It matters that you don’t give up

“Remember to look up at the stars not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up” – Stephen Hawking

Y’all, this is legit my favorite S.H. Quote. Like, LEGIT LEGIT!!! It holds such a powerful hope encourager (I’m not sure if ‘hope encourager’ makes sense but I’m using it anyway). And the last line has been on my mind a lot over the last couple of weeks. I’ve said it to myself over and over again for, to be honest, no reason sometimes. Cool thing, though, is where the conscious thinks it’s for no reason, the subconscious always knows why it’s doing what it’s doing. So, while I’m trying to figure out the relevance of this line to my season I figured why not share my thoughts with you…

It matters that you don’t give up on love

“What’s Love got to do with it? What’s love, but a secondhand emotion?” Or not? Y’all, we are called to Love regardless of the atmosphere around us. I found myself in a challenging position election season 2016 and had to realign my call to Love with my feelings of hurt. Nah, I’m not going to go into detail here, but one book that’s spoken volumes to me on Love (second to the Bible of course) is “Braving the wilderness” by Bréne Brown.

Let’s be honest, hate (or even indifference) is easier than choosing love. It requires no work, just existing. As full human beings, I truly believe that it is our mandate to choose love overall. That we are called to make the world a better place by loving the unlovable and choosing love where we have been hurt by those we thought loved us in return. I know that sounds a little cliche (and it’s borderline a call to hurt and heartbreak tbh) but Love can exist alongside choosing to “guard our hearts”. After all, we’re choosing love, not naivety!!!

Now, hear me when I say (or write. Hehe) this. Love is a radical act and comes at a cost but the reward is great too. Bham, I just got deep with Y’all!!! Hahaha… I say this from a place of struggling, too… I have, countless times even, failed at loving people well and have had to go home and have my mind continuously remind me of my failure. It may be responding negatively to a friend or coworker, internally responding with profanity of distaste as a manager or colleague says something – while keeping a smile on my face – #winning. Sometimes it’s been ignoring friends because of things that I justified in my head, or refusing to acknowledge my shortcomings when it comes to expressing love to family and those closest to me. Sometimes, I’ve failed so much at friendships that I simply figured it wasn’t worth the effort; that “if they cared they’d reach out too because it’s a two-way stream”. Shout out to you if you’ve thought this way too (of course this is not a good shoutout, shame on us!!).

What I’m getting at is this, giving up on love means giving up on a relationship with those you care about… So don’t do it!! It means giving up on the hope that all people- whether dear to you or nah – are deserving of love. Now, just because you love others without expecting reciprocity (which would be nice Y’all) doesn’t mean you open yourself up to manipulation – ain’t nobody got time for that!!! There’s a thin line between loving boldly and allowing yourself to be manipulated so watch out for that line, please!! IT MATTERS THAT YOU DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON LOVING BOLDLY!!!!

It matters that you don’t give up on your goals

Picture this: you’ve got an event right? You’ve set yourself up to wake up at 9 am to get yourself organized, you know you’re going to leave the house at 11.30 so you get there a few minutes late (because fashionable late right?). You get yourself ready and jump into the car but the car won’t start. You check for uber and the closest one is 25 minutes away (Y’all know uber does the most when you really need it!). So you’re like, whatever I’ll use public transportation but now you’re waiting at the bus stop for forever… Your goal for the day’s been tarnished… Or, better yet, imagine there’s a game of sorts (football, soccer, basketball, cricket or whatever) happening on the other side of the world. So you KNOW you’ve got to get up at 5 or so to watch this game… You get up alright, watch the preview a bit and just as the game starts there’s a glitch and you lose power… So you’re like, maybe I’ll just do it on my phone but you didn’t charge your phone the night before so… No game watching for you OUCH!!!

