fear

BE YOUR AMAZING SELF

Be true to who you are and what you stand for. Be true to who you are becoming and who you wish to be. Be true to yourself, accept what is and chose that it can be better because you have the power to change it.

Who am I? What do I love? Who do I love? What do I believe? Who do I believe? Where am I? What am I doing here? Why am I here?

These are questions that require our answering them daily. They realign our focus and keep us pondering only on what matters most. When we look at our lives through the looking glass of self-love and self-belief, we quickly are refreshed to take on whatever challenges that may come our way.

Can you really and truly describe yourself as amazing? Is this what you think of yourself anytime you hear your name or hear your own voice? Do you feel loathe or do you feel joy. Do you scream back at yourself, “Shut up already!!” or do you reaffirm in your loudest voice “You go girl!”

Do you pinch yourself to sit back when your but starts to rise at the roll call for the hall of fame? Or do you say to yourself, “Who told you, you belong to that group?”

Do you look at your handwriting and say to yourself, “What a mess, how do I possibly send this note with such a chicken handwriting? I’d do myself a favor and send an email instead.” Or do you let your mind love your scribbling because of the message that it carries?

Do you look at yourself in the mirror and try as you might to avoid looking at your self while you comb your hair or pull on that dress? Does your reflection repulse you or attract you?

Do you hold your breathe anytime you are the topic of attention, or do you drink in the moment, allow the blood rush to your cheeks and go pink from excitement rather than shame?

Who are you when you wake up, your amazing self or your grumpy old self? Who are you when you pick up the kids from school, your amazing self, or your drab, cranky self? Who are you when you make dinner after a long, long, day, your amazing self or your dissatisfied, bitter self? Who are you when you go on a date, your amazing self or your irritable, snobbish self?

Who are you now, today, this moment? Do you per chance think it is absolutely beyond your power to call yourself one thing when you feel something contrary? Do you think you would be unrealistic or are being unreasonable to expect thus from yourself at all times — to  love yourself, to be happy with yourself, to constantly smile and laugh at yourself even when it hurts to do so?

Can you really, truly, absolutely call yourself amazing? Let me give you an assignment that would change your life forever. Whenever you find yourself in a low place, speak out loud to yourself, ‘I AM THE AMAZING MARY, GOD’S GIFT TO MANKIND.”

Of course, if your name isn’t Mary, be gracious enough to insert your name in that space and without doubt or shame or regret; Be your amazing self!

Amazing-self

LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

How does a girl know if she is living her best life? Easy, check with your conscience. Check with your gut feeling. Check with your sweet spot. That place where, when you have done simply amazing stuff, you feel a tingly in the bottom of your stomach. A faint rumbling that whispers to you, “Wow, I am gorgeous. I was fab back there.”

Half the time we are day dreaming about how our tomorrow is going to be great, oooh we are going to be absolutely fabulous. Then when occasion calls for us to show up and be the best we can be, we sabotage our golden opportunity. By the way, every opportunity, and any opportunity at all that requires you bringing your energy to the scene to perform or to observe, is a golden opportunity.

Time is our greatest resource. Therefore, any occasion that demands your time is a golden opportunity. So, question, what have you been doing with your golden opportunities? I’m thinking  about mine in the corner of my mind and I must confess, not so good either.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “I’m not in the mood…” It is a second rate status that leaves us being second rate versions of ourselves. What does that statement mean anyway? Let’s take an instance: You happen to be at a gathering where the compere has just, unfortunately, cancelled on the celebrant. Your friend says to you, “Oh goodie, you are here! You can do this, it is your forte…” What do you say in response, “I’m not in the mood, because blablabla…”

You dampen the moment with excuses and sourness. Your friend gives you the break you need because you asked for it and someone else takes the spotlight. Then the inevitable happens. Your stomach sinks to the bottom of your belly. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have just let down your inner Mojo. You haven’t lived up to expectation!

That is probably the best definition of what it means to live your best life. Live, not to, but beyond expectation. Go the extra mile. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying live up to the expectations of people rather live up to the expectation of your highest potential.

