Things Fall Apart

19 Dec

If I had to pick a word to describe the season I’m in right now, I’d choose BROKEN! That word so resonated with me that I Googled its definition along with break and brokenness to ensure it completely captured this state I’m in.

broken

But if I’m honest with myself I’ve been broken for a long time. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel ‘disconnected’ or was truly ‘functioning properly’. On the surface I pretended I had it all together; even those close to me didn’t know the enormity of the lacking parts necessary to be complete. But my heart, soul and spirit were ruptured. It started as a small shake against the wooden blocks stacked as a tower. As the years went by we took turns moving pieces around whilst the tower grew higher and higher, dangerously destabilizing the structure. Until that day, I made a move and the tower teetered, revealing its instability and fell.

loose

image: Whisper

THINGS FELL APART!!! It was the Perfect Storm of emotions; anger, hurt, self-sabotage, hatred, betrayal, disappointment, frustration, bitterness and defeat. There was no Calmness in the midst of Craziness, just crazy in its rawest form. These last few months I’ve been so caught up in my mess, I believed there was no recovering from it all. But being faced with the reality that things fall apart, all the time, and to everyone, I am gradually accepting the expression that there’s a purpose for pain.

In my fallen state I evidently see that life only gets harder but you gotta get stronger so wanted to share what I’m learning about why Things Fall Apart.

 

  • Things Fall Apart because they were not built to last. When the foundation is not strong, destruction is inevitable. “There was a man, who built his house on the sand, and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” We live in a world where laws and values are replaced by popular opinion; the world is constantly changing and as we change with it we find ourselves adopting superficial values and customs. So when the storms hit in our marriage, our careers, our finances, our roles in society, we don’t have any solid ground to stand on. Things fall apart to remind us to ground ourselves in Truth and build our house on the Rock.

 

  • Things Fall Apart because we have neglected the important things. We focused too much on the bad relationships, the ones that depleted and drained us. We spent too much time pursuing activities that didn’t take us closer to our goals/purpose. We gave more time and energy then was necessary in jobs that would so easily replace us rather than invest in us. We treated our bodies badly; depriving it of sleep, nutrition and exercise. Sometimes things fall apart to get our attention and motivate us to assess the relationships, the long hours and the negative habits we have to cut.

Them bricks is way too hot, you need to cut it

Your price is way too high, you need to cut it.

Cut it, cut it, cut it, cut it.

Cut it, cut it, cut it, cut it

  • Things falling apart is an indication that we have burdens too heavy to carry on our own. When the things we hold on to fall apart, it’s a call for simplicity revealing something isn’t working as well as we thought it would and we don’t know as much as we thought we did. It’s  an opportunity to admit there is a problem; we need help, we need more support. It is when we reach out in those dark moments that we learn humility.
  • Things fall apart to transform you from breakable to bendable. Every time you break, pick up the pieces, taking only what you need to restore. Or you can leave it all behind and start building from scratch. And each time you build, make your foundation stronger. Things fall apart to teach you how to deal with the daily struggles of life, how to manage your emotions and know the scope of things out of your control. If you’re still standing today after facing a variety of rain, winds and floods, over time you’ll be able to handle whatever life throws at you. Weather the storm and let it thicken your skin; you’ll find strength in resilience.
  • Things fall apart to wake us up. We somehow manage to take good things for granted, so pain comes along to show us how good we had it before. It wasn’t bad yesterday, but today it is. Be grateful so tomorrow can be better. Things falling apart take us through dark moments, where the experience of pain eventually brings us to find the light and joy.
sadness.jpg

image: simplereminders.com

And as I write this in the last month of 2016, I may not fully appreciate the pain right now feeling lost in the whirlwind,  but I can identify the purpose of why things in my life have fallen apart whether it was self-inflicted or externally.

1) To graft me on to Sovereign Foundations. I’ve been lost for so long; I doubted my faith and had little to no belief in myself. I was convinced everybody else knew better for me. I’ve hurt and been hurt by my closest companions but as those relationships crumpled, I am constantly reminded it is better to put my trust in God, who formed my inmost parts, than to put confidence in Man because they wouldn’t always understand and they certainly couldn’t save me.

2) To prompt me to let go of things I should have done a LONG time ago; things that were constantly diminishing me but I was too blind or naïve to completely cut off from it. Whether it was a person, habit or mindset, my failure to weed it out aided the falling apart in certain areas of my life emphasising my need for total transformation.