I know, I know! That was a looooong analogy (or two) *insert shrugging woman emoji here*. Here’s the truth, it’s so easy to get into this same thread with the goals we’re trying to accomplish too. You know you’ve worked hard and given your best: you know you’ve planned as much as you could have. Then ish hits the fan and it seems like your plan comes tumbling down. Yea, me too buddy!! Been there, done that *insert struggle bus emoji here*. Sometimes that’ll happen a couple of time and you’re on some “let’s build this thing back up” but sometimes we get to a place (particularly mental space) where we’re over trying…

Don’t do it fam!! Don’t get over trying!!! You’ve got to keep going!!! There’s so much joy that comes with accomplishing something and thinking maaaaan, the number of times I had to restart to get here!! It gives you a story to tell!! It allows you to inspire others to do the same!! More than anything, it allows you to grown and become a better version of yourself. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? If you think about it, the numerous failures allow you to fine-tune your master plan. They allow you to recognize, from a distance even, what works and what doesn’t. Isn’t that cool? By the time you achieve your goal – and ultimately your goals – you’ve eliminated everything that doesn’t work and are left with “only the best possible plan of action”. So, say it with me, IT MATTERS THAT I DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON MY GOALS!!

It matters that you don’t give up on your Faith

I know, I know, some of y’all just zoned out there. It’s ok, you can skip over to the next one. Faith is a core value to me, Y’all, and boy do I struggle with faultless living!! Sin ain’t cool but it sure can taste good *insert monkey hiding face emoji here*. I’m just tryna be honest Y’all, that’s what you get in reading these blog posts. I KNOW I’m not the only one who struggles, too, hence the sharing over here. Haha… Sometimes we set ourselves up for success and vow not to do this or that because we know where it may lead our fallible selves, and it works… For a while… Until we get too comfortable (and confident) in our ability to contain us then it’s back to square one… (Also, my Pastors been talking about how demons will return 8-fold if they leave and come back so a lot of things makes sense now… I’ll edit the verse into this post once I find it in my notes so Y’all see what I’m talking about).

Sometimes my fallible self will justify sin!! Some of y’all are like, what does that even mean…. Let me tell you… I’ve gotten so good at using Grace and Freedom to justify CHOOSING to sin… Stop!! Don’t look at me like you’ve never consciously chosen sin you hypocrite you! Haha… I am pretty sure we’ve all done it… Let me show you… That time you DECIDED you were going to hold a grudge against someone? Or, when you went to sleep angry? Ooooor, that white lie you told? Ummmm, I’m coming to your door, that time you said you were sick just because you didn’t want to go to class/work/out with friends? Yeaaaa told Y’all!! We’ve all consciously chosen sin at one point or another… I’m learning that, while freedom and grace exist, every action performed in freedom will have results and grace is merely redeeming (without eliminating the results)… So, while I can’t promise that I’ll never justify sin again, I vowed to myself a long time ago that -where I fail- I’ll pick myself up real quick. So, Y’all, IT MATTERS THAT WE DON’T GIVE UP ON OUR FAITH!!!!

It matters that you don’t give up on you

When all is said and done, YOU are the most important part of the puzzle… When we’re called to “love others as we love ourselves” the statement assumed that we love ourselves already… Where we’re told to “do unto others as we would like them to do to us” it is inferred that we want only good things done to us. When we are mandated to “make the world a better place”, how can we make something better if we ourselves are not better? “Better” people make a better place…

Listen (or read, haha)! I’m not advocating for selfishness but self-care. We get to these places where we are on some “suicidal thoughts and actions” place because we forget the value that we bring in being our authentic selves. We assume that the best we can give is succeeding in our goals, being stellar believers – or nonbelievers- in our faith, being intellectuals if academia is where we’re at, or being great professionals or entrepreneurs or whatever because that’s what we perceive to be the core value we bring to the table. No Mami, you’re the most valuable thing you bring to the table… Hey there Mr., while we appreciate your “connecting beard” or whatever YOU are the most valuable thing you bring to the table!!! Y’all, EVERYTHING ELSE IS SECONDARY

I get so frustrated sometimes when I listen to people talk themselves down because “they haven’t achieved this and that”! You’re alive, you matter and you’re going to do great!! That, in itself, is enough!!! You are enough, I am enough!!! Giving up on you might mean giving up on your dreams, on your health, on your goals, your education, your mental health, your internal peace… The list is endless. Giving up on you is simply giving up on the things that make you come alive and become a better version of you; it is giving up on who YOU want you to become and letting who OTHERS want you to become define your trajectory… IT MATTERS THAT YOU DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON YOU!!!

