So What You Fell Off?!

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You’ve been working SO hard to change something, keep something up or develop a habit and although it’s a struggle you are making progress. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you fall off. You get knocked off course and for a period of time, you consider throwing the towel in altogether.

It’s too hard, it’s not for me, it’s not worth it, I can’t deal with the shame, the guilt, the disappointment…here’s my thought: get over yourself.

We’re never going to be perfect, we’re not supposed to be, we shouldn’t even aspire to be. What we should focus on, is getting better.

So what you fell down and busted your lip? All it means is you now know what not to do. Have a moment to be in your feelings, then dust yourself off and get going again.

Your success isn’t only in achieving that goal, but in how many times you get knocked down and pick yourself up again. What you teach yourself in those times is invaluable. Resilience, tenacity, determination are things you can only develop through repeated action.

Do yourself a favour and cut yourself some slack, at least you’re doing something to change things for the better! Yes, it will not always be plain-sailing, yes, there will be many bumps in the road, yes, all hell will break loose and yet every ounce of that is necessary for your growth. Use it to your advantage, learn from it and let it propel you further.

And whenever in doubt remember this lyric by Big Sean ‘Last night I took an L but tonight I bounce back!’.

XO

P.s ‘L’ stands for loss

I’d Love You…If You Changed.

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I’m seeing someone. Things are going well enough but there have been some red flags.

I was thinking about all the things I didn’t like about their behaviour and how they would have to change this, that and the third for me to be with them- I stopped myself mid ramble.

If this person has to change the way they are so we can “be” together, then I have no business being with them whatsoever. He shouldn’t have to change himself for me at all. It’s rather cheeky; who do I think I am to request that someone change on my behalf?!

Could you imagine someone saying to you, “I need you to change your hairstyle, stop hanging around this person, wear this, do this job, speak proper English”, you’d soon tell him or her to piss right off! I know I would, why should it be any different the other way around?

I realised this was the mistake I made in my last relationship by saying, If they would just do this, or do that, and this too then it would be great. In all honesty he could never get the shit right because he was being measured by standards that only I knew all the parameters of.

We sometimes want people to fit a mould that we have created. That mould is defective because it is formed from our point of view and is what we consider to be the best way of being. By doing this we automatically set the people around us up to fail.

Take people as they are or leave them the hell alone. Stop trying to make them fit into YOUR box, its unfair and selfish (let’s get rid of the box altogether). If they choose and are willing to change for themselves, wonderful! You can you assist them in doing that, but not under any other circumstance unless its life or death.

Sure we can influence and encourage them but nag them to change? No.

They don’t have to be like you, they need to be like them. Let them live, be it good or bad, they will deal with the consequences.

We are only capable of changing ourselves no one else has that ability.

With all of that said, my spidey senses are telling me to quit this situation whilst I’m ahead because this won’t work. Ugh another bites the dust.

Xo

Shaken, Not Stirred

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30 something, broke, man less, childless, friendless, in fact everything less.

At this stage of her life, Chelle was sure she would have it all figured out, instead, she was about to buy a meal she couldn’t afford with money meant for rent.

Walking through the absolute white flat door, Chelle dropped her things and started to strip. She was letting it all hang out, the full Monty. Her roommate Emmy was not due back till tomorrow afternoon, she could do whatever she wanted without judgement, well without Emmy’s judgement.

In her birthday suit, she strutted her stuff, sat down on the couch without a second thought about hygiene and ate messily. “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be” she sang at the top of her lungs before hastily taking a swig of her bottled beer which she had opened with her teeth. For her, Thursday was the new Friday.

Chelle was different, six feet tall, cinnamon skin with dusty brown coils cascading down her neck. Most people found her intimidating yet strangely alluring. She never took notice though, she was too wrapped up in her own world that even if someone threw themselves at her, she’d merely sidestep them and carry on walking.

Men looked at her as something to be conquered, as if her presence quietened their manhood saying “I have your balls in my hands”. She had not quite recognised her own unique beauty and behaved very much like her brothers, sharp and rough around the edges. She had admirers but without them outrightly declaring their affections for her, she was completely oblivious.  For that reason and a few others, Chelle was spending another night alone.

With a bottle of barely drunk beer in her hand and a half eaten kebab, she fell asleep, mouth ajar and legs wide open, that is until she heard the rattling of keys.

Jolting out of sleep, she tried to grasp her bearings, was it Friday morning? had she missed work? where is she? where are her clothes? who is at the door? “fuck”. It was too late, he was in.

Chelle had forgotten Emmy’s boyfriend had keys to the flat and every so often he would pass by to do things upon request by Emmy.

Funny, her roommate, never quite understood the concept of manners, but would throw a complete fit when Chelle had a guest over with prior notice given. She was a raging, spoilt and untamed beast.

When Chelle initially stood up her brain said run, her body on the other hand did not quite commit to the command. She and Jamal stared at each other unsure of what to do. She stood there with her unshaven fanny, bed head and beer still in hand, frozen.

After what seemed like hours, Jamal mumbled something that sounded like an apology and turned around to give Chelle some of her dignity back. He needn’t have bothered, Chelle’s dignity had long since left her. She grabbed the kebab, picked up her phone and scurried towards her bedroom.

“Fuckkkkkkkk!” Chelle was now squirming on the floor like a slug they had poured salt on. She had stubbed her little toe on the kitchen island en route to her dungeon. She pinched her toe hoping it would somehow delay the pain or at least numb it. It didn’t.

Jamal hearing the commotion, ran towards her and Chelle shrieked “Don’t come near me!”. For a second he had forgotten that she was still butt naked and for the love of God whilst she was now cradling her foot with two hands, she did not need him looking down and seeing her womb.

“Stay where you are, I’m fine, honest” She grimaced. She wasn’t fine or being honest, far from it.  In addition to being 30 something, broke, man less, childless, friendless, everything less, she was now clothes less and embarrassed, could it get worse?

It did.

_____

I miss creative writing, I’m rusty but will definitely be doing much more of this xo

Don’t Take It For Granted!

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Happy Friday! Work is officially over 🙂

Every so often I consider what someone else who is deemed less privileged would do with the many things I have been blessed with.

I think if they had been given the opportunities like I have, what magic would they create? Their tenacity alone is something to be admired, yet here I am, sometimes dragging my feet as if I have very little going for me.

Very quickly we become complacent with life and stop trying because we think we need more of something else to help us get to the next stage in our lives, forgetting that the things we have, we once hoped, wished and worked hard for.

Every tool, skill and opportunity we need to thrive and progress forward is already within our possession. The question is what are you prepared to do with it?

Maybe your problem is that you don’t recognise the gifts and abilities that you have, and if that’s the case, then some time to list those things is needed. You may have to rope in your close ones, to highlight to you what they are. It helps to draw out those things from our minds and have it in plain sight so we can better assess our situations.

If you’re fortunate to read this post, it means there are things at your disposal that you can utilise, so before its too late, use your talents, to create a life worthwhile, after all, it’s the only one you have.

XO

Before Beyoncé was Beyoncé

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You think Beyoncé is who she is because she is simply gifted? Hardly. In fact she works HARD to create and build all she has.

I’d love to tell you that all the Greats were born great (so that you and I can feel better about ourselves) but they’re not, well not entirely.

What they are able to do that many others do not, is to harness a talent or skill to its fullest by practicing repeatedly over long periods of time to get better, smarter and faster. To do this requires plenty of endurance, creativity, effort, patience…the list is endless.

Here’s my question to those of you pining over being really shitty at something; are you prepared to do something for a long time without ceasing or immediate gratification to become better? Or, will you give up shortly afterwards because you’re not seeing your desired results? Both choices have consequences and you ultimately contribute to those outcomes by what you do.

Trust me, I am a part of the instant gratification gang, I want it now, but I have learnt that some things, especially wonderful things, take time.

I do not like the fat that has “somehow” attached itself to my midriff (how dare it?!), but sit there and complain about it? Nope! The gym and I are slowly but surely becoming bum chums and I know that in time, I will see good results.

The decision is yours to make about how you affect what happens next- take the road less travelled.

Apply yourself.

Xo

Speak to an expert!

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Tip Numero Uno:

Speak to smart, successful and accomplished people. 

I used to think that you could learn from anyone and how it wasn’t that important to seek advice from those that had the experience. Well, I was a little bit off on that last thought. It is very important to get their advice and guidance!

The insight from those that have done it against those that haven’t or worse still those that do not* is like night and day. They just don’t compare.

You could do something for years, wonder why it’s not working, end up disenchanted, not realising that you’ve been doing it wrong the entire time. The thing is you don’t know what you don’t know. This is where having an accomplished person to advise you can be an absolute game changer. Just a little nugget from them can make a world of difference to your personal development and growth.

You could save yourself a lot of hassle by going out there and learning from the experts-Do ask for assistance. The worst that could happen is they say no, and if they do, someone else will say yes.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Look around you (there are people everywhere) and find someone who has done what you want to do or has accomplished a few things that you admire.
  1. Set up a meeting, lunch date, send an email, call them, buy their book, watch their videos, listen to their audios, just find a way to be able to connect with them.
  1. Harass them, only kidding, learn from them! Pay great attention to not only what they say but also what they do. For example, let’s say you wanted to be a bikini model competitor; you’d need to know what the other successful competitors have done to achieve this. As well as listening to them, other things to do might be forming a vigorous daily training programme, changing your diet, learning how to pose, buying the right outfits to showcase your physique on D-day, hair, make up, smile, tanning and a whole hoard of other things. You get the gist.

It is never too late to learn and get it right. Put away your pride or whatever hang-ups you have and just ask.

3 things to avoid

  1. Speaking to lots of unaccomplished dream killers
  1. Stick to number 1
  1. Do 1 & 2 religiously

If you confide your affairs in a fool then surely you will become a fool too- Okay I just strung those words together but I must say it’s quite sound (dusts shoulders off). Feel free to quote me 🙂

Xo

P.s *”Those that do not” are people with zero ambition be it great or small, avoid them like the plague.

Rejection or Re-direction? A Blessing in Disguise

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I hope you have missed me? If not, the rest of this post will be blank…try me. Just kidding 😀

Last week Friday I received not so good news. The long and short is I’ll be out of a job soon, as my contract is coming to an end. Womp womp womp.

It’s typical for this to happen just as I have FINALLY warmed up to the idea of being a nine to fiver (for a period of time) and building on a both the vocation and my aspirations simultaneously. But nope I’ll be out on my ass lol.

Thing is I am used to being in and out of work, it’s the life of a work-in-progress entrepreneur. I have lived this way my entire working life but this time around I felt a great sense of disappointment and disqualification. I began to second-guess my purpose and myself.

In instances like these, our outlook can sometimes magnify the negatives and all the problems we have ever had suddenly come into full focus.

After feeling sorry for myself for like a day, I dusted myself off and began to think about the upside. What if this is a prelude to something greater, something that I have always wanted, an even better opportunity?

You have to consider what is this “missed” opportunity saving me from or even leading me onto?

“Every time I thought I was being

rejected from something good

I was actually being redirected to something

better.”- Steve Maraboli

I remember one specific moment as a child where I was super excited to go to a birthday party. My aunty was coming to pick me up and as you know one minute to a child is like an hour. It turned out that my aunty couldn’t make it anymore, I was devastated, well as devastated as an 11 year old could be. My mother said to me “Irene, every disappointment is a blessing in disguise”. What the hell does that even mean to an 11 year old?! But she was right. I ended up having a great time going somewhere else.

The example may sound trivial but it taught me a life long lesson.

Be down just for a moment, then pick yourself up and think what is it I should be paying attention to? What is the great thing that can come from this disappointment? How can I turn this around for my good?

There is always something to be gained in every situation. Don’t think: “What if I fall?” (think) Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”

XO

Career hopping: The Ineffective Route to Success

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Without a vision, people perish.

I am about to be really judgy (in my world, all made up words are real, mmkay!), and I can do so because I was once (sometimes still) one of the regular culprits for this kind of behaviour: Indecisive.

If there was a list of offenders, I’d be the top 5:

  1. Irene
  2. Irene
  3. Irene
  4. Irene
  5. Irene

You get the point…I am talking to myself as much as I am you.

I truly love when people want to do well in life, I want everyone to win, even people I consider dusty lol, however, it frustrates me to no end when people change their ideas, businesses and goals on a regular basis. Like I’m going to need you to stick to one thing for AT LEAST a year or *summink!

I find that when people change their plans often and quickly, at the root of it, is a lack of vision, clarity or passion.

If it doesn’t work in the first instance, the most common action that I see some people take is to throw it all away, which is easily done when you are not convicted of your why or have a good understanding of how things work.

We build up great expectations about how things should be and feel like and once that doesn’t match our ideals then it must not be working or right for us. Abandoning your goals for those reasons can in many cases limit your ability to see the opportunity right in front of you.

The opportunity for growth is always present but if you’re hung up on what it is supposed to look like and believe that progress should just smack you right in the face, then you my friend will be gravely disappointed.

You see other people thriving in their careers and it appears to you like it happened overnight and that simply is not the case. Even if there are some people that ‘fall’ into a career and you consider them successful, there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining it, a lot.

What I really want to stress is that you cannot continue to flit about from one career to another, one business to another, one partner to another and expect to be successful, in fact it may be the very reason you are not. You have to focus your energy on one thing first, not one hundred things at once. Work on the opportunity that you have in your hand and stop looking at someone else’s grass believing it is greener. Yours could be just as green if you refrain from being a scatter brain (cheeky, I know) and channel your efforts into making the thing you want a success.

