Every week, I share something that stood out for me in the process either to challenge my thoughts, patterns or even left me wondering. This is the collection from the year 2021, an exceptional year full of grace and love but even fuller of lessons and transformation.
~ Reflect & Celebrate ~
There is always something to reflect about and celebrate. I look back to 2021 and I find joy in everything that has happened, and the holidays gave time for reflection and was reminded that there is nothing good or bad in life it is either a blessing or a lesson.
I celebrate many things:
- Moderating 20 panels and meetings across different sectors
- Participating in 5 international events
- Joining 3 boards
- Becoming the first President of the SME Founders Association
- Writing my first poetry book in a collection of 4 – about to hit the shelves
- Attaining my IFC-IPL trainer certification
- Starting my business, built an amazing team and found an amazing accountability partner
- Learning more about myself than I knew last year from a team of coaches
- Going on holiday with the young King and barely did any work
- Learning to dream, envision, work, and accomplish daily
I didn’t reach all my goals, but we got close enough because some changed and got bigger midstream, I dropped some and others, well, time ran out.
2021 was amazing and full of learning and 2022…no words. God is in 2022 so we will rise, thrive, and conquer. Blessed New Year
~ Love ~
Someone tried to say that this is not a place to talk about love but hear me out. Many times, when we talk about love, we immediately think about romantic love but surely there is more to life than that. I have found depth in love for humanity that makes us look for opportunities to help others.
I have found it very easy to be caught up in what I do and what I have access to and forget that others are not as privileged as me. It is a privilege to have a university education and the opportunity to build a business even in the middle of a pandemic while others have lost jobs and livelihoods. I am privileged to have access to vaccines and opinions about the effects of the same.
- How do we show our love for humanity?
- We speak up on behalf of the less fortunate.
- We create opportunities for others through conversations, internships, employment etc
- We open doors to new world views by following unknown paths and leaving signs for others to follows
- We share the knowledge we have freely in ways that will benefit others
Love for others fuels compassion,
~ Choose to believe ~
Have you ever been told that you are amazing or good at something and you brush it off? Is it humility or is itself doubt? Let me explain.
I used to shy away from appreciation not because I didn’t like it but because I didn’t believe it could be true. I had been called beautiful, excellent at my work, gifted and so much more but I have never truly believed it. This time I asked myself why I didn’t believe it and I realised it was because I didn’t want to be found or considered vain. Yet there is nothing vain about acknowledging how good I am at my craft. In fact, acknowledging my gift would increase my confidence and enable me to pursue growth and improvement.
I am learning to acknowledge my gifts and grow in them because anything less is to deny the fullness of my assignment on this earth and reduce the impact intended from my life. I choose to BELIEVE; BELIEVE I am appointed, BELIEVE I am gifted, BELIEVE I am doing good with my gifts, BELIEVE my life has an impact and believe that all things are working together for my highest good.
I choose to believe!!!
~ Growth starts with curiosity ~
I had an interesting conversation about getting to the top of our game. We were talking about how it takes so much time and effort. It was interesting to unpack the narrative that you can succeed at business quickly, yet you cannot get past the exam system with the same speed. Greatness doesn’t just happen out of the blue, it is cultivated and developed over time. It is built and requires training and training gives stability and stamina.
The ability to grow in life and business is driven by curiosity. Curiosity about why things are the way they are. Curiosity about what worked in the past and what didn’t. Curiosity about coming possibilities. Curiosity about everything else. Curiosity then fuels the need or desire to grow and the pursuit of excellence. Growth is impossible without curiosity.
I am learning to let my curious side out more to open possibilities for me and push me into the greatness I am pursuing.
~ Find rest ~
It’s easy to work, work, work and never play. It’s easy to explain away all the time we spend at work by the need to make ends meet. In the words of a dear friend, “One day the bod will demand rest and it won’t be easy so take it now.” In truth, we only have one body and one life to live. We only have X number of days, only known to the Creator. Rest may not lengthen your days perse, but it will improve the quality of the life you live in those days.
?REST helps out bodies and mind heal and refresh.
?REST enables us to recharge and rebuild strength and reserves for the coming season
?REST gives us time to think, reflect, process, and figure how to apply the lessons learnt and put a plan in place.
?REST helps us find our inner child, then find ways to play and laugh.
?REST restores the balance on the soul, to guide our steps in the future
Take time to rest this holiday season and every month after that. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.
~ Walk your path ~
I had a busy week so didn’t post online for a couple of days even though we were in the middle of an exciting series of events. The season ended and I still hadn’t made any online posts and I hadn’t even realised that. My phone dinged and there was a message that got me up and thinking deeply. It said, “Good morning Kyesubire, how are you? How was the conference? No pictures?”
I had thought my journey was purely mine but there were people waiting for me to share what I am learning so they can follow or make their choices based on the lessons shared. I must be sure of who I am, how I live and what I am doing. It struck me that I am not doing all these things for the attention of people rather I am doing it to chart a path that others can follow or that will encourage people to chart their own paths.
I choose to walk my path because it gives each of us room to make things work and progress on the path of life. Walk your path no matter what and do not let people derail you from it.
~ Equipped to choose ~
How often do you doubt that you know what to do? Would you believe me if I said you actually know what to do because it was imprinted within us? I bet you may not.
Each of us has within us the capacity to think through things and choose the right way but too often we think we don’t. We are so conditioned by the world to think less of who we are and where we find ourselves, but we need to change that.
My friend and sister Jane Ndenga, has taught me this lesson every year for the last five years. A bout of polio as a child left her as a person living with a disability and for a long time, she lived pitying herself and counting all the things she could not do. It was easy to listen to what people said about being limited because of her disability…until she became a sportswoman and has risen to travel more than most of us.
A few years back we began chatting more often about her activities and I found great inspiration in her commitment to her workouts, meticulous planning of which tournament to play and when and when to rest. She is also aware of the statute of limitations on her ability to keep competing and is already planning her exit off the competitive landscape into the leadership space.
I wish I could say that all this is random and unrelated to choice but it is not. It is tied to her ability to look within and understand what she has to work with and then CHOOSE to do something absolutely outstanding about it. It is tied to her deep faith in God and strong work ethic. It is tied to her insatiable appetite for growth and passion to inspire other people living with disabilities to follow their dream and accomplish it.
