The Simple Life

Change On The Inside Shows On The Outside


Last October I had just reached some major milestones in my weight loss journey and was now confident I looked good. Walking from the food court to the supermarket I was aware heads were turning and I smiled. One of the best things about being a girl is excellent peripheral vision (it drives my young king nuts). Anyway, over to my right, I noticed a guy exit a shop, look my way, look away then took a double take. I turned to his direction and was pleasantly surprised to see it was an old friend. He was staring and he knew he was caught when I smiled and waved at him. 
It is you?
Yup! Been working on the weight!
Damn! You look good, wifey should see you.
She’s here?
Absolutely.

Shortly his wife joined him and greeted me politely until I said hi and she recognised me. Ha! We were laughing at her so hard and could have picked her jaw off the ground. I honestly didn’t think the change was that drastic but then again… We hang out a bit and all the while I marvelled how comfortable I was standing there for over half an hour in kitten heels without pain in my knees. This was proof of change. Finally, we separated and walked into the supermarket. At the fresh food section, a gentleman walks up to me.

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‘Hi! I think you are a beautiful African woman’ he says. (I’m like what!!! People still do these things?)
‘Thank you,’ I reply with a smile. (wait a minute…what else would I be? I am chocolate complexion born in Africa)
‘My name is Harry and I am from Dubai’ he says (should that mean something or make me swoon).
‘Kyesubire, from Kenya.’ 
‘I like the way you look so natural,’ he says looking me over from top to bottom.

Now, now! I assume he meant that I look good despite the short natural hair and the lack of makeup, but surely; did he expect me to fall over at his feet and worship the ground he walks on because of those compliments and the fact that he lives in Dubai. By the way, I doubt the Dubai part. Anyway, he asked for my number and contrary to my usual behaviour, I gave him and the onslaught of messages started.

The messages were irrelevant as he was trying to butter me up for something and I saw it from the start. He believed that compliments would get him into my good graces and to the point I would do anything for him. Ha!! Finally, in December he exposed his motive; he wanted a local business partner for a business whose details he wouldn’t fully disclose. Really? You want me to attach my name and personality to your plans because you have called me beautiful? How foolish do you think I am? He took off at full speed when I said, I would run the idea by hubby and then do some due diligence on him so I needed a copy of his passport for the same.

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You see, my identity and confidence are in God and He is the one who lets me know who to associate with or not. My beauty has been a place of transformation by revelation and conversation with my Father. My father’s daughters are the most beautiful in the land and we know or are gaining knowledge of the reason we have such beauty and it is for His honour and glory. So some funny unknown ‘businessman’ will not use me a ploy for whatever and if you want to do business with me let it be an open venture.

In reality, if I hadn’t come to the above realisation, things could have been different. I was struck how easy it is to get trapped into things when we are insecure. 
#NoExcuses #NoLimitations #KnowThySelf

The Simple Life

Finding The Way Home Is Personal


I keep being asked if I didn’t fear God would smite me for calling Him names. I was like ‘No! I believe He is big enough and can handle it after all He didn’t strike David dead and others who did madness so I don’t think he would strike me down.’ Was I naïve? Maybe but seeing that I was being honest…He would have to handle it and I was right.

He came through, hugged me, loved me and rebuilt me. He pushed me through the people He sent to help and demanded nothing but full attention and work to get better. He sent me teachers to give the needed skills. He sent people who wouldn’t take nonsense or excuses from me. He made a way to walk through the valley of the shadow of death because the valley is a place of learning just like the green pasture is an important place of growth and rest. In reality, nothing is like people say and I could fully count of His word to perform.

Indeed I have found the joy of the Lord is my strength but it is a different concept. You see, when I understood that there would be valleys, I would feel the shadow of death, fear would come close, loss would show its face but His rod and staff, yes…His rod and staff, they will comfort and guide me; He will send His angels to watch over me; He will send me help from the holy hill. The difference has been how I find Him and connect to His plan His way in even in the darkest hour and there were many dark hours. Yet in the darkness, He was the one who was right next to me all the time.

One thing is certain, I will never tell anyone to just believe like I used to. I now ask hard questions and push for honest answers that will lead to learning the right choices for walking and strength to stay the path. Sometimes all it takes is an emoji from one who knows me, a look from one of my pillars, a slice of cake and black coffee, a good book, a moment watching the sunset, a tear shed in the privacy of my workout, a walk in the estate, thirteen-page journal entries…there was never one way to deal with it. The only thing I know for sure is His rod and staff…no platitudes, no affirmations to chant, just dealing with issues one at a time.

