Iye Aenda!

Zimflag

Today every seasoned political commentator is giving an opinion regarding Zimbabwe, infact, everyone thinks they have a solid political view about Zimbabwe. Well, I am not too good at political commentary, nor am I seasoned for that matter. Even in my own country I shy away from political debates because honestly one can never know enough to swear by any formidable viewpoint. However, being a Pan Africanist at heart who keenly reads about the history of Africa, particular southern Africa, starting from the Bantu migration to colonization, liberation and to where we are today, I felt I should express my sentiments regarding today’s events.

It is really with a jubilant heart that I pen this piece. Seeing an African child freeing herself from the shackles inherited from colonial chains. One would say, Mugabe’s resignation today has nothing to do with colonialisation, when infact it has everything to do with it. It feels surreal to experience something like this in my lifetime. Africa still battles to free herself from the resolutions taken at the Berlin conference. Now I sort of get a glimpse of how it felt when independence was gained, Mandela coming out of prison or when heroes like Sankara, Samora, etc were vindicated. I was too young to comprehend some of them – what a time to be alive indeed!

The country is graduating from a post-colonial evolution (if such a term exists). When ZANU PF displaced Ian’s Smith government, it was through guerrilla warfare, and therefore, power was conceded to heroes of war essentially. Some chose to remain in the barracks while others exchanged their uniforms for suits in parliament. This is evident in the hand the military has played in managing the political affairs of the country. It does seem that their latest intervention in November 2017 was a far more progressive one since 1980. Zimbabwe has graduated from a stale-mate in governance, where the leaders of the liberation movement act like they own the country and it’s people due to their struggle efforts. In the process, imposing deeper struggles and scars for their own people. South Africa is yet to graduate from that class. 1994 saw liberation for South Africans, and the champions of that liberation have adopted an entitled stance to the country and resources. One would say former president Mugabe should have taken a page out of Nelson Mandela’s book and give the power back to the people. However Mandela never had much power to give back now, did he?

I digress. I should not make this about South Africa, and unfortunately we have a tendency to make everything about us. It is to be noted that our destinies with our neighbors are all intertwined, from the Mapungumbwe civilization, the effects of the Mfecane displacements in the region, to the establishment of areas like Bulawayo, Gaza (in Mozambique), Bechuanaland, up to present day boundaries. Our victories belong to Africa. Yesterday Kenya, fell into a deeper regression, and today Zimbabwe rises out of it.

The point of the article is to really celebrate her victory taking another step forward. Nobody really knows what the future holds, but one thing for sure is that Zimbabwe is on a path of finding out. I deeply celebrate this era mainly because there is so much that this country has accomplished compared to most African states. First of all, they have set the bar in the history of coups! Not a single bullet fired, then comes the most peaceful uprising I have ever heard of. On the 18 November 2017, not even a match stick was reported missing during the mass demonstration. Most importantly, Zimbabwe is the only country in Africa, which owns their land. It may be in the hands of few, but the African land is in the name of black Africans. We on the other hand, still need a name. The country has a literacy rate of over 90% and their means of production are owned internally. A lot of good, raw, material is in place for the construction of a masterpiece. Your children will reap what you will sow from this point on.

The game plan from now should be for greed to fall; learning who to trust and above all trusting yourselves as a nation to unite and rebuild. My plea is for everyone around you to allow you to forge your own solutions, SADC and the world at large. Can we just all continue minding our business as we have been doing for the past 37 years while Zimbabweans were working at their salvation. I will not comment on transition governments and democracy because I am not too learned on that. However I am very learned in HOPE. Hope never disappoints. You have stood for the longest time in hope that things will change someday and indeed that day has come. Even the pioneers of democracy are not getting it right, so don’t pressure yourself too much, it will take time. Seek out integrity; she will be your guide. Africa looks up to you. May God’s light continue to shine on you.

In the words of the esteemed Cde Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe: “iAfrika, Izwe Lethu”. ALUTA Contunia!

“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are days where decades happen”- unknown

 

 

10 things I wish I knew when I was 20

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This is an actual blackboard hanging in my house. I have written these 5 points over a period of 24 months, one point at a time as I unwrapped the lessons. I must admit they came during the most difficult trials in my life and maybe that’s why the lessons have stuck so well. I always look forward to my birthday, but also dreaded getting old. I no longer resent old age though, as I have since realized that the older I grow, the more I fall in love with the woman I am becoming. A lot of people have not made it this far, which means I have survived everything life has thrown at me up to this point. Below are the 10 things I would tell to my 20-year old self, being a day away from 30, I needed to reflect and take stock at what life has offered me.

  1. Thank God

I have learnt that in my life I have a lot to be thankful for. No matter how dire my situation may have been, I can bet my life that someone is going through far worse and his or her situation is not about change anytime soon. Counting your blessings one by one each day, brings a sense of hope in one’s soul. Gratitude invites more blessing and being alive is one.

  1. The time is NOW

The best time to start or stop doing something is NOW! The present is the best opportunity to live, to grow and be true to your convictions. Procrastinating on progressive decisions is such an injustice to your destiny. Time and chance may not present themselves as they have today. Seize the moment, the opportunity may never come again.

  1. Honor your decisions

Had I stuck to my resolutions when I made them, I would be living my best life right now. But again, putting things off for another day and basking in the comfort of dysfunction is counter-revolutionary to your growth. So you have figured out that a particular activity/relationship is holding you back. Off all the things that are detrimental to you life, you have narrowed it down to that is “one” thing and you are making a decision to change it. Please stick to that resolution daily. It will not be easy, you will forget sometimes, but as soon as you remember your decision, promise yourself once more. This way you learn to trust yourself and build up your self-esteem.

  1. Speak your Truth

A healthy self-esteem is also built up through the ability of speaking your truth. For the longest time I have been unable to express my true feelings with the fear that it might offend the next person or they might appreciate me less. The result was that I would overly commit myself and let the very same people down, including myself. Speaking your truth is also necessary when you speak to yourself and most importantly to God through your prayers. The Lord delights when we are vulnerable and honest to him, because he already knows whats in our hearts anyway. Communication is the most important ingredient in any relationship, be it professional or personal. Being honest with yourself yields the best reward of all. There is nothing more sad than seeing someone believing their own lies. Stay true!

  1. Learn to say No without explaining yourself

If you can’t do something, you can’t, end of story. You don’t need to be rude or apologetic about it. I am one of those people that wanted to please all and sundry and felt the need to explain my decisions all the time, as though people invested some of the years of their lives in mine and I owe them a time account. It is good to be polite and commit wherever possible, but it should never be at your detriment. I have since discovered that whatever I tried to explain to others, I was trying to justify in my own mind. Which means I’m not sure about the choice that I just made. Those who care about you will understand when you cannot show up because they know of the many times you did. You character is not defined by the ability to please, but the level of integrity you abide by.

  1. The world owes you nothing

Not needing to explain myself helped me learn that I actually do not owe anyone anything. Everything I do or say needs to be meaningful and come from my heart. Anything you do with ingenuity is an inconvenience to yourself and a nuisance to others. Likewise nobody owes you loyalty, love, attention or politeness. All these things are done because people want to, and you need to appreciate every single good deed, because you are not entitled to it. Even God himself owes you absolutely nothing, all you have is by Grace. Receive it as such. Life does not owe you success no matter how good you have been. Yes you reap what you sow, but you don’t do good as an investment, you do it because you want to and only then will it come back to you. Expectations lead to disappointments, have none (or as little as possible).

  1. Low self-esteem is not humility

There’s nothing as dis empowering as fake-humility. I have done that a great deal in my life. Treating myself as an option just to appear humble to people who don’t even need my sacrifice. I mistook thinking lowly of myself as the ultimate expression of humility and little did I know that was exactly how the world would perceive me. Humility continues to be the greatest virtue I aspire to, but I bring self-love along. Pride is not attractive on any basis, in fact its like poisoning your own soul and living in delusion. We are on earth and are all equal, lets live there. Give to yourself the love that you would extend to others, you are just as important.

  1. You are not ready for marriage

Marriage is no joke guys! It takes your whole soul and a bit to make it work with your beloved. You need to constantly work on yourself to be better for your soul mate and for the partnership to work. If I knew this, my twenties would have been the most liberating time of my life. I spent a decent part of them stressing about marriage and when it was finally gonna rain on precious me. It is only now do I realize that I have had quiet a lot to work on personally before I could even fathom of someone else entrusting me with their heart and their dreams.

  1. Being “you” is your Super-power

No one can be Noluthando the way I can be. Not now, not ever. That is my super-power. Only I can execute my destiny, tell my story and color the world in a manner that me can do. Everywhere you go, know that you have decorated the place with your rival and you matter. No one can dispute how you are doing you, because frankly only you know how to.

  1. Jesus saves

Not my moral behavior, sweet words, pretty face or lengthy prayers can save my soul, only Jesus can. I gave my life to the Lord in my second year of university and I continue to surrender it daily. Many Christians and non-christians fall into the trap of being their own saviors and some even say that they need to change their lives before they come to God. I have also tried to clean up own messes, only to create bigger ones. The acknowledgement that there is a power higher than you that can help you rise higher is the beginning of wisdom. If you were your own god, you would be running this world. Gradually understanding and absorbing that Jesus is my savior, has helped absolve myself off condemnation, forgive my own errors and renewed my hope for the future.

Overall, I have learnt to accept that I am a work in progress and will continue to be that for the rest of my life. I just need to remain committed to my own development. At the end of it, things will be okay, they always turn out that way. No situation is permanent, not even your weaknesses or deepest fears. Morning always comes, and when it does, take the lessons into your noonday.