We all come fully loaded for whom we need to be in life, but we also have the choice to work at it or to remain feeling sorry for ourselves. Let’s choose to believe we are fully equipped, and we can make a choice about how our lives will pan out, then go and do the work.
Never doubt that you are equipped to understand the situation, evaluate the need, and CHOOSE the appropriate course of action. Make the RIGHT CHOICE.
~ Love and be loved ~
It is never easy to love but we all deserve a chance to love and be loved.
I have known many forms of love, but the purest form is from people you loved, fought, forgave one another, and loved again. I have brothers who love me and look out for me no matter what. It isn’t about them wanting to date me or be with me, it is that God has shown them who I am and how our lives are intertwined, and they have chosen to remain by my side no matter what.
Recently one was asked about me and how I was doing by a mutual friend, and it startled her how he spoke about me. All she could say to me later to was…” He really loves you.” At that moment, I pondered about our friendship and realised that no matter what happens, he is my person, my brother, the defender of my calling, the kick in need to keep walking, a deep source of faith, hope and love.
?Love isn’t just the passionate stuff between couples and can be shared between people.
?Love is listening to God about the path of the other person
?Love is knowing each other’s potential and standing together to ensure each one accomplishes
?Love is candid conversations that call each other out and support each other too
?Love is acceptance of the person but not condoning a lack of growth over time
?Love is the power of transformation through accountability and commitment
?Love is recognised, accepted, and expressed while the beloved is alive and not written afterwards
?Love is the foundation of success because of the demand to be solid on the assigned path
To love and be loved is a primary blessing in life…I pray you get to experience it fully.
~ CHOOSE to love ~
We are called to love others as Christ has loved us and I thought I had that down to a science. But alas!
First off, love is not a feeling, it is a daily choice. We get to choose every single day to remain true to the relationship.
Second, love is transformational. When we love people, we accept them with their faults and help them work on their lives. when we are loved, we understand we don’t know it all and have failed. When we love and are loved we extend grace one to another. Love is a state of mind that seeks the best in people and shares the information they need to grow.
Third, love isn’t only about your spouse or family, it encompasses other people.
Fourth, love doesn’t mean accepting and approving all behaviour blindly, it demands you acknowledge the good and call out the bad. Love allows us to live at a distance and still be assured of love.
Finally, Love is selfless but not foolish. We care for one another yet must combine the connection with honesty and commitment. Love allows you to take time out and heal or walk away if the situation is toxic for your sanity or the sanity of others.
And these three remain, faith, hope and love…but the greatest of these is LOVE
~ Smile ~
I was out with one of my sisters who smiles and says hello to everyone she meets, and I saw something remarkable. Every person she smiled at or said hello to brightened either in joy, surprise, or shock. However, after every response, they smiled back and seemed lighter in their stride.
A smile is powerful and transformational. A smile shifts the conversation and strengths the frame. A smile makes someone’s life turn around through a glimmer of hope.
A smile is free, so share it with as many people as possible and as they smile back at you, you will gain strength.
Share a smile with someone.
~ Gratitude ~
Sometimes when life hits, it is a little hard to be grateful because of how life is so hard, but gratitude can shift many things in our lives. Gratitude is the attitude of thankfulness and a readiness to appreciate others and return kindness to all.
I had always thought I lived in a place of gratitude until the day I realised I didn’t. during a period of meditation, I was thinking about different people and realised that I had dismissed their help even as they were expending themselves for me to great length. How couldn’t I have seen it? Where did all the negativity come from? How had I missed it for so long?
It is simple…my hurt feelings and disappointment had clouded my vision.
Partial gratitude is beneficial, but life can be improved by absolute gratitude, so I began working on my thoughts. For every person I had even one hard feeling towards, I would look for something that was good about them. I know that there are so many instances when we cannot see the good in people but if we look hard enough.
I had an interesting conversation recently trying to help a friend understand why we had disconnected. It was interesting that they couldn’t see how deeply their actions had impacted our relationship. It would be easy to write the person off, but it also struck me that even though I felt the time had been wasted, I had grown so I reaffirmed my commitment to learning.
I learning to be grateful every day for every experience. I am learning to be still, take a deep breath and allow the emotions to chill before I make decisions. I am learning that gratitude is a place of strength and freedom.
What can you be grateful for today?
#gratitude #gracetogrow #newseasons #simplethings
~ Be Distinct ~
Several times in the last week people have heard my voice and known it was me. The most hilarious was in a meeting, where I laughed loudly at a joke and one of my friends turned and waved. At another event, a lady who has never met me, but has heard me speak in online meetings recognised me in a heartbeat. Again, I asked a question at an event and when I sat down, I found a message from a friend sitting in the back corner that she recognised my voice at “Good afternoon.” Lastly, as my people and I walked through a mall recently, someone called me by name saying, “I will always know that voice.”
But wait, there are people I know, in the same way, I hear a laugh and know who it is, I smell cologne, and it reminds me of someone, I smell a perfume, and it is my sister. Why? Simple…there is something very distinct about each of us yet many of us haven’t figured out what. I remember my first coaching session during the pandemic when I was asked to describe myself in three words and the first one was FORGETTABLE. Today that sounds crazy, but I had been left so many times and people never looked back, or so I thought I was totally forgettable.
Being distinct means, being unique or substantially different. It means that there is no one like you and that can become a point of strength. It also demands that you are honest with yourself and look through your life owning the things that are in good shape and also those you need to change and actually doing something about making the changes. It means that wherever you go, you remain true to who you are, and you make your mark because of that.
In a world that seems to demand a common look, remember that you are designed to be distinct and make a mark on the world. Hold onto your distinction and change your corner of the world.
~ Say yes to the challenge ~
Every so often, something comes my way that makes me want to get into bed and hide for a bit. In the past, it was easy to just walk away from situations because I wanted to keep the peace but that is getting harder and harder. I used to think life got easier as we got older but now I know different.
Remember how as children we wanted to get older so we could do what we wanted then we got older and realised that the promise of freedom was indeed a fallacy. As we get older, the expectations for us increase as do the levels of responsibility. I have found it interesting to hear many of my agemates and those older than me looking back to the good old days and wishing they come back. In reality, that is not going to happen.
