#Lesson49 ~ Like a Child ~
I was picking a friend when a happy little voice called out, ‘Hi Auntie” so I turned to look. There was my little friend; I had not seen her for a year, and she was not speaking the last time I saw her, but she was a beautiful as I remembered. We really had to leave so I said, “I’ll see you when I get back.” True to form, when I got back, there she was waiting me at the door and when I reached out to say hi, she simply jumped to hug me and held on. Every time I tried to up, she turned and pointed to the seat next to her, so I stayed put.
We often assume children do not understand things or get attached to people, but they do. As I held her in my arms or sat on the sofa with her, her unconditional warmth healed my heart from the long day and months of hardship.
I turned this in my mind as I drove home because it warmed my heart. How can I embrace the simplicity of this little girl? She did not mind that we had not talked for a while, it only mattered that she is part of my life and I was back after a while away.
Let us simplify life:
- Let people be and accept them as they are, no expectations
- Speak your truth not the politically correct
- Embrace your limitations and find support for them
- Work on your gifts and thrive
- Celebrate life daily; out loud
#Lesson48 ~ A smile changes it all ~
Have you ever realised that a smile can change the atmosphere?
I have a friend who walks into spaces and just with a smile and warm greeting disarms everyone. There is another one who is silent but is my great support who listens and smiles when he understands it. Those smiles have been pivotal over the years.
I learnt from these two to smile and laugh a lot because it changes things. The first change is on my inside as it give the power to see an alternative perspective. The second change is the people I am with because it puts them at ease. I never really thought about how important smiles were and though I have met people who use smiles deceptively, they are fewer than those who are genuine
- Smile because it brightens your day
- Smile because it lightens your heart
- Smile because it makes you beautiful
- Smile because the freedom you crave starts within you
- Smile because you are more beautiful and handsome when you do
- Smile because life is never the same when you do
#Lesson47~ Listen Carefully ~
“Do people ever say stuff about you or your capacity and you are left wondering if it’s you they refering to or another very big shot?”
This came up in conversation as a friend and I tracked our growth.
What stood out for us in the reality that we don’t always have the full picture of who we are. My curiosity led me to have many more conversations and I found so many perspectives about myself that I didn’t have before.
Could it be that there is more to me than I see? Could it be that my skills can be expanded beyond what I see? Could it be there are people who must call me out and I don’t know them? My conclusion is yes to those questions.
So what to do when someone tells you something about yourself that you don’t know?
- Take a deep breath
- Ask them to clarify the points that sound strange
- Say thank you and accept the information
- Go to your place of meditation and think through it
- Accept what is true
- Rise into your fullness
#Lesson46 ~ Let Them Fall ~
Tears are a part of life but too many of us keep them at bay. They are an important part of inner expression and a source of balance. We are raised thinking it is okay for girls to cry but not so much for guys.
This last week I have been around family with lots of tears flowing because of memories that are fresh and close. I have watched our patriarchs ask us to forgive them for being emotional as they have found release in tears. I have watched others hand over their car keys because they are too broken to drive.
I have watched us, stand side by side, with arms around each other finding solace and healing through tears. I have learnt there is no shame in letting tears flow just lots of healing and grace available on the other side of it.
In the journey of life, tears are important because they:
- Express the depth of our hearts
- Cleanse the soul
- Clear the eyes
- Leave space for healing
When you feel your eyes fill with water, let it fall, you will thank me later
#Lesson45 ~ Listen to Your ‘Gut’ ~
Is there something different you need to be doing?
Do you need to make a change or make a new move?
Do you need to leave a relationship or walk away from a job but you are scared?
That sense in your belly that you need to move, need to rise, need to leave, need to be silent, need to reshape your world…follow it.
Follow it even when:
- Others don’t understand
- It is dark around you
- There’s a cliff ahead of you
- No one has been down that road
Follow it even though:
- You only have a partial Blueprint
- You have never done it before
- You had just started that way
- It’s a sudden feeling
Follow it so you will
- Never look back in regret
- Become the full measure of yourself
Be willing to follow your own path to your finest moment for though it may take a while, it will work
#Lesson44 ~ Listen keenly ~
It is increasingly clear that we do not hear each other. Many of us, me included, listen to answer not to hear so we misunderstand each other all the time.
The young king and I have had many instances of not hearing each other so the battle of will starts. This weekend, something changed when I was talking to the young queen about life and he was listening. She explained her reponses to situations with such clarity and I clarified mine in a way he understood just from listening to our conversation. We did have a misunderstanding later that evening and when I backed off he stopped hemming and hawing long enough for me to explain that I wasn’t being insensitive.
Wah!!! Listening is an art form and I will conquer it once again. I say again because I thought I had cracked it but I have just learnt there is a greater height to attain.
Off to listen more!!
#Week43 ~ Go out of your locality ~
The young king & I spent the day traipsing around Nairobi, walking through shopping malls & driving through good neighbourhoods. We visited 4 supermarkets, 3 malls & drive through numerous estates. On the surface it all looks well but as our eyes were opened, we noticed several of the malls were less than half occupied and very low foot traffic. We passed by many shops with double padlocks and dusty merchandise that looked like they were ceased, signs with phone numbers and plain empty shops.
It was clear that people were gauging expenses & calculating a lot more as they went about their business. The food courts and restaurants were not busy, sales in shops are low and staff few. Every time we walked out of a shop without buying something you could see clear disappointment in the staff’s eyes. I know we have talked about how hard things are for people but seeing things afresh in another side of town that we have previously considered affluent, was different. Mind blowing!!!
We stood together ever so humbled that God has got us through this season & we have done more than just survive. It has been a season of shifting every day with deep agility and flexibility but we are grateful for the opportunity to be alive in these challenging times & have the chance to work with whatever we have to make something out of it.