You need to be consistent, patient and focused on the outcome, not on how the outcome comes about or how long it’s taking, just scrap the ‘hows’ altogether. Zone in on your why and it’ll keep you going.

Now granted you may very well do that and it doesn’t work out, that’s completely fine, all hell does not have to break loose! What you can do in that situation is to take the learning experience and apply it in another area of your life.

There will be times that the thing you want doesn’t want you right now and to combat that, you must look at what is working, and ride it until the wheels fall off. Another opportunity with time, will present itself.

JF

Jamie Foxx is a perfect example of this. His first passion was music, but at the start of his career music didn’t want him, comedy and acting did. He worked that circuit for a few years before he released his second album which did considerably better than his first. By this point he was well recognised and respected in the entertainment business. It was much easier for people to be more receptive to his music-He wins! (Let’s gloss over his ‘15 National Anthem performance *side eye* thanks).

MA

Mahershala Ali has been acting for 16 years and my very first exposure to him was only last year in the Netflix series Luke Cage and now he’s everywhere!-And the first Muslim to win an Oscar 🙂

Nothing worth having will be easy. It will have twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows, it is part and parcel of living.

Work on your craft and if the craft isn’t working, work on something that is working. You can quote me on this, it will happen for you, eventually.

Xo

P.s *Summink South East London colloquialism for Something.

29 and Unmarried

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I can’t even begin to tell you what its like to be a woman of African descent born and raised in the United Kingdom.

Trust me when I say there are many realms to navigate through, AND to do it successfully? Its hard, hard af.

In my culture if you’re not married at 29, you’re already past your sell-by date. Yes it IS the be all and end all. It’s something almost all mothers irrespective of backgrounds are worried about.

It’s heralded as an unspoken and if you’re Nigerian very spoken of rite of passage for a lot of women. I remember shortly after graduating, the questions began to come in thick and fast about when I will get married, as if I am supposed to pluck a good suitor from a tree, wrap him up and present him to the family. As the first born in my family and one of the eldest in my extended family, in Tupac’s words “All eyes on me”. I had to ban my family at one point from asking me such questions and I won’t even begin to touch on the children, biological clock, and your eggs will be dust talk…That’s too much to discuss in one day.

If its not my family, its my friends and their families. Sometimes they say it and at other times I just feel it, the general consensus is “Irene, you are the problem, stop being so picky etc”. At some point, not sure when exactly, I started to believe them and it cost me! I mean if ‘everyone’ is thinking it and often times saying it, they must be right, right? I MUST be the problem, right? I didn’t want to be the black sheep and the one who wouldn’t get in line, so I ignored all the alarm bells and stood in the shit for a little too long. I entertained pursuits that I knew from the get-go were not right. Fortunately for me, I came out bruised and not broken.

Do not and by that I mean NEVER go against what you feel in your gut.

In addition to desperately trying to make something work, I spent a few months last year looking at every woman’s finger and then harshly judging her because the conditioning I had had since I was a child began to engulf me and swallow me whole, like Jonah. The thoughts swirling around my head were what’s wrong me? Why does she get to be married? Why wasn’t this a part of my life? Nobody wants me?! (Proceeds to cry in the corner).

The pressure to be married or find your soul mate is everywhere and unavoidable. It’s on TV, its on social media, it’s on YouTube, it’s on the tube, anywhere you can think of it, it’s there, haunting you.

There is an implicit notion that you are broken if you are not in relationship, engaged or married. Having a ring on your finger infers that you are wanted, loved and that someone saw value in you enough to make you a Mrs. This train of thought is detrimental, soul destroying and on every level, just wrong.

You are not broken, nor unloved or unwanted. The ideals established by our families, our cultures and society are often times unrealistic and can lead to an unhealthy state of being.

Anyway, I say all of that to say that I have been delivert*,I have finally made peace with all those demands and expectations that I and others had for my life. I have opted to be nobodies bitch least of all this society’s.

I have become very clear on what a good suitor looks like and my previous experiences were not it and I’ll be damned if I get to the altar and Mr Big chooses not to show up, someone will die, sorry I mean…nah, someone will die!

There is a whole lot more to life than being married or in a relationship. Life doesn’t stop there as my many married friends will tell me, it’s also not an easy feat. While it may not be in your very immediate future, do not sit there moping and become a glutton, get busy. Get busy in discovering more about yourself and living your best life yet while it is still on your own terms, because when you do eventually settle down, you can kiss goodbye to that lol.

Really spend time investing in yourself and your goals. Focus on the things that make you happy outside of anyone and do that, explore, learn a language, travel a lot, buy a home, do a placement abroad, write a book, go back to university to study (actually don’t, tbc), try new things, become a yoga instructor, take a series of cooking classes, make money, join a circus, start painting, get into photography, start a business, take a twerking class (hey, your mate will thank you later),spend time with your non annoying family members and friends, become so busy with living a wonderful life that you do not have time to feel sorry for yourself or look at other peoples lives as being seemingly better than yours. Your life can be amazing on your own, you do not need a mate to have a fulfilling life.

Now, I am not advocating that you completely shun your desire to have a mate, simply that you do not make it your everything. When people are desperate, desperate ideas and decisions become them. When people are happy, well you know how that goes.

I’m off to the gym now at 00:40, okay i’m lying, I was going to though, ha! Tomorrow, I promise.

Goodnight Xo

Ps Delivert- The act of being over delivered from something. Past past tense lol.

A Perfect Lie

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We have got it so so wrong.

I love it when I have an epiphany that I know will revoluntionise the way I think and operate. We have been sold this illusion that we are supposed to have ALL our shit together and that if we don’t, we are failures. That is a bona fide lie!

No matter who they are in this life, whether it’s your parents, friends or someone famous, everyone has a thing or two that isn’t quite ‘right’ in their lives. Should this make them less of a person? Absolutely not!

For the longest while, I have wrestled with needing to be perfect and to be perceived as being in complete control, to the point that when things did/do go left, I would hide and isolate myself because I didn’t want my ‘failures’ to be seen. This thinking alone can be a contributor to depression; I know it was for me in 2012.

You look at the media and idealism is being plastered everywhere. You look to your friends and family and they may also be cocooning their struggles which results in you feeling like you are all alone and that you are the only one that can’t get it right-WRONG!

The truth is we’re all figuring things out, even those we deem most successful. Consider yourself amongst good company if you find yourself in a financial bind, so was Simon Cowell. Maybe it’s that you suffered abuse, so did Oprah, or you were fired from your job, so was Steve Jobs. You don’t have to look far to find that even those closest to you have had some really tough breaks. Will you respect them any less because of it? I doubt it. In spite of it all, they thrived. Don’t beat yourself up that your life isn’t yet what you want it to be, or feel bad that the choices you made didn’t quite pan out, instead let those experiences further shape you, because at the end of the day,

Stuff happens

Nobody is perfect

So what you fucked messed up?!

So what it’s fucked messed up?!

You are not less than

You are human

…like the rest of us

Xo

P.s I hope you really heard what I said today, nobody is meant to be perfect, find peace in that. Perfect is boring anyway.

 

A Dry Spell

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I bought these flowers last week and a day or two after getting them, I started to think ‘erm, are they broken?’ (I’m impatient remember and currently in rehab).

None of them were opening up, but I left them anyway. Slowly, one by one they began to bloom.

It reminded me that there is a process to everything and how crucial it is to be patient, lest (I feel so fancy using ‘lest’) you miss your time to shine.

Do not prematurely abandon your ship, in hopes of ‘making’ it on someone else’s or resorting to ‘it just isn’t for me’ quips. Without you, it will not reach its destination and neither will you. If you believe in it, deep down in your marrow, then continue to nurture it, no matter what anyone has to say.

Give it time, let your intuition guide you, and exercise patience- a lot of it.

Xo

P.s Patience is quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.

 

Hey, Listen Up!

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Hi Guys,

My real name is Irene and erm I have a tendency to saunter off when life gets manic but I’m working on it and I hope you can stick with me.

Pretty please…?

Thank you!

Xoxo

Okay, we’ve established that I’m guilty of going away and my excuse is I have been traveling, I visited Paris ooh la la. I don’t mean to sound like I am full of excuses because I am not. Well, not really, they are more like reasons, yes reasons, reasons sound better.

Anyway, I hope you have been doing fabulously! Let’s talk.

I was saying to someone yesterday, that it is so much easier to believe in someone else’s hype than your own. Why is that? :s
Take me for example, I personally believe everyone can fly if they want to, but to fill out an application form for myself sometimes is like Mount Kilimanjaro -_- .Not because I cannot do it, but if truth be told because I am not sure I’ll get it and dealing with rejection is a mother******.  The kicker is how am I supposed to get it, if I do not do the work that is required? However, ask me to jump off a ledge and I’d sooner do that than apply for a role. It is a strange conundrum I know but we’re going to mend it!

I can talk your ear off about affirmations, positivity, and all that stuff but, something has to change and the catalyst for that is action.

Let’s be about it, I am all about making leaps and bounds this year and shaking off those gremlins that have been gnawing at my/our brain ( gross I know) and preventing us from living the life we have always wanted to.  I am therefore challenging you to a duel with me, not really a duel, but to intentionally do the things that scare you shitless. I mean that thing that merely thinking about it, gives you the shits. Don’t front, we have all experienced that intense nervousness. That nervousness which you experience may be an indication of something that you really, really, really need to do.

How else are you going to make your dreams a reality, if you don’t switch up your regular, mundane, dry chapped lipped routine?  You must inject some life, some oomph, some je ne sais quoi into it!

Stop playing small and cowering away, step outside your comfort zone.

Oh and because I am not fear’s b*tch (lol I am on one today), I am sending part of my manuscript to two publishers this week, whoa!

You gon’ learn ta day!

XO

P.s Irene has been abducted and the above post was written by a clone named Irina. We do apologise if this post caused offence, sike!

Pain now, Gain later

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What’s stopping you? Is it fear? Is it the work? Is it the lack of discipline?

For me, it is the pain of doing the work. The difficulty or should I say, the idea I have built in my mind of how difficult something is or how long it will take, is one of my stumbling blocks. I’m sure you have gathered by now that patience is not one of my strong suits. The irony is once I’ve done it, I say to myself, ‘Is that it? What was the big deal?!’.

You have to think of it this way, do the work now so that you can enjoy later. I love studying people (my favourite pastime) and when I looked at a lot of successful people, many of them were still reaping from what they sowed years and years and years ago. They are harvesting from the work, graft, grind, that they also found difficult to do at the time. Wouldn’t it be great to have something that continues to bear fruit in your life, years after it’s been done?

Let’s take a singer-songwriter for example. They wrote and performed a song, 10 years ago. When that song gets used in an advert, they get paid and recognition from it. When it’s used in a film, they get paid and recognition from it. Someone does a cover, they get paid and recognition from it.  This is all from one song that they created, in a room, spent hours recording, fine tuning, staying up late, perfecting the performance of it, creating a video for it, doing interviews to promote it,  and all the other host of things that come with being an artist. These are some of the pains, which later became profitable.

It could be anything in your life, getting a new job, reenergizing a relationship, clearing your debts, making an investment, learning a new trade, weight loss, producing content for YouTube, writing a book, a social enterprise, raising a family, anything worth having does not comes easy or overnight. Without doing the work, none of these things will materialize. It’s the natural order of life, sow first, reap second.

Like my mentor says ‘Do what others won’t, to get what others don’t’.

Xo

P.s I am doing the work too, albeit begrudgingly grrr.

Lemonade

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I am probably going to tell this fable all wrong and add and subtract bits, but you’ll get the gist. My counsellor told me a story about a multimillionaire and it goes like this.

He had a pool in his house filled with alligators and he said that whoever can swim the length of this pool and make it out will be given half of his wealth.  Of course, the rich man did not believe anyone could make it through. The next minute, all you could hear and see is a man who was thrashing and flailing his arms around like a mad man in the pool. He miraculously made it out on the other side, unscathed.

The crowd was applauding and cheering.  He was now the heir to half of the rich man’s wealth and his first words after gathering himself together were “Who pushed me?”

When I was told this story, I laughed so hard. I was having a miserable day and hearing it, thoroughly cheered me up because I could certainly relate.

We’ve all been in a situation where we have been thrashing and flailing our arms for dear life and somehow we survived. We probably didn’t think we would, but we were trying anyway because we had no choice. These moments are what I call lemons.

Sometimes its life’s way of showing you that you have become complacent and that thing that you want is NOT going to come to you if you carry on as you are, so it thrusts you forward and lemons appear everywhere, it’s time for you to thrash and flail. Do not despise this phase of your life, instead see this as your opportunity to grow, learn and once on the other side, thrive and drink lemonade.

Xo

Sleepless nights

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Burning the midnight oil.

Where are my weirdos at? My tribe, the ones who suffer from self-inflicted insomnia, caused by an overactive mind to do more, be more, live more, everything more!

The struggle is all too familiar to me. You know you should be sleeping as you have a 9-5 to get to, but for whatever reason you can’t and when you do actually fall asleep, its time to get up, ugh.

I was pondering today on thinking, and how it can often times be an achilles heel, Anxiety is worrying about the future and depression is worrying about the past, and although you can think your way into a new way of life, it is impossible to do so without taking action.

I attend weekly counselling sessions, yup you heard right, weekly counselling. Before I continue, I have to say this, counselling is for EVERYONE! No matter who, what, where you are, you can benefit from having a place where you can offload without judgement.

Anyway, so like I said earlier I have counselling because I’m ill, I kid, for various reasons, and at one point during these “meetings” (thats what I like to call them), I discovered that I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I had to do constantly, and consequently feeling overwhelmed to point of not actually doing anything whatsoever! Nada, Zilch, Nothing.