So every so often I encounter something that stops me in my tracks because of its enormity or difficulty and I much choose my path. As I said before, I would walk away but these days, I walk towards the challenge. Why? because it forces me to grow and learn something new. I have learnt so much by simply accepting the challenge each time it comes up.
~ Share your growth stories ~
A dear friend pushed me to love myself by reminding me every chance he got how beautiful I AM and that others see it every day. It took more than a year from the day he made it his goal to the day I looked I’m the mirror, really saw myself and exclaimed to myself, “Damn girl, you are beautiful.”
I had learnt to take selfies, so he challenged me to stop using filters or editing & share my best ones. Once I shared, he’d advise on framing, lighting, colour, poses etc & challenge me to do more. What was more? A photoshoot, try new poses, follow photographers, use the selfies.
Recently I shared some shots after a period of not taking any. They looked well thought out & colour coordinated but they were spontaneous. Why? The lessons I’d received embedded into my mind until they were spontaneous. My growth in turn reminded my friend of a goal he had set & let slide for different reasons but re-ignited within.
“Thank you for the reminder. Didn’t think work would derail me as much but it’s been on my mind lately. Saw these shots and voila. Have to keep practising to get better and more fluid. Till I’m one with the process & it’s nature.”
Share your growth because it will encourage someone around you.
~ Everyone has a story ~
I attended a writer’s workshop recently and was really inspired. I have long said that we all have a story but hearing it reiterated by someone else made it so much richer. It got me thinking about my dream of helping people tell their stories and start charting the course of how I will help others tell their stories.
Why do I want to get stories told? People learn better when they hear stories and the lessons available are learned faster.
If you have been through pain, overcome adversity, raised a strong family, built a business, failed at business, fallen, and risen, then there is someone who needs to know what you know or has been through. There are enough success stories out there but too few honest, battle stories. As I listened to other authors and thought about my story, I realised that the stories that resonate most with people are stories about how people overcame adversity and grew.
Never say you have nothing to share with the world. Draw on your life, the lessons, the challenges, the wins, the joys, the sorrows, and everything else.
You have a story…share it and encourage others.
#Growth #Honest #TrustTheProcess #TheAfrikanStoryteller
~ Choose your parking ~
Recently I went to a meeting and as I drove in, I had to make a choice. I could drive into the basement like all other cars like mine did or park on the main floor facing the main entrance like the owners of the red plates and German machines.
You guessed it…or not. I parked my silver Toyota on the main floor next to a silver Mercedes.
A few years ago, I’d be the first to drive into the basement because I didn’t think I had the right to park next to high-end cars. What was different today? Simple…The story I was telling myself.
I was choosing the things I said to myself. I was choosing a new way of seeing myself. I was choosing my future. I was choosing my future.
Our actions tell us a lot about our worldview and personal perception. I could have parked in the basement, but it no longer served me well.
~ Influence is a loan ~
My coach said this to me one day and it has remained a key focus. When someone makes room for you or gives you an audience, they have created a space in their sphere of influence for you. You could do well or badly in that space, and it directly impacts your relationship with the one who made room for you.
When you mishandle the space, you repay with a debt, when you handle it well, you create value and repay with interest. It struck me that I must diligently watch the spaces I’m invited into to honour God, respect my room maker and nurture the space so it can open up greater opportunities because I’m careful and handle them well.
I intend to always return the influence lent to me with interest and in the off chance that I fail, I will work double hard to repay and restore.
~ What we focus on expands ~
It all began as I was thinking about savings and investments. I’ve kept hearing that we should build an investment fund and a backup fund of 6-10 times our monthly expenditure. It always seemed unrealistic until the day my mind shifted.
I’d always said to myself, “I don’t have, I don’t make much, I could never raise that…etc.” The fact was things were thick, but the TRUTH was it could all change.
It was easier to believe that I don’t have the narrative, yet it hadn’t worked well. I heard my coach’s words echo in my mind, “What stops you? What stands in the way? You must identify it, unpack it, make a plan, and move forward with it. When you get close to a goal, repeat the process and restart.”
It means having a deliberate focus on becoming, growing, knowing, and doing. When these elements are in play, my mind sees the end and connects to a new set of energising
~ Accountability is a game-changer ~
A few months ago, my niece and I decided to meet every month, set three goals, and review them honestly in 30 days. You can imagine how nerve-wracking the first meeting was for this over 40s aunt explaining to her under niece why goals had been missed. We both didn’t accomplish the fullness in that first month but since then…it is a different story.
First, we put aside family relations in the meeting, we are two business founders, seeking to build in our assigned spaces and ready to grow no matter what.
Second, we put aside shame for not accomplishing goals and dug into the real reasons that blocked us and once at the root cause, dealt with it ruthlessly.
Third, we learnt to define the progress we wanted and tracked it. We have put in measures that track our goals and they have in turn created growth we hadn’t seen in our past business journey because what gets written, tracked, and measured, gets done.
Understand that you cannot be accountable to everyone in life but if you want to grow, you must be accountable to someone willing to walk with you. Choose your tribe and thrive.
~ Move past the baby steps ~
This weekend I chose to get out of my comfort zone & went on a trade excursion & my o my…it was so worth it. It was a first for me to choose to go on a trip where I only knew one person, a first without one critical gadget that I do all my writing on & a first not knowing much about the actual places we were going. For once, I didn’t even research the names on the flier but just went with the flow no matter what. These were the largest baby steps I had ever taken.
I have been saying that I am taking baby steps in life & work, changing a little at a time every day. A conversation with a dear friend shook me when he said, “It is time to move past the baby steps.” What? Why? I thought I was doing so well. Had I missed something along the way?
Don’t get me wrong…Baby steps are big, huge, critical & monumental as they represent the choice to change, & the first move in the direction of the commitment. They are the first indicators of growth & focus, but they are never enough in the long run because they allow us to be close enough to our place of comfort & default if need be. I was comfortable with taking small steps, but he challenged me saying, “If you really what to see change, the baby steps must become WALKING steps, then a JOG, a SPRINT, a RUN, and finally SUSTAINED RUN aka MARATHON.”
