Make Room

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I have an iPhone and it feels like every few seconds it tells me ‘Storage almost full’. Seeing this message has become the absolute bane of my life. I then start the process of looking for things to delete in order to create space and what I usually find tends to surprise me. ‘How did this get there?, erm this is useless, I’d never use this again, I have no interest in that, ergh delete’ are the thoughts I have when doing this.

It’s amazing how quickly things take form and become staples in our lives without us even realising it.

It’s crucial that we declutter on a regular basis so that we can make room for the things we really want and need in our lives now. This could be physically in terms of our possessions or mentally in respect of the way we think that no longer serves us and has now unknowingly become a hindrance or the time we afford others, it could be anything. Unfortunately we don’t have a message that pops up to tell us when we’re reaching our capacity and need to offload, but there are other tell tale signs that we can use to our advantage.

Lighten your load by decluttering and make room for what you want.

Xo

A Single Mind

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You cannot have two masters, one will rule over the other. Ever tried to go left and right at the same time? It’s impossible.

It works the same if you are double minded. When working towards a goal, you cannot willingly accept alternative outcomes because the likelihood is you’ll end up with the least desired one.

Let’s say you want a brand new 2018 Mercedes Benz. You have this car in mind but then repeatedly say ‘Well if not a Mercedes, a Ford, Peugeot or Mini Cooper will do’. Can you see the confusion? You want a Mercedes but you’ve already considered various other options. By doing this you have done two things 1. You have already introduced failure and doubt into the equation by that line of thinking 2. It also means you won’t give all your efforts to getting the Mercedes because you have options and are comfortable with settling.

You must be clear and concise with what it is that you desire. Not being clear causes you to be stagnant, creates confusion, mediocrity and eventually frustration.

Focused and determined people are seldom unsuccessful.

If you are unsure of what it is you want or the goal, that’s completely fine. Simply set some time aside to write what’s in your head down on paper and begin to sift through what’s there until you’re more confident in what it is that you desire.

Being clear minded is not to be confused with not being open. To be open means to be flexible in how the thing comes to you not in what the thing is itself. Being clear minded is to know what you want. They work together.

Every accomplished person, knew what they wanted first. Get clear, your present and future depends on it.

Xo

To Find Your Peace, Face Your Beast

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To find your peace, you must face your beast.

Nothing good comes out of hiding. You may find temporary relief in avoiding the issue or suppressing the pain but all you will have done is put it on hold. When we do this, we set ourselves up for a huge explosion that we’re seldom prepared for. As my friend and I will say, you have to unpack your load.

To unpack (by our definition) means to delve into discovering the root cause of your issues and facing it head on. Is it easy? No. Sometimes you discover it’s not what you thought it was about and other times it’s related to previous experiences that you never quite dealt with.

Someone did something recently that I took great offense to. It wasn’t just the low level of regard and respect that they showed, it was how their actions triggered insecurities. I now had to unpack and work through it otherwise it’d definitely affect my day to day but ultimately rob me of my peace of mind. This situation signaled to me that I still had some work to do on myself in that area and that I am not quite ‘there’ yet.

Too often when something threatens to upset our psyche, we go to our vice to quickly appease ourselves. We find a big enough distraction to shift our focus and attempt to diminish what is brewing. We’re too afraid to face what is looming ahead, so quick lets bury ourselves in something. The effects of doing this tend to last much longer than if we were to deal with the problem. For example, this terrible saying of ‘The best way to get over a man is to get under a new one’. What you’re actually doing is adding onto your things to unpack.

Are we able to still move forward in life without dealing with the issue? Absolutely, it’s called denial and suppression. The thing with doing that however is that it can show up in other areas of your life in the most obscure way. It’s not always detectable but it’s always there.

With most things, you have to actively work for it and peace is no different. Whether you meditate on it or take action, it will require you to make the efforts to help yourself.

So do yourself a favour, the next time something threatens your stability, don’t shy away from it, take some time out to figure out what it is telling you about yourself and work on and through it.

It won’t happen over night but it will happen over time.

Peace xo

“New Year, New Me” Stop Lying!

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First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! However you spent it, I hope it was good for you.

At the start of the year, we’re so strongly convicted of all the things we’re going to do and how this time it’ll be different (queue in the ‘This is my year’ warriors). How Sway? You won’t push yourself, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t change your habits, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t commit to anything, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t alter your thinking, but somehow it’ll be different. Do you and I a favour and stop being deceitful.

The reality is, changing and improving the quality of your life is A LOT of hard consistent work and the results of it may not materialise until months and years later, so the question is, how bad do you want it and can you go the distance?

The unrealistic expectations that we sometimes hold of ourselves cause us to repeatedly fall short of our goals (myself included). We have it in our minds that it’ll be easy to accomplish and when faced the actuality of it, opt out and resign to a life of mediocrity.

With anything worth having, you will have to put the work in, not only in attaining it but to maintain it also. Whether it’s money, career, relationships, family, if it is to be successful, you will have to constantly work for/at it.

What does the work look like in real life? Time, effort, patience, sacrifice, discipline, self-control, consistency, commitment, developing, sweat, tears, failure, restarting, stress, balance, challenge, criticism, the list is endless. And yes, looking at that list it’s very easy to see why anyone would say ‘It’s not for me bro’, but if you want it, it’s a package deal- You can’t pick and choose the bits you want.

In my experience, when trying to change anything, the idea is to focus your energy on one thing. Full focus and attention on one thing is bound to produce greater results at a rapid rate than giving your divided attention to many things. The latter is also a sure fire way to not only be ineffective but stagnant. You will feel like you’re working but the reality is you’re working on too many of the wrong things at the same time and going nowhere fast.

Now I’m not advocating that you abandon everything else, simply that you devote most of your efforts to accomplishing one thing before diversifying. Become skilled at one thing and that will give you the necessary tools to increase your success rate in other areas of your life. Continue as you are? Well you already know what that looks like.

Xo

‘If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You’

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I’d be the first to say I like an easy life. Stress and drama are not my kindred and so far as is possible I avoid it, but sometimes you simply can’t, sometimes its necessary.

I saw the above title on Instagram yesterday and all the ways this statement applies came flooding through my mind; the gym, my career, my relationships.

When hardship comes, we often look for the quickest way to stop it, instead of looking at how this can shape us to be better. We don’t want to struggle or to feel pain, but truth be told whether we like it or not it’ll come, the real test is in how we deal with it.

The challenges that come our way are an opportunity to become better and refine our character, however this will not be possible if every time something threatens our comfort we run or shut down.

Challenge is an integral part of anyone’s development, learn to embrace it and make it work for you not against you. When next it crosses your path, refuse to run or shut down, ask yourself ‘How can this make me better?’

Xo

Shaken, Not Stirred (Part 2)

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Part 1

“Jamal!, what’s taking you so long?” Emmy came bounding through the front door irritated that she’d been waiting for what felt like hours in the car. 

She stopped in her tracks as she took in the breadth of what was before her eyes. Chelle, butt naked on the floor and Jamal standing over her. 

Jamal’s head snapped back to see his girlfriend staring at him in utter disbelief. “It’s not what it looks like” Jamal stuttered. Emmy didn’t respond. “Let’s go” she said calmly. 

Not another word was said and they left.

Chelle had by this point sat upright with her knees close to her chest and her arms in a tight embrace around them. She was not going to move or make a sound. She wished the wooden flooring would open up and swallow her whole, but when has your deepest desire ever come true when you needed it the most. 

She was still there, live in the flesh, watching the entire scene unfold before her eyes like a showreel except she was the lead character living out her worst moment.

Chelle wasn’t sure what would have been worse, the two words said or Emmy going into a rage and beating the absolute crap out of her. It’s like when you’ve done something bad and your parents sit you down and say “I’m disappointed”. Those two words have the power to shift worlds and make any person rethink their entire existence. You’d much rather they scold you, that way they can feel guilty in the end, but no, they won’t give you the power. That’s how this moment felt to Chelle.

She sat there with her back against the steel cold leg of the God forsaken island and sobbed. Her body shook with the memories of all the things that went wrong over the past three years. She cried for her short comings and failures. She wept for her loneliness.

Two beeps were heard from her phone. With a wet nose and hot tears streaming down her face, she crawled over to where it was, hoping it was a message from God saving her from her current plight. It wasn’t. The message read “Be out by Sunday”. 

Murphy’s law was in full effect and Chelle could do nothing but wail herself to sleep. 

The sunlight coming through a gap of the closed curtains woke Chelle up. She stirred but didn’t move a limb. It was two hours later before she moved her body and slowly gathered her bearings. It was at that moment that she realised the mahogany stained floor had been her pillow and bed for the night. As she began to wonder how she ended up there, the events from last night came flooding back. She considered laying back down but the discomfort and aches in her body influenced her otherwise. 

With nothing left to give she walked towards her room. It seemed so foreign to her like she was seeing it for the first time and in some ways she was. She’d outgrown this space. This way of living and feeling hurt too much and she was spent.

Maybe this would be a great opportunity for change. She could have a do over and leave everything behind. She never did belong here, this was a poor attempt to live a life that she knew deep down wasn’t for her.

She picked up her laptop, typed in what she was looking for, done. 

Taking only a few treasured items and passport, she left. Chelle would return home.

Xo

This is 30!

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I wish I could give you a play by play of everything that has been happening over the past few weeks but we’d be here forever. A few words to describe it would be a rollercoaster of emotions, testing and exciting.

At times it felt like a line from Mary Mary’s Shackles ‘everything that could go wrong, all went wrong at one time’. I couldn’t catch a break. For every disappointment, I steamrolled my way forward, refusing to stop, just dusting myself off and keeping it pushing. Of course there is only so long you can continue on that path until it all falls down, and that came the day before my birthday, a few hours before my dinner party. My emotions boiled over and momentarily a dam broke. Fortunately, I didn’t have the capacity to wallow in it because I had a dinner to be at, and not just any dinner at that, MY 30th birthday dinner.

The dinner was amazing! I am so fortunate to have had great people to help organise, plan and oversee the proceedings of the day as I could not have done it without them. It’s a huge blessing to also have friends and family that would show up and I’m incredibly grateful.

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What do I think so far about being 30? It’s been 3.5 days and its too soon to have a fully formed answer to this, but so far, it feels like a coming into something new. I have renewed energy to appreciate the things that I have and to make even better what I have been given. Ironically,  I also feel like the baby of the next decade (lol) which is great and I don’t feel so “old”.

I’m excited about what’s next and looking forward to the year ahead. I want to be able to say this time next year “What a difference a year makes” in the most wonderful way.

What do you want to say this time next year?

Xo

 

 

 

20 Things to Know in Your 20’s – Part 2

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

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

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

Xo

The Year of Realisations

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As much as some find it purposeful, my writing is my remedy and I hope you’ll allow me to continue to use this platform to express myself as necessary and bear with me whilst I go through this weird phase.

A friend of mine would often say “Wow, the year of realisations” in response to anything (usually funny stuff) that takes her by surprise. I have a similar use for that phrase except the surprises are a bit more painful than funny.

I have recently had to question and re-evaluate some of the friendships that I have and it hurts to know that perception isn’t always reality.

The realisation that the esteem I held people in isn’t mutual is a hard pill to swallow. What concerns me more is having to look at myself and ask how did I get it so wrong? Why did I give of myself in a way that would yield such little return or regard?

I share this purely to show that irrespective of who anyone is, everyone deals with similar things.

How will I go forward with this new ‘enlightenment?’ Time and wise counsel from God. The one thing I do not want to do is harden my heart and become bitter, because let’s be real that will do more damage to me than it’ll ever do to them.

Relationships of any kind are hard work and require consistent reciprocal effort, compromise and compassion. If these are missing then it’s time to release the noose from around your neck and free yourself.

You cannot be of service from an empty space, you have to be full and part of that comes through your relationships with others.

Remember this, if there’s no love in it, leave it.

…In other news this is how I’m trying to be for the rest of the week:


LIT!

Xo

P.s I’ll be back to normal asap.

Turning 30: 20 Things to Know in Your 20’s

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Can I scream? Am I allowed? I feel like I need to or rather I am going to.

This week has been, how do I put it nicely, challenging. I don’t know whether it is because I am turning 30 in exactly a week or there is something in the water but whatever it is, I need it to hurry up and go away.

In light of this pending new age, I thought it’d be good to do a list of the 20 things to know in your 20’s of what I have learnt, loved and lost.

As someone who is nearing the end of their 20’s you can only imagine the level of anxiety that I and many others like me are experiencing. By my culture and this societies standards,  I needed to have been married, had a baby, bought a home, a thriving career and lots of money in the bank. Ha! Almost none of those have happened.