The way out was to categorise life into sectors: emotions, faith, finances, the marriage, friends, family etc. I dealt with the issues sequentially in an order that worked for me. It has been the hardest but sweetest journey because I have tools, I have proof, I have support and for that I am aware that I am privileged.

There has been an increase of strength and joy in my heart and I owe it to God because of the dark times that have drawn me closer to him, given me the skills I need for navigation and trimmed off my madness and the sense of judgement I had against those who were struggling. The struggles have made me stronger and more compassionate and I hadn’t even noticed it till my sister said, ‘I like the person you have become through the challenges; you are nicer and more compassionate.’

So if the trouble will help another person down the road; bring it on. There is a method and a purpose for the madness so bring it on. The reality is that each of us must deal with the issues and rise to the fullness that awaits us. Here’s to more conversations about life and mental health.

#NoExcuse #NoLimitations #MentalHealth

The Simple Life

When It Came Knocking I Knocked Back


In the last several years I have had the privilege of facing some very challenging times in life that have led to dealings with depression, anxiety and despair. Did I just say privilege? Yes I did. I had the privilege of facing some things that shook me to the core, messed my belief system, blew my dreams to smithereens and left me standing bruised, burned and in tears in the middle of nowhere. Those who are very close to me know the depth of these challenges but they don’t scratch the surface of what others I know around me have gone through. 

I wasn’t the one who couldn’t get out of bed daily. I wasn’t the angry, moody one. I was the high functioning, externally confident, high performer who was dying on the inside. 

I remember battling the thought that I shouldn’t feel so low if the joy of the Lord is my strength. I remember standing on the Word, it failed and fell apart. I remember asking, how could I be so sad and miserable when God has promised to lead me in green pastures by cool waters? Had I lost the plot? Would I ever recover? Am I crazy to be feeling the way I am?

One of the greatest moments of shift was when I mentioned my struggles to a very dear sister with the fact that I was seeing a shrink. Her response was a simple “so?” What? How? Her response took me aback because I expected her to run for the hills and never come back. To discard me as broken. To judge. Then she helped me understand. She too had struggled and sought help from a shrink and doors opened to healing and strength. 

I began the journey to healing that day and it has been quite a journey. It is still a walk and the best part was finding people who share my faith, have been through it or are actively helping others through it without losing their faith.

How did I make it back? Am I even back? Yes I am back and it has been quite a journey. 

The biggest challenge was rebuilding my faith. It fell apart because it was premised on things and actions rather than a deep seated love relationship. I had all the good girl things ticked; served in church, went for bible study, shared my faith, led youth groups etc. and I thought I was solid. When the foundation fell out and my life wasn’t working as I trusted it would and I was left with nothing, I realised that my foundation was actually on sand and I didn’t even know. The loss and failure triggered a crisis of faith and trust that triggered deep depression, anxiety and despair that only I could dig my way out. 

What did I do? 
I let go of expectation. 
I let go of people. 
I let go of hopes and dreams. 
I let go of the wanting people to make me happy. 
I understood that where I am is a result of the choices I have made and I can make another choice to get out. 
I understood that certain people won’t stay even if I wanted them to and so I found ‘my people’ and we held each others hands. 
I outsourced my faith and asked people to pray for me when I couldn’t pray for myself. 
I asked God to cut the crap, come, sit next to me and teach me Himself who He is or just get out of the picture completely. 
I was done with unreliable people and that included Him if He wasn’t going to show up.

I know many say it is audacious but when you are at rock bottom and have nothing to lose, you can only go upward with those who decide to walk with you. 

Let me tell you… 
God showed up in full force. 
He held me, 
Uncovered all the levels of madness and false expectations I was living by, 
Showed me all the lies I had listened to and given strength.
He taught me the things that would get me from one end to another. 
I learnt that the things that will get me out of that place may not the same for my sister or brother so I don’t use my way out to tell people how to get out. 
I ask them to find their answers at the foot of the cross.

Mental wellness is a personal journey that can make us stronger if we let it. Surprised I’ve been on this journey? Just imagine how many others around you are in this track and you don’t even know. 

Let’s begin to have honest conversations about mental health. 

#NoExcuse#NoLimitations#MentalHealth

The Simple Life

Mental Health & Life


We are hearing more and more about mental health issues yet many of us won’t talk about it. There is still a lot of stigma around it that we don’t talk about it. So many questions and stereotypes that we don’t want to talk about it that are hurting our nation.

