The in between time

6 01 2017

If you are a black girl with natural hair or any woman really who has had that on point hair cut and you r hair starts to grow out, you know that “in between time” when every day becomes a bad hair day and you either have to make a choice to cut it again RIGHT AWAY or tolerate it and bag it while you wish you had never cut it in the process envying those with longer hair knowing good and darn well it will take months for yours to reach that length if it ever does.  That “in between time” is a time of indecision because you vacillate between having that sharp cut again or maybe in a different angle, but you consider the fact that you are going back to square one. You think about bagging it with a weave but as a natural you were the main critic on the super Natural campaign so that is a humble eating option.  You are so confused but totally without conviction that everyone especially the people on the train to work thinks your hair is a downright mess!  Whereas this hair cut just two weeks ago was literally a “Get up and go” option, now it takes you almost an hour to make it look somewhat civilized that you end up overdoing the mascara and lipstick as compensation for the drastically distorted mess on the top of your head.   If you can relate to this phase of development in the process of hair growth then you can relate to that “in between time” in a journey.   I am in an “in between time” in my career.  I have worked all my working life. I have had consecutive work opportunities that appeared just like the next stepping stone when one is climbing up. Many people saw my career life as always going from strength to strength. Well, the shift in my career journey shifted drastically in February of 2016. I remember when the gears changed I did not recognize the shift until the months started swiftly passing magnifying the reality that the status quo was no longer the norm in my life but that the situation had shifted to situation normal all fouled up, in the words of the US Army but the “f” having another word. J  During those final months of 2016 all the quotes from great Coaches, Mentors and extraordinary Leaders that have crossed my path came back flooding to me not any different than the way someone’s life experiences come flooding to them in the last minutes of their life.   In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “some people have had so many hints that their lives need to change. The usual is no longer usual they need to move on.  Many obstacles come their way but they ignore these and continue to hold on. They  do not know that their life path needs to take a different road until God literally boots them out with a huge push to their lower back and seals the door shut.”  (Not exactly in those words but in that gist.)  I am in the work for someone else vs. work for self “in between time”, and I cannot help thinking every time I click send on an application that this is not a comfortable feeling.  The result is the same as a bad hair day EVERY DAY!12809743_10154564111272388_4992453815572156517_n


Resolutions turned into Prayers

31 12 2016

In photography resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. Sometimes resolution is identified by the number of pixels in the image as well as the width and height of the image. The higher the pixels the better the resolution you gets in pictures taken. Welcome to the gate of 2017. Back in the day, that is before I found my religion, I used to make New Year resolutions. Many of them did not last into the next month but I have to admit I have a couple that still make up part of my personal mantra to this day. One of them, the resolve to make sure baby fat does not remain my portion. That one made in 1989 after a year of living with the flab and two other babies later this has never needed to be my focus. The principle that worked in this fight the baby fat resolution is that I first saturated my brain with images of what I used to look like before the baby, pictures of what I wanted to realistically look like, inclusive of impressive muscle tone, a clear weekly plan of what I would do to get there, and a clear day to day visual of the one pair of denim jeans I loved too much to not fit back into.  At first my weekly plan did not address the reduction or the exclusion of those savory food items I had re-developed a taste for.  I say re-developed because I always had the taste for these food demons but I was always able to limit the intake of the same, pre-positive pregnancy test affirmation but that very small voice re-sounded in my mind as if it was using an amplifier assuring me that the daily double hamburgers with thick beef and cheese,  the daily huge slice of chocolate cake ingenuously hidden in the fridge so no one else would be tempted to take a piece, and my daily coca cola litre would in no way increase any body mass that I would not be able to take off soon after birth.  My bad! Besides an old fashioned scheming Auntie pointed out that she had evidence that coca cola would lighten my baby’s skin, a good thing, right, in a color sensitive culture? And that voice in my mind assured me every time I sunk my teeth into the hamburger and the cavity creating chocolate cake that as this cake was merely a piece of cake, it would be a piece of cake getting rid of post baby fat. Like magic it would just drop off while I continued, baby in hand, lounging on the sofa watching my favorite soap opera and taking the endless naps along with the newborn baby, after all this baby did not sleep at night so I had to sleep with her during the day, at least for the 3 months I was on maternity leave.  Imagine the shock I had when I left the hospital and get home and first of all, my stomach is still the same size as it was the day I went into labor and my favorite jean cannot proceed above my hamstring because my thighs are now triple the size. Imagine my horror when person after person relentlessly commented on my body size even pointing out personal body parts and their double expansion. Imagine your Jane Fonda, living room exercising mom who has never said I was too skinny, by the way, asks a pertinent question, “Do you like yourself that way.”  Well my mom and I have always had a tumultuous relationship, so my reply was to huff and puff and storm off to the nearest mirror to seriously ponder the question I have been asking myself for months.   To make a very long story short this began the formation of the one resolution that I actually kept and that was to return to a size 10 from a size 14 and threatening 16. When I found my religion, I started turning resolutions into prayers but I realized that just like the hamburger and chocolate cake there were some things I would not give up, those petty sins that you normally think are hidden from God because you are hiding them from yourself, forgetting that He sees and knows it all and after all deep down inside you are tormented regularly by these petty sins. What I forgot or chose to ignore was that those petty sins were what that very small voice with the amplifier magnified to turn a molehill into a mountain thereby turning into full throttle condemnation and VOILA the prayer is completely forgotten an another year another lost dream. Then I figured it out, it was those petty sins, those small compensations that were keeping me from fulfilling my resolutions/ receiving the answers to my prayers. For example, if I want to go from size 14 near 16 to size 10 and I say ok from Monday to Friday I will not have a hamburger and a piece of chocolate cake but Saturday I will allow myself that bit of heaven and possibly Sunday because after all I will run it off on Monday, note, usually the portion is large enough to equate for the Monday to Friday loss. The same things goes for wine!  J  Therefore the difference this year is that my resolution will be prayers that include big objectives because my God is able and through Him I can do all things and the resolution will be very clear, sharp and pleasing to the eye. May your 2017 be prosperous and God inspired.IMG_7282.JPG