Is that not sheer madness? You over stress, over imagine and over think something to death that you have no more energy.

Here’s my tried and tested advice: Think a little, Do a lot.

Good things come to those who do. Work with what you have and DO the best you can.

If you have debts, speak to a financial adviser, there are plenty of charities that offer free advise with debt management. You don’t have to feel alone. If its an ill family member or friend, spend your efforts making it the best time you’ve ever had together. My late Grandmother lived in a different country and whenever she called or was speaking to my mum on the phone, no matter what I was doing, I made sure I spoke to her and honestly it helped when she passed, because I knew I did not take her for granted- Every moment counted. If it is a career issue, seek out someone who you deem to be successful and ask them what they did and learn from them. The internet is also your friend, there is so much useful information, use it to your advantage.

Whatever keeps you up at night, there is a solution to it. Spend less time thinking about it, and more time doing something about it.

All hope is not lost. You are. For now. But not for long.

Keep going, keep trying and…Goodnight.

Xo

 

 

 

10 Signs of a Toxic Person

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If they restrict your happiness, constrict their access.

I think we can all agree that we want 2017 to be even better and one of the ways to do that is to check the people you associate yourself with.

Some people are no good for you and no matter how much you want it to be different, it won’t.

With that said, you REALLY need to be mindful of the company you keep. The kind of people you surround yourself with can either help you build, help you destroy, or keep you in the same place. Sometimes its family, sometimes its friends, sometimes its colleagues and sometimes it’s your environment. Whichever it is, if it is working against you, you need to cut your losses while you can.

To give clarity, here’s a situation that I think a lot women will be able to relate to.You get into a relationship with a man who was initially a great guy. Years go by and the relationship changes for the worse. He is not supportive, berates whatever you do, is uninterested in anything you have to offer and so on.You have been unhappy for a while and you’re aware of this, but you stay in hope that it will change and get better.

You confide in your friends, who by the way, are constantly in drama of their own doing. Their advice is that you’re lucky to have a man and how many women at your age do not have partners, so work with what you’ve got.

You don’t entirely agree and believe that this is not healthy and think that ending the relationship is the best outcome, after all you and your partner have stopped being able to relate. However, you’re so used to it, that you carry on with the charade because leaving seems way too hard. You remember what your friends said and eventually convince yourself that they are right.

Things continue as they are and it’s worsening, “that’s it!” you say to yourself and finally muster up some courage to end it, but then there’s a surprise, you’re pregnant.

It just went from bad to worse, because children usually exacerbate the issues already there to a whole ‘nother level.Resentment, regret and remorse settle in and you struggle to forgive yourself for not taking the plunge sooner. What was left of that relationship went up in smoke and a host of other issues arise in a bid to co-parent. The recovery time from all of this…who knows?

The above scenario could happen to anyone and I know a number of people where this has occurred. Were there opportunities to cut their losses? Undoubtedly. Often times we don’t act quick enough and the fallout of course is monumental.

The signs are always there…

Check out some of them below:

  1. They are life and energy suckers.
  2. They talk negatively about everything and everyone, including you.
  3. They get you to do things that you really don’t want to, manipulative.
  4. They give you advice that is usually to your detriment.
  5. They do not support your dreams.
  6. They are mentally, emotionally and physically abusive.
  7. They do not take an interest in what you do or in your day.
  8. Everything is about them, and their struggles, me, me, me, me!
  9. They are never wrong and are always above reproach
  10. They do not take accountability for their actions

*Megaphone* The above applies to you too! You might need to check yourself and see if you do or don’t fall into the above categories. It is unfair to expect a behavior that you, yourself, do not display.

I have to add that a toxic person isn’t necessarily a bad person, it may be that these habits were learned and so they don’t know any better, however it is not your job to ‘fix’ them. A conversation might be in order to assist them in their journey but while they figure that out, you need to figure you out.

If their behavior does not change and is still detrimental to your well-being, cut the umbilical cord and release yourself.

Ill return to this topic with ways of filling that void you may now have lost but first, get to snipping.Okay, here’s one for now, find some energy giving people, people who make you laugh and go to environments that lift you up. I like driving at night time into the area that I’d like to own a home. I peer into their homes (from the car lol) a tad stalker-ish (don’t judge me) but it shows me another side to what I regularly see.

Xo

P.s I am fully aware that using a bitmoji as a picture is a total cop out, but hey it works for me 🙂

Nobody is Coming to Save You.

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We’re a few days into the New Year, how is it going for you? I really hope it’s been amazing so far.

As for me, it was going great until all grades of shit hit the fan.Think of fresh baby poo flung onto the ceiling, it’s disgusting isn’t it?! That’s the kick life has just given me.

*Big fat, humongous sigh* Can I live?! Universe please cut me some slack at least for 12 months (and or the rest of my life), pleaserrrhh?! Do I have to get on my knees and beg? I’ll do it I promise you I will.

I wish I had a Clark Kent, so he could transport me anywhere I needed to be, most especially in times of conflict, or an Iron Man because he’s innovative, funny and loaded, or a batman, well actually, maybe not batman, he’s fallen off but you get my drift.

The reality is there are no superheroes hanging around, no one is coming to save you. Be your own hero and help yourself in any way you possibly can. That’s not to say there will not be some amazing people to assist you along the way, but before that happens you would have had to have (*I hate that I used had/have 3 times in a row, ugh!) made significant progress on your own. You must exhaust all opportunities and options available to you, you have to be proactive!

Definition of proactive: Creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.

The above definition sums up perfectly what we need to be doing regularly. I happen to find myself in the latter part, which is always a pain to rectify.

Where you end up in the next few months is largely down to you and the actions that you repeatedly take. Don’t fancy being in the same position this time next year? Change.

Decide that no matter what, you are going to accomplish your goals and conquer your problems. You can do it, you just have to keep trying constantly until there’s a crack that you can eventually bust wide open.

Take any set back as a great opportunity for a better come up. Don’t even sweat it.

Xo

P.s I promise in my next post I’m going to be a huge ball of positive energy, even if it is that I’m faking it. I think I owe it to you guys to give you some oomph, some va va voom, some voulez-vous coucher avec moi, too much? Okay bye.

*I was really struggling to restructure that sentence, so erm yeah, sorry not sorry. Wait, could you have written that differently? Help me out here.

2016: Final Thoughts

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What a crazy and challenging year!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the New Year ahead. I am sooooooooo ready for it for many reasons.

I have learnt an incredible amount and there’s nothing like good ol’ trial and tribulations to grow you ‘real quick’.

I pushed myself and was pushed, I loved, I lost, I succeeded and failed miserably, I strengthened relationships and some I severed. All in all, these are the things that enrich my life for the better.

My top 5 takeaways are:

  1. Everything has a season. A time to sow and a time to reap. It will happen for you, be patient.
  2. BE patient
  3. Trust your intuition
  4. It will not work if you don’t
  5. Don’t force it. Pay to attention to what you really should be paying attention to and give that your energy.

I have to emphasise this, 2017 can only be better if you are. Do whatever you can that’s within your power to live your best life yet.

Be mindful of what you think, use caution when you speak, and act as often as you can.

I wish you a fantastic New Year and a MIND BLOWING 2017!!!

Much love

Irene Xo

P.s Some pics below from my recent birthday…I jumped out of a plane!  I’ll talk about my birthday another time, what an experience!

 

 

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The Writing’s on the Wall

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The most vital lesson for me this year was to trust my intuition. Your inner voice knows best, don’t doubt it, believe in yourself! Trust. That. Voice.

PSA: A recommended good friend doesn’t necessarily make a good boyfriend or girlfriend.

I must be putting out ‘I need a man vibes’, because over the past 2 years, I have been encouraged by those close to me to consider people who they thought highly of. Two of those did not pan out well AT ALL.

But here’s the kicker, in both of those situations, I knew from the very beginning it wasn’t going to work, yet I continued on in great hope that it will just “work”, and that I would eventually be wrong.

Desperation + Desire= Disaster, sheer catastrophe, abort mission!

I always say that the worst place to operate out of is desperation. I don’t think I have ever had good results from taking action whilst in this mode.When you want something bad enough it can completely cloud your judgement and stifle your ability to make sound decisions.

I was forcing it to work with people, where my intuition and experience told me it would not work. I ignored all and every warning sign telling me to ‘abort mission!’ because I believed I deserved it and was prepared by any means necessary to get it. I had had enough of being told this or that, and being looked upon as the ‘problematic one’, so I forced it.

What did forcing it look like? Well, it looked like putting aside my standards, tolerating things that went against my better thinking, and in effect devoting time, effort, energy into the wrong places. The cost of this? My peace of mind, full functionality and temporary insanity.

I have had people all through my adult life, tell me that I am quite particular, especially when it comes to relationships and that I needed to be more malleable.You hear it long enough, you start to believe it and I did. I started to doubt myself and what I truly knew was right, in exchange for what people told me about myself.

I am not blaming these people, because at the end of the day the decision was mine to make. I placed more value on their opinions over what I knew to be true for me.  It was at this point, I knew that I had f**ked up.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have different opinions, it’s healthy in some cases, as it establishes a dialogue that may not have been had before, however, I cannot stress how important it is for YOU to have the final say in terms of what goes on in your life, your word is the most valuable.

We all have an inner navigation system that guides us in life, make good use of it, it’s there to help you. The more you use it, the easier it becomes to detect.

How I identify that voice:

  • I know it because it disturbs me at the most random and very often, inappropriate time.
  • My heart starts to race whenever it comes to mind, letting me know that there is action I need to take.
  • There’s a tightness in my stomach
  • Unease when doing something that you have been putting off.

These are my tell-tale signs that there is something not quite right and needs addressing. Once I do it, there is a huge weight off my shoulders.

If it doesn’t look right, smell right, feel right, let it go, leave it. You cannot dress up shit and even if you manage to, it doesn’t last long, it will eventually hit the fan.

Save yourself the aggro and do what you’re supposed to while you still have control.

Trust your intuition.

XO

P.s Your intuition might be the most unpopular feeling to everyone else, still go with it, it’s for you, not everyone else.

Hey Copycat! Results may differ

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This topic was a bit of a tricky one to articulate but I hope you get it.

This journey you are on called life, is tailored specifically just for you. It takes into consideration your strengths, weakness, gifts, abilities, environment, circumstances and everything in between. There is no other life like it and your only goal is to make the most of it, multiply whatever you have, be impactful and do your best to thrive. You cannot be duplicated, which means you cannot do the same to someone else. So no matter how alike you and someone else’s life might seem, yours is made just for you.

Okay now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the rest of it.

We, humans of this planet (said in James Earl Jones voice), are all connected, so of course we’ll share similarities and certainly have things in common but be the same? And have the exact same experiences? Nope, sorry, not going to happen.

There is no harm in having people that you look up to, is there? I personally think it is good to have role models and be inspired by them, yet there is the danger that you’d want to replicate all that they do so that you can experience the same things they do, even though in practice it doesn’t always work out. Whether it is principles, products, services, formulas and the like, you have to be mindful that what works for them, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. How many times have we done what someone else did and it didn’t quite have the same effect?

Life is not a one size fits all and it never will be. Sure there are some fundamental principles that reign supreme and always will, however, it is about tailoring it to make it applicable to your life. You have to keep working towards figuring out what works for YOU and stick with it until it has fully served its purpose.

Whatever you implement into your life that someone advises or did themselves, remember that you are not the same person and the results may differ, so STOP comparing yourself- It’s killing your vibe.

It’s like doctors say, do not share your prescription with anyone, even if the symptoms sound the same. The reason is because that person might have an underlying condition/allergy that can cause the medication to have adverse effects.

I have been blogging for over two years and there are people who started blogging this year, who have much more subscribers than I. Damn right I thought, “what the hell?!” I write that good stuff and think what I have to say is valuable, why don’t I have an increased amount of readership?

Here’s the thing, my purpose, goals, training, are completely different to anyone else’s. Whatever I don’t have yet, I choose to see it as I am being taught how to cultivate it by way of the lessons life teaches and wills me to learn. If, for example, I received ten thousand readers a year ago, maybe I would not have the discipline I have now. In fact I know I probably wouldn’t have, I might have been like ‘ahh yeah I’ll blog when I can’ but now, there is no way I would ever devalue those that take an interest in what I write and find it useful. What if I am not supposed to have a large amount of readers and this is it for me in this area? Well if that is the case that it is serving its purpose one way or another, whether I know it or not. It may even be preparing me for something wholly different.

When we pay attention to what someone else is doing we lose focus, will and control over our lives. Focus on you, that’s the only way to get the best results.

Know that your life is not to be mirrored; it is to be authentic, original and yours truly.

XO

Petty Bitter Betty

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We are wired wrong.

There are some things that people are incredibly sensitive about, one of them is birthdays. I think nearly everyone can relate to this.

Mine is coming up and I had sent out invitations last night. Of course, with these things you get an onslaught of ‘I can’t make it’, ‘Sorry’, ‘I have a previous engagement’, blah blah blah! It’s to be expected. However it still doesn’t stop you from being in your feelings.

This was me yesterday, I began to think and feel negative about the fact that some of the invitees could not make it. I thought about the many, many, many times I had shown up for them in different ways and felt slighted that the efforts I make aren’t always reciprocated. This train of thought, coupled with my own other insecurities spell disaster. I even considered from this point onwards, not showing up for people and reducing the ways that I over extend and often times inconvenience myself to support these people. But then I caught myself, pressed pause and checked my thoughts.