3) To liberate me when I hit what I considered a rock bottom. Feeling weak and desperate I wanted a way out, only to realise the only way out is UP! This gave me the courage to admit I didn’t want things to go back to the way they were. I wanted a fresh start. I have an opportunity to Start Over and rebuild the pieces the way I want.

4) To teach me because I can be very stubborn and rebellious and sometimes learning the hard way is the only way to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I learnt things about myself that I was in denial about, such as a dependency on people and external conditions to make me happy. Having to confront many ugly truths gave me a new perspective to work with, therefore finally embarking on the journey within to find my own sense of self and my own validation.

mmonroe

image: Evancarmichael.com

I like the saying, sometimes when things are falling apart, they could actually be falling together. I can’t fully explain it, but even through the tears and the tearing of my heart, in the lonely days and sleepless nights, I get this sense there’s something better on the other side and if I can only endure this season of brokenness, in time I will be complete, whole. And with that purpose I somehow manage to keep going, despite repeatedly declaring ‘I give up’. That mustard seed faith will ensure everything will turn out fine.

Ms Tola  x

Embracing the craziness in the absence of calmness.

A Change is Gonna Come!

24 Sep

Every time I hear the word ‘change’ I automatically break into song, singing ‘Am I supposed to change, are you supposed to change?”

Last week on two separate occasions I was presented with change I didn’t like. First up, my secret website that I watch all my shows on decided to revamp itself with a new, fancy layout. It was frustrating as I struggled to navigate my way around. I couldn’t find anything. But thankfully there was a link to the old site whilst they fixed the issues with the new website. I was like what’s with the changes; I like the old one fine. People always want new, but is new always better?

The second event happened one Thursday morning as I headed to Starbucks for my usual Sausage Buttie with brown sauce. At first I couldn’t find it. Why? They had a new package. When I picked it up, I noticed the bread was thicker and I could hardly see any sausage. I contemplated still buying it. But I thought I don’t want a mouth full of just bread. I put it back and walk out in a mood. I didn’t even get my signature hot chocolate. Starbucks, that change just lost you £6.24. I went to work really sad and bothered that they had just gone and done that to me. Why did they have to change what was working so perfectly for me? Why? Why Change?

I told Hubby about this and referring back to a cooking incident that happened weeks before, he responded with, “Omotola, you don’t like change. Why are you so resistant to change?”

And it really got me thinking about change. Who likes change? When you’re so used to things being done a certain way or you are comfortable doing only what you know. The very thought of change whether big or small made me sad. I resisted change so much because it reminded me of how far I have to go and I felt it didn’t take into account how far I have already come, only to change course. It was overwhelming and the temptation to stay the same was always so appealing. But I had to ask, what if my resistance to change has stunted my growth? And I have failed to realise or even accept the way I’ve been doing things, actually isn’t working out for me? I had to come to terms with the notion that if I REALLY wanted my life to be better, there were so many things I would have to change.

So after a lot of reflection and battling internally, I looked into some reasons I felt why myself or those I know are resistant to change.

 

“They say the truth aint pretty…”

“They say the truth aint pretty…”

Pride

Sometimes accepting change means admitting whatever you’ve been doing, however long you’ve been doing it for, isn’t working, hasn’t worked and probably never will. That can be a big knock to the ego implying you aren’t as smart as you thought you were. If change is suggested by external voices we feel it is an attack on our person, an attempt to redefine who we believe we are. Rather than see it as an opportunity to be better, we hear ‘the way you are is unacceptable’ or ‘you’re not good enough’. We believe we are the ‘experts’ of our lives, so if anybody knows how we should run our life, of course it would be us right? Having to learn new ways makes us feel incompetent especially when it’s been this way for a while and we hold dear our past success and achievements.

 

Fear

When there is no guarantee that the change will be any better than our current situation, we resist it. Fear of the unknown causes us to be comfortable with the known even though we are not happy, satisfied or advancing. We don’t even know why we are afraid of change, we just know (or believe) we don’t know how to do it any other way.

 

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Unwillingness

Change can mean letting go of our beliefs, our opinions and who we think we are. And sometimes we just do not want to let go and upset those around us who expect us to be the same. We don’t want to lose our position in social circles or professional affiliations. We don’t want to close the door on that friendship, even though the dynamic of the relationship has changed. Or feel the void of a constant that is now embedded even if the ties are unhealthy and detrimental to our growth. So we dwell on past hurts, pains and failures, or we hold on to the idea of who they should be rather than the reality of who they are.

