re waiting for the right time to start because money, resources, and support isn’t there yet, sis, sir, those things will come, but you have to make the first move.

The relationship you’re afraid of committing to because of the hurt you’ve experienced in the past (emphasis on ‘in the past’), well, it is time to move on. I mean hello?! Life is short! Live a little lot.

The house you want that you’ve considered a fantasy, man make the call, find out what you need to do, arrange a virtual tour, hire a financial adviser, speak to the bank, yes now, even in these uncertain times, because eventually the tide will change and you will be ready.

The life you have dreamt of creating in a new country but now seems impossible, do not abandon the dream! Get online, research, apply for the visa, YouTube is your friend and go for it!

The body that you want, first of all, love yours and then make adjustments. You cannot truly have what you do not first feel, no matter any physical alterations you may make.

During this wild ride of 2020, I have seen people buy homes, move across the world to start a life with their fiancé, get married, secure new jobs, make the most amount of money they have ever made, sell out of products multiple times over, you name it, its happening. And it could be happening for you. 

There will always be ‘something’ and or a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, the good thing is, you only need one reason why you should.
Take that leap, or at least hop.

Xo

P.s I have exciting news to announce soon. You’ll be hearing my voice, wherever you are in the world eek! From pen pals to ASMR. Can’t wait!

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Words are Genies.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, if you ask for something you will get it. The caveat however, is that it may not be in the form or fashion that you expect.

At 2am on Monday, I pray and ask for the things I’d like this week. One of them was the courage to complete all the things I set out to (because regular procrastinator/perfectionist here).
I say courage, because sometimes I often experience fear, and to overcome fear, is to do the thing, and to do the thing, courage is needed.

As I uttered the word courage, I had break in thought, ‘Are you sure you want courage?’.
I paused. ‘Yes, courage is what I want’.

My prayer was interrupted by that thought because history has shown me that what you want, will often challenge you, and you might not like what you have to do to get there.

I eventually fall asleep and wake up a few hours later.
I express my gratitude that I, my family and friends are alive and well and start my day.

As my coffee brews, I make a chocolate and peanut butter sandwich (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).
Then out of nowhere, my mood took a nose dive.

The more I thought about all the things I planned to do, the deeper the desire to do nothing became. I only wanted to lie in bed in my birthday suit.

I messed up. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for courage? Maybe I should have asked for something else?
The feeling of inertia was getting stronger, and I knew I needed to shift gears and break the depressive grip forming.

A message from my fitness instructor/friend came through. My heart leapt for a joy a little, as I hoped the text would read that he’d have to cancel today’s zoom workout session. No such luck. He was just checking that we were good to go at 2:15pm.

Reluctantly I wrote ‘See you at 2:15pm’. I figured my mood might have picked up when it was time, but truthfully I did not want to see him or anyone at 2:15pm.

In the meantime, I attempted to pep talk myself. I half chuckled, half grimaced, because I knew asking for the courage to accomplish things this week could quite possibly give me the complete opposite feeling, meaning I’d really have to work for the courage. And that’s what happened.

2:15pm rolls around and you guessed it, I haven’t moved.

Me: We have to?

Him: Yes. Yes we do.

For ****sake!

Sluggishly, I put on my workout gear, grab my laptop, workout mat, water, fan, and head to the living room to begin this workout.

I did it. I completed the workout.
My form was off and I got tired very quickly, but I did it.

It might seem like a small feat, but dragging myself to work out, stopped the fall into a sunken place, and refocused my mind and energy towards being productive and ultimately where I wanted to be.

So what’s my point? Be mentally prepared for what you’re asking for, as it will come and if you’re not vigilant, you’ll let the opportunity pass you by because it’s “too hard”, “too long”, “too much”, “too right”.
It’ll be easy to want to give up, but rather than give up,  give in to it. Go with it, flow with it, work with it, but least of all reject it, because on the other side, is what you are looking for.

Xo

A Long Walk

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_5614

Oluwatoyin Salau, 19

I have written some of these sentences multiple times, willing words to automatically materialise. It didn’t. At least not with ease.

Words still escape me. 

This year

The past few months

The last three weeks have been worse than a Nightmare on Elm Street.

When I said I could feel my second wind coming, I didn’t know it meant getting the wind knocked completely out of me. 

Weary is an understatement.
Two weeks ago I cancelled my therapy session, too overwhelmed to articulate feelings. Where would I begin to discuss all the things I feel past, present, and future? 

I donate, I educate myself even more, I share amongst friends, I sign petitions, I pray, I resolve to do better for my community and future- a future that is so uncertain…and still, I cannot let up.

IMG_5382

Breonna Taylor, 26

If there is a rare of moment of joy, thoughts of George, Breonna, Belly, Ahmaud, Toyin, Shukri, Tony, Rashad, and so many treasured others lying in graves not planned for them, suddenly come to mind. Helplessness and grief follows. 

And every day there is someone else. Every day. 

What do we do?
We participate in changing and challenging the world to do and be better; one conversation, one action, one moment at a time.
What you do, can make a world of difference to what we, and our successors get to experience. Your contribution is vital and a key component to what happens next. No one is too small or big to do something.

 

MeliorismThe belief that the world can be made better by human effort.

We must elevate our thinking and actions past what we have done and know, and envision and work without relenting for something greater.
And in doing that, dispel stereotypes, bridge the inequality gap, use your privilege, interrupt and correct wrong doings, take a stand and speak up, educate yourself, be proactive & conscientious, and put your money where your mouth is. Lip service simply won’t do, only deeds.
Our lives depend on it.

 

IMG_5615

Shukri Abdi, 12

We have a long way to go, but we are on our way.
And I trust that you will do your part in creating histories to be proud of. 

xo

P.s I’ll be honest this post still feels all over the place, but better to speak than not to.

When Life Stopped

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

414d91d0-9e0b-49f5-bfe1-534373e67d41

Fam.
-Usually precedes the beginning of a wild, terrible, crazy, unbelievable story.

If you have been able to do something, anything, during this time, kudos to you.

If you haven’t because life stopped, dropped, rolled (a euphemism for shit blew up), kudos to you too.

In both scenarios, you are doing what is best for you.
There is no requirement to do or be anything other than what is good for you and yours, no matter what anyone else says.

As for me, I take each day as it comes, only making another move when needed, which is usually hour by hour, trusting that things will work out.

Having said that, I feel my second wind coming, and hopefully that means I will be here more often.

Until then, take very good care mes amis.

xo

Rest

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

bb2e38e2-24fb-43d6-a9e6-9fcca9f55e49Well that went left very quickly.

2019 was what I considered to be the year of the purge. It felt like we were going through a spiritual and physical transformation in preparation for the new decade, and I accepted that, however, I don’t think whatever that period was meant to teach us stuck, so here we are.

The universe has given us a clear indication of what is necessary and we should take heed. We are being called to take the best care we’ve ever taken of ourselves, of others and the earth we live in. It is time to chill.

Granted, the world is in a frenzy, but you don’t have to be. This period, should you choose to see it this way, can be a beautiful opportunity for you to regenerate, to bond, to develop, and ultimately alter the way you see and do things going forward, for the better.

My belief, albeit contrary to what is currently happening, is that 2020 is going to be an incredible year, as we will become 10 times the person we were before, we just have to do our bit.

Naturally, as with most things and considering the circumstances, there will be loss, sacrifice, heartbreak and hard times, but it won’t last and we will get through it as best as we can, like we always do.

So stay indoors, keep healthy, take the necessary precautions, check on your loved ones and neighbours, help out wherever possible and rest.

xo

A Will, A Way.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

61e5e7a5-db4a-413c-90cf-3df76b6e053cI have been willing myself to complete a post for weeks now to no avail. Five different topics with a beginning, a middle and no end. Huff.

As I finished writing that last sentence, a thought came to me to just post one as is, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Too often we let perfectionism block and stop us from showing up, believing that we have to present a completely finished & polished product, and truthfully we don’t. What’s much more revolutionary than that is being your authentic self and simply showing up the best way you know how, rough edges and all.

So here is one I started a month ago and haven’t edited or completed.  And maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

Remove and Replace

Whatever expectations you’ve had for your life for the last few years or decades, perhaps it’s time you let up and release them.

We can get so caught up in what we think it should be and forcefully try and make things happen, that we actually miss out on the opportunities right in front of us.

That doesn’t mean never getting the things you want, it’s more about adjusting your lens to capture what already exists and making it better.

I was having a conversation with a friend about life and its fragility and because of that, again I thought are can we really afford to get stuck on the things that haven’t worked? to hold grudges? to wallow in self-pity? to allow negativity?  Sure, its easier said than done. And yes it’s something to be practice and there is no time like the present.

So many of us give up on the first try, because we’re so stuck on how we envisioned it happening that we haven’t stopped to consider other options.”

Xo

Life Is Beautiful Yet Tragic

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

FD2AAAED-849C-4C47-81E9-1FBB43B269C9Life is beautiful yet tragic for the same reason, life goes on.

No matter what happens in our world, irrespective of how life changing it may be, life goes on.

It doesn’t respect persons or their wants, even when parts of the world is shook by something, life doesn’t suddenly come to a halt, the show must go on.

In someone’s death, elsewhere there is birth

In someone’s heartache, elsewhere there is love

In someone’s downfall, elsewhere there is victory

In someone’s poverty, elsewhere there is wealth

In someone’s breakdown, elsewhere there’s a breakthrough.

People must get up, feed their families, go to work, see friends, finish that project, and do all the other things to sustain their lives.

Life is all-encompassing and nothing stays the same forever.

We should take solace in knowing that life will continue with or without us and that is a beautiful thing just as it is tragic.

xo

2019, Bye. 2020, Hello.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

img_2519.jpgI am ready for the New Year and what it may bring however, there is a one thing I think we all should do.

It is only right that as we enter into the year 2020 that we get clarity as where there is no vision, the people perish. 

Get clear on the things you want for yourself in this coming year.  That’s it. That’s the (almost) final word for decade from me.

My final word, is an intention. My intention is that 2020 is phenomenal, prosperous, and full of positive manifestations for you all.

Happy New Year!!!

Irene Xo

 

 

What 2009-2019 Taught Me.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Before you receive an onslaught of all the decade stuff, I thought I’d quickly slide mine in there and share some of the things I’ve learnt over the last 10 years.

I started this decade as a 22 year old, who didn’t know shit, still doesn’t, ha! Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

  1. Love can be simple and it can be complicated. It’s also not meant to be an exact replica of others, it should however, be and feel good.
  2. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, working on them/you does.
  3. Forgiveness is essential and not an option. Your health, relationships and life need it.
  4. It’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay.
  5. Take risks, especially the ones that make you want to vomit. You either love it or you’ll learn from it.
  6. Make your own rules. You’re the boss of your life.
  7. Speak up. Clear your throat, take a deep breath and say it. Not saying it, is costly.
  8. One size does not fit all. Your life is meant to be colourful and full of character (including characters). You’re breathing, so let it do it’s thing and go with the flow where you can.
  9. Let it all go. People, jobs, ideals.  Free yourself and be better.
  10. Give. To yourself first, then to others. That way you’ll always be at your best.
  11. There are upsides to every downside, there are downsides to every upside, and to experience anything good you have to embrace all of it

Bonus: We’re all just figuring it out. The above is what I’ve figured out so far and truthfully in the next year/decade it will change. That’s life.

What are some of the things you have learnt over the last decade?

xo

P.s If I don’t write to you before the new year, have a wonderful New Year! xo

One At A Time

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_18-11-2019-18-17-01-1

 

I really hope this post meets you well.

Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of the year? AND we’re about to enter into a new decade? Wild.

2019 so far for myself and a lot of others, has been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences that we never expected. Things like, unemployment, unplanned pregnancies, incarceration, losing friendships, losing loved ones to death, to name a few things- like I said, a roller coaster.  

I wonder if there is some sort of universal purge happening because we are entering into a new decade? What do you think?

Notwithstanding the party and bullsh*t that life can be, we still have to participate and how we do this, is entirely up to us.

Sure, we’re not in control of a lot of things, but the one of the things we can master is, ourselves. WE are huge contributors to our experiences.

With that said, I want you to think about ONE thing you want to accomplish before the 31st December 2019.

Just one. One, because when we attempt to juggle multiple things at a time the following occurs; very little gets done, you become overwhelmed with how much there is to do, causes frustration and worse than all of that, can make you stagnant.

Once you have decided what that is, close off or shut down anything that does not support the thing you are in the process of accomplishing. That might mean limiting the access others have to you, setting a timetable, changing your environment, exposing yourself to something different and so on.

Chances are, you already know what you have to do, you just don’t want to do it. Take heed to whatever messages you are receiving right now about your life, as its the very thing that will get you closer to where you want to be.

And if you don’t? Well you already know what life will look like because you are living it now. Do yourself one solid before the new year and surprise yourself.

With love, Irene x 

 

Take A Picture

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

84e2fe7f-4a56-4acc-a517-f19b12b53042It’s hard to see growth when there’s no tangible evidence. You can easily begin to think badly of yourself and how much you haven’t done and of all the things you have not accomplished.

There’s a great way to address that, document it.
I’m about to tell you a story, that might sound random, but follow it for a moment.

