Saturday, 30 July 2022

What I Learnt About Gratitude

I must admit; I was one of those people who always look at the glass as half empty rather than half full. Those closest to me often reminded me of the things I’ve been blessed with - a job, health, a roof over my head, to name a few and the fact that I am alive.

They would also remind me of the people who lack clothes, freedom and someone to love them. Some are fleeing war, living in war-torn countries, long for three square meals a day and some walk stretches of miles, scrounging for anything to put in their bellies to keep them alive. Things we sometimes take for granted when our focus is not on gratitude.
Before I gained perspective on the real issues, I would roll my eyes and sulk. ‘What about my problems?’ I would moan. And it wasn’t until I realised that the more I focused on my selfish wants and needs, the more I continued to lack.

Constantly fixating on our frustrations and that which we lack and wish to have only creates a thick fog around us. As a result, we become engulfed by fear that leaves us paralysed, and we fail to take the steps we need to change our lives.

Focus on the right things
Adopting an attitude of gratitude has been a journey for me—a journey of constant growth, finding new meaning and interpretation. When I learned to walk in gratitude, my perspective shifted, and I began to embrace my life in its state and feel more positive about things.

That is not to say that I live in a cocoon of delusion which fails to acknowledge some situations for what they are. Of course, negative emotions are real, and they have their place. But maintaining a grateful mindset means not asking, ‘why me?’, ‘what did I do to deserve this?’, but knowing that just because you do not see the sun in the dark clouds does not mean it did not rise.

It also means that I embrace situations while keeping an open mind and seeing the times of trials as opportunities for growth and a new awakening. And it means learning and discovering ways to turn my lemons into lemonade because I believe everything happens for a reason.

So, I focus on the lessons and the good things that difficult situations tend to mask. Those lovely, little and rare moments that life presents to us.

Better Mental State
I keep a journal to remind myself of all the beautiful moments my human mind may be inclined to forget. Studies have proved that people who express gratitude daily through words, actions and journaling are generally happier and in a better mental state than those who do not. I have realised that the more time I spend focussing on gratitude, i.e. taking time for silence, communing with nature and offering appreciation for life and the blessings I already have, the better everything feels. I’m engulfed with hope, knowing there is more where that came from.
Gratitude plays a crucial role in digging ourselves out of a deep, dark hole of perpetual dissatisfaction and frustration.

Human beings are meant to grow and evolve; understandably, we will want to expand to achieve more than we already have to fulfil our full potential and reach self-actualisation. Therefore, I feel it is alright to want to do better for ourselves, but it is always healthy to adopt gratitude while working towards it.

Gets rid of toxic emotions
Gratitude opens doors, eliminates undue stress and burnout, and unshackles us from the mental anguish and toxic emotions caused by the drive to push ourselves to the limit, competing against others instead of competing against ourselves. Without gratitude, we are in danger of alienating those around us. For example, how can we embrace our loved ones, see the good in them, and appreciate them, let alone love them, when we don’t feel the same love and appreciation towards ourselves?

A gratitude attitude doesn’t imply turning a blind eye to problems and the areas of our lives that need fixing. It simply means we’ve learnt to embrace the hostile areas while being willing to do what is within our control or power to improve the situation. Also, walking in gratitude means that when we fail, we do not beat ourselves up about it but are thankful for the opportunity to try.

So if you ever feel like something is missing in your life, look around with an open mind, and you will find that you have a lot to be thankful for despite what you think you lack.

Check out my YouTube channel for videos on gratitude, practical tips on how to walk in gratitude and more.

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Sunday, 7 November 2021

The Art of Not Caring What People Think of You

Human beings are gregarious by nature which means that we naturally want to be liked and to belong. We want to know that we have a place in this world and that what we bring to the table is embraced and valued by other people. I suppose it is how we thrive in a world full of expectations and competition. Nothing at all wrong with wanting to find our space in this world.

But in a world full of expectations and competition, developing and maintaining the mindset of not caring what others think about you, focussing on yourself and maintaining the confidence to keep trying after falling can become a real challenge. That challenge becomes even more ominous when our gregarious tendencies cause us to do things sorely expecting acceptance, praise and validation. When our needs and expectations are not fulfilled, we get stifled, crippled, crushed and lose our confidence. Sometimes we quit on ourselves and our dreams. 

