Tag Archives: Growth

Different and Ok

I am one way you are another

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am short you are tall

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am dark skinned you are light skinned

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am quiet you are loud

We are different

And that’s ok

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I have little you have a lot

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am employed you run a business

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am community focused you are business focused

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am a follower you are a leader

We are different

And that’s ok

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I have no child you have many children

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am big bodied you are small bodied

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am fully able you are partially able

We are different

And that’s ok

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Design by Akiko Stories

Grow beyond comparison.

It was interesting to see how often we compare people and things. 

A while ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being judged negatively by someone else’s experience; it stung like a bee sting. It hurt because of two things. First, the intention behind the situation had nothing to do with what they thought it was. Second, I was unaware of the matrix being used to judge me. The accusation broke my heart so I walked away from the person and conversation. In the end, an honest conversation with my coach righted my thinking.

I had taken issue with the person in this instance, but I had also done the same thing to others. How often have I taken offence when someone shows us late without asking? How often do we sit in our corner and decide what someone’s silence means? How often have we determined the impact of something was because of a specific action without asking? I was shocked when I saw myself in that space.

Several things came up from my reflections:

Do not judge or assume you know why something happens: there are always factors that I cannot see in the background of every interaction, and I need to be open to hearing about them. Every person is working through something, and they may be responding from pain, fatigue or other emotions I cannot understand.

Step back and evaluate your response: Yes, you are hurt or angry. Yes, you expected something different. Yes, others have done better. However, was your response the best? Could you have done something differently? How can you deal with the frustration created by the situation? What can you learn that will shift your response next time?

Forgive: We forgive for our personal sanity and not for recognition from the other person. We do not forgive so that we can make a show of it. We forgive to reconnect to our inner balance and remain connected to God. First, forgive yourself for getting angry and lashing out since it is not part of your character. Second, if you have been a short fuse for a long time, use this opportunity to learn to be a long fuse and gracious person. Third, forgive the other person. Finally, be free.

Extend grace: reach out and find out what is up with the other person. Encourage them, pray for them, raise a banner on their behalf, and place them in the hands of God.

As I reflected, I realised that I was upset because of comparing. I was seeing the actions of this person as the same as others who hurt me in the past. Ah! How good can life be if I do not compare people and experiences? How different will my response be when I learn to allow people to be themselves and meet me free of judgement? It would be absolutely different; that is what I am pursuing. There is extreme peace that comes with letting go: such peace.

Pursue peace by letting go of comparison and thrive.

I am still on the way, but I have grown.

Design by Akiko Stories

Healing is a Choice

I have never been a person who loves touch. If you ask my mother, she will tell you I was the most different of her three children. I determined early in life that I would be independent and not need people too much. As young as four months, I wanted to be left alone seated, preferably on the floor. I would scream when you carried me and laughed at you when you put me down either in frustration or at my mother’s instructions. As I got older, I resented touch but because we live in a community that likes to shake hands I swallowed down my angst every time someone approached.

My close friends knew my drama with touch and so we high-fived or waved at each other. One day someone asked me why I don’t hug my sister and I said we just aren’t like that. Their facial expression was so hilarious. They just understood that was me and let me be.

For many people, touch is a love language, and I have learnt to absorb that and adjust.

I cannot really tell the root of my aversion to touch as a child. I can however trace it later in life to inappropriate advances made. We currently have a rule of all passengers seated in our public vehicles, aka matatus, but it wasn’t true many years ago. In fact, we would be packed into the ‘matatu’ like sardines. One guy sat on the back seat and once the vehicle was full, he worked his way to the front organising us to stand for the maximum capacity. You would find the vehicle has double its capacity or even more. In those tight spaces, I would be claustrophobic and witnessed many girls get touche inappropriately.

I wasn’t in that class because I learned early on to use my mouth as a deterrent. Yes, I have always been vocal. Several times a person tried to make move on me, but I always made a point of loudly asking him what he was thinking and why he thought it was appropriate to that. thankfully no one tried to take it out on me but I earned the reputation of being ‘mdomo’ meaning a big mouth. I honestly didn’t care because my big mouth saved me from many things. However, these instances and many others of people using touch as a weapon for control taught me to dislike touch.

Fast forward to today. My son, however, has taught me to come out of the no-touch space. He loves touch, so I had to learn how to communicate that way. What a journey that has been. Every day I remind myself that touch is an important part of life for others and have been studying it. I am still learning but I have found that touch, especially hugs and held hands, are indeed tools for healing.