This was the conversation I was having in my head and all within a few minutes might I add-Could you imagine, if I allowed this dialogue to continue for hours, days, months? I’d be a lil’ menace and a petty bitter betty. Thankfully, the good voice always reigns supreme so it never wins, but I have had some close calls.

It dawned on me that I was paying way too much unnecessary attention to all the no’s and not valuing and appreciating all the yeses and there were yeses. What the hell is wrong me?!

I know I am not the only one whose wiring is configured to magnify and exacerbate the negatives rather than promote and celebrate the wonderful positives. We have unfortunately been conditioned this way and it serves as our go-to whenever we face something we don’t particularly like and in some cases even when the circumstances are favourable, we find something to be upset about. This disposition is a huge blessing and gratitude blocker too.

It made me realize how deep rooted negative thinking can be and how it shows up even in the small things. It is not only damaging to you, but to the people around you. It’s a condition that needs treatment immediately effectively otherwise it may cause depression, isolation, or worse, death. And I am not kidding either.

It’s this kind of thinking that can eventually lead people to wanting to end it all, or find a destructive vice, like drugs, sex, self-harm, eating disorders and the like. So please don’t take it lightly, for your own good, do something about it.

I am often checking myself and filtering the thoughts that pass through my head, taking the ones that will serve me and ditching the ones that will not, although I am not always successful in respect of the latter, yet, still, I try.

I have to say something else that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of and it’s this: Not every thought that comes to mind is yours or is for you. Sometimes there are thoughts in the ether looking for a mind to stick to (which is why words are powerful, but that’s a topic for another day). There are times I have thoughts and I think ‘hold up, that’s not of me’ and immediately reject it.

Give it a shot, choose to be conscious of your thoughts, even the seemingly insignificant ones and examine if they are helping or destroying you.

As a very AA colloquial saying goes, ‘Check yourself, before you wreck yourself’.

Oh, and don’t be a PBB, it’s not a good look 🙂

XO

Ps You know how I say I am dramatic right?…let me give you a better idea, King Julien IS my spirit animal (He gets me Lol!), nuff said.

Pps The urge to be petty always exists but then again so does Karma and that trumps petty so…erm…think about that.

2016: Its not over till the fat lady sings!

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My last post was a doozy! Phew. But we’re here now and moving forward.

We have 3.5 weeks left before we’re in officially in 2017! Does that excite you?

I have been saying that I cannot wait for 2016 to be over for the a little while now and then I thought about it, why can’t I wait? What about it being 2017 will make a difference?

Let’s think about it. In reality all it is, is another day. That’s it.

With the risk of sounding cynical, it’s not like we’re able to wipe out 2016 nor is there a worldwide ritual that takes place in order to enter into the New Year.

New and better things are ultimately down to us. The wonderful thing about that is you can begin again at anytime and anywhere.

Did you hear me? I said at ANYTIME and ANYWHERE. So why wait till 2017?

You hear hoards of people say ‘this year is my year’ and they talk about all the great and magnificent things that will happen. How sway? Transformation only comes through changed and consistent behaviour. You can’t do the same thing and expect there to be some revolution in your life. You have to put the work in.

Many parts of this year may not have been great or enjoyable but I am determined to end the year well and welcome my life into 2017 with grace, strength and a new energy and that starts now! There is absolutely no time like the present. Where is the sense in waiting for the New Year when you can implement change right now this second?!

You want things to be different? Start now. Work on those habits that have created the life you live that you want to be rid of. Remove old ways of thinking, and put on a new way of thinking-Be transformed by the renewing of your mind

And remember your power is in the small things.

XO

Psst…watch my very first (and probably last) video of the year! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgcWtKzuGM&t=301s

 

 

 

 

Today, I wanted to give up

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A smile is not always an indication of good things but often a shield of something worse.

This is a little bit personal, a lot a bit personal even.

Today, I wanted to give up. I still do. Give up as in close up shop, kick the bucket, call it quits, permanently.
And no this is not a cry for help, more so an exorcism of the decaying thoughts that sometimes penetrate my mind.
I wanted to give up because these obstacles seemed too great for little ol’ 5’2″ me.
I try and try and try to do and be better, but the universe won’t let me be great and I’m tired.

Imagine you’re building a wall and every couple of layers you build, it breaks down and you have to start all over again. This is what 2016 has been like, thoroughly kicking my ass all over the place and today I thought, that’s it, I don’t want any parts of it anymore, I’m done.

Having such ‘thoughts’ has been with me since I was a child. Some people are more susceptible to it that others, I am one of the some people. Everyone has their demon and mine is currently dancing and causing havoc in my head.

You might think why write this Irene? Well, life isn’t always easy and a bed full of roses. I’d hate for someone out there to look at my life and think I have it made and that I don’t go through shit, nope, sorry, regular folk just like you. If my openness allows someone else to relate and not feel so alone, then I think that trumps my need for privacy. As Nina Simone says and I quote, “An Artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times” and as a writer, this, is one of those ‘times’ for me.

In my moment of bluergh-ness, I want to encourage someone else to not to give up. Hypocritical I know, hey, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t sometimes tell you things that I myself don’t feel like doing.

Confide in the people you trust and ask them to support you. I had to do that today otherwise my last post may have been the last time you’d have heard from me. Not because I’d necessarily be 6 feet under but because I’d had given up on my purpose, like f*ckallthisshit kind of give up, shaveallmyhairandnotbath kind of give up, but thankfully my friends have literally poured into my life-Thank you. Oh, there goes my doorbell, no doubt, one of my friends, coming to check I’m alive. Yup, I was right…
The older you get, the more you understand Britney Spears episode, although to be honest, I got it then. I got it because I’d been dealing with difficult situations most of life.

Anyway back to me telling you to do what I don’t want to do. One of my friends shared something that she had been doing to get by and it honestly made so proud of them and secondly, inspired. They are doing ALL they can to not give up and create a better life for themselves, with the very bitter lemons they were served. If they can, I can, you can.

So what I’m saying to you is, I’m not giving up just yet, and that I will keep on trying and giving it my best, even when the bricks crumble. I hope that this very raw and melancholy sharing, will at least make you feel like you’re not alone and if not, hit me up, we can wallow in self pity together- Just kidding, I can’t encourage that, instead we’ll build this wall together quicker, stronger, longer.

XO

 

Relish the moment before it’s too late.

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I’m really trying to slide back into your dm’s but having fallen out of the routine, it’s a bit of a struggle to begin posting regularly again. Huff.

Anyway, I attended a one day course called ‘Building Resilience’, which was brilliant! I gained a lot, but my biggest take away was learning how crucial it is to be in the present moment.  

My problem is that I am never here. My mind, my presence is almost always somewhere else: I need to be at the next place, doing something else, being somewhere else, creating something and hardly ever giving great attention to what it is I am currently doing-This is not a way to exist.

So in a bid to be in the now, I have decided to make the moment big-GER! You make the moment bigger by expanding it. Break down what’s happening into little bits, more specifically bits of things to be thankful for.

  • Think about the things you have now but once wished and prayed for.
  • Think about the things you are learning and what this current period is preparing you for.
  • Think about what you have achieved already that once seemed impossible
  • Think about all the wonderful things happening around you, live in that moment and give it ALL of your attention, lest (I like this archaic word ‘lest’) you find yourself in the future reminiscing about this stage right here or even worse having not prepared for the future you want!

From doing this over past couple of days, I have experienced a new level of peace and certainty that I don’t usually have because I spend most of my time worrying about everything. It’s definitely refreshing to have that peace of mind.

Join me in resolving to relish the moment, be more compassionate towards yourself, and occasionally pat yourself on the back for how far you have come irrespective of the circumstances, as truth be told not everyone made it through to today…

XO  

Ps The featured picture is my friend (the celebrant) and I at her birthday.

Pps My birthday is coming up soon…eek!

An Overnight Success? Not Likely.

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I live for progress, patience? Not so much. The irony is without patience, you’ll seldom get to see the progress.

By nature or possibly nurture even, I am incredibly impatient. I want it either now, yesterday or last year and live in this space where anything can happen instantly and I expect it to. As you can imagine it doesn’t bode well for me at all when it does not happen as anticipated. I quickly become frustrated, irritated and delve deeper into the abyss of ‘I am not doing well in life’- Yes I know, drama queen.

But, I had an epiphany that I thought was worth sharing. I was working out last week and thinking about how I have not yet successfully executed regular and consistent exercise for long periods of time. I weighed it against the goals that I wanted for my body and it registered to me that I am never going to see the results that I want, IF I am not patient enough to continue working out to see my goals manifest.

This is true for everything.

I love reading and listening to the background stories of celebrities, mainly because their development and growth is visible. The proof of their evolution is seen in the pictures, videos and the work they produce.

These success stories, started exactly where you are right now, that very same spot you’re standing on, yup, that one, they stood there too.

They were not all born with a silver spoon or in particularly advantageous circumstances and even if they were, it’s not void of life’s woes, yet they thrived. How?

Well, (and I firmly believe this) the difference between those that achieve the success they want and those that don’t, is persistence and patience.

Being persistent and patient whilst aiming for progress rather than perfection (irrespective of what you do) will surely gain you results over a period of time albeit a long, very long, period of time.

I read an article/ interview on Katherine Waterston in ES Magazine and she spoke about the time she considered giving up if she had not booked ‘Inherent Vice’, a movie that she was nominated for three awards. She is now one of the stars of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ a work from the incomparable JK Rowling. It may not match Harry Potter’s success but it’s sure to do pretty darn well, due to die-hard fans both young and old.  Katherine has already filmed other works that are currently in post-production. At 36, she is gaining notoriety and expanding her body of work. 

Why mention her age? I think her age is (and isn’t) important.  For those  of us who are younger and think it’ll never work out and daily consider giving up on our aspirations, well there’s the proof that with time, you will begin to make great strides; if only you do not give up, be persistent, work on your craft/ self and exercise patience!

Resist the opportunity to relent before your moment to shine, it will come.

XO

 

Relationships matter, Friendships matter, All liv…Sike!

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I’d be lying if I said I haven’t missed blogging sorely, I definitely have! I didn’t plan on posting today but I was challenged yesterday and a little insulted, when someone questioned my commitment to blogging.

How frigg’n dare they?!

I do however think my absence warrants an explanation. I have for the past 5 weeks been revamping my website, and it’s taken longer than expected, as these things usually do. I have spent it going back and forth with my ‘web guy’, different hosts and it’s been a bit of a palaver. However, things are finally on the move and I hope to back to normal by the end of this week, so expect new things…Yay!

So as a big middle finger I mean proof, that I am not a slacker and you guys do deserve better, here’s my little tidbit for today.

I’m about to get a little shouty, a little passionate, a little brash because I feel so strongly about this: ALL relationships require EFFECTIVE communication in order for it to be healthy and functional.

This idea that it’s just “supposed” to work or they should just “get it” is bullsh*t and here’s why.

I was speaking to a friend a while back and I asked her about a good friend of hers. I noticed that they had barely spoken much in the last couple of months and they used to speak every day. She began to tell me about what’s happened and why she has all of a sudden distanced herself. I asked her, “have you told her how you feel?”, her response “No”.

I looked at her like she had an extra head. So you are not speaking to her, for reasons she is unaware of? My friend stated “I would not have done that, she should just know!”. What?!

Now don’t get me wrong, she is entitled to her feelings and reasons, but my issue is when you have failed to communicate it to the other party.

There are so many things wrong with this thinking. You and the other person are not the same; you do not share the exact same experiences, are not from the exact same background, do not behave exactly the same, do not have the exact same thinking or perspective, how can you expect this person to “get it” all the time, every time? Not even twins can get it right all the time.

We can look at the same object and have completely different opinions of it, based on things already mentioned, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not one size fits all, nor is there a standard or rule book that everyone follows.

We need to accept that we are made differently and sometimes, we do need to talk in order to learn and grow.

I get it wrong all the time, but guess what? If you don’t tell me, I’ll never know or learn and I most certainly won’t just “get it”.

We as humans don’t have a peak, where we become all powerful, all knowing, even when we are old and grey, there are still things we can learn.

I have encountered it so many times in my relationships and others, how a little communication can make the world of difference in enhancing and fortifying it.

If you tell your friend in this scenario, that you are not happy about a particular outcome and you do so with the aim of finding a resolve and NOT attacking them, and they choose to respond negatively, then so be it, “Que Sera Sera”…BUT, if they respond positively, how much better will you feel? If they value you, you’ll both find a way to compromise, it’s that simple.

I had an experience just yesterday, where a friend and I, who I have known for decades, had a misunderstanding, one that quite possibly could have caused a permanent rift between us. It took us 5 minutes to clear the air. 5 minutes of us expressing ourselves in a manner that was respectful and ultimately came from a good place to resolve the issue. 5 minutes was all it took to clear up animosity that had existed for over a year. 5 minutes.

These disparities don’t always have to mean the end of the world, it can be used as a bridge to get closer, not further way.

Too often good relationships break down because of poor and ineffective communication, and 8/10 times it could have been avoided with simple, clear, and respectful communication.

Don’t deprive yourself of a good thing, be bold enough to simply talk it out.

XO

Ps I used lots of capitals ugh. #sorrynotsorry 😛

Pps Ill be moving over to WordPress.org soon, don’t ask…

Are you willing?

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To pay the price that is.

Ask anyone what they want and 8/10 times they’ll have to think about it for a few minutes. Ask them what they don’t want and they’ll begin to list it off at lightning speed, myself included. When they do eventually tell you what they want and you follow up with this next question, “What are you doing to make that happen?” they start to foam at the mouth because they haven’t done anything. How can we want something when we have done nothing to help the situation? Where and on what planet does that make sense? It doesn’t.

