Category Archives: Personal Development

The Cultural Apologists

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Growing up in Africa, in a cultural setting where you are raised to care and appreciate everything around you. To say please and thank you, and if you step on someone’s toes or someone hurts themselves around you, you say sorry. That is the norm for the yoruba tribe.  If you do not do these things, you are considered uncaring, rude or badly raised.

In Europe, if you bump into someone in the workplace and ask “Are you alright?” job is done. If someone trips or hurts themselves around you, and you say sorry.  What you get next is, it is not your fault.

Some things are good in the right environment they are created for or where they are being used.  Habit of saying sorry turned me into apologizing all the time which is sometimes misconstrued as feeling guilty.  I am indeed guilty of not adapting my language into the society I have lived in for over a decade. I am guilty of being an apologist by cultural default.  Unfortunately, sometimes you get taken for granted because it appears I have pleaded guilty to a sin that was not even available to be committed.

I however do not apologize for who I am. This is because, I absolutely and totally love me, with all my faults and failings, with my body and bones and all that is me and so I share one of my favorite poems with you today and hope you love yourself as much as I do me.

I AM ME

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me
Because I alone chose it – I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself – I own my fantasies,
My dreams, my hopes, my fears – I own all my triumphs and
Successes, all my failures and mistakes Because I own all of
Me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts – I know
There are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other
Aspects that I do not know – but as long as I am
Friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
And hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me – However I
Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
Me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
And felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
Unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
Which I discarded – I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
Productive to make sense and order out of the world of
People and things outside of me – I own me, and
therefore I can engineer me – I am me and

I AM OKAY

© Virginia Satir, 1975.

Found in Virginia Satir, Self Esteem, Celestial Arts: California, 1975.

 

And you hold the key!!

 

 

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It’s Not Over Until You Win

One of the greatest speakers of our time confirms that truly out of the mouths of babies and sucklings, wisdom does come.

Les Brown was born with his twin brother Wesley on February 17, 1945 in a low-income section of Miami, Florida in an abandoned building. He was subsequently given up for adoption and adopted by Mamie Brown, a then 38-year-old single woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic assistant. He was declared “educably mentally retarded” while in grade school. Despite the obvious self-esteem issues this created, with the encouragement of his mother and assistance by a helpful teacher in high school, he learned how to reach his full potential, a key point in many motivational speeches he gives now.

Brown speeches focus on the importance of having a strong belief in yourself. And he teaches that you need to be bold and have supreme self-confidence. Brown also believes many people that set goals are setting their bar too low. ” Most people fail in life not because they aim to high and miss. But, because they aim to low and hit,” said Brown.  –

Source: https://motivationgrid.com/top-motivational-speakers/

My Mistake

Every day I make mistakes. Sometimes in my thoughts, sometimes in my words and speeches and often times in my deeds.

I gave it a long thought and I concluded that as long as I am human, I will make mistake because I am not perfect.

Do I learn from my mistakes? Do I take ownership for my errors? Do I try and improve on my faults?  All these are the more important questions for my self development instead of the finger pointing and judgments with evil eyes that follow people when they fault.  Guess how many mistakes Thomas A Edison made before He succeeded.  In his words “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Now that is from Thomas Edison an incredibly successful inventor, scientist, and businessman, who accumulated 1,093 patents in his lifetime. I don’t know about you but I am going about my life doing things as best as I can, loving my mistakes and improving on me.

Look At Your Hands …

As I sat across my teenage daughter at the dinning table, having a casual family time. I said “Please pass me that bottle beside you”. she did just that and handed me the bottle. I held the bottle in my hand and a minute later and said again “Please pass me that bottle beside you”. This time there was no bottle there because it was in my hand.  She looked at me strangely and smiled saying “Mummy, you already have it”.  I looked at my hand and said “I do”.

That same moment, even though my original intent was to look for trouble, the penny dropped for me. We were all born a total package, unique and different from one another. Equipped with what we need to survive and be successful in life. Gifts and talents in different variations, styles and degrees abound in each one of us.

Why then do we keep going back and praying amiss? God cannot give you anything more than He already packaged in you. You cannot add more water into a full bucket. The bucket is FULL.  .  The widow had a jar of oil in her hands,  she needed INSTRUCTION, FAITH and OBEDIENCE.

So just like my daughter could not give me what she did not have. God cannot give you what He no longer has for you. It is in you. Search yourself for your gifts and talents, that has been deposited in you since your creation and pray instead for wisdom and direction. So I say “Look at your hands and Pray rightly”

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B

 

How well do you know your children?

I take a break from sharing my late friend’s post to write about something that touches my heart. Something I have found is a lifetime learning course.

As a parent of three lovely teenagers, I find that I often expect them to behave in same manner as children of the same household, raised with same values, certain expectation of variances as a result of individual personalities. However, I recently realize that I have fallen into the same trap as my dad. Something which I vowed to watch out for, never to do to my kids.

I have great desire for them all to be successful, and I am doing my bit as a parent the best way to push them to excel in their academics. I focus on individual strengths and passion. My dad made the mistake of pushing me to be a science student when clearly there was no atom or chemical inclination in my bones or brains, save for whatever was keeping me alive. I rebelled and became my own person, making my choices and vowing to let my children be themselves, working in their own strengths and not my desire of a career path for them.