Live your best life
Only you know deep down what your capabilities are, but most times we are crippled by fear and anxiety, and other people’s opinion. We let the fear of failure drown us in the sea of the unknown, the sea of uncertainties. Then we allow the many voices of other people’s opinion drive our inner voice to the background, crushed against a brick wall.

Each time we reject a golden opportunity, we shortchange our radiance in the world. We throw a blanket over our luminescence, and instead of shining, we are dingy. The more golden opportunities we giveaway, the less we believe we were created to shimmer and to gleam and the more we become comfortable with grim, drab and shabbiness.

Act your best life at all times. Give the best that only you is capable of giving and be that gift with gratitude and with graciousness. Fulfill your time here on earth by filling your cup at all times with the best wine pressed from the best grapes in your vineyard.

Make up your mind to be the first rate version of yourself everyday, make it a lifelong mantra and your life will always swing back with more strength and more zeal and drive than you’ve ever imagined possible.

Arrive at every event, every place, every moment with the intention to serve your best juice and you will be amazed how many of us have shown up with empty vessels waiting to be served and refreshed with your sensational offering.

Red wine

Fighting my battles

I find myself in a dark place. I’m taking slow baby steps with my two kids by my side and a crumbling marriage on my mind. I can’t see what is ahead and I cannot wait to make a fire. I do not know how to make one even if I tried. These are strange territories, there is thick darkness all around me, my heart is sinking beneath the weight of the past 6 years, and my mind is screaming all kinds of menace at me. I can barely think!

My body shudders for terror and my hands clench with fear, my kids moan with fright. They grab my hands, each on one side. I can feel their bodies tremble as well, even in this darkness I could feel how the tremor of the horror I felt, crept through my veins into their tiny hands. I drag my two kids closer to myself, I try to take quicker baby steps, but I must go slowly still. I’m feeling the grounds around me for pitfalls; I do not want to end up in some booby trap, not with my babies.

I know I have to make a fire, I need to, so I can see my way in this dark place but the screaming in my head will not stop. It would not let me think. I can hear all the voices of accusation from the last six years, they are growing louder and angrier. How did I get here? How did I find myself at this unfortunate bend? How is it possible, that I am here now, with two toddlers and a fractured marriage, walking blindly through a dark, dark, dark place?

Have I made the right decision to leave? Is this the right thing to do at this stage of my life? To be without a husband and a home? Should my kids be a part of this now at this point of their development? Should I have stayed for their sakes? Should I have bore it all; the verbal abuse, the mental degradation of my self-pride, my self-esteem and my beliefs? Should I have stayed to receive the constant battering of my mind, bore the loss of my self-dependence and self-containment? Should I have let him suck out the life from me so long as he didn’t lift a hand to physically overpower me? Should I have bore it all in silence?

Where does one draw the line between verbal abuse and physical battering? How does one determine the PH value for abuse? When does it cross from alkalinity to acidity? How long before verbal abuse morphs into physical battering? What are the parameters for determining how and when physical battering can lead to maiming or death? When do you take precaution? What is precaution? Is it the loss of faith and belief in the vows that you’ve hung unto for as long as you can remember? How does one condone abuse? Do you shot your ears from without or from within? Without I can hear him call me all these names; he has given me an identity that is tantamount to useless and worthless. Within I can hear the indictment, of self-abasement and self-accusation. So tell me, how do I shut out the accuser? Who is the accuser? Is it my self-absorbing husband or my guilt stricken self?

Daily I am becoming this monster, this monster that he has brandished me, this monster that I have remorsefully nurtured, like a werewolf, I have become this being, and I cannot recognize who I am becoming. My head is swelling with regret and anger and with confusion. My heart pounding with fear and with terror, and frustration, for I became a prisoner in my own home. I thought a woman’s home was meant to be her castle, her palace, her fortress. I thought it was meant to be her citadel, her stronghold, not her jailhouse.

Woman in the mirror
When I look in the mirror, I do so, not to examine the shadow I have become, but to find the girl I once was; that rich, zesty, and centered girl. She held her own and had this strong presence about her. Her voice rang out with gusto and with pride. Her strides, long and assertive with strong athletic feet that bounced with exuberance. Her vision sharp like that of an archer, her bow in one hand, arrows in the other, she had a dream, she had a plan. This marriage was meant to be part of that plan. I stare into this marred image, searching, hoping, weeping. Where has that girl gone? Is she asleep? Did she fall off a cliff and break a limb? Is she badly injured or is she on a journey? Will she be back? Will I still be here when she returns? If she returns, will she find a home or a wasteland? Will she recognize this body to be encapsulated by it? Will she recognize this battered mind to embody it?