It’s definitely time to realign yourself, and fast. Get with the real program of your life, not this fake one you have concocted. I say concocted because you’re living with two different parallels, the one you want but won’t work for because you’re afraid and the one you don’t want but work for every day, that my friend is a concoction for disaster.

I must confess, I’m quite the dreamer or maybe it’s that I’m spoilt? I can talk a pretty good game but my execution isn’t always as tight. I want things to happen the way I imagined, and not the way it’s usually been set out before me. In short, I want the easy way out, always, the easy way out-Who doesn’t? But life, easy? Nope. The gag is, the easy way out is usually more costly than the hard route.

You ever buy a cheap item thinking you’re saving, but it breaks down 2 seconds after using it, and you end up buying the expensive one and now that’s even more money than you anticipated spending because you were trying cut costs, cheap ass- Just kidding! Gets me every time.

I was thinking about this task that I set myself to own a property and I had a lightbulb moment. I realised the solution has been right under my nose this whole entire time and then I started to think about all the things I would have to do to maintain it. It.Suddenly.Felt.Overwhelming Ugh.

Actually, actually on second thought, maybe I don’t want it, in fact I know I don’t want it, whose idea was this anyway?…Sound familiar?

We do it all the time, whenever we begin to broach uncharted waters and the boat begins to rock, rather than ride it out, we want a life boat to come along and save us.

How long are you going to do that for? Times a ticking and in my case I’m sure I’ll blink and suddenly be 60 years old wondering where all the time has gone.

Think of it this way, if every time shit got scary or tough, you screamed for a life boat, will you ever attain that goal? Like ever? Doubt it. I mean I don’t mean to doubt you per se, butttt ummm the proof is in the pudding.

Getting what you want in life WILL require sacrifice and not necessarily the roasting of a pig on a stick, with fire burning beneath it, sort of sacrifice, but close.

Nothing worth having comes easy, and if it comes easy, well easy come, easy go.

So I ask you again, are you willing? Stop playing small for fear of failing, stop it.

In order to have what you want, you have to go out on a limb (I have only just understood what that phrase really means) and just jump. We’re pretty amazing at anything and when push comes to shove we find ways to rise to the occasion. This or that would be no different.

Think more of what you truly want and less of what you don’t want and make plans towards making it happen!

XO

PS And erm yeah if this owning a property business doesn’t work out, can someone put me up for a few weeks, months, a year maybe? Thanks in advance.

PPS Oo ooo oo I just saw this quote on the gram, “Worrying is a misuse of your imagination”. Let that marinate.

Decriminalise My Blackness #DMB

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For a long time I have wanted to speak on this debilitating issue, but I didn’t know what to say or how to say it without spewing out venom, without being hateful, without wanting vengeance; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood. However, I knew, I knew all those things will not be the answer. Will it make some pay attention, definitely, but will it bring about lasting change? No.

Every time I hear or see news about the unnecessary violent shootings taking place across the pond, I grieve. I look at the details and can never quite finish reading or viewing before my eyes start to well up and gush out tears. Not on the one or two incidents, every single time, tears.

Woefully, it has become an epidemic: death by being black.

“People die every day for xyz…” please spare me this spiel, there are many causes to take up, this happens to be one of mine and even still, are they dying for something as superficial as the colour of their skin? It is utterly abhorrent .The worst part is that it’s something that could be prevented, something that should be controlled, something that should be punishable and most certainly not happening in any year, least of all 2016.

It’s a sad dire state of affairs, where a man, woman or child may not come home that night, because they were walking while black, driving while black, buying sweets while black, at a pool party while black, selling cigarettes while black, had a broken taillight while black, had a broken down car while black, waiting in the car for your son while black, because you woke up black, because you were born black…

BORN.

BLACK.

Imagine that?! Purely based on the shade of your skin can determine your fate, whether you live or die. Criminalised for carrying out normal activity like the rest of the world does, except everyone does so freely without fear of suspicion or in this case death.

Some of the Americas and its police force is diseased and needs curing. It as if some have been bred to see Black, kill Black, is there a quota? This can be the only reason why Terence Crutcher is killed after his car broke down, whilst psychopath Dylann Roof shoots 9 (Black) people dead and walks out in hand cuffs and a bullet proof vest, a bullet proof fucking vest. Or why Eric Garner selling cigarettes to make ends meet would be squished to death like a bug, yet George Zimmerman is acquitted of murder and walks around freely and is STILL permitted to be in possession of a gun. Or why Philando Castile who does exactly as he is told is shot dead in his car, point blank, with his girlfriend and a child in the back, A CHILD IN THE BACK.  * sigh * The list is endless.

The land of the free, home of the brave, where black people are seemingly deemed less than cattle, to be branded, killed and disposed of, might as well start eating us while you’re at it. It has to stop.

The multiple video evidence has done nothing to convict them of their crimes, the burden of proof is right there. The accountability or the glaring lack thereof, rings clear as day and the message is this, your life is worthless.

We all deserve to be treated equally, fairly. Justice in every case  should be, no, must be served.

I know there are good police officers and people, but where are they when these things are happening? They can’t always not be around when these things are taking place, can they?

You might not have picked up the gun but you’re right there with them if you do not see that there is eroding problem with the (in)justice system that so long as you wear a uniform and have a badge, you can do whatever hell you want and go scot free. You’re there if you do not stand up to combat the prejudices of people that are suffering at the hands of others, solely attributed to the colour of their skin. The institutionalized racism needs to be weeded out from the inside out starting from the higher levels down, all the way through into the judicial system, because if the people who are supposed to justly protect and safeguard our society are failing, what more its constituents?

I have spent so much time thinking about what can be done, how can we change? I still don’t have a clear answer. What if we lived separately, each “race” to their own? maybe it would reduce the conflict between us all, you know ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of thing, ‘you do your thing, I do mine’. As you can see, that notion is flawed from the outset because the world we live is mixed, not black, not white, mixed, so it would never be favourable for anyone. I used to think it was about controlling power and wealth, that if we could just acquire a higher percentage of these things, we would be more respected, more valued, but we do have wealthy and powerful people, I mean they had President Barack Obama… so that view is also null and void.

The underlying problem here is stereotypes, prejudice, and ultimately racism.

So here’s what I say we do in our own little way: in our communities, in our homes, we teach the young and old to think and see differently- By changing perceptions one person at a time

Don’t you say it’s not enough, it’s a start, it’s where it all begins. Upstairs, where the ideas are formed and the controlling stakes claim. If you can intercept and disturb one person’s idea of who and what we are, it may mean the difference in them picking up a gun, a knife or hurling racial slurs and instead showing compassion, working together and rebuilding.

Perceptions and beliefs come by hearing and seeing, and in order to affect that then we must control what is happening in our communities, in the media, in the office, on public transport, at the doctors, and wherever else we come into contact with others, and be more responsible. Protests are great for increasing awareness but it’s the people who don’t turn up to those protests that need infiltrating, it’s the people who are far removed from society that need engaging, it’s the ones who own guns who need challenging, it’s those that create the “system” that need reeducating, because the system is broken, and all of those people exist next door to us, so start there.

Challenge people’s perspectives. If I rock a teeny weeny afro, no it does not mean I am aggressive and unapproachable, if a guy wears a hoodie, it does not mean he is dangerous or a delinquent, if she has on a burka, she’s not automatically dubious, if he raises his voice, he’s simply expressing himself, let’s break down these flawed concepts. No matter how big or small the act is, it can make a difference. How many times have you or I judged a book by its cover and been wrong? I can tell you for me, way too many times to count.

Change is not overnight, change is overtime.

And if yet and still there is little change, there’s an old African saying that goes like this, “every day for the thief, one day for the owner”. A time will come where it will be time to pay the piper.

Normalise being black, not criminalise.

#DMB

P.s Dr Martin and all the other dead Civil Rights Activists did not die in vain for this sh*t

Broken Dreams: The dreaded 30’s

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Do I have any 80’s babies that are anxious about turning 30? Please say I!

30 is the new 20 right? Rightttt?? I need reaffirmation here ugh.

Whenever I think about not achieving certain aspirations, I start to panic and have mini drama episodes. I know I know, melodramatic, but it’s just how I feel.

I set myself a goal when I was 22, that by the time I turn 30 I would have­­____________ fill in the blank. Well 30 is looming over my head like a dark grey cloud, and by the end of next year I would have reached that mark. So yes, I am freaking out, majorly, just picture me running around in circles frantically in an empty room, and then running towards a glass panel door thinking it was open and knocking myself out, type of freaking out. Told you, me-lo-dra-matic. It has been at the forefront of my mind ever since I birthed it, haunting me like a scorned dead woman. Me-lo-dr…

When I set this goal I was so convicted of it, however as time draws near, I don’t feel any closer to achieving it. You could say that I am placing unnecessary pressure on myself, true, yet I refuse to relent. I believe in it, I don’t know how it is going to happen, I have no real physical indication yet, no connections, no expertise, but I still choose to be committed to the vision.

As a child, whatever I thought of would happen exactly how I would imagine it, was this the same for you? What I wanted, I got, and I don’t mean it in a ‘I’m spoilt’ kind of way, more so in ‘it just happened’ way. I honestly, truly, sincerely, stand behind, in front and beside this next statement- whatever you believe, will be real to you. If you believe it long enough, it will begin to materialize in some form or fashion in your life!

We were born creators, it is our inherent legacy to be builders, imagineers, architects, designers, authors, scientists, archeologists, astronomers, artists, producers, without purpose we cease to adequately function.

Sooooooo, this was a long message to say this, that broken dream, mend it.

YOU have the ability to create whatever you think of or want for yourself, remember as a wo/man thinketh so is s/he, so think of something wonderful, something magical, something breathtaking, something life changing, something unapologetically you and make it happen!

XO

Ps I need your good vibes send it to me

I’m serious

info@lipstickandblackcoffee.co.uk

Lipstick’s Style: Branching Out

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I have been avoiding this aspect of my life for a while. You see, I wanted Lipstick and Black Coffee to have a bit more substance than what you might typically expect of a name like that, so I rebelled. I said nope not going to do beauty, fashion or anything of that sort.

The funny thing is, when you meet me, it’s probably the first thing you notice, my sense of style. On the outset, it’s pretty obvious I am “into” that stuff, but that of course, is not all I am about. I have however, finally made peace with divulging into other aspects of my life so here it goes…

I think the way we present ourselves is an introduction/insight (albeit sometimes an incorrect one) to who we are. It’s how we think of ourselves and how we wish to be perceived.

So, I introduce to you ‘Lipstick’s Style’.

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Now I’m wondering what I was laughing at?

Tis the season for turtle necks and boots!

I’m not sure whether I want to be happy or sad about this. It’s great because you get dress up warm and get all cosy and snuggle up, but not so great because you HAVE to dress up warm and get all cosy and snuggle up. But before it gets really cold in England or wherever you are in the world, let’s play dress up.

The skirt is from Forever 21*, think the 70’s, in fact the more I think about it, I remind myself of Velma from Scooby Doo,except I’m a 2016 version. The turtle neck is from my trusty store H&M and the thigh high boots are from River Island*.

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I feel like there should be no rules in fashion, you can wear whatever you want, however you want, but let’s be real, not everyone can wear what they want and get away with it, unless you’re Rihanna.

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Thigh high boots are great for warmth and looking chic. The skirt is a good length for the boots and balances out the colour of the top.

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This mustard turtle neck adds the right pop of colour for a dry and dreary day.

Don’t worry I’m not going to stop my other posts, this is just an addition 😉

Hope you like!

XO

*Exact item may no longer exist but similar ones can be found.

 

 

As A Wo/Man Thinketh- Part 2

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I have written on this topic before but it’s well overdue a revisit. You can check my first post here.

I take the word thinketh to interchangeably mean belief also.

I started rereading ‘As A Man Thinketh’ by James Allen, and I promise you as I was going over the words, it was as if I had unlocked a new level in a game. The gates of heaven opened in my mind and I got it, intrinsically, I got it.

Many people do not understand the gravity of this ability, and how deeply it governs your entire existence, did you hear me? Your entire existence!

You cannot have two masters, its impossible to serve them both, one will suffer significantly over the other. Ill repeat that, you cannot have two masters, it’s impossible to serve them both, one will suffer significantly over the other.

You ever have your mum and dad give you conflicting information?

Mum: Sure, you have those cookies

Dad: Don’t you touch those cookies

You’re standing there looking from face to face conflicted, like “what do I do?” You have to do one of them isn’t it? And whichever one you do, bears fruits of its own. If you take the cookie, you’ll enjoy it and your mother will be satisfied, yet the very opposite if you don’t, the same is for your thoughts and beliefs.

You cannot think one thing, believe something else and then expect them both to work. Only one can take precedent. It is very possible for you to do lip service, ill give you an example. I have been writing a book for a while now and I have a few thoughts and beliefs on the success of it and they are as follows:

  1. It will positively impact hundreds and thousands of people and the readers will find the information incredibly valuable.
  2. I have never written a book before, it is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted to do.
  3. Who would want to read my book? When I don’t have a huge following, it is difficult to increase readership on my blog as it is, my friends and family do not support me, no one supports me (not true), if i can’t get people to be interested now, how and why would they be interested later?

Guess which ones have been triumphing in my life? Go on take a wild guess.Over the past couple years, point 2 & 3 have been the more prominent thoughts, even though I still believe in my service and product. Effectively what it means is it will take me much longer to get ‘there’,than if point 1 was the ruling belief.

If I strongly believed in the capabilities of my product and value in my words over the thoughts that it is difficult and no one would care, the book would have been published. People would have the opportunity right now as I write, to purchase it or read it, but as that has not been the case, no book. See how much it can affect your life? or in this case my life? I am definitely working on this one figuratively and literally!