So here are the first five things I have learnt about my 20’s:

  1. Use your youth. If you can work, work, if you can create, create. Use the energy that you have now as over time you may not have the same intensity. Think Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel, and Jessica Matthew, to name a few
  2. Look after your credit so it can look after you.
  3. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Form friendships of value. In any relationship it is a give and take
  4. Have wild ambitions but set realistic goals towards achieving them. Don’t say you want to be a best-selling author by the end of the month yet you haven’t begun your story. Make the steps towards achieving your goals practical and achievable and over a period of time, you will accomplish it.
  5. If you have an idea, build on it now. There’s absolutely no such thing as the perfect time. Will you fall flat on your face? Most likely. But what you will learn will be invaluable to your growth and development.

Growing into adulthood isn’t easy and as with anything there’ll be highs and lows, you just have to learn how to roll with it.

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I’m smiling inside, I promise.

See you tomorrow!

XO

P.s I am accepting virtual gifts next week 🙂

 

 

Hard Lessons: The 100th Time

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You know a couple of weeks ago when I said sometimes the things you go through isn’t just for you it’s for others? Well that would be me right now. Huff.

I make good progress and feel like my decisions are sound and BOOM Abort! Abort! Abort! Too late, a f**k up.

I am kicking myself because I am so sure that I shouldn’t be in this position. I should have known it wasn’t a great idea, I should have left when I was supposed to, I should not have committed even just a little bit if I knew that I would not go the distance, I should have had the foresight to see what could go wrong, and the rhetoric goes on and on and on.

Needless to say, that particular dialogue is unhelpful, in fact it’s rather useless. I have two options; continue with that line of thought or be pragmatic about it. I, although challenging to do, have chosen the latter.

When things don’t go as expected, it’s very easy to wallow and sing woe is me, however it’s much more work to will yourself to see the upside and press forward.

In evolving forward, a good place to start is by taking responsibility for the part you have played. Think about what you did, what effects did it have? Was it positive or negative? What are the ramifications?  Get a full picture of what has taken place. You see, the mess isn’t necessarily created in that instant, it’s usually prepped and primed beforehand, meaning there are things we have done that contributed to what we now experience.

But, let’s be honest, we’re all winging this thing called life. We’re figuring it out as we go along, making mistakes, failing, falling, and everything else in between, yet those are the very things that can propel us forward to something even better. A chance to grow and be great is, irrespective of our circumstances, a blessing.

Embrace the things that cause you to question yourself and re-evaluate your choices as that will lead you (should you choose) to something worthwhile.

Okay, I’m going now, I have some figuring out to do but I’ll be back soon enough. Until then, *sings* goodbye my lover, I mean have a super sexy week ahead! Yes I said super sexy 🙂

Xo

Finishing Strong

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Typically around this time of the year we start to reflect on all that we’ve done. We look at what’ve achieved and what we haven’t.

We examine closely the things we didn’t get to do and resign to saying ‘2018’ is my year. Pray tell, how will 2018 be any different if you’re not doing anything different? You still think the same, speak the same, act the same, have the same conversations, do the same things and somehow it’ll be…different?

I want you to remember that 2017 isn’t over yet and there is so much we can still do in creating the life we want to live.

Now I don’t have all the answers but I do know a little something that might help. I learnt something recently from my mentor that has helped shape what I do now and it’s this; the work is your habits.

What do your habits say about you and your life? The state of your life is in direct correlation to the habits you have nurtured and practice on a daily basis. For example, if you work out regularly, it’s likely to be evident in your fitness, physique and mentality. Like the saying goes the proof is the pudding.

After a long day at work, like most I just want to plop onto my bed. I don’t want to do any ‘house stuff’ least especially laundry. The clothes are on my bed and I gear up to swiftly push them to the side and curl up on my bed but I pause. What does this act do for me? 1) Fosters laziness and procrastination 2) Increases workload 3) Messy space, messy life 4) Lack of clarity…you see, that ‘little thing’ isn’t worth all that comes with it, so in most cases, I’ll sort it there and then. Everything you do, is mapping out your life.

So, as you go about your daily activities today think about this, what is what I’m about to do say about me and my life? And if you find that the answer is negative, there is your starting point for you to do something about it.

Check your habits and if you don’t like the results it produces, change your habits.

Xo

Somebody’s Watching

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Somebody’s watching and I am not talking about ‘big brother’.

You’re out there minding your business and then suddenly you feel warm and conscious. You look up to meet the unexpected gaze of a stranger.

Instinctively you offer up an awkward smile, but you notice that they feel more uncomfortable than you do. They were caught in the act. The act of admiring you from afar, wondering what you’re like as a person, if you have any quirks or nuances that they can pick up on, how you think, what you’re doing and so on.

Figuratively speaking there is always someone watching especially in this social media age where people can have access to you 24/7. Needless to say we have become obsessed with paying acute attention to other people’s lives, but, that isn’t always a bad thing and here’s why. People have the opportunity to learn, grow and be inspired by you, your life and your work.

I say all of that to say this; do not think for a second that what you have to offer to the world is not necessary, irrespective of how small or big it might be, somebody needs it. You have birthed those aspirations, dreams and visions for a reason and in most cases it’s not just for you.

Someone you don’t know needs what you have to offer the world. Someone you don’t know values who you are. Someone you don’t know believes you’re necessary. Someone you don’t know is rooting for you and your success. However, none of this can happen if you choose to keep who you are to yourself.

Now this isn’t a call for you to immediately put your life on full blast for everyone to see, simply an encouragement to stay committed to whatever you believe your purpose is. One of mine is this here blog. I have considered shutting this site down a trillion times, but my gut feeling won’t let me. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter whether or not there are hundreds of readers, just do the work. Whatever happens once I press publish is not my business (I mean it is but you know what I mean), I have done what I am suppose to do and until I feel led otherwise, that is what I’ll continue to do.

And yes, sometimes the things you do on the surface won’t make sense or you might feel that it is not valuable, however if you are certain that this is what you’re meant to do then it’ll work out either now or later. Learn to trust the timing of your life as it is never late or wrong, it’s just right for you.

IMG_2890 My nephew and I.

…And keep up the good work xo

P.s I hope your week ahead is full of sparkle, miracles and constant good news!

The Ugliness of it All

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Like Giggs infamous lyrics say ‘It will get bloody, it will get gory’, such is the premise of progression, success and greatness.

I had a ‘moment’ yesterday where I felt like the aspirations and plans I had for my life weren’t happening nor had they come to pass.

I silenced everything and connected with that feeling. I allowed whatever emotion that came to me to flow, which in this case was tears. And I’m not a crier or I should say I don’t like crying.

After talking and meditating, clarity came; things will get ugly before it becomes beautiful.

You ever look at something or someone and think this came together like magic? Well it wasn’t magic, unless magic is effort, hard work, smart work, patience, dedication, consistency, passion, failure, tears, sweat, perseverance, losing, ungratefulness, unappreciation, stress, doubt, producing rubbish, then I suppose it is, but nothing great ever just happens.

A house didn’t always look like a house

A car didn’t always look like a car

Serena Williams wasn’t always THE Serena Williams

Everything had a small beginning, a messy middle and a refined end…and then repeat.

The difference between those that succeed and those that don’t, is tenacity. Successful people do not give up, they grow through it .

So, the question is, do you want to be successful or nah? If so, then expect that sometimes there’ll be confusion, wins, self-doubt, high points, losses, success and so on, it’s part and parcel.

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Don’t let the ugliness of it all deter you from believing and working towards better.

Xo

P.s I haven’t forgotten about the challenge, I did one of mine, did you?

 

One Person Can

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A new opportunity has arisen for me and I subsequently began to think about the possibilities of what I’ll be able to do, change and improve upon. The excitement of it all boiled over. And then one thought stopped me in my tracks, “I’m one person, can I really make the difference I envision making?”. I immediately felt a sense of dejection.

“How can I, one small person make an impact? I am inexperienced and who’ll take me seriously anyway?…”. I fortunately wasn’t granted the liberty of continuing on that downward spiral because I was reminded of all the amazing things we get to enjoy and learn from in our society that was brought about by ONE person making the decision to be the change they wanted to see.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the people I admire. Her books, intellect and being her unapologetic self, are a few things that both inspire and teach me…but what if? What if she decided that her voice wasn’t worth being heard? What if she decided that Purple Hibiscus is a pile of crap and dumped it in the bin? What if she never picked up a pen? I shudder.

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So this is for me as it is for you, don’t allow your current circumstances, inexperience or insecurities deprive you of believing that you are necessary and what you have to offer is valuable. Hold on to that little voice telling you can, because you can.

Xo

P.s How’s your challenge going?

 

New Week: Press Reset

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Who taught you to stop believing?

Do you remember being a child and believing in the impossible? Nothing was off limits. I can recall countless times where whatever I thought of or believed in happened. I’m not going to share what some of them were, because I am certain someone will want to cart me off to the head doctor.

I spent so much of my childhood especially being the only child for almost 10 years (and at that point you’re still an only child because of the age gap), living in my imagination. I would conjure up stories, desires and situations which made my young life that much richer. Life, however, has other plans and slowly all the negative things get the better of us and we soon forget how to manifest and live more.  But I want to get back there, living as a child does, with no doubts, little fear and great ambition.

I asked myself this question, ‘how do we not become bogged down with the negative things that have happened, to cause us to believe less?’ The answer I received is this, learn and let go.

Think about it, a lot of children when they hurt themselves or don’t succeed at doing something, they get right back up and do it again. A child learning to walk after falling down a few times doesn’t suddenly say ‘yeah this walking stuff isn’t for me’, they carry on trying until they get it. The recollection of how badly it went wrong the first time is but a distance memory to them; they learn and they move on.

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One of the ways we can implement this ability is by following this principle by the good book, where it says but transformed by the renewing of your mind. One interpretation of this that you have to constantly, daily even, press reset.

With this in mind, I have decided to push myself beyond my self-inflicted limitations and I would love for you to join me.

Pick one thing that you have found to be a challenge to accomplish. It could be going to the gym 4 times a week, finishing off a proposal, having that business meeting, registering your company, making that dreaded phone call to a family member that you have not spoken to in years, buying a house, it could be absolutely anything. Decide that by the end of the week (19.11.17), you would have either done it or are one step closer to doing it. The one step does have has to be a huge step (no pressure 🙂 ).

My challenge has dragged on for many years, but I am determined to pull my finger out! I’ll definitely share mine next Monday, eek!

In the water

I’ll leave with this which I wholly believe in, it is always better to have tried something than to not have tried at all. You learn so much quicker when you do than when you don’t.

See you on the flipside!

Xo

The Single Life

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Navigating through life certainly has its ups and downs and I am starting to think that with some things there is no right or wrong, only better.

In keeping with the theme of other posts this week, I thought I’d share 2 things single (and non-single) people should do before entering or considering a relationship.

Now before you give me the side-eye about this, yes I am single, however I’ve had a fair bit of experience to know what has worked and not worked for me. We know by now that desperation doesn’t work and is at the top of the ‘Do not do’ list.

There’s no point in entering into an unhealthy and unedifying relationship for the sake of not being alone or keeping up with the status quo. When we get into one, although it might be challenging, we want it to match our fly and be everything we’ve ever imagined it could be. To get this we have to be right ourselves.

So, let’s get into this list.

  1. Know thy self. What knowing yourself does is set the standards you have for your life. It means you’d know bullshit when you see it, you’d know when something is right for you and when it’s not and you will not compromise on what it is you want just because it seems like it’s not happening yet. In other words, knowing yourself is knowing your power and because of this you are intentional in creating the world and life you want to live. Knowing yourself builds confidence in how and what you do with your life, for example, if someone comes along and says you’ll never amount to anything, you’d be able to laugh at them as you know who you are, what you’re capable of and they do not determine what that looks like, you do. You can also see your ex’s recent engagement and not be moved by it, because you know what is for you is for you. Getting to this level of surety does require a large amount of introspection and a lot of work, it’s definitely not an overnight stint. When you don’t know yourself, you’ll easily accept anything and everything that comes your way, when you do, you won’t- Don’t play yourself.

 

  1. Work on yourself. Focus on the things that you know has been harmful to you or that can be improved upon. For a while I had it in my head that I’d always be alone or that I’m the black sheep. The reason this became a belief system is because I was constantly questioned as to why I am single and made to feel (or should I say I allowed them to) like there was something wrong with me. I soon accepted it as gospel. I have since spent time changing the rhetoric that I have repeated to myself for years and replaced it with one that believes in myself more and trusts my intuition. What if you don’t know what needs to be worked on? Here’s one hint, stop ignoring the little voice telling you there is something wrong here, as I often say to my friend ‘unpack’ it, meaning examine/learn the root cause. Whatever your beliefs are will be mirrored in your life, nothing is by mistake, we are all creators after all…let that marinate.