 

a6930bdac99071f05e06364e95848b6aSecurity

Change can be seen as a threat especially to someone who is used to moving from place to place and has finally found a place to call home. Because we are settled, we feel safe. Some of us find security in routines because they are familiar; we know what to expect and that makes it easier to manage our expectations. So when we are required to do something that catches us off-guard or takes us out of our comfort zone, there’s bound to be some resistance and reluctance to accept. Change that is thrust upon us leaves us feeling powerless.

 

It doesn’t make sense…

People struggle to implement things they do not understand and are unlikely to exchange it with something they understand and can visualise its path. With external changes, if a person is not able to explain clearly why the change is necessary, it’s only natural it will be met with resistance. Lack of understanding, leads to confusion, and results in unhappiness.

 

It takes a strong person to weather the storm of change!

It takes a strong person to weather the storm of change!

Laziness…

As the saying goes, ‘The lazy man hates himself’. Sometimes it’s not the change we hate, but the fact that we are too lazy to see it through. Resistance to change comes in the form of excuses; reasons why we can’t change, why it won’t work, how we’ve tried it before, or that it’s not necessary. But deep down, we know something, if not everything, has to change. For some of us it’s easier to complain than it is to change.

 

To conclude…

Whatever our reasons for resisting change, we need a change in perspective; to see it as an opportunity to learn new things and grow. Change does not happen overnight. Like the transition between hot and cold, there is a process of freezing and boiling so be patient with the progress and stand firm till the end, taking it ONE DAY AT A TIME. Change is crucial to survival. Like a caterpillar changing its whole being, transforming into a butterfly, it is a tough transition. Change can be hard. Like the Eagle that has to break its beak and pluck its old feathers, it is a painful process. Change is dependent on YOU and you can accept, embrace or reject it. It starts off as a subtle nudge, and then the push gets stronger causing uneasiness. It eventually escalates to the point the pain of our current situation demands we take action. So make the changes where necessary before it is forced upon you.

"When you change yourself, you change your world!"

“When you change yourself, you change your world!”

 

I’d like to leave you with a story that challenges me on the path of resistance (There are various versions of this story).

The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

In order to change we must humble ourselves, empty our mind of our conceptions, things that keep us stiff, stuck and stubborn and make room for the new, different way. And even if we make the change and it doesn’t work we can revert back but at least we tried another way. You can reject it, or accept it but either way, A Change Is Gonna Come! So EMBRACE IT!!!

Finding Calmness in the Midst of Craziness.

Ms Tola, xx

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28 Years Later

18 Apr

My birthday is FINALLY here!!! I’ve been awaiting the arrival of this day for about 364 days now and honestly I don’t know anyone more excited about birthdays than me. I LOVE my birthday. It isn’t about adding 1 to my age (or subtracting 3, 5 or sometimes 10), but celebrating the anniversary of the day I was born. April 18th 1988 I was birthed into this world and my story began.

The Happy Birthday Girl!!

The Happy Birthday Girl!!

Just like the end of the year is a time of reflection on the past months and preparation for the New Year, this special day is time for taking stock of where I’m at. Life has been so unpredictable so I’ve always been anxious of what the future had in store for me at various points in my life. Last month I read an interesting article in the STYLIST magazine titled “This Is What 30 Looks Like” where 30 women across the globe assessed their lives at 30 years old. It was a very honest and heartening report, illustrating how distinctive this milestone was for women from different cultures, religions and professions. Only 4 out of the 30 women said they were exactly where they thought they’d be at this age whereas the rest didn’t expect this was how life would unfold. Some had surpassed their personal expectations due to the progression of gender equality in less developed countries or opportunities begetting opportunities propelling them further in their careers while others missed targets such as getting married or their lives took an unfortunate turn due to the loss of a loved one. However, whether good or bad, a common thread in each of their stories was this sense of satisfaction that regardless of their current situation, they were proud of how far they’d come these 30 years on earth. I was encouraged because I thought I was the only one who felt life hadn’t gone the way I thought it would and I haven’t even reached 30.

In light of that article and my upcoming birthday, I decided to evaluate what has become of me 28 years later and here is my stock-taking in summary.

Three things I haven’t yet done that I would have liked to

1) If you cast your mind back to April 2013 in my post, Quarter-Life Crisis, I mentioned riding a horse was one of the things I hadn’t ever done before. Would you believe 3 years later this status hasn’t changed? Shame on me… Maybe before 30?? #30before30

2) I haven’t seen a single full episode of Grey’s Anatomy. With all the numerous series I watch, for some reason this didn’t made it to the list. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews however I can’t start it from anywhere else but season 1 episode 1 so I need time to catch up. I’m saving this for my 2nd maternity leave. Oh yeaaa!