New Years Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 3)

I promise this is the LAST PART of the NYR post. Also, I know I said 3 weeks but hey, I just wanted to make sure everyone had their 100 dreams/goals you know *insert shrugging woman emoji here*. I was about to give a summary of the first 2 posts but then I was like, nah fam…It’s all good… So, if you have forgotten, check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

100 Aspirations, now what?

At the start of my “new year” – aka the week after my birthday – I got aaaaall the way into productivity strategies and anti-procrastination habits (If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll know!!! Sorry not sorry). So I was like, ok Nosi, how do you implement these things, how are you going to get stuff done? How do you DO.THE.THING.NOSI? Hooooow? I will be the first to admit that some of my aspirations were more “blue sky-ish”.

I started off with things that I was certain I could achieve. I had “get a Bachelor’s degree” in there which, now that I think about it, was lowkey counter intuitive since I have that already. But, the more I wrote goals down, the more I realized that I had to dream more! I had to believe for the things that I hope to accomplish and write it on paper even if I thought it was impossible… I told self and was on some, “self, IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!” BHAM!!! (I can’t remember where that’s from but I told ‘self’ that). Now, when I did that, the ideas started coming, the things that I hope to achieve in my lifetime kept growing and I even got to a place where I felt like 100 is not enough!!

Y’all, there is something powerful about dreaming!! It gives you a purpose greater than yourself and encourages you to get up and go each morning. It gives a focal point, you know, like the lighthouse when you sail through dark waters. I don’t know about you but I got SO MUCH ENERGY from coming up with my 100. Harness that power into action and you are golden!! There is so much to be said about writing goals down too, it makes them more vivid and, I mean, you have to work at it if it’s on paper no?

Introducing End Of Year Objectives (aka EOYO’s)

So, Instead of NYRs I am doing EOYOs this year!!!! *Mic Drop*… I see you reading that in disappointment, STOP!!! Stop right there!! Humor me for a few more minutes, please?

What are they? Good question, I am so glad you asked… I decided to call my strategy “End Of Year Objectives” because #wordsfam!! Basically, it is a list of this that I hope to be consistently working towards by the end of the year; a plan, really, of how I will have gotten to a specific place with my 100 goals by the end of the year.

Why? Remember when I said, “every day is a good day to start again”… Welp, I feel like I stay winning with this statement and that’s why I believe that EOYOs are the future for me. I have learned that, with NYRs, I find myself wanting to see the results overnight!! I want to change in a heartbeat; I want to transform from not going to the gym ever to going every day and losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks (not safe fam, not safe).

EOYOs stay winning because they open the window to small steps, small improvements, that are constantly being altered; Steps that become habits and practices you adopt over time… It breaks down long-term goals and plans into short-term palatable bites… It has me on that, “how can I start working, today, on the things that I want to accomplish in 5 years, 10 years?

For me, this has been transformation (which maybe it might not be for you because you’ve “got your life”… Teach me, oh wise one!! I NEED HELP). It has allowed me to alter my perspective and never lose sight of the ultimate goal. I had to sit down and type EVERYTHING OUT using the SMART strategy. From here, I got really specific with my aspirations and gave myself a timeline. I literally have a milestone – for each – that I hope to accomplish every month.

Hold on, let me backtrack for a minute. I got ahead of myself. So, From my 100 Aspirations, I picked 5 that I “definitely want to accomplish” by the end of the year and 5 that “I would like to work towards”. Then, I drew out SMART approaches for each of these 10 (by drew out I really mean wrote out.haha). Finally, I scheduled 1 day every 3 months to evaluate these goals, see where I’m at, and see if they are on track or if I need to alter my timeline. Then I started tracking – for the active ones – how much I commit to each goal daily/weekly/monthly.

So, you are probably asking yourself, why tracking though? Like, isn’t that a lot of “busy” work? Well, let me tell you *insert hair flip here*… Tracking allows me to course-correct constantly… Yes, it might seem like a lot of busy work to track stuff or have a quarterly evaluation but, it allows me to see how far I’ve gone-how much I need to course correct, and if that EOYO is still relevant to my current sailing direction (aka don’t change your goal but change the course of action??? Right? Right!!)