Doing these two things alone is sure to bring you much more of what you want. Okay granted, its not that simple or straightforward but simply becoming more aware of yourself is a great start in itself and things will evolve as time passes.

The journey is worth it.

Xo

Cuffing Season

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Winter is here! And cuffing season is upon us. The struggle to find a bae is real. 

For those of you that don’t know what cuffing season is, by my definition it’s the autumn/winter period where due to the drastic change in weather, people find themselves a partner. It may be for the purpose of cuddling, having someone to go home to, Netflix and Chill, Christmas and all the other reasons to have a significant other. After all no one really wants to be alone especially during the festive period.

What makes C-Season particularly different is the urgency increases and the standards decrease and my thought is this: don’t let desperation take you where your backside(ass) isn’t supposed to be. 

One more time for those of you at the back.

Don’t 

Let

Desperation 

Take 

You 

Where

Your 

Backside(ass)

Isn’t 

Supposed 

To 

Be. 

And this is for all times and all things.

Let me tell you about this one time I found myself in a predicament I had no business being in. 

This time last year I was a mess! I literally hopscotched from one crappy ‘relationship’ to another shitty ‘relationship’ and why? Because my backside(ass) was, dare I admit it, desperate to change my status with a quickness. I was tired of being in an unfulfilling relationship and stupidly entertained another one that had the ‘appearance’ of being a good one. I was so wrong! And life taught me an invaluable lesson to mind my mother******* business. Fortunately for me, I was only bruised and not broken.

Things will transpire organically, there is never a need to manipulate or force life to happen for you the way you want it because 1) It’s likely to be more detrimental for you and 2) Because of number 1. 

Don’t allow society or the people around you, pressurise you into making a decision with potentially permanent effects based on a temporary feeling. Do focus on having fun and living your best life.

As always there is a time to sow and a time to harvest, just like seasons change so do circumstances.

Xo

Would You Date You?

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Would you date you? Be honest.

Not your typical Monday spiel but I think it’s worth thinking about it.

Whether you’re single, dating or in a relationship, every status is a minefield that needs to be broached with care and lots of thought. But, let’s talk about a significant other.

A lot of people often have long lists of wants and expectations that they themselves have no intention of meeting, do not meet and probably wouldn’t recognise even if it were right in front of them. So the question is, is it then okay to make these demands of others when you fall short yourself?

I do believe that the people in your life are a reflection of what you intrinsically believe about yourself and how you think. This of course will inform your decision on what you do and how you act. Ultimately it means that you attract what you are. So…I say this next bit with love, would the people you want to have in your life want you too? Again, be honest.

Yes, we are all wonderful in our own way, however, there is always always room for improvement.

Have a think about the question above and if you decide that yes there are things you can do to be better, start doing the work. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect the improvements to happen overnight, but with time, effort and consistency, it will begin to manifest.

Become the person you would want to have around you.

Xo

P.s I’m going to be back this week. I know I know, I say this all the time don’t I? and suddenly disappear, I am working on it, honest 🙂

Who’s Whispering In Your Ear?

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Who’s whispering in your ear?

Do the people around you validate your fears? Do they exacerbate an already bad situation with their opinions and presence? Do they tell you about all the terrible ways they have dealt with things and encourage you to do the same? Do they knock your dreams? If so, drop them, now!

I am very very mindful about who I confide in concerning the matters of my life. One of the things I recommend not doing, is going around telling any and everyone who would listen about your problems or aspirations and here’s why:

When you speak to people who do not see the bigger picture, who are perpetually negative, who do not aspire to do or be better, whose life’s a constant mess, you’ll end up in the same position that you’ve always been in or worse still in the position they have always been. Their words and actions are infectious, make no mistake about it.

You need people in your life that will challenge your behaviour and thoughts, who will correct you when you’re wrong, who will give you a different perspective on things, who are actively in pursuit of manifesting their dreams and who have accomplished many and great things in their lives. You DO NOT want to speak to those who have achieved nothing great or positive, have given up on their dreams, who are constant complainers and always have something negative to say. You might not know it but the words and things you hear and see are shaping the world around you every single day. They are more influential than you think as whatever goes into your ears and eyes feeds you.

A couple of times a month or more I drive through the area I want to live in because I have to be reminded of my goals and what’s possible. If there is nothing around you that reiterates what you want in your life, you have to go there physically. Take yourself there through what you listen to, who you speak to, where you go, what you do and lastly through your imagination. And you always have your imagination. 

…Psst, let me whisper something in your ear, come closer, a bit more, perfect, go be great.

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Xo

 

Sixth Sense

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I knew spilling my guts on here would help me out. Phew!

It’s like having a good old cry and suddenly having clarity afterwards, or when you’re having a bad day and opt to just sleep it off and you wake up feeling better. That’s what writing out my jargon on here did for me, so thank you.

Letting it flow will always produce much better results that forcing it to go. 

One of the things I heavily rely to do this, is my intuition and its especially handy with my writing. I go with what I sense rather than what I think.

You might not believe it, but you actually know what’s good for you, you simply don’t trust yourself enough to go with it.

So before you rest your eyes tonight, take a little bit of time to figure out the answers to the following:

  1. What you are feeling?
  2. Why you are feeling it?
  3. What’s taking place?
  4. Where you are heading next?

Sounds like a lot, but you can very quickly figure things out if you really focus on getting answers. Use your sixth sense (everyone has it, you just have to listen) to guide you to a better life.

Life has its own ebb and flow that if you pay real close attention to, will serve you well. Go against it and you’ll be fighting the change you actually want for much longer and a whole lot harder.

Even if its not clear to you now, it will be over time, flow with it.

Trust it, trust yourself.

Goodnight xo

Major Key Alert

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I am constantly reminded that a major key to success is consistency. Even when you get the thing you have worked for, you have to maintain it and maintaining it requires consistent action.  Relationships, money, career, health, home, everything needs to be maintained and in some cases improved upon by consistent effort. It will be near impossible to sustain something if the energy you devote to it is every once in while.

10% effort means 10% results, in fact that’s a lie, what you will most likely get is less than 10% results.  Your output has to be greater than what you want. So if you want 100% results then you must put in 130% (not an accurate figure) consistently and this applies to absolutely everything, especially when you are just starting out.

Now, I have to be honest or I should say realistic, it may take months, years even before you start to see the fruits of your labour and you have to be okay with that. You will sometimes feel like giving up but you owe it to yourself to see things through. Trust me, those steps that you take repeatedly that feel and look like nothing to you, will one day materialise into something worthwhile.

No one who has attained great success in anything did it once. Your fav spent YEARS investing in themselves for you to see them as they are, so hold tight, keep working and when the time is ripe, it will happen.

W(ait)ork for it.

Xo

P.s This post is more for me than it is for you. I have work to do…ugh.

In Hot Pursuit of…Happiness

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I worry about losing myself in pursuit of creating the best life. I think about the cost of the sacrifice and if at all, it’ll all be worth it in the end.

It frightens me the influence money has over the lives of many, although it’s not hard to see why as it does provide a certain quality of life the more you have of it. At least that is the belief.

I like to learn from others and I spend a lot of time studying people so as to not make the same mistakes they’ve made or better still to emulate their successes.

Amongst the people I have paid close attention to, some of which are extremely accomplished, there seems to be a reoccurring theme that they all speak of. Their successes are not an immediate solution to unhappiness. It is not a master key and it certainly doesn’t unlock a lifetime’s supply continuous joy and contentment.

Just so you get the gist of what I am talking about, please have a watch of this video before you read on https://www.youtube.com com /watch?v=zYDKCx4hSQQ.

We think reaching our goals will bring us everything we have ever wanted (not so, as there’ll be the next thing to obtain), but in all honesty it may just provide temporary satisfaction because our happiness isn’t supposed to be incumbent on the things we acquire or even upon people. It is and always has been an inside job.

Now by no means am I advocating that you give up on your dreams and settle for whatever comes your way, what I am imploring however is a need to check in with yourself and evaluate your life. Be a free thinker, decide what is best for you void of external factors and stimulants and choose to BE happy.

The video below, sums up a few of my thoughts on happiness and achieving it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDQRYbINeNM . I hope it enlightens you.

…And whatever you do, have a wonderful time doing it!

Xo

Have You Done It Yet?

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A couple of days ago, my mind wondered back to being a child and what made things so much simpler.

I thought about all the things I had achieved then both great and small and one thing that I remember not doing is thinking. I just did.

I didn’t think about whether or not I’ll be good at cartwheels, I just did it until I was.

I didn’t think about whether or not I was a good reader, my hand shot up when asked for a volunteer and over time I got better.

I didn’t think about if I’d be good at 100m, I just ran on the tracks until I was faster.

I didn’t think I was stupid, I just applied myself until I improved.

As children (preteens, because teenagers are hormonal aka crazy) we didn’t sit there and ruminate over all the things that could go wrong like we do now. We spent more time doing things, getting it wrong and doing it again until we got it right or became better.

Which brings me to my point, many of us cancel on a dream without having attempted it. Did you hear me? Without having attempted it.

One more time for effect…

Without

Having

Attempted

It!

Do you know how crazy that is? You haven’t tried it, but you have convinced yourself it won’t work. Maybe in your case it’s that you are doing ‘things’ but the truth is you don’t really believe it will happen so you half arse it.

You miss 100% of shots that you don’t take and you can’t half arse anything!

And yes I’m absolutely guilty of this.

We need to revert back to that childlike attitude or better still evolve into mind-set that removes limitations.

So before you go cancelling on your dreams that you’ve not even worked on yet or doubting them, do it and keep doing it again and again and again and again.

The success I have experienced didn’t magically appear, it came from taking repeated action. I had to do the work, there’s absolutely no other way around it than to do it.

Humour me, the next thing your mind thinks of doing, use the immediate 5 minutes that follows to put something into action. Its harder to stop something you have already started…right?

Xo

They Don’t Support Me

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First off, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented, shared, messaged me about my posts, I don’t think I have ever really shown gratitude but I am truly grateful!

I just came across a post of someone laminating about having fake friends, the lack of support and how much they do for others but it’s not reciprocated blah blah blah. Sorry, that’s life. We’re all guilty.

My flesh and blood till date still don’t get the name of blog/company right never mind having read any of my 100+ posts and likewise I am sure there are bunch of things I don’t show my family enough gratitude for.

We don’t always get an equal return on our investment. Could you ever come close to repaying back your mother? I think not.

It’s not your business to pay attention to those that are not interested, your duty is to pay attention to those that ARE vested in you.

For whatever reason we have been wired to focus on all the negatives. We shouldn’t, especially when we are inundated with so many positives.

So what one person didn’t show up to your birthday? There were 10 others that did. Only 5 people liked your blog post, that’s 5 more people than 0. You missed your bus to get to work, at least you have a job to go to, someone else is searching for one as we speak and has bills coming out of their crack and no immediate means to take care of them. You missed an audition, okay are there not others? No matter the circumstance, there are positives, you just have to look for them and FOCUS on that instead.

Would you believe I had a car accident over the weekend worse than the one I had a few weeks ago. Yes you read right a few weeks ago. Talk about a tough break. Was I out of sorts for a couple of days? Sure I was. But guess what? I am alive as is the other driver. It could have been so different, my last blog post could have been the last one forever.

Whatever you focus on EXPANDS. You zone in on the negatives, surprise surprise more negative things come your way. Do the opposite and the same will follow suit.

Take your mind off the things that didn’t work, the people that do not support you, the plans that failed to launch, and look for the positives in all situations.

Love on those that love on you. Show gratitude to those that are there for you and do support you . Appreciate the things you do have and you’ll see that there will be more of these things.

Shift your focus, life is much better that way.

Xo

Say No to Yes People

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I was rereading my last post and thinking about the kind of people I have around me.  Although I love them dearly, I noticed that there are some that will feed into my plight rather than snap me out of it and that is dangerous.

For example, you’ve had a bad day and you call your friend to moan. What then followed were exchanges of experiences and a reinforcement of how ‘right’ you are to feel crap. When you get off the call, do you feel better? Typically no and if you do, it’s likely to be temporary.

Sure, there are times that you just need to vent and get things off your chest but whoever you go to must be someone of sound reasoning and mind.

Say no to people who unfailingly reaffirm your shitty feelings, to people who are not able to gently correct you, to people who mollycoddle you into believing you’re always right, to people who agree with everything you say, to people who do not have a healthy positive outlook on life. Those people have a greater influence on your life than you know and faith comes by hearing, so the more you hear the wrong type of things, the more you believe in it, make sense?

To put it simply, in times of stress and frustration, do not go to the constantly stressed and frustrated.

Xo

P.s Have a great week ahead!