“ You have to relentlessly participate in the manifestation of your own blessings”

 

Highest Honor

Everything natural on this earth is alive, if fact earth itself is considered to have a soul, called Gaia and she is female in her form. The soil germinates seeds and grows food for us. The plant itself is alive as it grows, water brings life, in fact without it; there is no life, just like air. All the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air) are a culmination of life and all living beings are an embodiment of these elements. You need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sun for warmth. This applies to all created animals, they are a combinations of all elements of life. We are therefore no different from any living thing on this earth, but we are somewhat superior, one might even say we are at the top of the food chain. Have you ever wondered though how was it decided that one would manifest as a plant, an animal or human being? If lives of animals were not sacred, they would not be afraid of dying. While, we’re at it, who decides which animal spirit will be a rat and another a lion?

Well, according to Vedic literature there is actually a science that determines who is born in what form. They believe that existence starts in the most basic form and evolves to the highest level, which is spiritual enlightenment. Where one is no longer subject to the limitations of the elements, nor gets to be born and die again, but live in the purest form reminiscent with the source of their soul. According to them, existence therefore, begins on the earth as rock and with is the densest vibration and gradually over time, that manifestation changes form into something else. Think of how mountains go through erosion and what was hard rock now becomes soil. The soil can germinate life and eventually graduate into manifesting as a plant. The next stage existence is that of animals, which is a more enhanced experience of the elements and less dense dimension. Animals can protect themselves; reproduce with intention and most importantly are driven by their instincts to ensure survival. I would assume it starts off small and climbs the ranks, over time to being an elephant, maybe.

The next, not final, stage of existence is that of being born as a human. In this dimension of existence it is considered the highest honor compared to all living things on this earth. We are not driven by instincts, but we have our intelligence, will power and insight to spiritual enlightenment. Art is the highest expression of human intelligence and all of us have that gift, whether creating or enjoying it. Most importantly we all have eternity engraved in our souls. All of us, at some point wonder, where exactly do we all come from and where we are going, ideally none of us want to die or age for that matter. Ancient Eastern texts (Vedic) believe being born human grants you the opportunity to change the destiny of your soul by how you exhibit your human experience. We cannot merely exist to eat, reproduce, protect and die; this would make us no different to animals. Likewise spending all our days wanting to have more than others, when in actual fact the value of lives is exactly the same. “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 7).

 “Once we take human birth, our destiny is shaped by karma. Karma are actions pertaining to the development of the material body and such acts sentence us to future births in the material world where we reap what we sow. If we act according to good moral code we produce good karma, likewise if we engross ourselves in fleshly desires we create bad karma. If we don’t learn good lessons we are sent back to try again, with a better starting point if we were good, or worse off if we were vile. The material world reforms us, teaching us through reward and punishment to acknowledge God’s supreme position. – (Swami Prabhupada, Veda, Secrets of the East).

I may not fully understand the evolution of the soul as described above. Whether our souls evolve over time, arrive as is or travel from one dimension to the next, is not important. What is important to is that we realize the strength of what we possess within our souls. The bible says God created us in His image. He spoke things into existence and we possess the same power. We have dominion over earth and all things created, therefore, it is expected of us to experience life on a higher level. It should be above the animalistic instincts. Our vibrations can change the course of humanity and digging deeper within ourselves for the eternity we yearn for, will lead us to attain our individual pursuit of excellence. Remember, a plant only graduates to the next level by blossoming to the best of its ability and bear the maximum amount of fruit it possibly can. It has mastered the dimension of being a plant, and it needs a new challenge, and we are no different. We need to live with the desire to rise up above our current form of existence, master it and move on to the highest and purest form of existence where we are not tied down by cumbersome bodies. Consider the Lotus flower; its seed sprouts in mud and it rises up from the murky mud to flourish on water effortlessly basking in the sunrays. The murkier the mud; the brighter the flower becomes. Some people rise up from the lowest points of life to become noble citizens, which is a reflection of how quickly they have absorbed life’s lessons. We too can learn the lessons presented in our mud, and the most important one is the humility of acknowledging that there is a God and we are not He. 

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives and existence and perhaps may never know all the mysteries of life. But we can live each day with the gratitude of being alive and being who we are. Many yearn for the gift. We must appreciate our souls for being different and gifted, in this way we honor He who created us. For we no matter how difficult things can get, we are bestowed with the highest honor that exists in this life and we need to be mindful of it. Finding our passion, doing the best with our abilities and sharing our light with others, adds its own flavour to this earth. Let us not despise our lives over the meaningless comforts of modern life, whether we live in abundance or lack thereof. It should never overshadow the sound of our souls that should be listened to.

If you are young and healthy, you are the wealthiest being on this planet. Sometimes it may take lying in a hospital bed or an old age home to realize the value of your youth. Use it wisely and: Give thanks for it. Everyday!

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget you Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say –‘Life is not pleasant anymore’. Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young before the silver cord of life snaps and the bowl is broken. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12

 

…as you say!

Be very careful when a naked person offers you a shirt – African proverb

First of all, how can someone give you something they don’t have themselves and secondly, why are they not wearing that shirt? Clearly, if it’s good for you, it will surely be good for them because you are both naked. It’s like food, if someone doesn’t want to eat something, but insists that you eat it; you get suspicious or eat it with discontentment in your heart knowing that this poor person is also hungry yet they are giving you all their food. The intention may be good, but the reception may not be entirely perceived in the same manner, it usually comes with a bit of an after taste if accepted at all. Parents may be an exception to the material application of this principle but not in its entirety.

A parent will go hungry for their children any day, however as the children grow older, they may not be as accepting of this sacrifice and will insist on sharing. The predicament comes when the parent lays out rules that they do not follow themselves. Most parents would say “do as I say and not as I do”. You use bad language, gossip, are untidy, stingy, lazy, etc. while preaching the opposite to your children. It’s not rocket science that your children will probably turn out like you. You cannot teach them something you don’t know yourself.

Another great example is a relationship. You must really be afraid of someone who doesn’t love themselves and yet claim they love you. This person overworks themselves, they don’t deal with hurt in their lives, tolerates disrespect from all and sundry, puts absolutely everyone and everything ahead of him/herself. They basically do not take care of their bodies and well being, either by living a risky lifestyle or engaged in other self destructive behavior. Now tell me how can this person give you love, which is; patient, kind, gentle, non-envious, etc.? Because of the inadequacy within themselves, their idea of love is distorted from the onset and what they consider love may be a very dysfunctional realty. Unfortunately you end up trying as hard as you can to “understand” this persons’ distorted definition of love and that is where abuse begins.

Unless someone does something themselves, it is not easy for anyone to follow their example. It is in our nature to judge others by their actions and only judge ourselves by our intentions. The world is not going to change by what you are planning to do, it is only what you actually do, and well so, that will change it. A manager, who knows absolutely nothing about the role and is not even trying to change, cannot expect you to shoot the lights out. That not only leaves you disgruntled, but you lose respect very quickly for that person. They don’t have the ‘work-hard’ shirt themselves, but they expect you to wear it, cleaned-and-ironed everyday. At times, the manager does manage to make you to comply, but, this usually comes through some intimidating re-enforcements. This is damaging in the long run, more to themselves than to you, interestingly.

Most importantly, we need to apply this principle on a very personal level and allow it to shape our characters. Before you expect something out of other people, please make sure you posses it yourself. No matter how many lies you tell yourself to believe that you are exhibiting certain noble traits, people can see right through your nakedness. You can fool some people sometimes, but not everyone all the time. It’s not good enough to think and speak your truth; you need to live it as well. Wearing the shirt is no easy task, I know, it takes intention, discipline and perseverance. We are not all born with brilliant traits, in fact we have had to learn these over time and the learning never stops. To build credibility, you need to do what is required of you, from yourself and towards those you have committed to deliver to. Doing as you have promised, when you promised it – consistently, will make others respect and consider you honorable. I read in one book that: Holiness is when what you think, what you do and what you say are in perfect harmony.

Self-leadership is key to you getting to the next level in life. How you lead yourself will determine how others perceive and treat you. It is absolutely necessary for us to be able to be great leaders; leaders of our homes, companies, children, teams, and the world.

Proverbs 18 vs 3

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”

Jubilee

“Daddy don’t touch me there, I’m gonna tell on you one day I swear. Can’t you see I’m scared you’re supposed to be my father”…IMG_3473

Hectic words hey? Imagine a sweet melody accompanying them with the hypnotic voice of Queen iAfrica reciting them. That’s reggae music for you. In apartheid South Africa, reggae music was banned because they said it makes the people rebel. I now see their point of view. Reggae sounds are founded on ethnic poetry that tells of a black man’s struggle. The genre originated in Jamaica, an island in the Caribbean that was founded to store African slaves during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Their struggles were soothed through song with the longing of going back to Africa so they can be deemed human again. As life would have it, Jamaicans never returned to Africa, but they became. I personally believe that reggae sounds draw their origin from the African drum. Which was not only used for entertainment but also for spiritual purposes and connecting to one’s deeper self. Hence till today, the bass is what sets reggae apart.

Music is the only commodity that can really touch a person’s soul. Love is another, but you can neither hear, see nor store it. That is why a lot of principalities use music to influence people’s thinking and change the culture within the society. As with every genre, music evolves with time and reggae is no exception, rap has evolved to hip-hip, and reggae has given birth to ragga, dancehall and calypso. The lyrical content obviously varying across the board, but one thing remains fundamental: It’s the bass. Every reggae rhythm is founded on the bass, in fact it is the foundation of the song when composing the music.