After much pondering, I chose liberty above detention. When it came to it, I had to choose my humanity above being a werewolf. I chose my sanity above mental torture and deficiency. I chose this temporal darkness and I reject the artificial lighting of my glorified prison. Permit me to say that I chose life above death; death of who I am — really and truly — my worth, my beliefs, my dreams, my values. I chose my invaluable self. Hence my new creed and statement of belief; I choose my true authentic self even though now, I am only a shadow of that girl.  I choose my strong, beautiful, and ambitious self, even though now, all that is left are shards and pieces of what she used to be. I chose my strength, my resolve, my dreams and my pursuit of happiness, even though there is barely a trace of such left.

My heart is wrenching in two places as I walk away from the one whom my soul loves. I can barely contain this feeling, for it is gruesome as well as liberating. I feel pain and I feel joy. How is this even possible? Why does following my dreams have to be so grisly? How can love suddenly transmute to abhorrence? My heart is wrenching, and I feel bloody lumps of flesh fall off and splatter around me as I walk away with a broken heart. Which brings me to the question; am I walking away from love? Am I walking away from what could have been? Or am I walking away from abuse; am I walking away to find safety? Am I walking away for dear life?

One minute I was contemplating jumping off the balcony of my home, the next minute I am scrambling with my kids in one hand and in the other, a dozen fragments of what was meant to be my luggage. I am desperate for life. So I chose to leave through the front gate and not the balcony. I chose a flight to safety by plane, not a leap off the terrace with despondency. After much running, I find myself here, in this dark but safe place. It maybe dark now, but soon, would light up with brightness, and with sunshine from within, like the rising of a phoenix. I know I will find myself again. It may take a while, but look out for me like you would the rising dawn. It is not too long from now.

I do not know where the road ahead is going to bend, but first, I must fight my battles and overcome my demons. I must overpower each of these growling voices within; monsters fighting for my soul, I am certain they will not win. I will yet rise. First I must heal, I must believe again, I must hope again. I must awaken the girl within, I must find my strength. I must choose my life again. I must love my self yet again. I must nurture my dreams again. I must get back on the race. I must run to win. I was born to win.

I don’t know how to fill this hole in my heart but with each step I take towards the light, I remind myself that this walk is not going to last forever. Nothing is cast in stone. Everything is but clay in my hands. I smile. I’m hopeful. I can now see the light ahead. It is like a tiny dot on a thick black blanket. Like a sparkle at the end of a tunnel. If I can hold that image long enough, I know it would emerge anytime now and the light will flood my being again…

…but first, I must fight my battles…

Tell me when, the time we had slipped away,
Tomorrow turned to yesterday,
And I don’t know how…
Tell me what can stop this river of tears,
It’s been building up for years,
For this moment now…

Tell me how the road ahead is going to bend,
And how to harness up the wind,
And how to say goodbye?
Tell me how to fill this space you left behind,
And how to laugh instead of cry,
And how to say good bye?
– Michael W. Smith

“For Vanessa and all the women who suffer abuse in silence. XOXO”

Keeping strong

DECIDE TO SHOW UP

“There are women who make things better… simply by showing up. There are women who make things happen. There are women who make their way. There are women who make a difference. And women who make us smile. There are women of wit and wisdom who — through strength and courage — make it through. There are women who change the world everyday… Women like you.” ― Ashley Rice

 

There are days when I’m not my best self. Say I’m out with friends or family, I’m supposed to be having fun but I’m mostly preoccupied with a nudging feeling whispering in my head, “Today would have been better assuming that conversation hadn’t ended sour.” “Oh this moment would have been more exciting assuming that deal had gone through.” “Oh, my weekend could have been better assuming that transaction hadn’t truncated.”

