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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

I’m currently taking a course and in the last class, the coach asked that we refrain from reading any books besides the course texts for the 3 month duration of the course. I was completely floored by that request because I’m an avid reader; books are my thing; I read constantly; I love books; call me “Reader”! So you can imagine my resistance to this suggestion.

“This is sacrifice!” I said to her dazed. She reminded me that I didn’t have to do what she suggested but she is making the recommendation that if I do, I will be surprised by the “result”. The coach’s premise was that we often allow too many voices to speak into our lives when we actually would be better off listening deeply to ourselves and to God. This got me really thinking and wondering: how many people am I allowing to speak into my life every day, in the form of books, movies, programmes, friends and strangers?

What I have learnt this year is that indeed, I do have the wisdom to do my life and do it well. We are all equipped with the internal resources to live our best lives. To tap into what is readily available inside us though, we do have to take the time to be still and listen. For many of us, it’s a process of re-discovery; re-discovering that we are wise and whole and able. Doesn’t mean that there is no place for welcoming other people to speak into our lives. There is. We are wired and made for community; it is part of our human experience. What is called for though is a sense of discernment – choosing which voices to welcome and even then, being able to be still and weigh what is shared against our own internal wisdom and knowing.

So I am going to try my coach’s suggestion and “fast” from the constant companionship of books and see what happens. Already I am grateful for the prompting to begin questioning the influence of others in my life. I look forward to see what happens with more listening; less outside voices.

What about you beloveds? How many voices are you allowing to speak into your life? Could you use more internal listening and trusting yourself and your God? As the weekend begins, I wish you moments of stillness and the growing confidence that they bring, that you have all that you need to build your best, deepest, fullest life.

Happy weekend. Love, love, m

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I was having trouble watching videos on my computer the other day so I asked the techie guy to check what the problem was. I left him working on it and went to catch up with some artists. On return, he informs me that the problem is solved.  As I quickly log on to make sure all is working well, that’s when I notice that all my bookmarks have been deleted. All of them!

Now beloveds, let me explain. I have repeatedly said how much I love the World Wide Web and the plenty of fantastic information and access that it gives me to so much interesting stuff on art and creativity and spirituality and beautiful design and other good stuff. Whenever I’d come across a great site , I would bookmark it. I had bookmarks, saved over 2 years or so, put in different categories from “inspiration” to “blogs i heart” to “magazines” to “pending checks”. I saw my bookmark space as a place where I could go for inspiration and research whenever I needed. And just like that, I lost years of great content.

Here’s what I quickly realised in that moment – after the initial shock – I could look at it as a complete loss or I could look at it as a complete beginning; the presentation of a new clean slate from which to build new stuff. I have chosen the latter. I will find new interesting spaces; new bookmark-able  sites; new things to inspire and connect to – not the tried and true that I had saved up over the years. That’s what I am believing. So here’s to embracing new beginnings!

Have a wonderful week with plenty of new enriching possibilities.

Love, love, m

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As a kid, I would hang out in my sister’s room and she would teach me dance routines to Whitney’s songs… I get so emotional baby…”

During my high school years, Whitney was the absolute image of stardom and perfection. I idolized her. I recall being completely and totally blown away when she performed at the Grammys in 1994 “I Will Always Love You”. The power in her voice; her beauty and the strength of her presence was unreal –  she seemed greater than human; the stuff of gods.

(Later in life, as I saw her on the reality show she did with her husband Bobby and as i heard she was struggling with drugs, i realised she was human afterall.)

In university, I learnt how to play “Your Love is My Love” on guitar and i loved singing it.