Don’t Sleep on Yourself

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I was looking through Instagram as you do and I came across the fabulous shoe designer Monika Chaing. After browsing through a few of her pictures, I was transported back to 2010 when I had aspirations of creating a shoe line that would represent all the different sides of me-I love shoes!

That same year I was at a club with Jon B (yes the Jon B) and he commented on how he loved my shoes and that his wife would love them too.  A tiny piece of me died inside, talk about missed opportunity. The shoes I was wearing at the time were not my own design, there were a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes, but just imagine if they were? Ugh.

Thing is I had been working on the shoe line but was yet to have a product in my hand. I thought to myself if only I had a little bit more time I could have passed on my details and the rest would have been history.

Needless to say that over time I became weary and stopped trying.

Looking through Monika Chaing’s feed reminded me of that and all the other ideas (there have been many) that I had started, made progress on and then shortly gave up on. Where would they have been now if I persisted? What could I have created within the last 10 years if I had stuck through all the obstacles that I would have faced? I don’t even want to think about it, but I do know there’s a high chance I wouldn’t be sitting behind my work desk typing this.

What I hadn’t realised at the time was that dreams do not manifest overnight. They are like babies, they have to be nurtured and attended to constantly. Did you hear me? Constantly!

Now I’m not about to be all self-deprecating after all I have blogged for 3 years and that for me is an accomplishment!

Do something now that your future self will thank you for. It could be in any area of your life, great or small. Start and persist with it and remember Rome was not built in a day.

You owe it to yourself to live out your dreams to the fullest.

Xo

When Things Go Wrong

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I think there is something about speaking of things you are going to do and it ultimately going tits-up right after.

It feels like every time I speak of something I am going to do publicly, it doesn’t happen. Is there some sort of wicked force that actively works against me in that moment? If there is they need to cut that shit out.

For example, I said I would do a daily diary and that didn’t materialise in the way that I wanted (Sorry 😦 ), yet I had every intention on doing so and even made the efforts towards making this a reality but it just didn’t happen.

On the flip side, there have been many occasions where what I speak of comes to pass. It’s usually in cases where I haven’t put much thought into things or did not direct ALL my energy towards it and BOOM! Manifestation. My point? Think it, work on it, let go of the outcome.

There is also another lesson here for me to learn in how I approach things going forward, don’t speak about what you’re going to do, ever, just do it. With all things, just do it.  

So as the momentum for the 7 day diary has passed, we’re going to scrap that altogether and go with the flow. I am a firm believer in letting things be and not forcing the unnatural to happen because it just won’t. All it will cause is further frustration and the thing you want to get hot wheels and keep running from you.

When things go wrong, and you make a few attempts to fix the issue and it doesn’t work, do yourself a favour; let the chips fall where they may. Some things simply have to fall apart before they can come together again. It needs that space for whatever it is to breathe, evolve and settle, then and only then can true change take effect.

Take a deep breath and momentarily, let it be.

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Xo

P.s Maybe I’ll revisit this 7 day diary…or not lol.

 

Day 4: FML

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I believe I said that I would go to the gym on Wednesday? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I ended up going for dessert with my neighbour. And yes the dessert was amazing! Waffles with Nutella spread all over and crushed Oreos, mmm yum, but erm no good for my body goals. 

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29 June 2017

Today was an utter disaster! 

I had been planning and prepping for a work event for weeks. No stone was left unturned. I was pedantic, no, manic with every detail, but where did it all go wrong? Technology. Good ol’ technology! It did me so dirty today, I was livid. Every expletive you know of, was used. From the beginning of the event till the end, I spent it trying to connect Skype calls, carry out presentations, communicate with multiple people and take notes- epic fail. One thing I do not like is to look or be incompetent. I don’t even like the idea of it.  

Sure, everyone was really understanding and I was even applauded at the end for all my efforts but that’s not the point! Where’s bloody Olivia Pope when you need her? The universe clearly had other plans. Murphy’s f**king law. 

My mood was so bad that I almost cancelled my plans to meet a group of friends, which had been organised a month ago.  

I raved and ranted to a gentleman friend, who ever so kindly came down to meet me at London Bridge for a quick drink before I had to meet my other friends. So sweet. 

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Needless to say my evening did get better thanks to him and a few others. For that, I am grateful. 

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I even got a gift from a good friend of mine from his trip to New Orleans, which is one of the places on my hit list to visit.

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That’s all folks till hopefully, tomorrow :s

Xo

P.s That wasn’t a lot of writing but trust me, what I had written before was total crap, nothing made sense!

Day 3: Flights and Feelings

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You know I said I was going to the gym last night right? Well, I didn’t quite make it.

I took the selfie below and immediately after, I was struck with a very painful belly ache. It felt like someone was wringing out my stomach, hurt like a mother! I decided to forgo the gym for that night. Who knows what the belly ache was protecting me from?…

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Work today has been hectic, I’m lying, most days at work are hectic! Still, it’s not been a bad day except for me leaving work late again, which means I’ll probably be late again for my counselling session this evening.

Yup, you read right, coun-sel-ling- ses-sion. Times have changed, its not for ‘specific’ people anymore, its for everyone.

Say it with me “It’s for everyone!”.

With the right counsellor you can really make progress in certain areas in your life. What they are able to do is to get you to think, extract and create solutions whilst redirecting you to focal points in your life that need addressing. You might even consider me a counsellor of sorts (without the qualifications) in that I often provide a different perspective on things. They needn’t be seen as some taboo nor should you see yourself as broken if you have one.

In the year that I have been going, it’s helped immensely to have an unbiased ear to listen to my woes and gripes with life. If you have ever pondered on it, I say go for it! Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on this for too long, maybe I’ll share my experience at a later point.

*coughs * can I highlight that I am sharing things here that my nearest and dearest don’t know, sooo let’s keep this a secret okay? (she says whilst posting it on the world wide web, instant fail).

I’m getting off the bus and rushing there now. I’ll be back after my ‘appointment’- I prefer the word appointment, session in this context makes me feel weird. Don’t judge me I haven’t entirely made peace with all parts of counselling, bite me!

1900 hours

Today’s appointment was interesting.  My counsellor threatened me. Okay she didn’t (Ms Drama Queen Irene), she gave me an assignment that was non-negotiable, but is that not a threat?! Lol.  She has a point though, with previous assignments I generally don’t remember to do them, my mind is too busy. She informed me that if I don’t do it she has a surprise for me, pffft nice choice of words. I didn’t like the sound of that ‘surprise’ so after this I’m going to get started…tomorrow, no, Friday.

They came to check the damages to my car today for repair womp womp womp! It’s great that it’ll get fixed but the cost? 2 years no claims bonus lost, pay the excess and you just KNOW my insurance premium next year is going to be horrible! If you have any ideas how to avoid this, please, please, please let me know. However, I do intend on getting my bike license soon, maybe this would be the right time to abandon driving and get riding.

Before I go, I have to share that my baby brother went on his first holiday today and it tugged on little heart * cries *. Sure, he’s 19 but he will ALWAYS be my baby brother, forever! There’s an 11 year age gap between us so he feels more like my child as does my sister.

He doesn’t need me anymore, this indeed is a sad time 😦 .

Little Brother

Thats all, see ya and yes I will be going to the gym today.

Xo

P.s I’ll talk about the hashtag #NakedinSummer in my selfie tomorrow. It makes sense, trust me.

Day 2: Dance Fever & Gym Boyfriends.

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I’m back!

After yesterday’s post, I rushed off to a dance studio.

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I decided last week that I was going to get back to one of my first loves, dancing. I’d been meaning to do so for a while, but I couldn’t find classes that fit what I wanted to do, so I said  ‘F it, I’ll teach myself’.

To date, there’s very little that provides me with the feeling of freedom as dance and performing does…Nothing else matters, you just lose or should I say find yourself.

I literally paid for a dance studio for an hour on Friday afternoon. I did my research, found a venue and booked it.

I was excited and a tad nervous even though I was going to be in the room by myself. Ever the investigator, upon getting into the room, I squinted my eyes looking for a camera. I knew that if there was a CCTV camera I’d still be conscious and not completely myself. I didn’t find one,“Yay!”.

Let me tell you, I felt (looked) like a complete fool! LOL. I mean, I can dance in a club but when you’re looking at yourself in a mirror, you really get to see how good or bad you are. My verdict: stiff as a board, but I’m totally okay with that because it means I have lots to improve on. Hold up, I don’t have two left feet, in fact on any given day I’m pretty good, but pretty good is not what I’m after, bloody brilliant is the goal! All in all I left there feeling really rejuvenated and happy with my decision to brave it alone.

Sometimes, its good to do something just for you.

27 June 2017

It’s a very scary thing to witness someone who gave you life be so vulnerable. They’ve cared for you, loved you, disciplined you, practically done everything for you and in a blink of an eye that could all change. My mother is made of solid iron so it was definitely worrying to see her need help.

My mother is however feeling much better today. She still has to rest, but there aren’t any signs of imminent danger. Thank you God!

I’m heading to the gym shortly as I have some major body goals. I want to feel and look the best I have ever done.

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Meagan Good, Teyana Taylor and Sophia Miacova are my current motivators.

You hear it all the time from mothers about how they didn’t appreciate their bodies and if only they knew what they had then and so on. I definitely don’t want to be singing that song.

I want to be happy with that new phase in my life when it comes, knowing that I truly enjoyed myself and my body. Also, you have to be what you want to attract, so buff body it is. That’s not to say my life will stop when children arrive, it won’t, it will just be massively different.

Pre 2017 I hated the gym but needs must. Working out at home wasn’t working and as with a lot of things you have to be in the environment that cultivates the things you want, joining the gym made sense.

I actually like it more now, it makes me feel good especially on a crappy day. Oh and having ‘gym boyfriends’ helps too. Well, they’re not really my boyfriends, merely people who have some sort of ‘interest’, they want to teach me stuff *roll my eyes* everyone is an expert in the gym ha! Like last night, a guy who I’m sure is old enough to be my dad (slight-moderate exaggeration) was asking me to train with him and if we could exchange details. I politely declined. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the affections, it’s nice, but sometimes a girl would like to train in peace even if it means looking like an utter idiot because you really don’t know what the hell you’re doing! I am considering getting a personal trainer though because this lower belly fat has gattogo!

The weather today is PANTS! Talk about grim. Raining cats and dogs “booooo!”, although it’s usually the best time to sleep. I don’t like public transport on a normal day so when it’s raining, erm ew.

I’m babbling now, thats enough from me. I’ll talk about my car drama and anything good (speak it) that happens between now and tomorrow, till then Godspeed!

…And yes today started off much better than yesterday-I win!

Xo

P.s Pictures provided by the muses Instagrams  @meagangood @teyanataylor @sophiamiacova, I don’t own shit.

Let Me Live! (Day 1)

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Hi Guys!

Usually there’s a process when posting, but today isn’t one of those days. I’m writing this off the top of my dome, no editing, nada!

Do you ever feel like you can’t catch a break? As if you are doing a dance with life, taking two steps forward and five steps backwards? And every time that happens you say ‘Commmme orrrnnnnnn (South East London accent), give me a break!’ That would be me right now.

I’d be faking the funk if I said, I was unaffected and I’m thinking positive thoughts because the truth is, I’m not. Being ‘positive’ isn’t high on my priority list. Only a few moments ago did I think, ‘Right, I’m selling all my possessions and going to be mediocre AF’. But that thought lasted all of one minute, it’s not me. That’s the one good thing about my stubborn nature, I don’t relent easily.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what the point of this post is, maybe it will reveal itself shortly…

Okay, I think that’s it. I am going to document for the next 7 days, how my week goes, with every intention of turning it around. Wish me luck! No, better still send me prayers and good intentions.

Oh, the things that started my week of badly? My mother was suddenly unwell, I had a minor but HIGHLY inconvenient car accident (No one was hurt, thankfully), and of course there is long a**, costly a** process that goes along with that, my job is stressful as hell and in between ALL of that, life is happening, ugh.

Touch base tomorrow!

Xo

P.s I promise, I will be back tomorrow, honest 🙂

Life Is Beautiful Yet Tragic

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Life is beautiful yet tragic for the same reason.

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

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

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

You might even say it’s a juxtaposition of sorts as,

In someone’s death, elsewhere there is birth

In someone’s heartache, elsewhere there is love

In someone’s downfall, elsewhere there is victory

In someone’s poverty, elsewhere there is wealth

In someone’s breakdown, there’s a breakthrough

And we should, in some way, take solace in knowing that life will continue with or without us and that is a beautiful thing just as it is tragic.