Rule of Thirds

30 12 2016

The Rule of thirds in photography, simply defined is a simple principle that helps you take well balanced and interesting photos.  This principle is applied in many cameras today by a mere click of an application that is existent within the camera or in full manual mode, by merely training your eye to position the main focus of your intended camera shoot, balancing the left, right, bottom and top of the shoot, in a landscape shot this would create a picture perfect shot.   The rule of thirds in everyday life is defined as putting your life in perspective.  You visualize your intended goal and focus on it while recognizing that you do not exist in a vacuum thereby including in your visual life picture your immediate surroundings and circumstances because they need to be taken into consideration as potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats to attaining your ultimate goal. I have to admit I am one of those people who never really put my life into perspective, until recently.  I had to repeat similar life changing mistakes before I realized that although I had personal objectives I did not have a clear plan of how I would actually attain those objectives. In fact, I hadn’t really defined a clear thought process regarding the same. I actually had never seriously sat myself down and interrogated myself on what I really want out of this life and why. Oh of course I have spieled out dreams, hopes and wishes to myself but I had not actually deliberately worked out a plan on where I am, where I want to be, and how I want to get there. For real, and I am a work plan professional.  I got the wakeup call that I have been coaching people, facilitating them to ask the right questions, motivating them to illustrate their objectives and even providing frameworks to do so, yet I did not have the same written down and agreed with self.   I honestly put this all down to downright laziness on my part. The day I realized this had to change is when I was in a life coach session with one of the youth I coach and I actually felt bogus the more we continued this particular session. I felt like so much of an imposter that during one short written assignment, I had to walk out of my office and coach myself into believing that I am justified in coaching this person but I vowed when this session was over I was going to practice what I preach, so I took myself on a journey to put my life into perspective. I have to admit it was one of the hardest activities I have undertaken in my life and the reason is because I realized although I thought I knew what I wanted, I actually could not focus and pinpoint in one sentence that this is what I want for my life.  I could not do this because I did not have a perspective on what I want out of this life and that is because I had spent a greater part of my life playing an acting role of whom I should be or what is expected of me thereby limiting who I really am.  My conclusion was then that I had to peel away at the layers that I have subconsciously and consciously allowed to outgrow self and focus on getting into the core of this before I could move forward because failure to do this would have meant that I would have planned for someone else’s perspective on life.  There are many people who are living someone else’s life within their own life and the tragedy is that there are so many people who die never having lived their own life.  The saddest part of this is there are so many people who believe they are living the life they have planned and chosen to live until they ask themselves real questions. I mean those real questions that are difficult to answer or the ones you don’t even want to answer even in the privacy of your own room.  That is what Michael Jackson was referring to in his song, “Man in the mirror”.IMG_5315.JPG

Utterance: “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick”

28 12 2016

There are some famous sayings that human beings attest to that somehow do not equate to the intelligence attributed to humans and that contradict every tool that has been developed attributed to being and living a successful life. One such saying is, “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, I am a fan of dogs but am not equipped to know if each dog is the same therefore justifying the saying that old dogs cannot learn tricks.  I am though an expert on human learning and I know for a fact that this saying which has never resonated with me when uttered by humans about humans is total rubbish.  Of course if the human “old dog” does not want to learn then you cannot teach him a new trick. My apologies for the use of the pronoun him rather than him/her it is merely for the purposes of quick reference. Back to the old dog saying.  That saying has done more damage than good in many people’s lives. It is my assertion that that saying has caused many over the age of 30 to begin  and decree the “I am too old” song sung over their waking lives and implanted into their dream lives. This same saying is a Change Agent’s nightmare as usually the process of change is deferred or tweaked to accommodate the “old dogs”. This same saying gives many leaders perpetual headaches when  trying to effect changes that would leap frog their teams into creative and innovative eras. Sadly this same saying allows tyrants and despots to implement self imposed structures and laws with impunity while members of their societies breathe a sigh and whisper, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Back in the day there was a series called, “Logan’s Run” where people were being killed off when they reached the age of 30. I was quite young in those days and I remember thinking selfishly that at least if that was the case at the time, I would not have to go on the run because I have not reached that age. At that time my world did not involve the thinking that one day I would in fact, God willing, reach the age of 30. My point, I honestly do not think the one who invented the “old dog” saying was over the age of 30 but is the very same person who carried its burden over the age of 30 and it became his mantra.  Although having said this, there are some that believe that this saying is as ludicrous as the African definition  of “youth” .img_8700