At the beginning of 2018 my acne flared up terribly. I had just finished 3 chemical peels back to back, in a bid to clear up acne scarring, believing that as I approached my 30s everything would settle down. Not my skin and not my face. Rather than reveal new skin, my acne returned with a vengeance. My skin was not happy with the peels or me and it showed. I felt defeated again. Who wants to be dealing with acne at any age never mind at 30!

Up until that point, there existed NO pictures of my bare face. Not one. Not one since I was 17. Not on my personal phone, not even in a place where’d it be hidden, where only I would be privy to it. Not even after 2 rounds of roaccutane (which significantly improved my skin temporarily), numerous facials, topical treatments and so on. Never. I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want proof of it anywhere, thinking that if I didn’t have to see it, it’ll piss off and never return somehow.  It can’t exist if I do not acknowledge it right? Well it didn’t piss off and it did exist.

For years I hated pictures and was always running from a camera and deleting pictures from other people phones. Even today, I’m still not all that enthusiastic about it, however I am MUCH better than I used to be.

Anyway, I’m not sure what possessed me this time around, but I decided I would take pictures of my bare skin in June 2018. It was bad, really bad.

No one ever believes how problematic and scarred my skin was, because I was an expert at disguising most of it. Those with acne prone skin usually are. Now I’d have proof to show people when they’d say ‘you’re skin isn’t bad’, erm yes it was, let’s call a spade a spade.
Truthfully though, I had no intentions of showing anyone and still don’t. I did however, want to see the changes that might happen.

I took action to repair my skin for the umpteenth time and gradually it improved, but I wanted more. I wanted my blemish free taunt skin that I had pre-acne, that was until I looked at the picture I took a year ago. I was astounded by the difference.

I immediately felt immense gratitude for how far I’d come and the progress I had made. I couldn’t actually believe this was what it used to look like. I looked in the mirror again and appreciated how much had changed.

Being able to look back and see the difference between then and now instantly shifted my perspective on how I saw things and increased my confidence. I give myself a little bit more love and a pat on the back for not giving up.

You should consider doing the same. Write down your feelings or take pictures of what you’re doing/working on now, and if you feel compelled to regarding that particular thing, continue to do so. Over time, you will notice the leaps and bounds that you will have made, if only you will not give up and keep going.

xo

P.s Perhaps I’ll share pictures another time, when I am ready and or feeling much much braver lol.

Something’s Afoot.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

I don’t know how its been for you (I hope great), but the first 6 months of this year for myself and many others that I know, was rough, still is.

From deaths, loss of jobs, work issues, financial hardship, strained relationships, the list goes on. It’s been too strange, too common, too frequent, too harsh. I started to think, is this a universal shift for a specific set of people? I wanted out. Knowing others were having a hard time too, did not alleviate the weight of struggle- misery in fact does not always love company.

Having said that, I believe another transition is upon us. A glow up of sorts. Something better than what was. Ms O(prah) said what happens to you is for you and that shift in perspective can empower you to think and act differently. Attempting to ignore or rush it, will not make things change quicker, let it breathe

As cliche as this is about to sound I wouldn’t be who I am When I think about some of the difficult times I’ve had, it always made me better, always. A better communicator, better skilled, more compassionate, more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, disciplined, smarter and much more. Did it feel like all these things at the time? Um **** no, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have always gained more and become larger than before.

Let the growing pains work for you by allowing it the space to evolve and for you evolve with it, because what is coming is better than what is gone.

Irene xo

 

Trust the Process

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

My three biggest takeaways so far for 2019 are patience, trust and humility. I have had to exercise these qualities in various amounts, sometimes all at the same time. It is testing, but growing.
Growing. I wonder if people understood what it meant, whether they’d still want to grow? We say it all the time, “I want to continuously grow and develop”, the reality of that is a lot different to those few words. It can be painful, especially if you resist the change.
If you are in that transition period, here are some things that can make the growing pains easier on you:
DON’T: 
  1. Resist the change. Forcing it to go your way is only going to cause you more strife. Relax.
  2. Do not constantly repeat your problems to anyone within earshot. You only exacerbate the situation and deepen the attachment, which tends to be negative.

DO:

  1. Do be proactive. Learn something new, invest in yourself. Standing still will only cause you ponder over what’s happening and if you’re an over thinker you’ll simply make it worse.
  2. Let go of the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s, it’s regressive.
  3. Go with the flow.
  4. Keep going, however you know how. It will improve.
  5. Exercise patience. Wanting it to be over and doing everything in your might to make it so, will not make it so. Can you plant a seed today and it bear fruit tomorrow?It has to take its natural course, whatever ‘it’ is.
  6. For the love of God, learn the lesson (lol). This one was for me, but still, I thought it might be useful for you too.

Xo

Seasons

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The weather in London has been amazing! But if you’re from here, you know all too well how fleeting it is, and how eager we all are to enjoy it whilst it’s here.

Seasons. We might not like them but we need them, whether we recognise it or not. Everything has its time. A time to work and a time to relax.

What are you working towards? And is it working for you? Because if not, maybe it’s time for you take a step back and assess what season you’re in.

When we resist what is happening for us, we cause further pain and strife to ourselves.

There is however another option, to stop resisting, relax and get into the flow of your season. I know, it’s difficult to relax when you have these dreams that you need to make happen, which are obviously not going to come on their own, right? Well, not entirely. Sure you have to do something, but notice how things come to you much faster when you’re relaxed, and the urgency isn’t there? You might have even forgotten about the thing itself and suddenly it appears. This is what will happen once you choose to accept versus resist.

I know it’s annoying when things aren’t working how you want it to, but what’s even more frustrating, is trying to force something to happen that is unripe.

If there is something you have been trying too hard at, choose today to relax. Take a deep breath, pull back and then get in tune with the vibration of your life. Pay attention to the things that are happening/working and flow with that, and you’ll soon find that the others things will begin to work itself out.

Xo

Magic? No, Work.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘The magic you’re looking for is in the work you are avoiding’. I wish I could refute this statement with all of my might but I can’t.

As a professional work avoider, I know how much (temporary) enjoyment I get from skiving off. That is until the chickens come home to roost.

I also know that doing the work is the actual key to unlocking rewards. And there’s no other way around it.

Usually that piece of work that I avoid becomes easy once I start doing it, then I’m bemused because ‘what was the big deal?, why was I avoiding this?’.

I’d had been procrastinating on writing a business plan for my next venture. When I did get around to it, I realised I had already completed a large portion of it on a previous occasion (I must have been delirious whilst doing it). Oh. So I can do it then.

With the new week upon us, what work have you been running away from? Run towards it. Grab it by the horns and make it your bitc submit to you. You already have what it takes, use it. Even if you don’t know how, start with what you know and things will begin to unfold.

I’m learning that with what you want, you can’t be afraid to work and sometimes work hard, as it is the very thing that will call forth your desires.

Xo

Nothing Lasts Forever

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_05-03-2019-16-28-25.jpg

Nothing lasts forever and that’s not a bad thing.

I’m in this weird I-don’t-really-know-wtf is happening phase of life. You know the one, the one where things refuse to go the way you want it to and you can’t make sense of it.

Thankfully this won’t be a forever thing. Like the good book says ‘this too shall pass’ and I am clinging to those words fiercely. And you should too.

Knowing that ‘life comes at you fast’ is why I do my best to relish the great things I experience and to find the good things during hard times.

To savour the great times here are a few things I do:

1. Be present. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the colours, what you see, smell, who you’re with, where you are. Use all of your senses to interact and connect with the moment.

2. Be thankful. I make seemingly small moments bigger by being grateful for the things I am able to do. I take just a few seconds to be thankful for what I’m experiencing. Things like withdrawing money, buying food, paying a bill, getting my nails done, looking at my family, using my phone. You get my drift. And in doing these things, I notice what I feel about being able to do these things and remember it.

3. Give. Whatever you are able to do no matter how small or big for another person or cause, do it. It does not have to be the obvious things like money, it could be time, encouragement, fixing something, anything you’re led to. I firmly believe that irrespective of your state there’s always something you can do.

To elevate your spirit during difficult times:

Do your best to keep doing the above.

1. With being present, look at the things you typically take for granted and are easily overlooked. Things you always have and do not struggle for and cherish it that much more.

2. Do more of the things you enjoying doing. It could be a hobby or improving a skill you have or even learning a new one. I started cooking more which I hardly did. I’ve made some meals I haven’t made in almost 5 years and I feel much better for it. The idea is to not place so much focus & mental energy on what isn’t working out as doing that only exacerbates the situation in your mind. It’s especially important in cases where it is out of your hands.

3. Meditate everyday. Make time to be quiet and still and…talk to yourself out loud (not loudly). If you believe in a higher power, talk to them instead. You can start with 5 minutes a day and use your phone to set an alarm for this session. I currently don’t use music but when I do it’s either rain sounds or spa music, however silence is my preference. With the busyness of life, having ‘you’ time to reflect and create is essential to being able to function well. Might sound unusual but it actually can be therapeutic to be your own counsellor. I always feel refreshed afterwards.

Hope this helps.

Xo

Through Thick and Thin

Featured

*Deeply exhales*

I was rebelling. I didn’t want to write on here anymore, it didn’t make sense to and the purpose of it all had significantly dwindled. Who’s reading anyway? (Says my ego).

But, it’s 5am in the morning and I’m meditating with rain music and something pushed me to read my old posts and as usual my own words minister to me. I connect with them because, well they are mine, and in that moment I remember why I wrote, to connect, with people publicly and privately. Isn’t that a worthy enough reason?

I guess what I’m saying is hi. That’s it. Just hi.

P.s I’m still in my feelings and I’d hate to have to be inauthentic.

A Blessing or a Curse?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_08-02-2019-18-32-36-1It’s been a little quiet over here and I’m starting to think that I’m talking to myself and I don’t know how to feel about that. Having said that, I am choosing to believe that I am talking to millions of you. Yes you heard, millions of you.

Last week was rough for many people myself included. All sorts of weird and painful things were happening, but if you’re reading this it’s not too late to turn things around.

It’s a new week and whatever happened last week is now in the past and no longer happening, so what would you like to do next? You can choose to hold onto it OR let go and keep sowing great things now for your future.

One way to turn things around instantly, which you can do right away, is to shift your perception on your reality.

Can it feel fake at first? Yup, but with persistence it will feel normal and this will alter your reality.

For example, many people see paying bills as a chore and a pain instead of gift that affords them the lifestyle they live. Rather than bemoan it, say thank you every time you pay an expense, because you’re effectively being grateful for the things you get to experience everyday that once upon a time was but a dream. You remember what it felt like to not have the money to pay that bill and you had to ask someone for it, well now you don’t have to. That’s a blessing.

Shifting your focus onto what is good about a situation will always bear better fruit than exacerbating an already negative situation.

Pick one thing you want to feel different about and change the story you’ve made about it. Your mind is something you can control and that’s a super power. Use it wisely, be intentional for your good and that of others.

Speaking of which: you will have a great week, receive wonderful news and enjoy being alive with your loved ones 🙂

Xo

I Could, I Should, I Might?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

cc5a9b14-ac0b-48cd-87a3-7f751557ba9eI have been doing it so wrong for the past year and I knew better.

Isn’t that the worst? When you know better yet you’re not doing better and for whatever reason you can’t figure it out.

I have had a bunch of things that I wanted to achieve and acquire over the past couple of years which technically isn’t a problem. The distinction here is that I had no clarity on any of it. I would umm and ahh over everything, and I do mean everything.

I couldn’t decide if I was coming or going. Do I want to live in London or Manchester? Do I want to travel to a different country and work there or stay here? Do I want to buy a house or rent one? Do I want live in an apartment or a semi detached house? Do I want this type of job or to not work in this field at all? Do I want to be in a relationship or not? And this conversation continued in almost every area of my life. It stayed that way up until recently when I had a durh or as Oprah would say an ‘aha’ moment.

No wonder I had been stressed out and felt utterly unaccomplished, I had no idea what I truly wanted. I flip flopped out of fear of making a decision that would cost me. I didn’t want to unduly suffer again for a terrible choice I made, but guess what that meant? I didn’t do anything.

I had no clear sense of direction and therefore could not confidently take action towards anything, and that ultimately resulted in little to no result.

The lesson here is if you’re in a period of confusion and not knowing what way to go, just pick one. We spend a lot of time trying to avoid past mistakes but sometimes that leads to inaction and frustration, not to mention wasted energy.

The point of living is to live and that cannot happen if you’re second guessing everything. The only thing happening by doing that is building fear muscles and we certainly don’t want that.

Get clear on what you want and stick to it. It’s almost impossible to move forward without having an idea of what it is you want, how do you expect the universe to help you out when you keep giving her mixed signals?

Take a chance today and make a choice. Even if it doesn’t work out how you imagined, you still would have learned something you didn’t know before and that believe it or not is progression.

Xo

I Chose This Life

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Winter FabA few years ago I was knocking on doors, trying to find the person who owned the car that had scratched mine. One person opened their door and instead of paying attention to what he was saying, I was peering into his home as I couldn’t help but notice how different it was.