My jaw dropped because even as I had made commendable progress, I needed to move on & up the game. I needed to focus on adding greater challenge and movement into my life and push myself further into my life assignment and closer to the PRIZE marked out for me. So, I am choosing to move from baby steps to walking steps then take a jog.
What pace do you need to move to, a walk, a jog, a run, a sprint, or a marathon? Let me know & we can walk together.
~ Choice and action ~
I have a super organised friend…yes, super organised. Every weekend, time is spent prepping meals for the week, organising clothes for the week, planning the schedule, and making the right adjustments to ensure that all factors remain constants, it will be a good week.
Sometimes when I watch their routines, I feel like I am not doing enough to be organised and all. I used to be very organised and had things down for months in a row before God blew it all apart. I do like the spontaneity that is my life now but sometimes I just wish I could be more organised again.
I must admit that some things are getting easier as I do them as soon as I remember like cleaning or tidying rooms when I am there instead of saying I will do it tomorrow, clearing the kitchen counter every evening before I sleep or first thing in the morning, or keeping clothes soon after they are sorted and ironed so I know organisation is coming back.
This weekend my friend say, “I know it’s not easy. Mine is to actively keep that flow going until it becomes second nature. Trust me, the desire to just be meh and let things be is there but I CHOOSE not to allow that. Why? It’ll breed laziness and complacency which will annoy me even more.”
It all boils down to a CHOICE followed by the appropriate ACTION. What do you need to choose to do?
~ Keep your word ~
Have you met people who say one thing and do the other or things change but they never alert you on the change? Do you sometimes find yourself on the other side of that conversation? It is especially bad when someone promises a payment on a certain day, or to fill a form or to do something and then they just disappear into thin air. I understand that things change, delay or whatever but why not come out and tell the truth? Why vanish like that?
I remember a season at work when the load was more than I could bear but because my boss was so harsh and never wanted to understand, I would just be silent and take the brunt of their rage. One day in the middle of being told off, I looked up and said, “I was doing something else, and I forgot, I am sorry”. My boss stopped in shock. He was so used to me having reasons and explanations that this admission caught him off guard. I still had to finish the task but the pressure of finding the right platitude was gone and now I was accountable for my situation.
My word is my bond so when I say I will do something, I need to be sure it actually can and if something changes, I must speak up. Think about travelling to a meeting. If you leave your place late, you can already tell you will be late. If you leave early but get caught in traffic you can still tell you will be late so why not alert the person you are about to meet?
Keeping your work means doing what you say, but it also means keeping those you work with updated on changes and challenges. it also means looking for options or alternative routes to accomplish the task at hand. Be sure to be a person of your word always.
~ Do the deep self-work~
Many of us are unsure why we aren’t effective as leaders or think that leadership is because people work under our supervision. My coach challenged my perception when he explained that people must ALLOW me to lead them. Having the assignment given to me doesn’t make me a leader. When the team choose to be led & respond to my vision because they can see how they will succeed by working with me…I am now a true leader.
Oh my, so why would anyone follow me? Do I have a compelling vision, the right measure of compassion, the ability to share the vision and keep the team on track? Do I know what success looks like? Do I have a measure of the defined success and the right accountability structures to make a good leader? At the end of the conversation, my answer was NOT QUITE!! More needs to be done so I will not rest until it is sorted.
- Leadership is a place of never ending deep self-work.
- Leadership is about relationship building.
- Leadership is a place of inspiration.
- Leadership is transformational for the leader and the led.
~ Know your WHY ~
In a series of conversations, I learnt that the reason things sometimes off track for me…I don’t always know my WHY intimately enough.
I heard of a young lady who dressed simply but seemed to attract all the attention in the room when she walked in. It wasn’t how expensive her clothes were or how fancy her car was, it was the warmth of her smile, her tinkling laughter, and her confident stride. It was her caring nature, her appreciation for those around & genuine interest in people.
One day while she was out with friends, they kept teasing her because a couple of guys followed her every move. They watched her walk like hawks clearly drawn to her, but she seemed totally unaware & immune.
How is it that the staring doesn’t bother you, they asked.
Who is staring? she asked
The guys at table 2, those ones in the corner & the ones by the door.
Ah! I hadn’t even seen them so I can’t tell you why.
Nkt, it must be because of how you are dressed.
I didn’t dress for them so why should I be moved?
Who did you dress up for?
I dress up to feel good about myself and I laugh or smile because I’m happy within & with me. You should try it one day.
Sha! This one is too much.
This spoke of a very deep self-appreciation that I am choosing to cultivate. Since I understood that I’m become my thoughts, I choose to re-strategise and realign my thoughts based on the reason I’m alive…my WHY.
That’s my fuel for going forward.
Take time to identify your true WHY.
~ Keep believing ~
Conversations can bring out the best or worst in us depending on how we interpret them. I asked a friend to stand with me on a matter I am growing in and keep reminding me of a certain truth, so I don’t forget.
“You’re reminded but you have to believe it and let it take root, otherwise being reminded holds no candle. The reminders have been around you all this time, in many fashions too including peeps around you but alas…It has not stuck. That speaks to reminder not really being the bond breaker, but BELIEF and WORK put towards it.”
As harsh as that sounds, it is true. No matter how much anyone reminds me about my greatness, one day I have to believe it & then live it out. I cannot say today that I believe and tomorrow sink back into doubt…I must remain confident and steadfast even in the face of adversity and work through the things that cause me to tremble and in time, I will overcome.
So, I set off to write them lessons down, catalogued the growth, let go of what isn’t working and move forward.
#leadership #growth #mindset #success #work
~ Believe ~
A dear friend went dark for 10 days & I couldn’t figure out why. You see, we are growing together so we talk at least once in 48 hours to track progress. I’d be lying if I said I was cool ?…I wasn’t ?. By day four of unanswered messages, I too went silent, not in anger but to calm my heart & mind.
Why calm down? I was creating scenarios in my mind, wondering what I didn’t do or did, what I can do or can’t, if he’ll show up again etc. Our friendship isn’t built on this kind of drama but the place I was in my process needed support & a key pillar was missing. Calming down helped me look inward & make progress as I waited.
On the evening of day 10, he showed up & I could tell it had been a tough many days of grinding & growing in the silence. You see, silence doesn’t mean didn’t mean I was ghosted, just that things were thick & he processes things differently. I talk to process; he retreats to process (gender differences).