Touch represents connection and compassion.

Hugs from the right people with the right intentions represent healing, they are a source of hope. They are the depth of restoration and give peace. Recently, they have brought me healing and helped me move from one who didn’t like physical contact to one who can appreciate it. They have translated the meaning of connection into a language I now understand.

I am closer to being whole. I can only heal and remain sane when I choose to do the work.

What do you need to identify and acknowledge that is standing in the way of your growth? Do it soon and commit fully to the process of growth.

Design by Akiko Stories

I CHOOSE to learn

I stepped into a new classroom

The classroom of listening

The classroom of understanding

The classroom of following

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find there is more I need to learn

I find topics I need to understand

I find habits I need to learn

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find I need to stop more often

I find I need to write more often

I find I need to reflect more often

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find that knowledge has no end

I find that learning is for life

I find that a desire to grow is power

Oh what a ride it was

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I choose to keep learning

I commit to growing daily

I choose to listen more carefully

I commit to understanding

Oh what a ride it was

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Design by Akiko Stories

Healing is a process.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my responses to life could be traced back to trauma from things that happened to me when I was younger. My need to be strong affected how I view people and what I expect from them. It also tainted how I expected people to support my growth and success and how I supported them. The need to be strong affected my view of my soft feminine side and even led to resentment affecting my response to the strong male. I am not talking about unnecessarily soothing the ego or deferring to foolishness. No! I am talking about learning to be a girl and allowing the men around me to be male. Where to start?

My first realisation is that there was a mismatch in the divine design for male and female.

The Male is Iyshthe one who pierces aptly represented in his genitalia but so much more. His role is to pierce all around: mentally to understand new concepts and expand the existing one, physically to cause reproduction and safety, spiritually to lead the way into the realities of God like never seen before, and economically to provide and expand the knowledge of income generation, and every other aspect of life. He is the one who sees the big picture and finds the support to fill it in. Male is designed to lead, provide and protect, with a deep desire for respect. The male is visibly strong physically and needs to build the internal temerity to be mentally, spiritually, socially and economically strong.

The Female is Iyshathe one who is pierced, aptly represented by her genitalia and so much more. She receives the seed and nurtures it to life then through life. She expands and increases all she receives. The one who sees the details of how to build the big picture and help it succeed. The one who understands the gravity of what she carries. The one who influences everything she has and uses it to grow herself and those around her. The one who provides strength and support to her assignment.

Quiet trauma that festers for so long becomes normal. 

My life’s challenges that led to my trauma responses have short-circuited my ability to be led or to follow. I learned to look like I am on the team while quietly doing everything and not expect help. In my mind, I am being careful to get things done on time, but in reality, it is an effort to control the situation no matter what so that no one has the power to hurt or disappoint me. 

It all starts when we go through a difficult situation and decide that we will never let anyone have that kind of power or ability to hurt us again. Often addiction becomes the tool we use to deal with the situation. Though my addiction was not to a substance, it was the need to control every situation and never find myself in a position of weakness. This addiction is as terrible as substance addiction. The reality of this trauma hiding on the inside is worse than what others see on the outside.

I now see that even as I have been quite successful to date, there have been significant barriers to my growth and success. My thoughts and defence mechanisms have created blockages that have stalled my growth. It has taken safety and an undeniably loving environment to notice the signs of trauma. This same environment is also providing the needed space to heal. I also realise this is a journey so I must give myself room to travel to the healing. Finally, I have learnt that healing and restoration take time. 

I choose to heal one thought and action at a time.

Design by Akiko Stories

This love…oh my!!

This love is so new

The kind that grows daily

Because it is like a budding plant

The kind that gives room

To the beloved to grow and thrive

The kind that always hopes

Because hope is the anchor for our souls

The kind that always believes

Because belief is the foundation of change

The kind that never fails

Because it is grounded in divinity

The kind that is patient and kind

Because life is a two-way street

The king that corrects with gentleness

Because correction can break a soul

The kind that dreams of my good

Because we are stronger when we are growing together

The kind that draws me to safety

Because true love is all-encompassing

The kind that never judges

Because mercy abounds from God

The kind that never lets me settle

Because the calling in my life must be accomplished

The kind that knows my dreams

And rallies me to work on them daily

The kind that pushes me to my dreams

Because I am a better person when I am moving forward

The kind that holds me to account

Because accountability is the foundation of growth

The kind that prays for me

Because prayer changes everything

The kind that stirs me to pray for you

Because my knees are my place of strength

The kind that makes me more aware of you

Because it is when I understand who you are I know me more

The kind that shows me my selfishness

Because a mirror of love is transformational

The kind that leads me to selflessness

Because it is the heart of a great life

The kind that understands my crazy

Because that is a real part of me

The kind that pushes me to deal with my crazy

Because I want to be a better person

The kind that changes my life daily

Because it is refreshing, restorative and heals me every day

Oh I have never known a love like this

Design by Akiko Stories

Stong or Not…

Are we strong or are we hiding behind a mask?