XO

P.s It’s my 3 year blogging anniversary today, and it’s bittersweet! Thank you for staying with me for this long xoxo

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 🙂

Make Room

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I have an iPhone and it feels like every few seconds it tells me ‘Storage almost full’. Seeing this message has become the absolute bane of my life. I then start the process of looking for things to delete in order to create space and what I usually find tends to surprise me. ‘How did this get there?, erm this is useless, I’d never use this again, I have no interest in that, ergh delete’ are the thoughts I have when doing this.

It’s amazing how quickly things take form and become staples in our lives without us even realising it.

It’s crucial that we declutter on a regular basis so that we can make room for the things we really want and need in our lives now. This could be physically in terms of our possessions or mentally in respect of the way we think that no longer serves us and has now unknowingly become a hindrance or the time we afford others, it could be anything. Unfortunately we don’t have a message that pops up to tell us when we’re reaching our capacity and need to offload, but there are other tell tale signs that we can use to our advantage.

Lighten your load by decluttering and make room for what you want.

Xo

A Single Mind

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You cannot have two masters, one will rule over the other. Ever tried to go left and right at the same time? It’s impossible.

It works the same if you are double minded. When working towards a goal, you cannot willingly accept alternative outcomes because the likelihood is you’ll end up with the least desired one.

Let’s say you want a brand new 2018 Mercedes Benz. You have this car in mind but then repeatedly say ‘Well if not a Mercedes, a Ford, Peugeot or Mini Cooper will do’. Can you see the confusion? You want a Mercedes but you’ve already considered various other options. By doing this you have done two things 1. You have already introduced failure and doubt into the equation by that line of thinking 2. It also means you won’t give all your efforts to getting the Mercedes because you have options and are comfortable with settling.

You must be clear and concise with what it is that you desire. Not being clear causes you to be stagnant, creates confusion, mediocrity and eventually frustration.

Focused and determined people are seldom unsuccessful.

If you are unsure of what it is you want or the goal, that’s completely fine. Simply set some time aside to write what’s in your head down on paper and begin to sift through what’s there until you’re more confident in what it is that you desire.

Being clear minded is not to be confused with not being open. To be open means to be flexible in how the thing comes to you not in what the thing is itself. Being clear minded is to know what you want. They work together.

Every accomplished person, knew what they wanted first. Get clear, your present and future depends on it.

Xo

To Find Your Peace, Face Your Beast

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To find your peace, you must face your beast.

Nothing good comes out of hiding. You may find temporary relief in avoiding the issue or suppressing the pain but all you will have done is put it on hold. When we do this, we set ourselves up for a huge explosion that we’re seldom prepared for. As my friend and I will say, you have to unpack your load.

To unpack (by our definition) means to delve into discovering the root cause of your issues and facing it head on. Is it easy? No. Sometimes you discover it’s not what you thought it was about and other times it’s related to previous experiences that you never quite dealt with.

Someone did something recently that I took great offense to. It wasn’t just the low level of regard and respect that they showed, it was how their actions triggered insecurities. I now had to unpack and work through it otherwise it’d definitely affect my day to day but ultimately rob me of my peace of mind. This situation signaled to me that I still had some work to do on myself in that area and that I am not quite ‘there’ yet.

Too often when something threatens to upset our psyche, we go to our vice to quickly appease ourselves. We find a big enough distraction to shift our focus and attempt to diminish what is brewing. We’re too afraid to face what is looming ahead, so quick lets bury ourselves in something. The effects of doing this tend to last much longer than if we were to deal with the problem. For example, this terrible saying of ‘The best way to get over a man is to get under a new one’. What you’re actually doing is adding onto your things to unpack.

Are we able to still move forward in life without dealing with the issue? Absolutely, it’s called denial and suppression. The thing with doing that however is that it can show up in other areas of your life in the most obscure way. It’s not always detectable but it’s always there.

With most things, you have to actively work for it and peace is no different. Whether you meditate on it or take action, it will require you to make the efforts to help yourself.

So do yourself a favour, the next time something threatens your stability, don’t shy away from it, take some time out to figure out what it is telling you about yourself and work on and through it.

It won’t happen over night but it will happen over time.

Peace xo

“New Year, New Me” Stop Lying!

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First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! However you spent it, I hope it was good for you.

At the start of the year, we’re so strongly convicted of all the things we’re going to do and how this time it’ll be different (queue in the ‘This is my year’ warriors). How Sway? You won’t push yourself, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t change your habits, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t commit to anything, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t alter your thinking, but somehow it’ll be different. Do you and I a favour and stop being deceitful.

The reality is, changing and improving the quality of your life is A LOT of hard consistent work and the results of it may not materialise until months and years later, so the question is, how bad do you want it and can you go the distance?

The unrealistic expectations that we sometimes hold of ourselves cause us to repeatedly fall short of our goals (myself included). We have it in our minds that it’ll be easy to accomplish and when faced the actuality of it, opt out and resign to a life of mediocrity.

With anything worth having, you will have to put the work in, not only in attaining it but to maintain it also. Whether it’s money, career, relationships, family, if it is to be successful, you will have to constantly work for/at it.

What does the work look like in real life? Time, effort, patience, sacrifice, discipline, self-control, consistency, commitment, developing, sweat, tears, failure, restarting, stress, balance, challenge, criticism, the list is endless. And yes, looking at that list it’s very easy to see why anyone would say ‘It’s not for me bro’, but if you want it, it’s a package deal- You can’t pick and choose the bits you want.

In my experience, when trying to change anything, the idea is to focus your energy on one thing. Full focus and attention on one thing is bound to produce greater results at a rapid rate than giving your divided attention to many things. The latter is also a sure fire way to not only be ineffective but stagnant. You will feel like you’re working but the reality is you’re working on too many of the wrong things at the same time and going nowhere fast.

Now I’m not advocating that you abandon everything else, simply that you devote most of your efforts to accomplishing one thing before diversifying. Become skilled at one thing and that will give you the necessary tools to increase your success rate in other areas of your life. Continue as you are? Well you already know what that looks like.

Xo

‘If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You’

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I’d be the first to say I like an easy life. Stress and drama are not my kindred and so far as is possible I avoid it, but sometimes you simply can’t, sometimes its necessary.

I saw the above title on Instagram yesterday and all the ways this statement applies came flooding through my mind; the gym, my career, my relationships.

When hardship comes, we often look for the quickest way to stop it, instead of looking at how this can shape us to be better. We don’t want to struggle or to feel pain, but truth be told whether we like it or not it’ll come, the real test is in how we deal with it.

The challenges that come our way are an opportunity to become better and refine our character, however this will not be possible if every time something threatens our comfort we run or shut down.

Challenge is an integral part of anyone’s development, learn to embrace it and make it work for you not against you. When next it crosses your path, refuse to run or shut down, ask yourself ‘How can this make me better?’

Xo

Shaken, Not Stirred (Part 2)

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Part 1

“Jamal!, what’s taking you so long?” Emmy came bounding through the front door irritated that she’d been waiting for what felt like hours in the car. 

She stopped in her tracks as she took in the breadth of what was before her eyes. Chelle, butt naked on the floor and Jamal standing over her. 

Jamal’s head snapped back to see his girlfriend staring at him in utter disbelief. “It’s not what it looks like” Jamal stuttered. Emmy didn’t respond. “Let’s go” she said calmly. 

Not another word was said and they left.

Chelle had by this point sat upright with her knees close to her chest and her arms in a tight embrace around them. She was not going to move or make a sound. She wished the wooden flooring would open up and swallow her whole, but when has your deepest desire ever come true when you needed it the most. 

She was still there, live in the flesh, watching the entire scene unfold before her eyes like a showreel except she was the lead character living out her worst moment.

Chelle wasn’t sure what would have been worse, the two words said or Emmy going into a rage and beating the absolute crap out of her. It’s like when you’ve done something bad and your parents sit you down and say “I’m disappointed”. Those two words have the power to shift worlds and make any person rethink their entire existence. You’d much rather they scold you, that way they can feel guilty in the end, but no, they won’t give you the power. That’s how this moment felt to Chelle.

She sat there with her back against the steel cold leg of the God forsaken island and sobbed. Her body shook with the memories of all the things that went wrong over the past three years. She cried for her short comings and failures. She wept for her loneliness.

Two beeps were heard from her phone. With a wet nose and hot tears streaming down her face, she crawled over to where it was, hoping it was a message from God saving her from her current plight. It wasn’t. The message read “Be out by Sunday”. 

Murphy’s law was in full effect and Chelle could do nothing but wail herself to sleep. 

The sunlight coming through a gap of the closed curtains woke Chelle up. She stirred but didn’t move a limb. It was two hours later before she moved her body and slowly gathered her bearings. It was at that moment that she realised the mahogany stained floor had been her pillow and bed for the night. As she began to wonder how she ended up there, the events from last night came flooding back. She considered laying back down but the discomfort and aches in her body influenced her otherwise. 

With nothing left to give she walked towards her room. It seemed so foreign to her like she was seeing it for the first time and in some ways she was. She’d outgrown this space. This way of living and feeling hurt too much and she was spent.

Maybe this would be a great opportunity for change. She could have a do over and leave everything behind. She never did belong here, this was a poor attempt to live a life that she knew deep down wasn’t for her.

She picked up her laptop, typed in what she was looking for, done. 

Taking only a few treasured items and passport, she left. Chelle would return home.

Xo

This is 30!

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I wish I could give you a play by play of everything that has been happening over the past few weeks but we’d be here forever. A few words to describe it would be a rollercoaster of emotions, testing and exciting.

At times it felt like a line from Mary Mary’s Shackles ‘everything that could go wrong, all went wrong at one time’. I couldn’t catch a break. For every disappointment, I steamrolled my way forward, refusing to stop, just dusting myself off and keeping it pushing. Of course there is only so long you can continue on that path until it all falls down, and that came the day before my birthday, a few hours before my dinner party. My emotions boiled over and momentarily a dam broke. Fortunately, I didn’t have the capacity to wallow in it because I had a dinner to be at, and not just any dinner at that, MY 30th birthday dinner.

The dinner was amazing! I am so fortunate to have had great people to help organise, plan and oversee the proceedings of the day as I could not have done it without them. It’s a huge blessing to also have friends and family that would show up and I’m incredibly grateful.

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What do I think so far about being 30? It’s been 3.5 days and its too soon to have a fully formed answer to this, but so far, it feels like a coming into something new. I have renewed energy to appreciate the things that I have and to make even better what I have been given. Ironically,  I also feel like the baby of the next decade (lol) which is great and I don’t feel so “old”.

I’m excited about what’s next and looking forward to the year ahead. I want to be able to say this time next year “What a difference a year makes” in the most wonderful way.

What do you want to say this time next year?

Xo

 

 

 

20 Things to Know in Your 20’s – Part 2

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

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

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

Xo

The Year of Realisations

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As much as some find it purposeful, my writing is my remedy and I hope you’ll allow me to continue to use this platform to express myself as necessary and bear with me whilst I go through this weird phase.

A friend of mine would often say “Wow, the year of realisations” in response to anything (usually funny stuff) that takes her by surprise. I have a similar use for that phrase except the surprises are a bit more painful than funny.

I have recently had to question and re-evaluate some of the friendships that I have and it hurts to know that perception isn’t always reality.

The realisation that the esteem I held people in isn’t mutual is a hard pill to swallow. What concerns me more is having to look at myself and ask how did I get it so wrong? Why did I give of myself in a way that would yield such little return or regard?

I share this purely to show that irrespective of who anyone is, everyone deals with similar things.

How will I go forward with this new ‘enlightenment?’ Time and wise counsel from God. The one thing I do not want to do is harden my heart and become bitter, because let’s be real that will do more damage to me than it’ll ever do to them.

Relationships of any kind are hard work and require consistent reciprocal effort, compromise and compassion. If these are missing then it’s time to release the noose from around your neck and free yourself.

You cannot be of service from an empty space, you have to be full and part of that comes through your relationships with others.

Remember this, if there’s no love in it, leave it.

…In other news this is how I’m trying to be for the rest of the week:


LIT!

Xo

P.s I’ll be back to normal asap.

Turning 30: 20 Things to Know in Your 20’s

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Can I scream? Am I allowed? I feel like I need to or rather I am going to.

This week has been, how do I put it nicely, challenging. I don’t know whether it is because I am turning 30 in exactly a week or there is something in the water but whatever it is, I need it to hurry up and go away.

In light of this pending new age, I thought it’d be good to do a list of the 20 things to know in your 20’s of what I have learnt, loved and lost.

As someone who is nearing the end of their 20’s you can only imagine the level of anxiety that I and many others like me are experiencing. By my culture and this societies standards,  I needed to have been married, had a baby, bought a home, a thriving career and lots of money in the bank. Ha! Almost none of those have happened.