This is not meant to be a musical lesson, but before I proceed, I must mention this. In Jamaica, poverty levels are extremely high and people continue to turn to music as their released. With an area of no bigger than the Gauteng province, Jamaica has about 800 recording studios. Music is the artists way of making it out of their reality, it worked for Bob Marley, and they believe it will work for them today still. Everyday there’s a new professional riddim released for anyone with confidence and skill to compose lyrics for. I will elaborate riddims another day. But the point I’m driving home is Jamaican musicians put their heart and soul into their music. You feel the passion in their voices and the strength of the composition that everyone is putting their best foot forward and wants their message to be heard.

Reggae musicians have also been doing amazing cover versions of popular R&B songs and today I would like to introduce you to some of the best ones I’ve heard. I swear, most of them sound better than the original. Perhaps this may spark an enquiry into the genre and you mat graduate to deeper works like the above quoted Queen iAfrica. I will review only 5 songs, if you have time and earphones, please do best and No, you don’t need to be anywhere near weed to enjoy the music J

  1. Busy Signal – Night Shift

This is the very first cover version I’ve ever heard and I loved it! My reggae nights were never complete without it.

  1. Tarrus Riley – Human nature

I love the original by Michael Jackson, but Tarrus definitely gives him a run for his money. A very strong vocalist this gentleman is.

  1. Baby Can I hold you – Further Notice

Made famous by the lovely Tracy Chapman, this song will never run out of fashion. Personally the regaae version takes the cup. The beat is from a riddim called Digital love (by Notice productions), and I love absolutely love every song from that beat. Chronix kills it on the “Access granted” track and Romain Virgo does the things to the beat as well.

  1. Romain Virgo – Soul Provider

Currently my favorite and more recent cover version. Romain is a fairly young artist who is taking Jamiaca by storm, he is one person who relays his true heart and soul into a song. His voice is the most genuine I’ve heard in my lifetime.

  1. One more night – Busy Signal

A real classic by the master of covers and reggae sounds. Again, I think Busy gave the original artist some notes on how he can do better. This song was big around the same time that Gyptian’s version of One more night (not a cover). Gyptian based his on the Live in Love riddim (absolute jam) and for the longest time, my heart would not be content if I hear only one sound of “One more night” so I will bless you with both.

Bonus track: Hello

 

I sincerely hope the music lifted your spirits up in one way or another. 2017 is the year of Jubilee, allow yourself to rejoice, there is so much good out there, choose to see and listen to it. I personally had a blessed beginning to this month of June and what better way to end it than with sweet, sweet reggae music! Joy is to be shared.

Jah Bless!

Change

Change is the only constant in the world. From birth, our lives are embedded with change and the world around us is defined by change. Sometimes we may think that there’s nothing going on and yet there’s a whole lot of motion going on behind the scenes. There’s drastic, sudden change and there is that constant, silent transformation that occurs at every second of everyday within and outside of us.

Seasons chachange-forevernge, the weather changes at least a few times in a day, times change, perceptions and paradigms change. As you grow from infancy, your body is constantly changing, as you evolve into adulthood everything you have known about yourself has probably changed. With this consistent churn of circumstances, why then do we resist change or get shocked by it? When you were younger you welcomed every bit of change, in fact you were excited by it. Getting excited to be allowed to feed yourself, starting a new a school so you can make you new friends, moving to a new town, staying by yourself, etc.

I guess at a younger age we are excited about change as we were intrigued by the possibilities of the unknown and had so many dreams we want to move closer to. But as we get older, stability becomes the key objective in our lives and at most find change uncomfortable unless we initiate it. Unfortunately as inconvenient as change may be, we have to deal it, in fact it is absolutely necessary for our survival. It is much easier to adapt to big abrupt changes, trying as they may be, at least we are readily alerted to the changes at hand. It may be a life changing phone call, major life event, an accident or even a confrontation.

The most difficult changes to adapt to are the silent, gradual ones within us and in our value systems. Let me make an example; as you become a parent, your definition of joy changes completely from an epic night out with your favourite buddies to a toothless smile from your now most favourite individual on planet earth. Yes you may have many future nights out with your mates (parents do, and must have lives), however little miss toothless has redefined the concept of joy in your being altogether.

Likewise with friends, throughout your lifetime you find you relate better with certain people at certain seasons in your life. Sometimes you find the ones that you really love the most no longer ‘get’ you the way they used to. I have learnt to accept that it is okay for those friendships to end, no one can be everything to you all the time. Another important thing is that you need to spend time with people who are where you want to be. If you are the most successful person in your circle, then you are misplaced. Find a new challenge. Your mind requires new information in order to facilitate your growth process.

You cannot get to your new best self by clinging to who you were yesterday. Survival and growth require us to adapt and move with the program. We all need to learn the art of re-inventing ourselves when the situation requires because if we don’t transform ourselves, life will continue to change without us. I personally came across a certain level of stagnation in my life until I eventually realized that the university habit of being a night owl was not serving me well in my current aspirations. Yes I was never a “morning person” but I had to force myself to start my day’s early so I can stay winning which involved setting alarm times to go to bed, etc. Not easy, but doable with the right intent.

We are creatures of habit; every behavior we exhibit is learned and we can unlearn and relearn if we want to. We just need to decide. Therefore sustainable change is indeed a decision.  Recognize what is limiting you within yourself and make a decision to change it, one day at a time, one experience at a time. It may not come instantly, but the universe will honor your intentions. Eventually you will see you desires of change becoming your new reality, you know what they say “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Therefore,  gradual change becomes embedded in your character over time, it becomes who you are. You may not notice it, but as long as your commitment to your transformation is genuine, you will see it.

Nature and Us

You remember that you are connected to all living things… you feel you belong to the earth… that you are a part of the community of nature… you are made of the same substance and that you are no better… or worse… than that bird you see… that tree… or the other hiker walking up the trail with you…

Earth, rivers, mountains, trees, silent canyons, babbling creeks… if you spend time in nature you have probably noticed you feel happier and more peaceful… Why? One of the better known theories as far as I can google is “biophilia hypothesis” suggesting that we love nature because we evolved from natute… we need it for our […]

via Why hiking brings joy… — #bergloper

Vocal House Classics

The way house music is evolving and the rate of quality production may render tracks older than 3 years as classics. When one really settles into collecting all the meaningful tracks for the season, new, nostalgic music gets released. I’ve got mad love for deep house music and my playlist doesn’t change rapidly, as much as I enjoy new stuff, I savour good tracks for as long as I need to.

It’s been a minute since I last did a music post, especially on house music. I must admit reggae almost took over in terms of staying current, however house has its own impact one’s soul incomparable to any other genre, especially vocal house. I’d like to share some iconic tracks over the past few years that have really hit the classic status for me. Some are relatively new, but I know 10 years from now they will still be considered among the greats such as Holis P Muroes’ “goodbye” and Nick Holder’s “summer daze”

Tarantulas feat Tiffany Loren – I wasn’t kidding (Layabouts future retro vocal mix)

“I wasn’t scared of love till I met you, I did everything that you wanted me to. Your love was demanding, you left me out here standing. I hid those tears for as long as I could, try to stop me now I wish you could. You thought you had me baby, you must be so damn crazy…My joy and pain you could not understand…I wasn’t kidding when I said I love you baby”

Very deep vocals on a magical retro beat, makes this an incomparable classic. I’ve introduced it to people who are not house fans and they got hooked. At this time we had recently discovered that everything the Layabouts touché turned to gold. This song resonates a lot with “Free” by Stephanie Mills, also a Layabouts production, it was featured on my 2nd house list (Female vocalists on House tracks)

Portia Monique – Grace (Reel People Mix)

Speaking about the Layabouts, they did a very popular collaboration with Portia Monique called “Do better” (if this is how love’s supposed to be, I don’t want it), remember that? It’s not so long ago, but still a while back. However it is “Grace” that captured the essence of quality for me. The lounged, relaxed production on the track of reminds of the “For the love of you” remix by Mo flava. Grace is mellow as such, and the vocals are also symmetric where a deeper love connection is recognized and the magical promises are made.

Jonathan Meyer feat Anna Cavazos – Can’t hold back (Main mix)

If I had to choose an absolute favorite from the list, this one would be it. It is also a feel good song since its reminisces on the falling part of love, not the “apart” side of it: “something about you loving, its got my mind running away from me, don’t think I can say to your touch the way its making me feel. I think I’m falling fast and hard again, I don’t know where it is that I begin and you end. So deep in love like you is a part of me. You’ve gone and touched the very heart of me, can’t you see…I can’t hold back this, love I’m feeling, brings me home again. Cannot believe that you found me, I don’t have to pretend”

Ok, maybe this sounds like a situationship getting out of hand…I may be wrong. Nevertheless the song does touch the very deepest part of me. Best, track I’ve spent money on this decade. This classic is way up with your Roland Clarks, London Roots, Chris Lopez (addicted)

Flight Facilities feat (Giselle) – Crave you

“Why cant you want me like the other boys do, they stare at me while I stare you. Why cant I keep you safe as my own, one moment I have you the next you’re gone. Rehearsed steps on an empty stage, that boy’s got my heart in a silver cage”

I guess we all know how tormenting a good old crush can be hey. The worst thing about it is that it blinds you off from very suitable applicants, but you want you cannot have. It’s like standing in a queue really, the person who is looking at you, cannot be seen because you eyes are focused on the person in front who is unfortunately looking at someone else. This is such a feel good track, hey and the bass is on another level. If you don’t have this track, do best, you won’t regret.