#Journey Management

26 12 2016

Some people don’t understand that you have to journal where you came from to document lessons learned and leverage on them to get where you need and have to go, your desired state. Even an effective monitoring and evaluation framework and contextual analysis of a strategy will do the same. So my question to you is, when does a journey begin? Think about it, in the context of your own life when has a particular journey you have embarked on began? Could clarifying the answer to this question be the line between a successful journey and an unsuccessful one? Could clarifying this answer shorten or lessen the time taken or wasted in journeying through a painstakingly difficult journey? Could clarifying this answer enable the preparation, tools needed, and learning checkpoints as well as review and re-evaluation mechanisms?  But seriously who does this in real life? The reason I am even contemplating such a question as, when does a journey begin is because I have been considering the various seasons I have journeyed through , the experiences I encountered during those seasons, and my reactions and resolutions  to certain challenges that required resolutions in order for me to move forward.  My personal conclusion,  journeys  in our lives are a continuum therefore the question is not when the journey begins but when you recognize you are actually on a particular journey. This is also dependent on how in tune you are with the effects of what is happening with your life and when you are an active participant in your life plan.  Oh you say but that is not rocket science that is common sense.  Well truth be told many people are not active participants in their life plans.  For example one who is active in their life plan has full accountability of where they are coming from, where they are going and how they plan on getting there.  Reverse back to the top and note that, that same person then has mechanisms in place to deliberately monitor and evaluate their full journey. That same person even re-organizes priorities constantly as per their personal context and environment and that same person is not afraid to re-strategise as and when  it is critical to do so.  When you figure out when the journey you are on started you will be better equipped to have control  of how and when other journeys begin as well as how long you need to be on certain journeys particularly the less desirable ones, Heck you won’t even undertake those journeys that do not add value to your life.12800122_10154575397952388_5351052935307963561_n

Sunday, 25 December 2016

25 12 2016

I keep hearing the same word spoken over me consistently, “God answers prayers…”, the caveat, “…in His own time.” What does faith look like is my question yet again today? Does faith speak the Word of God over real life situations that have threatened to overtake others yet my own situation does not emulate those promises? Does faith include the Esther, the Daniels, the partials, the 6 to 6’s? Does the definition of faith include looking up to the Strong Tower, calling that which is not as if it were, calling for the Standard of God’s Spirit in the midst of flash floods, entering each day with hope, interceding for those even in your own time of grief and desolation, contacting those you have offended and seeking their forgiveness, circling darkness with prayer and supplication, working every day to renew a mindset that threatens to throw in the towel, and does faith exclude the pleading and cries that drop you to your knees or throw you down prostrate, which in my mind are a déjà vu of Gethsemane, and threaten the breath you gratefully thank God for on a daily basis as part of your entourage of thank yous during seriously desperate and Job-similar times?  Does my asking if God exists, how do I know, asking what will my life be like if He didn’t exist, what would my life be if He answered the song I have been singing over and over in 2015 as a carryover from 2014, asking for proof of His existence and love for me, asking why me and not him or her, does asking conclude that my faith is depleted?  Does the occasional wonder of the point of it all mean satan is overtaking me? I say an emphatic NO. I have had to ask these questions to strengthen my raison d’être. It has taken courage on my part to ask. I have apologized to the Holy Spirit for these questions but honestly speaking to not ask and constantly try to stifle my inquisitive mind would be to deny the Covenant Keeping God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as my Father. Christmas is here and for the first  time in my very material centered life, I am not just going through the motions of this day being about Jesus Christ because I have experiential comfort and joy to prove in my life it is about Jesus Christ, Merry Christmas one and all and to all a good night.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

25 12 2016

Today was a hard day.   I allowed fear, anxiety, stress and depression to overtake me. I cried and prayed.  I prayed and cried. I came face to face with the multiplication question of 2 again and came close to a 180. I flipped channels on the TV, moving in desperation between crime channels, inspirational channels, reality channels, religious channels, and love channels, seeking one thing, that which would provide me with solutions for instant deliverance and direction. Had I had internet I fear I would have engineered the Google engine all day long in between the heartwrenching tears.  Today I begged God, I rebuked demons, I declared outcome, I cultivated doubt, I rained tears, I dissolved into self pity, perused through my contact list seeking wisdom and then exhausted, fell silent and light came in the form of my son who asked me one thing, “Don’t you think you are looking for solutions in a linear fashion? Don’t you think that is limiting your mind?”  That is when I acknowledged the voice that speaks to me every time I submit a CV for a job that does not fit with the programme.  One thing I learned today, I am like a vacillating jelly fish and I need to find my own original. Tomorrow will be a better day!