3) I would have thought by 28 I would have relocated to another country. I have a great curiosity about the world and there’s so much to see. Different cultures, food and people to discover; I love travelling and imagined me living somewhere else besides the UK. In my opinion, 28 years is too long of time to spend in just one place. One a smaller scale though, I’ve lived in Thailand for 6 months.

 

Three things I’ve achieved that I hadn’t imagined at 28

1) I’M MARRIED!!! I’ve always wanted to get married, but I wasn’t actively and sincerely preparing for that life change; I was just wishing it to come to pass. Maybe because deep in the cabinet of my fears, I thought I’d be 30 and single, 40 and single and possibly 50 and still single. I knew it would take a miracle for me to get married. And that’s exactly what happened. My miracle of a husband that knew the first time he saw me that I was his wife (or so that’s the story he tells me).

2) I’M A MUMMY. Just like number 1, I always wanted children. But I assumed me being great with children translated into a career working as a teacher or youth worker. I didn’t expect to have a baby so soon after marriage, but as life would have it, the best gifts are always surprises.

3) I’M A DATA MANAGER (in clinical trials). I loved English and Drama at school and thought I’d be a full-time writer/singer/actress. But those dreams where pushed aside when I went to University to study Law, after which the plan was then to become a teacher. But being rejected for the PGCE course 3 consecutive years, it seemed it just wasn’t meant to be. In 2013, I didn’t even know what Clinical Trials was until February of that year, where over time I’ve developed great skills in Data Management and a passion for Research and the vast impact it has in our daily lives.

Marriage, Babies, Careers!

Marriage, Babies, Careers!

 

Three things I deliberately set out to achieve and succeeded.

1) Rekindled my love for writing. I created this blog in 2012 with 33 posts to date. Thoughtchannel is a place where I can gather my views on life experiences; it’s where I find calm in the midst of the craziness of life, where I dig deeper and discover. It’s opened the path to other great writings.

2) I’ve explored higher ground and deeper waters in different countries. Climbing Mount Fuji in Japan  and Scuba diving in Thailand.

3) At 28 I am a ‘Natural’. My last relaxer was in 2010 and since then I’ve gone back to my roots. I’m committed to this natural hair journey; I’m constantly having to be patient with the process, but it’s taught me a lot about myself and I’m proud and confident it was the right decision.

 

So there you have it; a snapshot of my life as I planned, wouldn’t have imagined and where it didn’t pan out accordingly. How do I feel about where I am today? Honestly? Before writing this post I felt like I was behind; so far from the mark. But the question I had to ask myself was is there a perfect and universal standard in which I can measure my progress against? And the answer was NO because I can’t compare to age mates or those older/younger than me because quite frankly, we’re not even running the same race and will never be at the same page even if we all started on April 18th 1988.

Contentment

The race is only with YOURSELF!!!

I’ve never been the goal-setting type of person so it’s a mystery how my chaotic path has carefully orchestrated itself to this perfect place where I’m gradually accepting this is where I’m supposed to be. For the few goals I did set, where I failed to achieve them within fixed time frames, subconsciously I negated all the other unintentional victories. I didn’t give them as much importance because they weren’t in my line of focus but they turned out to be the real achievements that are moulding me into the person I want to be. At 28 I’ve finally learnt that sometimes the plans, goals and ideas YOU have for life isn’t really the plan, goal and idea LIFE has for you.

With that said, start with what YOU have and be happy WHERE YOU ARE. I’m sure if you were to take stock of your life at your next birthday; you too would have plenty things you purposely achieved and are proud of, many things you are yet to experience and things you’ve achieved that never even crossed your mind (please do share yours in the comment box; I’d love to read summaries to further illustrate the notion of same age, different stage). Live life as best as you can in whatever capacity you find yourself. Live as honestly, as painfully, as patiently, as excitingly and as simply as the day brings. Be attentive and receptive to the possibilities life presents to you and ALWAYS be thankful for the lessons as well as the blessings. Don’t worry about the future. Take care of ‘today’ every day and the future will take care of itself

Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect...

Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect…

...it simply means you've decided to enjoy life.

…it simply means you’ve decided to enjoy life.

Happy Birthday Meee. Here's to many more happy years.

Happy Birthday Meee. Here’s to many more happy years.

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness.