Never think you understand what people are going through; go out and walk a few feet in their shoes, your perspectives will change. Share some love!!
#Lesson42 ~ Own the mistake, apologise, rectify ~
Things have gone wrong, mistakes were made, tasks forgotten and some were upset. It would be easy to walk away in shame but that would accomplish nothing. So I took a deep breath & said, “I’m sorry, I forgot. I will rectify it.”
I waited for a triad, or long lecture but the response on the other end was “OK, copy me when you do.”
What? That’s all? Yes! That was it.
It reminded me of an event 10+ years ago when we arrived at an out of town location for an international event with only half the delegate badges. It was the eve so we could not get the other half done and sent to us before morning. I had no option but to use the same tactic, I’m sorry we have this is mess, we are currently printing and will be on course by noon.
I heard some expletives that day but the bulk of the fire was diffused by the apology.
Taking ownership of the situation and apologising:
- Is not weakness, it is the route to strength.
- Ensures that you remember to do better to avoid the same mistake
- Reminds you of your humanity.
No one is too young or too old to accept responsibility & apologise. Even if others don’t do it, be true to your process & set the example…take responsibility, apologise & rise to greater influence.
#Lesson41 ~ Breathe deep and recalibrate ~
There was a time when I thought recalibration happened only once in a life time. Now I know that it needs to happen as often as is needed.
Are your thoughts muddled? Take a break
Are your easily triggered? Take a breath
Are you consistently sad? Talk to someone
Are you feeling lost? Share with someone
Are you happy? Dance for joy
Are you wining? Celebrate
Are you thriving? Note the success
Are you growing? Plant a seed
Take a break to restore yourself, change your path, find the truth & recalibrate
Take a break to rise, dance, celebrate and love
Take a moment to breath and recalibrate it will deepen your experience of life
Enjoy your live, love your path, savour the lessons, chart the path
Clear the way for others and make alternatives possibilities
Your journey is important to be present and live it out fully
Take a breath and recalibrate often
#WeeklyLesson #Week40 ~ Accept thyself ~
This week a wise man said something that shook my world.
“I hope and pray you get to a place where you accept and love your shape. It’s gorgeous. If it’s any consolation, I had the same struggle with my body that’s hard to dress. I hated shopping for the longest but I’ve come to terms with how God made me & grown to love this bod. It’s the only one I have and it’s not for everyone. Whoever loathes it, no sweat. Whoever loves it, cool beans. What matters most is how I view myself. Everything else is just an opinion or preference on what or who I should be. I can never change how He made me.”
Now I am well on the way to loving it as I have found blessings in the shape and i am learning to rock it no matter what. It is indeed a beautiful journey what is why the blog post i shared is so important. God and I are talking about it because that also comes from my background. Every day I look into the mirror and love me a whole lot more ??
#Lesson39 ~ Push through the pain ~
A few weeks agon, my brother said something that keeps coming back. ‘When you are doing push ups, keep going until you feel pain and strain, then start counting.’ I could not wrap my mind around that. You see, every time I felt pain, stress, trembling etc. in my workout, I stopped, saying it is enough. Now he was saying push through.
Why push through? That is when the muscles are really working and building, that is the growth session. How could pain be good for me? How would it build me? Why would I do that to my body? I ignored it for a bit but since it kept coming back, I begun to apply it. Pushing through muscle shakes, strain, pain isn’t easy but I have begun to see its value.
My workout is more dynamic, my body tone is changing rapidly, my posture is stronger and straighter, stretches are more relaxing and I feel so much better. The big thing isn’t the pain but the ability to push through because the gain though not immediate, starts just beyond the pain.
What growth are you pursuing? What change do you want to see? What pain or strain is holding you back? Do you need to change your view of the things so that you can find new perspective? Do you need to find the next step & it demands you deepen your understanding? What is standing in the way of your new phase?
- Take stock
- Understand the pain you are in
- Push through for resolution and healing
- Thrive and rise stronger and wiser
- Nothing can hold you back but you…let your pain free you
#Lesson38 ~ Growth is personal ~
Have you ever felt stuck? Have you heard all the conversations about getting unstuck and not been able to get up? Do you feel your growth is stagnant? Have you tried the different steps that others have taken and grown only for them not to work? That is because growth is VERY personal.
I have learnt a few things about growth this week:
- Awareness: understand your life, growth path & gaps in your life from groping in the dark
- Desire: have the deep need to change & be different
- Engagement: put your mind, heart and will to work
- Training: have teaching on how to put things in order from the mind & thoughts from where they are to the next location
- Accountability: people to walk with you & hold you to account as you build the path together.
One critical factor to growth is the mindset shift. The outcome of the growth process has to be a renewed mind that will sustain the next season. Remember that with every layer of growth that is attained, there is a higher one so don’t settle or get comfortable. Remain ready to move…Kaa chonjo, as we often say.
In addition to change, Growth has to be a constant in our lives.
#Lesson37 ~ Celebrate the process ~
Today, my niece graduated with a Magna cum laude BA Psychology and I have a light and heavy heart all at once. We have the most amazing low maintenance, love filled relationship that keeps both of us on our toes, but that is not what I am here to talk about.
The journey to this qualification has been fraught with more challenges and hardship, doubt & fear, good times, and okay times than I want to talk about. However, every bit of the process has been an integral part of who she is today standing tall and ready for the next chapter.
The only outcome we were working for was SUCCESS and there would be no excuses or foolishness tolerated. Yet there were days when getting up to do assignments was hard. So, we decided to look for daily victories.
We broke it down to simple things:
- Did all the classes this week.