It didn’t look like mine, even though we lived a street away. It was not designed in the way these homes were originally made. It had been gutted out and designed specifically to the owners wants.

It surprised me and I thought to myself ‘So we don’t all live the same?’. Now I know that might sound obvious, but think about it. If you lived in well known expensive town, you might think that the inhabitants are generally well to do.

It was significant to me because we often think that because an experience is shared by a group of people that everyone must be having the same experiences, and it is not so.

You wake up and hate going to work, someone else loves it.

You dislike the treatment you receive in this relationship by this wo/man, someone else is deeply in love and enjoying their partner.

You barely make enough to get by, someone else is making more in a month than you make in a year.

Your friendship group is lack lustre, someone else has a great group of friends and loves their life.

The difference in the above is about creating, creating by choice. We all live through and by the choices we make every single day.

You can live how you want to if only you will consistently make choices that align with the thing that you want.

Do not underestimate the power of your choices as they determine what you experience daily. Just take a look around you and examine what is taking place, what choices did you make? Don’t like it? Choose differently.

Xo

Can You Focus On…Me?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_8202It’s the 17th January (already?!) and dare I ask, how is it going?

For some of the people I know it’s been, a bit, bluregh. And a bit bluregh is never a good way to feel. Maybe it’s the January blues or in London the gloomy weather? Whatever it is, as with most things, it’ll soon pass.

On my side it’s been quite slow, which I welcome because I know it’s not going to be like this for much longer.

As tradition dictates, with a new year comes new or refreshed goals. I have some that this time around I’m choosing to keep to myself however, I do have one that above all of them is absolutely necessary in order to meet my goals and that is to focus.

I used to hear as a child that ‘Irene is great and has potential but she lacks focus’, and now as an adult I understand more what they meant by that. I struggle to give a thing my undivided attention, so I’m gifting myself myself and working on improving my focus, little by little.

What are you working on?

My advice for any goals or desires you have is to take each day as it comes. Let things happen organically. I spent a considerable amount of time in the past forcing things to happen and the outcome always left me wanting.

To summarise, work with what works.

Xo

P.s Things will start look up, I promise 🙂

Happy New Year!

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

img_7833I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and also this:

May this new year be better than the last in every way 

May this new year be filled with a thousand reasons to celebrate 

May this new year make all your previous efforts worth it

May this new year cause you to create new goals for yourself as the old ones have now manifested 

May this new year grant you good heath and wealth 

May this new year be full of wonderful memories that you have created with your loved ones

May love abound you wherever you go

May your relationships flourish and add more meaning to your life

May your purpose be revealed and impact not only your life but the lives of others

May this new year be all that you want it to be and more.

That is my profession for you all this year.

Thank you for your continuous support and readership. Here’s to a fantastic new year ahead 🥂! 

Much love Irene Xo

Lone Ranger

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_26-12-2018-22-06-16-1My siblings and I were talking about favourites with our parents and we joked that I was the black sheep as I didn’t have a parent that I favoured.

That statement didn’t surprise me at all. I seldom did things the way others did and this made me stand out like a sore thumb. 

For the most part being this way is fine, but sometimes you want to be a part of the crowd and blend in because, well, it’s easier. There’s less conversation and strife…however there’s a price, what and who will you become by doing that? I’ve tried it a few times in the past to get on board and do things the way others did. It rarely worked and I often felt stupid afterwards. 

I consider how different my life is to many of my peers and the amount of times I have wished and attempted to be in their position just so I don’t get left behind. I laugh now as it was never my business to do or live as they do, and in any case I failed terribly at it. Through these experiences I concluded I actually know what’s best for me and should trust myself more.

So for the lone rangers who tread off the beaten track, please continue. There is a reason why you go through those things, there’s a reason why you face those particular challenges, there’s a reason why you’re the topic of conversation, there’s a reason why you do things the way you do and that reason is tied to your purpose. 

It might not be clear to you what it is, you might even want to give up and be like others, don’t. You have come too far to let up now. 

With the New Year around the corner, recommit to yourself, appreciate what you’ve accomplished and who have become. Trust yourself more, even if a decision ends up different to how you envisioned, believe that it will work out for your good.

Block out the noise from others on what they think you should be doing, think for yourself, believe in your path, especially if there is no one around you doing it, you never know who needs who you are and what you have. 

Xo 

First Impressions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_7832Since being away I have been plagued with the tales that I have heard about this country as a child. Sometimes I’m uneasy because of it. I have lived here and loved it but that part, that part never went away.

I can’t seem to shake of those stories that I heard and watched on TV. It hasn’t mattered much that I have never seen proof to support those claims, yet it still invades my mind as if I have lived it. It has affected my experience here and this is simply down to how they introduced the culture to me at age 5 on my first visit.

However, I am challenging those perspectives, as I realise how stupid those beliefs are.

Imagine that?! The things I was shown and told has shaped my thoughts for 26 years! If that’s not a reason to be mindful of first impressions I don’t know what is.

And yes whilst it’s possible to change someone view, but it’s seldom easy to do so. 

The New Year is 5 days away and I’m sure some of us have a few changes we’d like to make. As you make them, please consider how you speak of a thing or person as it has the potential to have a lasting impression that may never shift. Be thoughtful about the words you speak and consider the impact it could have.

Your words are powerful, use them wisely and make the first impression count.

Xo

If Only You Loved Yourself

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_6515Works like a charm. Every time I openly confess my feelings about something, freedom follows. Give it a go, release your feelings and it need not be public but it must be seen by you. When you release the feelings, it no longer owns you and keeps you captive. 

Back to today’s post.

It’s so easy for someone to say ‘love yourself, value yourself, have self worth’, and the rest of it, when the reality of doing that is obscure to most of us. What school can we go to to learn this exactly? Many of us do not have a clue what that means or how to even begin to do that. 

I’ll break it down from my perspective, you may have yours and I’d love to hear it too!

Before you can begin to love or value yourself, you first have to know yourself.

Think about it, how can you love or see value in what you don’t know or understand? It’s near impossible. Do we love complete strangers at first glance? Typically no and that’s what some of us are, strangers to ourselves.

We don’t know what we like or don’t like, what makes us excited, what makes us happy, what makes us angry, what we will or will not do, our limits, our beliefs and so on. How then will it be possible to love yourself if you don’t know who you are?

Therefore rule no 1: Know Thyself.

To do this, spend time monitoring your thoughts, what and how you do things and the interactions and impact you have with/on people. Do things you haven’t done before, and revisit things you used to enjoy doing.

The aim is to put yourself in a position to get reacquainted with yourself, and in some ways discover more of who you are. 

For example, I know if something scares the crap out of me, thinking about it is not going to make it better. In fact I have to do the complete opposite and not think about it and just do it. That’s what happened when I jumped out of a plane, when I travelled to a different country for the first time alone, when I started this blog, when I attended university, when I left various jobs, you get my drift. Things get done when I get up & do it. I know this about me because I’ve watched how I respond to things. And guess what? the things I think about in excess seldom get done as I am the king of rationalising the hell out of something. In knowing this I am better equipped to maintain the most important relationship I have, which is with myself.

It’s only when you know more of who you are both in the good and not so good that you can begin to appreciate the essence of who you are and have an understanding of how you can then love yourself.  

A few ways I love myself are: 

1. Removing limitations with the things I desire

2. Being kind to myself and reaffirming the goodness in me whenever I feel low and ugly (yes I have ugly days).

3. Exercising discipline in areas that I desire to be improved upon (I checked my credit score yesterday and its in the 900’s, I could scream and yes I worked for it!).

4. Being still.

5. Having nice quality things and surrounding myself around good people.

6. Maintaining the standards that I have set for myself.

7. Saying no.

8. Saying yes.

Loving yourself isn’t only about physical self care, it’s also about accepting who you are and doing the work to improve the things that could be better.

What are your thoughts?

Xo

 

Trials

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

img_5527Whew it’s been a minute.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you, I have. I think about you often and want to write. I pick up my phone, open notes and nothing. Stringing a sentence together has felt like pulling teeth and if I am honest I simply haven’t felt like it.

I know you’re supposed to push past those feelings, as that’s how you develop discipline, but in the midst of that, I have been figuring out what life is, especially after the passing of Franklin. And for a period everything seemed pointless and at times it still does.

I’m working that out though, making it make sense to me because I need it to. I do however acknowledge that the reality is I may not receive the total peace I need from this, unless I just let it go…and I’m not ready yet.

Anyway, I celebrated my birthday on Monday and it was different. I was different. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the word calm or should I say unbothered springs to mind and I’m not sure if I like it yet (lol). I was eerily still inside.

Maybe it’s because I’m currently in a different country?

Maybe it’s everything that’s happened over the past few months?

Maybe it’s the quiet confidence they say you’ll get once you’re in your 30s?

Even with all of that I am grateful to have witnessed another year of life.

I’m saying all of this as I believe it’s important to be truthful about your experiences, not only to yourself but to others, as only then will you be able to move through them with more ease. And you never know who will find solace in your truth.

So consider this post a breaking of the seal as till the end of the year I’m going to be here, she says.

Thank you all for your continuous support and you’ll read me tomorrow xo

Drop the Weight.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

facetune_29-11-2018-17-28-34-3You know what that weight is…it’s the thing you use as an excuse for your lack thereof or mediocrity.

You hold onto it as it makes you feel justified; family, friends, job, money, resources, pretty much anything can sound like a valid reason to not have or do something.

But what you don’t realise, is that until it’s out of the way, it will continue to oppress and hold you back. You will not be able to truly see the gift that is in front of you because there are too many things that you are giving much power to.

Let it go, clean it up or clear it out.

But before even doing that, you have to make a decision.

I had been holding my mother responsible for the reason why I haven’t been able to do a particular thing well for the past few months. She was being herself and I allowed it to impact what and how I did things. I decided to make a commitment to doing better.

Making that decision alone shifted how I thought about things and ultimately how I did it. I wasn’t going to literally wait around anymore, I was going to make improvements for myself. And as usual, the universe conspires in helping you meet your goal.

If you have been holding in or onto something or blaming someone for the shortcomings that are occurring in your life, make a decision to work through them to make the things you want happen. Drop the excuses, develop discipline and hold fast to your determination to see things through.

“I am going to make a very beautiful life for myself no matter what it takes”.

Xo

On Your Team

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_5963In case no one has told you this recently, I’m on your team!

I have many interests that I’d love to explore and maybe share, however I have chosen to use my blog for its current purpose, because I have on many occasions needed a ‘me’. And by that I mean someone who can be honest about things, encouraging and sometimes provide a different perspective.

My hopes are that my presence here bridges the gap for at least one person, that they don’t feel so alone and isolated from the world, and that somehow they can connect the dots for themselves from what they read, because with the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to feel unworthy, lack purpose or feel unsuccessful.

The inspiration behind this post is a friend of mine who recently started his business in men’s fashion. He was posting regularly and then he stopped.
I checked with him about what was up and he gave me an excuse as we all do. I in that moment, chose to give him a little bit of a push by holding him accountable and giving a deadline for when he needs to post by. I gather from his response that he appreciated it.

Don’t we all need that sometimes? For someone to give a shit about what we’re doing, to notice that something has changed, to care about a project close to our hearts.
It makes such a difference to have someone pay a little attention and encourage you to stay on course.

You might not have that in your lives right now but you can. To have it, you need to be it. It’s one thing to have the desire and expectation from others but to experience it you must know what it is like to give it.

Look around you today and choose a person/s and check-up on them. If you no one springs to mind, what about that person that appears to have together? The chances are they don’t. Take an honest interest in their affairs be it business or personal and be of value. Be an example, most especially if there are none.

Oh and in case you’ve forgotten already, I’m on your team!

Xo

Fumbling in the Dark

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Remember when you were a kid and you for the first time, entered a room you’d never been in. It was pitch black and although there was no real reason to be scared, you still were.
You don’t know where the light switch is, and you can hear your heart beating out of your chest. You don’t know what’s in the room, you don’t know if you’re ready for what ‘might’ be lurking in this dark place. You don’t want to be scared but your imagination is running wild.
You frantically place your hands on the wall, trying to find the switch but you can’t find it. You keep feeling your way around, moving carefully, in case you hit something that could hurt you. After a few more seconds you find the light switch and the brightness that comes next surprises you even though you expected it.

Your eyes slowly adjust and you take in what’s there. Some things you recognise as you’ve seen something similar before and some things you don’t.
As you’re now in the room you might as well get involved and get discovering. You’re still cautious because what you find could change things.

You make a plan of what you’re going to do based on your previous experience. You start looking at the things you know, with the goal of getting to what you don’t recognise uncertain of what you’ll learn. Will there be money? A toy? Something you’re not supposed to see or know? A letter? Hidden information about a family member?…

That’s life. Full of twists and turns, ups and downs, good times and not so good times, failures and successes, dark moments and brighter days and to thrive, you have to live through it.

You are not going to be able to have everything figured out all the time and this truthfully, is one of the most difficult challenges I have. I have to know everything. I need to know what and when the outcome will be and that’s thing, you cannot truly experience the best life has to offer by controlling everything. You have to free up the reigns a little bit (takes note), embrace what comes, and be present.