This week, Whitney Houston is dead at 48 – too young. I doubt that there will ever be another with a voice like hers. I choose to remember her like this: singing at the Grammys when i realised that voice and that presence were honestly the stuff of awe. R.I.P Whitney.

love, love, m

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When i got to church last Sunday, and the usher led me to a section i have actually never sat in, i went ahead and took the offered seat. New year, new things! And as soon as i sat, i was hit by the really unpleasant smell of smelly socks and some serious stale alcohol smell. Someone clearly had stumbled out of a pub and straight into a seat right next to me in church! And beloveds, i could feel myself getting all judgmental and pissed when it hit me, this is exactly where Jesus would choose to sit.

Jesus had a habit of loving the unlovable and hanging out with the despicable. It’s almost as though He specifically picked out the people who would be most looked down upon and lifted them up. Woman with like 5 hubbys? Yes! Prostitute? Yes! Tax-freaking-collector? Yes!  Sinner? Yes! As Juliani asks on his song Friend Request, if Jesus was on facebook…whose friend requests would He accept? Amongst those would be from prostitutes, thugs, gangsters… (clearly, Juliani didn’t say it like that but he did say something like that :- )

I felt kinda embarrassed at catching myself behaving like a freaking Pharisee and immediately, it humbled me. Here’s the thing beloveds, this year, i want to learn to put away my judgements, to be faster to see the log in my own eye than the speck in my brother’s,  to love more and leave the judgement business to God who pours His rain on the just and unjust alike.

So yes, church is the perfect place for a man who stumbled out of a pub to stumble into on a Sunday morning. Church needs to be the one place where this man, and me, can run to, no matter our state…

Love, love, m

And here is the song from Juliani. His lyrics are absolutely clever. Gifted!

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beloveds,

this post by danielle laporte.

simply, it is this:

SHOW UP.

SHINE.

LET IT GO.

i love that: smart; to the point; wisdom!

happy weekend.

love, love, m

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africa beloveds, i am in abidjan and that was not my plan! i actually had no intention of walking the streets of this warm country; noticing the architecture and the water everywhere. so how does one end up in a country that they had not planned on visiting? their flight gets a technical error which goes too long which means the crew have to disembark which means a certain rule for airline crew kicks in which says they have to be on the ground for 15 hours before they can fly again (yikes! who made the rules?) which means we can’t move until 15 hours are over. thats how one ends up in a country they hadn’t planned on visiting! you see, i was simply headed from my home in kenya to cape verde, via senegal via abidjan. it was going to be quite straightforward. instead, i spend the night in abidjan!

the guy who gives us the news that we cannot fly out does it so easily and matter-of-factly that none of us complain. he gives it to us as it is. at the end of it he informs us that we will be taken to a hotel for the night and if anyone wishes to cancel their flight, that’s an option as well. i must say i appreciated how cool and calm he kept it – i think that rubbed off on all of us and we all made the queue to be listed to go to the hotel, calmly. no complaining.

it could be that i was that cool with it because of how i left home and also those experiments in letting go. (from me to you, it’s a great way to live! make that – the only way actually for a healthy, joy-full life). before i left home, i was speaking to the wise doc and telling her how i was completely open to adventure. well beloveds, the adventure is here for sure!

abidjan was easy and light and i met J. of Uganda who i spent quite abit of time with. we went walking around abidjan with N. of cameroon who lives in dakar as our guide. J. is also the one who wakes me up in the morning because the airline says we need to leave earlier than we thought. i get ready in a minute, hopeful that i will be able to make my next flight to cape verde from dakar. when they change us to another airline which then informs us that we are going through bamako first – my hope wans; suddenly i am not so sure that i will make my next flight out. i hold still hoping.

treat-tales on the flight to bamako then dakar

there is a man sitting in the seat at the far end from me who before we take off is eating rice with stew and even has an orange for dessert! the young woman next to me, let’s call her “Diva” because that’s what her t-shirt said, and i start laughing and smiling at each other as the man takes another bite of his juicy orange wrapped in a plastic paperbag and takes another bite of his chicken! ;- )* shall we say, “only in africa?”