Challenge your belief system.

Really search yourself and assess whether what you say and think is in line with what you actually believe or even want to believe. Typically what you say is what you think, and if it’s what you think then it is generally in line with what you believe.

What you believe, you will receive.

If after your introspection you realise that hold on? What I believe and what I thought I believed are not in alignment, change it! You can start by counteracting that contradictory thought with a new one that you deeply want to believe, by reinforcing it with images, words,by being around people who are the personification of that belief. You have to reconfigure your audio and visual settings with a new and more revitalized one.

I make it my business to feed my mind, eyes and my ears with the things that compliment and agree with my belief, if it is not in alignment I automatically switch off, nope not interested. I especially do this when I start to feel doubtful.

Your investments go into what you believe, if you think you will not be successful, guess what? You will not do things to be successful; you’ll do quite the opposite. If you think you’ll always be broke, you will not work on ways to improve that, it wouldn’t matter if you received a million pounds, if your belief system doesn’t change, trust me, you’ll soon be broke, again. If you think your voice doesn’t matter, you will not speak up. If you think you’re talentless, you will not work on the talent that you do have. If you think lowly of yourself, you will not have any respect from the people you interact with. If you think you do not deserve happiness, you will not take the measures to experience it. If you think that job is out of your league, you will not apply for it because you don’t believe you have a chance, you get my drift…

So the next time you think of doing something, remember that how you think is how you act and how you act is what you attract.

Its time for some reevaluation.

XO

Ps There is no ps

Get A Life!

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Cheeky much? Hear me out though.

Are you waiting for something to happen? What is that something? Will you know what that something is, should it come along? Well, while you’re waiting for that “something”, life is happening all around you.

We all unequivocally know that life is short, tomorrow is not promised and the best time is always now, so with that knowledge why do you, yes you, not have the life that you so desire? What are you waiting for?

Yesterday I was bored and even though I had multiple things to do, it all bored me stiff. I wanted something magical to happen, something spectacular, something to excite me, that something did not come. Huff. I have great expectations of life and when they do not materialise, it is disappointing to say the least, but here’s the thing, does life only take place in your room and in your home? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

You have to get up, go out and get a life. There is so much to explore, witness, and engage in, within your community alone, what more the country or the world?! You could live till you were 1000 years old and you still wouldn’t have conquered or experienced everything that is in this life.

A few months ago I saw a woman get on the back of a motorbike, and I thought how cool why don’t I do that? I love being on a bike and whilst its usually deemed to be a “man” thing, I thought why the hell not me?  I have a penchant for living a little bit dangerously or should I say fearlessly, and in that moment I decided that I would get a bike license, after all what is stopping me? Nothing! Not my parents or friends and their opinions, or the ideas of what “someone like me” should/shouldn’t do, what is most significant is what I believe and want for myself, everything else is secondary. I recently passed my motorcycle theory test and will be doing my practical test in the very near future, if you think you can, you can.

For whatever reason, some people see a desire and think it doesn’t belong to them, that it is for a special person or group, when in fact that’s a lie. If you want something for yourself, then it IS for you, say yes to it. The one power we humans share, is our ability to achieve monumental things once we have made up our minds. Absolutely nothing can stop us, we were born with that innate quality, so make good use of it.

Go do what you have always wanted, the how is not important, the why is.

Be wonderful, be brave, be superfly!

Oh and one last thing, words stick, so speak only of the things that you want and nothing of the things you do not want. Words stick, so speak only of the things that you want and nothing of the things that you do not want. Words stick, so speak only of the things that you want and nothing of the things you do not want.

Repetition is the mother of          you can fill in the blank  😉

XO

Ps I asked a lot of questions in this post didn’t i? :s

Silence the Naysayers aka Haters!

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They say silence is golden and the best revenge is success, how about marrying the two?

I have been tried, tested and doubted in so many ways and my best resolve is through my actions. No need to retaliate or retort back, just show and prove.

Nothing spurs me on more, than someone doubting my abilities and not believing in my vision and me. I will not stop until it has manifested in the flesh. Do you get urged on in the same way?

I don’t react or retaliate because firstly, that’s unnecessary energy that can be spent elsewhere, and secondly I don’t need that kind of karma drama coming back to me, no sir!

What if you don’t believe in yourself? In that case you have change the story (lies) you have been telling yourself. Stop saying you can’t have the body of your dreams, or that you can’t be the person you’ve always wanted to be, or that what you have to offer is not necessary, or that you’re not talented enough, or that your dreams don’t matter- CHANGE THE STORY.

Don’t hate on you.

Please brace yourself I’m about to start shouting:

YOU CAN HAVE THE BODY OF YOUR DREAMS

YOU CAN BE THAT PERSON YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE

WHAT YOU HAVE IS NECESSARY

YOU ARE TALENTED

YOUR DREAMS MATTER

DO YOU HEAR ME? YOU MATTER.

Okay that was exhausting, all that shouting, but I need you to get it. You are enough and you can achieve whatever you want to, if you only you would change the story you have told yourself all these years and replace it with one that you agree with and want for your life.

If you won’t listen to yourself, then listen to me, you can do it or maybe I should say you can’t do it… does that work? Will you do your best now to prove me wrong or right?

There is proof all around you of all the “impossibilities”, so if you’re ever in doubt, look closer.

Right, I’m off to sh*t on someo… I mean I’m off to prove myself right that I can indeed do it!

I’ll tell you next week, what it is that I did 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week!

XO

Relationships: Family, Friends, Career, Money…?

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Relationships are hard work, irrespective of what form its in, maintaining them sometimes, will have you wanting to free fall from the highest cliff, grrrr!

I was sent a video last night that wound me up. It was a woman talking about how you should treat your man and a few seconds in, I was rolling my eyes, blah blah blah. The thing is, it wasn’t that I didn’t agree with some of what she said, it was the conviction she held that women are SUPPOSED to treat their men that way period. I thought, hold up, what about the men? what will they be doing? does one not have to take into account the calibre of the recipient of such wonderful treatment? It made me think…

People are out here in these streets having expectations of others that they themselves are not fulfilling.

Why do we always want what we have not worked for?

Why do you expect to be taken care of, when you cannot take care of yourself?

How much have you put in for you command this in return?

What do you bring to the table?

In my experience you attract what you are. Years ago I noticed that the men I was attracted to, had one thing in common, my bad traits. It was like fighting with myself on a daily basis, stress! My vibrations were operating at a much lower level and it showed. Thank goodness for growth!

Your relationship to friends, family, career, and money need effort, consistency, nurturing and patience in order for them to flourish and be fruitful. If you are not contributing in that way, the end results will certainly reflect that.

Being on the receiving end of the amazing things in life will often require you to supply something of yourself, a sacrifice of sorts. Everything has a price, whether you think it is worth or not is entirely up to you.

So lets do away with the idea that you get something for nothing, and accept that what you sow, be it good or bad, you’ll reap in due time. I have said this before and ill say it again, you cannot sow and reap at the same time, one must happen before the other.

One must happen before the other.

The Green Eyed Monster

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If you say you have never been jealous, compared yourself or felt the simmering rage of the green-eyed monster, you’re a liar. Yup I said it, you’re a liar, that’s like saying you don’t fart (I don’t by the way, go on, ask my family or friends), news flash everyone does, except me of course.

I find it strange when people act like they have never felt the pang of jealousy before, it’s weird. Most people feign denial because they’re too ashamed to admit that they feel some type of way. I personally think it’s as normal as any other “acceptable” emotion. Just admit it, you have felt it before! It doesn’t make you a bad person, it simply means you’re human like the rest of us.

What I irrefutably do not agree with however, is acting out based on those misplaced feelings, ever. It is not cute at all.

I have encountered friends in the past, who because of their own built up image of me, secretly resented me for what they thought I had ha! .They acted out in all manners, spiteful, vindictive, tried to ostracize me, you name it, they did it.

How did I react towards their behaviour? I didn’t. Partially because I don’t believe in acting a fool, but mainly as it is not in my nature to behave in that way, it just doesn’t produce good karma. What I do have, is this other quality that works fabulously for me, its called ignoring the hell out of them. After a long period of their own personal soul searching (roll my eyes) I have received apologies, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

Still saying you’ve never been covetous? Okay lets agree that at the very least, you have looked at another’s persons blessing and been happy for them, and then suddenly felt the huge gaping void that you are yet to experience such joy. I’m going to be honest I might not fart but I definitely have felt all the emotions of the above one hundred times over.

Thankfully, I am wise enough to know that the person or thing of focus is NOT the problem, I am and that’s where extra work has to be put in. Not on sabotaging the next person or spreading fallacious lies or defaming their character or wishing them ill, me, I am the work in progress.

In my case, having been the only child for a while and being born into a Nigerian family, it’s inherent that comparisons will be made between you and other people -Facts only. I guess they do it as a means of attempting to incite motivation to do and be better, but it irrevocably has the opposite effect. You instead clothed yourself with an inferiority cloak that if you’re not mindful of, will rule your life.

From childhood into adulthood, I have consistently compared myself to others and not in a ‘I think I’m better than everybody’ way but more so in a ‘Why can’t I do better? What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t it happening for me in the way that I want it to?’ And so on.

The work in progress looks like this for me:

Constantly reaffirming to myself that what is for me is for me, continuing to focus on me and all the great things I have going on, to increase the efforts I make towards my visions, to believe that it will happen, and that it’s all about timing, it’s not a matter of if, its when.

 

Enjoy the process of creating, one day you’ll miss it, one day you’ll look back and laugh, one day you’ll see that you were right to keep on going, one day it’ll all make sense. Piece by piece, the jigsaw puzzle will come together and you’ll be thankful for all the life lessons and training you received.

Tips for getting rid of the gremlin on your shoulder

Step 1

Take inventory of all your achievements, blessings, and things you are grateful for, both big and small. Recall that once upon a time, the things you have now were once an aspiration.

Step 2

Believe in your own hype. It’s okay to toot your own horn, beep beep!

Step 3

Keep your eye on the prize. Have your goals and visions in plain sight. Whether it is in writing or through pictures, make sure you’re keeping the dream alive religiously.

Step 4

Do something for yourself everyday. Sounds a bit narcissistic but its necessary. It’s absolutely important to invest in your health and well-being. It could be reading a book, going for a walk, watching your favourite show, seeing a family member, whatever it is, make sure it is good for you.

Step 5

Repeat step 1-4 over and over and over again.

Hope this has been helpful.

XO

P.s I  can’t be the only one that loves the Bitmoji’s on Snapchat?

Just live your life your way!

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Don’t you just love waking up on a Monday morning and realizing that it’s a bank holiday (for those of us in England), which for most people means no work today, woop woop!

I hope that whatever you do today brings you the most amount of joy and fun, life is too short so YOLO.

I think that’s one of my fears, that when I’m elderly ill regret not doing the things I wanted to do and appreciating all the wonderful things I had. To this effect I have made more of a conscious effort to do what I want and to give zero ***** about what anyone else has to say, and also to cultivate a mental attitude of not worrying. The good book says and paraphrase that worrying does not increase your years, why do it?

At the end of the day life is to be experienced, not just one way but in all ways and I think you owe it to yourself to see what’s out there. Will it be scary, nerve racking and frustrating? Most definitely! But it will also be worth it, you can quote me on that!

I really don’t want you to miss out, so I encourage you to go for it. Whatever it is, give it your best shot, your mere existence is a good enough reason to try.

You might be thinking but how? Ill tell you, be your own best friend. Okay okay that sounds corny but hear me out. If you were your best friend, what would you tell yourself? And be honest. I know what I tell myself and its that I am the sh*t and I can do whatever I set my mind to do, no one can stop me, even if I am told no. This always gives me the energy and encouragement I need to keep pressing forward no matter how dire life might be at the moment, and trust me I certainly have those moments.

So put aside all and every limiting belief and simply live, do the thing that first comes to your mind, explore, express yourself, do something that excites you, speak to that person that you’ve always wanted to do, make love (yeah I said it make love), just do it!

Right I’m off to continue cleaning before heading out again for the umpteenth time, today is my ‘Saturday’. I have been way too busy having fun and living life that well…it shows in my home ha!

XO

P.s My 18 year old brother just told me he wants to go to a carnival after party, ugh! If that’s not a sign that I’m getting on…Lord help me.

Take No Prisoners, Be Indispensible

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As it always happens I started to write on a completely different topic and changed course midway.

I was watching ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ on Netflix, I have been utterly obsessed with law-based shows. I think as a law degree holder my interest in them is even more piqued.

Before I get to the real meat of this blog post, can I just say that the one thing I have learnt about the law in practice from watching these shows (Suits, The Good Wife, HTGAWM), is that there is always an angle and a way around the law, it truly isn’t absolute – Well that’s my take on it.

Moving on, like I mentioned earlier I was watching HTGAWM on my MacBook laptop, but I needed to do some work, so I decided to use a Toshiba laptop to watch the show. I looked at the resolution difference and I was shocked. In comparison, the MacBook wins hands down and it made me ponder, why would anyone settle for less if it is the best? The cost will pale in respect of what you’ll get.

Name one thing you need to do on a computer that Apple is not the lead in? It will be very little that they don’t excel in.

Okay sure that’s up for debate, but lets not lose focus, my point is this, you have to be indispensable, make it that even though, there are plenty other options, you are the best one for them. Have your USP upfront and centre, 4th, 5th, 6th, are not often remembered.

Be great at what you do, whether someone is watching or not, be great at it. It will pay off one day soon.