And it goes on and on and on. I give one excuse after another why I can’t be my best self. Why the today is going to end gloomy even when it begun well. I tell myself every lie possible to keep my mind locked in that sad, depressed state. Then no matter what happens, the day can only get as much energy as I pump into it, whether it is in what ifs, or regrets, it would be ultimately cheerless.

 

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude, toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

― Brian Tracy

 

Then there are other days when I’ve had the lamest of conversations and experienced the lamest of encounters and still face the remaining part of the day with all the gusto I can muster and be my best self. I quickly remind myself that the best parts of my journey are those down turns and groggy bends; they are those times when I muster my deepest strengths and bring on my mojo to influence whatever decisions I would be making when I get myself back. I am reminded to bring my charm every time and everyday. I learn to laugh at myself with every bluff I make and I’m quick to teach this lesson to those around me. That they too can learn to embrace themselves when they fail and pick themselves up when they fall. The moment I can bring myself into that space, and tell myself it was time I tried another trick in the book, I am quickly revived as I begin to create new paths toward achieving my desired outcomes. I am reminded that indeed the best parts of my journey are not the destination but the journey itself.

 

“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”

― Dan Millman

 

Learning to show up each day isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, our minds are mostly set in dysfunctional patterns, however once you can make it a habit to show up strong and be your best self each day, you would have found the easiest path to being happy. You may be wondering, how does a girl begin to decide to show up everyday of her life? (Her sometimes horrendously busy and dramatic life!!) I’ll share a few clues:

 

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, Be more active, Show up more often.”

― Brian Tracy

 

Always begin your day on a positive note. I learned recently that there is no such thing as waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Right side, left side or middle, fall off a double-decker if you like, you still get to make a choice about how you want your day to go. You set the motion for the day, you bring the energy to every activity, you bring the light to each moment. It is up to you to decide, it is up to you to show up; so what’s it gonna be?

 

“Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.”

― Brian Tracy

 

Always take responsibly for your actions. As humans, our society has preprogramed us to react to almost everything that happens in our lives, in the lives of others, the world at large, etc. We are either blaming, defending, judging or giving excuses. It’s definitely not going to be easy-peazy but knowing that every event can either be a lesson or a reward is perhaps one of the greatest lessons you’d learn.

 

“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.”

― Brian Tracy

 

Try not to focus on how many times you have fallen short on how many times you blundered. If you woke up grumpy and complaining about everything else, stop yourself the moment you realize it and begin afresh on a new page. Give your day a title if you must, like a movie you are watching and are having a good laugh or like a booking you are reading and are enjoying immemsely in the most quiet corner of your mind. Whatever you do, always remember to start over whenever you fail ’cause you would and often. Failure can be a good thing too.

 

“We learn from failure, not from success!”

― Bram Stoker

 

Always have a day plan. A day without a plan is a day destined for catastrophe. By not having a plan, you open the door for anything and everything to crowd your day. You become irritable and frustrated and you often sometimes disgust yourself. You are angry at everyone and at everything and nothing makes sense. That’s not a good place to be. So try to have a day plan. A day at a time is always a good place to start and one item on your to-do-list is not a bad idea. Achieving that single piece of command on your list can be a major victory and one giant step toward improving your self-esteem.

 

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

― Colette

 

Be true to yourself. Be kind too. Be open minded; to corrections and to new tricks. Stay positive and have faith that it will all work out in the end. One good day after another, and in that sequence, amounts to one good future, one good life well lived. So whatever you choose to do each day as you decide to show up in life, remember that you will do some foolish things, but that shouldn’t bother you, so long as you do them with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is important because it leads to being happy, purposeful and focused. Enthusiasm is also a significant key to success.

 

Finally what ever happens ——->>>>>>>>>>>>

 

>>>>>>>>> “Never, never, never give in!”