So here are the first five things I have learnt about my 20’s:

  1. Use your youth. If you can work, work, if you can create, create. Use the energy that you have now as over time you may not have the same intensity. Think Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel, and Jessica Matthew, to name a few
  2. Look after your credit so it can look after you.
  3. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Form friendships of value. In any relationship it is a give and take
  4. Have wild ambitions but set realistic goals towards achieving them. Don’t say you want to be a best-selling author by the end of the month yet you haven’t begun your story. Make the steps towards achieving your goals practical and achievable and over a period of time, you will accomplish it.
  5. If you have an idea, build on it now. There’s absolutely no such thing as the perfect time. Will you fall flat on your face? Most likely. But what you will learn will be invaluable to your growth and development.

Growing into adulthood isn’t easy and as with anything there’ll be highs and lows, you just have to learn how to roll with it.

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I’m smiling inside, I promise.

See you tomorrow!

XO

P.s I am accepting virtual gifts next week 🙂

 

 

Hard Lessons: The 100th Time

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You know a couple of weeks ago when I said sometimes the things you go through isn’t just for you it’s for others? Well that would be me right now. Huff.

I make good progress and feel like my decisions are sound and BOOM Abort! Abort! Abort! Too late, a f**k up.

I am kicking myself because I am so sure that I shouldn’t be in this position. I should have known it wasn’t a great idea, I should have left when I was supposed to, I should not have committed even just a little bit if I knew that I would not go the distance, I should have had the foresight to see what could go wrong, and the rhetoric goes on and on and on.

Needless to say, that particular dialogue is unhelpful, in fact it’s rather useless. I have two options; continue with that line of thought or be pragmatic about it. I, although challenging to do, have chosen the latter.

When things don’t go as expected, it’s very easy to wallow and sing woe is me, however it’s much more work to will yourself to see the upside and press forward.

In evolving forward, a good place to start is by taking responsibility for the part you have played. Think about what you did, what effects did it have? Was it positive or negative? What are the ramifications?  Get a full picture of what has taken place. You see, the mess isn’t necessarily created in that instant, it’s usually prepped and primed beforehand, meaning there are things we have done that contributed to what we now experience.

But, let’s be honest, we’re all winging this thing called life. We’re figuring it out as we go along, making mistakes, failing, falling, and everything else in between, yet those are the very things that can propel us forward to something even better. A chance to grow and be great is, irrespective of our circumstances, a blessing.

Embrace the things that cause you to question yourself and re-evaluate your choices as that will lead you (should you choose) to something worthwhile.

Okay, I’m going now, I have some figuring out to do but I’ll be back soon enough. Until then, *sings* goodbye my lover, I mean have a super sexy week ahead! Yes I said super sexy 🙂

Xo

Finishing Strong

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Typically around this time of the year we start to reflect on all that we’ve done. We look at what’ve achieved and what we haven’t.

We examine closely the things we didn’t get to do and resign to saying ‘2018’ is my year. Pray tell, how will 2018 be any different if you’re not doing anything different? You still think the same, speak the same, act the same, have the same conversations, do the same things and somehow it’ll be…different?

I want you to remember that 2017 isn’t over yet and there is so much we can still do in creating the life we want to live.

Now I don’t have all the answers but I do know a little something that might help. I learnt something recently from my mentor that has helped shape what I do now and it’s this; the work is your habits.

What do your habits say about you and your life? The state of your life is in direct correlation to the habits you have nurtured and practice on a daily basis. For example, if you work out regularly, it’s likely to be evident in your fitness, physique and mentality. Like the saying goes the proof is the pudding.

After a long day at work, like most I just want to plop onto my bed. I don’t want to do any ‘house stuff’ least especially laundry. The clothes are on my bed and I gear up to swiftly push them to the side and curl up on my bed but I pause. What does this act do for me? 1) Fosters laziness and procrastination 2) Increases workload 3) Messy space, messy life 4) Lack of clarity…you see, that ‘little thing’ isn’t worth all that comes with it, so in most cases, I’ll sort it there and then. Everything you do, is mapping out your life.

So, as you go about your daily activities today think about this, what is what I’m about to do say about me and my life? And if you find that the answer is negative, there is your starting point for you to do something about it.

Check your habits and if you don’t like the results it produces, change your habits.

Xo

Somebody’s Watching

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Somebody’s watching and I am not talking about ‘big brother’.

You’re out there minding your business and then suddenly you feel warm and conscious. You look up to meet the unexpected gaze of a stranger.

Instinctively you offer up an awkward smile, but you notice that they feel more uncomfortable than you do. They were caught in the act. The act of admiring you from afar, wondering what you’re like as a person, if you have any quirks or nuances that they can pick up on, how you think, what you’re doing and so on.

Figuratively speaking there is always someone watching especially in this social media age where people can have access to you 24/7. Needless to say we have become obsessed with paying acute attention to other people’s lives, but, that isn’t always a bad thing and here’s why. People have the opportunity to learn, grow and be inspired by you, your life and your work.

I say all of that to say this; do not think for a second that what you have to offer to the world is not necessary, irrespective of how small or big it might be, somebody needs it. You have birthed those aspirations, dreams and visions for a reason and in most cases it’s not just for you.

Someone you don’t know needs what you have to offer the world. Someone you don’t know values who you are. Someone you don’t know believes you’re necessary. Someone you don’t know is rooting for you and your success. However, none of this can happen if you choose to keep who you are to yourself.

Now this isn’t a call for you to immediately put your life on full blast for everyone to see, simply an encouragement to stay committed to whatever you believe your purpose is. One of mine is this here blog. I have considered shutting this site down a trillion times, but my gut feeling won’t let me. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter whether or not there are hundreds of readers, just do the work. Whatever happens once I press publish is not my business (I mean it is but you know what I mean), I have done what I am suppose to do and until I feel led otherwise, that is what I’ll continue to do.

And yes, sometimes the things you do on the surface won’t make sense or you might feel that it is not valuable, however if you are certain that this is what you’re meant to do then it’ll work out either now or later. Learn to trust the timing of your life as it is never late or wrong, it’s just right for you.

IMG_2890 My nephew and I.

…And keep up the good work xo

P.s I hope your week ahead is full of sparkle, miracles and constant good news!

The Ugliness of it All

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Like Giggs infamous lyrics say ‘It will get bloody, it will get gory’, such is the premise of progression, success and greatness.

I had a ‘moment’ yesterday where I felt like the aspirations and plans I had for my life weren’t happening nor had they come to pass.

I silenced everything and connected with that feeling. I allowed whatever emotion that came to me to flow, which in this case was tears. And I’m not a crier or I should say I don’t like crying.

After talking and meditating, clarity came; things will get ugly before it becomes beautiful.

You ever look at something or someone and think this came together like magic? Well it wasn’t magic, unless magic is effort, hard work, smart work, patience, dedication, consistency, passion, failure, tears, sweat, perseverance, losing, ungratefulness, unappreciation, stress, doubt, producing rubbish, then I suppose it is, but nothing great ever just happens.

A house didn’t always look like a house

A car didn’t always look like a car

Serena Williams wasn’t always THE Serena Williams

Everything had a small beginning, a messy middle and a refined end…and then repeat.

The difference between those that succeed and those that don’t, is tenacity. Successful people do not give up, they grow through it .

So, the question is, do you want to be successful or nah? If so, then expect that sometimes there’ll be confusion, wins, self-doubt, high points, losses, success and so on, it’s part and parcel.

SW2

Don’t let the ugliness of it all deter you from believing and working towards better.

Xo

P.s I haven’t forgotten about the challenge, I did one of mine, did you?

 

One Person Can

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A new opportunity has arisen for me and I subsequently began to think about the possibilities of what I’ll be able to do, change and improve upon. The excitement of it all boiled over. And then one thought stopped me in my tracks, “I’m one person, can I really make the difference I envision making?”. I immediately felt a sense of dejection.

“How can I, one small person make an impact? I am inexperienced and who’ll take me seriously anyway?…”. I fortunately wasn’t granted the liberty of continuing on that downward spiral because I was reminded of all the amazing things we get to enjoy and learn from in our society that was brought about by ONE person making the decision to be the change they wanted to see.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the people I admire. Her books, intellect and being her unapologetic self, are a few things that both inspire and teach me…but what if? What if she decided that her voice wasn’t worth being heard? What if she decided that Purple Hibiscus is a pile of crap and dumped it in the bin? What if she never picked up a pen? I shudder.

Chimamanda

So this is for me as it is for you, don’t allow your current circumstances, inexperience or insecurities deprive you of believing that you are necessary and what you have to offer is valuable. Hold on to that little voice telling you can, because you can.

Xo

P.s How’s your challenge going?

 

New Week: Press Reset

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Who taught you to stop believing?

Do you remember being a child and believing in the impossible? Nothing was off limits. I can recall countless times where whatever I thought of or believed in happened. I’m not going to share what some of them were, because I am certain someone will want to cart me off to the head doctor.

I spent so much of my childhood especially being the only child for almost 10 years (and at that point you’re still an only child because of the age gap), living in my imagination. I would conjure up stories, desires and situations which made my young life that much richer. Life, however, has other plans and slowly all the negative things get the better of us and we soon forget how to manifest and live more.  But I want to get back there, living as a child does, with no doubts, little fear and great ambition.

I asked myself this question, ‘how do we not become bogged down with the negative things that have happened, to cause us to believe less?’ The answer I received is this, learn and let go.

Think about it, a lot of children when they hurt themselves or don’t succeed at doing something, they get right back up and do it again. A child learning to walk after falling down a few times doesn’t suddenly say ‘yeah this walking stuff isn’t for me’, they carry on trying until they get it. The recollection of how badly it went wrong the first time is but a distance memory to them; they learn and they move on.

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One of the ways we can implement this ability is by following this principle by the good book, where it says but transformed by the renewing of your mind. One interpretation of this that you have to constantly, daily even, press reset.

With this in mind, I have decided to push myself beyond my self-inflicted limitations and I would love for you to join me.

Pick one thing that you have found to be a challenge to accomplish. It could be going to the gym 4 times a week, finishing off a proposal, having that business meeting, registering your company, making that dreaded phone call to a family member that you have not spoken to in years, buying a house, it could be absolutely anything. Decide that by the end of the week (19.11.17), you would have either done it or are one step closer to doing it. The one step does have has to be a huge step (no pressure 🙂 ).

My challenge has dragged on for many years, but I am determined to pull my finger out! I’ll definitely share mine next Monday, eek!

In the water

I’ll leave with this which I wholly believe in, it is always better to have tried something than to not have tried at all. You learn so much quicker when you do than when you don’t.

See you on the flipside!

Xo

The Single Life

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Navigating through life certainly has its ups and downs and I am starting to think that with some things there is no right or wrong, only better.

In keeping with the theme of other posts this week, I thought I’d share 2 things single (and non-single) people should do before entering or considering a relationship.

Now before you give me the side-eye about this, yes I am single, however I’ve had a fair bit of experience to know what has worked and not worked for me. We know by now that desperation doesn’t work and is at the top of the ‘Do not do’ list.

There’s no point in entering into an unhealthy and unedifying relationship for the sake of not being alone or keeping up with the status quo. When we get into one, although it might be challenging, we want it to match our fly and be everything we’ve ever imagined it could be. To get this we have to be right ourselves.

So, let’s get into this list.

  1. Know thy self. What knowing yourself does is set the standards you have for your life. It means you’d know bullshit when you see it, you’d know when something is right for you and when it’s not and you will not compromise on what it is you want just because it seems like it’s not happening yet. In other words, knowing yourself is knowing your power and because of this you are intentional in creating the world and life you want to live. Knowing yourself builds confidence in how and what you do with your life, for example, if someone comes along and says you’ll never amount to anything, you’d be able to laugh at them as you know who you are, what you’re capable of and they do not determine what that looks like, you do. You can also see your ex’s recent engagement and not be moved by it, because you know what is for you is for you. Getting to this level of surety does require a large amount of introspection and a lot of work, it’s definitely not an overnight stint. When you don’t know yourself, you’ll easily accept anything and everything that comes your way, when you do, you won’t- Don’t play yourself.

 

  1. Work on yourself. Focus on the things that you know has been harmful to you or that can be improved upon. For a while I had it in my head that I’d always be alone or that I’m the black sheep. The reason this became a belief system is because I was constantly questioned as to why I am single and made to feel (or should I say I allowed them to) like there was something wrong with me. I soon accepted it as gospel. I have since spent time changing the rhetoric that I have repeated to myself for years and replaced it with one that believes in myself more and trusts my intuition. What if you don’t know what needs to be worked on? Here’s one hint, stop ignoring the little voice telling you there is something wrong here, as I often say to my friend ‘unpack’ it, meaning examine/learn the root cause. Whatever your beliefs are will be mirrored in your life, nothing is by mistake, we are all creators after all…let that marinate.

