There is so much of the world to see and experience, and what better way to do that than with friends and family, unless…you fight, fall out and break up!
I speak on some of my trips, what happened and whether we bounced back, or not.
We all have events that have changed the course of our lives and who we are today. I share my experience on being uprooted from everything I knew, to start a life at a private boarding school in what was then a foreign country to me.
Man, the pressure.
The pressure to be and do all is immense.
I have been on the go for the past couple of months, and I was afraid of a burnout.
To avoid that, I gave myself an impromptu annual leave from creating last week.
The weekend rolls around, quickly might I add, and a recollection of all I have to do resurfaces.
Waves of overwhelm come and go, and I think ‘Shit, already? It’s not even Monday yet!’.
The urge to stay under a blanket increases.
‘One thing at a time Irene’, I hear myself say. Seconds later, I deflate like a popped balloon, releasing all the pressure, expectations and dread I was filled with.
Yes, you’re right, one thing at a time.
The way many of us live, even with mindfulness, is unnatural. In fact, some of us use mindfulness to fuel us in making the 101 things we think we should be doing, feel ‘sustainable’.
But we’re not robots, even though much of society expects us to be.
Look at what 2019 till date has shown us. The planet (conspiracy theories and all), told us to sit in the corner and do not move. And yet so many of us are eager to get back to living lives that we despised and our bodies hated.
Speed: Slo-mo x 2.0. That’s the setting we need to be on more, at least whilst we figure out what we respectively want for ourselves.
For me, I recognise harmony is important, and part of that means not being resistant to the flow of my life and allowing it to guide what I do. Resistance equals dis-ease, discomfort, and frustration.
In the past, whenever I realised that I was using all of my might to make something to happen, I would stop and do nothing. And every single time I did that, my needs were still met, things worked as it should, and life continued.
I’m always a little amazed at what occurs for and around me without my forceful input.
Granted, it’s not easy to release control, but in such moments, that is what is best.
The earth, without our input, works beautifully and in order. There is no force or great struggle.
It’s us humans, who are always in a hurry and want so much more. We proceed to do, so that we can have, and ultimately move at a pace that are bodies on every plain, cannot handle.
As the week continues, reflect on what you are doing. Do you really have to do it? Will everything crumble if you don’t do it?
Give yourself a break, and just deflate. And then slowly, very slowly, do the thing you authentically connect with.
I deeply connect with philosophy and writing, and therefore I do it, sometimes kicking and screaming, because the semantics bog me down. It’s where I’m meant to be, at least for now.
Don’t be afraid to let a few things go. Trust me, it will be fine without you. You on the other hand, might not be, if you continue to commit to a lifestyle that simply is not fit for your purpose.
It’s been a whole year since the very first lockdown was in place. Disbelief is still something I contend with.
In an instant everything changed, and we all had to adjust to circumstances we’ve never experienced. Still adjusting. Things happened that are irrevocable, and we’ll always have the memories of this unprecedented time.
A different perspective that I wanted to share and for you to consider is, ‘I did it, I made it, I’m getting through it’.
What you thought would break you to point of being irreparable, didn’t, because you’re resilient and powerful.
You’re made of stuff to withstand all the things life throws, and you must acknowledge that, and show lots of love, compassion and kindness to yourself. And that’s not all you did.
You consistently created something out of nothing.
You pivoted like a ballerina and landed perfectly en pointe.
You took things into your own hands, and decided everyday to keep pressing forward even when you didn’t know how.
You mourned great losses, and although it felt like the pain of it all would kill you, it fuelled you and you used to make life a little better.
You still don’t know what tomorrow holds, and yet you’re committed to living life intentionally.
It’s not easy, and there are many days that you’d like to hibernate and wish your life away, but like a butterfly, you emerge from your cocoon, and try again and again and again.
You did that.
Change is inevitable, and we will experience multiple transitions in our lifetime, and when another one does come, I hope you recall how graceful you were in the times before, and know that you can take this on too.
If there is nothing else you take away from me, let ‘stay focused’ be the thing you remember.
I have been a conscious creative for 10 years. An entire decade. And in those years, I have done A LOT.
I didn’t realise how much, until I stumbled across an old USB stick that contained some of my previous work.
I was stunned, and also a little disappointed.
Disappointed, as looking back at me were brilliant ideas, both unfinished and completed, that due to the lack of foresight and belief, I set aside.
In retrospect, I felt that I was on an island alone and in turn began to believe that I wasn’t meant to be there. I soon enough made my way back to doing the norm. I mean how dare I break the mould?
