I can’t wait to show you me.

blackberries

This is what I was inspired to write today – not a blog post per se but rather a feeling. I hope you feel the love.

“I just wanted to let you know that I’m coming. Just wait for me because it’s going to be good. So good you’ll be proud of me, of you, of us. I can’t burst out just yet because there’s a little more growing to do. The wings are still forming and I’m going to need those wings. You’re going to love me and you’re going to love yourself too. It’s not for nothing. None of this is for nothing. You are not for nothing. I can’t wait to show you me, until then… isn’t the blackberry beautiful?”

I’m jealous.

red-05

It has occurred to me that we readily admit when we’re afraid, nervous or excited but we rarely admit when we are jealous. I don’t think I’ve had one frank conversation with any of my friends about jealousy but we can’t stop talking about our hopes and dreams! I get it, jealousy is not nice so why talk about it?

Well, recently I’ve been feeling jealous. Urgh! I know, I know, I just got back from bliss on the Mountain and I’m jealous. It’s actually a relief writing that down. I don’t want to go into detail about being jealous as I don’t think that’s productive. Instead I’m going to focus on what being jealous breeds as a way of jolting myself out of it. Every time that I have been jealous in the past, I’ve caused some form of unnecessary anguish to myself and others. There is always a sequence: first, I work myself into a frenzied state of anger (oh the wicked fantasies the mind can create); second, I explode like a volcano, erupting fireballs of anger to the unsuspecting, totally unprepared loved ones around me (beware my vicious tongue); and third, I unintentionally cause some form of destruction or pain that didn’t need to happen at all and which doesn’t cure my jealousy (you can’t take back your words once they’ve been said). This has been true every time I have let jealousy take a hold of me. The shock that finally knocks it out of me is always the hurt on the face of a loved one. However, as I’m blogging about my journey to escape the rat race, I can’t ignore the fact that I am currently jealous. I get to my keyboard to write and I see red. So I have no other choice but to finally confront it.

Jealousy is a natural emotion to experience but it is a bully, so when you feel it, you have to call it out or it will bully you in every aspect of your life. So, recognising that phase one of my sequence is taking place, I’m calling out the bully and saying leave me alone. I’m good thanks. I don’t have what he has yet but it’s coming and I don’t need what she has because I have my own special thing going on. Positive affirmation. Writing down my blessings. Loving that I’m different. Loving that I can call myself a jealous cow and be done with it!

Can you talk about jealousy?

Please like and please share.

I’ve been on the Mountain.

k2_mount_godwin_austen_chogori_savage_mountain

It occurred to me that whilst I desperately want to escape the rat race, I don’t actually know what I want to do afterwards. So, I’ve been away figuring that out. Not anywhere special like Africa or South America. Just at home (on my sofa or in my bed) with the occasional venture out. I’ve been thinking, daydreaming and doing the things that I love doing in my spare time. Don’t worry, I haven’t been distracting myself but rather indulging myself so that I can actually pinpoint what it is that I value in life, and use that as a way of figuring out what I want to use my precious time to do.

In the bible, Moses took some time out to speak to God. He went to the Mountain. I feel like I’ve just been chilling on that Mountain, thinking about what I want my legacy to be. We are so lucky that, for the most part, we live in a free and equal society (much better than some historical periods anyway). However, our nemesis is being busy; rush, rush and rush. We’re not allowed to just be. We’re not allowed to stop achieving and just live. What would you do if all you had to do was live? I have enjoyed just living these past few weeks and I’ve kind of figured out what I want.

SO, what have I been doing? I have been watching films (I’m a movie buff), cooking and eating (you know the deal), catching up with popular series on Netflix (finally I get it), hanging out with friends, chatting and laughing with family, reading random pages in the many random books on my bookshelf, volunteering at my church and staring into the distance remembering the best parts of my childhood. What is it that I admire in these things? I’m not exactly sure but I know that I feel my best when I am giving, imagining, creating and loving. These are my foundations. Whatever I choose to do to get my daily bread, it has to tick as many of these boxes as possible in order for me to feel happy and to appreciate the beautiful gift that is life.

Try it, just be on the Mountain with yourself and the things/people/surroundings that make you happy, but do it GUILT FREE. You might just gain some clarity, like I did.

Please like and please share.

Ps, I’m happy to be writing again!

It’s do or die.

olys15-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8

It’s the 2016 Olympics and I’m inspired. I love watching these athletes push themselves to the absolute limit and then collapse in disbelief as they hold their gold, silver or bronze medals. It is literally do or die for them. Mo Farah actually fell mid-race and still won the 10,000m – defending his title and winning his third Olympic gold! Amazing.

