HUMBLE AND KIND.

5893b5ad-a477-48b6-865b-50c80eadea7bAs we walk through the small town, he meets and waves to many. Most people don’t call him by his official names, but by the name of a brand he has built over the last thirty-three years. Across the street someone shouts “his name”, actually his brand name. He seems thrilled and am sure that this must be one of his closest friends. He requests that we cross the street, and as we do, he reminds to be careful, so typical of him. He introduces me with what describes me best- a story for another day. “You don’t even need to introduce her” the friend says. “You look so alike” he continues. We look at each other and laugh-happens all the time. He cuts the friend short because my time with him was limited and we had important matters to discuss.

I had driven three hours just to talk and lunch with him. I don’t want to call it a lunch date but rather a father-daughter lunch.

Three days before this, he had called and as we talked he told me that from my voice he knew something was not okay and he wanted us to talk.  These were his actual words “Something you are not telling me must be going on. Am your friend and I want us to talk” Hearing these words I got emotional and I knew, I had to talk to my father. He not only listens, but he gives the best advice.

I remembered this flow of events as I was listening to this song by Tim MacGraw. This is a song that reads and sounds like a parent’s letter to a child who’s about to fly the coop, with the protagonist compiling a list of important life lessons, including “Don’t expect a free ride from no one.”

A song that encapsulates everything that I love about country music. It’s a guitar vocal, it’s stripped down, it’s the truth. It’s the kind of truth that can sort of make you uncomfortable and emotional.

There is something about art and hence always find myself linking some of my posts to a song that strikes a chord or two of my emotions. This is a song that made me pause for a minute and think. Think about how my father. He sits me down and takes his time to talk to me. He encourages me about 1001 things. He reminds me that am a star. That I am a Titan.

Back to my story. We talked and you can bet your bottom dollar I drove back to the city not only a happy young lady but with a lighter heart and so much hope for the future.

I don’t take it for granted I have both of my parents and they are not only loving and caring but also truthful and open with me. They tell me what I need to hear even when I don’t want to hear it. Well, most times, they package it in a nice way.

Humble and Kind reminded me of some of the most critical advice that my father gave me during that specific moment and am glad it has brought me so far.

I have moments when I seemed to have lost it all, but my father reminds me, that he has lost it all along the way but he never lost sight of his dream. Just like Martin Luther King Junior…. he had a dream. I have learned to remain grateful, strong, hopeful and for sure, events always realign to my favor. He has taught me to take pride in my achievements and stay humble. Just as Tim says,

“When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind”

And

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why
Bitterness keeps you from flying
Always stay humble and kind.

Mad and much respect for our parents & cheers to staying humble and Kind.

XOXO!

 

 

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THANK YOU.

Thank you..jpgHe’s done so much for me; I cannot tell it all eh.

Words that got tears forming around my eyes but what actually got the tears flowing down my cheeks was the words that followed after.

What shall I render to Jehovah? For he has done so very much for me, eh

Nara ekele mo which translates to take my thanksgiving, beautiful lyrics for the song titled Nara by Tim Godfrey Ft. Travis Greene. This is a song that for the past few weeks has been trending but I was not keen on listening to it until yester night. I had seen a few of my friends share it on their social media pages, but I never took time to listen to it. And I believe there was a reason for it.

Fast forward to 1st October 2018, around 11 in the PM.

A good friend, who we somehow share love for cars and night drives invited me for an evening drive. The destination was unknown but my ignorance for not knowing the changes that are happening in our city was the north star for determining our route.

“There is this song that I have been looped on and its sort of my fave at the moment, can we play it?” my friend asked few minutes into our drive.

“Sure!” I swiftly and happily responded. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed because his taste for music is quiet a thing. Normally ,I would say it’s the bomb dot com.

The song started playing, he turned the volume up and in less than a minute, I was sold.