Developing the art of not caring what other people think and not letting their opinion define me and my moves is something I've had to work on over the years. Through doing the inner work, I came to understand that it is a must to give myself that gift of not caring and worrying about what others think of me. Each day I give myself the gift of only focussing on myself, my own growth, understanding that caring too much about what people say or don't say will only get in the way of progress. And that what matters is focussing on my principles, values and what inspires me as an individual, and what moves me and gives my life meaning.  

In the video below, I go into detail, giving you the tools you need to develop the art of not carrying what other people think of you and to walk in confidence as you go after what you want in life. 

Click the video to watch 

Sunday, 10 October 2021

How to Pick Yourself Up: The Art of Building Resilience and Dealing with Diversity

Happy to announce that my ebook is now available to order on Amazon. Click this link to purchase, and it will be delivered straight to your kindle once live. Don't forget to leave a review!

Book summary

Our experiences, good or bad, weave into life to form an intricate, purposely designed tapestry. But, without every piece, thread, loop, strand and colour, we cannot have that masterpiece, our self-actualised selves, whichever way you want to define it.

Our adversities, though painful, do not have to be in vain. On the contrary, we can use these trying situations to catapult us into a deeper understanding and appreciation of ourselves and what we can withstand. We get to discover and delve into an untapped realm of our Ubuntu. Because let’s face it, some encounters force us to rise to the occasion, whether we want to or not. This process, I call simply growth. A more mature version of ourselves that does not wallow in self-pity. Instead, this mature version turns lemons into lemonade through resilience by ‘playing the card they're dealt’.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

All about self-love

It took me a while to believe that I was worthy. That I deserve the good things in life. That I was good enough as I am even though it is okay to aspire to reach greater heights in life. 7 SELF-LOVE Habits and Mindset Shift that changed my life - In the video below, I talk about self-love and the mindset shifts that helped me in my journey towards self-love and self-care.

Perhaps you're at a place in your life where you're looking at how you show up in the world, how you respond to situations and the things you allow in your life. As you do all that, in your own assessment, are your behaviours reflecting an appreciation for yourself as a human being. Are you respecting yourself enough to care for your body, and spirit and walking away from the things that no longer serve you well? Are you embracing all that life has to offer and setting high standards for yourself? Do you know and believe with your whole heart that you deserve the best in life? Click the link to watch my full video and be motivated as you go through this life.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Recently, I started a How-to and Lifestyle YouTube Channel. Check it out!

As someone who has been through a lot in this life, I've decided to use my experience and knowledge to motivate and inspire others as well as provide practical advice, tips and strategies on how to navigate life situations and thrive despite what is thrown at your doorstep. Click here to hear my story:
For more, SUBSCRIBE and hit the notification bell: I post videos every week.

Below is another one of my videos. Click to explore. 

More updates later. Take care!

Sunday, 11 April 2021

How Time Has Changed Me


I can’t say I remember my suckling or cooing days. Neither can I claim to know for sure if I was a terrible toddler or not. What I can vouch for are the marks tattooed on my legs and forehead. Mama tells me they are monuments of the many falls sustained during my tender years. She has recounted to my horror, my audacious attempts at clambering the tall mango tree in our backyard at three! And how I slapped other children across their cheeks and watched them wail, unfazed, devoid of emotion. I am also told I once chortled and tried to reach for the slithery viper that crept into our living room. Thank God, Mama was always there to save me from me.

There is a phase my memory has not deceived me. The time the upbeat, patriotic songs blared on the street corners and lyrics of Michael Jackson and Grace Jones thumped through open windows and muffled gramophones. I remember reciting every verse of Nothing is Gonna Stop Us Now and painting my diary pages with every word. My interests were innocuous at first. But as the music took on a new meaning, I was no longer just chanting, scribbling and dancing to the rhythm. To the boy who sent my pulses racing, I professed I Will Always Love You. When he shattered my heart into a thousand pieces, I begged him to Come Back to Me. I was just another Broken-Hearted Girl. Each melody, each beat, every phrase, became poignant, sacred and meaningful. An allegory for my life. 

Those in the know say I was just a teenager with raging hormones. 