My first quarterly evaluation has me at 2/5 of my Objectives on track. I’ve got some work to do! Hahaha… I also had to tweak some things but that is the fun of going on an adventure right? I am excited to see what this year will look like and where my adventure will take me. I am excited for YOU too!!! I hope that, if nothing else, this 3-part post allowed you to think about where you want to go – this year and in your future – and how you will make moves to get to that place. I hope that it has motivated you dream, again, and to work at realizing your dreams frequently. We are on this adventure together and it will be what WE make of it.

So here’s to EOYOs: May every morning be an opportunity to become, to improve and to work on being a better US than WE were a year and, even, a day ago…

 

New Year’s Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 2)

Look at me doing the thing and ACTUALLY posting part 2! I am so proud of me *insert slow clapping emoji here – or would it be a gif?*. If you haven’t, check out part 1 of this post here (disclaimer, it is kinda long). So, just to recap, I decided I wasn’t making NYR’s this year because:

1- I have ALWAYS failed at them

2- I didn’t Resolve SMART

3- I did not track my habits

Now, I learnt last year that deciding to just stop NYR’s and not find an alternative wasn’t going to get me anywhere so I wanted to do something different this year. Ok listen though, this is not some new “oh my gosh Nosi created this thing, she is amazing” mess – although I do think I am pretty amazing *flips hair*. No, this is a combination of a variety of ideas from other people. Part of it is influenced by the idea of NYRs, to be honest. So, if you think this is just NYR’s renamed, there’s freedom but I promise you it is not. Or at least I believe it is not.

First of All, every day is a good day to start afresh

Yes, I said “first of all” (because I’m a cool kid and “cool kids” use first of all. Hhahaha). I know we romanticize the New Year as a clean start or whatever and that is great. It gives us something to look forward too, yes, and it gives us the hype to work towards something different. I had to get myself to mentally get over it though. I realized that, for me anyway, there was a self-created pressure to do something right from January 1st and then, if I stumbled along the way, hold off on correcting for the mishaps until the next January 1st. Drilling in the fact that every day is a good day to restart allows me to pick back up at any day. So if I do well January to March and then mess up in April and May, I can wake up one morning and decide to move right along, correct my timeline and keep going.

It started with 100 Aspirations

So, you need a framework right? You need a starting point. I think one problem that I had with my NYR’s was the fact that I thought I had to think up things that I wanted to get better at on December 31st (or January 1st). In doing that, I had a very shallow “why” and, consequently, didn’t have motivation to work at my resolutions diligently. I needed to find a deeper why, and finding a deeper why meant that I had to understand my aspirations, what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become. So, after conversations with my sister and with myself (yes, I have conversations with myself. A lot of them. If you don’t have deep conversations with yourself you are missing out. Try it and you will see what I mean). Woah, what I was trying to say is, after these conversations I started jotting down my aspirations.

The goal: jot down your 100 aspirations. See, when I started doing this I thought it would be suuuuuuuper easy; like, I am a dreamer so 100 aspirations shouldn’t be a big deal. It was a lie!!! It took me 2 weeks to have 100 aspirations written down, TWO.FREAKING.WEEKS. I was halfway through November and was like, hold on mami, why are you not done with this yet. Yea, I said November, I start my yearly planning right after my birthday because why not. Anyway, I would encourage EVERYONE to have their 100 aspirations written down because it is seriously eye opening. I discovered more about myself during those 2 weeks, I discovered my why and relearnt what it meant to dream. I pray that none of us ever stop dreaming.

SO, IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM, PLEASE STOP RIGHT HERE AND GO DREAM. FIND YOUR WHY, GET THOSE ASPIRATIONS ON PAPER AND BURY THEM – IF YOU MUST – SO THAT THEY CAN GROW!!!!!!

100 Aspirations, now what?

I was about to go to the next thing and then was like, waaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute. Yea, I just said “wait a minute to myself.” So, I am going to end this blog post here. I had every intention of finishing this right here, right now, but I realized that it might be a long one again (So look out for part 3! Hahahah). At this point, it’ll be December before I get this whole NYR thing out of the way.

Buuuuut, on a serious note, I am stopping here because I really, really, reaaaaaaaaaally think everyone has to have 100 Aspirations/life goals/dreams/objectives (whatever you want to call it) on paper. So, since it took me 2-ish (read as 3-ish) weeks to get mine together, I’ll give you three weeks to get yours together so we’ll move forward together. Kapish?

“Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2: 2-3

 

New Year’s Resolutions? Aka the thing I’m not doing (Part 1)

Woah, January is over already and I am shook! Seriously, I am trying to figure out where all the time went. It feels like yesterday was Christmas (which may explain why I still find myself humming Christmas music – sorry not sorry). Tomorrow (and maybe today for you) will see the start the month of love – hold me back before I attack someone in love why don’t you – and before you know it it’ll my birthday again (flips hair). You know you look forward to that holiday-not-a-holiday day, don’t deny it. Anyways, before I go on a tangent on that (or write a whole paragraph on the year going by quickly) let me tell y’all how I am not making New Year’s Resolutions this year.

I am not doing it. That’s it. Done. FULL STOP!!! End of post. Lol… That could very well be all I need to say about that but of course, I won’t stop there. I realized this post was going to be long so this’ll be part 1. I know, I know, I don’t have a good track record at the part 1 part 2 thing but I promise I’ll do better this time. Hahaha…

I am not making New Year’s resolutions because:

1- I have ALWAYS failed at them

Here’s the truth, I’ve tried to set new years resolutions countless times (except last year. Last year I was like, whatever and just went with the flow… I failed at NOTHING but succeeded at nothing either so was it really a win?). Anyways, I have tried setting NYRs every year using different strategies (because I am a millennial I have to shorten New Year’s Resolutions to something more palatable. You are welcome). I have tried:

(a) The “use a marker on the glass surfaces” method which, I won’t lie, was great. I saw what I was working towards ALL THE TIME!!! It also gave me some “Being Mary Jane” moments – without the fancy wine – so I felt like it was going somewhere. The truth is, this method worked for longer (read as I tried somewhat successfully for 3 months ) to motivate me to work towards my goals. It just got weird when people came into my room. I kept imagining what they thought when they saw “close your mouth when you sleep” written on my bedroom window or “resist, resist, resist” on the wardrobe mirror… I am just kidding, this had never really been a thing I’ve been trying to stop. Hey there future husband, I sleep with my mouth open so you better be prepared to deal with it.

(b) I tried the “write it in your planner” thing and Lord knows I LIVE by my planner... That helped, it really did. Not as much as using a marker but better than (c). It also gave me a reason to buy decorative stickies and glitter markers so everything looked pretty. You are more likely to work at goals when they look pretty right? Or so I thought. I got good at it for a month. I’d write out my goals onto the next week, repetition for memory right? Unfortunately, I missed one week of doing that and that was the end of it. It had me hating my planner, too, because it was a reminder of my failure at keeping my NYRs.

(c) The “mental NYRs”. Y’all, I don’t know why this was the method I tried the most because who gets things done if they are in their head. Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about, you know EXACTLY what I mean because I can bet you have done it too. Maybe not necessarily with NYR but you may have done it with homework, a work project, that person you’ve been meaning to text for 3 months now (which reminds me, I have to send a couple of texts after I post this). If you are going to front and pretend you don’t know what I am talking about, let me break it down for you. Mental NYRs were when I thought things and was like, ok this is my New Year’s resolution. I didn’t write it down, I didn’t create a plan for it, I didn’t even think about it for longer than 5 minutes every now and again. Yep, that’s what those are. For the longest time, I thought surely my resolve was good enough to get me to keep my NYRs. I was wrong. The worst part of it was, I didn’t even REALLY know what I had failed to achieve because there was no tracking mechanism.

I can, honestly, go on and on about the ways I have tried to keep NYRs over the years but I’ll stop there. Hopefully, if you are on the NYR route, you know what not to do now – lessons from my mistakes, you are welcome.

2- I didn’t Resolve SMART

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of SMART goal setting? No, No? Ok, I’ll give you the break down here in a second. I always thought this was for “the heck of it.” Like, we said it when we were talking to people about planning their future just so we can go by the book and sound smart. See what I did there? Well, I didn’t resolve SMART, ever.