Most of us would rather die than admit that we have or have walked through mental health challenges because we are scared of what people will say about us. we are worried if we will lose our place in society. We are told that it will bring shame to the family if it is discovered that one of us has dealt with these issues. We say things like, she just needs to snap out of it, just get your stuff together, how can you be depressed and you are a Christian and many more strange things like it.

Why can’t we just admit that we have had mental health challenges or someone around us is working through them? What is so wrong with saying we aren’t coping with life and need some help? Why is there such a stigma around mental health issues? When did it become ok to side line people because of their personal challenges? Would you talk badly about someone with cancer or diabetes or hypertension or any other physical disease? So why do we talk badly about mental health challenges when they are just a disease like any other?

There is the mother who went to bed one day and couldn’t wake up the next because her body was too tired and this struggle led to depression. There is the young person raised in a home with exacting standards to be maintained who just got tired of being someone they aren’t and shut down. There is also the man who hasn’t reached where he wanted to be by now and life isn’t improving but the pressure ‘to be a man’ is more than he can bear. There is the person who has ended up with depression because of a debilitating disease.

There is the couple who have lost a baby and she is broken beyond repair and is barely hanging on but since she was the one who went through the situation no one thinks he is hurting. There is the father whose adult son has died and he doesn’t know what to do with the grief. There is the person who had great hopes in their job but has just been made redundant and he cannot face his family to tell them the truth. There is the pastor who is seeing his congregants growing as individuals but the growth isn’t translating to a vibrant congregation. There is the couple who hoped for happily ever after and till death do us part but now they cannot stand each other.

Mental health challenges are closer to you than you could even know. In fact, they could easily be within you and you aren’t even aware. We need to be more considerate and willing to learn how to manage this as it is indeed a part of life.

#NoExcuse #NoLimitations #MentalHealth

The Simple Life

When it all starts to make sense:


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There are things I have been thinking about for a while and asking God for clarity. You know those times when you are waiting on an answer for a while you begin to wonder if it is madness or just a figment of your imagination?

On Jan 30th 2019 at the Patriarch’s birthday celebration, one of our sisters said something that blew my mind. She said that we can trust God when He gives His word no matter how long it takes. As an example, she tracked back to a desire God placed in her heart in 2011 that is just coming to fruition.

Fly into 8th March 2019 when I sat in fellowship with my brother and he begun talking about things and opening up perspectives he could only have heard from God. You know those things you have not shared with a soul and have been asking God about for a while? Those are the things he was talking about and explaining the undergirding spiritual dimension. You know that feeling of wah!!!!!

For real, there is no way he could have known the things unless God Himself revealed them. It was then that I understood…God is INTENTIONAL. He knows what is needed to ensure that I keep to the path and all the comfort I would need. He knows who needs to go and who comes, how hot or cool to make it and how much I can actually handle if I walk with Him.

2019 has been very different from what I expected it to be. I don’t think I was listening carefully when I asked God what it would be about or I just assumed I knew what was coming. A lot of it has seemed random but the conversation with my brother has confirmed that nothing is random or unexpected in the plan of God. I just have to be more vigilant to hear His Voice. It is one thing to know that God is intentional and see it working in others’ lives. It is something totally different to come face to face with this intentionality irreversibly directed straight at you. Nothing short of mind blowing! I am choosing to lean into the intentionality of God no matter what comes my way.

All things are working for my good, yeah
‘Cause He’s intentional, Never failing
I know that all things are working for my good, yeah
He’s intentional, Never failing
(Travis Greene)

The Simple Life

I Have Changed


I have changed. I will not apologise for it and I will not change back to make you happy. I am cool being me and if you don’t understand it is all good.

If you last saw me a couple of years ago…you will drop off your seat when you meet me.
If you thought you knew how to push my buttons…think again
If I used to run to your aid without thought and I haven’t for a while…pause and ask why
If you don’t understand my online posts…you haven’t been part of the journey
If you haven’t received a call or a text from me…just ask when you last reached out and that is your answer

This girl has shifted and is totally loving it because it has come with loads of freedom and lightness. I will no longer be manipulated by others feelings, beliefs and impressions. I am me and so I am doing me.
I will weigh everything you say to me against my internal scale that is all my own so don’t be surprised if something used to be important but no longer is
I will look at everything through my rose coloured lens and not apologise for my perspectives
I will give you room to share your opinion and will decide whether I will agree or disagree but will accord you the grace to differ

I encourage you to find and do you because life is too short to live for or through others.
There is too much assigned to each of us to continue to be bound by expectations of others that don’t align with who we are.
Ask every question you have and remain in asking till you find the right answer as opposed to the easy ones
Trust God to come through; let go of all platitudes and find out real reasons for your existence.
Understand the season we are in and the actions required of you that if left undone will stall everyone else.
Realise that if you do not become the fullness of who God called you to be, you will fail.