Escaping the rat race is my do or die. I’m becoming more and more confident in telling people what I want without being slightly embarrassed at my own ambition. I want it and that’s that. However, as usual the vast majority of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, simply do not get it. They keep harping on about a plan B, a “just in case“, a back up. At first I listened thinking “wow, they’ve got a point, I need a plan B” however soon all my energy was focusing on a plan B and neglecting plan A! I was taking steps to escape the rat race but all the time thinking at the back of my mind that it might not work out – that’s what a plan B does, it sets you up for failure!

Watching the Olympics and seeing the culmination of a lifetime of training end in incredible achievement, I’ve seen that there can be no plan B. If you want to achieve your goal, you cannot have a plan B. It has to be do or die. Like the world’s best athletes, you have to focus and train and sacrifice all you have for your goal and nothing else can do. I’m so grateful to Mo Farah for getting up and continuing his race, for sprinting that last stretch and saying “this is my race” because he has shown me what it takes to achieve your dream.

So, no plan B, plan B doesn’t exist. I only have a plan A and it’s do or die. I want to live, so I guess I’m doing it.

Please like and please share!

 

Compassion is not a weakness.

images-of-flowers-and-butterflies-5 

I feel things so much. I feel things so deeply on behalf of people, I sometimes feel like those things have happened to me. It moves me to tears if something awful happens to someone and I’m elated when something great happens to someone. However, I’ve realised that people accept that being happy for someone is good and it is expected that you should share in someone’s joy, but when it comes to showing sympathy, compassion, a little bit of shared sadness –  most people can’t seem to stand it. The attitudes I have encountered are “it’s sad but they need to pick themselves up”, “it’s awful but that’s life” or “yeh that does happen”. What are we so afraid of that we can’t join in someone’s anger or hurt and say “I get it man, that’s so terrible”?

I guess it’s probably because it is so terrible that we just want to distance ourselves from it. We don’t want to acknowledge the sadness. Sometimes, I’m guilty of not showing a bit of compassion for that exact reason and when I see the impact my stern affirmations of “oh it will be alright” have on the person experiencing the not so pleasant emotion (they deflate even more because they can’t see how it will be alright), I feel ashamed of myself. Sadness needs to be acknowledged as much as happiness and often it is difficult to see the happiness until we have seen the sadness…does this make sense? For example, someone really close to me recently experienced a setback that made him feel like a bit of a failure. I started to say things like “this is the game” and “well, you’ve learnt something” but then I stopped myself and just acknowledged that actually, that setback was really shit. It sucked. That acknowledgment of the setback being really shit, helped him. He quickly began to laugh and see the bright side all by himself without my hollow affirmations of “it will be alright”. We had a good chat about it and he is picking himself up.

In my journey to that freedom from economic slavery, I am taking a good hard look at me and what society has moulded me to be. I’m calling myself out on my own bullshit. I’m telling myself to stop being so fake and start being so real. So real that you can show a bit of compassion, which is not a weakness but a sign of strength. Compassion is humanity and humanity is strength.

Synonyms of compassion –

pity, sympathy, feeling, fellow feeling, empathy, understanding, care, concern, solicitude, solicitousness, sensitivity, tender-heartedness, soft-heartedness, warm-heartedness, warmth, love, brotherly love, tenderness, gentleness, mercy, mercifulness, leniency, lenience, tolerance, consideration, kindness, humanity, humaneness, kind-heartedness, charity, benevolence.

 Synonyms of humanity –

compassion, brotherly love, fellow feeling, humaneness, kindness, kind-heartedness, consideration, understanding, sympathy, tolerance, goodness, good-heartedness, gentleness, leniency, mercy, mercifulness, pity, tenderness, benevolence, charity, generosity, magnanimity

 Antonyms of both: indifference, heartlessness.

Please like and please share.

We have to have relentless self-belief.

I have realised in my journey to escape the rat race that I need an unlimited supply of self-belief because people are all too ready to offer me their doubt, fears and criticism. Of all the people I have spoken to, I am yet to find one person who has said “Wow that sounds amazing, go for it!”. Instead I have received numerous exclamations of “That’s great but you have to realise/do/think about X, Y and Z”. Why do I have to realise, do or think about anything? What gives you the right to tell me that I have to realise, do or think about X, Y and Z?

Now, I’m not saying that you should never listen to advice, but I am saying that you cannot let others qualify your dreams…EVER. This is because every single person has their own outlook on life and even if you have achieved something, maybe you’ve started singing in a band or you’ve designed a fashion collection, someone else who wants to do what you have done, may not want to achieve it in the same way or for the same reasons. We are different. My perspective of your achievement is different. So, if I say that I want to one day be in total control of my time and not chained to a desk, do not tell me what I should do to achieve that or how I can only achieve a version of that. Get out of my way and just say “Wow! Go for it!”