Ms Tola aka The Birthday Girl  

xx

Double Decadence

23 Nov

Last weekend my friend came over and we had pizza. Like most people, there are a lot of things she dislikes and things she likes and her life choices reflect those preferences. She’s not a fan of meat so she chose a vegetarian pizza. I love meat too much and wanted something meaty. Good thing they do ‘half N half’ so we were able to combine our two choices on one pizza. Next up was choosing the base. We both liked thin crust so that was a no brainer. However, she usually ordered the Double Decadence which I hadn’t tried before. So in trying to accommodate my guest I agreed to the double decadence which is basically extra cheese sandwiched between the two thin crust bases. Even though I’m very particular about cheese I thought it couldn’t be so bad as the whole pizza is covered with cheese and I always like pizza.

After 40 minutes, the pizza arrived; half Vegetarian, half Mighty Meaty and double decadence base. The first bite I took, I tasted cheese. Not like I’ve always tasted, but the type of cheese that when I smell it, I feel sick. My friend finished her half with no complaints but I struggled to finish mine. I was hungry and it was my first and only meal of the day, so I ate. Whilst my friend got everything she wanted from the pizza, I was unwell, unsatisfied and unhappy. Sure I didn’t die eating it, but I didn’t enjoy any of it. I tolerated it because I didn’t want to waste it. On the small scale of things it’s just a pizza. The easy solution would have been for everybody to have their own pizza. My friend’s assertiveness and commitment to her preferences ensured her happiness whereas my compromise led to my displeasure.

sometimes-in-your-quest-to-make-everyone-else-happy-you-make-yourself-miserable-quote-1

In the bigger scheme of things how many times have we felt that pursuing our personal preferences, although would make US happy and lead us on a path of peace, would also leave us standing alone? How do we balance our happiness, individuality and values with the needs, expectations and happiness of those we care about? Can we really honour them both or does something have to give? Is someone else’s pleasure more important than ours? Can we ever all be happy when we’re created so differently and drawn to different preferences and pursuits? We tend to relate to people because of our similarities. But what happens when we build relationships with people who have greater differences? Are we to always compromise in hope that these supposedly selfless acts deem us a good person? What if our good intentions have bad consequences and don’t achieve the purpose we compromised it for? What if after doing all that, they too aren’t happy? Should we even bother? How do we find middle ground when ones half-way is the others end destination?

 

Resolution

We Need A Resolution!

These are questions I genuinely ask because I repeatedly find myself and others going out of our way to make others happy. On face value, it appears to cost nothing but more times than not it deprives us of our own happiness and fulfilment and leaves us frustrated and disregarded. Why is that when being ‘selfless and considerate’ is believed to be a noble trait? We have developed a false sense of responsibility to the point where our daily actions are often motivated by obtaining the approval of others. We are afraid the decisions and paths we choose take us away from the direction of togetherness where we lose friends or disappoint family and being driven by this fear denies us the freedom that comes with living life on your own terms. So we put our desires and wants to the wayside in order to fulfil those of parents, friends and peers.

Too many times I doubted myself so I used the ‘advice’ of others to make decisions for me. Seeking counsel proves useful where you lack experience or understanding but I wasn’t using it to gain wisdom. It was to avoid taking responsibility for my actions and ultimately the consequences. As a result, I became a slave to their input; I settled for a degree I didn’t really like. I said yes when it was inconvenient or impractical or when I wanted to say NO. I made decisions I knew went against everything I am and I limited how far into the world I branched out. I tried so hard to fit the mould of what was expected of me. I assumed because they knew better, they knew what was best for me. They were satisfied once I complied and conformed to their way of thinking regardless of the fact that I knew circumstances are relative and one size does not fit all.

shoe-pinch

As the saying goes…

 

If we are empty with low self-esteem, we try to get filled up by making others happy and dodge their displeasure because we crave their love, approval and acceptance. We don’t want to be perceived as being difficult, stubborn or radical so it starts off with small things and then we bend over backwards to the extent we become ‘people pleasers’ and place our well-being in the hands of others for them to crumple like a piece of paper. No matter what we do for others we can never really be happy under those circumstances. But when wanting to make others happy comes from a place of love and compassion, there’s no pressure or expectation. Because we are happy in ourselves, we extend that happiness to others. If disregarding your feelings in favour of the feelings of others doesn’t make you miserable, then by all means proceed. I’m all for helping people and looking out for their interests too but there has to be a balance; you CANNOT sacrifice your happiness and completely neglect to take care of you because that is not an act of love, but an indication that you have forgotten your worth!!!