Kafele – Burning Star (Ralf gum) & Believing (with UPZ, Qness Remix)

So Kafele gets 2 tracks in one go, he also featured on my previous playlist with “Complicated”. Burning Star was one of the tracks that really got me hooked on the “Never leave you” album by Ralf Gum. I would listen to burning star for 2 weeks on end; the CD was always kept at track 2. The song wasn’t as big as “Take me to my Love” by Monique Bingham, but I truly believe that whole album was a masterpiece. Another special piece for me from that compilation is “Do it for Love” feat Jaidene Veda…magical song I tell you.

“Believing” is one of those tracks that have the magic of making you record memories. Somehow I still have vivid recollections of my life when this song hit. With Qness being a local DJ, I it gave one a sense of pride on what he’s done to an international track. SA producers do seem to lead the pack when it comes to house, guys like Bekzin Terris, Da Capo, etc. were making exceptional mixes on international tracks during this time (and still are).

Monique Bingham & Dj Pepsi– Pride

Another local DJ doing great things with a giant international vocalist. Monique did drop the biggest track in “Take me to my love” with Ralf gum not long before Pride came out, but I personally believe Pride will be memorable in the house music museum. Please don’t get me wrong “Take me to my love” was a very brilliant production and was the biggest song in the country for a while. These two songs definitely qualify as future classics, but Pride will remain on my playlist should I ever run out of space. Please give it a listen; you will know what I mean.

Nastee Nev  & Donald Sheffey– Hung up & Take me all night

“I’m so hung up on you, everyday, you’re always on my mind” Donald Sheffey is a male vocalist of note! Kafele and him are playing in the same league. The beauty about these guys is that they make the best producer and vocalist team with every release. I must admit that for the longest time believed Nastee Nev was an international artist, but little did I know that this talent is home grown. Donald’s mature voice can tell stories very well and make you feel so sophisticated. “Hung up” was extremely popular but it somehow hasn’t lost flavor. “Take me all night” on the other hand is on a league of its own; it’s up there with “Pride” in terms of priority of selection. I will do an all SA list soon, but Nasty Nev deserves to be mentioned here.

Chris Malinchak – So good to me EP

When this song came out I was a bit out of touch with new releases, but boy when I finally managed to get my hands on it, I knew it was a long-term thing. Relatively new, but definitely one for the archives indeed. Haven’t heard a lot of mixes, except for the main one, or maybe I’m not looking in the right places. This is a very beautifully infused production; it brings a sense of calm somehow.

Blaze with Josh Milan – I found love

“Love, I found love. A higher love, I still do find true love

This sing was sent to me by a dear friend this week, which spured the inspiration for this post. “I found love” is one of those deeply emotional tracks that feel genuine and real in its lyrics. Chris’ “Feel so good” is most probably inspired by this timeless classic. Josh Milan is an icononic vocalist in his own right and Blaze creates magic, so with the meeting of such greats only good things such as this are expected. Deep House at its best!

Sun Orchestra feat Karl the Voice – Love Symphony (Needs Main Mix)

“The wings of your love grow on me…. When you’re close to me, its like living in Color…. If its love let it be, just for you, just for me…”. One of the songs that made me falls in love with deep house music deeply. Probably the oldest track on this list. After Jonathan Meyer this is my next super favorite. This song easily lifts your spirit, and makes you have a new desire to seize every moment because life is just so good!

There are many more iconic classics one can mention, but I realized the majority of those are completely local and thought to reserve if for a SA future classics playlist. If you do have a moment please do take the time to give the tracks a listen, YouTube has all of them and more related songs. Music is so powerful in that it touches the core of your soul unlike any other element in this realm, that’s why it can evoke emotions and heal at times. House takes these benefits to a whole new different level. If there are tracks you feel should have absolutely been included do let me know.

Blessed thanks!

Unto Others

I recently went on a weeklong hiking expedition, I spent 5 days walking the mountains and camping by the seashore. Like with any continuous interaction with nature one anticipates clarity of vision and a refreshing of some sort, likewise those were my expectations before I left. I had written down the things I was hoping God to talk to me about, and hopefully comeback with a clear vision of what I’m supposed to do next to fulfil my purpose and take my hustle to the next level.

To my dismay, I just kept on having deep reminiscent thoughts of the difficult moments from my childhood. On some days I would even dream of these people who treated me badly, this bothered me for a bit, I mean the days were passing by and I hadn’t had the epiphany I needed from this trip. Until on the 3rd day I had a discussion with a fellow hiking mate, whom I had met there, that it really dawned me what exactly my subconscious spirit was bringing forth with all these throwbacks.

My new acquaintance told me about her difficult child hood and how she worked her hands to the bone to be justified. Today she looks back at those people who treated her badly and feels pity for them. She had rose above all their negativity and made something of herself, compared to how all her oppressors had fallen out of glory. It was then that I connected the dots as to why I have been feeling the way I do. When I compare notes with her, I realized how miserable the people who had burdened my childhood are today. Even their children are a sad, sad, story, like my heart bleeds for them. In the yester years they would not have imagined their lives would be where they are, to them, they will always remain above me as circumstances informed at that time. I started thanking God for helping me though those storms and bringing me to a place of independence, and peace. Next, I asked myself what was the purpose of this whole exercise because surely I had to learn something from it, otherwise it will not stop bothering me. I came to this conclusion:

Whenever you are in a position of power, never use it to intentionally oppress someone you consider to be at your mercy.

You are not only breaking their spirit, but you are also heaping a load of hot coal on your own shoulders. Burdening you with negative karma, which you will surely have to recompense for at some point in the future.

One would think that my friend and me are very special in that we were eventually vindicated from our oppressors. However, every human being is living with the same benefit. Take a moment and think back of people or a person who intentionally made your life a misery at some point in your journey. It may be a schoolteacher, stepparent, romantic partner, sales person, neighbor, friend, sibling, colleague…whoever. When you were trying your best to be kind and polite towards them, they just kept on throwing fireballs you, with no justification. Now, reflect at the life/status they had back then and where they are now, it may be in comparison to you or where they should be based on the level they were.

Chances are, they are not where they would ideally should be, or worse off than they were. Now this is not to encourage us to sit around and wait for the demise of those who oppress us, once we do that, we absolve them and bring misery to ourselves (Galatians 5v26 msg: “that means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us was better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original”). More so because we also oppress others at times without even noticing it, while intentionally using our power to benefit us. Here are a few examples:

  1. Neglect/ignorance – Delaying to deliver on a promise at an agreed time because honestly, you are too busy or pre-occupied puts the person waiting on your promise at a disadvantage. The delay may seem short on your side but it feels like forever to them.
  2. Careless talk – The moment you open your mouth to give a report about someone else, their entire reputation at that moment is dependent on your words. Don’t oppress them; if there’s nothing positive to share, pass the buck.
  3. Indecision – So you know you will not date this guy or have any future with him whatsoever, but you continue leading them on so you get adorned with attention. This person has given you power over their heart and you are playing dice with it. Okay, maybe you might consider them, but you’re honestly not sure right now; that’s okay, but make sure they know it…otherwise you are taking advantage.

These are just a few examples of how we can oppress others without even thinking about it. I will not mention those who out rightly abuse their power iand intentionally project misery with their words or actions. I personally think those people have deeper psychological issues to deal within themselves, and these are now spilling over to others. And sometimes its just pride! You know what they say about pride? It comes before the fall. Watch it.

At the end of it all, it all boils down to treating others they way we would want to be treated, on every platform, in every situation. It requires us to present and mindful of all our interactions with other people and what paradigms inform that. The wheels of fortune will always turn, so make sure that whichever direction they do take; you have humbly positioned yourself for it.

Pslam 146 vs 7: “The Lord upholds the cause of the oppressed”

Universal Laws

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To thrive in any country you need to obey the law, those who live within the confines of the law rarely find much trouble and their pursuits flourish. However, if you break the law, there certainly will be consequences depending on the severity of the crime. If the country is run by a good government, peace and success is maintained, there is no mismanagement of resources and everything happened as it should.

Likewise our living environment has its own laws. Unlike the laws of a country, that can be disputed/amended at a constitutional law, the universal laws have to be accepted as they are. They are an undisputable truth that you take as given. The universe is perfectly balanced by natural and moral laws with regulatory vibrations to maintain order. When you work within the laws, you can be assured of an eventual positive outcome. When the laws are transgressed, you can be assured of suffering. The only purpose of this is to teach you a better way. Universal laws are just like the laws of physics, chemistry or gravity and operate with the same infallible dependability.