I had all these things I was hoping to achieve, right? Sometimes written down, sometimes “written down in my head” but not really.Now, back to SMART right, this was an acronym that my father started using with us around the last few years of primary school. Can I pause right here and say, if I took ALL of my father’s advice, I would be so far in life. Thanks, dad, I see what you meant now. Ok, ok, back to SMART. So the S means SPECIFIC, what is it that you are trying to achieve? Straight up, be specific. M is measurable, can you measure this thing? A attainable, can you get to it? R is realistic. Now, this is where I give my face a high five. Y’all, if I had used this I wouldn’t have made that “I will be married by my next birthday” statement a couple of years ago when I was 1- Not sure if I REAAAAAAALy wanted to get married and was 2- as single as a nun (even Nuns are married to Jesus so I guess I was on the other side of that single **insert shrugging woman emoji here**). T is for timeline, you need that if you are going to achieve something right.

So there, I failed at my NYRs because they were simply unrealistic and I bet you the “smarter” part of my brain was looking at the other side of my brain and thinking “girl you are so dumb.” On the upside, my failure at SMART resolutions is a lesson worth learning right?

3- I did not track my habits

Picture this: you decide that you are going to run 3 miles a day. You are like, yep, I will run 3 miles a day but you are going to build up slowly.  So you start running on day 1 of this “new journey.” The only problem is, you have no way of knowing how many miles you are running. You just run and stop when you are tired. Weeks later, you are like, I don’t know how many miles I run daily. Isn’t that dumb? Don’t answer that, I might be touched by your response. Welcome to the story of my life.

I was reading an article on medium a few weeks back that put this into perspective. It argued that in order to know how far ahead (or off course) you are, you need to have a tracking mechanism. You need to know how you are plotting your life. You NEED a GUIDANCE SYSTEM!!! Say that with me, guidance system, guidance system aaaaand one more time guidance system!!! The thing is, when we don’t correct the tiny things that take us off course, we are more likely to continue going off course and, thereby, getting further away for the route we want for ourselves.

So that was major problem number 3. I didn’t know how far I was working from and therefore couldn’t strategically route myself as necessary. I look at this now and I am like, why would you live like that Nosi? The truth is, I didn’t even realize it was an issue until I looked back. I have tried to fix it though, I am a work in progress but I am doing better. Now, I track EVERYTHING. I get on a scale every morning, I try to read for an hour every day so I have a tracker of how many minutes I read, I track my water intake, my social media hours, the amount of time I spend on self-improvement every day. Y’all, I even track how often I go to the bathroom!!!! Just kidding, just kidding, but maybe I should (makes mental note.hahahah).

Rita Mae Brown writes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” Y’all, I already have a certain level of craziness going on in this head of mine, I don’t want insanity taking over and so this year I decided to do something different. We shall see where that leads me.

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” – Proverbs 4:7 [NLT]

 

**Watch this space for Part 2**

1 Lesson a month – excerpts from my “A lesson a day” Collection

*AKA OBLIGATORY NEW YEAR POST

Sooooooooooooooooooooo…..Drumroll……. We are OFFICIALLY, OFFICIALLY WITHIN TWENTY-ONE-EIGHT (That’s 2018 for anyone who didn’t get that!). Why do we get so excited about a new year? Well, I don’t know *insert shrugging emoji here* but we do so hey… I am excited to be seeing another year and I am excited to grow further – and deeper – this year…

Well, while we are at the growth thing, I figured why not partake in this “new year, new slayage” excitement and share some of my personal “quotes to live by”… Well, not really, you can live by whatever you want to live by… But, here’ are 12 quotes for every month of twenty-eighteen (I don’t know why I just typed the year out like that but oh well).

(*) Indicate Nosi thoughts because you know I had to add some Nosi thoughts to everything, right? ahaha

January

“Whenever we frame our problems as things being done TO us we fall prey to the trap our ego has set for us” – Ayodeji Awosika

*Don’t let your ego define your purpose. You’re not the victim fam!!!

February

“Love gets messy and in order for a relationship to work, the people involved need to learn how to handle their own unique brand of messy” – Stella J. McKenna

*Aka stay out of people’s relationships this year… Just kidding… More like, relationships don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re in it, be in it to win it and work your butt off for it!

March

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking” – Eckhart Tolle

*Your thoughts matter, the things you think about the most will be amplified

April

“Start your day with your number 1 priority” – Benjamin P. Hardy

*This is motivation y’all. One way to be excited about waking up in the AM is knowing that the first thing you’re going to do is the thing that is central to everything else.