Doing these two things alone is sure to bring you much more of what you want. Okay granted, its not that simple or straightforward but simply becoming more aware of yourself is a great start in itself and things will evolve as time passes.

The journey is worth it.

Xo

Cuffing Season

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Winter is here! And cuffing season is upon us. The struggle to find a bae is real. 

For those of you that don’t know what cuffing season is, by my definition it’s the autumn/winter period where due to the drastic change in weather, people find themselves a partner. It may be for the purpose of cuddling, having someone to go home to, Netflix and Chill, Christmas and all the other reasons to have a significant other. After all no one really wants to be alone especially during the festive period.

What makes C-Season particularly different is the urgency increases and the standards decrease and my thought is this: don’t let desperation take you where your backside(ass) isn’t supposed to be. 

One more time for those of you at the back.

Don’t 

Let

Desperation 

Take 

You 

Where

Your 

Backside(ass)

Isn’t 

Supposed 

To 

Be. 

And this is for all times and all things.

Let me tell you about this one time I found myself in a predicament I had no business being in. 

This time last year I was a mess! I literally hopscotched from one crappy ‘relationship’ to another shitty ‘relationship’ and why? Because my backside(ass) was, dare I admit it, desperate to change my status with a quickness. I was tired of being in an unfulfilling relationship and stupidly entertained another one that had the ‘appearance’ of being a good one. I was so wrong! And life taught me an invaluable lesson to mind my mother******* business. Fortunately for me, I was only bruised and not broken.

Things will transpire organically, there is never a need to manipulate or force life to happen for you the way you want it because 1) It’s likely to be more detrimental for you and 2) Because of number 1. 

Don’t allow society or the people around you, pressurise you into making a decision with potentially permanent effects based on a temporary feeling. Do focus on having fun and living your best life.

As always there is a time to sow and a time to harvest, just like seasons change so do circumstances.

Xo

Would You Date You?

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Would you date you? Be honest.

Not your typical Monday spiel but I think it’s worth thinking about it.

Whether you’re single, dating or in a relationship, every status is a minefield that needs to be broached with care and lots of thought. But, let’s talk about a significant other.

A lot of people often have long lists of wants and expectations that they themselves have no intention of meeting, do not meet and probably wouldn’t recognise even if it were right in front of them. So the question is, is it then okay to make these demands of others when you fall short yourself?

I do believe that the people in your life are a reflection of what you intrinsically believe about yourself and how you think. This of course will inform your decision on what you do and how you act. Ultimately it means that you attract what you are. So…I say this next bit with love, would the people you want to have in your life want you too? Again, be honest.

Yes, we are all wonderful in our own way, however, there is always always room for improvement.

Have a think about the question above and if you decide that yes there are things you can do to be better, start doing the work. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect the improvements to happen overnight, but with time, effort and consistency, it will begin to manifest.

Become the person you would want to have around you.

Xo

P.s I’m going to be back this week. I know I know, I say this all the time don’t I? and suddenly disappear, I am working on it, honest 🙂

Who’s Whispering In Your Ear?

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Who’s whispering in your ear?

Do the people around you validate your fears? Do they exacerbate an already bad situation with their opinions and presence? Do they tell you about all the terrible ways they have dealt with things and encourage you to do the same? Do they knock your dreams? If so, drop them, now!

I am very very mindful about who I confide in concerning the matters of my life. One of the things I recommend not doing, is going around telling any and everyone who would listen about your problems or aspirations and here’s why:

When you speak to people who do not see the bigger picture, who are perpetually negative, who do not aspire to do or be better, whose life’s a constant mess, you’ll end up in the same position that you’ve always been in or worse still in the position they have always been. Their words and actions are infectious, make no mistake about it.

You need people in your life that will challenge your behaviour and thoughts, who will correct you when you’re wrong, who will give you a different perspective on things, who are actively in pursuit of manifesting their dreams and who have accomplished many and great things in their lives. You DO NOT want to speak to those who have achieved nothing great or positive, have given up on their dreams, who are constant complainers and always have something negative to say. You might not know it but the words and things you hear and see are shaping the world around you every single day. They are more influential than you think as whatever goes into your ears and eyes feeds you.

A couple of times a month or more I drive through the area I want to live in because I have to be reminded of my goals and what’s possible. If there is nothing around you that reiterates what you want in your life, you have to go there physically. Take yourself there through what you listen to, who you speak to, where you go, what you do and lastly through your imagination. And you always have your imagination. 

…Psst, let me whisper something in your ear, come closer, a bit more, perfect, go be great.

whisper

Xo

 

Sixth Sense

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I knew spilling my guts on here would help me out. Phew!

It’s like having a good old cry and suddenly having clarity afterwards, or when you’re having a bad day and opt to just sleep it off and you wake up feeling better. That’s what writing out my jargon on here did for me, so thank you.

Letting it flow will always produce much better results that forcing it to go. 

One of the things I heavily rely to do this, is my intuition and its especially handy with my writing. I go with what I sense rather than what I think.

You might not believe it, but you actually know what’s good for you, you simply don’t trust yourself enough to go with it.

So before you rest your eyes tonight, take a little bit of time to figure out the answers to the following:

  1. What you are feeling?
  2. Why you are feeling it?
  3. What’s taking place?
  4. Where you are heading next?

Sounds like a lot, but you can very quickly figure things out if you really focus on getting answers. Use your sixth sense (everyone has it, you just have to listen) to guide you to a better life.

Life has its own ebb and flow that if you pay real close attention to, will serve you well. Go against it and you’ll be fighting the change you actually want for much longer and a whole lot harder.

Even if its not clear to you now, it will be over time, flow with it.

Trust it, trust yourself.

Goodnight xo

Major Key Alert

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I am constantly reminded that a major key to success is consistency. Even when you get the thing you have worked for, you have to maintain it and maintaining it requires consistent action.  Relationships, money, career, health, home, everything needs to be maintained and in some cases improved upon by consistent effort. It will be near impossible to sustain something if the energy you devote to it is every once in while.

10% effort means 10% results, in fact that’s a lie, what you will most likely get is less than 10% results.  Your output has to be greater than what you want. So if you want 100% results then you must put in 130% (not an accurate figure) consistently and this applies to absolutely everything, especially when you are just starting out.

Now, I have to be honest or I should say realistic, it may take months, years even before you start to see the fruits of your labour and you have to be okay with that. You will sometimes feel like giving up but you owe it to yourself to see things through. Trust me, those steps that you take repeatedly that feel and look like nothing to you, will one day materialise into something worthwhile.

No one who has attained great success in anything did it once. Your fav spent YEARS investing in themselves for you to see them as they are, so hold tight, keep working and when the time is ripe, it will happen.

W(ait)ork for it.

Xo

P.s This post is more for me than it is for you. I have work to do…ugh.

In Hot Pursuit of…Happiness

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I worry about losing myself in pursuit of creating the best life. I think about the cost of the sacrifice and if at all, it’ll all be worth it in the end.

It frightens me the influence money has over the lives of many, although it’s not hard to see why as it does provide a certain quality of life the more you have of it. At least that is the belief.

I like to learn from others and I spend a lot of time studying people so as to not make the same mistakes they’ve made or better still to emulate their successes.

Amongst the people I have paid close attention to, some of which are extremely accomplished, there seems to be a reoccurring theme that they all speak of. Their successes are not an immediate solution to unhappiness. It is not a master key and it certainly doesn’t unlock a lifetime’s supply continuous joy and contentment.

Just so you get the gist of what I am talking about, please have a watch of this video before you read on https://www.youtube.com com /watch?v=zYDKCx4hSQQ.

We think reaching our goals will bring us everything we have ever wanted (not so, as there’ll be the next thing to obtain), but in all honesty it may just provide temporary satisfaction because our happiness isn’t supposed to be incumbent on the things we acquire or even upon people. It is and always has been an inside job.

Now by no means am I advocating that you give up on your dreams and settle for whatever comes your way, what I am imploring however is a need to check in with yourself and evaluate your life. Be a free thinker, decide what is best for you void of external factors and stimulants and choose to BE happy.

The video below, sums up a few of my thoughts on happiness and achieving it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDQRYbINeNM . I hope it enlightens you.

…And whatever you do, have a wonderful time doing it!

Xo

Have You Done It Yet?

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A couple of days ago, my mind wondered back to being a child and what made things so much simpler.

I thought about all the things I had achieved then both great and small and one thing that I remember not doing is thinking. I just did.

I didn’t think about whether or not I’ll be good at cartwheels, I just did it until I was.

I didn’t think about whether or not I was a good reader, my hand shot up when asked for a volunteer and over time I got better.

I didn’t think about if I’d be good at 100m, I just ran on the tracks until I was faster.

I didn’t think I was stupid, I just applied myself until I improved.

As children (preteens, because teenagers are hormonal aka crazy) we didn’t sit there and ruminate over all the things that could go wrong like we do now. We spent more time doing things, getting it wrong and doing it again until we got it right or became better.

Which brings me to my point, many of us cancel on a dream without having attempted it. Did you hear me? Without having attempted it.

One more time for effect…

Without

Having

Attempted

It!

Do you know how crazy that is? You haven’t tried it, but you have convinced yourself it won’t work. Maybe in your case it’s that you are doing ‘things’ but the truth is you don’t really believe it will happen so you half arse it.

You miss 100% of shots that you don’t take and you can’t half arse anything!

And yes I’m absolutely guilty of this.

We need to revert back to that childlike attitude or better still evolve into mind-set that removes limitations.

So before you go cancelling on your dreams that you’ve not even worked on yet or doubting them, do it and keep doing it again and again and again and again.

The success I have experienced didn’t magically appear, it came from taking repeated action. I had to do the work, there’s absolutely no other way around it than to do it.

Humour me, the next thing your mind thinks of doing, use the immediate 5 minutes that follows to put something into action. Its harder to stop something you have already started…right?

Xo

They Don’t Support Me

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First off, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented, shared, messaged me about my posts, I don’t think I have ever really shown gratitude but I am truly grateful!

I just came across a post of someone laminating about having fake friends, the lack of support and how much they do for others but it’s not reciprocated blah blah blah. Sorry, that’s life. We’re all guilty.

My flesh and blood till date still don’t get the name of blog/company right never mind having read any of my 100+ posts and likewise I am sure there are bunch of things I don’t show my family enough gratitude for.

We don’t always get an equal return on our investment. Could you ever come close to repaying back your mother? I think not.

It’s not your business to pay attention to those that are not interested, your duty is to pay attention to those that ARE vested in you.

For whatever reason we have been wired to focus on all the negatives. We shouldn’t, especially when we are inundated with so many positives.

So what one person didn’t show up to your birthday? There were 10 others that did. Only 5 people liked your blog post, that’s 5 more people than 0. You missed your bus to get to work, at least you have a job to go to, someone else is searching for one as we speak and has bills coming out of their crack and no immediate means to take care of them. You missed an audition, okay are there not others? No matter the circumstance, there are positives, you just have to look for them and FOCUS on that instead.

Would you believe I had a car accident over the weekend worse than the one I had a few weeks ago. Yes you read right a few weeks ago. Talk about a tough break. Was I out of sorts for a couple of days? Sure I was. But guess what? I am alive as is the other driver. It could have been so different, my last blog post could have been the last one forever.

Whatever you focus on EXPANDS. You zone in on the negatives, surprise surprise more negative things come your way. Do the opposite and the same will follow suit.

Take your mind off the things that didn’t work, the people that do not support you, the plans that failed to launch, and look for the positives in all situations.

Love on those that love on you. Show gratitude to those that are there for you and do support you . Appreciate the things you do have and you’ll see that there will be more of these things.

Shift your focus, life is much better that way.

Xo

Say No to Yes People

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I was rereading my last post and thinking about the kind of people I have around me.  Although I love them dearly, I noticed that there are some that will feed into my plight rather than snap me out of it and that is dangerous.

For example, you’ve had a bad day and you call your friend to moan. What then followed were exchanges of experiences and a reinforcement of how ‘right’ you are to feel crap. When you get off the call, do you feel better? Typically no and if you do, it’s likely to be temporary.

Sure, there are times that you just need to vent and get things off your chest but whoever you go to must be someone of sound reasoning and mind.

Say no to people who unfailingly reaffirm your shitty feelings, to people who are not able to gently correct you, to people who mollycoddle you into believing you’re always right, to people who agree with everything you say, to people who do not have a healthy positive outlook on life. Those people have a greater influence on your life than you know and faith comes by hearing, so the more you hear the wrong type of things, the more you believe in it, make sense?

To put it simply, in times of stress and frustration, do not go to the constantly stressed and frustrated.