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Over time it’s been a struggle to regain my independence but I realised if I want to be happy, I have to let go of the need to put everyone’s needs first. I have to learn to stick up for myself and accept my unconventional ways of thinking and feeling and be free and at peace with the choices I make even if it means standing alone. The truth of the matter is we make choices that people don’t understand or agree with but why should a decision you make about your own life upset someone else? Providing it’s not intended to hurt, done out of spite or recklessness they will get over it, eventually. We are not responsible for their happiness and neither should we put the key to our happiness in someone else’s pocket. If you’re not happy, it’s because YOU chose to be unhappy. Not your parents, or your job, not your spouse, partner or your friends. You are the maker or breaker of your destiny so stand up for what’s right for you and your life, and stop standing for what’s right for everyone else.

not selfish

It’s not about self-indulgence but self-care

  

Make a decision that you will live in freedom.

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness

Ms Tola xx

 

 

 

Surrender To The Season

30 Sep

About two weeks ago I had coffee with a friend (minus the coffees) and as brief as the meeting was, it was enough to trigger this post. After expressing feelings of despair and frustration at not being able to do all the things I used to be able to do, my friend Pam left with parting words; ‘Tola, you have to understand you’re in a new season in your life. You have to embrace where you are right now and surrender to the season.’

Of course she was right. I just didn’t know how to go about applying such wise and relevant advice. Only last year I wrote a post about seasons, but it seems I missed the deeper meanings. I thought about waiting until I had mastered the art of surrendering to the season before uploading this post, but then I thought that might take a while or it may never get done. Like most posts, I hadn’t arrived at a resolve before I started, but the process that followed the thought was always where clarity came and the lessons to be learnt presented themselves. So I’m writing from where I am right now, breaking it down into three simple points.

  • Life happens in seasons

That’s the simple reality of the matter. It’s no coincidence that I started writing this post on September 23rd, which according to Google was the first day of Autumn. We have entered a new season! Seasons are used to express ideas such as feelings, the passing of time and age. Seasons can also represent various phases for an individual; we experience winter, spring, summer, and autumn/fall in virtually every area of our lives. So the first step in surrendering to the season is understanding THIS! And just like the seasons of the world change, so do the seasons of life. Some periods last a short time whilst others feel like Game of Thrones; 5 seasons in and ‘Winter is Coming’… like still? But no matter how long it takes, the season will EVENTUALLY change.

Change is inevitable… The good, the bad it all changes

Change is inevitable… The good, the bad it all changes

  • Know your season

When we don’t understand the nature of our season, we find ourselves frustrated, anxious, or discouraged because we’re trying to do things that we’re not supposed to. Maybe not ever, but just not for right now. Like trying to wear a bikini in a blizzard or dressing like an Eskimo in Ecuadorian climates. Knowing what season you’re in makes it easier for you to adapt and adjust accordingly.

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The earth awakens from her winter slumber and explodes with new life. It is a time of ploughing and sowing. In our lives, Spring can represent the start of new projects and new ideas therefore being a season of activity and work requiring great energy.

summer

Summer is a time of watering and weeding the freshly planted crop. There will be vegetables to harvest and fruit hanging from trees as we begin to see the first evidence of our planting. Everything about summer screams vitality, freedom and growth. The days are longer and warmer because of the Sun’s presence. Summer can be used to reflect the prime of a person’s life, where everything is in full swing. It’s a time of light, which dissolves all shadows; no hiding, no secrets. Summer is a season of fun, companionship, laughter and dancing.
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A transitional season like spring, Autumn is the preparation for the winter season. The hustle and bustle involves taking stock of the bounty and provisions as the crops are reaped and things are slowly winding down. The harvest marks the end of the growing season. Like the changing colours of the fallen leaves, autumn represents change. It is a season of enjoying the gifts of the previous season, of slowing down and reflecting.

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Activity ceases in the dead of Winter. Days are shorter as darkness rules over this period and life as we know it is dormant. As much as winter represents the coldness of life; death, a time of hopelessness and despair, it completes the yearly cycle of the seasons. It is a season of uncomfortableness, stillness and silence to calm our mind for direction and clarity and to rest physically. It is a time to find warmth through intimacy and embracing our inner being.

  • Enjoy The Season

Once you’ve done all the necessary work, all you can do is leave it be. Each season brings with it its own weather, its own showers and sunshine, yet there is something to learn in each season. Enjoying your season means putting on your wellington boots and raincoat, grabbing your umbrella and dancing in the rain rather than waiting for the storm to pass. You can never really know how long it will be that way so you have to make the most of any weather and trust that everything will work out fine. Prepare and discern what the seasons are trying to teach you. Sometimes seasons don’t change until our attitude towards it does and like most lessons in life, they have to be repeated before we finally pass.