  1. The Law of Harmony. This law supersedes even the fundamental law of karma, for harmony is the supreme potential of balance. The purpose of Karma is to obtain harmony. If you throw a rock into a pond, you disturb the harmony of the pond. You are the cause, and the effect is the splash and the ripples that flow out and back until harmony is restored. Similarly, your disharmonious actions flow out into the Universe and back onto you, time after time, until eventually, your own harmony is restored.
  2. The Law of Karma. Every desire you have, every action you perform generates a karmic reaction that eventually must be fulfilled. Actions that generate karma are akin to planting seeds that will fructify at some future. In this life or in a future life. Karma operates on two levels, individual and group/collective karma. Good’ karma gives us desirable results, while ‘bad’ karma gives us pain, suffering and trouble. You and you alone decide what you most need to learn in your earthly sojourn. Whenever you act with intention, you create karma. Actions are considered thoughts, emotions, words and deeds, and the motive, desire and intent behind each.
  3. The Law of Wisdom. Wisdom erases karma. If you have the wisdom to learn your lessons through love and wisdom, you can mitigate your suffering. Sadly, we seem to learn the fastest through pain, through directly experiencing the consequences of our actions. As an example, you greedily take from others, and instead of learning through wisdom and love that this is wrong, you have to experience from others someone greedily taking from you, whether later in this life or in a future lifetime.
  4. The Law of Grace. Karma can be experienced to the letter of the law or in mercy and grace. In other words if you give love, mercy and grace to others, you will receive the same in return. (Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us  – Matthew 6vs12)
  5. The Law of Free Will. You always have free will in how you respond to any situation. If you respond with positive emotions, compassion and integrity, you have probably learnt your karmic lessons and will not have to experience a similar situation in the future.
  6. The Law of Manifestation. Everything manifest begins as a thought, an idea. Ideas and experiences create beliefs, which in turn, create your reality. If you are unhappy with your current reality, you must change your beliefs and your behaviour. Beliefs can be changed once you identify those that are not working for you, and begin programming what will create success and harmony in your life. The unlimited creative power of your mind, through dedication, awareness and training, can be the wisdom to rise above your karma. Within physical and spiritual laws, you can manifest any reality you desire to experience. Concerning changing your behaviour, you must decide which disharmonious behaviour you want to eliminate. Then be aware that you don’t have to change how you feel about something to affect it, if you are willing to change what you are doing. – (Therefore be transformed by the renewal of your mind – Romans 12vs2)
  7. The Law of Gratitude. From the perspective of Karma and the Law of One, the more you give, the more you will receive. The more you assist others, the more you will assist yourself. The power of this Law also works in your day-to-day life.
  8. The Law of Fellowship. When two or more people of similar vibration are gathered for a shared purpose, their combined energy directed to the attainment of that purpose is doubled, tripled, quadrupled or more.
  9. The Law of Resistance. That which you resist, you draw to you, and you will perpetuate its influence upon your life. Resistance is fear, so it is something you need to resolve karmically. The Law of Resistance assures that you let go of the fear by encountering it until you are forced to deal with it by learning conscious detachment. Ever heard of the term: face your fears?
  10. The Law of Attraction. ‘Where your attention goes, your energy flows’. You attract what you are and that which you concentrate upon. If you are negative, you draw in and experience negativity. If you are loving, you draw in and experience love. You can attract to you only those qualities you possess. So, if you want peace and harmony in your life, you must become peaceful and harmonious.
  11. The Law of Reflection. This Law says that the traits you respond to in others, you recognise in yourself, both positive and negative. That which you admire in others, you recognise as existing within yourself. That which you resist and react to strongly in others is sure to be found within yourself. That which you resist and react to in others is something that you are afraid exists within you and that which you resist in yourself, you will dislike in others.
  12. The Law of Unconditional Love. The expression of unconditional love will eventually result in harmony. Unconditional love is not romantic love. It is the acceptance of others as they are without judgement or expectations. It is total acceptance of others without attempting to change them, except by your own positive example. The Law of Unconditional love says, ‘If you go out of your way to express unconditional love, you automatically rise above fear, and as you transcend your fears, you automatically open yourself to unconditional love.

God, the creator of all is present and His adminstration is there. By His orders the sun is rising, the water flows and the oceans abides by the tide. Thus everything functions under His order. Since everything is going on so nicely how can we realistically question the existence of God? If there is mismanagement, we may say that there is no government, but if there’s good management, how can we say there is no government? Just because people dont know God, does not mean He is not there.

I have made reference to biblical scriptures in some of the laws, because the Gospel of Christ is based on the forgiveness of sins. This seemingly complex principle is simply erasing negative universal reactions from your existence. In KRSNA conciousness movement the believe that by chanting the name of the Lord (Christ –Krshna), your karma is cleared. In Christianity, we believe in repentance (acknowledging your sins), receiving forgiveness and accepting Christ in your life gives you a clean slate. This can be done daily, but the first time is most important.

As you start the year, consider how much of yester years burdens you want to carry into your future. If it is forgiveness, that you have to extend, do it. A relationship you need to end, go for it. Above all I wish you attain wisdom to start making the necessary enquiries about your life. Seek ye first His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything will be added unto you. On our planet, one can attest that we have good management in power. The sun rises daily without fail, seasons come and go as anticipated, night has never become day, the animals don’t speak, mountains don’t move and the ocean has never crossed it’s barriers. Knowing who the government is, people have many questions about, however the laws He put in place are unquestionable

 

References: The Yusa guide to Balance (www.yusalife.com), Science of Self Realisation (AC Backtivedenta), The Light within (Dick Sutphen), Holy Bible

Why I got off social media…Pt.2

MindFrom the last article, I’m sure we all admit that all these social media commitments tend to waste our time! Going through a feed, posting, liking, tweeting, commenting requires you to stop doing something and focus your time into the activity. It may not be entirely a bad thing, but with the elusive nature of social media, you find that all those random minutes do add up to quiet a chuck of your time and energy.

Your time is precious. At work, you get paid for your time, that’s why lawyers charge by the hour. When you source consultants/manual laborers, they will charge you based on the amount of time it will take them to complete the task. What you spend your time on is usually based on what your mind has agreed/decided to engage in. We all agree that if your mind is not into something it is impossible to accomplish it.

Therefore in all these platforms it is your mind that is at siege. Advertisers know this very well and understand that if they catch your attention, they can probably get a client and possible revenue out of you. Social media and entertainment in general were designed to capture your mind, subsequently utilizing your time and energy. Without the attention you give to Facebook, it cannot thrive, it is merely another static webpage with the same question: What’s on your mind? You see your mind is such a sought after commodity that people out there would create apps just to find out what you are thinking. But what is it with our mind that makes them so valuable?

Let’s start here; your mind is not your brain. Your brain is a tissue of grey matter in your skull that helps your body function; a person can lose their minds and still be alive. Therefore your mind is not in its truest form part of your physical make up but an extension your spiritual/ soul fiber. There is no physical place in your brain where your thoughts are stored, in fact we think from the inside out. You would have to have thought of something before you do it. A bridge was first conceptualized in someone’s mind before it was built, same as your house, car, dress, event you first had it in your mind and then you eventually see it physically manifesting as your possession. Our minds create and what informs our thinking determines what will materialize in our reality.

You can only have one thought in your mind at a time. You can think about many things in quick succession but not all at once, thoughts can be scattered but not overlapped. Therefore when you take time to consume all the wonderful posts from your news feed, it does give you a few things to think about doesn’t it. If you didn’t see pics of a wedding by your random primary school acquaintance on Facebook would you have made the effort otherwise to find out whether they are married and what the wedding looked like? I’ll take that as a NO. But here you are in 2016 at 23h05 thinking about them! What bearing will this have in your current or future reality? None. Imagine if you had cleared your mind and thought about that training program you were once interested in. You may have eventually gotten to think about, it I’m sure, but Suzie’s wedding has somewhat triggered a whole set of other thoughts on your own life that you would not have a necessarily thought about. Again, we do get a lot of valuable information from social media and the Internet at large, but it does come with a whole lot of rubbish as well.

 

Mind Feed

What we feed our minds be it through a ‘news feed’, book, conversation, movie, an app, etc. will shape our thinking. New information and experiences shifts our paradigms and directs our lives. Some are more subtle than others; we truly undermine the amount of influence our sub conscience absorbs from our daily experiences. Social media in particular re-invents our collective conciousness as a human race. We end up having these large virtual communities with their own way of life and culture. These communities would be the greatest form of existence if our time on earth were not limited. Unfortunately we all have to die and how we lived our lives determines the quality of our existence. Fortunately we all come with a special & unique contribution to this party therefore no life is a waste, but at times we never give our minds enough time to figure it out because of the clutter. One day I will elaborate the connection between our hearts, minds and purpose.

So, do we agree that the real problems in this life are not Suzie’s wedding pics, stress, money, marriage, and education? The real problems of this life are birth, disease, suffering and death. Not one person in this world is exempt from these problems and that is what should be the most important matter of concern our minds must engage in, and our time is key to that. The virtual reality is not real, and if you had read my article titled “Here and Now”, you would understand that the only moment you have life in is right now. Not 5 minutes ago or 2 days from now, those moments DO NOT exist except for this very moment. And at this very moment your life can end. So investing too much time on a reality that does not exist deprives you of what actually does.

I can take it a step further by saying that, even your NOW may not be real in a complete sense. What we see with our eyes is temporary, what we cannot see is permanent. Ever heard of an optical illusion or a matrix? We concern ourselves off the physical reality (after the virtual one) and completely ignore our true selves, which is our spiritual reality. You are a spirit being, with a body, not a body with a spirit. Your body is, just dirt. You are mainly composed of bile, blood and fat. If you don’t believe me, then check how every hole in your body is secreting something unsavory. Your ears produce dirt, saliva doesn’t smell nice, skin pores give oil and dandruff, your nose, etc. Think about it.

My intention is not to make this article too long and hypothetical; I will thus focus my next article on the spirit vs. body conversation because it’s a whole discussion on its own. I will share some references for those who are interested in the subject for them to define their own truth on it. I actually recommend even with this present article and everything you read on this site, that you should take it with a discerning mind. Test some of these concepts with your own experiences and accept only that which resonates with your soul.