- Handed in that assignment
- Create downtime to recoup
- Let us hang out and talk this through
We celebrated every little milestone accomplished then got on to the next task. As I look back, I realise that walking with this beautiful girl changed me as much as it changed her. As we celebrated her today, I found myself taking a few minutes aside to do the same for another friend. Breaking the scenario into bite size pieces and celebrating the progress made so far as we set up the next step.
A process emerged for me:
- Choose the path
- Set the goals
- Determine the steps to follow
- Do the work; act
- CELEBRATE every milestone
- Review progress
- CELEBRATE the process
Whatever you are working on is possible when you put your hand to the plough and do your part. Gain additional strength when you celebrate the milestones; the PROCESS
#Lesson36 ~ Read the situation ~
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of an event & miss the clues. Every interaction is full of cues that will tell you a lot more than their words.
A few years ago in a work situation, our client contact was very friendly & appreciated our work even with some challenges on both sides; or so I thought. One of us called it out saying there is something amiss about our conversation but I brushed it off. I was stumped when I discovered that we had been set up to take the fall for the challenges of the project.
On one hand I was devastated that happened before it struck me that no one is required to be honest with me so I must be more aware & deliberate in my interactions. I had to learn to read the cues to understand the true realities. Non-verbal cues are a good backup when evaluating situations & people.
Subsequent interactions have been more intuitive & deliberate. In time it has become easier for me to pick our genuine interactions & setup. I have also seen a shift in how I deal with my people and acquaintances. It is different with my people because I know they are in my corner & will call me out on any foolishness rather than sabotage me.
Learn to read people, the situation & the room. Catch and understand the silent, invisible, easy to miss nonverbal cues and it can save you a lot of time & energy.
#Lesson35 ~ One Bold Step ~
It is easy to slip into a cycle of going & never stopping. It is easier to ignore your body’s signs it needs rest in pursuit of whatever drives you. Each of us is wired differently, making our limits vastly different. None of us has the same triggers or pace so we must appreciate & pace ourselves accordingly.
There are those who can go full throttle for decades without missing a beat & those who must pace steadily & carefully. Then there are those who do nothing because of the fear of failure. Don’t sweat it, just find out who you are & build from there.
It’s been a little intense & after 6 months of non stop full throttle, I begun falling apart. I was moody, too tired to rest well, snippy, comfort eating etc. The young king ? kept pushing me to rest but I always had things to do. My family kept looking for me but I was either in meetings or sorting something or other.
The day it snapped, I slept 12 hours, woke up briefly and went back for 2 more. I missed a couple of meetings & I was still totally tired. That WOKE me. My pattern needed to change quickly or things would unravel. I had experienced the unravelling before & it took a while to recover so that’s a road I don’t want again.
My recovery plan kicked in.
- How am I really?
- What is my true state: physically, spiritually, mentally,
Make a plan
- What will make the most difference to get back on track?
I needed to reset & REST. Not sleep…REST. This means a few days of
- Good sleep
- Prayer & Meditation
- Healthy food
- Plenty of water
- Community time
- Dreaming time
- Honest conversations
Followed by a consistent pattern that includes all the above as I work.
I took one bold step & shut it all down to bare essentials, wake, hydrate, exercise, eat, pray, journal, be still, read & family. I’ve declined calls, left emails unanswered, missed chats, pushed meetings, etc.
It’s been five days since I hit reset & I’m better for taking the break. My mind is clearer, I’m stronger, calmer & warmer.
What ‘One bold step’ do you need to take? Go do it and thrive.
#Lesson34 ~ Take Your Time ~
It is interesting how FOMO runs rampant. Have you felt the pressure to do something because others are doing it? Have you felt left out of place in a conversation because you haven’t read a book, watched a movie, seen an article etc?
I find that very often I am the one who hasn’t read that book, watched that movie, gone to that new restaurant etc. Am I slow? Some may say so but it could be different so I learnt.
There is a time for everything and everyone has a different path and timeline. I remember watching X-Men Apocalypse six years after it came out. When it first came out, I really wanted to watch it but somehow it wasn’t to be. When I finally watched it, wow!!! It made so much sense and inspired me to rise to a new level. In that moment I realised that if I had watched it six years before it would just be another movie and not a lesson or a game changer. The same happened with Black Panther.
There is no timetable to our lives. There’s not sell by date, married by date, business by date, success by date…there is no universally applicable pattern. There are benchmarks in life but there is no timeline. Some finish school at 23 others start higher education at 45. Some get married at 55 some at 23. Some start and build solid business by 45 others start at 45.
We all have individual paths and patterns that will draw us to become the best out of us.
Take a deep breath, understand your path then go and live it out one day at a time.
Take your time, you will enjoy life.
#Lesson33 ~ Fear is a good thing ~
I was speaking about fear recently & realised it is a good thing.
Fear is a part of our daily life and when understood it is one of the greatest drivers. Fear is an indicator that something could be out of place or creating a threat to what has been the status quo. It is also an indicator that something new can be found on the other side of it. Fear controls our next actions in the usual response of freeze, fight, flight, or fright.
All that is known, but the thing that caught my attention as I thought is that “Fear is a blessing.”
How? It shows me what stands in front of me; it shows me the truth of my mindset; it shows me my current limitations and keeps me bound to them. Yes, I said current limitations.
Fear is limiting because whatever I fear comes true and confines me to spaces that are lower than my destined to be. If I fear no income and get stuck there doing nothing, of course I will not create any. If I fear trying that class I have been eyeing, I will remain without the knowledge I need to move to the next level.
Fear holds a mirror in my face and shows me what needs to be dealt with and I have the choice to deal or not to deal.
Off to deal with the fears that have bound me.