I have been privileged to participate in conversations about past hurt and lost hope because of things that happened or others’ responses to us. I thought I was alone in this struggle until I participated in these brutally honest conversations with others. I knew life experiences change us, but I had not noticed how far back they affected many of us.

We are the product of the environment we live in and the experiences we have been through. We also choose how we will deal with the circumstances of life so moving on is a choice.

I learnt that many of my responses were and still are trauma responses. I learned that my shows of strength were a trauma response. I learnt that certain phrases I use often were double-sided trigger words.

Here are some examples of things I said and I know many of you do too:

  • I do not need people.
  • I do not need help.
  • I am good thanks; even when I am falling apart.
  • I cannot afford to fail.
  • I am stronger alone; I am better alone.
  • I can do better than everyone else.
  • I must be strong no matter what.
  • I never cry because it is a sign of weakness.

All these and many more are trauma responses. We are cultured to be strong, stable, indestructible, and unshakable.

  • Is that realistic?
  • Can one perpetually be a strong and busy warrior?
  • Can I always believe it will work on my own?
  • Can I always stand on stage without the input of others?
  • Am I a solo standing mountain, an island, a baobab tree that grew into a behemoth on its own? No!

This singular focus on being strong and always able has hampered my interactions with people. I could never understand how people were so indecisive or took so much time to think and make decisions. I fought the need to depend on anyone because others had disappointed my people and me more than once. I would assign tasks to people but always have a plan B so I could get the thing done.

Looking back, I see how I set people up to get away with a lot because I always picked up the slack. On the flip side, I was resentful when people around me could not keep their word and do their part of the deal for whatever reason.

Imagine my surprise when I realised, I had enabled this behaviour. I am a finisher and people around me know that. Whenever I am in a group or on a project, I always complete the task. People know I frequently take charge, accept it, and leave me to my devices. Yet I often stood in the corner complaining that people were unreliable. Now I know people are different and thus have different values, but could I help them grow? Not unless they want to grow.

I did not realise it yet, but I had internalised the situation, focused on being strong and accepting loads I did not need to carry. Sigh! All the unknown but deeply ingrained trauma responses seemed to make me stronger but also made me tougher to deal with. Externally, I was unshakable yet internally…it was a different story.

  • I was raging mad one moment and utterly sad the next.
  • I was happy and excited for a season and utterly lost for another.
  • I learnt to shut down and never expect help.
  • I gave off the energy that I didn’t need help,
  • I got upset when no one stepped up.
  • I lived with a deep fear of disappointment.

Often we don’t know how deeply scarred we are by life. Even more often, we lash out at people or are living with anxiety that this is from unresolved traumas from the past. I finally accepted that it is easy to look normal and still be dysfunctional because of what happened in the past.

I realised that trauma comes in different degrees depending on the causes. I learnt that I am likely as traumatised as the next person so I cannot judge them. I have learnt that I can no longer pretend that all is well. I have been affected by life’s circumstances. I need to heal. I can become more than I ever thought possible despite my past and the things that have scarred me.

Design by Akiko Stories

I see

I see more in you

I see greater depth in you

I see more love

I see a deeper desire

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I see love unhindered

I see grace unchecked

I see confidence galore

I see an awakening

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I see connection

I see passion

I see exploration

I see depth

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I see awakening

I see enlightening

I see so much more

I see so much more

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You have held back for so long

You have been scared for too long

You have been hidden far too long

You have starved too long

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Fly baby girl fly

Soar high above the tide

Rise to the place of satisfaction

Become your eternal fullness

orange flower with a water droplet and a quote by kyesubire Greigg
"Soar high above the tide."
Design by Akiko Stories

Measure your words

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

 Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

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This week it all came to a head. A couple of work assignments went south and potentially set me on a collision course with my leads. I was so upset that I found myself seated in the corner stewing, ready to volley off my ‘honest’ opinion. I suddenly felt a check in my spirit. Was the situation off track? Yes. Did I need to clear the air? Absolutely? Was a super honest rebuttal needed? Not at all. Hear me out. Yes, I needed to speak up and correct the situation, but could I do it in a less volatile way? Definitely! 