My belief in our friendship kicked in so I could hold on, step back &make room for both of us to grow…thank God I had something to believe in. Do you have people you believe in & who believe in you?
~ Listen to hear when challenged ~
A conversation this week I found myself at loggerheads with an associate. We both felt we weren’t being heard and were pushing our points & temps were rising. I knew I had a point, but I also realised that raised voices won’t get me where I’ll be heard.
I had to take a very deep breath. It is always easier to listen to respond rather than listen to hear. Did this person have a point? Did they know something I needed to know? Did I have all the information, or could I learn something new? So, I stilled myself and listened.
Honestly, there were many things my associate said that I knew, but there were also many I didn’t know. He unpacked concepts I’ve been mulling about for so long knowing I only had one side of the conversation and when he was done, I could unpack my side and be heard clearly.
My mind shifted to accommodate the new information and I noted areas of additional learning. Our conversation was back on track, and we were both learning new things.
Conversations aren’t always straight or easy (truly they never should be ?) but when we invest the time to listen, we expand our knowledge and deepen relationships.
Choose to listen to hear, it will change your engagements.
~ Life is precious ~
The young king ?? recently turned 14 and I decided to let him choose what we will do to celebrate. It meant giving up my plans for two consecutive Saturdays, but as the day wore on, the smile on his face and the “Thank you for making time for me,” was more than enough. I could have argued that I had things to do, and I did, but I realised this is mission-critical time and I need to invest in this life.
Life is precious when we realise that we have less than 20 years to influence the next generation. It is precious because we influence them with time and connection ye we are too busy most of the time. Life is precious and too often we are so caught up striving for possessions, we are looking for recognition outside our homes, but our little people are starved for our attention.
Make time for the younger ones, let them know you care, teach them the things you wish you learnt earlier. Let them know love is not based on action or achievement but on the fact that we are human. Life is precious, live it to the fullest and with care.
~ Self-awareness: The KEY to life ~
I facilitated a 5 day session for teens about self-awareness…what? It all became real!!!
I was reminded that we must be INTIMATELY conscious of ourselves at all times: our strengths, weaknesses, emotions, fears, triggers, dreams, family & bodies. At all times means every day, in every situation for the rest of our days.
Self-awareness is as dynamic as life. We change based on our situation, experience, hopes, focus etc. so we must determine to be aware of how much how we feel, what we think and what we focus on affect our lives.
Self-awareness helps us:
- Identify the DREAM: where we are going & what we want.
- Discover the current STATE: where we are, what we have what we need.
- Chart the PATH: Design the route to take
- Check the PROGRESS: evaluate how we are doing, what we need to do more of, less of or delete
- Celebrate ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Enjoy attaining the goal
- RESTART: Set a new goal, repeat the process.
I choose self-awareness every time, even when it’s challenging & painful. Even it exposes me and shows how much I must grow & as it measures & celebrates accomplishments.
Are you aware of yourself? Pursue it & find deep joy and satisfaction in life.
~ Watch & Listen ~
I recently assumed I was more important to a process until it occurred to me that no one had heard my response until it was too late to change my plans. I had to decline an engagement at the 11th hour because it was assumed that since Kyesubire had always adjusted her program for people she would do it again. This time, it was impossible because I had given my word in advance and there were too many people confirmed on the other side, to change the date. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I had to let go of the activity where no one paid attention to what I was saying.
Sometimes people do not speak their truth, but it is in their words and actions. You do not need people to speak…just listen & watch; you’ll see it all.
Watch how they respond when you walk in, speak, receive something, understand a concept etc. Watch what they say to others about you, their facial expressions, energy, posture. See if they remember things that are important to you like your phone number, birthday, appointment, key things you have shared and even favourite colour.
Listen carefully to what they say, do not say, how they say it, when they speak…listen carefully. Note their tone, choice of words & phrases, expressions, and references. There is so much to be gained by listening with all your senses.
Don’t catch feelings. Simply realign your mind and heart then keep moving, watching, and listening.
~ Small things make life more meaningful ~
I have a friend who celebrates everything, even the most mundane looking one. Around him, nothing is too small, and all progress and growth are celebrated, and the next action is set in place immediately. Our conversations are peppered with clapping, woohoo, you did a good job, you can do this, etc. Even when he is dealing with very challenging situations, there is always a smile at the end of the rant or closing to the conversation with reminders that it will all work out.
I was always the one to see all that is left to do and keep trudging on, so I missed many small moments of celebration, energising and recalibration. It was easier to see and celebrate others progress and growth than to see my own. My default was to keep reminding myself how much is still needed and use that as fuel. I didn’t even see how draining that was until I saw how much strength celebration and appreciation gives.
I am learning to celebrate every step, every breath, every hope, every dream. I now experience deeper wells of life, hope and joy to draw from. I connect deeper with my tribe, and we accomplish more together.
Celebrate the small things, they make life more meaningful.
~ Do less to do MORE ~
It is quite easy to get involved in many things & spread yourself so thin that you don’t do anything well. I know because every so often I do it & pay a heavy price.
Recently as I took my evening walk, I realised I had to let go of a few things that were good but if I kept doing them, I would do them poorly.
In my heart, I knew I would likely disappoint myself but the deep sense of responsibility and need to keep my word drove me to stay. When I realised, I couldn’t do it all well without extending myself to the brink of exhaustion, I had to make a CHOICE…proceed & hurt OR let go & do better.
So, I looked around for help, built the support system, updated the team, and left. YES, I let GO and you know what? I can’t explain the lightness I felt.
Light because it was right and the only way, I could remain focused and effective.
Take a look at your life…what do you do currently? What must you do, what can you delegate, what must you let go off? Make a choice to be and live differently.
Remember…you matter alive and well not battered and bruised because of over extension. CHOOSE today, CHOOSE wisely.
~ Stop, disconnect, recharge ~
In an accountability conversation, I was challenged to make a strong decision on a matter, and I couldn’t. I was too tired and too sad to make a firm decision. I’ve always been decisive and strong but this matter…it was another issue altogether.