#Lesson32 ~ Be Conscious ~
This week has been very intense & some days I struggled to get my whole task list done. Other days I sailed through as if on smooth seas or at cruising altitude. Several times when I was struggling, my team lead asked me how she could help me lighten my load but I couldn’t figure it out; I was too tired to think.
Finally, I stopped, took a deep breath and realised I had not taken time to decompress for a few weeks so my mind was full to the brim yet I was still trying to take things out and stuff others in. This had to change quickly.
One evening, despite a full inbox & task sheet, I opted to spend time thinking, journaling and praying. It was slow and disjointed first but as time passed, the hidden pressures, tensions & emotions bubbled up. As I processed things, the tension and pressure lifted to be replaced by peace & calm. My mind cleared so I could think, plan, delegate, assess and decide…I became very conscious.
Awareness of where you are, what is on your heart & mind, what needs to be dealt with, delegated, discarded or kept changes how you walk through life. It gives you balance and allows you to integrate all areas of your life. Take the time to dig deep, sort through & clear your mind so that you always know where you are. This keeps you at peak performance & guides when to accelerate, slow down, coast, overtake or stop.
Be habitually conscious and win.
#Lesson31 ~ Take that step…build your tribe ~
It is easy to think you have people on your side but do you really know that for sure? Are those around you really your tribe or travellers for convenience.
Change and accomplishment happens by design not by accident. Part of the design is the people who travel with you.
Make no mistake that you must be deliberate about who you keep close. Be deliberate to find and build your tribe because that is the fire in your belly.
Your tribe are the people who see the importance of your life and your rising. They are the people who will be by your side because they love you and believe in the call on your life. They are the ones who will seek God about you and on your behalf to know where you should be going and hold you true to that.
Your tribe will be dynamic; some will be part for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Know who is there, for what and for how long.
Deal with each one individually; no blanket rules.
Be true and authentic; no need to lie.
Above all…pray for your tribe; we are only as strong as our weakest link
A strong tribe makes a strong man or woman.
#Lesson30 ~ Only God knows your path: Stay true ~
This week two people close to me have celebrated their JUBILEE…50 years of life.
Each has walked through intense success & adversity.
Each has chosen God & His word over men
Each has paid a heavy price for God’s assignment
Each has come out beautiful in the sight of God & men
There is an intensity & focus that characterises them proving the hand of God at work in them & their fidelity to Him.
Rest assured that GOD:
Ordained your path: trust Him
Knew it would be hard: lean on Him
Has laid up provisions: don’t worry
Knew you would make it: stay true to Him
Take His word,
Build your life upon the ROCK, a
You will come out STRONG
Always STAY TRUE!
#Lesson29 ~ You don’t have say something every ~
Sometimes you don’t have to say anything…just be still and let God do His thing you.
#Lesson28 ~ Smile then laugh out loud ~
I have been watching myself for a few days now and it is apparent something has changed. What you ask?
I smile and laugh more.
I had stopped laughing out loud alot because of strange looks I used to get when I did. I have the kind of laugh that comes from the belly, I don’t do the dainty cute ones. If you are looking for that…I’m not it.
I’m one with the loud, deep mischievous, almost impish laughter that stops some in their tracks & turns heads. I’m the 200 watt all teeth out smile, kind of girl but I’m not the shake your braids type.
Can you imagine I had begun stifling my laugh because of how people looked at me? I saw the questions in their eyes…how does she laugh so loud and carefree? Shouldn’t she be more controlled?
Yes I could & I was but I wasn’t being true to myself. It surprised me how much my has heart healed with days of laughter and shared photos of big smiles. It is more surprising how free and light I feel as well as fascinating how many smiled or burst into laughter soon after I did.
I say to myself:
- Let your light shine
- Let your laugh break forth
- Let joy fill your atmosphere
- Let healing flow through the camp
- You are destined to change the world
- Make it one smile & burst of laughter at a time
#Lesson27 ~ Try Something New ~
Every day it is clearer that nothing remains the same and if I live as if there are guarantees to life I will be disappointed.
One day at a work activity, I met a stranger who is now an associate. We had a shoot scheduled and as I left home, I knew it was my day to do a personal one so I picked several outfits. I am rarely one to deliberately have a photo shoot but I knew it was time to step out and do something different.
Though I was tired after a long production day, I was clear this was a do or do no excuses situation. It would be easy to think, I have never done this or I don’t look nice in that or how will I focus or who will be watching or will i look nice or other endless list of reasons but my inner voice said, ‘Let’s try this; how hard can it be?’ It all came together with that thought.
It is clear that a thought can align in the right environment as long as it is engaged. I did an outdoor, public photo shoot with breathtaking results by challenging my internal narrative and past fears.
Things weren’t as hard as they appeared once my spirit understood the importance, my mind acknowledge this is something we would do & I took the first step. All I needed was to take that first step & grace for every other came in time.
Get up! Try that new thing and find strength for the journey.
#Lesson26 ~ Assess, assess, assess ~
There has been a lot on my table recently and I have honestly struggled to keep up. It took a lot of adjustment and a push from my young king to realise I had to re-prioritise my life.
It was interesting to see my life from his perspective every morning when he asked how far I had gone and what the plan was for the day. He would come back in the course of the day and ask again what how it was going and sit up with me at night as I worked late.
In the beginning, it was a bother because I wanted peace of mind and I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need help. You know that adult thing of knowing it all? You know that pressure of showing the world you can do it knowing full well you are struggling.
As the week went on, I realised that I needed to do it different; to set a different example. So I begun to process or should i say access; I looked at the task, divided into bite sized pieces; to keep checking progress. So that became the pattern, write a list and go down the list.
It became the pattern and it created the right balance I needed to finish the task, the week, the new pattern…assess, assess, assess. That is the new way of life.