I now know that being alone, and having a vision that no one else sees or understands, is often the prerequisite for something you must do.
You’re in the right place to create something great if no one else gets it.
Take a look around you and touch something.That something was once something unseen and was created by someone initially thought to be stupid, insane, or impractical. We have planes that can take us anywhere in the world. Marinate on that for a moment.
If you have something in your mind that there’s no precedent for, don’t be disheartened or grow weary. Nurture, extract, build or even destroy, to make your vision happen.
No pressure though, you don’t have to, but if you don’t someone else certainly will, so why not you? Stay focused.
We all have an internal GPS that guides us. Taking heed however, is a different matter altogether. This story is about a situ-lationship, that went on for entirely too long because I ignored myself and listened to others.
There are some people I admire and think wow, how did they do that? How did they create this beautiful, innovative, otherworldly thing?
And then like clockwork, I get a nudge reminding me that it didn’t happen overnight. I’m quickly brought back to reality and recognise how they have produced these things; work, a whole lot of work. Add to that work a bit of self-doubt, a nice dose of brokeness, years of winging it and voila!
Most notably is that they all started somewhere.
I say all this as a reminder for me and you, that success is not typically linear. It is often messy, and will have you second-guessing your existence and why you chose this path. The beauty in this, is that you are not alone. Millions of people go through this, so don’t lose hope or give up.
This brings me to part of the reason I have been a little bit awol of late.
You probably saw a random post two weeks ago, with no words, introduction, nothing, just an audio clip.
Well, I am happy to say that I have officially launched my podcast called ‘Why Didn’t You Warn Me?!’ and you can listen to it on Spotify (see below), Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud.
I have spent over a year figuring it out, attempting to perfect it, throwing all ideas in the bin, then picking one or two back up, dusting it off and trying, and trying and trying again. As we speak I have thrown the towel in a hundred times today because of software issues. It does not want me to be great, but I will persist!
Why Didn’t You Warn Me?! is about all the things we go through privately that in reality is a shared experience. We might look different, but we’re all connected, and this podcast aims to bridge that gap by telling as it is.
The first episode of WDYWM is about ‘Grief’. Sadly many of us are experiencing this or will at some point in the distant future, and I share my experience and thoughts on navigating through this.
I truly appreciate your readership, and would love to have your listening ears too. I hope you enjoy listening.
Please do rate, share and comment. Thank you!
I have a gripe.
For some time now, seeing statements like this person is underrated, you could do better, or you have so much potential, has bothered me.
Is there a standard we’re ALL meant to aspire to and must have? And if we do not attain it, do we need to throw towel in?
Such remarks irk me, because whilst its well-meaning, it actually diminishes the individual, their choices and their offerings to the world, rather than the intended opposite.
It places unnecessary pressure for that person to perform and meet the invisible-ever-moving goal post of success. Not for them mind you, for other people’s pleasure. Ultimately, the underlying message is, you’re not good enough. Whew!
What could that do to a person’s self-esteem over a period of time? I’m sure some of you can relate, as you’ve had similar comments made about you.
And if we’re not vigilant, we can very easily slip into a deep abyss of unworthiness and a perpetual feeling of failure, that is hard to climb out of.
Success to me on some days, is waking up in time to attend my virtual french lesson at 7am. On other days it’s me being consistent with what I set out to do. Right now though, it’s me loving my life exactly as it is, curveballs, uncomfortable bits, confusion and all.
What is success to you void of outside influences? When you reflect, and come into the awareness of who you truly are, is whatever you are doing, in alignment?
I strongly believe in every person deciding for themselves, what’s for them, what isn’t, what success looks like and what it doesn’t.
We’ve all been trained to think of things as one way, and anything contrary to that is considered unacceptable, and that’s simply not true. There are so many shapes and sizes, and if you are a star, trying to be a square is unfair and harmful to you.
A mum was explaining how her baby decided to defecate as soon as the nappy came off. She laughed at it and then did the needful. The baby, obviously unaware of what they did, will continue to do as babies do.
How freeing? To do whatever you want, however you want and be accepted?
Just imagine if we allowed ourselves to be as free as babies are, to do whatever feels natural to us and be accepted as is…
It goes without saying that this does not mean descend into anarchical behaviour, as every action has a reaction, but outside that, the possibilities of who we could be and the lives we could lead are bountiful and endless.
To me, you being here, reading this post is proof of you as a success, but again, my opinion doesn’t mean much. Yours does though.