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Don’t be anxious waiting for the ‘next thing’ but understand there is an appointed time for everything. If you’re not reaping a harvest right now, then maybe the fruits are not ripe for the picking. So continue ploughing, sowing, watering and do not give up. Endure and enjoy today for it is just as special and significant as the despair and delight of yesterday and the hope and fear of tomorrow. Savour the moments being single, because commitment isn’t the place of self-centredness. Enjoy the new found responsibilities as a parent, once they find their feet they’ll relish their new found independence. Appreciate the open doors opportunity brings because success is not final and it isn’t always what we see. Even if you can’t travel the world, there are precious gems to be discovered on your front door. Be thankful for the strength we find in pain and loss, it reminds us we are alive.

Everything takes time! Surrender to the season

Finding Calmness in the Midst of Craziness

Ms Tola xx

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I Don’t Give A InstaDamn!

27 Aug

It all started with a click.

And before I knew it I found myself browsing through numerous pictures in the life of a person I had never met, or even knew existed before that moment. And all of a sudden her life became something I coveted; it was the standard of what I assumed life should be. And my life slowly began to look so ‘glamourless’!

I closed my browser but throughout the day, the pictures continued to play up on my mind. I saw a colourful world, ever so glossy; it was like those KFC/Burger King/McDonalds posters of burgers, fries and drinks positioned like a performance. Sunny beaches in Saint Lucia, Endearing Engagements & Wonderful, White Weddings. Built Houses you could only dream of. Cars cut out of magazines and parked in the driveway. #TeamFitness were Happy, Healthy, Beautiful people who didn’t work out to sweat. #RelationshipGoals that transpired into a relationship that was so romantic only 365 days of the year. She goes to ‘work’ made-up looking like a cover girl model and he is a Boss rocking that Hugo and they just #WokeUpLikethis? Everything #OnFleek! Every Dream that came true and that’s why #GodHasBeenSoooooGood’!

I had finally encountered the world of INSTAGRAM! And boy was it SCARY. Everything was just so…so picture-perfect. I wanted to be a part of it; a part of me craved it. No I shouldn’t. I can’t. This feels so wrong, that it can’t be right. Just one more look! I felt like such an outcast in this superficially, perfect world people had created. Every page I saw – FLAWLESS; they were stunning in EVERY picture yet there was #nofilter! Sure they may have #StartedFromTheBottom but everyone was surely making it now. Picture after pictures of all the wonderful things they were doing. Did anybody have ‘normal’ jobs? Was everyone a world traveller and ate at fancy restaurants? Do ALL the guys work out at the same Gym? Did all those girls get their hair from the SAME Brazilian (or was it Peruvian or Malaysian)? It was so weird seeing some of those pages of people I know personally and in our day to day dealings; they are NOT #AboutThatLife. So where did this new and exciting persona appear from? I didn’t have the time (or energy) to go through ALL the pictures, but there were literally hundreds of pictures posted within minutes and hours DAILY! How do they find the time to live this glamourous life AND (#selfie) post about it? I sure did feel inadequate.

It does what it says...

It does what it says…

Clearly missing something, curiosity got the best of me and I asked my friend what the point of Instagram was. His response was “Basically it allows people to become whatever they thought they could be in their head. It’s all about the fantasy. It feeds people’s ego, like everyone becomes a celebrity in their own right.”

OK! That makes sense?!!??! It got me thinking about this ‘social’ world we live in. So many networks have been created to help people connect, build and maintain relationships, both personally and professionally and learn and explore through captured moments and sharing experiences. But have we taken it too far? Are we silently screaming to the world hey ‘WatchMe WatchMe’? Have our #selfies truly made us selfish and hungry for likes and thirsty for followers? Where do you draw the line on how much you share with ‘the world’? How do you distinguish between your ‘public’ life and ‘private’ life? Do we share what’s most important or what is more superficial? What is the intention of posting something or are you indifferent to the response?

Which rings truer?

Which rings truer?

I noticed people attempting to protect their privacy by making Insta profiles private (so people like me can’t just be snooping) or only posting on one network as opposed to another, or being selective in the content they choose to share but did this really amount to someone being ‘a private person’? Was it enough? I mean exactly who are we trying to be creating an online persona that isn’t a reflection of who we are as a whole and sometimes completely differs from who we are in reality? We edit our lives to show just the good, and put a filter to cover the flaws and failures? Why are we trying to convince ‘the world’ we are important and somebody who’s got it all together? Can you imagine the rumple if there were a “dislike” button on posts. We’d be so mad at everyone that didn’t clap for us when we were #Winning. Boo, clap for yourself.