#Lesson25 ~ Legacy is more than money ~
This week the young king turned 13 and it has given me a lot to think about…what am I giving him for life? Today it settled around Prove 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”
For so long when we talk about inheritance we think about leaving money and property for our children to live in comfort. However, as I have watched rich men and women die and the fights that ensure among their children for the wealth that has been left I have wondered what is wrong.
I could leave great wealth for the young king but have i given him the right skills to live an thriving life. Has he learnt faith, commitment, honest work, diligence, dedication, hard work, thinking, financial management, negotiation etc. Why? Wealth doesn’t grow itself so if he is used to a consumptive life he will continue spending after i am gone and not building on it so in time it will get finished.
I strongly say that legacy is about building in others the capacity to live and thrive in your absence and raise the bar higher for the next generation. It is about walking with God in full diligence that allows my life to tell the story of the faithfulness of God, the available possibilities and the work needed to get there.
Legacy is about leaving the next generation and everyone I interact with thinking different, shifting in places of greater influence and changing their corner of the world. Indeed, money and wealth is only part of legacy.
Let’s pursue the full circle of life preparedness for great success.
#Lesson24 ~ Delegate with Authority ~
One of my guardrails in life is my son aka the young king. He is a major partner in my food and health habits and a might powerful one at that when I let him.
I have a very sweet tooth especially when it relates to chocolate and anything chocolate so you can imagine how it is when I am working to keep my weight down and fitness managed. He is my line of defence and when things get out of control he is quite something.
I have allowed him to sound the alarm when I am eating more than i should and he does it very well but I was ignoring him. I wasn’t watching how bad things had become until one day when he walked in and I discreetly dropped the oreo wrapper on the seat beside me. RED FLAG!!!
I had got way beyond my ability to control the cravings and the weight of course is the blessed result. The next time i asked for cookies and he gave me side eye I tapped the frustration down & really listened. I heard his heart on the matter; he is concerned about mum.
Then I remembered, I gave him the role to keep me on track but what use is it if I just ignore his prompts. I need to give him authority by responding to his requests in the agreed manner of he will stop trying to help. It was evident in his eyes that if I balked again he would walk away from our project.
When you delegate something, give the person the authority to decide course of action and implement it
#Lesson23 ~ Be honest ~
It is very easy to live our lives disconnected from our true identity and passions and based on the expectations of society. We hold in the pain, hide the struggle, suck it up, dumb down and pretend that all is well when little or nothing is indeed well.
We must walk tall and with strength but we must also learn to be honest about life. I see young men putting on a show that they are fine yet they are totally uncertain and broken inside. I see young women smile and strut their stuff but they are angry and distrustful.
Recently, I too have had to learn a deeper honesty with myself is my key to a balanced life. As I dealt with a few things, it became clear that so many things needed to align that were currently out of alignment. I looked myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw yet in that moment that was my truth.
Key word…in that moment it was my truth. I have since become deliberate about self-honesty and it has borne fruit in deeply honest conversations and personal growth. Learn to be honest with yourself about yourself and life around you, then you will truly grow and thrive
#Lesson22 ~ Be curious ~
You know that child you tell not to do something and they do it? I am that one. My brother and I were thick as thieves as we grew up, routinely ganging up on our elder sister ???. He knew I was curious and adventurous so he warned me not to go to the lower end of town and based on my last statement you can guess I went there.
When I finished high school he told me not to go to River Road and I dutifully said ok, knowing well what I would do???. One day I found myself dealing with my curiosity ans it got the better of me so I walked down there. You could never know the fear and trepidation that filled my heart as if to stop it yet my heart was racing. Though my steps though confident externally internally they were hesitant yet i couldn’t stop or turn back but I was driven by something on the inside to understand.
I can never explain the feeling of accomplishment when I came back up to the main side of town safe and sound. The trip was a success because even as I was going there just to see, I found shops that sold beads and I was looking for cost effective beads for my new business. For purposes of full disclosure, I didn’t tell my brother for months maybe years after that.
Be curious and explore.
There are places that will redirect our paths, confirm our goal, send us away, draw us in or simply put…change the trajectory of our lives. Don’t be foolish and choose dangerous places for kicks but try a new thing or two and change the path of your life.
Be curious and explore. Ask God for guidance because He’s got you.
#Lesson21 ~ Be ready to adjust ~
The young king and I take time to walk every evening but life has kept interrupting. Sometimes it was my schedule, others we were too tired, others the track was packed.
We walk within the estate and as time has gone on, children have gone to online school and the sun has gotten hotter, the children have changed their play time. Since we all need fresh air, they all come out together to race and burn excess energy.
So imagine us walking on the road with 7 young ones on bikes racing and playing. That is obviously a recipe for disaster. So we had two choices: keep walking and stepping around each other or change the time.
Since we have determined to walk no matter what, we changed the time. Our walk time is hotter so no need for a jacket but that also means no pocket for the timer aka phone. Yet, the goal must be reached…walk every day.
When a path is chosen, do all you must to remain on task. Make all the adjustments needed to remain because as to remain and adjust, change happens, you move, you grow, you BECOME.
#Lesson20 ~ One thing at a time
I know that doesn’t sound like the way life is but this is my experience. Focus on one thing at a time and do it well. When you are good at it start the next thing…rinse and repeat.
I was the queen of multitasking and I thought I was doing well but as I got clearer about what I want to give to life, I realised I wasn’t doing anything to 100% or getting 100% out. So I began to cut back and manage the pressure and viola, my work changed.
Focusing gave me clarity and the ability to really be present in life and connected to the world around me. I can take a moment to recharge seated outside in the evening listening to the night life, cooking or doing dishes in the kitchen just feeling the water and listening to the clang of the dishes.