In summary, social media consumes our time and penetrates our minds with some unnecessary things. You are continuously consuming people’s undiluted thoughts, which in turn influence our value systems. If you find yourself thinking about something you found in your news feed, ask if it is of any relevance to you or your aspirations. If not, then don’t waste anymore of your time, because that is the most precious asset you possess in this world. It may just be the only one in fact. Those who create these platforms know the value of your time, and so should you.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90vs12

Why I got off Social Media…Pt 1

  1. I’m not a public relations officer.
  2. Data is expensive.

I can actually end the article here.

I’m not one to enquire about the Wi-Fi password at every establishment I walk into, unless I’m travelling or need to upgrade my software. So being active on 4 plus social media sites did require a lot of fuel. I say fuel because being without data these days is so catastrophic one would rather go hungry.

Ok so the more serious reasons why I de-activated my accounts from major social networks are of a personal nature. The biggest; was my flaw in being a procrastinator! I will postpone doing something important for as long as I possibly can especially if it doesn’t inspire me. Unfortunately there are many mandatory things one has to do and I will use my Facebook/instagram as a much-needed distraction as they are clearly far more interesting than anything one has to do. Naturally, my turnaround times were much longer and I would sing regrets over lost time.

Secondly, social media made me feel discontent about my life. It’s true. When I’m going through a dry season or hardship, scrolling through my news feed made me feel even worse. Everyone out there seems to be having the time of their lives and everything is going well for them except for poor miserable me! What I would fail to realize is that on social media people post only the good stuff about their lives, to keep building up their personal brand. People post sad stuff more often than not to get sympathy from the rest of the audience. Even the ones who do post adverse news genuinely annoy everyone else coz frankly aint no nobody go time for that.

So you end up feeling like you are retrogressive when in actual fact you are measuring yourself against an unrealistic hype people are creating about themselves. I’m note sure if its for self validation or nursing egos. So please don’t feel left out; everyone is trying to put their best foot forward. I once asked a guy friend of mine why they were so obsessed with social media and he looked at me dumb founded, like; “duh – how else was he supposed to know how well he was doing against his peers?”

In addition, social media creates a false sense of closeness with your ‘real’ friends, not the virtual ones you have never met or ever will meet. One no longer sees the need to set aside a Sunday afternoon to check up on old friend, because frankly you are up to date with everything that has been happening in their lives, or you have some sort of idea. I mean they posted a picture smiling the other day; they must surely be over their illness/heart break. Even if our friends are not frequent posters seeing them liking a status or commenting somewhere indicates to us that they are okay. And unfortunately there is great benefit in physical interaction with people as we get to share in their energy and learn a lot about and from them just by being around them. You may be the loneliest person on earth, but as long as you have your 1023 online friends and a minimum of 10 likes on every post, you’re okay.

The virtual reality becomes so addictive that even when you are blessed with the presence of the living beings around you, you cannot wait to have a moment to yourself with your phone to check your notifications and refresh your feed. You have one new like on a status you posted in the morning and yet you feel the need to go into the app and check how the new like fits into you status. You end up reading your status 16 times in one day and pat yourself on the back for jotting down something so relevant and popular. Ok, maybe not everyone has experienced this; I should probably speak for myself. I eventually got tired of clapping for myself at every feedback I got or a compromised validation if I don’t get it. So I created a rule: Every App that requires me to baby sit my phone would be deleted.

Facebook

This was my biggest time waster, and it was my first app to go. One does get exposed to a lot of interesting subject matters; reconnect with old friends and helps spread the word to whatever buy in one wanted. But the problem came with the Candy crush invites, Check who is viewing your profile, and undesired tags in pictures one is not even in. I see now they even have a friendship anniversary thingy to commemorate how many interactions, likes, statuses etc. you have shared with a friend you haven’t even seen for the past 5 years, and yet you share so much! So those little nuances turned me off a bit, then through my random conspiracy research I discovered that Facebook is used for personal profiling and that information is made available to security agencies and marketing companies. Your tags check INS, page likes, login activity and in boxing are putting you in particular segment of society and you are literally being watched. Having no privacy for me was a bit unsettling, as I believe there is a desired order out of all the chaos.

What switched me off again on Facebook was that every single morning I could not get out of bed without scrolling through my feed. And as expected I would find gems of information and end up reading a whole article on how a woman became friends with a lion and married it. It also helped me waste my precious time stalking people who have no interest in me. As human beings we get fascinated with people who don’t like us and we make an effort to follow up on what makes them think they are better enough to not be interested in who we are. So some days I would find myself going through a 6 year old picture of my ex’s girlfriends sister just to try and link up a connection to whatever justification I was trying to convince myself off. It basically got me to lose my self-control and I eventually got rid of it. I wont even start to mention how it saved me from the insecurity that my foes and frenemies somehow had sight of what was happening in my life OR people checking in at KFC, bed, home, work, literally everywhere…wasting my data, mxxim!

Instagram

Oh I loved this platform and I must admit that I actually deleted in by mistake. I was de-activating my profile for a few days and when I tried to log in it rejected me. I was sore for about a week and then quickly realized that it was a blessing in disguise coz I didn’t have data stress that week. The problem with instagram is that people post only the best shot of their best moments. At least on Facebook one could pick up on how empty some people’s approach to life was, but on instagram there was basically no room for error. I have seen people chilling on the couch posting beach champaigne pictures from last years holiday. Talk about marketing on the layer of the PR practice! This unfortunately puts us under unnecessary pressure to keep up a certain lifestyle or persona we’ve created about ourselves. And the one shortfall was that scrolling through the news feed would sometimes bore me and I now had specific peoples profiles that I was interested in. So every time I log in I would go and directly type in their names to check if they have posted anything new while I was away, scrolling through the picture feed will take so long and chow so much data. Eventually everyone else becomes just an extra against your chosen people, they could be friends, and friends of friends, crushes, celebs, relatives, etc. but ultimately these people officially make you a fan. Yes they don’t to be famous for you to obsess over them.

Another instagram frustration was those people who have profiles, but never post and keep liking your stuff. Those that have many followers but follow no one. I could go on. But there are some very fascinating pages that can teach one a lot and give beneficial insight

Twitter

It’s super addictive coz It’s just so damn nice! I’ve had some serious withdrawal symptoms I must admit. Watching a TV show and following the hash tag enhances the experience so much more! Twitter is also very informative and requires less scrolling power. The most valid affirmations on this platform are retweets and quotations, favorites are the cherry on top and a following is first prize. At first I struggled to get followers until I figured that one thought a week wont cut it, I needed to throw in as much bait in there, eventually someone might catch something. You can laugh for days there, and become an activist overnight; I swear if government elections were run on twitter they would be most effective. If there is a social ill that one feels strongly about they will just participate in the hash tag and if they are lucky enough it might make it to the news! Oh and companies preserve their brands by responding to complaints, its really just PR not the power of your tweet.

Linked-In

Is the only platform I’m still active in purely because I can see the value it adds to my life because I once got a very lucrative employment offer through the platform. The news feed is normally on professional and educational matters versus personal rants. There are a few show offs here and there but for now the benefit outweigh the inconvenience. One also filter the stuff they want to see and what current job opportunities on offer. I don’t spend much time on the platform frankly because its not exactly entertaining and it’s the one place where I am intentionally building and maintain my brand. Knowing me, maybe in the future I might find a reason to disregard it, but for now it stays.

Wats app

Hmmm, this one is still in the court of appeal. It is rather a cheaper form of communication and effective when used well. But we all know the procrastinator in me wants to scroll through peoples profile pictures and statuses when faced with boredom or a daunting task.

Viber, we-chat, etc.

I haven’t tried them and have no interest in creating a new obligation to my already limited time span.

In closing…

Social media does have its positive sides no doubt and I’m in no way judging those who are active on the above platforms or more. It does make life easier and expands the access to knowledge and makes life more enjoyable I guess. But I believe each person approach anything in a manner that works best for them. I do miss the fact that I was able to reach far more people with my inspirational posts, but in the same breath my shortcomings enslaved me to use of the platforms. So for now this website will have to for reach.

I believe in life we all find what we actively look for. I was fortunate enough to discover a subject matter that was of the outmost importance to my life on instagram and since then I have been collecting literature and sites that broaden my knowledge on the science.

This was just part one of why I am discarding social media, a Part 2 will follow soon, hopefully it will put a few more things into perspective especially to those who may perceive my approach as antisocial behavior.

Life begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

comfort-zone

Just like when we are born. The moment we leave the comfort of our mother’s womb, life begins. The comfort of being carried, fed, warmth, safety and being thought for ends. Then, only then, do our real lives begin. Our lives take on that same cycle of growth throughout lifetimes. Our comfort has to be compromised for us to rise to the next level. It’s our nature, we learn through pain or passion.

Allow me to illustrate

 

As a child, you learn to walk learn because you are frustrated with not being able to reach the many things that make you so curious. You endure the discomfort of falling many times because you know, once you get it right, your life will never be the same again. As a teenager you fast learn that to stop people from bullying you, you have to stand up for yourself, find your own voice. It forces you to overcome your fear of conflict or confrontation. As a young adult you know that for you to get your degree/diploma, you have to forgo your comforts of sleeping and passivity and strive hard to get what you need to get. We all know what happens to those chaps that attempt an easy way out of varsity; they either dropped out, or kept on repeating years until they got their work ethic right. There’s just no other way.