Xo

Rejected…again?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_14-11-2018-09-44-44I don’t know whether there are people who are unaffected by rejection and if they exist someone point them my way, I need some tips.

I think most would agree that being rejected once, sucks, but multiple times? Its the worst. And yet it’s inevitable, we cannot escape it no matter who we are or where we are from, we have to deal.

So how do we deal? When things aren’t going how we would like, there’s a tendency to lump all bad experiences together and make it one big ball of pain. This undoubtedly makes it more difficult to move past the experience(s).

“I applied for this role and didn’t get it”

“I missed out on getting onto this course because I was shy of 2 points”

“She left me for someone else”

“My colleague was given the promotion over me, although I am more qualified”

Imagine putting all of those together and wondering why you feel so crap afterwards. Don’t do it.

I have taken a number of L’s this year, do I stop? Do I give up? Do I no longer make the effort? No no and no! (And yes I’m definitely guilty of the above, I’m champion woe is me).

Some rejections I was unfazed by, others made me question myself over and over again. It happens to the best of us.

For example, I applied for 6 positions at my current organisation, did you hear me? I said SIX. After the first 2 rejections, I felt like shit. Most of the roles I applied for, I was more than capable of doing based on my skills and experience, but it wasn’t happening and I did not understand why. The feedback I received was positive but I just missed it. To make matters worse:

  • Most of the people I work with have been pushing for me to get something permanent and so I constantly have colleagues coming up to me, giving me information on jobs, agencies and the like…all the time.
  • It’s embarrassing. And whilst I appreciate/d the support it made me feel useless. Like why can’t I get together?! Frustrating to say the least!
  • This was a 6 month contract. I have been here 18 months which I’m thankful for, however MANY people have left and been able to find better roles. I MUST be the problem.

After the 3rd interview and it was a no (the other 3 I never heard back from), I thought right, what’s really happening here? After some reflection I realised apart from improving my interview techniques, my future is not attached to this company at all. I’d be settling here. I enjoy working with the people, however the roles have been something ‘to do’ and that’s definitely not what I want for my life and the universe has heard me.

From these experiences I have learnt that it is best to treat each situation separate from the other. One negative experience, failure or rejection need not be compounded to conclude that you are indeed a “bum”. Instead, focus on the lessons to be learnt.

Rejection does not have to be failure, it can be redirection and a chance to do it differently. You also don’t know what you’re being saved from.

It can be tough and you’ll want wallow in self-pity, but choose to dust yourself off, be a good student, and give it another go.

Xo

I Wish It Wasn’t So

Featured

Tags

, , , , ,

img_5304The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. My friend passed away suddenly and it is the most painful experience of my adulthood.

I am not ready to start losing friends yet, we’re in our early 30’s, you die of old age not abruptly.

Franklin was the sweetest, gentlest and caring person and I miss him incredibly. I wish he were still here.

Writing a post has been especially difficult, because as I write I am filled with the memory of his encouraging words and particular appreciation for my writing. He read my posts without being asked and always gave me positive feedback, and that meant everything to me.
Being a writer is an isolating process and whilst I love it, you do write to be read, but that does not always happen, least of all from your family and friends. To have him continuously care and show support not only in this, but in my life as a whole was so appreciated and special to me.

I did have a little bit of change in perspective yesterday, and that was to be grateful to have known him at all, and I was. I valued him when he was here and will forever cherish the moments we had.

There are so many things that I feel and haven’t been able to articulate yet and probably won’t for some time. This is about as much as I can manage writing about him for now.

Through this, I have made a commitment to make sure that his life continues to be meaningful in mine.

Xo

P.s I don’t know if I’ll be posting regularly for now, please bear with.

Ask the Right Questions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

img_4754A few friends of mine would make fun of me saying I asked too many questions.  ‘Questionnaire’ is what they’d call me.

I don’t always need to have the full information but enough for me make an informed decision; after all my brain works, why should I leave all the decision making to someone else especially when it impacts me?

I made a decision to do things completely different and set a goal for completion at end of 2019.  To achieve it will require a different version of who I have been to date.

So I started asking myself questions, questions about what I would need to do, the knowledge I need to have, the places I need to be in, the people I need to talk to, the time frame it needs to be done in, the money I’d need to invest, what I’d need to invest in, the mind set I need to have, the practices I need to change, the ones I have to adopt, what I have to cut, and so on. And then I answered them.

I pushed myself to think past the confines that I am used to and this process has put me in a completely different headspace, and for the things I did (do) not know, I research, I study, I apply it.

Too often we think others know so much more than we do and completely undervalue the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience we do have or have access to. Don’t.

Ask questions, don’t be a zombie that follows the status quo. Challenge yourself and it might surprise you in realising what you know or even what you don’t know and now know that you need to.

If you want to live a life that is completely debt free, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to live on a beach in a tropical country, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to have £100,000 in 1 year, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to buy your first property, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want peace, ask the questions, do the work.

You get my drift.

It’s not about knowing everything, it’s starting with what you know that gets you closer to where you want to be; whether it’s dealing with heartbreak, making a large purchase, starting a business or having a healthy relationship with your partner.

Xo

Am I Qualified?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_29-10-2018-17-17-37-1.jpgEver had a new goal that you were super excited about?

You’re filled with the possibilities of what achieving this goal will do for you and you cannot wait to get started.

You plan and establish the actions you need to take and then unexpectedly your insecurities surface.

What if I’m not qualified?

Who said I am qualified?

What if someone thinks I’m not up for the job?

Doubts here and before you know it, it starts to feel like a pipe dream. Within moments, you have convinced yourself that you’re definitely not up for the job and resign that goal to the ‘do not attempt’ pile.

Why are we the very first to sap the life out of something? Our own worst enemy.

Do you know what qualifies those that do vs those that do not? Their belief. That’s it. Those that achieve the most, do not allow their past, failures or circumstances to dictate what they can and cannot do. In spite of it, they move full steam ahead.

You will always be better off for doing something even when it does not work out as envisioned. The trade-off is the wealth of experience, applied knowledge and skills gained, that not doing anything could never provide you with. It is also a stepping stone.

I bumped into someone I knew online through a mutual friend. I had not met them in person until this morning. We started talking about various things and he asked me whether an online series I was a part of was well thought out or improvised. What do you think I said? We winged that bad boy!

None of us really knew what we were doing, we just showed up and figured it out as we went along. In that same year of doing the series, I wrote, directed and produced my first short play. I won 2 awards for the play and a little bulb went off in my head ‘I’m a writer’, and always had been, but it wasn’t until that point, did I acknowledge myself. That was almost six years ago.

Do you think how I write now is how I have always written? Absolutely not! In the beginning, it was trash. I cringe every time I see something from the past, but I had to start somewhere, as terrible as it was.

So trust me when I say, you can do this. Little by little, step by step, piece by piece.

Xo

Gratitude

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

img_1716Wait till it’s taken away from you, maybe you’ll remember to be grateful for what you have in future.

It’s so easily done isn’t it? Things are good, every area of your life is booming as you’ve always wanted, ‘you’ve got it like that’…until you don’t, and all hell breaks loose.

Part of the pain we experience when times are rough, is guilt. We experience guilt for not being appreciative of what we had, we reminisce and regret the haughtiness we had in thinking that this will be forever. Still, in those hard times, we should be grateful because there is always something to be thankful for.

I often experience an uncomfortable ease when a terrible thing happens and suddenly there’s an urgent call to love your loved ones as it’s short lived. It does not cultivate the solid essence of being grateful because it stems from fear. And yes I’m definitely a culprit.

Being grateful is to do so irrespective of what you do or don’t have. The benefits are clear.
From the simplest, most mundane and normal things to the major changes and transitions, have gratitude, for the love of it, not for the fear of it, even when it’s tough.

Xo

Chasing Waterfalls

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

TLC said it best.

It can be a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in pursuit of something that doesn’t want you back. No matter how much you do it simply does not want to materialise or work out how you’ve envisioned.

In that there’s a lesson; don’t force it, let it go.

It means there’s another area in your life that requires your attention, what is it? If you don’t know, look a bit closer, it’s there, screaming pick me.

Once you discover it, direct your attention to that thing. Nurture it, learn from it, grow from it. Before you know it, like a boys summer growth spurt, what you were in hot pursuit of is here.

Sometimes it’s like that. There are certain things we have to experience first and learn from before we are equipped enough to handle our other desires. In fact it’s crucial that we do, so we have less of a chance to totally screw it up!

It’s sucks, I know, but something greater is possible if you allow it to be.

xo

20 Things to Know In Your 20’s – Part 2 (Reposted)

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

My next post is titled ‘Navigating Your 30’s’ and I thought before I drop that, I’d repost an oldie but goodie from 2017. I wrote this in the days leading up to my 30th birthday, and much has changed, with me that is.

For now, a quick refresh on things to know in your 20’s and at any age for that matter.

“Continuing on from my last post on Sunday, here are the next 10 things I have learnt in my 20’s:

  1. Not everyone’s opinion matters, in fact yours is the most important. And if yours is self-depreciating then you need to remedy that immediately effectively.
  2. Heartbreak hurts like a bitch, but one day you will be better. I was in love with someone for years and I honestly thought my little heart will never mend. It did. Now, I look back and laugh (cackle) at how dramatic that period of my life was. It was also one of the biggest teachers I have ever had.
  3. Don’t be okay with the okey doke. If you believe you can have different, then go for it irrespective of what people say or the environment you are in. Many Greats started at the very bottom.
  4. For my ladies, you can say no to sex if you don’t want to. Men, you don’t have to sleep with a girl, you control your membrane. Society might encourage that behaviour but for us all it is okay to say no, not today. The opposite is also okay too. But do so with caution and sense
  5. Let go. It requires way too much to hold on.
  6. Cut and or reduce communication with those that do not add to your life. Honestly, the power is in your hands. You absolutely have a say in who should be in your life and who shouldn’t. It takes one person to ruin your life, don’t let that happen on your watch
  7. Travel. If it’s your thing and even if it’s not, a few visits to new places won’t hurt you, it’ll enrich your life.
  8. Work on your discipline. To live the life you want will require sacrifice and discipline, otherwise years will go by and nothing in your life would have changed.
  9. Think carefully about what you want your future to look like and start to work on it now.
  10. People will let you down, repeatedly and you’ll do the same to others. Its life, nobody is perfect, don’t beat yourself up about it (I’m working on this as we speak), just do better.

I hope you find some of the 10 tips useful, what are your tips?

Xo”

LATEST POSTS

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Transitions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been drafting this post for weeks, and with each passing day I say I’m going to finish it and click publish.
My perfectionism has had a firm grip on me, and it’s baby, procrastination, has been tap dancing all around me, however, I— I think today is D-Day.
It’s fortuitous as our friends stateside near the end of the presidential election, and my family and friends in England are preparing for a lockdown and I, well, I’m already in a lockdown in France. It’s all systems go and transitions of all sorts are afoot. 

Transitions can be ugly, messy and traumatic. Even the beautiful and welcomed ones can still be difficult and sad.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all experiencing a transition period of varying degrees, consisting of upheavals, rapid change, deep losses and lots of growing pains.

Naturally, there’ll be emotions that come up as you go through this phase, but don’t dismiss or suppress them as they surface. Allow them to breathe and work through them.
By doing this, you’re clearing the way and getting rid of the gunk in a healthier fashion and in turn making space to think clearly, and direct your energy where you truly want it.

Trust me, I get it. There is so much going on and it’s challenging to sift out what is for you and useful, and what isn’t.
With this in mind, what has become increasingly clear over the past few months is the power of words. And in this era of instant send and receive, it is crucial to own and use language that is not only yours, but in cultivating the circumstances you want to bring to life.
So be intentional. Create a haven for yourself with whatever you have. Envision something greater and keep going—You’ve made it this far, you’ll get through this too!

Xo

P.s I am still not entirely pleased with this post. The words just lack synergy, it feels gritty, but the aim is progress, not perfection.

LATEST POSTS

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Advocate For Yourself

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I have a picture frame on my chest of drawers, and when I feel like it I change the picture to suit my mood.
This time around I chose a baby picture of myself, and what I saw was my zest for life, excitement and innocence. I was full of promise.
I also saw a little girl that over the years was unprotected, not well supported, disappointed and sad. Perpetually sad.

In that moment I decided that whilst others may not have taken up for me as a child, because of their own things and not having the best tools, I, will take up for me.
I am not child anymore, and although she (I) still needs nurturing, I am now better equipped to give myself the care, support, and gentleness that I need(ed), and advocate for myself.

What does advocating look like for me currently? Advocating for myself is investing in therapy for 3+ years and counting, setting and maintaining boundaries, changing my environment, starting all over again, doing things that bring me joy, shedding old ways, thinking for myself and doing what I want to do, not what society, or family, or friends think I should do, guarding my heart and all my senses, and much much more.

We no longer have to wait for a Knight or Dame in shining armour. The person you have been waiting for is you.
So how will you advocate for yourself?
The beauty of it is, you get to decide how it happens.

Unlearning and learning the things that edify you is never easy and is seldom straightforward, but commit to the process and to designing a life that you not only love, but are proud of.
And as you consider how you will support yourself, the compassion, grace, and care that you often extend to others, gather those things and give it to yourself.