we stop in bamako and wait for others to board and in time we are on the way to dakar. i refuse to find out the time and accept that i will flow with whatever happens. when we arrive in dakar, i see the flight that i am to take getting ready for take-off. for a moment, my “going with the flow” is really shattered. i actually do not want to miss this flight! as soon as i am off the plane, i ask the ground staff about the flight, she calmly tells me, “it’s just gone”. okay fine. this is interesting. i remind myself to stay open to adventure and to trust that all will be as it should be.

hello senegal!

love, love, m

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alvin ailey

alvin ailey. photo by eduardo patinio

i have always had the impulse to lead; to lead in conversations, in interactions, in meetings. I used to think this was always a good thing until I realised that some of that leading was actually just me, trying to “control” everything. (i.e.: some “leadership” is actually control in disguise!) You see, control mostly comes from a place of insecurity; a point of not feeling comfortable in your world; not trusting that all will be well and is as it should be. So as a reaction to this, we (yes, me and anyone else out there who’s a “maybe-control-freak”  ;- )* try to make everything and everyone go our way. (and for your information: it never ever works! shish!)

well, beloveds, over the past few months i have chosen to begin letting go of this need to control and  to “lead” everything. So for example, the other day i had a meeting and usually, i tend to be the “take charge” person who confidently leads the direction of the meeting. Instead i decided that for this meeting, i was going to let myself be led. And it was wonderful really. I’ll walk you through it.

I let him greet me and introduce himself and lead the conversation. Tick.

I let him suggest we have a coffee over our meeting and i agreed.  (i actually had been thinking we would just sit in his “office” but knowing that i had decided to let him lead, i said “okay”). Tick.

I let him choose if we were going to take the elevator or walk down. Tick.

I let him choose which coffeeshop. Tick.

I let him decide where we were going to sit.  (usually, and especially because i know this coffeeshop quite well, i would have immediately started speaking to the waitresses to see about possible table options. I didn’t say a word. I let him lead.)

I let him choose the table and i sat.

I let him get the menus and when the waiter came to take the order, i let him speak first. (he actually ordered my coffee for me (i’d selected which one) which was all brand new to me! i don’t think i’ve ever let anyone order anything for me! Atsi. ;- )

I let him lead the meeting and conversation and ask the questions and i responded. (this was a business meeting and I was there to sell a proposal so i wasn’t being a mute, shy, flower; i was speaking and making my points, just that i wasn’t leading or trying to control at all.)

After the business part was done (we got the deal! ;- ) and the cappuccinos not yet, it then came to the “small talk” section and there beloveds, i noticed myself going back to my leading ways. I had questions lined up just so that we wouldn’t have those awkward moments of silence. (silences tend to make me so uncomfortable! Again, i want to control it all. A woman i respect a lot suggested to me, “why not just let it be. You do not have to make anything happen. Just be”. Best advice ever!) When i noticed i was going into my “control-this-mode”, i backed up and stopped it and returned to being led.

When the bill came, i let him take it, but since it was a business meeting i did inquire about paying. (me thinks where money comes in during a business meeting, its not acceptable to pull the “sweet flower who will just sit back and be pretty when the bill comes”  stance. if it was a date that would be a totally different consideration… this was business.) I said “thank you” after he cleared the bill.

And when he said we would walk back up together to the “office”, i agreed and did. And said my “thank you and goodbye and “i will look forward to your email” and left.

And it felt wonderful beloveds; to finally be letting others lead too but most of all, to be relinquishing my misplaced need to control everything and trusting that all will unfold as it should. I know this was in a pretty “small” situation but this is my new attitude even for the larger, bigger situations in life. And I love this. It’s making life just so much lighter; better; calmer! Me thinks for anyone who has this impulse to control, it may be worth trying in small ways to begin experiencing what it is like to be led and to realise that things will be fine, even if we don’t control everything! What do you think?

Have a control-free day beloveds! Trust and let things unfold. Relax. Let go. Let it happen.

Love, love, m

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