I make #noapologies for my stance and challenge each one to find their place and live it out so that when our days are over, we will be glad to exit into the arms of our Creator without regret or fear.

#NoExcuses #NoLimitations

The Simple Life

Carbs Won’t Get ME


Carbohydrates…wah! I have never had to deal with something this strong in a long time.

I had reduced my intake but over a few weeks the cravings have hit again and hit hard. Every day is different but as I have watched myself the last few weeks it is increasingly clear that carbs need to be handled. It’s the feeling that I want two slices of bread with breakfast, shortly after I pick a biscuit, at lunch I eat a large serving of rice, only to reach for chocolate shortly, followed by a good helping of ugali or chapatti with dinner.

It would be dishonest to say I don’t know what to do in a situation like this. I have to move in the clarity I have found and operate in to make the choice to change and remain true to the path. This morning I realised I have to do something about the carb thing sooner than later because I can see my weight yo-yoing in ways I don’t like and some of the fat I had lost is returning.

I remembered my pregnancy this evening. It was largely free of drama other than a fibroid growing faster than my little one. My doctor had me taking the pregnacare supplement and I loved it; one tablet a day with no fuss. However, I when I didn’t take my daily dose, I had an insane craving for Steers fried chicken. In time I found that the crispy salty skin was what I really wanted and if I ate a piece without the skin I would feel nauseated. What I was really craving was salt, sodium chloride. When I checked with doc she said I needed to get back onto the supplements.

Is the current craving for carbs was a greater sign of a nutrient deficiency.

What carbs do I crave? Bread, chapati, marie biscuits, family biscuits (you need to have grown up with me to understand the love for those biscuits), rice, tortilla chips.

What do I mean crave? Even after I have had a full and satisfying meal, I will go back to the kitchen and grab an extra serving or a couple of biscuits or chips. It is as if I haven’t eaten yet a few minutes ago I was full.


Research shows that a carb craving is likely a sign of a deficiency in nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important component of nucleic acids and protein and a deficiency can result in malnutrition due resultant protein deficiency. The solution is relatively simple meaning the addition of nitrogen-rich foods like fruit and vegetables into my diet.

Who would have thought of this?

On the other hand, the carb craving could also be a chromium deficiency. Chromium is an essential trace metallic mineral needed by the body in very small quantities that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. To deal with this I would need to add foods like onions, grapes, lettuce, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes to eliminate your cravings.

This got me thinking about simple the things that need doing are. It isn’t some big prayer and fasting that this craving goes. It is watching what I eat, how much I eat and finding what can be added into my meals to deal with the deficiency and balance my life. I didn’t fully understand the meaning of having to learn discipline but every day is teaching me more about myself and I’m happy to learn because it restores my balance.

I will also add a detox as I believe it enhances all changes by removing what I don’t need. I love this journey because it isn’t cast in stone and demands that I am 100% real with myself.

The Simple Life

You never know who is changing around you.


I keep being reminded that this life isn’t about me. I am here to live a life that will mirror the plan God has laid out and provide a road map for others.

A cup of tea on a hot day, a slice of bread for breakfast, a slice of homemade cake and a scoop of homemade vegan ice-cream and the list goes on. I have tried many different diets over the years and lifestyles and there are things I like and things I don’t like. I have tried some foods and gagged and tried others and been on the wings of angels. How then do I share a road map with others? How do I help others on the path? Quite simple, be honest about the journey.

You don’t know how much you know until you meet someone who doesn’t – Wanjiku Lucia Mugo

I had some amazing conversations in the last few weeks that made it clear that I have something to share. The thing that is standing out for me is how for so long my life looked rosy on the outside yet it was so broken on the inside. How hard it was to explain to people how vulnerable I was yet they needed me strong and solid. I looked like I was drawing strength from my faith but it stopped working when things weren’t panning out as I planned and prayed they would. Then it all came crashing down. In my early thirties, it all fell apart when I realised just how unhappy I was and how unskilled I was to deal with it.

My faith as I had always practised it imploded and I needed another rudder in life.