Xo

The Ground Is Fertile

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The ground is fertile.

Everything is moving at lightning speed. And having paid very close attention to the times (yes, with all that is happening), now is the time to sow seeds, and to sprint towards your goals.

All we’ve known is being uprooted, things are shifting quickly, people are realising more and more what’s important, and ultimately change is afoot.

There are no blueprints to follow, because at this moment in history, everyone is figuring it out for themselves. Everyone.
This is the perfect opportunity to do away with the things you’ve always felt obligated to do, and carve out something new, something brilliant, something specially thought of for you, and by you.

Xo

P.s Don’t say I didn’t give you the heads up.

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

A Whole New World

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

As each day passes, it seems like those in office are making Ip Dip Doo decisions concerning our lives, and I am both appalled and fed up. 

I am in that delirious stage of dealing with change, where I experience bouts of hysteria, because what we are experiencing is so unbelievable. I keep expecting the director to shout ‘cut’ to end scene, as surely this cannot be real life?! 

It caused me to think of my childhood, and how I was conditioned to believe that ‘grown ups’ were all knowing and made sound decisions. Ha!
Of course that isn’t entirely true, and truthfully it’s unnerving, because who do you trust? Who can you rely on to make decisions that have your best interests at heart? Decisions that will impact your future and other generations?
Those that we have elected intentionally or not, are simply not connected to the issues that affect a majority.

With that said, we cannot afford to give all the power to people evidently ill-equipped. It is up to us to design a life that works best, despite the recession, pandemic, Brexit, questionable leadership, and myriad of other things.

This might mean changing your lifestyle, moving cities, taking up causes, career changes, retraining or doubling down on the vision you have for your future.
And no, you cannot half-heartedly do it. There can be no dipping of toes into water, or observing others go for it, looking for evidence in their moves as to why perhaps you shouldn’t.
You, must pursue your dreams, with reckless abandon.

A whole new world (a whole new world)
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us, “No”
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Tenets

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

A little while ago someone asked me for some tips on blogging, and so many thoughts came to mind.

I had much to say; things I regret not doing, things I could have only learnt on the job, things I wish someone had told me, and things that are difference makers.
I gave her my most significant lessons, which in all honesty apply to many things, and I am sharing them with you today.
*record scratch* I had initially typed up the seven points I gave her, but upon reflection, I changed my mind as I really, really, really want you to focus on the important stuff. And now we have three.

  1. No, your idea is not stupid. Run with it. The journey from inception to fruition might be a jog, sprint, or marathon, whatever it may be, just start! It doesn’t matter what it looks like, if there are errors or if it’s not exactly how you envisioned it, put ALL of that aside and start with what you have. And yes, you might be the only one who believes in it, still do it!
  2. The best way to get better is to ‘do’. Do more, and that means practice, practice, practice! Practice precedes progress and improvement. Practice well.
  3. Consistency. This one will make or break what you do. Do not underestimate it at all. Your work and purpose depends on it. It won’t be like that forever, but at the beginning and perhaps for a (very) long time, make consistency your goal. Think of anyone you consider to be successful, were they an overnight success? Absolutely not. It was consistency, trial and error and patience.

The chances are, you know these things already, and if so, I’m reminding you again. There is no escaping these tenets, so you might as well concede, and be on your merry way to hopefully, a more enriched life, doing the thing(s) you have always wanted.

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Death, Loss, A Gift?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

We don’t belong here, if we did, we’d be here forever.
We’re merely passing through. 

Many people see Chadwick’s death as a deep loss, which it is, yet I can’t help but think, what a gift. 

4 years ago he was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer, and God said we could have him for as long as we did? To do all that he did?
A gift 🎁

My friend Franklin ascended 4 months after diagnosis. And whilst his life was even more brief in years, I still feel very grateful to have known him. 
A gift 🎁 

God could have called them home a lot sooner. 

We do not determine when we will leave, so with what you have, make sure when it’s time to go, you’re empty.
Franklin gave me his belief in me and constant support. 
Chadwick gave us a piece of history, and a reconciling of who we are, not just in Black Panther, but in his life’s work. 

Be a gift, leave a legacy.
🎁

May they and those who have left this earth, rest in perfect peace.

Xo

 

Truth Hurts

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I came across this post two days ago by Monika A Mazur, and felt attacked by it. 

Can’t complain about results you don’t have for work you didn’t do.


It convicted me, and reiterated that doing the work isn’t a part-time gig.

Enjoy your weekend, but next week, we’re going to be on job!

Xo

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Today Is A Good Day To…

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Yup. Got a piercing and went blonde.

You see the nice clothes in your wardrobe that you are saving for a ‘moment’ in your life? Wear it, because being alive is THE moment.

The business you’re waiting for the right time to start because money, resources, and support isn’t there yet, sis, sir, those things will come, but you have to make the first move.

The relationship you’re afraid of committing to because of the hurt you’ve experienced in the past (emphasis on ‘in the past’), well, it is time to move on. I mean hello?! Life is short! Live a little lot.

The house you want that you’ve considered a fantasy, man make the call, find out what you need to do, arrange a virtual tour, hire a financial adviser, speak to the bank, yes now, even in these uncertain times, because eventually the tide will change and you will be ready.

The life you have dreamt of creating in a new country but now seems impossible, do not abandon the dream! Get online, research, apply for the visa, YouTube is your friend and go for it!

The body that you want, first of all, love yours and then make adjustments. You cannot truly have what you do not first feel, no matter any physical alterations you may make.

During this wild ride of 2020, I have seen people buy homes, move across the world to start a life with their fiancé, get married, secure new jobs, make the most amount of money they have ever made, sell out of products multiple times over, you name it, its happening. And it could be happening for you. 

There will always be ‘something’ and or a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, the good thing is, you only need one reason why you should.
Take that leap, or at least hop.

Xo

P.s I have exciting news to announce soon. You’ll be hearing my voice, wherever you are in the world eek! From pen pals to ASMR. Can’t wait!

Latest Posts

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Words are Genies.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, if you ask for something you will get it. The caveat however, is that it may not be in the form or fashion that you expect.

At 2am on Monday, I pray and ask for the things I’d like this week. One of them was the courage to complete all the things I set out to (because regular procrastinator/perfectionist here).
I say courage, because sometimes I often experience fear, and to overcome fear, is to do the thing, and to do the thing, courage is needed.

As I uttered the word courage, I had break in thought, ‘Are you sure you want courage?’.
I paused. ‘Yes, courage is what I want’.

My prayer was interrupted by that thought because history has shown me that what you want, will often challenge you, and you might not like what you have to do to get there.

I eventually fall asleep and wake up a few hours later.
I express my gratitude that I, my family and friends are alive and well and start my day.

As my coffee brews, I make a chocolate and peanut butter sandwich (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).
Then out of nowhere, my mood took a nose dive.

The more I thought about all the things I planned to do, the deeper the desire to do nothing became. I only wanted to lie in bed in my birthday suit.

I messed up. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for courage? Maybe I should have asked for something else?
The feeling of inertia was getting stronger, and I knew I needed to shift gears and break the depressive grip forming.

A message from my fitness instructor/friend came through. My heart leapt for a joy a little, as I hoped the text would read that he’d have to cancel today’s zoom workout session. No such luck. He was just checking that we were good to go at 2:15pm.

Reluctantly I wrote ‘See you at 2:15pm’. I figured my mood might have picked up when it was time, but truthfully I did not want to see him or anyone at 2:15pm.

In the meantime, I attempted to pep talk myself. I half chuckled, half grimaced, because I knew asking for the courage to accomplish things this week could quite possibly give me the complete opposite feeling, meaning I’d really have to work for the courage. And that’s what happened.

2:15pm rolls around and you guessed it, I haven’t moved.

Me: We have to?

Him: Yes. Yes we do.

For ****sake!

Sluggishly, I put on my workout gear, grab my laptop, workout mat, water, fan, and head to the living room to begin this workout.

I did it. I completed the workout.
My form was off and I got tired very quickly, but I did it.

It might seem like a small feat, but dragging myself to work out, stopped the fall into a sunken place, and refocused my mind and energy towards being productive and ultimately where I wanted to be.

So what’s my point? Be mentally prepared for what you’re asking for, as it will come and if you’re not vigilant, you’ll let the opportunity pass you by because it’s “too hard”, “too long”, “too much”, “too right”.
It’ll be easy to want to give up, but rather than give up,  give in to it. Go with it, flow with it, work with it, but least of all reject it, because on the other side, is what you are looking for.

Xo

A Long Walk

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_5614

Oluwatoyin Salau, 19

I have written some of these sentences multiple times, willing words to automatically materialise. It didn’t. At least not with ease.

Words still escape me. 

This year

The past few months

The last three weeks have been worse than a Nightmare on Elm Street.

When I said I could feel my second wind coming, I didn’t know it meant getting the wind knocked completely out of me. 

Weary is an understatement.
Two weeks ago I cancelled my therapy session, too overwhelmed to articulate feelings. Where would I begin to discuss all the things I feel past, present, and future? 

I donate, I educate myself even more, I share amongst friends, I sign petitions, I pray, I resolve to do better for my community and future- a future that is so uncertain…and still, I cannot let up.

IMG_5382

Breonna Taylor, 26

If there is a rare of moment of joy, thoughts of George, Breonna, Belly, Ahmaud, Toyin, Shukri, Tony, Rashad, and so many treasured others lying in graves not planned for them, suddenly come to mind. Helplessness and grief follows. 

And every day there is someone else. Every day. 

What do we do?
We participate in changing and challenging the world to do and be better; one conversation, one action, one moment at a time.
What you do, can make a world of difference to what we, and our successors get to experience. Your contribution is vital and a key component to what happens next. No one is too small or big to do something.

 

MeliorismThe belief that the world can be made better by human effort.

We must elevate our thinking and actions past what we have done and know, and envision and work without relenting for something greater.
And in doing that, dispel stereotypes, bridge the inequality gap, use your privilege, interrupt and correct wrong doings, take a stand and speak up, educate yourself, be proactive & conscientious, and put your money where your mouth is. Lip service simply won’t do, only deeds.
Our lives depend on it.

 

IMG_5615

Shukri Abdi, 12

We have a long way to go, but we are on our way.
And I trust that you will do your part in creating histories to be proud of. 

xo

P.s I’ll be honest this post still feels all over the place, but better to speak than not to.

When Life Stopped

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

414d91d0-9e0b-49f5-bfe1-534373e67d41

Fam.
-Usually precedes the beginning of a wild, terrible, crazy, unbelievable story.

If you have been able to do something, anything, during this time, kudos to you.

If you haven’t because life stopped, dropped, rolled (a euphemism for shit blew up), kudos to you too.

In both scenarios, you are doing what is best for you.
There is no requirement to do or be anything other than what is good for you and yours, no matter what anyone else says.

As for me, I take each day as it comes, only making another move when needed, which is usually hour by hour, trusting that things will work out.

Having said that, I feel my second wind coming, and hopefully that means I will be here more often.

Until then, take very good care mes amis.

xo

Rest

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

bb2e38e2-24fb-43d6-a9e6-9fcca9f55e49Well that went left very quickly.

2019 was what I considered to be the year of the purge. It felt like we were going through a spiritual and physical transformation in preparation for the new decade, and I accepted that, however, I don’t think whatever that period was meant to teach us stuck, so here we are.

The universe has given us a clear indication of what is necessary and we should take heed. We are being called to take the best care we’ve ever taken of ourselves, of others and the earth we live in. It is time to chill.

Granted, the world is in a frenzy, but you don’t have to be. This period, should you choose to see it this way, can be a beautiful opportunity for you to regenerate, to bond, to develop, and ultimately alter the way you see and do things going forward, for the better.

My belief, albeit contrary to what is currently happening, is that 2020 is going to be an incredible year, as we will become 10 times the person we were before, we just have to do our bit.

Naturally, as with most things and considering the circumstances, there will be loss, sacrifice, heartbreak and hard times, but it won’t last and we will get through it as best as we can, like we always do.

So stay indoors, keep healthy, take the necessary precautions, check on your loved ones and neighbours, help out wherever possible and rest.

xo

A Will, A Way.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

61e5e7a5-db4a-413c-90cf-3df76b6e053cI have been willing myself to complete a post for weeks now to no avail. Five different topics with a beginning, a middle and no end. Huff.

As I finished writing that last sentence, a thought came to me to just post one as is, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Too often we let perfectionism block and stop us from showing up, believing that we have to present a completely finished & polished product, and truthfully we don’t. What’s much more revolutionary than that is being your authentic self and simply showing up the best way you know how, rough edges and all.

So here is one I started a month ago and haven’t edited or completed.  And maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

Remove and Replace

Whatever expectations you’ve had for your life for the last few years or decades, perhaps it’s time you let up and release them.

We can get so caught up in what we think it should be and forcefully try and make things happen, that we actually miss out on the opportunities right in front of us.

That doesn’t mean never getting the things you want, it’s more about adjusting your lens to capture what already exists and making it better.