I liked the instrumental arrangement, voice synchronization between the lead artists and the back-up singers, how simple and straight the song’s message was…. Let me leave it at that because I am not a music producer and wouldn’t want to cause havoc with my song analysis.

Our drive was a calm one. The drive speed was reasonable, though I thought it was gonna be a fast & furious one because anyone who knows me well will tell you how speed takes me to a happy place. Being a Monday there were few cars on the roads. It was a good drive. Actually it was a very good drive.

I enjoyed the drive for sure but what I was and am still extremely grateful for is this particular song which I got a chance to listen to during the drive.

It not only got me emotional but made me realize that, I have so much to be grateful for in the context of reviewing the past 150 days of my life. There are lots of miracles in my life that make me wanna sing this song every minute and mean it from the core of my heart and soul. I can’t write a list all the things God has done for me that I am grateful for, but through this post, I just wanted to tell God that I am grateful for all that he has done. Because even if I had ten thousand tongues, it still won’t be enough God to tell it all.

There are lots of miracles everywhere I go and I have to be grateful to Him. Yesterday I had an intimate moment that words can’t express. I got in touch with that higher force that wants me to succeed, to do good. That higher force that places me at the right place, at the right time and empowers me to use the human creativity endowed upon me to help others and change the world for the better.

And when I got back home and the watchman smiled through his sleepless eyes~ get the joke. Felt the cool breeze flowing on my face during my morning run. SmelT and tasted my coffee in the morning. I was happy to remember that the world is for sure a miracle and a force greater than myself and my ego is always at work and always available.

I call it God.

Thank you God.

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE HAS NO LABELS.

LOVEThursday afternoon and for the last six and half hours I have not lifted my butt off my office chair. It’s just few minutes to lunch and I know, not because am hungry but because a calendar notification pops up on my screen reminding me that it’s ten (10) minutes to my lunch break. Am excited about today’s lunch. Not because I brought what Stan had prepared for dinner yesternight, read that as our favorite meal, but because of the person I will be lunching with. You ask, who be this? I will be lunching with a visiting Diversity and Inclusion expert from Silicon Valley, and am looking forward to exchanging ideas regarding this topic. For the past few months I have been having a key interest on Diversity and Inclusion, which some Silicon Valley organizations will refer to as DnI. Actually, I have bee doing a lot of research on this subject like my life depends on it, so let me shine for a minute! Okay? Thanks.

Diversity is about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

Inclusion is the effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated.

‘Diversity is the mix; inclusion is making the mix work” Andres.

I won’t delve into the details of our discussion with my lunch partner because most of the content is what I will use to build a business case for my next fat pay cheque.*winks*

When done with lunch, my lunch-partner said something that I found to be  very profound and have been thinking about it. Here I am writing about it- Hurray!

“Every day, we have the ability and opportunity to create a more accepting world. Even small acts of inclusion can have a big impact on making others feel accepted.”

So away from the work-space, how do we show inclusivity in our community? To be very honest with you I don’t have the correct answers because I have not put so much thought into the how we do it, but I know how it feels.

Why? Because when I moved to a new neighborhood, my neighbor said HI-Yeah a simple HI. It gave me a sense of belonging. After few days of HIs she welcomed me to her space and we talked about everything and nothing and later our other neighbor joined us, and if I remember, we dined together. This gesture went a long way in making me feel included. This type of engagements as neighbors, old and new, has enabled us to stay connected — and contributes to a neighborhood that values connectedness over exclusion. But I must we need to set and have boundaries.

What I have come to know for sure overtime is that ordinary acts of love can lead to extraordinary amounts of change.

Show some act of kindness or love, stop the implicit biases, reconsider stereotypes, start conversations to create deep connections and you never know! Your partner, your business partner, your new best friend could be just behind that stranger’s face.

#Challenge. I challenge you for the next few days or weeks to take small actions to make others feel loved and accepted. Shall you?

!X0X0!

THE TRUTH.

Ttruth..jpgHow are you?