 

Challenging our comfort zones, has taught me 3 things about life;

 

  1. Grow, or die. If a plant is not growing, it’s dead. If you insist on your comfort, you are slowly dying an invisible death inside. When you bask too much in the comfort of your achievement, your ambition dies. If you get comfortable with your partner and assume their affection\attention will remain perpetual without any extra effort from you, well, sooner or later, their excitement for you will eventually die.

 

  1. Life will repeat the same lessons until we learn what we need to know. Only then will we graduate to the next level of thinking, being and succeeding. Ever wondered why the same life experiences keep on happening to you? It’s like there’s something you do that invites these experiences. In Eastern texts they attribute it to your karma or darma that you need to fulfill before life can present you with new experiences. You need to either change your mentality, they way you do things or interact with the world. You need to learn; otherwise you will repeat that grade in life over, and over again. Unfortunately most people are never aware of what hinders them within themselves and they get stuck on the same level for most of their lives

 

Lastly, I have learnt that once you know something, you know it! No one or anything can take it away from you. It becomes embedded in your character because you have gone out of your way to attain it. As a child you only have to learn to walk once and that’s it! You only learn once (the hard way) that nothing good comes easy and from there on you appreciate the good things your have and are weary of the ones to come too easily. If you’re not ready to grow, then you’re not in enough pain.

Life is a continual journey. As we grow physically, we also evolve mentally, spiritually and metaphysically. Nothing is a hindrance to your development except yourself. The only competition you have in life right now is your thinking and attitude towards life. Everyday presents an opportunity for growth, no matter how small. Staying in comfort will not open you up to new ways of thinking and risk stagnation.

 

Be alert. Life is a test from when we are born until we die. Because, think about it; had you resisted exiting your mother’s womb when circumstances required you to do so, you would be dead. And be still born.

Lady Wisdom

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? 

Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?

She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
 at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square
 where the traffic is thickest, she shouts;

“You—I’m talking to all of you,
 everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
 I’m telling you how to live at your best.

My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
 truth-ready minds will see it at once.

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
 and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
 Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
 I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
 along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.

My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
 at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
 filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
 before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place, I was there.

When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
 built the vast vault of Heaven,
 and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.

“So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
 those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.

Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
 to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.

But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
 when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

_Proverbs 8

Here and Now

value

 

The above picture resonates a lot of truth doesn’t it? Somehow once we have something it feels like we’ve had it all our lives and we get comfortable with it…until we loose it. Is it really because we take things for granted? Or we procrastinate gratification? But even some of the most grateful people on earth still experience the above phoenomina to a certain degree.

Maybe its because we quickly adapt to what we acquire, tick the box, and move on to the next exploit. We don’t take time to savor the moment, our minds are never present, even while we think we are enjoying something, we are subconsciously occupied by other thoughts. Let me illustrate;

Ever wondered after you’ve had a very long day all you want to do is sleep, but somehow you struggle to fall asleep because your mind is racing? – you just cannot stop thinking. At times this may go on for hours until its time to wake up and you face a new day with very little or no sleep. Have you asked yourself exactly who is trying to sleep and who is busy thinking? If its just one you, why cant you just decide to sleep and everything switches off? And somehow there’s always this song that’s constantly playing in the back of your head! It’s like your life has a soundtrack to every situation, and you have no choice at what song plays, but most annoyingly you don’t know how to switch that invisible radio off!

As human beings we are mind, body, spirit and these aspects of our being operate in unity to bring us the full experience we call life. But we often tend to live from the bodily and mental aspects of our being and expect the spirit to automatically follow suit. When in fact we should be existing from the spiritual dimension which is the essence of who we truly are and allow body and mind to follow. By the way, your brain is not your mind – but that’s a topic for another day.

So I struggled for a while to grasp this concept of me being a spirit with a body and how my mind needs to be mastered for me to fully exist in the now. How do I shut my mind to hear what my soul says and be present, in every moment? When a person can halt the incessant stream of thoughts and ‘get out’ of the mind, he or she can then truly start to feel the inner body and stillness that lies much deeper within. When a person can truly embrace and live fully in the present moment and operate from the heart space, he or she is met with a formless, timeless presence that holds vastness. A deeper dimension which uncovers the language of the universe where we are creators. The heart is actually the one portal through which you can access your soul, but that deserves a whole article on its own.

For me to fully understand the concept of now, I came across this very technical description which somehow totally made sense to me: “Absolutely everything you see, touch, and feel is energy. All matter is a construct of atoms, positively charged particles that are bound together by an electromagnetic static charge. This static charge is what keeps the particle constantly orbiting the nucleus. The majority of atomic make up is the formless light spacing between the nucleus and orbiting particles. Everything you perceive to be solid in reality, at the deepest level, is actually formless”.

So in actual fact the only thing that truly exists here is YOU, and you are only alive now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but now! So whatever it is you are doing now is the only true manifestation of your existence, everything else is perception. The things we have embedded in our subconscious mind usually direct the perspective from which we see our reality and are also the exact same things that bring noise in our minds coz think about it; every song that plays in your back ground you have heard before.

Learn to truly appreciate the present moment because its all that you have. It is being here now that is important. There’s no past, there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there ever is, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relieve it, and we can hope for a future but we don’t know if there is one. I wish I knew how to control the mind and be fully present at every moment of everyday, but unfortunately I can only do it at the moments at which I raise my awareness and intentionally choosing to be present.

I have probably created more questions than provide answers in this article, but that’s a good thing because now you will search for your own truth. Do not take what I say as absolute truth, only believe that which resonates your soul. In life we only find what we look for and if its knowledge you seek go find it! It all begins with awareness. We are eternal beings and nothing is too great for our minds to comprehend.

 

Refferences;

The Yusa guide to balance

The power of Now

M_eye_nd

My Soul Is Alright With Me.

I am a child born of love, so let love remain in my heart and my mind. Let love and joy be my friend, give me peace with no end. Let me live with no fear and no shame. Let me begin to see love come alive in my life. Let me feel how it feels to be me!

A longing and pounding in my heart, led me to want so much more out of life. Led me to forgive every hurt, to let go of the past and allow myself to heal every pain.

Now I am free, yes! I hold my head up high. The burden on my shoulder is no longer with me. Now I can breathe, and I feel so much at ease. My soul is alright with me.

Let love and joy, be my friend, give me peace with no end. Let me live with no fear – I don’t want to fear. Let me begin to see love come alive in my life, let me feel how it feels to have joy.

Let me be free from disease. Let my heart feel at ease. Let me know  how it feels to be free.

-Miss Lira

Soul in mind

Black History month: Pro Africa is Anti-nobody

It’s funny how when things change, the more they remain the same.

Last week when a lecturer introduced himself at Business school, he told the class that he was a racist. Everyone was obviously astonished,; here was this white South African male in his early 40’s openly declaring that he didn’t like black people. What was even more appaling was the fact that he dared to talk about race in 2015! The blacks were offended and the white people equally so, but as our educator for the day we had to humor him.

His analogy was that, he wasn’t racist because he chose to be, he was racist because he was raised to be. All his life he was conditioned to think and behave in a certain way. He only first saw a picture of Mandela when he was 20 years old and spent about 2 years in military school with racist ideologies being drummed into his head. So he had no choice but to BE. An electoral vote will not suddenly shift his paradigms; it takes much more than that for things to change.

The whole point of his shocking declaration was that we all needed to talk about race and not make it this horrible monster that opens you up to so much judgment. In South Africa white people are “apologetically” white and black people are also apologetic of who they are. We are all tiptoeing around each other, while neglecting to love each other and ourselves for who we are. Being pro-Black is not being anti somebody, it simply, means you love and embrace who you are and the culture you were born into, likewise for other races and cultures.

Mental Slavery

February is Black History month, and in commemoration I though I should share an extract of Robert Sobukwe’s first recorded speech while he was a student at Fort Hare University. Reading it really proved to me that not much has changed, instead we have created an illusion of freedom and became more afraid of who we are. Celebrate black history, be proud of your scars, embrace the possibilities and remember that no amount of money  or denial will change the color of your soul.

This extract is from a biography of Robert Sobukwe’s life written by Benjamin Pogrund’s titled: “How can man die better”

how can

“I had an occasion last year and also at the beginning of this year to comment on some features of our structure of which I do not approve. It has always been my feeling that, if the intention of the trustees of this college is to make an African College or University, as I have been informed it is, then the Department of African studies must be more highly and more rapidly developed. Fort Hare must become the center of African studies to which students in African studies should come from all over Africa. We should also have a department of Economics and Sociology. A nation to be a nation needs specialists in these things……….

 I said last year that Fort Hare must be to the African what Stellenbosch (University) is to the Afrikaner. It must be the barometer of African thought. It is interesting to note that the theory of ‘Apartheid’, which is today the dominating ideology of the State, was worked out at Stellenbosch by (Dr W.M.M) Eiselen and his colleagues. That same Eiselen is Secretary for Native affairs. But the important thing is that Stellenbosch is not only the expression of the Afrikaner thought and feeling, but it is also the embodiment of their aspiration. So also must Fort Hare express and lead African thought. The College has remained mute on matters deeply affecting the Africans because; we learn, it feared to annoy the Nationalist government. What the College fails to realize is that rightly or wrongly the Nationalists believe that Fort Hare staff is predominantly United Party. So that whether we remain mute or not the government will continue to be hostile towards us. So much for the College…

…I know of course, that because I express these sentiments I will be branded an agitator. That was the reaction to my speech last year. People do not like to see the even tenure of their lives disturbed. They do not like to be told that what they have always believed was right is wrong. And above all they resent encroachment on what they regard as their special province. But I make no apologies. It is meet that we speak the truth before we die. I said last year that our whole life in South Africa is politics, and that contention was severely criticized…During the war it was clearly demonstrated that in South Africa at least, politics does not stop on this side of the grave. A number of African soldiers were buried in the same trench as European soldiers. A few days afterwards word came that from the high command that the bodies of the Africans should be removed and buried in another trench. ‘Apartheid’ must be maintained even on the road to eternity…

…. And as Marcus Garvey says: ‘You cannot grow beyond your thoughts. If your thoughts are those of a slave, you will remain a slave. If your thoughts go skin deep, your mental development will remain skin deep’. Moreover a doctrine of hate can never take people anywhere. It is too exacting. It warps the mind. That is why we preach the doctrine of love, love for Africa. We can never do enough for Africa, nor can we love her enough. The more we do for her, the more we wish to do for her.