I was having a conversation with a friend about life and its fragility and because of that, again I thought are can we really afford to get stuck on the things that haven’t worked? to hold grudges? to wallow in self-pity? to allow negativity?  Sure, its easier said than done. And yes it’s something to be practice and there is no time like the present.

So many of us give up on the first try, because we’re so stuck on how we envisioned it happening that we haven’t stopped to consider other options.”

Xo

Life Is Beautiful Yet Tragic

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

FD2AAAED-849C-4C47-81E9-1FBB43B269C9Life is beautiful yet tragic for the same reason, life goes on.

No matter what happens in our world, irrespective of how life changing it may be, life goes on.

It doesn’t respect persons or their wants, even when parts of the world is shook by something, life doesn’t suddenly come to a halt, the show must go on.

In someone’s death, elsewhere there is birth

In someone’s heartache, elsewhere there is love

In someone’s downfall, elsewhere there is victory

In someone’s poverty, elsewhere there is wealth

In someone’s breakdown, elsewhere there’s a breakthrough.

People must get up, feed their families, go to work, see friends, finish that project, and do all the other things to sustain their lives.

Life is all-encompassing and nothing stays the same forever.

We should take solace in knowing that life will continue with or without us and that is a beautiful thing just as it is tragic.

xo

2019, Bye. 2020, Hello.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

img_2519.jpgI am ready for the New Year and what it may bring however, there is a one thing I think we all should do.

It is only right that as we enter into the year 2020 that we get clarity as where there is no vision, the people perish. 

Get clear on the things you want for yourself in this coming year.  That’s it. That’s the (almost) final word for decade from me.

My final word, is an intention. My intention is that 2020 is phenomenal, prosperous, and full of positive manifestations for you all.

Happy New Year!!!

Irene Xo

 

 

What 2009-2019 Taught Me.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Before you receive an onslaught of all the decade stuff, I thought I’d quickly slide mine in there and share some of the things I’ve learnt over the last 10 years.

I started this decade as a 22 year old, who didn’t know shit, still doesn’t, ha! Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

  1. Love can be simple and it can be complicated. It’s also not meant to be an exact replica of others, it should however, be and feel good.
  2. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, working on them/you does.
  3. Forgiveness is essential and not an option. Your health, relationships and life need it.
  4. It’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay.
  5. Take risks, especially the ones that make you want to vomit. You either love it or you’ll learn from it.
  6. Make your own rules. You’re the boss of your life.
  7. Speak up. Clear your throat, take a deep breath and say it. Not saying it, is costly.
  8. One size does not fit all. Your life is meant to be colourful and full of character (including characters). You’re breathing, so let it do it’s thing and go with the flow where you can.
  9. Let it all go. People, jobs, ideals.  Free yourself and be better.
  10. Give. To yourself first, then to others. That way you’ll always be at your best.
  11. There are upsides to every downside, there are downsides to every upside, and to experience anything good you have to embrace all of it

Bonus: We’re all just figuring it out. The above is what I’ve figured out so far and truthfully in the next year/decade it will change. That’s life.

What are some of the things you have learnt over the last decade?

xo

P.s If I don’t write to you before the new year, have a wonderful New Year! xo

One At A Time

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_18-11-2019-18-17-01-1

 

I really hope this post meets you well.

Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of the year? AND we’re about to enter into a new decade? Wild.

2019 so far for myself and a lot of others, has been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences that we never expected. Things like, unemployment, unplanned pregnancies, incarceration, losing friendships, losing loved ones to death, to name a few things- like I said, a roller coaster.  

I wonder if there is some sort of universal purge happening because we are entering into a new decade? What do you think?

Notwithstanding the party and bullsh*t that life can be, we still have to participate and how we do this, is entirely up to us.

Sure, we’re not in control of a lot of things, but the one of the things we can master is, ourselves. WE are huge contributors to our experiences.

With that said, I want you to think about ONE thing you want to accomplish before the 31st December 2019.

Just one. One, because when we attempt to juggle multiple things at a time the following occurs; very little gets done, you become overwhelmed with how much there is to do, causes frustration and worse than all of that, can make you stagnant.

Once you have decided what that is, close off or shut down anything that does not support the thing you are in the process of accomplishing. That might mean limiting the access others have to you, setting a timetable, changing your environment, exposing yourself to something different and so on.

Chances are, you already know what you have to do, you just don’t want to do it. Take heed to whatever messages you are receiving right now about your life, as its the very thing that will get you closer to where you want to be.

And if you don’t? Well you already know what life will look like because you are living it now. Do yourself one solid before the new year and surprise yourself.

With love, Irene x 

 

Take A Picture

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

84e2fe7f-4a56-4acc-a517-f19b12b53042It’s hard to see growth when there’s no tangible evidence. You can easily begin to think badly of yourself and how much you haven’t done and of all the things you have not accomplished.

There’s a great way to address that, document it.
I’m about to tell you a story, that might sound random, but follow it for a moment.

At the beginning of 2018 my acne flared up terribly. I had just finished 3 chemical peels back to back, in a bid to clear up acne scarring, believing that as I approached my 30s everything would settle down. Not my skin and not my face. Rather than reveal new skin, my acne returned with a vengeance. My skin was not happy with the peels or me and it showed. I felt defeated again. Who wants to be dealing with acne at any age never mind at 30!

Up until that point, there existed NO pictures of my bare face. Not one. Not one since I was 17. Not on my personal phone, not even in a place where’d it be hidden, where only I would be privy to it. Not even after 2 rounds of roaccutane (which significantly improved my skin temporarily), numerous facials, topical treatments and so on. Never. I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want proof of it anywhere, thinking that if I didn’t have to see it, it’ll piss off and never return somehow.  It can’t exist if I do not acknowledge it right? Well it didn’t piss off and it did exist.

For years I hated pictures and was always running from a camera and deleting pictures from other people phones. Even today, I’m still not all that enthusiastic about it, however I am MUCH better than I used to be.

Anyway, I’m not sure what possessed me this time around, but I decided I would take pictures of my bare skin in June 2018. It was bad, really bad.

No one ever believes how problematic and scarred my skin was, because I was an expert at disguising most of it. Those with acne prone skin usually are. Now I’d have proof to show people when they’d say ‘you’re skin isn’t bad’, erm yes it was, let’s call a spade a spade.
Truthfully though, I had no intentions of showing anyone and still don’t. I did however, want to see the changes that might happen.

I took action to repair my skin for the umpteenth time and gradually it improved, but I wanted more. I wanted my blemish free taunt skin that I had pre-acne, that was until I looked at the picture I took a year ago. I was astounded by the difference.

I immediately felt immense gratitude for how far I’d come and the progress I had made. I couldn’t actually believe this was what it used to look like. I looked in the mirror again and appreciated how much had changed.

Being able to look back and see the difference between then and now instantly shifted my perspective on how I saw things and increased my confidence. I give myself a little bit more love and a pat on the back for not giving up.

You should consider doing the same. Write down your feelings or take pictures of what you’re doing/working on now, and if you feel compelled to regarding that particular thing, continue to do so. Over time, you will notice the leaps and bounds that you will have made, if only you will not give up and keep going.

xo

P.s Perhaps I’ll share pictures another time, when I am ready and or feeling much much braver lol.

Something’s Afoot.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

I don’t know how its been for you (I hope great), but the first 6 months of this year for myself and many others that I know, was rough, still is.

From deaths, loss of jobs, work issues, financial hardship, strained relationships, the list goes on. It’s been too strange, too common, too frequent, too harsh. I started to think, is this a universal shift for a specific set of people? I wanted out. Knowing others were having a hard time too, did not alleviate the weight of struggle- misery in fact does not always love company.

Having said that, I believe another transition is upon us. A glow up of sorts. Something better than what was. Ms O(prah) said what happens to you is for you and that shift in perspective can empower you to think and act differently. Attempting to ignore or rush it, will not make things change quicker, let it breathe

As cliche as this is about to sound I wouldn’t be who I am When I think about some of the difficult times I’ve had, it always made me better, always. A better communicator, better skilled, more compassionate, more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, disciplined, smarter and much more. Did it feel like all these things at the time? Um **** no, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have always gained more and become larger than before.

Let the growing pains work for you by allowing it the space to evolve and for you evolve with it, because what is coming is better than what is gone.

Irene xo

 

Trust the Process

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

My three biggest takeaways so far for 2019 are patience, trust and humility. I have had to exercise these qualities in various amounts, sometimes all at the same time. It is testing, but growing.
Growing. I wonder if people understood what it meant, whether they’d still want to grow? We say it all the time, “I want to continuously grow and develop”, the reality of that is a lot different to those few words. It can be painful, especially if you resist the change.
If you are in that transition period, here are some things that can make the growing pains easier on you:
DON’T: 
  1. Resist the change. Forcing it to go your way is only going to cause you more strife. Relax.
  2. Do not constantly repeat your problems to anyone within earshot. You only exacerbate the situation and deepen the attachment, which tends to be negative.

DO:

  1. Do be proactive. Learn something new, invest in yourself. Standing still will only cause you ponder over what’s happening and if you’re an over thinker you’ll simply make it worse.
  2. Let go of the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s, it’s regressive.
  3. Go with the flow.
  4. Keep going, however you know how. It will improve.
  5. Exercise patience. Wanting it to be over and doing everything in your might to make it so, will not make it so. Can you plant a seed today and it bear fruit tomorrow?It has to take its natural course, whatever ‘it’ is.
  6. For the love of God, learn the lesson (lol). This one was for me, but still, I thought it might be useful for you too.

Xo

Seasons

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The weather in London has been amazing! But if you’re from here, you know all too well how fleeting it is, and how eager we all are to enjoy it whilst it’s here.

Seasons. We might not like them but we need them, whether we recognise it or not. Everything has its time. A time to work and a time to relax.

What are you working towards? And is it working for you? Because if not, maybe it’s time for you take a step back and assess what season you’re in.

When we resist what is happening for us, we cause further pain and strife to ourselves.

There is however another option, to stop resisting, relax and get into the flow of your season. I know, it’s difficult to relax when you have these dreams that you need to make happen, which are obviously not going to come on their own, right? Well, not entirely. Sure you have to do something, but notice how things come to you much faster when you’re relaxed, and the urgency isn’t there? You might have even forgotten about the thing itself and suddenly it appears. This is what will happen once you choose to accept versus resist.

I know it’s annoying when things aren’t working how you want it to, but what’s even more frustrating, is trying to force something to happen that is unripe.

If there is something you have been trying too hard at, choose today to relax. Take a deep breath, pull back and then get in tune with the vibration of your life. Pay attention to the things that are happening/working and flow with that, and you’ll soon find that the others things will begin to work itself out.

Xo

Magic? No, Work.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘The magic you’re looking for is in the work you are avoiding’. I wish I could refute this statement with all of my might but I can’t.

As a professional work avoider, I know how much (temporary) enjoyment I get from skiving off. That is until the chickens come home to roost.

I also know that doing the work is the actual key to unlocking rewards. And there’s no other way around it.

Usually that piece of work that I avoid becomes easy once I start doing it, then I’m bemused because ‘what was the big deal?, why was I avoiding this?’.

I’d had been procrastinating on writing a business plan for my next venture. When I did get around to it, I realised I had already completed a large portion of it on a previous occasion (I must have been delirious whilst doing it). Oh. So I can do it then.

With the new week upon us, what work have you been running away from? Run towards it. Grab it by the horns and make it your bitc submit to you. You already have what it takes, use it. Even if you don’t know how, start with what you know and things will begin to unfold.

I’m learning that with what you want, you can’t be afraid to work and sometimes work hard, as it is the very thing that will call forth your desires.

Xo

Nothing Lasts Forever

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_05-03-2019-16-28-25.jpg

Nothing lasts forever and that’s not a bad thing.

I’m in this weird I-don’t-really-know-wtf is happening phase of life. You know the one, the one where things refuse to go the way you want it to and you can’t make sense of it.

Thankfully this won’t be a forever thing. Like the good book says ‘this too shall pass’ and I am clinging to those words fiercely. And you should too.

Knowing that ‘life comes at you fast’ is why I do my best to relish the great things I experience and to find the good things during hard times.

To savour the great times here are a few things I do:

1. Be present. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the colours, what you see, smell, who you’re with, where you are. Use all of your senses to interact and connect with the moment.

2. Be thankful. I make seemingly small moments bigger by being grateful for the things I am able to do. I take just a few seconds to be thankful for what I’m experiencing. Things like withdrawing money, buying food, paying a bill, getting my nails done, looking at my family, using my phone. You get my drift. And in doing these things, I notice what I feel about being able to do these things and remember it.

3. Give. Whatever you are able to do no matter how small or big for another person or cause, do it. It does not have to be the obvious things like money, it could be time, encouragement, fixing something, anything you’re led to. I firmly believe that irrespective of your state there’s always something you can do.

To elevate your spirit during difficult times:

Do your best to keep doing the above.

1. With being present, look at the things you typically take for granted and are easily overlooked. Things you always have and do not struggle for and cherish it that much more.

2. Do more of the things you enjoying doing. It could be a hobby or improving a skill you have or even learning a new one. I started cooking more which I hardly did. I’ve made some meals I haven’t made in almost 5 years and I feel much better for it. The idea is to not place so much focus & mental energy on what isn’t working out as doing that only exacerbates the situation in your mind. It’s especially important in cases where it is out of your hands.