Doing one thing at a time increased my ability to deliver quality. Yes, I am on several projects but every one of them gets it’s tasks done in a specific sequence. Sequencing allows each one to get the right quality and impact. It also means that every so often I am not available on one side.
It has taken me some time to crack but oh what a joy it is to be back to impact by doing one thing at a time.
#Lesson19 ~ Track the process ~
My paraphrase of Habakkuk 2:2 is, ‘…write the vision make it plain that those who come later will know what to do.’ This part is down by most of us. Very few of us look back, forward and sideways to keep on track.
Tracking means sitting with yourself and looking at your life deeply to ask critical questions and answer honestly. Note where you started or are starting. Know where you are going and measure progress often. As you look at your life it will become clear that there’s a pattern, there are clusters, there are triggers, and there are common responses and recurring limiting beliefs. It also identifies places of growth and accountability needed as well as people to connect to or let go of.
I know it could be challenging but when you understand that tracking helps deeper growth, it becomes a place of growth. Many of us don’t look track so we are unaware of our blind spots or our great wins. Tracking brings peace when you can see the growth and get the help you need.
Track yourself and rise higher every time
#Lesson18 ~ Reach out ~
What do you do when people you know go underground? When that person went mute, did you look for them? When a friend loses someone they love, how do you respond? When life changes for many people around you what do you do?
We all reach out at the beginning and are there comforting and condoling then when we think things are ok, we go away. When we lose a loved one, our habit as a people is to be there for the days up to the burial and then we go back to our lives forgetting that those grieving have just started the journey.
- When a friend has disappeared for a while, reach out.
- When a neighbour is super quiet, reach out.
- When you know someone who is grieving, reach out.
- When you think about someone a lot, reach out
Reach out because it isn’t always easy to ask for help if it isn’t offered. When someone comes to your heart and mind, offer the support you sense they need. Be the support to others that you would like to receive. Reach out and make a difference in others lives and your own life will be richer and deeper than you could ever imagine
#Lesson17 ~ Try Something New ~
I was working a project across town and I needed help and recruited some young men from my locality. They were the best and brightest in their group and were keen to conquer this project.
Our first stop was breakfast in a nice restaurant and they all realised the menu items were foreign. The next surprise was the intensity of the security check followed by the restrictions of access around the venues. The final straw for them was the cars and gadgets they saw and the conversation around them.
One of them said to me, ‘I thought I knew, but today I discovered I know very little. Please teach me.’ The rest chimed in the affirmative.
We began the long process with table etiquette, guest relations, work ethic and commitment. Though I don’t see many of them anymore, I have watched two use the simple things taught that week so well in other areas.
Their eagerness to learn and try new things, has resurfaced in this season as I think about how much life has & continues to change. I reaffirm my choice to try something new because the old way is no longer applicable.
#Lesson16 ~ Always do your best ~
Last year in the middle of a very challenging event, I found a moment of light. We were moving delegates to breakout rooms when I noticed a senior government officer looking stranded. I walked up and offered to help & as we walked together, she asked if we’d met before. I said yes & explained the circumstances of our meeting just under 10 years ago.
She smiled then said, ‘I remember you and your team. Your work was always so good & I can see you still do.’ The truth is, we were really struggling to keep things afloat that day because of things beyond our control but I was doing the best I could to keep calm. Her words were the fire I needed to press on.
There will be challenges along the way. There will be days you want to give up. There will be failures, lost opportunities, rainy days, muddy roads, dark nights, empty seats, no transport or hot, lonely times.
- Nonetheless, do your best every time.
- Hold the tray even if your hand is shaking.
- Smile even if the tears are threatening.
- Call out for help even if you can’t see anyone.
Do your best, no matter what is happening. It will always pay off.
#Lesson15 ~ Your life counts ~
This was my birthday week and I had a lot of time for reflection. It was interesting reading the messages shared from all angles so i began to track the words used to describe me and some of them blew my mind.
There is a girl I am working hard to become through my process and there are definitions only God and I know meaning I haven’t shared them with others yet they began appearing on the TL. Some were even as new as the day of the birthday and someone pops up with them. I begun to see the spaces where my work on myself is making impact.
The thing that blew my mind though was a call I received. A gentleman I had met two years ago as I helped a friend buy a car, called to ask for assistance to find food during this season. We had started talking because he noticed my car is manual and he expected that I would be driving automatic because i am a girl (story for another day). He asked me candidly, ‘If you don’t help me, who will?I didn’t have cash to send to him immediately but in a few days things resolved themselves.
Please understand that your life is not and will not be in vain because there is a space on this earth shaped just like you. There are needs your life must answer and a story it must tell. Focus on knowing yourself & becoming the best version on you as you avoid useless shenanigans.
Your life counts, Be the best you can be
#Lesson14 ~ Remember who you are ~
This morning, I had a conversation with a friend and she blew my mind. We met in high school and went on to the same university and to date she still calls me her head girl (story for another day). What struck me most was her explanation that it is the influence I and the fact that she still looked up to me for the strength to keep going.
Very often we don’t understand how sharing our lives with people including the challenges, makes life manageable. The challenges make us better and stronger people and so it is important to share that we may encourage others.
Remember who you were created to be
Remember who you are created to become
Remember who you created to touch
Remember you are masterpiece, one of a kind, special delivery, unique, you are and always be the answer to a very specific question.
Remember who you are and live it out every moment, day, week, month and year
Remember who you are!!
#Lesson13 ~ Trust the process ~
Several years ago, we hit crisis point in our business and just to survive we closed the office & moved home. It was a tricky shift but it worked out well.
I went back to work for a bit and when my assignment was done I came back to my home to restart life and shift careers. It took lots of adjustments because I’d got used to working with people and loved the regular money in the pocket.