May

“Find your boundary – then push it” – (Y’all I can’t remember who wrote this one)

*Ask yourself, how far do I think I can go? Then work at getting far beyond your predictions. Overdeliver, for yourself

June

“The normal Christian life is one of energy, enthusiasm, faithful effort and patient hard work” – N.T Wright

*Translate this across the board with ALL you do

July

“As long as you are living you’ve got to keep moving, keep trying, keep rising up” – Chef Leah Chase

*There is no room to be stagnant, you are above that.

August

“You will not always be successful at getting it right but keep trying” – John W Gray III

*Failing a couple of times is not a reason to quit

September

“Be willing to wait” – John W Gray III

*Speaks for itself, the best fruit comes when you wait. Think fine wine/triple distilled whiskey… You get my point.

October

“Everything you do with no real purpose is a waste of your precious time” – Thomas Oppong

*Ask yourself what the purpose/ your purpose is before you do anything. Then, ask yourself if the “thing” you are about to do aligns with your purpose

November

“Stand by your dreams. Embrace them. Believe them, and don’t let anyone mock you for them” – John Westenberg

*Dream loud, dream wild, then go ahead and live your dreams

December

“Don’t put your life off. It takes a while to figure things out. But that doesn’t mean you should quit” – Darius Foroux

*Simply put, today might be rough but it’ll get better IF you work at it.

Bonus quote

“No matter what you want to achieve in life, your actions must back up your words. If not, you will never achieve anything [worthwhile]” – Darius Foroux

*If you want to achieve something, put in the work

One more thing…. As we get into the new year, let us never forget that EVERY SINGLE DAY is a good day for us to press the restart button. It’s fun to set “New Years Resolutions”, aka the thing that I am not doing this year, but I hope that we never let a mere clock dictate how we live our lives!!!

P.S. I know someone out there was waiting for “that thing part 2” to come through, my bad fam…. My bad

That Thing – Part 1

I just looked at the title of this blog and I am like, woah… that is so original….Not…. Ok, granted it is a follow-up on I am DOING.A.THING!!!! so I guess it counts? Please tell me it counts… *insert kneeling and begging emoji here*

I am about halfway through my negativity fast and I thought I’d share an update. I have been keeping a “fasting journal” of sorts and, maaaaan, this is seeming harder than I thought it would be… Needless to say, I am going to tuck my tail between my legs and share the journey… There’s grace and freedom, right?

 

Woah there pessimism!!!

I learned a new word over the last couple of weeks… Pessimism. I’m just kidding, it is not really a new word. I did learn, however, that pessimism can be the root of so much negative talk. Let me explain: We constantly see the glass as half empty or, worse yet, we see the glass as an additional thing that the system is using to prevent us from moving forward. Just think about that for a second.

Pessimism is HIGHKEY the root of bitterness. Nothing amplifies this more that the writer of Hebrews.. No, seriously, look at this:

“See that… no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment” – Hebrews 12:15 [AMPC]

Lesson 1 of the negativity fast: Pessimism breeds negativity which breeds bitterness, avoid it at all costs!!

 

Freedom = No judgement zone

If you know me, you know Freedom is probably in the top five list of my most used words! Yes, I believe in freedom! I believe in one’s ability to be who they are without fear of judgement whatsoever. One of the practical guides for my fast was, “do not criticize others for being negative. Not everyone will be where you are.”

I thought this would be, by far, the easssssiest part of the practical applications. Boy, was I wrong!!! I am learning, in this period, what it means to create a safe space for those around you. Avoiding criticism does not just come from merely declaring your space a safe – and judgement free – space. It is starts internally! It starts with the thoughts you have, the internal analysis of the situation and that, friends, is easier said than done.

Lesson 2 of the negativity fast: Create a mental space of freedom. Cultivate a mind that is welcoming of all… Let your thoughts create a “safe space” before your words say it

 

Self-Introspection is key!!

Keys, keys, keys!! I’ve got the keys!!! Well, just one key!. Y’all, on day one, I did so good during the day and basically blew up in complaints when evening came… On day two, I typed a text and had to delete it… On day 6, I just couldn’t do it and – if you can read my journal entries – I pretty much just wrote “can we restart tomorrow.”