3. Meditate everyday. Make time to be quiet and still and…talk to yourself out loud (not loudly). If you believe in a higher power, talk to them instead. You can start with 5 minutes a day and use your phone to set an alarm for this session. I currently don’t use music but when I do it’s either rain sounds or spa music, however silence is my preference. With the busyness of life, having ‘you’ time to reflect and create is essential to being able to function well. Might sound unusual but it actually can be therapeutic to be your own counsellor. I always feel refreshed afterwards.

Hope this helps.

Xo

Through Thick and Thin

Featured

*Deeply exhales*

I was rebelling. I didn’t want to write on here anymore, it didn’t make sense to and the purpose of it all had significantly dwindled. Who’s reading anyway? (Says my ego).

But, it’s 5am in the morning and I’m meditating with rain music and something pushed me to read my old posts and as usual my own words minister to me. I connect with them because, well they are mine, and in that moment I remember why I wrote, to connect, with people publicly and privately. Isn’t that a worthy enough reason?

I guess what I’m saying is hi. That’s it. Just hi.

P.s I’m still in my feelings and I’d hate to have to be inauthentic.

A Blessing or a Curse?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_08-02-2019-18-32-36-1It’s been a little quiet over here and I’m starting to think that I’m talking to myself and I don’t know how to feel about that. Having said that, I am choosing to believe that I am talking to millions of you. Yes you heard, millions of you.

Last week was rough for many people myself included. All sorts of weird and painful things were happening, but if you’re reading this it’s not too late to turn things around.

It’s a new week and whatever happened last week is now in the past and no longer happening, so what would you like to do next? You can choose to hold onto it OR let go and keep sowing great things now for your future.

One way to turn things around instantly, which you can do right away, is to shift your perception on your reality.

Can it feel fake at first? Yup, but with persistence it will feel normal and this will alter your reality.

For example, many people see paying bills as a chore and a pain instead of gift that affords them the lifestyle they live. Rather than bemoan it, say thank you every time you pay an expense, because you’re effectively being grateful for the things you get to experience everyday that once upon a time was but a dream. You remember what it felt like to not have the money to pay that bill and you had to ask someone for it, well now you don’t have to. That’s a blessing.

Shifting your focus onto what is good about a situation will always bear better fruit than exacerbating an already negative situation.

Pick one thing you want to feel different about and change the story you’ve made about it. Your mind is something you can control and that’s a super power. Use it wisely, be intentional for your good and that of others.

Speaking of which: you will have a great week, receive wonderful news and enjoy being alive with your loved ones 🙂

Xo

I Could, I Should, I Might?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

cc5a9b14-ac0b-48cd-87a3-7f751557ba9eI have been doing it so wrong for the past year and I knew better.

Isn’t that the worst? When you know better yet you’re not doing better and for whatever reason you can’t figure it out.

I have had a bunch of things that I wanted to achieve and acquire over the past couple of years which technically isn’t a problem. The distinction here is that I had no clarity on any of it. I would umm and ahh over everything, and I do mean everything.

I couldn’t decide if I was coming or going. Do I want to live in London or Manchester? Do I want to travel to a different country and work there or stay here? Do I want to buy a house or rent one? Do I want live in an apartment or a semi detached house? Do I want this type of job or to not work in this field at all? Do I want to be in a relationship or not? And this conversation continued in almost every area of my life. It stayed that way up until recently when I had a durh or as Oprah would say an ‘aha’ moment.

No wonder I had been stressed out and felt utterly unaccomplished, I had no idea what I truly wanted. I flip flopped out of fear of making a decision that would cost me. I didn’t want to unduly suffer again for a terrible choice I made, but guess what that meant? I didn’t do anything.

I had no clear sense of direction and therefore could not confidently take action towards anything, and that ultimately resulted in little to no result.

The lesson here is if you’re in a period of confusion and not knowing what way to go, just pick one. We spend a lot of time trying to avoid past mistakes but sometimes that leads to inaction and frustration, not to mention wasted energy.

The point of living is to live and that cannot happen if you’re second guessing everything. The only thing happening by doing that is building fear muscles and we certainly don’t want that.

Get clear on what you want and stick to it. It’s almost impossible to move forward without having an idea of what it is you want, how do you expect the universe to help you out when you keep giving her mixed signals?

Take a chance today and make a choice. Even if it doesn’t work out how you imagined, you still would have learned something you didn’t know before and that believe it or not is progression.

Xo

I Chose This Life

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Winter FabA few years ago I was knocking on doors, trying to find the person who owned the car that had scratched mine. One person opened their door and instead of paying attention to what he was saying, I was peering into his home as I couldn’t help but notice how different it was.

It didn’t look like mine, even though we lived a street away. It was not designed in the way these homes were originally made. It had been gutted out and designed specifically to the owners wants.

It surprised me and I thought to myself ‘So we don’t all live the same?’. Now I know that might sound obvious, but think about it. If you lived in well known expensive town, you might think that the inhabitants are generally well to do.

It was significant to me because we often think that because an experience is shared by a group of people that everyone must be having the same experiences, and it is not so.

You wake up and hate going to work, someone else loves it.

You dislike the treatment you receive in this relationship by this wo/man, someone else is deeply in love and enjoying their partner.

You barely make enough to get by, someone else is making more in a month than you make in a year.

Your friendship group is lack lustre, someone else has a great group of friends and loves their life.

The difference in the above is about creating, creating by choice. We all live through and by the choices we make every single day.

You can live how you want to if only you will consistently make choices that align with the thing that you want.

Do not underestimate the power of your choices as they determine what you experience daily. Just take a look around you and examine what is taking place, what choices did you make? Don’t like it? Choose differently.

Xo

Can You Focus On…Me?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_8202It’s the 17th January (already?!) and dare I ask, how is it going?

For some of the people I know it’s been, a bit, bluregh. And a bit bluregh is never a good way to feel. Maybe it’s the January blues or in London the gloomy weather? Whatever it is, as with most things, it’ll soon pass.

On my side it’s been quite slow, which I welcome because I know it’s not going to be like this for much longer.

As tradition dictates, with a new year comes new or refreshed goals. I have some that this time around I’m choosing to keep to myself however, I do have one that above all of them is absolutely necessary in order to meet my goals and that is to focus.

I used to hear as a child that ‘Irene is great and has potential but she lacks focus’, and now as an adult I understand more what they meant by that. I struggle to give a thing my undivided attention, so I’m gifting myself myself and working on improving my focus, little by little.

What are you working on?

My advice for any goals or desires you have is to take each day as it comes. Let things happen organically. I spent a considerable amount of time in the past forcing things to happen and the outcome always left me wanting.

To summarise, work with what works.

Xo

P.s Things will start look up, I promise 🙂

Happy New Year!

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

img_7833I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and also this:

May this new year be better than the last in every way 

May this new year be filled with a thousand reasons to celebrate 

May this new year make all your previous efforts worth it

May this new year cause you to create new goals for yourself as the old ones have now manifested 

May this new year grant you good heath and wealth 

May this new year be full of wonderful memories that you have created with your loved ones

May love abound you wherever you go

May your relationships flourish and add more meaning to your life

May your purpose be revealed and impact not only your life but the lives of others

May this new year be all that you want it to be and more.

That is my profession for you all this year.

Thank you for your continuous support and readership. Here’s to a fantastic new year ahead 🥂! 

Much love Irene Xo

Lone Ranger

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_26-12-2018-22-06-16-1My siblings and I were talking about favourites with our parents and we joked that I was the black sheep as I didn’t have a parent that I favoured.

That statement didn’t surprise me at all. I seldom did things the way others did and this made me stand out like a sore thumb. 

For the most part being this way is fine, but sometimes you want to be a part of the crowd and blend in because, well, it’s easier. There’s less conversation and strife…however there’s a price, what and who will you become by doing that? I’ve tried it a few times in the past to get on board and do things the way others did. It rarely worked and I often felt stupid afterwards. 

I consider how different my life is to many of my peers and the amount of times I have wished and attempted to be in their position just so I don’t get left behind. I laugh now as it was never my business to do or live as they do, and in any case I failed terribly at it. Through these experiences I concluded I actually know what’s best for me and should trust myself more.

So for the lone rangers who tread off the beaten track, please continue. There is a reason why you go through those things, there’s a reason why you face those particular challenges, there’s a reason why you’re the topic of conversation, there’s a reason why you do things the way you do and that reason is tied to your purpose. 

It might not be clear to you what it is, you might even want to give up and be like others, don’t. You have come too far to let up now. 

With the New Year around the corner, recommit to yourself, appreciate what you’ve accomplished and who have become. Trust yourself more, even if a decision ends up different to how you envisioned, believe that it will work out for your good.

Block out the noise from others on what they think you should be doing, think for yourself, believe in your path, especially if there is no one around you doing it, you never know who needs who you are and what you have. 

Xo 

First Impressions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_7832Since being away I have been plagued with the tales that I have heard about this country as a child. Sometimes I’m uneasy because of it. I have lived here and loved it but that part, that part never went away.

I can’t seem to shake of those stories that I heard and watched on TV. It hasn’t mattered much that I have never seen proof to support those claims, yet it still invades my mind as if I have lived it. It has affected my experience here and this is simply down to how they introduced the culture to me at age 5 on my first visit.

However, I am challenging those perspectives, as I realise how stupid those beliefs are.

Imagine that?! The things I was shown and told has shaped my thoughts for 26 years! If that’s not a reason to be mindful of first impressions I don’t know what is.

And yes whilst it’s possible to change someone view, but it’s seldom easy to do so. 

The New Year is 5 days away and I’m sure some of us have a few changes we’d like to make. As you make them, please consider how you speak of a thing or person as it has the potential to have a lasting impression that may never shift. Be thoughtful about the words you speak and consider the impact it could have.

Your words are powerful, use them wisely and make the first impression count.

Xo

If Only You Loved Yourself

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_6515Works like a charm. Every time I openly confess my feelings about something, freedom follows. Give it a go, release your feelings and it need not be public but it must be seen by you. When you release the feelings, it no longer owns you and keeps you captive. 

Back to today’s post.

It’s so easy for someone to say ‘love yourself, value yourself, have self worth’, and the rest of it, when the reality of doing that is obscure to most of us. What school can we go to to learn this exactly? Many of us do not have a clue what that means or how to even begin to do that. 

I’ll break it down from my perspective, you may have yours and I’d love to hear it too!

Before you can begin to love or value yourself, you first have to know yourself.

Think about it, how can you love or see value in what you don’t know or understand? It’s near impossible. Do we love complete strangers at first glance? Typically no and that’s what some of us are, strangers to ourselves.

We don’t know what we like or don’t like, what makes us excited, what makes us happy, what makes us angry, what we will or will not do, our limits, our beliefs and so on. How then will it be possible to love yourself if you don’t know who you are?

Therefore rule no 1: Know Thyself.

To do this, spend time monitoring your thoughts, what and how you do things and the interactions and impact you have with/on people. Do things you haven’t done before, and revisit things you used to enjoy doing.

The aim is to put yourself in a position to get reacquainted with yourself, and in some ways discover more of who you are. 

For example, I know if something scares the crap out of me, thinking about it is not going to make it better. In fact I have to do the complete opposite and not think about it and just do it. That’s what happened when I jumped out of a plane, when I travelled to a different country for the first time alone, when I started this blog, when I attended university, when I left various jobs, you get my drift. Things get done when I get up & do it. I know this about me because I’ve watched how I respond to things. And guess what? the things I think about in excess seldom get done as I am the king of rationalising the hell out of something. In knowing this I am better equipped to maintain the most important relationship I have, which is with myself.

It’s only when you know more of who you are both in the good and not so good that you can begin to appreciate the essence of who you are and have an understanding of how you can then love yourself.  

A few ways I love myself are: 

1. Removing limitations with the things I desire

2. Being kind to myself and reaffirming the goodness in me whenever I feel low and ugly (yes I have ugly days).

3. Exercising discipline in areas that I desire to be improved upon (I checked my credit score yesterday and its in the 900’s, I could scream and yes I worked for it!).

4. Being still.

5. Having nice quality things and surrounding myself around good people.

6. Maintaining the standards that I have set for myself.

7. Saying no.

8. Saying yes.

Loving yourself isn’t only about physical self care, it’s also about accepting who you are and doing the work to improve the things that could be better.

What are your thoughts?

Xo

 

Trials

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

img_5527Whew it’s been a minute.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you, I have. I think about you often and want to write. I pick up my phone, open notes and nothing. Stringing a sentence together has felt like pulling teeth and if I am honest I simply haven’t felt like it.

I know you’re supposed to push past those feelings, as that’s how you develop discipline, but in the midst of that, I have been figuring out what life is, especially after the passing of Franklin. And for a period everything seemed pointless and at times it still does.

I’m working that out though, making it make sense to me because I need it to. I do however acknowledge that the reality is I may not receive the total peace I need from this, unless I just let it go…and I’m not ready yet.

Anyway, I celebrated my birthday on Monday and it was different. I was different. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the word calm or should I say unbothered springs to mind and I’m not sure if I like it yet (lol). I was eerily still inside.