A conversation starter said a thousand times in a day, in a thousand languages around the world!  What amazes me, just like Maya is that, when people ask this question, their mindset is set to hear “Fine, thank you, and you?” or just simply “I am great!”. Because reality is, most people don’t want to hear the raw story of what is going on in your life. Maybe it’s because of the way we are as human beings! We admittedly people please too often, which sometimes does not allow for the truth to come flying out of our mouths at all times. A bad habit which we should strive to break away from, I must say!

But with the people you call true friends, this shouldn’t be the case! You should always have the nerve to tell your friends the truth.

Friends for LifeIn my life, I am very lucky to have friends like Miss. Malaika and Miss. Kamata aka the Wakeshos who when they ask me this question (How are you?), I can confidently tell the truth. I always have the nerve to tell the truth.  And I will be like “My hurt aches, but the project I was working on, is coming out just as I envisioned!”, “You know what, I effed up and now, I feel lost”, “I am weak and feel I can’t do it no more!” I even let loose sometimes and all they do is pass the paper towels. We then laugh about it and we get the conversation going.

They will express their concerns, without sounding judgmental. They are consistently supportive without agreeing to each and every of my decision. I am blessed to have such amazing souls and great relationships in my cycle.

In day when “friendships” come and go easily as choosing Facebook status, true friends are hard to find. What a gift to have friends who you will tell them your truth and they also risk telling you the truth to your face instead of chattering behind your back.

I am doubly blessed because some of these same friends just don’t celebrate my success with me, they weather the storm of my life with me-even the storms that I may have foolishly created myself.

Dr. Angelou said that, we should tell the truth to people but again warned that telling people the truth might get them avoiding you. Good news is, if people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.

!X0X0!

 

 

 

 

 

JOY.

Joy 3Sitting on the clean white sand by the ocean, listening to the therapeutic sound of the waves thoughts of someone important (*Stan maybe) linger in my mind. It’s obvious I miss him and being around him but this was my vacation not a baecation! I am tempted to call him but I remember we were running some experiment with my trip. So I calmly return my phone in my beach bag and continue watching the ocean. It is a view that no normal human being can tire from watching.

I remember I have dinner with a buddy later in the evening and I leave the beach so I can be on time for the dinner. While getting ready to leave the beach my phone rings and from the tone I could tell its Stan calling. Honestly, I was happy he was calling but then again, we broke the covenant! It’s a even video call! Am so excited. If you know me, you know how some small acts melt my heat. I know I ain’t supposed to call but I had to see miss pretty, remind her that I love her blog posts and I am waiting for one, he briefly says. He sends kisses and hangs up! Short and sweet, I must say!

I must say I appreciate Stan for being that guy who keeps a check of me on so many things. He knows 70% of my posts before I publish them and he also knows that many times I write content which sticks on my laptop.

Stan is one of the people in my life who define the true meaning of friendship. He is my best support system. He not only brings happiness, positive energy in my life but supports my journey of cultivating my joy.

JoyJoyJoyJoyJoyJoy.

To me joy is a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace—a connection to what matters. You experience joy when the energy of your soul is rightfully aligned with your personality” Joy is an experience you have when you are connected to yourself. When you don’t feel pressured by the critiques, the naysayers. Joy is when you are at peace with your soul and not caught up in whirlwind of trying to please the critics, the world, everybody… Joy is felt when you begin living your life according to your terms.

Happiness and joy are amazing feelings but I would choose the latter any day! Why? Because, joy is more consistent and is cultivated internally. It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are. Happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events.

You experience true joy if, you live your truth.

Starting living your truth and experience joy every day.

X0X0!

 

 

 

 

 

 

VULNERABILITY.

f4b18774-c261-4ebb-b8d0-a8568763a41e.jpgTaking a walk across the office, from our east wing to the west wing, moments of last evening with Stan linger over my mind. Most of our conversations are usually deep while others are just fun with some sense of tittle-tattle of what is trending.  Yesterday it was the former and we talked about how we both have changed overtime. One of our conversation took me back to one and half years ago when I had my “aha! moment”.