Xo

P.s Have a great week ahead!

Don’t Sleep on Yourself

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I was looking through Instagram as you do and I came across the fabulous shoe designer Monika Chaing. After browsing through a few of her pictures, I was transported back to 2010 when I had aspirations of creating a shoe line that would represent all the different sides of me-I love shoes!

That same year I was at a club with Jon B (yes the Jon B) and he commented on how he loved my shoes and that his wife would love them too.  A tiny piece of me died inside, talk about missed opportunity. The shoes I was wearing at the time were not my own design, there were a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes, but just imagine if they were? Ugh.

Thing is I had been working on the shoe line but was yet to have a product in my hand. I thought to myself if only I had a little bit more time I could have passed on my details and the rest would have been history.

Needless to say that over time I became weary and stopped trying.

Looking through Monika Chaing’s feed reminded me of that and all the other ideas (there have been many) that I had started, made progress on and then shortly gave up on. Where would they have been now if I persisted? What could I have created within the last 10 years if I had stuck through all the obstacles that I would have faced? I don’t even want to think about it, but I do know there’s a high chance I wouldn’t be sitting behind my work desk typing this.

What I hadn’t realised at the time was that dreams do not manifest overnight. They are like babies, they have to be nurtured and attended to constantly. Did you hear me? Constantly!

Now I’m not about to be all self-deprecating after all I have blogged for 3 years and that for me is an accomplishment!

Do something now that your future self will thank you for. It could be in any area of your life, great or small. Start and persist with it and remember Rome was not built in a day.

You owe it to yourself to live out your dreams to the fullest.

Xo

When Things Go Wrong

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I think there is something about speaking of things you are going to do and it ultimately going tits-up right after.

It feels like every time I speak of something I am going to do publicly, it doesn’t happen. Is there some sort of wicked force that actively works against me in that moment? If there is they need to cut that shit out.

For example, I said I would do a daily diary and that didn’t materialise in the way that I wanted (Sorry 😦 ), yet I had every intention on doing so and even made the efforts towards making this a reality but it just didn’t happen.

On the flip side, there have been many occasions where what I speak of comes to pass. It’s usually in cases where I haven’t put much thought into things or did not direct ALL my energy towards it and BOOM! Manifestation. My point? Think it, work on it, let go of the outcome.

There is also another lesson here for me to learn in how I approach things going forward, don’t speak about what you’re going to do, ever, just do it. With all things, just do it.  

So as the momentum for the 7 day diary has passed, we’re going to scrap that altogether and go with the flow. I am a firm believer in letting things be and not forcing the unnatural to happen because it just won’t. All it will cause is further frustration and the thing you want to get hot wheels and keep running from you.

When things go wrong, and you make a few attempts to fix the issue and it doesn’t work, do yourself a favour; let the chips fall where they may. Some things simply have to fall apart before they can come together again. It needs that space for whatever it is to breathe, evolve and settle, then and only then can true change take effect.

Take a deep breath and momentarily, let it be.

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Xo

P.s Maybe I’ll revisit this 7 day diary…or not lol.

 

Day 4: FML

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I believe I said that I would go to the gym on Wednesday? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I ended up going for dessert with my neighbour. And yes the dessert was amazing! Waffles with Nutella spread all over and crushed Oreos, mmm yum, but erm no good for my body goals. 

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29 June 2017

Today was an utter disaster! 

I had been planning and prepping for a work event for weeks. No stone was left unturned. I was pedantic, no, manic with every detail, but where did it all go wrong? Technology. Good ol’ technology! It did me so dirty today, I was livid. Every expletive you know of, was used. From the beginning of the event till the end, I spent it trying to connect Skype calls, carry out presentations, communicate with multiple people and take notes- epic fail. One thing I do not like is to look or be incompetent. I don’t even like the idea of it.  

Sure, everyone was really understanding and I was even applauded at the end for all my efforts but that’s not the point! Where’s bloody Olivia Pope when you need her? The universe clearly had other plans. Murphy’s f**king law. 

My mood was so bad that I almost cancelled my plans to meet a group of friends, which had been organised a month ago.  

I raved and ranted to a gentleman friend, who ever so kindly came down to meet me at London Bridge for a quick drink before I had to meet my other friends. So sweet. 

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Needless to say my evening did get better thanks to him and a few others. For that, I am grateful. 

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I even got a gift from a good friend of mine from his trip to New Orleans, which is one of the places on my hit list to visit.

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That’s all folks till hopefully, tomorrow :s

Xo

P.s That wasn’t a lot of writing but trust me, what I had written before was total crap, nothing made sense!

Day 3: Flights and Feelings

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You know I said I was going to the gym last night right? Well, I didn’t quite make it.

I took the selfie below and immediately after, I was struck with a very painful belly ache. It felt like someone was wringing out my stomach, hurt like a mother! I decided to forgo the gym for that night. Who knows what the belly ache was protecting me from?…

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Work today has been hectic, I’m lying, most days at work are hectic! Still, it’s not been a bad day except for me leaving work late again, which means I’ll probably be late again for my counselling session this evening.

Yup, you read right, coun-sel-ling- ses-sion. Times have changed, its not for ‘specific’ people anymore, its for everyone.

Say it with me “It’s for everyone!”.

With the right counsellor you can really make progress in certain areas in your life. What they are able to do is to get you to think, extract and create solutions whilst redirecting you to focal points in your life that need addressing. You might even consider me a counsellor of sorts (without the qualifications) in that I often provide a different perspective on things. They needn’t be seen as some taboo nor should you see yourself as broken if you have one.

In the year that I have been going, it’s helped immensely to have an unbiased ear to listen to my woes and gripes with life. If you have ever pondered on it, I say go for it! Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on this for too long, maybe I’ll share my experience at a later point.

*coughs * can I highlight that I am sharing things here that my nearest and dearest don’t know, sooo let’s keep this a secret okay? (she says whilst posting it on the world wide web, instant fail).

I’m getting off the bus and rushing there now. I’ll be back after my ‘appointment’- I prefer the word appointment, session in this context makes me feel weird. Don’t judge me I haven’t entirely made peace with all parts of counselling, bite me!

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Today’s appointment was interesting.  My counsellor threatened me. Okay she didn’t (Ms Drama Queen Irene), she gave me an assignment that was non-negotiable, but is that not a threat?! Lol.  She has a point though, with previous assignments I generally don’t remember to do them, my mind is too busy. She informed me that if I don’t do it she has a surprise for me, pffft nice choice of words. I didn’t like the sound of that ‘surprise’ so after this I’m going to get started…tomorrow, no, Friday.

They came to check the damages to my car today for repair womp womp womp! It’s great that it’ll get fixed but the cost? 2 years no claims bonus lost, pay the excess and you just KNOW my insurance premium next year is going to be horrible! If you have any ideas how to avoid this, please, please, please let me know. However, I do intend on getting my bike license soon, maybe this would be the right time to abandon driving and get riding.

Before I go, I have to share that my baby brother went on his first holiday today and it tugged on little heart * cries *. Sure, he’s 19 but he will ALWAYS be my baby brother, forever! There’s an 11 year age gap between us so he feels more like my child as does my sister.

He doesn’t need me anymore, this indeed is a sad time 😦 .

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Thats all, see ya and yes I will be going to the gym today.

Xo

P.s I’ll talk about the hashtag #NakedinSummer in my selfie tomorrow. It makes sense, trust me.

Day 2: Dance Fever & Gym Boyfriends.

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I’m back!

After yesterday’s post, I rushed off to a dance studio.

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I decided last week that I was going to get back to one of my first loves, dancing. I’d been meaning to do so for a while, but I couldn’t find classes that fit what I wanted to do, so I said  ‘F it, I’ll teach myself’.

To date, there’s very little that provides me with the feeling of freedom as dance and performing does…Nothing else matters, you just lose or should I say find yourself.

I literally paid for a dance studio for an hour on Friday afternoon. I did my research, found a venue and booked it.

I was excited and a tad nervous even though I was going to be in the room by myself. Ever the investigator, upon getting into the room, I squinted my eyes looking for a camera. I knew that if there was a CCTV camera I’d still be conscious and not completely myself. I didn’t find one,“Yay!”.

Let me tell you, I felt (looked) like a complete fool! LOL. I mean, I can dance in a club but when you’re looking at yourself in a mirror, you really get to see how good or bad you are. My verdict: stiff as a board, but I’m totally okay with that because it means I have lots to improve on. Hold up, I don’t have two left feet, in fact on any given day I’m pretty good, but pretty good is not what I’m after, bloody brilliant is the goal! All in all I left there feeling really rejuvenated and happy with my decision to brave it alone.

Sometimes, its good to do something just for you.

27 June 2017

It’s a very scary thing to witness someone who gave you life be so vulnerable. They’ve cared for you, loved you, disciplined you, practically done everything for you and in a blink of an eye that could all change. My mother is made of solid iron so it was definitely worrying to see her need help.

My mother is however feeling much better today. She still has to rest, but there aren’t any signs of imminent danger. Thank you God!

I’m heading to the gym shortly as I have some major body goals. I want to feel and look the best I have ever done.

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Meagan Good, Teyana Taylor and Sophia Miacova are my current motivators.

You hear it all the time from mothers about how they didn’t appreciate their bodies and if only they knew what they had then and so on. I definitely don’t want to be singing that song.

I want to be happy with that new phase in my life when it comes, knowing that I truly enjoyed myself and my body. Also, you have to be what you want to attract, so buff body it is. That’s not to say my life will stop when children arrive, it won’t, it will just be massively different.

Pre 2017 I hated the gym but needs must. Working out at home wasn’t working and as with a lot of things you have to be in the environment that cultivates the things you want, joining the gym made sense.

I actually like it more now, it makes me feel good especially on a crappy day. Oh and having ‘gym boyfriends’ helps too. Well, they’re not really my boyfriends, merely people who have some sort of ‘interest’, they want to teach me stuff *roll my eyes* everyone is an expert in the gym ha! Like last night, a guy who I’m sure is old enough to be my dad (slight-moderate exaggeration) was asking me to train with him and if we could exchange details. I politely declined. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the affections, it’s nice, but sometimes a girl would like to train in peace even if it means looking like an utter idiot because you really don’t know what the hell you’re doing! I am considering getting a personal trainer though because this lower belly fat has gattogo!

The weather today is PANTS! Talk about grim. Raining cats and dogs “booooo!”, although it’s usually the best time to sleep. I don’t like public transport on a normal day so when it’s raining, erm ew.

I’m babbling now, thats enough from me. I’ll talk about my car drama and anything good (speak it) that happens between now and tomorrow, till then Godspeed!

…And yes today started off much better than yesterday-I win!

Xo

P.s Pictures provided by the muses Instagrams  @meagangood @teyanataylor @sophiamiacova, I don’t own shit.

Let Me Live! (Day 1)

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Hi Guys!

Usually there’s a process when posting, but today isn’t one of those days. I’m writing this off the top of my dome, no editing, nada!

Do you ever feel like you can’t catch a break? As if you are doing a dance with life, taking two steps forward and five steps backwards? And every time that happens you say ‘Commmme orrrnnnnnn (South East London accent), give me a break!’ That would be me right now.

I’d be faking the funk if I said, I was unaffected and I’m thinking positive thoughts because the truth is, I’m not. Being ‘positive’ isn’t high on my priority list. Only a few moments ago did I think, ‘Right, I’m selling all my possessions and going to be mediocre AF’. But that thought lasted all of one minute, it’s not me. That’s the one good thing about my stubborn nature, I don’t relent easily.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what the point of this post is, maybe it will reveal itself shortly…

Okay, I think that’s it. I am going to document for the next 7 days, how my week goes, with every intention of turning it around. Wish me luck! No, better still send me prayers and good intentions.

Oh, the things that started my week of badly? My mother was suddenly unwell, I had a minor but HIGHLY inconvenient car accident (No one was hurt, thankfully), and of course there is long a**, costly a** process that goes along with that, my job is stressful as hell and in between ALL of that, life is happening, ugh.

Touch base tomorrow!

Xo

P.s I promise, I will be back tomorrow, honest 🙂

Life Is Beautiful Yet Tragic

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Life is beautiful yet tragic for the same reason.

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

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

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

You might even say it’s a juxtaposition of sorts as,

In someone’s death, elsewhere there is birth

In someone’s heartache, elsewhere there is love

In someone’s downfall, elsewhere there is victory

In someone’s poverty, elsewhere there is wealth

In someone’s breakdown, there’s a breakthrough

And we should, in some way, take solace in knowing that life will continue with or without us and that is a beautiful thing just as it is tragic.

XO

P.s It’s my 3 year blogging anniversary today, and it’s bittersweet! Thank you for staying with me for this long xoxo

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 🙂