As I am finally pursuing the life that I want and being the person I feel that God has made me to be, I am staying true to my truths and my daily mantras (you can do this, you go girl, who cares about them, stay focused) because otherwise I would crumble and wither into a shell, like most people in our society. I am standing firm in my self-belief. I am standing firm in my determination to live a meaningful life. I am standing firm in me. I am relentlessly championing myself. I am refusing to seek or acknowledge validation from friends, colleagues or family. It’s just me and God in this walk and everything else in my life is here to help me because of God’s grace. As a Christian, I believe that one day I will have to answer for my life and those people who told me “that I have to realise, do or think about X, Y and Z” will not be there to say their bit.

So we have to have relentless self-belief in order to repel everyone else’s hopeless disbelief. Go for it my friends. Go get your dreams no matter how wild because you’ll achieve them and in a way that is unique to you!

Please like and please share!

Ant-belief

Inspiration – Beyonce’s Freedom

Valencia_market_-_lemons-1940x1454

Hopefully we are all familiar with Beyonce’s incredible new album Lemonade by now. I want to share the empowerment that I have recently felt from one of her songs in particular. “Freedom”. Need I say more? Oh but I have so much more to say! You can literally feel the battle to break free in her voice, in Kendrick’s rhythmic lyrics. The chorus is half pain, half victory and it is the exact emotion I am feeling in my journey to escape the rat race. Here are some of my favourite lines and what they say to me.

Lord forgive me, I’ve been running
Running blind in truth
I’ma wade, I’ma wade through the shallow
Tell the deep I’m new

 This verse is how I felt when I realised that I was not fulfilling my God given destiny. I was not being true to myself. Running blind in “truth” for me is the situation where you know what’s right, we all know what’s right, but we still run blind in it. However, in realising this I became baptised in a new strength, I waded through the deep water and told it I was new.

I’m telling these tears, “Go and fall away, fall away”
May the last one burn into flames

This verse is how I felt after I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I reflected on so many should of, would of and could ofs! It was sucking my energy and getting me nowhere. So I decided to stop pitying myself and to get angry instead. I told my tears to burn into flames.

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Yeah, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

This epic chorus sums it up nicely. I have been pleading for my freedom, begging to be cut loose from the chains of a job and a pension. Then, when I saw that nobody was going to give me this incredible freedom and that I had to take it, I decided to forge an axe from the strongest metal and break my own chains. I encourage myself with every strike at the chain because I know that within me, I am a champion, a winner and a winner never quits on themselves.

I’ma wade, I’ma wade through the waters
Tell the tide, “Don’t move”
I’ma riot, I’ma riot through your borders
Call me bulletproof

 Here I’m like, wow! Look  at how powerful I’ve become in my self realisation that I am now able to tell a tide to stop. I’m a riot messing up the eat/work/die system and my self realisation has made me bullet proof. Nothing you say to me can take this away from me. It’s like, once you awaken from the matrix you can never go back to living in it. Your bullets can’t hurt me. Then we get onto Lamar’s rap.

Seven misleadin’ statements ’bout my persona
Six headlights wavin’ in my direction
Five four askin’ me what’s in my possession

For me, in my life right now, I feel like the senior people, the ones who have an interest in you being an economic slave, are watching me and interrogating me. They can sense my shift and they don’t like it. They want to reprogramme me or at least stop me from influencing others. So they use their appraisals to try and make me doubt myself and feel insecure. They assign me characteristics that are not mine in a bid to get me to be scared and remember my place. Headlights are on me and they want to know my secret. What do you have?

….I could be more than I gotta be

 I’ve only got to be average to have an ok life where I can enjoy stability, a home and a family but I could be, can be, will be so much more than that. You have to choose that. I choose that.

…. Nation of hypocrisy

This is what we live in virtually everywhere in the world. A system built on hypocrisy. We think we are free but we are not free. We divide ourselves in the guise of nationality and religion but it’s all a farce. We’re the same! Then it bursts into the following. I’ll tell you how I feel about it before you read it because I want to end this post with it’s perfect optimism and drive. It is basically saying here we go, now that we know the truth, let’s reject its oppression, let’s live by our truths and let’s make history…

Like yeah, open correctional in higher desert
Yeah, open our mind as we cast away oppression
Yeah, open the streets and watch our beliefs
And when they carve my name inside the concrete
I pray it forever reads

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Yeah, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.