― Winston Churchill

 

xoxo

WHEN COMING… PLEASE BRING YOU ALONG

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are – Confucius

If you’re going to attend the baby shower, don’t go there if you’re going to leave your spirit and soul in your up-side-down closet. Your friends can see you at the event, with your morphed smiles and monologues but your mind is at home, rummaging the overturned closet your body left behind. If you have decided to spend the weekend at your best friend’s so you can let your hair down and get some sleep, take time off from the crazy 9 to 5 routine, then do just that. Don’t be there in body while your mind is busy running through the folders on your computer, the one you left at your office desk Friday before! Stay in the present moment. You may be wondering what that means. It means simply, don’t be in one place in body whilst your mind goes on a cross-country cruise fixing all the issues you left behind at home, at the office, with the kids, with your ex etc. Do not live perpetually in the past and do not permanently daydream about the future. If that’s your reality then where have you stashed your today, at the Laundromat? You may have heard it said before; the mind exists in the present moment. You bring what is needed to every circumstance and situation of your life. You can either choose to bring light, and brighten the shadows cast by your past or you can escape your current reality by refusing to participate in what is here this moment and now. You can choose to engage in piecing the puzzle together and to find answers or you can give excuses why you can’t. You can choose to be present or absent. It’s up to you.

 

Get involved. You don’t want to look back on your life and realize that you successfully managed to stay out of it. – Robert Brault

 

Say you are sitting down on a bench in the park and watching this chain of events happen, one surreal event after another. A few hours later, what seemed like a few hours have actually been days and weeks and years. Then you realize, what a long walk in the park that was and all those events you sat watching gloomily and tiredly had actually been your life. Scary isn’t? Wouldn’t you be in such a frantic frenzy to find out at the end of your life that you successfully managed to stay out it? Have you ever heard the frequent saying, “You don’t want to wake up one day and realize…” Well that is what happens when you elude the nitty-gritty of your existence; when you are present in body but absent in thought. When you simply let things be and tell yourself, “Somehow, it all works out…” well… it certainly does work out, but what essentially happens is that, you are left out of the game and you never have the full detail of how you spent your generous amount of days. Your life is lived in fragments and shards. You become a sad sorely has-been.

Bring you

It would be really sad as much as scary to suddenly realize that everything you have done and everywhere you have been to wasn’t exactly done consciously, that you were perpetually influenced by someone or something or by the trends. What’s worse is if you can’t even remember why you did those things or why you chose to go to those places. You are completely oblivious to the reasons why you have been such and such a person. You have become the forgetful one among your peers. Never truly listening. Never truly there. You are here but always somewhere else at the same time. No one moment is entirely good enough for you. No one moment is entirely real. If you can relate to this, then it is time you begin to ask the real questions. Everyday when you wake up, try saying to yourself, “This is where I am right now in my life, and this is what I am going to make of it. I am going to be happy being here because I know I can and will make the best out of it. Although I may be here now, it is not where I hope to be, but I will be here anyway because it is only by being here fully that I can find the strength to get there timely and adequately.” It sounds like blabbing but if you give it a try it is sure better  than daydreaming your way through life, and it sure beats sulking away in regret of the mistakes of your past. Richard Templar said in ” The Rules of Life”: The past should be a doorway where you go through for only a few minutes not a room where you reside! Same goes to saying your fantasies should energize you to work towards achieving your dreams, not the other part of your bipolar residence. So the next time you are off to an event or thing, remember to take ‘you’ along. Spirit, soul, and body.

 

Up to a point, a man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, “This I am today; that I will be tomorrow.” ~Louis L’Amour

 

There comes a time when YOU, not me, not your mum or your aunt or your boyfriend but you have to come to that place where you grab the clay of your life out of the hands of whoever’s got it and become the potter of your life. Only you can shape it into what you wish, what you want and what you desire. Going to college or university isn’t going to do that for you. Neither are all the fine things in this world. Some of us got it backwards. We have the cart before the horse and we wonder why our life is torn in different directions. We do everything and anything but take responsibility for our actions and what we are becoming as a result. Its time to wake up! Stop being the on looker, or the apprentice, in the workshop that is meant to be your own life; it’s time to resume the prestigious duty of being the potter of your life. Take responsibility. Face your demons. Make those changes. Be fully engaged in the nuances of your days, a day at a time. Choose to bring the bubbly, vibrant energy you need into your everyday. Enjoy the richness of every moment, celebrate your little victories and see how gorgeous and encouraging it all turns out in the end.

Puppets

Be the puppeteer of your life

Look at it this way; you are either the puppet or the puppeteer. If you are the puppet, then who, or what is puppeteering your life? That’s something to think about.