But I swear the world was conspiring against me. How else could I explain other girls having superior coiffures? Or that my bulging thighs were an eyesore even in steeply priced habiliments father bought with his hard-earned cash? By now, I had sassed what calls for flattery and roused the opposite sex, and it was nothing I possessed. Nothing I could pin down. Is it any wonder jealousy, self-doubt, and paranoia consumed me? 

Then I took a stab at engineering my transformation. Skin lightening creams, hot combs and Palazzos came to the rescue. I am thankful there was no Snapchat and Instagram to increase the torture. Looking back now, I cringe at the things I did. What was I thinking? It was inevitable, I suppose, that gradually I would embrace who I was. It turns out, being me is okay. My looks do not define me. There is more to me than my hoarse voice and knobbly knees. My intelligence matters. I could shift my focus towards greater heights. Reach for the stars. Become the so-called woman of substance. 

There are things I wish I had, want to have like yesterday, but I try not to dwell on what I cannot change or control. I am learning to trust the process. Friends and the need to belong are essential to me. But I am also at peace in my own company. When I experience defeat, my mantra is to try, try, try again. I pride myself on my resilience. My ability to bounce back. For how can I grow if I do not fall?

Somewhere within me lies a passion for igniting. I have something to offer, not only to my family or my immediate surroundings, but the world. It’s funny how an appetite develops into insatiable hunger. The realisation that there is an entire world to explore. Something else. I derive satisfaction from motherhood, wifehood, occupation, and all that which makes me a grounded being, I suppose, but should I suffer for wanting more? Striving for more? Geography and responsibilities do not a hindrance make. Personal expansion is mine for the taking. But first, I must know - what is my purpose? 

With each season, I become my own philosopher, pondering, searching and demanding answers to life's tough questions. I know little, but I have heard and read the success stories. The distinguished men and women inventors. The DaVincis of our time. Writers and performers, and those whose names are not visible among the stars but have changed the world all the same. Who am I to stand in my way? I could write the world's most celebrated novel or find a cure for cancer. This fire is past kindling. Perhaps one day, like the cleansing furnace, it will rid me of the disquieting voice. That constant whisper that nudges me towards greatness and prompts me to find a reason to live. My purpose. Meaning.


Inevitably, I will enter my twilight years. Without a shred of doubt, I know that when the time comes, it will be the cacophony of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren's whines and feet that will afford me the most pleasure. I will treasure the feel of their tiny hands, exploring the contours of my wrinkled face. I will attend to their questions, showing as much zeal as the desire I have to make sense of it all now. I shall drown in their stunned, twinkly eyes when they listen to my tales. I will chuckle when they gasp at my ancient words. For it matters not if they get it or not. Because in the years to come, they will.  

When the time comes for me to slow down, cross over to the other side, I want to reflect, inhale and exhale, knowing I did all I could. That I swam with the sharks and survived. That I swung for the fence, reached my full potential and fulfilled my destiny. Or at least gave it a whirl. 

Hey, come back soon!


Saturday, 13 March 2021

If I Had A Mother - A Poem For Mother's Day

Don’t scatter roses, so the song goes.

I do not mean to rain on your parade

And I don't doubt your merits as a daughter or son

All I’m saying is,

If I had a mother.

Her grave has long been cold and hard.

Life’s pitted terrain nothing but a cliché.

My victories hollow without her.


If I had a mother,

I would savour the sound of her footsteps,

clobbering our cobra waxed floors.

Run towards her

And not scamper to my room,

to avoid her incessant stories

About the women at the marketplace

For no song trumped the rhythm of her traipsing,

and airy, wishful gait.


If I had a mother

I would rub her weary flesh after a blistering day at the market.

Really take the time to pop her blisters.

Observe every crack of her heels,

Pour soothing oil on her bruised knuckles.

And iron the creases on her forehead,

Until what’s left is nothing but cackles.


If I had a mother

I would swallow her insipid grits.

And gobble her dull collard greens.

Munch every crumb of her greasy buns

For every serving was a testament to steadfast love


If I had a mother

I would gaze into her glassy eyes

Trace the contours of her jaw

Really understand the arch of her mouth.

And every smile behind her tears,

For that is the shrine in which she interred her story and mine.


If I had a mother

I would not wail so loud,

The birds would scramble from their trees.

I would not bear testimony,

To the adulation of my kindred and strangers alike

Instead, I would take the time.

Really take the time.

Because life, as we've learned, is all but fleeting.