Stick to what works for you and if you don’t know what that is, ask the people around you. Enquire about what your strong suits are or what makes you stand out the most. If it’s a product or service you provide, ask them what is the most likeable thing about it and go from there.

Work with what works.

XO

P.s Well that was short and sweet.

The One…

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Ha! You thought I was going to write about that special person? Nuh uh, not today. Although I am going to speak about being “the one”, the one who can make a difference.

We severely underestimate the effect we can have in our environment, in our lives, on the people around us, to a situation, to a task, in our families, with our friends, to anything, and as a consequence we act accordingly and do nothing instead.

No sense in trying if you believe that your input will not make a difference right? WRONG! Every little thing is quantifiable and in a great way too.

We think of it as being someone else’s gift or power, and that we are somehow void of any kind of talent or gifts. You look at all the other people who achieved things and deem them as being “special” or the “chosen one”, what a load of nonsense!

EVERYONE has something to offer, you just need to understand that what you have will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t mean you’re less valuable or necessary.

I sometimes get caught up in thinking that I am not enough that I need more. More resources, more connections, more friends, more money, more experience, a bigger audience, someone to believe in me, a team…Yes, the list is endless.

I have to stop and remind myself that I am well equipped to do it, whatever it is. I have to believe that what I need, will find me along the way. The most crucial element however, is that I begin and that I begin now!

Mo Farrah, Adele, Simone Manuel, Bill Gates, Usain Bolt, Elon Musk, Oprah, Serena Williams, Naomi Campbell, Jamal Edwards, Yeonmi Park, Richard Branson, Jack Ma are a handful of people that I am certain have been told numerous times that they won’t amount to much, that they have nothing to offer, that their background determines who they can be and so on, yet I know every single one of them because of their gifts and their story.

They chose to press forward notwithstanding the negativity and the obstacles and because of that, we have the pleasure of learning from them, being inspired by them or using their services and products, so don’t you dare think for one second that you are not capable!

Nothing will come to you if you sit in your house mopping or continuing on with mundanity of life, you have to switch it up and try something new. Opportunity or a chance to stimulate change will not come knocking on your door. You have to get out there and do something. Your action jump-starts a series of chain reactions of hopefully better things to come.

Believe in yourself, nothing is too small or too big, every little helps.

All it takes is one person and why can’t it be you?

Ain’t too proud to beg…

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I am about to be a hypocrite with what I say next, but this specific mission is a challenge for me too: It’s okay to ask for help.

Did I just lose a limb saying that? Nope, I survived.

I was raised by a very proud and strong-willed mother, so naturally I would have her traits-Go figure!

I find asking for help to be quite a task, because in some way I have been cultivated to see it as a sign of weakness. If someone offers help, I’ll be much more likely to accept it albeit with hesitation, but to ask for it? Oh boy.

I am here to declare today that asking for help will not kill you, instead you’ll have a better chance at succeeding. What’s the worst that could happen? They say no and then? You move on to the next person.

I was told once ‘No man is an island’ and this idiom is categorically true as we are all connected in one way or another.

When people say they are self-made, I laugh, because that ‘self-made’ individual was assisted by someone who believed in them, someone who saw value in them, without others to invest in us, where would we be?

Do not suffer in silence, ask for help if you need it. Do not let pride stop you from excelling.

Pause: I just asked for help and was rejected. I think the next half of this should be on rejection.

I asked a thriving business owner if I could shadow her while she worked, kind of like a one day internship. I mean what better way to become more informed than to follow someone’s work? Well I guess she thought otherwise and I was rejected for the one-millionth time in life lol. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said no to me in one capacity or other. Should I close up shop and call a day because they said no? HELL NO!

You dust yourself off, adjust your crown, and continue to knock on the doors, windows, and buildings of opportunity until there is a crack! It might not happen today but it will happen!

Nothing fuels me more than someone not believing in my abilities, if they don’t care for your life or business, there is someone out there who will!

Don’t give up, don’t give in, do keep trying, do keep learning, do keep evolving!

It’s a matter of time, its not ‘if ‘ its ‘when’. 

XO

P.s I think I used about 100 exclamations marks, I was passionate huh?

Woe is me

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Good Morning Beautiful People!

If you’re in London, please do your best to enjoy this weather because we all know how fleeting it is!

I was watching ‘The Good Wife’ and Alicia said and I paraphrase ‘we don’t have a problem, we have an opportunity’.

‘I don’t have a problem, I have an opportunity’, say it a few times. It makes you feel differently doesn’t it? It gives you back the power over your situation. You can either look at it as you’re damned, or that this is an opportunity to transform and elevate your life.

When you tune in to bullsh*t, the tendency is you’ll continue to create more of that. Woe is me soon transitions into woe becomes me.

It’s about how you set your internal GPS, if you key in negativity, well that’s the direction you’ll head in until you decide otherwise. If you don’t like the direction, then you have to stop, and reroute the internal GPS. Fixate your mind on a new belief/perspective and let it shape and guide you.

Today’s a good a day as any, to refocus, re-strategise and go full steam ahead towards the life of your dreams. It’s not impossible it’s quite the opposite, it’s VERY possible, your goals and aspirations are just as real as you are, if only you would begin to act like it.

I have to stress how important it is to keep your eye on the prize, look towards the end goal, let thoughts and feelings of achieving that ambition engulf you.

To help you stay on target, use pictures, write things down everywhere, repeat affirmations, surround yourself with like-minded people who can hold you accountable, change your environment, go to the places now that you think you can only go to when you ‘make’ it, watch things that cultivate the spirit of what you want to embody, read books, generally saturate your life with what you want and not with what you don’t want.

As I say over and over again, everything we see around us was once a mere thought but someone persisted, believed in themselves and in their goal and made it happen.

You can too!

XO

Re-invent yourself. You’re boring!

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Snapchat inspired this post. I am an avid user and think the concept is great!

A few weeks ago snapchat included bitmoji’s, which my friend and I absolutely love and it got me thinking. Snapchat is constantly evolving and that’s the very reason why people enjoy it so much. There’s always something new to play around with. 

There is only so long you can continue to do the same thing without changing yet still expecting to be effective. What once worked now doesn’t and you therefore have to improve yourself and or your business in order to remain powerful, relevant and influential. To do that you must reinvent yourself, like Hov says “allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is…”

Let’s look at this Pokémon Go craze that took over the world a couple of weeks back, people were losing their minds over this game. Everywhere you looked there was someone on it, men and women in a zombie like trance, looking for a Pokémon. Here’s the thing with this kind of fad, it is short lived, the creators must now find a way to make it more interesting and continue to captivate its users as I am sure it will. 

Snapchat has a different kind of fan base, their rise to popularity has been slow and steady. They have our attention now and to keep it, they make it their business to keep it fresh.

Come to think of it, I’m sure in some way Snapchat is going to give me an inferiority complex because some those filters make me look way too good ha! I still love it.

I have thought many times about how and why Beyoncé is still relevant decades later. Achieving this kind of success is not easy, she has to constantly stay ahead, use the element of surprise and raise the bar.

People get bored of seeing the same thing, you have to show what else you have to offer, in what other way can people relate to you? What makes you different from Lucy or Liam? Why should I pay attention you?

It’s time to get creative! Brainstorm on the things that you like to see and what grabs your attention. Consider how you can implement these new ideas into whatever it is you do. There is absolutely nothing that cannot be achieved with persistency, desire and determination.

Think of it this way, recall a time where you really wanted something that wasn’t easily attainable but you pursued it anyway and got it, remember? You can duplicate that success again if only you would apply yourself. 

Just another thing to add, STAY in your lane, don’t jump onto the next thing because it is currently ‘popping’, quick fads are exactly that, quick fads. Stick to what you are good at and focus on improving that, dominate it, and then move onto something else.

Cultivate the habit of being a master of one rather than mediocre at multiple trades. I’m not saying you cannot be good at many things, of course you can, but would you rather be decent at a few things or great at one thing first? I know what I would chose and take it from me, being a jack of all trades doesn’t establish you as having a USP and what you need, what we all need is a USP.

I mean would you take anyone seriously who has not yet achieved success in one thing first, yet claims to be good at a trillion other things all at the same time? Nah. 

Most successful people start off with having that one thing that they’re known for as being an authority in and then over time they diversify.

Dominate then diversify.

Last thoughts: Sometimes I think the way I write in comparison to my real life personality is boring. Yes I said it, boring. In real life I’m a lot more energetic, creative and spontaneous, but when it comes to this blog I almost strip myself bare of all of those qualities but that’s about to change.

Watch this space…

P.s I decided to reinvent myself as a bunny hence the picture…no, not really.

Don’t be a dreamer

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I have been thinking about late night writing or posting should say. Why? Because I’m a vampire of course.
No but more seriously, there is bound to be a community of nutters, I mean like minded people scouring the internet for something to divulge into, right? People like me.

I had a pretend community called ISG, Insomniac Support Group because le struggle to sleep was real. It consisted of myself and one other guy on Twitter ha!

Anyway back to the matter. My first late night post goes a little something like this: Go to sleep. Just kidding.

What keeps me up at night? Erm a whole host of things, bills, bills, bills, have I said bills?  If I’m honest I try not to allow such things deprive me of sleep, usually if I am up till late, my aspirations are haunting me, literally.

I find that sometimes I spend a large amount of time thinking about them rather than actually doing them. The reason is usually because I have never done it before and truth be told my goals scare me lol, so what do I do instead? Procrastinate.

Last week I bought the audio book by the Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person”.

Shonda is both incredibly inspirational and a pioneer of her own kind. She consistently breaks the mould in various aspects of her life and is living it exactly the way she wants it. I applaud her boldness and her ability to say no to some things and yes to others, if you’ve read/listened to the book, you’ll know what I am referring to.

The thing that most resonated with me from her book, was something she said in her commencement speech at Dartmouth University, which she was petrified of doing. She said don’t dream, do.

Now you might say ‘yeah we know that Irene, we all know that’ yes we have heard it a trillion times but how well have those words permeated your skin? What’s the ratio of what you do to what you don’t do in respect of your goals? Be honest with yourself.

It was like I was hearing those words again for the first time. Its funny because my posts are riddled with ‘action talk’ yet I felt a renewed sense of attachment to the words ‘Don’t dream, do’ as if I had unlocked a new level on a game, the game of life. Maybe its because I knew I wasn’t doing nearly enough.

Yes its great having dreams, but dreams will remain a fantasy if you don’t do anything about it.

No sense in conjuring beautiful images of what you’d love your life to look like if you don’t in fact take any action towards doing something about it.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to do it, just keep doing what you know and be keen to learn.

The idea is to not keep still waiting for the perfect time or opportunity. Now is the perfect time and you are the opportunity.

Keep moving, keep repeating, keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly keep doing.

By being proactive, the universe will aid and abet in order to get where you want to be but you have to do, consistently and persistently.

Okay that’s my lot. See you night creatures! XO

People change and that’s okay.

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Sometimes the people you know, change, and that’s perfectly okay.

I had a situation at work where I “thought” I was building a good working relationship with someone and then I found out she was intentionally trying to undermine my capabilities to another colleague. I. Was. Livid.

It wouldn’t have mattered if it was someone who wasn’t in close proximity, people talk, people will always talk, but to find out it was someone I was “pally pally” with, stung. I wanted to take back every ounce of my genuine care, consideration, niceness and effort. Of course I can’t do that now, it’s too late, damn it!

I had a neighbour, an older woman, who was lovely to me and my family for 14 years. She would always and I mean always gift my family with home cooked meals, biscuits, sweets, apples from her garden, you name it she provided it. We had supported each other in many different ways over the years. She and my late grandma were even good friends.
And then, all of sudden, she stopped communicating with us, stopped coming by, was curt and the usual friendliness that we were used to was no longer there.
I made a couple of attempts to see how she was doing and enquire if everything is okay and she would respond with plain answers without looking me in the eye. To say I was perplexed is an understatement.

I had someone who I believed to be a good friend, who purposely excluded me from being privy to major life changes, that Sue, Bob, Jim, Mary, basically *randoms all knew about…erm what?-_-

All of which was strange, abrupt and unsettling.

Things like this can leave you confused, upset, questioning your actions and theirs, yet you’d be no closer to understanding what the hell happened.

It’s surprising and it’s hurtful, but it happens and there is no need to blame yourself. How they behave is entirely on them, you cannot assume responsibility for it, you can only be responsible for yourself and how you conduct yourself.

Why don’t you simply ask them what’s wrong, you say? There’s this thing called denial. You can ask till your purple in the face and get nothing. They’re not comfortable in revealing what’s upset them so they say nothing or it may be that they have issues completely unrelated to you, you just happen to be on the receiving end.

How do you conduct yourself in these situations? As you always have, with a little more caution. The best thing is to redirect that focus onto yourself and the other people you have in your life. Remove yourself from the people and situations that no longer serve you. Give these people the space to just be, don’t get mad, retaliate or harbour ill feelings, instead wish them well.

I have encountered many of these types of situations and I opt for the high road. I don’t act out, I don’t behave like I have horns and if I do, I soon come to my senses and remedy it. I continue to be a good person and not allow their actions to change my character. If you do this, the testament is they usually come back, apologetic, different and willing to be better. I can personally vouch for this.

Life is way too short to deal with BS of any kind from anyone.

XO

*Randoms is British slang for a nobody, an irrelevant being, stragglers. You get my drift…

 

Time is of the essence ‘cuz tomorrow is not promised

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I need another weekend to recuperate from the weekend that I have just had. I went from not having much to do, to 2 weddings and one of them ending in me returning home at 4 o’clock in the morning. 

In making the effort to be present, I have felt a greater sense of gratitude.