Over a year ago, while reading one of Maya’s literature the following words became imprinted on my soul: You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Forty-one words that stirred a yearn to seek my vulnerability and authenticity. They say with age comes wisdom, but what I like most is the maturity that comes with experience.

Reading these words, I had my tweetable moment which has been my anchor for becoming a woman who draws strength from her vulnerability.

Growing up I had believed that vulnerability is a weakness. Not anymore! My vulnerability, has overtime given me pure and utter strength. I have stopped hiding my true feelings, hugged my child-like spirit, began being totally in tune to what I like and dislike, ceased hiding behind a smoke screen and letting those that matter know that I miff up about certain things, have lost my way along the way, or simply need help in a certain matter.

Vulnerability has empowered me to find courage in being imperfect! I have embraced letting go of who I thought I should be or ought to be, in order to be my true self. I am not afraid of being vulnerable and authentic anymore, especially with closest of my friends and family and above all myself. I definitely want to belong because I am a social being but I also have courage to stand alone and belong to myself. I belong to me. I have found freedom in belonging everywhere which is nowhere or specific place at all.

Go forth and be vulnerable & authentic because this is how you become true to yourself. This is how you begin living free – not living in bondage which equals STRENGTH.

COMPASSION.

CompassionI have found a new gem in the heart of Nairobi city which somehow calms my soul. It’s a place I go when I need to watch the city by the night as I release what has built throughout the day. It is a spot that is only appreciated by the few who just want to sit tranquilly by the coffee bar with their feet dipped in the mini-warm pool while watching the city environs by the night. The reflections of the lights on the water surface are magical and I always fall in love with them every time. They do really excite my senses.

Today as I walk past the bravura reception and approach the hallway I bump into Clare. I met Clare during my last visit-which was two days ago. This spot has been her home for the last one month and it’s still going to be, for the next two months as she completes her project in Nairobi. Clare has the warmest and most genuine smile I have ever seen and it always gets my attention. However, today what caught my attention was the fancy tee shirt she has perfectly matched with some Levi pants. Actually, not even the tee shirt but the boldly printed words on it.

COMPASSION.

I always believe that compassion and kindness should always be our shared religion. These two must be the biggest love quotient and ultimate show of real love. This is because kindness and compassion for others creates kindness & compassion for oneself!

Compassion though does not mean being mean to yourself or putting others before thee. It means taking care of yourself and then you are in a capacity to share what you have with others. Sometimes we experience overwhelming feelings of guilt when saying “no” to something or someone. The selfishness we critically experience when we seemingly put our own needs and wants first before those around us is a killer one. Let’s not even talk about the insufficiency we are compelled to endure when we are torn between the two.

I come baring good news that, these feelings and experiences are triumphantly replaced with logic and reason evidence: I have to give to myself in order to continue to give to others. I can’t possibly give what I don’t have.

Not because you are arrogant, egotistical, apathetic and want to showcase at center stage, but because when you are giving to yourself, feeling strong and complete in your body, mind, heart, and soul – you give yourself the unique ability to do more with yourself, be more of yourself and give more of yourself in every level.

When you are full, be it of energy, positivity, abundance, inspiration, motivation and love – there is far more available from within you – to spread to those you are fortunate enough to touch and engage. However…. when you feel demotivated, weak, depleted, negative, fearful and lacking, there is far less, of anything accessible, for you to share with those you are blessed to serve and love.

Therefore, it is an obligation to yourself and your audience to ensure that you look after yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And only in this way, you can deeply and truly enrich your own life through every passionate role you play, where enthralled audiences throughout your daily world are too captured, entertained and engaged- all the richer.

Go forth, show compassion to yourself and it will flow to those around you.

!X0X0!