Looking at how things are now, I realise I’ve been in training for this season for a while. I have been able to help people adjust to this season & find balance. It’s been challenging to have so many people in my space.
I’m now thankful for everything that happens & always asking
- How does my perspective need to shift today?
- What do I need to see different?
- What can I learn from my process so far?
#Lesson12 ~ You are not alone…keep walking ~
This week I shared a bit of what I do with an associate & it began the most intense discussion ever.
We knew each other from before but life & its challenges didn’t allow us to work together. We met at an event & agreed to chat yet by the time we spoke the need I was to help meet was already filled.
As the conversation shifted to other matters, we found a mutual interest in & calling to the next generation from different sides of the spectrum. There were so many similarities it took my breath away.
I was breathless because my journey has been very private & personal. I have spent the last three or so years talking & listening to the next generation, asking hard questions & getting shallow answers. It felt like no one understood my interest or rather madness; then I met someone who has been on a similar journey & just when we each have something to offer, our paths cross.
Understand this…Nothing in your path is in isolation or useless.
Just because no one understands your path now doesn’t negate it. Keep walking because the people aligned with you are also in preparation stage & you will all become on time and meet the need you were created to meet.
#Lesson11 ~ Take action now ~
It is very easy to get distracted, overwhelmed or discouraged when things are at a crossroads. It is important to make a choice and move on no matter what.
I have never been in an investment group aka chama and I always said I wanted to join one. It’s been 10+ years since that discussion begun in my mind but the needs were too extreme every time I tried.
Fast forward to 2019 and I knew this was it…do or never speak about it again. I still didn’t know what when or where, I just knew the year wouldn’t close without me joining. After months of looking to Jim avail, a group formed right in my circle and I just couldn’t believe.
Terms are strict and the tone of the leadership firm; only serious people wanted. Ha! ? Then it happened…Doubt and it’s cousin Fear appeared jumping, dancing, kicking and screaming all around me until that’s all I could hear.
Then the still voice within said, “Join.”
“I don’t have the money,” I said fearfully
“I will provide,” he responded and went on to stipulate the amount to commit to.
With my heart in my throat I registered and joined, still trembling but certain this is the ONLY path.
Every month provision has been miraculous & unexpected. I have learnt several things:
- Purpose – Be sure of the reason for your life – provision follows assignment
- Direction – Hear and understand the path you will follow – a clear path gives grace
- Move – act with & on what you know
- Believe – nothing happens unless you stand firm on the possibility
Understand that once you MOVE & OBEY the next instruction comes.
Get up and make that move right now.
Actions speak; words merely whisper
#Lesson10 ~ Be Kind ~
This week hasn’t been perfect but I’ve learnt a lot. Of key importance was kindness.
I went to the supermarket after a long day with a long list. At the veggies section, I was trying to fit my sukuma, managu, dory and spinach back in the trolley when the attendant pulled a box from under the table for me. The ladies around wondered because we are often told to get boxes at the counter…I was stumped.
At the check out counter, the cashier said hi as she started running my bill & the packer smiled politely. When I asked for cartons (I didn’t have bags) he recognised me & beamed, said happy New Year & apologised for not recognising me before. You see, I was wearing a hat so it hid my face.
I am picky about cashiers & packers because I have a way I like my purchases packed (story fir another day). In the last few years, this gentleman has often been paired with one or two of my favourite cashiers (yes I have favourites) & gets my preferences.
The cashier was shocked at the sense of camaraderie that’s been built over time through greetings & conversation. In a previous shopping trip we left our bread and he followed us out to the parking.
This day service was meticulous, packing was careful, laughter in plenty ending with an offer to take my shopping to the car.
Kindness brings out the best in us & people.
Kindness changes the world & brings joy.
Be kind to people because you never know what is going on in their lives.
A little kindness will give hope to the broken heart, joy to the discouraged, strength to the weak.
Be kind: one day you will be glad.
#Lesson9 ~ Press on ~
This week I have doubted my ability to accomplish many times. There were so many challenging variables all at once that my mind got confused. In several cases it was easier to throw in the towel & walk away.
Yet the question remained, “Give up then what?” Often it is easier to give up, give in & walk away because of the amount of work needed to keep dealing with every weight & challenge that comes. However, dealing & pressing on is the only option.
Why press on?
1. The answer is on the other side of the challenge
2. You are guaranteed growth by going through
3. The lessons learnt will be the supports in the new season.
How do you press on?
- Admit there’s a daunting challenge in the way
- Analyse & catalogue the details, pros & cons
- Determine the next step or set of steps then take them
- Tell someone what you are doing & ask for help
- Start with what you know & the rest will unfold
It is possible, just keep asking & walking
#Lesson8 ~ Tenacity ~
This week I met an amazing set of lady farmers who are passionate about sustainability, quality, growth & community.
What has stayed with me is that as they were building a very specific organisational culture, they had many challenges. It took hiring & letting go off 42 drivers to find the right fit. Driver No. 43…got it, applied it, practised it, believed it, lived it & taught others to do the same.
They are tenacity personified…the ability to hold onto something & not let go: being very determined
Was hiring & letting go easy? No.
Was it tiring? Definitely! Yet it would have been more difficult to have a poor culture as they worked to become the best they could be than to keep trying & working, so they kept on till no 43.
- What dream has been placed in you that must become?
- What path are you pursuing for the good of mankind?
- What mountains are in your way?
- What must you overcome to soar?