“A half-truth is a whole lie” Proverb

I’m slowly beginning to believe that social media is ‘an illusion’. People see what we show them but that’s just the half of it. We draw conclusions about people based on their posts, pages, and pictures when in truth, we don’t really know anything about the life they live and therefore shouldn’t take it so seriously. I am not a fan of Instagram, and though I subtly (or not) judge those that have one and use it to post ‘the many faces of #ME’, the truth remains that I too am a Social Networker and sometimes engage in the art of self promotion making me just as ‘egotistical’. I may not understand the point of all the networks but I definitely enjoy the benefits of the ones I subscribe to. I guess it’s just about putting things in perspective; everyone has different intentions and purposes using social media but I have to be careful not to get caught up in the negative backlash of posting online (for example, using it to define my identity, validate or increase my self-esteem, or just brag about my achievements) and without being pretentious, continue to find genuine ways to build and maintain relationships and connect with people through sharing things that inspire and motivate as well as entertain.

The world itself can be a superficial place, but we mustn’t so vicariously intrude in others’ lives through constant scrolling on social network that we neglect, and forget to admire, embrace and enhance our own. Contrary to what Instagram, Twitter, Facebook et all show, we are in no position to be comparing lives. We may want the same things, have the same dreams, or need the same acceptance but we all have different places and paths. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you don’t share it, doesn’t it make it any less relevant. And if you want to share it, just as well!!!

If the world knows, if it doesn’t, either way YOU’RE STILL AWESOME!!!
GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!

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Ms Tola xx

For The Underdogs

30 Jul

…Who could really use a wish right now!

Some days I’m tired. And fed up! And sick of being so tired and so fed up. But I know no matter what, I can’t give up! You wonder what the point of it all is. It’s always one thing or another and you’ve had enough. But in the midst of all that crazy mess, something happens and you get through the day. And then another day. And another.

Sometimes you cry and through the tears you feel pain, a strong tugging pain that feels like it will never go away. And before you know it, you catch yourself smiling, laughing and you forget that you were supposed to be crying over something that just doesn’t matter right now. Some days I just stop. Literally, I can’t go on. Feeling lost and confused, I don’t know which way to turn. Then somehow, I find myself moving along the path.

Some days we get angry and full of bitterness at the wrong that was done to us, adamant that we’ll never forgive! Then somehow we hear soft words that melt the ice-box where our hearts supposed to be and we find a way to love again. Sometimes I find myself alone, without a friend insight. Feeling neglected and rejected. Then in the presence of my lone company, the mist clears and I see the shadows of people waiting to be called.

Some days, you try. You dream and believe. You work so hard and mix in a little faith yet, you see no results and there are no rewards for your efforts. You give up! But somehow you find yourself dreaming on another day; doing something different, believing… It’s only a matter of time.

Some days there’s a knot in our throat. We’re choked by the words we won’t speak and unable to comprehensively articulate the truth that resides within. And somehow, words flow through our fingertips, a weight is released from our shoulders and we hear our voice.

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How do we do it? The days keep coming and going. But in spite of the tears, the fears, the loneliness, the failures, the struggles, we keep going. Not because we know how it’ll all work out, but because we have no other choice but to HOPE; something innate compels us to trust that understanding and acceptance will come with time. Sometimes, for a VERY long time it may be a sad story, a heart-breaking one where it doesn’t seem the clouds will clear or the sun will shine again. You may cry more times than you smile. You may fail more times than you succeed. Lose more than you receive. Hurt more than love. Break down more times than keep it together. Be alone more than in company. Hold tighter to the past than let go and move on. Be discouraged more times than inspired. Feel pain more than be healed. Be grudged and not forgiven. Be angry, frustrated, lost and confused more than at peace.

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Rainbows are made by sun and rain! Artwork by Jill Battaglia http://fineartamerica.com/featured/woman-on-dock-in-storm-jill-battaglia.html

 

And that’s OK! When you find yourself not being okay, remember it’ll be okay one day. And if only for one day, that too is okay. Because all you need is ONE day! One day that you’re okay is more compelling than a thousand days of being broken, hurt, drowning in sorrows, frustrated at life, crippled and confused. Don’t let bad days make you feel like you have a bad life because a good day is a small step in the right direction. Once the storm is over, you won’t even remember how you made it through, but you’ll know that THAT ONE DAY, surely made a difference!

images6DLSTAHO “I wish I was strong enough to lift, not one but both of us.

Someday I will be strong enough, to lift not one but both of us.”

Ms Tola xx