As I mulled over the inability, it was said, “The WARRIOR is worn out from the constant battle. She needs to stop, step away, rest, recharge, rebuild strength and then re-join the fight.” Wow!!! That observation was spot on. I had been in the battle for so long without a break that my system had shut down
Sometimes we don’t realise how hard the battle has been and how long it has gone, but more than that, we do not realise how much it has taken from us. It may be hard to really assess things on the battlefield. Hand the station to another warrior and take the needed break, yes…take a break. You will be stronger when you get back in. Your mind will be clearer to understand the situation, identify the actual enemy, create the right strategy, and implement for the duration for we do not battle flesh and blood but principalities and powers, so must be on our A game every day.
Take time to recharge…you are better when rested.
~ Guard Your Mental Health Jealousy ~
Our mental health is a stabiliser, a building block, and a protector. It is critical to well-balanced lives, but we often ignore its importance.
Too often we treat mental health challenges as a thing of shame, yet they are a disease like malaria, typhoid, or anything else that has treatment protocols and medication. If you have a mental health challenge, get help, see a doctor, and don’t hide it. I know from experience that when we hide things they increase and escalate.
How does one protect themselves?
Stand guard over your mental health; be consistently aware of what triggers you, when it rises, how it makes you feel and find a way to keep in balance. Who do you need to walk with, put aside temporarily or walk away from me? What do you need to put in place to guard your balance, sense of calm and connection to life? Add margin to your life, build in down time, make room for decompressing, exercise, health eating, build a circle of strong, stable, honest, caring, compassionate but driven life companions and get the right amount of rest for your body.
Whatever you do, guard your mental health jealously because it is your key stabiliser.
~ Be truthful ~
A while ago, a friend promised the young king a toy car. I said, do not promise if you don’t mean it. He promised he was serious but many years later, the car hadn’t arrived. One day they young king asked people don’t keep their word & referenced this event. I was stunned.
How many times have I said I’d do something only to forget? What would I do if I dared someone, and they called my bluff? What if I gave my word and GOD shows up to call me to account? What would the fallout be it I cannot keep my promise?
We often hurt one another because we agree on things then hide when it’s not working, blame others for our mistakes & lash out at them when they ask or pretend nothing is wrong when things are shifting.
Let’s keep it simple:
ONLY say is true & what you mean
Don’t make promises if you can’t keep
Admit when you don’t know & seek information
If things change speak up, adjust the agreement
If you need something ask, ask & ask again
Remember, we are only as good as our last kept word. Shalom.
~ Your truth will help someone ~
I admitted to two separate people that I don’t always know what to do & I also have moments of doubt, fear & wondering before I get back on track. both laughed then asked if I was serious. I’m totally serious, they are shocked.
One day I was logged into my bank account and the young king was beside me when the balance came up…Kshs -124.63. ??…really mum? He asked and I said “Really, let’s ask God for strategies to raise income.”
All three parties were encouraged that they aren’t the only ones going through difficult times and were challenged not to wallow, whine, moan, and gripe. Those things don’t change the state of things.
We all have down moments or even days, but we have also been taught to hide them from the world.
Share your truth WHERE APPROPRIATE & encourage others.
Let them know we are all on the journey of life
Sharing a battle story and showing evidence of scars is key to helping others grow and thrive.
Teach them how to keep moving on:
⚡Define the goal,
⚡Choose the path,
⚡Start the walk,
⚡Adjust for changes
⚡Keep going no matter what.
~ Know you, speak for you ~
We all have multiple identities, and some may be more prominent depending on where you’re from. In Afrika, the major identifiers are our relationships especially marriage, children, work & social standing. In many cases, women are often referred to as so & so’s daughter, Mrs X or Mama Y. No harm in those but that isn’t the sum of who we are.
I once saw an obituary that read Mary Njeru (Nyina wa Kamau aka Mama Kamau) & I was sad. This lady one identifier, Mama Kamau (Kamau’s mother), yet she was so much more than that. Children are a great blessing don’t get it crossed but references like these though meant to be respectful, are great limitations. Everyone is a gifted appointed human before they are anything else.
I love my son, my family of origin, my family by marriage, yet I am so much more than just that. I am a daughter of my Fathers, storyteller, scribe & encourager across age groups, platforms, industries. I’m a person of faith, a champion of knowing God, a resource person. I was an individual with hopes and dreams so much more before I became a daughter, wife, and mother.
I refuse to be called Mrs G, Prof & Mutheu’s daughter or Mama Kwe…call me Kyesubire (pronounced Chesuvire).
I speak up because it is so easy to hide our heads in the sand and avoid the conversation because it is not kosher in certain places. Of every person I meet, I challenge them to find out who they are outside of the societies labels because that is true liberty. Liberty is understanding you are the image and likeness of God so you must stand up and be counted as such, you must live out the truth of your calling and assignment. Liberty is knowing who you are and speaking it even when others doubt it.
~ Watch what you share ~
In this corner of the world, parents, aunties, uncles, and parents friends are known to stand on the wall & shout about the child’s results. He tracked the announcement, listened to the whole session & knew the lines were jammed. He was in no hurry to get his results or share them with anyone, so we settled down to wait for the lines to clear. When we got the results, he chose a few people to tell immediately, the order they would be told, who he would tell, who we would tell & what time they would be told.
The next day as we listened to the radio, a man called in to talk about his friend’s daughter who had got great marks. “Really? What gives him the right to share that?” Sounds a little much but it got me thinking.
We share things about our children that aren’t ours to share & we expect them to be ok. Have you shared a picture of your child you thought was funny? Did you think about how they would feel to find online when they are 18? I know we think it isn’t a big thing, but it is.
The young king reminded me that they want privacy, have opinions & want to tell their stories themselves at their own time. He reminded me that we must care more about our children and less about how they make us look.
~ Take Responsibility ~
Our natural instinct is to look for reasons outside of ourselves to explain why things happen to us. So, it could be my boss just didn’t like me, or she was too much drama, or I can’t find work, it he made me do it etc.
That isn’t always true
When you understand that you alone are responsible for where you are, how you progress, how far you get & how well you accomplish your goals, excuses have to die & solutions must be sought.