Maybe it’s because I’m currently in a different country?

Maybe it’s everything that’s happened over the past few months?

Maybe it’s the quiet confidence they say you’ll get once you’re in your 30s?

Even with all of that I am grateful to have witnessed another year of life.

I’m saying all of this as I believe it’s important to be truthful about your experiences, not only to yourself but to others, as only then will you be able to move through them with more ease. And you never know who will find solace in your truth.

So consider this post a breaking of the seal as till the end of the year I’m going to be here, she says.

Thank you all for your continuous support and you’ll read me tomorrow xo

Drop the Weight.

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

facetune_29-11-2018-17-28-34-3You know what that weight is…it’s the thing you use as an excuse for your lack thereof or mediocrity.

You hold onto it as it makes you feel justified; family, friends, job, money, resources, pretty much anything can sound like a valid reason to not have or do something.

But what you don’t realise, is that until it’s out of the way, it will continue to oppress and hold you back. You will not be able to truly see the gift that is in front of you because there are too many things that you are giving much power to.

Let it go, clean it up or clear it out.

But before even doing that, you have to make a decision.

I had been holding my mother responsible for the reason why I haven’t been able to do a particular thing well for the past few months. She was being herself and I allowed it to impact what and how I did things. I decided to make a commitment to doing better.

Making that decision alone shifted how I thought about things and ultimately how I did it. I wasn’t going to literally wait around anymore, I was going to make improvements for myself. And as usual, the universe conspires in helping you meet your goal.

If you have been holding in or onto something or blaming someone for the shortcomings that are occurring in your life, make a decision to work through them to make the things you want happen. Drop the excuses, develop discipline and hold fast to your determination to see things through.

“I am going to make a very beautiful life for myself no matter what it takes”.

Xo

On Your Team

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_5963In case no one has told you this recently, I’m on your team!

I have many interests that I’d love to explore and maybe share, however I have chosen to use my blog for its current purpose, because I have on many occasions needed a ‘me’. And by that I mean someone who can be honest about things, encouraging and sometimes provide a different perspective.

My hopes are that my presence here bridges the gap for at least one person, that they don’t feel so alone and isolated from the world, and that somehow they can connect the dots for themselves from what they read, because with the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to feel unworthy, lack purpose or feel unsuccessful.

The inspiration behind this post is a friend of mine who recently started his business in men’s fashion. He was posting regularly and then he stopped.
I checked with him about what was up and he gave me an excuse as we all do. I in that moment, chose to give him a little bit of a push by holding him accountable and giving a deadline for when he needs to post by. I gather from his response that he appreciated it.

Don’t we all need that sometimes? For someone to give a shit about what we’re doing, to notice that something has changed, to care about a project close to our hearts.
It makes such a difference to have someone pay a little attention and encourage you to stay on course.

You might not have that in your lives right now but you can. To have it, you need to be it. It’s one thing to have the desire and expectation from others but to experience it you must know what it is like to give it.

Look around you today and choose a person/s and check-up on them. If you no one springs to mind, what about that person that appears to have together? The chances are they don’t. Take an honest interest in their affairs be it business or personal and be of value. Be an example, most especially if there are none.

Oh and in case you’ve forgotten already, I’m on your team!

Xo

Fumbling in the Dark

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Remember when you were a kid and you for the first time, entered a room you’d never been in. It was pitch black and although there was no real reason to be scared, you still were.
You don’t know where the light switch is, and you can hear your heart beating out of your chest. You don’t know what’s in the room, you don’t know if you’re ready for what ‘might’ be lurking in this dark place. You don’t want to be scared but your imagination is running wild.
You frantically place your hands on the wall, trying to find the switch but you can’t find it. You keep feeling your way around, moving carefully, in case you hit something that could hurt you. After a few more seconds you find the light switch and the brightness that comes next surprises you even though you expected it.

Your eyes slowly adjust and you take in what’s there. Some things you recognise as you’ve seen something similar before and some things you don’t.
As you’re now in the room you might as well get involved and get discovering. You’re still cautious because what you find could change things.

You make a plan of what you’re going to do based on your previous experience. You start looking at the things you know, with the goal of getting to what you don’t recognise uncertain of what you’ll learn. Will there be money? A toy? Something you’re not supposed to see or know? A letter? Hidden information about a family member?…

That’s life. Full of twists and turns, ups and downs, good times and not so good times, failures and successes, dark moments and brighter days and to thrive, you have to live through it.

You are not going to be able to have everything figured out all the time and this truthfully, is one of the most difficult challenges I have. I have to know everything. I need to know what and when the outcome will be and that’s thing, you cannot truly experience the best life has to offer by controlling everything. You have to free up the reigns a little bit (takes note), embrace what comes, and be present.

Xo

Rejected…again?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_14-11-2018-09-44-44I don’t know whether there are people who are unaffected by rejection and if they exist someone point them my way, I need some tips.

I think most would agree that being rejected once, sucks, but multiple times? Its the worst. And yet it’s inevitable, we cannot escape it no matter who we are or where we are from, we have to deal.

So how do we deal? When things aren’t going how we would like, there’s a tendency to lump all bad experiences together and make it one big ball of pain. This undoubtedly makes it more difficult to move past the experience(s).

“I applied for this role and didn’t get it”

“I missed out on getting onto this course because I was shy of 2 points”

“She left me for someone else”

“My colleague was given the promotion over me, although I am more qualified”

Imagine putting all of those together and wondering why you feel so crap afterwards. Don’t do it.

I have taken a number of L’s this year, do I stop? Do I give up? Do I no longer make the effort? No no and no! (And yes I’m definitely guilty of the above, I’m champion woe is me).

Some rejections I was unfazed by, others made me question myself over and over again. It happens to the best of us.

For example, I applied for 6 positions at my current organisation, did you hear me? I said SIX. After the first 2 rejections, I felt like shit. Most of the roles I applied for, I was more than capable of doing based on my skills and experience, but it wasn’t happening and I did not understand why. The feedback I received was positive but I just missed it. To make matters worse:

  • Most of the people I work with have been pushing for me to get something permanent and so I constantly have colleagues coming up to me, giving me information on jobs, agencies and the like…all the time.
  • It’s embarrassing. And whilst I appreciate/d the support it made me feel useless. Like why can’t I get together?! Frustrating to say the least!
  • This was a 6 month contract. I have been here 18 months which I’m thankful for, however MANY people have left and been able to find better roles. I MUST be the problem.

After the 3rd interview and it was a no (the other 3 I never heard back from), I thought right, what’s really happening here? After some reflection I realised apart from improving my interview techniques, my future is not attached to this company at all. I’d be settling here. I enjoy working with the people, however the roles have been something ‘to do’ and that’s definitely not what I want for my life and the universe has heard me.

From these experiences I have learnt that it is best to treat each situation separate from the other. One negative experience, failure or rejection need not be compounded to conclude that you are indeed a “bum”. Instead, focus on the lessons to be learnt.

Rejection does not have to be failure, it can be redirection and a chance to do it differently. You also don’t know what you’re being saved from.

It can be tough and you’ll want wallow in self-pity, but choose to dust yourself off, be a good student, and give it another go.

Xo

I Wish It Wasn’t So

Featured

Tags

, , , , ,

img_5304The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. My friend passed away suddenly and it is the most painful experience of my adulthood.

I am not ready to start losing friends yet, we’re in our early 30’s, you die of old age not abruptly.

Franklin was the sweetest, gentlest and caring person and I miss him incredibly. I wish he were still here.

Writing a post has been especially difficult, because as I write I am filled with the memory of his encouraging words and particular appreciation for my writing. He read my posts without being asked and always gave me positive feedback, and that meant everything to me.
Being a writer is an isolating process and whilst I love it, you do write to be read, but that does not always happen, least of all from your family and friends. To have him continuously care and show support not only in this, but in my life as a whole was so appreciated and special to me.

I did have a little bit of change in perspective yesterday, and that was to be grateful to have known him at all, and I was. I valued him when he was here and will forever cherish the moments we had.

There are so many things that I feel and haven’t been able to articulate yet and probably won’t for some time. This is about as much as I can manage writing about him for now.

Through this, I have made a commitment to make sure that his life continues to be meaningful in mine.

Xo

P.s I don’t know if I’ll be posting regularly for now, please bear with.

Ask the Right Questions

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

img_4754A few friends of mine would make fun of me saying I asked too many questions.  ‘Questionnaire’ is what they’d call me.

I don’t always need to have the full information but enough for me make an informed decision; after all my brain works, why should I leave all the decision making to someone else especially when it impacts me?

I made a decision to do things completely different and set a goal for completion at end of 2019.  To achieve it will require a different version of who I have been to date.

So I started asking myself questions, questions about what I would need to do, the knowledge I need to have, the places I need to be in, the people I need to talk to, the time frame it needs to be done in, the money I’d need to invest, what I’d need to invest in, the mind set I need to have, the practices I need to change, the ones I have to adopt, what I have to cut, and so on. And then I answered them.

I pushed myself to think past the confines that I am used to and this process has put me in a completely different headspace, and for the things I did (do) not know, I research, I study, I apply it.

Too often we think others know so much more than we do and completely undervalue the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience we do have or have access to. Don’t.

Ask questions, don’t be a zombie that follows the status quo. Challenge yourself and it might surprise you in realising what you know or even what you don’t know and now know that you need to.

If you want to live a life that is completely debt free, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to live on a beach in a tropical country, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to have £100,000 in 1 year, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to buy your first property, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want peace, ask the questions, do the work.

You get my drift.

It’s not about knowing everything, it’s starting with what you know that gets you closer to where you want to be; whether it’s dealing with heartbreak, making a large purchase, starting a business or having a healthy relationship with your partner.

Xo

Am I Qualified?

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

facetune_29-10-2018-17-17-37-1.jpgEver had a new goal that you were super excited about?

You’re filled with the possibilities of what achieving this goal will do for you and you cannot wait to get started.

You plan and establish the actions you need to take and then unexpectedly your insecurities surface.

What if I’m not qualified?

Who said I am qualified?

What if someone thinks I’m not up for the job?

Doubts here and before you know it, it starts to feel like a pipe dream. Within moments, you have convinced yourself that you’re definitely not up for the job and resign that goal to the ‘do not attempt’ pile.

Why are we the very first to sap the life out of something? Our own worst enemy.

Do you know what qualifies those that do vs those that do not? Their belief. That’s it. Those that achieve the most, do not allow their past, failures or circumstances to dictate what they can and cannot do. In spite of it, they move full steam ahead.

You will always be better off for doing something even when it does not work out as envisioned. The trade-off is the wealth of experience, applied knowledge and skills gained, that not doing anything could never provide you with. It is also a stepping stone.

I bumped into someone I knew online through a mutual friend. I had not met them in person until this morning. We started talking about various things and he asked me whether an online series I was a part of was well thought out or improvised. What do you think I said? We winged that bad boy!

None of us really knew what we were doing, we just showed up and figured it out as we went along. In that same year of doing the series, I wrote, directed and produced my first short play. I won 2 awards for the play and a little bulb went off in my head ‘I’m a writer’, and always had been, but it wasn’t until that point, did I acknowledge myself. That was almost six years ago.

Do you think how I write now is how I have always written? Absolutely not! In the beginning, it was trash. I cringe every time I see something from the past, but I had to start somewhere, as terrible as it was.

So trust me when I say, you can do this. Little by little, step by step, piece by piece.

Xo

Gratitude

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

img_1716Wait till it’s taken away from you, maybe you’ll remember to be grateful for what you have in future.

It’s so easily done isn’t it? Things are good, every area of your life is booming as you’ve always wanted, ‘you’ve got it like that’…until you don’t, and all hell breaks loose.

Part of the pain we experience when times are rough, is guilt. We experience guilt for not being appreciative of what we had, we reminisce and regret the haughtiness we had in thinking that this will be forever. Still, in those hard times, we should be grateful because there is always something to be thankful for.

I often experience an uncomfortable ease when a terrible thing happens and suddenly there’s an urgent call to love your loved ones as it’s short lived. It does not cultivate the solid essence of being grateful because it stems from fear. And yes I’m definitely a culprit.

Being grateful is to do so irrespective of what you do or don’t have. The benefits are clear.
From the simplest, most mundane and normal things to the major changes and transitions, have gratitude, for the love of it, not for the fear of it, even when it’s tough.

Xo

Chasing Waterfalls

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

TLC said it best.

It can be a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in pursuit of something that doesn’t want you back. No matter how much you do it simply does not want to materialise or work out how you’ve envisioned.

In that there’s a lesson; don’t force it, let it go.

It means there’s another area in your life that requires your attention, what is it? If you don’t know, look a bit closer, it’s there, screaming pick me.

Once you discover it, direct your attention to that thing. Nurture it, learn from it, grow from it. Before you know it, like a boys summer growth spurt, what you were in hot pursuit of is here.

Sometimes it’s like that. There are certain things we have to experience first and learn from before we are equipped enough to handle our other desires. In fact it’s crucial that we do, so we have less of a chance to totally screw it up!

It’s sucks, I know, but something greater is possible if you allow it to be.

xo