What caught my attention most wasn’t that I needed to speak up. It was the fact that the way I was about to speak was full of pain and anger that would trigger a big argument that would not be useful to the ongoing conversations. It would inflame an already difficult situation and cause more dissension than I cared for and that was not my goal.

I have been asking God to give me a gentler heart that cared more for people and still spoke the truth. I saw how this situation was part of the learning process therefore, I determined I would not fail. 

At that moment, the only thing I could do was sit still, take a walk or work on something different that would allow me to create distance to process the situation before I gave a response. I realised there was no standard response time because each situation was different and demanded a different response and skill set to resolve. I saw that when I am triggered by anger or frustration, something in my heart needs to heal or urgent dealing with.

The silence or short-term withdrawal from the trigger helps me. It:

  • Allows processing, healing and recalibration. 
  • Gives me space to re-centre myself on the real issue, not the language or tone. 
  • Enables me to measure my words and only say things that add value to life. 

“A word spoken cannot be taken back,” so I must be sure to only speak in ways that inspire, build and encourage others. I measure my words because they:

  • Show the truth of my heart
  • Create the atmosphere in and around me
  • Build or break others 
  • Strengthen or destroy my calling

Whatever you do; measure your words very carefully.

Designed by Akiko Stories

Growth Is A Choice.

It is very interesting to figure out how to grow our lives daily.

Think about what it is like this to become a successful business owner. If you want to become a successful businessperson, you can’t just wake up in the morning today and be successful tomorrow. You can’t wake up today and be a millionaire tomorrow. You can’t study business today and be a great businessperson tomorrow. The growth into business success needs a vision, a mission, a strategy, commitment, consistent effort, networks and connections. The hundreds, thousands, millions and even billions come over time.

The same thing applies to our faith.

Faith is built and grown over time because we must learn the patterns, shift our minds, change our attitudes, learn and apply concepts over and over until the principles of our faith are indeed our true nature. Thus time is critical because it helps us become better in our walk as we clarify why we exist and how we must live out our assignment which changes how view ourselves and how we live out our lives.

If a business will not just grow itself, why do I expect my faith to miraculously grow itself?

Christ said that his sheep will be known by their fruit, so if I have no fruit why am I expecting to be identified as one of his? The growth of fruit presupposes that there is a seed that is planted in the ground and dies. After a while, the life within it comes up and the seed gives life to a shoot that grows into a plant or tree that provides a form of fruit for all to see.

Therefore, if I want to grow and produce fruit, I must be willing to die first. I must be willing to die in the required area of growth so that I can grow and often that is what makes life so difficult. Too many of us want a simple life; we want stress-free living and thriving. We would rather float through life than deal with the thinking, strategizing, growing and becoming. We assume that it is possible to be stuck in a corner, doing as little as possible and still become someone great and worthy of the call of our Father in heaven. Alas, it is not possible in God’s scheme of things.

When He said “I will instruct you and teach you in the ways you should go. I will comfort you & watch over you…” (Psalms 32:8) He meant that there was a process to our walk. Colossians 2:6-7 also applies here and it says, “As you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding [a]in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone [b]cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

If we are to be rooted and built up in Him, we must choose to be that seed that dies and then gives life, the shoot that battles the dark and pushes out into the light, the plant that braves the scorching sun, the wind, and the rain to stand firm regardless of the weather and battles for its life to be ready to produce fruit. The plant that is pruned and tended then reaches the stage of pollination where another must add to what it has to produce flowers then fruit then food that will be harvested.

Our growth is deliberate and based on a personal process because in the process He will prove us as acceptable and good seed. As in the case with business, let’s stop expecting that God will make our lives smooth sailing and problem-free rather let us understand that God in his wisdom, allows trouble to come our way and bring out of the storm a harvest of peace, grace, inner strength, character and that is critical for the next phase of our lives.

So, the next time you find things a little bit challenging don’t whine or complain, simply call on your ever-present Father and God and ask Him how the place you find yourself fits into his plan for your life, connects you to the grace for your next lever and how it brings Him glory. Then live by the answer he gives.

Design by Akiko Stories