So let me lay it out:
- You are responsible for your LIFE
- You are responsible for your DREAM
- You are responsible for your REACTIONS
- You are responsible for your MISSTEPS
- You are responsible for your RESULTS
- You are responsible for your IMPACT
You can change how your life is flowing when you…
- Take time to THINK
- Chart your PATH
- Build support PILLARS
- Count the COST
- Put in the WORK
- BELIEVE that it is possible
- HOLD ON to faith until you BECOME & ACCOMPLISH
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 9:23 NKJV
~ When the fire is internal it is harder to put out –
Every week I meet people working on big dreams and making great strides towards their ordination, assignment, or destiny.
I used to think that I needed people to walk with me to help me reach my goal. I used to think that I wouldn’t make it if I was alone on the journey, so I waited for people and people’s recognition or appreciation. One day it all fell apart and very few people stopped to check what had happened. I was so distraught. It is hard to keep going when we are relying on people to cheer us on.
All around me, I saw people growing and rising. I saw people keep the faith. I saw people change their corner of the world. I saw some overcome real adversity and loneliness. I saw them remain steadfast.
In time, it became clear that if the assignment in my life is to be accomplished, I must start where I was with what I have…ME. I must find a lasting fire within me that will keep the dream alive and the work going. Do I need travel companions? Yes. Do I need accountability, connections, and networks? Definitely. However, the commitment, hope, faith, and consistent work towards the goal has to come from within.
~ Treat others as you’d like to be treated ~
What do you desire, long for, need? Give it away.
- You long for love? Give love.
- You want peace? Live at peace with others.
- You want joy? Share joy.
“In everything you do, be careful to treat others in the same way you’d want them to treat you, for that is the essence of all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 TPT
It’s so easy to wait for people to give us things and experiences, yet we could change the conversation by becoming. Let’s:
- Change how we deal with people,
- Acknowledge the good on them
- Extend grace, mercy, and compassion
- Forgive without reservation
- Let go of hurt and pain
- Flee all temptation
- Believe in others
- Be gentle and encourage others
- Remain hopeful always
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV
~ Forgive ~
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Ps 66:18
There will always be people and things that will come up that I don’t like or that I struggle to deal with.
There will always be people doing things that could upset me.
There will always be choices between two matters that determine other things.
There will be moments of extreme joy and satisfaction, alongside others of dealing and deconstruction.
There are a few things I will not do:
- If we have a fight and it cannot be resolved, I will not hold a grudge.
- If our relationship is untenable, I will walk away
- If we are always conflicting, I will set aside
- If we are always disagreeing, I will let you go and deal with ME
God is the centre of my life and if what we have between you & I is not working and He provides a way to His plan that takes me a different direction, I will go because I fear He who can destroy both body and soul (Matt 10:28), much more than he who can only destroy the soul. I choose to forgive every altercation, disagreement, angry words spoken, negative thoughts towards me, confusion, anxiety, doubt & fear. I reconnect to the love of He who said that He supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory.
Be FREE, Travel LIGHT, walk on, be STRONG, love life and be REAL always. I forgive Me & I forgive you!!!
~ Guard your time ~
In the last ten days, I have been reminded daily in multiple ways that we do not have unlimited time on earth. I have seen seasons start, seasons end, directions change and access to resources shift. Some people have been caught unprepared for the shift and faced major transitions and losses while those who were consistently adapting made it out better.
The lesson I learnt was, only God knows how much longer we are on earth. He can reveal it to us as He did with Hezekiah, or He can call us out like they did the rich ruler; it is all up to Him. I must live with intention, act with dedication, adjust deliberately and work towards the fulfilment of my assignment on this earth. I must guard my time, be careful where I spend it and with whom I spend it. Guard your time, work diligently, connect deliberately, hydrate often, rest adequately, recalibrate often, meditate deeply, pray often, and BECOME.
~ Hear, speak, believe and build ~
Life is built on a word.
Every life has a reality to bring forth but not all of us do so. This week, an opportunity came my way to expand my reach and build an aspect that I had been dreaming about for a long, long time. It did not really come to pass until I said it out loud and begun to build.
We are all assigned a path and outcome that we must build & build well. Yet we are not building from our own position but from the position of He who called us and gave the instruction. It is easy to HEAR & SPEAK but to believe and build is the harder part. When we understand who we are and what we are building, we find the strength we need to build.
Belief is the game changer because it connects our minds to possibilities. Belief helps us find the strength to fuel the journey and helps us build strong and lasting. The strength of our lives depends on our belief in the word and building and we can only build when we have heard and spoken.
~ When I step into my place of ordination, GOD gives me grace for the journey ~
Many times, we wonder why help has been delayed or why instructions are delayed. Other times we are puzzled when people we taught or shared info with have outstripped us.
Could it be that we have received the information, intellectually accepted the direction & concept but never laid hold of it in absolute faith?
To lay hold is to seize, grab, understand & it is important because it becomes our foundation, string tower, refuge, banner, source of inspiration.
David could only fight Goliath after learning with the lion & bear.
Saul could only be activated for assignment after 3 days of blindness & waiting.
The thing about anyone who rises to a place of influence & impact has willingly paid a high price.
- They heard the call & RESPONDED
- They took their place & STOOD FIRM
- They trusted the Word – wholehearted BELIEF
- They received the ability to thrive – GRACE
- They prospered beyond others – DIVINE PROVISION
How must you recalibrate your life to fully receive GRACE?
~ Speak your truth because it is yours, even if others disagree. ~
Very often we change the story of our lives because of how others will perceive us, altering the truth & losing opportunities to help others.
I remember the first time I was speaking to high schoolers and sharing how challenging high school was, especially Math, & how I struggled with my grades. The adults didn’t want me to say those things, but I could not change that fact even if I am now a business founder. They kept saying I was making the adults look weak. Isn’t it true that we are weak but for the grace of God?
At the end of that service, many students approached me looking for validation that their struggle was real. A few had misunderstood & wanted me to say it was cool to get bad grades, but I reminded them that I had put a plan in place to improve & eventually passed. The vast majority, however, wanted to understand how they too could get out of the struggle with their grades. Even as that particular truth wasn’t the easiest to talk about, it provided a teaching moment.
My truth is that I went from the top of my class to the very bottom & back to the top; I had to find strategies that worked & I could use repeatedly; failure changed me & how I respond to & deal with people; I am defined by how I rose & still rise back up & not what took me down; falling down has always helped me evaluate my life, find the challenges & rise again.
My truth is not your truth so I will use it whether you like it or not.