My emphasis however was the basic education as a starting point. Recently, I find myself at a wall until I had an eye opening session two days ago. My youngest, who I push the most and find a bit more laid back than his siblings, is very artistic.  He came home with an art assignment and I watched him as he was so devoted and focused, listening to his music in the background and working away with such peace and passion, that I was always looking for in his other subjects. I kept cooking as he continued working at the kitchen table.

The next morning, the answer dropped in the shower (where I get most of my revelations). The eldest is a verbal learner, the second a logical learner and the youngest a visual learner.  He is a different person in himself, total and complete.  What he needs to be able to be who he needs to be is fully in him. The patience required in an artist cannot be expected in a media person. Why then have I placed such an expectation and burden in pressuring my child?

Ignorance! Since I realized this, I have taken a back step. I am positively encouraging and avoiding criticism, yet building confidence and a sense of can do in my child. I have done a bit of research as well and found affirmation of my conviction. I include the link to help others who may be in similar shoes, just to create awareness of the importance of knowing our children for who they are and how to be better parents to get them to their place of success. The one thing we do not need is frustrating them which can lead to low moral esteem, frustration, depression and in extreme cases suicide.

Here, also are some questions you can do as a family game to better find out about your children and reverse same for them to find out more about you. A very positive  and memorable family time activity guaranteed to improve communication.

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B

 

 

The Gap Inbetween

I live in a semi detached house. Paul, my neighbor was a very private person. He had his issues like everyone else. He didn’t take me long to realize his issue was alcohol. At over 80 years of age, he carried himself well despite his circumstance.  One of my conversations revealed he became an alcoholic through his appreciation for gardening. He did have a well tended garden.

Paul lived alone and the only guests that come visiting were the postman and the grocery delivery guys. Most mornings I would see him taking his dog for a walk and occasionally, I would see him in his garden enjoying the sun. Once I even saw him crying and he tried to assure me all was well. But I bet it was a reflective moment.

My fear for Paul was God forbid if anything should happen to him, it could take days before we ever know and that was exactly what happened.  It was during his cremation service, which I attended together with few other neighbors, that I realized he had a daughter, a son in law, an ex-wife, an ex girlfriend (who lived with him before the breakup) a brother and a grandchild. That about sums up the total number of family members that attended the funeral service plus four neighbors.

On the other side of things, I attended Sister Julie’s funeral service years ago, she died at the age of 45.  When I got back home, I couldn’t sleep . My head was muddled up at the turn of events. The mood was with me all through the next day as well. I couldn’t believe we had just buried someone so dear and precious. The atmosphere in the room was celebration. It made me understand what it means by a celebration of life.  Her Husband, Uncle Paddy was going around, asking everyone if they were alright. Her two teenage children going around asking; Auntie, are you okay ? and dancing to the song “sweet mother I no go forget you”.  Friends were laughing and teasing each other on who can speak better pidgin English.

The following day was Sunday and people came up testifying in church as we had a thanksgiving service for her. It was beautiful.  My reflections were on the funeral and the party at home afterwards.The testimonies of her neighbors,who find her praying time soothing. The video guy who was recording guests as they say their tribute, who came to church and wanted to be a part of such a family.

Often times, I would reflect on these two people, the 80 year old man who died lonely and as a cranky person .Even the flower pot he tended and used to separate the two houses was eventually knocked down and used for the fireplace by someone else. The 45 year old woman, who died of cancer after fighting for many years, who touched so many lives in spite of her pain, whose funeral robbed me of sleep as it was a celebration of life and made me think this is how I would want to be celebrated when I am gone.

The difference between the two from CRADLE to GRAVE is “the gap in between”.  What did they spend those times doing. Self or Selfless, Gathering or Giving, Building or Breaking?

The time will come, when we all will answer that final call. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak, sick or healthy. It won’t really matter because it is another necessary step in our growth process. What matters is what you did in between.

Yes, it is time for self evaluation and I say:

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B

 

 

 

 

 

Journey into Purpose

 

I remember vividly the day I had to do a presentation to a group of trainers, and one of the questions I posed to them was “what will be written on your tombstone when you are dead and gone?”  For people who have experienced loss of a close friend or family, it can be a touchy subject. But still a necessary one for every human being to take stock while they still have their faculties in place. To think on – what would likely be on that tombstone. Yes! YOUR tombstone..

When we go looking for a job, a typical CV reads as below as you try to market yourself as the best candidate for the juicy job. What about your assignment on earth? Do you know why you are here? What role you have to play in the big picture? Where you need to start from?

I encourage you to truthfully answer the self evaluating questions below to guide you in your quest for truth about yourself.

Curriculum Vitae

Name:

Date of Birth:

Education:

Key strengths:

Weaknesses:

Professional experience:

References:

Self-Evaluating Questions

  • Who am I?
  • What do I have?
  • What do I know?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What skills or talents do I possess?
  • What legacies would I be leaving behind?
  • Who have I shared my gifts or talents with?
  • Will I be remembered when I am gone? By who (street, town, neighbourhood or the whole world)
  • What will I be remembered for when I am gone?
  • What will likely be said at my parting?
  • What could be the final word on the gravestone? (He loved bacon, I told you I was sick or she emptied herself)
  • What changes can I put in place to be able to change my story from today? (Smile more, less arguments, give more of myself to humanity, or just continue living for me, myself and I).

 

ThAT’s JuSt THe WaY It iS

Queen B