In time I found one and it is a deep relationship with God that is outside the structure of religious practise. I stopped going to church and fellowship and dared God to show up and build a relationship with me outside these structure. I dared Him to connect with me, as I am where I am in a way I could understand and boy has he done it! I know many would say that God isn’t at my beck and call, but I found that when He hears a heartfelt cry for Him, He makes it happen. He made it possible in ways I didn’t even know before and my faith begun building. Note the faith was building not rebuilding because there was no foundation left from the implosion…nothing made it through.

Our relationship is very interesting. It is leaning on a pillar and being pleasantly surprised it is so solid. It is being brutally honest without fear of being destroyed. It is understanding that I don’t know it all but He is patient enough to teach me what I need to know. It is understanding love on a new and deeper level

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I learnt to listen to the inner voice and ask questions; to read scripture and find deeper meaning in the word; to pray as simply as I breath rather than have all the ceremony I had known; to fast things that mean something and not the things I wouldn’t miss; to share openly with my people and my village and grow together.

This new place also took a lot of unlearning.

To become healthy, I had to unlearn many things, shift things, realign things. What did I unlearn?

  • Routines of how services and prayer times should run
  • Concepts of who God is and how he deals with people
  • Rules and regulations
  • Culture and tradition that didn’t really add value to my walk with God
  • The belief that God is a policeman waiting for me to fall then he can beat me into submission
  • Fear of failure and being disowned for falling short
  • Conditional love that led to judgment and legalism
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What did I learn in its place?

  • The unconditional love of a father
  • The love of real family
  • To love me and choose me first every time
  • To sit still and mediate
  • To have honest conversations with God about how it is

If you have never known the catastrophic failure of the faith you have and rebuilding of the same, in some ways…it is quite likely that you  haven’t really lived.

The Simple Life

80% Rule


Recently while reading about ikigai, I came across the 80% rule. Before I get to rule, let me explain ikigai. In simple terms, ikigai is the purpose for life. I call it existential fuel, fire in my belly and the reason I am alive. Ikigai is discovered internally and not externally because it is the compass for life, not a map. Living in purpose is really an art and it has many components that include eating and exercise habits.

As we walk towards ikigai, one of the key elements is diet hence the eighty percent rule which states that we should eat until we are only eighty percent full. Yes, eighty percent full! This means that we should be a bit hungry at the end of every meal. Tell that to an African mother or grandmother.

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When we were growing up, it was expected that we should eat a lot. In many instances, it meant that our plates were piled high and we ate until we were beyond full. I remember many times when I visited my friends and their parents would be horrified about how ‘little’ I ate. Even my grandmother at times thought I ate too little. Ha! I was always conscious of the need for everyone to have a portion of whatever was prepared as well as the fact that I needed to take care of my size so I ate carefully. I ate so carefully that I was often teased that I eat leaves and twigs.

When a couple gets married, part of their success or suitability for each other was assessed by weight gain and not one two kilograms. When a woman is pregnant and has the baby the most common thing you hear about food is that you have to eat for two so just go and eat as much as you want. As we navigate work we are told that food is the fuel you need so we eat big meals to keep going and snacks in between. How come no one has ever told us about the eighty percent rule?

As one who has never eaten much, but has always eaten until full, this eighty percent rule really grabs my thinking. It is intriguing because there are whole communities in Japan who thrive on it and are living longer yet I struggle with remaining a little hungry after the meal. How do I rewire my mind and tummy so that when I stop I don’t go back to the serving dish or plate? Some say drink water, but drinking water with or just after a meal isn’t advisable because it dilutes the digestive enzymes and slows down digestion. I’d rather not drink fluids for at least half an hour after food so that digestion happens ASAP.

The recommended ways to achieve the eighty percent rule is to eat smaller portions, drink more fluids especially water and skip dessert. These are doable and I have done them before but now I wonder why it is hard to keep on the light food path. The last few weeks, I am dealing with a new taste for carbs and a return of my love for dark chocolate and dessert. What has changed? How have I shifted? Where are we going with this? I really don’t know.

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What am I doing about it? For a start, none of the usual things for sure! This time I am choosing peace. I will not criticise myself excessively or bang my head on the table as before. I will not ask myself how could you? I will not stress about it all? I will, however, take an honest look at the situation and dig deep to find the triggers and then deal with them. No more surface dealings. There has to be a way to get to eating only eighty percent of what I need.

Off I go to sift my life and find the tools to shift.