~ Varying perspectives add flavour ~
This week, a colleague said to me, “…you are probably better placed to tell the story because of your outside view & you’re not too attached to the subject.” Light bulb!!! We will never have just one opinion no matter how hard we try but we can be on the same page.
My background allows me to see things from a vantage point that adds flavour to the conversation & helps us stand, grow & thrive. I’m also driven by a different set of views which when combined with a good team & married to the opinions of others will bring expansion.
I had been battling with the fact that others didn’t seem to see things that were so obvious to me. I could see how collaboration, consistent effort, individual drive & a strong sense of responsibility would get us far, but it was hard when we were all focused on making ends meet.
I was no better than my people rather I had the responsibility to ensure all sides were heard, we kept moving, remained on task & accomplished everything well. It meant letting those who could do more do so & those who couldn’t take less & still get all tasks accomplished exceptionally.
We must judge one another by how well we do what is assigned to us not how much we do.
#growth #perspective #truth #life
~ Choose your path carefully ~
I have many projects on my desk & the pressure had me almost giving up on one major one. I was twiddling my thumbs sulking in the corner because things were not working. One evening, seated at my desk, I realised that I rarely walked away from projects. In fact, I have only done it once in the last 5 years; was this going to be the second?
I called a meeting with myself & paced the office sifting through challenges, scenarios & possibilities. Listing options showed that I had the opportunity to change things and influence not only local outcomes but to reach and impact on a continental scale. I could not allow personal frustrations to get in the way of something this big.
I had to make a CHOICE. I could skulk off into the darkness & fail, I could sit in the background twiddling my thumbs & watch things fail or I could take charge of my corner, do what I can, where I am & thrive. The only viable option was to get up and work, so I spoke to myself. I clearly identified the challenges and tasks ahead, outlined the pathway, listed support structures & set to work. It started with handling my emotions & the root of frustration to bring me peace & keep moving.
I have made a clear choice to move forward & it no longer mattered that we are behind schedule or there was a lot of work, or I feel alone. My calling is at stake if I give up, so I won’t. A time comes when we must choose the path leading to our FULLNESS; I have chosen to keep walking.
~ And having done all…STAND ~
BELIEF is about standing on the WORD, walking the walk, living the prescribed life, and speaking out the promise even when the circumstances around us look like the word has failed. When we have heard the WORD, stood on it, and defended it no matter what or who, God will indeed bring it to pass because His Spirit does not and cannot lie and when the time comes, HE will bring us into the fullness of His plan for us.
This is the differentiator of those for whom the promise comes and those who see it from far off. He desires 100% fidelity and faithfulness to the promise no matter what comes our way. Hold on beloved, He is present with you, watching over His WORD to perfect and perform it.
~ Gifts from my Father ~
There are people who make you think about the true essence of yourself. They ask questions, say things, or just chill with you in postures that speak of full acceptance & love. They don’t let you settle or give up but push every button to keep you growing no matter what.
Recently I told one of my people, that it’s great to talk things & deal with God about life so that I’m more balanced & focused on Him. He said “Dare I say try not to have Him blind you to the beauty He created? He did so for a reason as a gift to you.” Wow!!!
I admit there was a time I’d ask Papa to hide the beauty but today I can see more because I’ve been asking Him to open my eyes & ears so I can’t ask Him to close them. This picture spoke to me about life, confidence, power, knowledge, growth, love, beauty, light, warmth & oneness God & myself. I’ve met this girl a lot more lately. I know her better & we are bonding. She laughs really loud with people who get her & is spending more time with God & her people, so it is good.
Do you understand who you are? Do you know the depts of your process? Embrace who He made you & thrive. Understand you are a special unique design…one of a kind.
~ Steadfast To the End ~
After a recent meeting, someone said to me, “We’ve never met, but I know you well, ?…you used to do events & amazing ones at that.” The weight of the statement has remained with me.
I struggled with feelings of inadequacy in my event days because I wanted a set amount of recognition that didn’t come. Or so I thought. This interaction proved significant because though I left the event world four years ago, but the skills remain & the impact or awareness of me remains…the realities of planning & efficiency abide.
It’s not about the recognition of my skills & accomplishments but the fact that I was created with & for a certain time, place, pattern & outcome. Further, unless I produce them ALL to perfection, my life will not be successful in God’s plan no matter how successful men think I am.
The path I walk is very hard by most standards, but I’ve been promised that it will all work out if I stay HIS course, so I do.
- I REMAIN STEADY in the reason I was brought here.
- I TRAVEL the journey no matter what, for it is the route to fullness
- I CHOOSE joy in every circumstance
- I RISE on the wings of The Eagle
- I SOAR above the storm
- I BECOME
~ Always Be Ready ~
You have prayed, trusted, hoped, written the goal down, shared with your core team and know you are on the cusp of the new you. Interestingly, you don’t know the actual moment of the shift so remain ready, do the little things that open up, keep focused.
You are capable of much more than you know and there are doors opening you cannot see yet but your preparation, focus & awareness of things around you will keep you on track. Track conversations, lessons, connections, opportunities to serve. Guard your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Prepare ahead of time, complete assignments, have the conversations, rest, communicate, apply lessons, build relationships, keep your eyes on the goal. Always be ready, change cometh.
#NewBeginnings #NoExcuses #StartingLine #AbundantGrace
~ Look back briefly then forward and keep moving ~
As we start the New Year, many of us are looking back and wondering about things that happened, what worked, what didn’t, and some are stuck there. Even as that is important…do not get stuck there. Look back, assess, learn then walk on
The things we focus on expand so we cannot afford to remain there. We cannot afford to be bound by the things that didn’t work, broke apart, changed
Keep moving towards the realities you have seen for the days ahead.
Fill the gaps you have found
Change your relationships you need to change
Get help – coaches, mentors, partners
Give help – mentor, partner, apprentices
Take care of yourself – plan in free times, exercise, therapy, journaling, prayer, meditation
Try something new – get out of your safe zone,
Choose gratitude, love, connection, and commitment
You will make it through better than before. You will grow beyond your wildest dreams. You will accomplish that goal. You will attain your fullness…just FOCUS on YOUR path.
#NewDays #NewBeginnings #StartingLine #AbundantGrace