- Just because things aren’t changing doesn’t mean they never will
- Keep working until you become the dream or attain the goal
- Keep the goal in sight but adjust & iterate every move
- Hold on tight, find support
#Lesson7 ~ Be adaptable ~
This week has been super flexible and fluctuating. I had a meeting set, cancelled, reinstated, cancelled and reinstated. Talk about adjusting plans. I dropped the young king? in school and told him I wasn’t going out but 7 minutes later as I got back home, the meeting was on & I had an hour to prepare.
I had plans to follow a national event so was really disappointed at first. All the same I begun getting ready as I followed matters on line. I was fascinated about the event precision but my life and mind had to shift to thrive.
The ability to shift is important to peace of mind. It would have been easy to get upset and blame people for poor planning and miss the big picture or shift & suddenly understand the importance of being adaptable when we reached our destination. The changes were based on availability of team members as well as a test of our resilience to remain committed to our assignment.
I advocate for planning yet, it is important to remain flexible and adjustable as we walk in life. Set a firm goal but be flexible about the route to the goal. If one way isn’t working, find another route. If you keep getting stuck, stop, assess, deep dive, identify the challenges, resolve, shift direction and keep moving
#Lesson6 ~ Pursue Consistent Growth ~
A few days ago, an old habit that I thought I had kicked showed up & took me by surprise with the ease I restarted it. I had walked away from it because there was no value in it but one day, one thought led to another I ended up back there. I didn’t even understand how I got here without notice. It is easy to settle in life when things are going well and forget to track the things that are changing, have changed or never do things that demand you grow. .
I must remember I’m in the process of becoming, growing expanding so I must keep working & walking. Things can creep up on us & make us change when we aren’t tracking our growth so it must be planned & pursued. I must plan, position myself, ask and work on it. I must deliberately choose to read, ask, be accountable & follow instruction. What is pursued is achieved and that is my path.
It is ok if you don’t see similar growth in me. Our paths are different so we will not grow the same way or at the same rate. I will continue growing; I will ask you to join me just remember it’s your choice to grow.
Meanwhile, I will pursue consistent growth and invite you to join me
#Lesson5 ~ I don’t know that much ~
It is easy to say that the 40+ years I have lived have taught me a lot in terms of work, faith, family, community etc. and that is true. However, it is also true that life around me is super dynamic and changing every day, actually, every moment.
There are so many new things around me or apparently old things that have new dimensions, options, applications. There are careers, styles, social media sites, cars, colours, trends and a long list of items that didn’t exist a few years ago and were unimaginable.
I must accept I don’t know that much, resist the urge to say I know the way things should be and hold onto the past. I must remain stable in goal, opinion and direction but flexible in method & application, remembering that daily a new idea, concept, methodology, focus etc. arises and I need to understand parts of it.
In the face of changes around me I accept i don’t know much then remain humble, focused, flexible & hungry to deep dive, learn, question, test, reengineer, test, improve, reengineer and keep on that track…a learner, a seeker, a giver, a plant growing towards the sun.
#Lesson4 ~ Ask for help ~
This week has been intense with lots of work and I got a little stuck. My mind wasn’t moving as fast as I needed to so work was slower than I expected. .
On the day it looked like I would make good progress, we had a technical failure on the power line serving my area so no power all day. ?????. This just compounded the time I hadn’t been productive and time was lapsing.
As panic set in I realised it wouldn’t help me much so I calmed myself down and chatted my Papa (yes, I’m Daddy’s girl) and my senior brother. It was totally interesting how their seemingly detached questions opened different perspectives to me and allowed me to see a new way out.
Realise that if you don’t know what to do, sitting there staring at the wall willing an answer to come will not help. Ask for help.
Ask someone you trust to be honest with you
Ask someone who knows more than you
Ask the person your gut says call
Ask for help before panic sets in.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help and if someone thinks it’s foolish to ask, make a note of them and never go back there ever. .
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV .
#Lesson3 ~ Be Still ~
We are taught to be busy all the time; never an idle moment for an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. I also agree that idleness is a key to lost time, so I would never advocate it. Yet my life is teaching me that I need to just stop a little more every day and experience #stillness.
To be still is to learn to be settled in my heart and mind in a way that my body can find deep lasting rest. Every day I need to find moments to sit in silence and reflection to reconnect with God, myself and the world around me.
Being still is helpful because:
- It allows my mind and body to reconnect
- It allows me time to think deeply
- It enables me to truly rest & recalibrate
- It makes me more productive
Stillness will mean different things for different people. For me, it is moments of silence in the morning, moments of deep breathing in the afternoon and sitting outside on the sun in the evening.
Take time to be still and thrive.
#Lesson2 ~ Keep learning; keep asking ~
I learnt to drive when I was 18 and one thing I loved doing was finding out where roads led to. I would fuel the car, get on the road and see where it went. This allowed me to know ways to traverse the city and avoid traffic bottlenecks. .
In 2016, I started a new position across the city from me and part of my preparation for work was to drive all potential routes in both directions so I could map the best one. The options were many because of the construction of the Southern Bypass, Kibera by pass and other roads in between. .
I wouldn’t have known these routes if I hadn’t heard people talk about them and been daring enough to get on the road and drive them and in time I was confident about the journey. .
This week it has been clear that even as I have lots of experience, there’s still a lot I don’t know because the world around me is changing. These changes demand constant learning. .
I have definitely realised I must:
- Never assume or think I know it all
- Remain teachable
- Ask questions
- Consistently seek knowledge from the right source
- Ask, listen, study, choose, apply, assess…rinse and repeat
#Lesson1 ~ Be Deliberate ~
We never have enough time, energy or money therefore our choices must be deliberate.
On new years day, three generations of us took a drive to Thika to see my aunt and uncle. It was as impromptu as can be but life shifting all the same. It was interesting to see language barrier and generation gap work together so seamlessly.
I also discovered I actually understand a lot of Kamba (yes, I’m part Kamba).