One of the biggest lessons from this month will be the importance of being aligned with your inner energy for sure. I can say, without a doubt, that I have become more introspective over the last couple of days. I pay more attention to my words, and thoughts, to ensure that what I say is uplifting to myself and those around me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there will always be an element of negativity. I will also be the first to admit that a vent here and there is healthy.

 

Lesson 3 of the negativity fast: Self-introspection, self-introspection, self-introspection!!!

 

First half, done… Second half, loading

LET IT BE KNOW THAT DAY 9 WAS THE FIRST DAY OF A 100% SUCCESSFUL FAST DAY. I had to put that out there just so y’all know life is a hit or miss. I made it out of day 9 alive, I was so proud of myself – you couldn’t tell me nothing… Day 10 was also the same. I am learning to celebrate the small victories through this. It is proving harder than I thought it would be… It takes 21 days to create a habit though, right? Which means, by the time this month ends, I will be the queen of positive vibes!!!

“But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way” – Hebrews 10:39 [MSG]

I am DOING.A.THING!!!!

Sooooooo, I am doing a thing!!! I hear you right now, looking at your neighbor and being like: “what thing is she doing.” Yeah, I see you. Don’t act like you didn’t just ask that…. And I know your curious mind has you over there murmuring, “what thing are you doing Nosi?” So I will tell you. Wait for it….. It’s almost here….. Here it is….. (Ok, y’all don’t even understand the smile that was just brought by the last few lines!) I digress, my apologies…..

I AM GOING ON A NEGATIVITY FAST!!!

Maybe going is not the right word since I have already started this fast. Let’s just put it this way; I am fasting negativity this month. I know, you’re probably thinking what the???? Or not. Maybe you’re just thinking, “you actually have to fast that?” because you have negativity in check. Well, if you are thinking the latter then can I schedule a coffee date with you so we can discuss how you managed to be this person!!!

Why a negativity fast?

It’s December (duh) and the year is almost over (also, duh)…. Cue Christmas plans, lamentations on how terrible (or great) the year has bee, reflections on the top stories of the year. I mean, you know how we all get when the year comes to an end. I believe, strongly, in the power of introspection and am constantly looking within to see where I am and where I need to grow.

Truth be told, this year hasn’t been terrible. If I start to think about it, there have been several depressing moments and events but the good outweighs the bad. In the midst of that, however, I realized that I had developed some sort of negative vibe and was on some “Nosi – you are not this person. Get it together!” So, as I approach a new year, I decided I need to cleanse myself the best way I know why. *insert meditating person emoji here (do they have those?)*

Tell me more!!!

I knew it! I knew you’d want to hear more about this fast!!! I did some research online (by research I mean I really just typed “negativity fast” and ran a google search. hahaha) and felt like the following plan was the best route to go. Feel free to join in on this fast, it’ll be exciting to share the stories after. *wink, wink*

The Plan

Abstaining from…

1- Talking about situations and people with a negative viewpoint

2- Pessimistic expressions about people and circumstances

3- Critical talk about myself and others

4- Complaining of ANY KIND

5- Negatively gossiping about others (gossip nje – ain’t nobody got time for  that)

6- Using sarcasm to hide my negative and bitter views*

*Between you and I, this will probably be the hardest for me.

 

Intentionally Focus on…

1- Meditating (For me this’ll be focusing on my relationship, and intimacy, with God)

2- Meditating on, and speaking out, thanksgiving and praise

3- Declaring who God is and who He says that I am

4- Speaking life, love and hope to myself and others

5- Speaking solutions and calling forth answers to problems

6- Focusing on what God is doing in my Life

Practical Applications…

1- Start and end every day with thanksgiving and personal declarations

2- Abstain from watching, listening to, or reading media that fosters negativity

3- Limit my use of social media

4- Each time I am tempted to be critical of someone, I will speak kindness over them

5- Be intentional not to let negativity dictate the atmosphere around me

6- Practice forgiving people quickly

7- Spend time laughing each day

8- Bless every place I go with hope

9- Do not criticize others for being negative.

Some more resources…

If you do decide to join me, here are some additional resources. Also, halla at me so we can keep each other accountable.

Mark Dejesus at markdejesus.com

ignitinghope.com