It’s hard not to be grateful when you still have your mother who is alive and well, when you have a roof over your head and your own personal space, when you have friends that love you and want to be in your company, when you have full control of your body, when you can celebrate with people who have found love, young and old as they walk down the aisle, when your talented sister does your hair wonderfully at no extra cost, when your brother gallantly welcomes you and always has a smile on his face, when you suddenly get dragged into a ring full of people to dance and you begin to do so awkwardly with your friends all the while laughing your head off, when you see your friend who has not been her usual vibrant self, come to life and shake all of what her mama gave her, when you recall the family and friends who have supported you financially without a second thought, when you’re able to spectate on the sunset as you drive home with your family… these are only a few of the things that I feel blessed to have witnessed and embrace. 

Sadly, some people have walked out of their house this morning with every expectation that they will return home, they will not. Some do make it home, but not in the same way, their lives will be changed forever. How haughty of us to believe that everything will be same and that things cannot take an unprecedented turn for the worse? For this reason, it is vital that we appreciate what is before us, from the little things to the big things, in the good and also in the not so good. 

Pause:

In the midst of writing this, I began to feel frustrated, sad and irritable due to external factors and I could not feel or focus on what I was writing. I took a break and looked for something that inspired me, a virtual mentor. As I went through their communication and interaction with the world, I started to feel a calmness move over me and I was reminded of my purpose and that things will be just fine.

It is important to be aware of what is happening with you and to have proactive measures to restore your mind and also your body. I thought I’d share that with you, because, well, I’m human 🙂 . 

Play:

I looked on social media and was faced with an array of horrific news of losses that had occurred over the past couple of days, I was deeply sadden and I sympathise with those suffering. 

What I wish to convey here, is a sense of urgency, to relish every good thing and moment while it is with you. Sorrying and I wish’ing later on, changes nothing.

Here, now, the good, the bad, the small, the big, find a way to see the positive and the upside to what is happening because need I say it, tomorrow is not promised.

Put on the biggest pair of rose coloured glasses if you must and let it affect what you do, how you do it, and the people around you.

Take nothing for granted.

 XO

 

Mindfulness: Live in the now. 

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We have nurtured this habit of thinking about the next thing on the to do list, the next venue, the next job, the next bill, your partner, your house, the kids, job, your parents, world issues and the list is endless. If its not that, then you might be thinking of the past, the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s. What you would change, what you should have done, and how it could have been better.
With that said how well do you relish the present moment? Probably very little or hardly at all.

We’re often absent minded while doing things and not fully engaged. As a result, we tend to miss the little nuggets of richness, joy, and gratitude that we could be experiencing at that present time.

We think of ‘living life’ as this place out of the country, on a beach, with clear blue seas, white sand, and great weather and we clamour for that moment to have that release, that yes we have (albeit momentarily), arrived.

This ideology is a damning one, because assuming that is what we do, what happens to the reality that we inevitably return back to?

Why not consider making your everyday life a more enriching and pleasurable one by choosing to see the goodness in the things you are experiencing, be it good, bad or indifferent?

In other cases, people talk about when they get ‘there’ it will all be different, but how will it be different? It’ll be exactly the same if your mindset does not change on how you perceive things. If you cannot learn to be happy, grateful and feel rich with the small things, it’s unlikely you’ll feel that way with the big things.

It doesn’t matter what changes externally, if you do not shift your perspective and operate at a new level, that is not dependant on external factors, you will undoubtedly find yourself going around in circles looking for that peace of mind and happiness.

So rather than wait for that ‘time’ or that ‘place’, make a conscious effort to relish the very moment you’re having now. Take a deep breath, look at beautiful things, be attentive to your friends and family as they speak, think about what you’re doing, enjoy each bite of the meal that you were able to buy, be gratuitous to others, yourself and the things you have. Take stock of the great things happening around you, small and big and endeavour to completely connect and engage with it.

Be mindful, be grateful and definitely be present.

Ps I’d love to hear from you guys, you can contact me at info@lipstickandblackcoffee.co.uk , speak soon xo

Change the conversation…now

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We are what we eat.

What we think about, we bring about.

What goes in, must come out.

The theme here is, whatever is going on inside will reflect on your outside world.

What are the things that you believe and think about yourself deep down inside? Those are the exact things that are ruling your existence.

You think positively and are mindful about what you say, yet things are not improving. Well, maybe it’s time you really take a closer look about what you truly think about yourself and your life.

Your life is reflection of the level of self-love you have. This could not be more true.

For example, putting in the work for your dreams to materialize. How much time do you spend doing it? Do you really believe it can happen for you? You want to travel the world, are you making plans for this to happen? You hate the job you’re in, have you looked at applications for your ideal position? Your relationship has broken down and there is no going back, isn’t it time for you to have that difficult conversation?

We often times self-sabotage because we truly don’t feel like it will happen for us, that we are deserving and have the power to change things. We might think it could happen, but we do not believe it will and therefore we act accordingly- We cannot have two masters, that is, where what you think and what you believe are different, one must take precedent.

Why would you leave your terrible partner, if you don’t believe you will have someone who treats you how you want to be treated? Might as well keep the one you have, it’s better than nothing right?

Why would you leave your hated job, if you believe that the next potential employer will think you are under qualified, might as well stay where you are, after all it pays the bills right?

Why would you travel the world, if you believe you will not have the money and end up homeless, I mean none of your friends have such aspirations and have settled for the okey doke, might as well join them, right?

Why would you eat healthier, if you believe you’ll never reach your goal weight, everyone in your family is overweight, unhealthy, and has a multitude of health issues, you are bound to suffer the same, it’s in your DNA, no point in even trying is there?

In fact, why would you do anything at all that you don’t believe in? The answer is you won’t.

Whatever you believe, will be real to you. How do we change the conversation? We change it with action. Follow each new and positive thought with an immediate action that is in alignment with that new thinking or belief. So if you want to eat healthier, write down a list of healthy foods you are going to buy the next time you go shopping. If you are aiming for a new role, download the application form and start filling it in. If you want to attract certain people, go to those places where they are. If you need to release someone from your life, send that text or email to say “we need to talk”, whatever it is, believe in yourself and that you are capable of working it out for your own good.

It takes a lot of courage to change your life, it is no easy feat, but with perseverance, action and commitment, it will get better.

Repetition is the mother of skill. Thought/Belief + action = results. It doesn’t have to be great huge steps, baby ones will make just as much difference in the long run.

Quieten the naysayers in your head, with a new belief backed up with action, repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…get it?

 

 

Keep them hostage or set yourself free? 

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I didn’t want to write today, heck I still don’t, but I made a commitment and I’m sticking to it.

As I started my journey into work today, I began to think of the hurts a particular person had caused me. Needless to say, I became very angry, very quickly, to the point of silently seething. I had thoughts that were infinitely negative and leading me down a path of unrighteousness.

I had to stop and change the conversation I was having with myself. Almost like a pep talk to encourage myself to forgive and to let go, forgive and let go, forgive and let go. 

My initial feeling was no, I don’t want to, I want to keep them hostage as in some strange way it, makes me feel justified. As if they’re paying retribution by you refusing to let them of the hook. Of course this is not happening, in reality it’s quite the opposite. It is keeping you hostage and blocking you from receiving other blessings and opportunities that come your way.

Deep down I knew it was no good. No good for them, no good for me and no good for anyone else that I chose to have in my life by harbouring the hurts.
I have/had to forgive. Forgiveness is always easier said than done. What I have realised is that sometimes it’s a process. You can feel in your heart that you have truly forgiven someone one day and the next totally want to strangle them.

That’s completely normal to feel a range of emotions but the end result is to wholly, earnestly, forgive someone for their transgressions and release them. Not just for them, but for yourself, for your future, for your freedom.

Don’t allow your anger or pain to keep you in the dark.

XO

Ps Talk about faux pas, I didn’t upload a post on Monday oh.mm.gee. Ugh I thought it had posted, well that’s annoying lol.

The desire to give up

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“Don’t give up”

Don’t you just hate cliché words like that? For the sake of it, I’ll list some below that I sometimes find annoying.

The irony is, if you went through my posts, you’d undoubtedly find them littered all ‘up and through’.

Your path is different

It’ll happen for you

Don’t’ give up

It’ll be okay

Your time will come

If it’s meant to be it’ll be

What’s for you is for you.

You have so much potential

You can be anything you want to be

The above is reminiscently poetic. Those words said to you at the wrong time, may cause you to roll your eyes and huff and puff , and rather than serve as words of comfort, they fast become a painful reminder that you are not where you want to be.

*Deep sigh*…however, let me be that thorn in your side once again, as I write this letter to you:

Loyal Reader

Wonderful Place Close

The Universe

M3 HRT

6th July 2016

Dear Friend,

I believe in you and your ability to soar. You are a magnificent creator and able to manifest anything that you so desire. Whatever you want is within reach, but you must keep going and running the race.

You are uniquely different and therefore no one can do what you do or be how you are. You are absolutely necessary and you have something quite special to offer those around you.

I love how when you fall over, you get back up, dust yourself off and keep it moving. You see, you can do stuff like that because you’re resilient and your bounce back game is strong.

I wish you could see yourself sometimes and realise just how wonderful you are. Your presence alone says you are pre-approved for whatever it is you want or choose to be.

Let no one tell you otherwise, you are deserving, you are worthy, and you most certainly can do it.

With love,

Irene Ephraim aka Lipstick

Let’s keep this going, write a letter to someone. It could be someone you know or don’t know. Write it positively, genuinely and loving.

You never know how it may impact their lives.

XO

Adulting- Whose idea was this anyway?

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The older I get, the more realise that actually, I don’t like change. Maybe that’s an ‘age’ thing :s. As much as I value growth and evolving, I like it on my own terms and at my own pace. When it’s dictated to me by other things and forces, it throws me for a loop and I contemplate, spitting out my dummy and throwing a tantrum on the supermarket floor. It takes me some time to readjust because I had my heart and mind set on a particular ideal. The end result is that I am exceptionally hard on myself.

I have experienced major changes of late and none of which I have orchestrated, well, I obviously played a part in it, but when I refer to my 5 year plan, errrrhhh yeah this wasn’t in it. Moving house, job, finances, relationships, it’s all one big blur that I’m sifting through.

What I’d really like to do is stop the tape, press rewind and go back to January 2015, and I am being deadly serious lol. Do you ever feel this way?

I learnt recently through my mentor, that I have a habit of not leaving room for ‘life’ to happen when I make my goals/plans. It’s an all or nothing type of situation, which then sends me into a downward spiral when things don’t go accordingly. The underlining trait here is that I am a control freak and I can admit that.

Change is the only thing constant, how do we deal with it when it comes unexpectedly?

I like to use myself as an example on my posts sometimes because I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I am not susceptible to life and its woes- I am, trust me.

Back to the question. Well firstly, you have to get into the ebb and flow of life, the more you resist the inevitable change, the harder it will be for you in the long run. Some things are going to happen with or without your input, you might as well get in line.

Secondly, take some time out to re-evaluate things. Often times we think of things as they could be and not as they are. By that I mean, thinking of the worst case scenarios and hypothesizing and wholly missing out on what’s actually taking place now. Let it go, learn to be creative and form a new utopia with what you have.

Thirdly, whatever has happened has happened. There is little to no sense going over what’s occurred and whose fault it is, it’s thoroughly futile to do that. The only time it is productive to do so, is if it is to find a resolution and not repeat the same mistake, outside of that, leave it alone, move on.

I must reiterate that it IS crucial that you assess the contributions you made to X results so that you can adjust and make improvements. It’s a sure-fire way to cultivate growth.

Lastly and probably most importantly, it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination. Don’t bypass the journey in trance of the destination.

Be here now.

XO

P.s I have not forgotten about my motivational muse on Monday’s, I am preparing them. J

PPS This tone of this post is a bit direct, I can sense it, but believe me when I say it is said out of love and care xoxo

Trapped

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You’ve been trying a ting* for a while now but it’s not quite working.

One possible reason is this: You’re living in your head!

What do I mean by that? There are certain things you say to yourself on a daily basis that contradict what you deeply want for your life. You hold incapacitating beliefs that limit your ability to make your dreams a reality.

You’ve held onto these things for so long that whatever you attempt to do is really futility at its best. You’re living small, acting small, doing enough to look like you’re doing something, all the while, side stepping doing the VERY thing that will make a massive difference to your life. Your fears and insecurities make you a spectator to the life you really want to lead, in other words, it’s bitch.

Take me for example; I believe that what I do IS valuable to someone, yet my other thought is, who the hell will listen to me? Who would even care about what I have to say? No one cares!

Unsurprisingly, there are going to be behaviours that follow these thoughts, like not speaking up, not promoting your work, being critical of yourself and so on.

But enough is enough! As my mother would say, ‘Time waits for no man’.

If you want a different experience, you have to think and do things in a way you have never done before. Say f*ck it and just do it. Not half-heartedly, not cowering, do it with your chest! There’s no other way to get around it or over it. No matter how silly or unqualified you might feel, do it anyway. It’s the only way you’re going to get closer to living the way you truly want.

It could be buying a home, speaking to that family member, setting up a business, starting YouTube, getting an agent, returning to university, sky diving, travelling to another country alone, ending that dead relationship, clearing your debt, changing careers, whatever it is, know that you can do it.

Free yourself from the things someone once told you about yourself, the things you have told yourself, the belief systems that have crippled you and begin a new, more edifying conversation, starting with believing in your-bl**dclart-self!

You can, you will, you have.

Xo

P.s Ting is a Caribbean/London slang for ‘a thing’…that was obvious right? Anyway bye.