I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa; because Africa and humanity are inseparable”.

-Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (21 October 1949)

I have taken extracts of the speech, for entire read feel free to purchase the book. The aim of this article is not to sow negativity in our young democracy, but as my lecturer eluded, it is to create open dialogue on our racial dynamics. I believe we can find common ground at some point in this life time, but only through a principle of love. Love for oneself and love for another despite the history.

History will forever remain, we cannot pretend it away. We cannot remain divided, because that only perpetuates the slavery mentality. If you really think about it we are all slaves to a certain extent, black and white.

Aluta!

photo 4

Earth Mother

Save the planet

Whether you came from the stars

Or Mars

You found me here

On the earthly sphere

 

I was gleaning in the Sun’s bosom

Shining in all my glory

Feeding on those rays

Watering my gardens

Nursing my children

 

I birthed them in season

North and South both look appeasing

With the stars for the night and Sun for light and life

Men and beast existing

Perfect balance of living and let living

 

A breathing paradise, which was everything, anything can wish for

Yes, heaven itself is right here in my warmth

I have my secrets, some of which you will never know

And melanin is my stronghold

 

Why is concrete all over me?

It suffocates my children

It perishes my roots

Concrete is not vital for livelihood

Nor is money

Why have you traded your harmony with ashes

Dust of war fuels selfish intentions

 

I am earth.

I have always been and always will be

You cannot preserve me,

I preserve myself, and yourself

My children have adapted to the destruction

Or rather the illusion

Will they ever wake from this treason?

 

Take what you need and let me be

For if you take too much

You perish your own soul

It’s not Braai day

So a friend asked me what my plans  for National Braai day were, and my response to her was that, I don’t normally braai on Wednesdays, so I guess I’ll just be sleeping my free day away.

I understand that National braai day is a day where we’re celebrating something we all share in common, I mean every South Africans loves a lekker braai! Yes a braai is a strong part of South African culture, but it’s not the only one, so can someone please explain to me why is it celebrated separately- on the same day? Isn’t the title; “National Heritage Day” enough to accommodate this culture as well?

Your heritage gives you identity, and the more you forget it, the less you remember who you are. I fear the day, 20 years from now, where your children will be bringing wors and chops to school to celebrate national braai day on 24 September, and wouldn’t even have the slightest clue what national heritage day is all about. Whatever we want the future to be, we need to start shaping it today. Our children need to embrace being African and know where we come from as a continent. You cannot instill cultural pride in a child through osmosis, they need to see you embrace it and live it and only then will they imitate it. So while you’re busy having a braai on National Heritage day, consider what picture you’re painting, and don’t forget that someone is making a whole lot of money from meat sales on the other side. Think about it.

I think branding Heritage day to national braai day is an insult to African culture and the perfect money making scheme. Breweries and butcheries absolutely enjoy watching black people being gullible while they pocket millions. I say black people because during heritage day, we always dressed up in our traditional attire and cooked traditional African food. So if you’re gona substitute that menu with a chop, Checkers will not stop you buddy!

I’m in no way attempting to be racist, but 24 September is an indigenous African holiday. It’s original name before Heritage day, was Shaka’s day, which commemorated the strength and the bravery of the Zulu warrior, whose army was the only one Queen Victoria was worried about during the Anglo war. At this day it might seem primitive to celebrate some tribal King who won a battle and not a war, but it is part of who we are and that portion of history can never be erased from our calendar and our DNA. Heritage day, was an inclusive definition to accommodate all the indigenous African cultures and I think it should end at that. National braai is really pushing the name way outside of its original context

Since the dawn colonization in Africa, Europeans made an effort to erode the African off his identity. We were taught how to dress, speak English, worship their Gods, despise our own, discriminated against and made to doubt our humanity through apartheid, etc. I am not despising everything the white man brought to Africa, geesh, how could I? Their stuff is awesome. BUT African child, you cannot substitute who you because of what others bring to you.

Let those who want to celebrate braai day do so with the outmost pleasure, but you should not allow it to overshadow your celebration of identity and all things colorful. I can celebrate National braai day on any other South African holiday, I can even host the event, but please not on my Zulu day. No thanks.

Proud Zulu girl

How (un)Fortunate!

So this Saturday, my vacuum cleaner decided to teach me a lesson; A real one! Woke up early-ish on that day and decided to spring clean my room. This also involved moving things around and changing the way my bed was positioned.

I usually have music on when I clean, but I decided not to put the radio on coz I know I have to vacuum my carpet first so it will make noise and I wont hear my playlist. So after shifting everything I took my vacuum cleaner and went to work. To my dismay, the vacuum cleaner didn’t wanna switch on. I tried every button and switch, but nothing. I thought maybe I had neglected to read the manual properly coz my sister assembled it for me, I was usually passive when it came to such.Keep calm and get

So I got the user manual read it cover to cover. I even learnt that I needed to change the filter and so I got the dirt out. For the first time ever, I realized how much I needed this thing. After all attempts were made, I then resolved that the vacuum cleaner was broken and it was time to fetch the broom. My room had to be cleaned and re-arranged so crying over the vacuum cleaner wasn’t gonna help. I was on the verge of throwing a pity party because I felt like nothing in my life was going right. I didn’t have the best of weeks and my geyser had recently been broken and now this. I was feeling rather despondent. But I couldn’t fall apart because it wasn’t going to change anything.

After sweeping the entire carpeted room and moving stuff around I went to fetch the dustpan to scoop the dirt. And while I was walking down the stairs, I heard my microwave beep! Then it hit me: there was no electricity the whole time. I quickly rushed to switch on my vacuum cleaner and it worked!

Not once did I consider a power outage a possibility, but there I was with egg on my face and a sore back. This taught me the following lessons about disappointment;

It’s not as bad as I think.

This vacuum cleaner not working doesn’t mean the end of the world and it has no reflection of how my entire life is going. One can easily drown on the missed opportunity and feel as though nothing better will ever come. It’s not as if I don’t have a broom to clean up with. The vacuum cleaner not participating doesn’t determine whether my room gets clean or not.

There was a way of cleaning the house before the hoover and there will always be a way. I once survived without it.

It’s not a reflection on you.

Stop taking things personally! If you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you are the worst candidate or you’re not worthy of good things. It just means that someone was destined to get the job and there’s a better opportunity waiting for you ahead. So relaying my life as pathetic purely because there was no electricity is so not AYOBA!

The vacuum cleaner is “broken” not me.

Accept the situation and find way forward

We sometimes dwell too much on what went wrong instead of acknowledging its occurance and then look to find a solution. Coz it doesn’t matter how much I would have cried and felt sorry for myself, it didn’t change the fact that this thing is not working and my room still needs to be cleaned. Even if I had announced it to all the neighbors, it wouldn’t have changed my situation.

MoveSo instead of sharing your misfortune with everyone over and over again, try to find a way to get over it. It doesn’t matter how much sympathy you get, you still need to move on and get on with it; Misery loves company, don’t give it room!

Dissapointments test your will power

The vacuum cleaner breaking down highlighted how much I wanted to re arrange and clean my room. If I didn’t look for other ways to do it, it means I was unconciously comfortable with it not happening. That’s why they say “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try again”. How much you want something is determined by the lengths at which you will go to get it!

Maybe that wasn’t the plan

When things don’t go the way we planned, we get so devastated and think: “that’s it!” all hope’s lost. Firstly who said your plan was “THE” plan? Maybe God already has something planned for you and it didn’t look anything like that which you had planned for yourself. We must admit that we sometimes miscalculate our objectives and we must forever be ready for what comes next.

It’s not your fault

I took for granted the fact the vacuum cleaner does not only rely on me to press the “start” button for it to work. But it also needed electricity. Here I am sitting and thinking that I was such a bad owner who never cleaned to poor thing, while instead it had its own problems! (it’s a pity it couldn’t tell me though). We do tend to blame ourselves when people disappoint us. Yes we have our own faults but their actions are not directly driven by our actions.

You didn’t get that job because the other candidate grew up in Cape town and you didn’t. And no, there’s nothing wrong with coming from Foschville, it’s just that this time it didn’t work for you. Don’t punish yourself.

The last and most important lesson I learnt is that; You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. The time I was sweeping the carpet manually, that was the peak moment where I wished I had a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t appreciate mine and now it was gone and I felt like such a fool. It’s funny how life takes the smallest things to teach you a big lesson.Dissapointment

“It is not your job in life to judge what is right or wrong for somebody else. When another person behaves in a manner, which seems to be unhealthy or unproductive, we must not judge. We must learn to accept. Once we accept this is how the person chooses to behave, we have the right to decide whether or not we want to participate” -IyanlaVanzant

We don’t choose what happens to us, but we choose how we react to it.