It has been a hard week, I’ve needed to remind myself to be extra compassionate. The boys always seem a lot to handle during transiotion periods, and as we’re figuring out our holiday routine and I’m working on the last four assignments for school it has been stressful to say the least.
The thing that’s ironic is that even now, after all I’ve learnt and experienced my knee jerk is to tamp the feelings down and keep pushing through. So i did that for a little while, and noticed myself feeling so resistant and exhausted. Which is pretty normal when you’re exerting a lot of energy to push down what you’re feeling. Thankfully the learnings kicked into gear and I remembered to accept my feelings. Notice them, accept them, and allow them to impart the necessary information and then release.
This is why they call all this stuff practice. You have to keep on doing it, one day at a time, practicing. There isn’t a point where you’re an expert and so you stop. I’m thinking that actually the expertise is in continuing with it all.
This is a beautiful Yin Yoga flow for anyone who would like to get in the habit. It’s about half an hour, and is a profound way to sit with yourself. I can good my hands up to being someone who’s breaking the habit of disconnecting from my body. This has been helpful.
It’s happened again. I left off writing on here as things got very demanding in my day to day life. They still very much are, but it’s really early in the morning, I’m awake and relatively well rested and I have some time to sit with my thoughts and put them onto (web) page.
In this post I’m going to talk about the things that are keeping me busy, their significance, and then i’ll wrap up with some sort of meaningful conclusion.
Quite frankly I’ve been feeling the squeeze of time, now more than ever. One of the things I’ve been trying to be mindful about is being aware of how i talk about time. I think replacing “ we don‘t have enough time” with “may there be more barakah (blessing) in our time” it changes the way I operate in time. More consciously, and intentionally. It’s certainly necessary right now.
Alongside the usual fare of singleparenthood (not sure if i mentioned that new development on here – almost a year in and that could be a whole blog seties 😅) and being a full time student, I left the country for the first time in a decade. On my return I fell like Alice down the rabit hole into the world of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, Cardano (ADA) & Catalyst, WADA (West Africa Decentralized Alliance) and more, all off the back of the serendipitous moment that I decided to say yes to appearing on AfroFinLab.
I said yes to AfroFinLab, and felt so welcome in that episode, my mind so alive with questions and possibilities that I reached out to the team and asked if there was someway to stay in touch with them. Before I knew it, I ended up as a regular panelist on the show, and involved in Catalyst proposals. It’s been a learning curve and incredibly thrilling.
Those are some of the elements to this feeling of needing to be aware, of the time I have, and the time I’m living through.
I take into account the world we’re living in today. To list a few of the many concerns: lockdowns, and governmental failures: state sanctioned massacres (The Uyghur in China & Lekki Tollgate and the murder that’s taken place in different parts of Nigeria most immediately spring to mind), and closer to home elected members of governance voting to allow children to go hungry during a serious economic downturn, an as stated pandemic.
Seeing, experiencing, and deeply feeling all of these things (and more) it can be a lot.
I think a pre 2020 verion of myself might have been feeling disheartened and powerless, overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness. The me that’s been forged in the fire of one globally traumatic even after another though? That me feels determined, cognizant of the power of my voice, of the strength of human collectives. I feel hope, and inspiration seeing the vitality and strength of the human spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. I see those who source their power from the people being hit with the realisation that they will be accountable for their actions.
These feelings, hopes, and certainties have come from living through those periods of dejection. Feeling at a loss for what to do and how to fix things. The impotence and the rage at injustice. These wre all things I felt in the aftermath of George Floyd. It was through community that I was able to start to make sense of things. It was through being in holding spaces that I decided my healing could come through unapologetic and vibramt living.
So this in a nutshell is what’s been keeping me occupied. Patenthood, school, a blockchain rabbit hole 🕳 , AfroFinLab, global governmental ineptitude and self reflection. For me their true significance is in their potential to be forces for massive change, to overturning archaic oppressive systems that don’t serve the people from which they draw their authority. I believe we are on the cusp of rebuilding and reimagining what and how the world can be. That’s incredibly meaningful to me.
One of my amazing and brilliant friends had the bold and visionary idea to start a money mastermind group. It was an inspired idea to get our respective finances and money mindsets in order and we’re a couple weeks in and going strong.
Something that someone said on one of our group calls really impacted me, you know those moments where you hear something and you have to stop because the words resonate so much that it feels like they’ve physically taken hold of you and changed your perspective? So in that moment you’re silently re-examining everything you’ve ever experienced with this new possibility in mind. It was a big moment.
On the topic of something that scared us/dragged us far out of our comfort zone, I mentioned that spoken word definitely feels a whole word of scary to me, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, on a tangent it’s interesting to me how many of my friends are “private poets” let’s call it (expressing the feelings through poetry in a very personal and not for public consumption kind of way).
The thing that blew me away? To paraphrase: “poetry is a means of you expressing how you feel, there’s no need for you to be comparing your poetry to anyone else’s, the thing that you really have to ask yourself is whether you believe your feelings matter.”
Just wow. Even writing this out again from memory i’m still taken aback by it, their is so much truth in this statement, and when I ask myself, I know that on some level along the way I did learn or take on board the messaging that my feelings weren’t important.
I felt the words in my chest. Naturally I had to write about it. I’ve got some idea of where some of this messaging came from, certain life experiences etc. Saying that I also think that’s a large part of the messaging of our society, at least historically, I think things are starting to change, (though the pendulum effect might be taking place and it seems to be overcompensating and swinging really far in the direction of “my feelings matter more than anyone else’s”) .
Even still it’s such an important thing to consider whether on some level you hold a limiting belief to that effect, then having identified that, what will you do about that?
(Current background on all my devices courtesy of Knit picks with slight modification by me)
So I finally met my deadline. Yay I got my two thousand word essay submitted on time, just barely.
When coming up to a deadline does anyone else feel the pressure building and building and building… no one? Just me? *flops down with a dramatic sigh*
In a way I think I normally thrive on that pressure. The tension builds up, and I bolster myself by looking forward to that feeling of relief and joy that I usually get as soon as the essay has been submitted. However today that feeling was nowhere to be found, I submitted my paper in turnitin and I just felt like okay. That’s good. You got it done… okay.
Things just rang a bit hollow. You know? I talked myself into doing a little happy dance, just because one of my commitments to myself is to celebrate milestones along the way.
I’m wondering if the recent chapter in my life’s story book beginning its conclusion overshadowed my joy. Im not sure because in terms of that I feel very much at peace and have a deep sense of clarity and acceptance.
Maybe I pushed myself too hard towards the end and my brain just needs a reset. That happens quite often. I mean as much effort as I put into the planning, and as much as that made theessay writing easier, I did still end up writing up about one thousand eight hundred of those words between the hours of 1pm and 3:52 pm this afternoon. That’s pretty radical when i think about it.
Hmm, okay I’ve got it now. Writing is such an illuminating process. My conclusion and introduction were both very rushed, and I have a sense that they may bring my grade down, however a late submission would mean an automatic 5% deduction of my mark. So I chose to submit on time. My takeaway? Even if you have a great planning strategy, you still need to factor in time to write, proofread, and submit your essay.
Ah it’s good to have gotten a handle on my internal thouggt process through writing this. .
All day I just noticed myself being a bit slower, slightly more thoughtful, so very aware of my need in front of my Rabb, and grateful for the small things. Whilst these are all good things not being able to put my finger on why was sloghtly agitating.
Now I can happily get bavk to be grateful for things like taking my kids to nursery and not needing to lug the buggy up and down three flights of stairs, my youngest bubba is getting to be a big boy 😭😭Alhamdulillah
Fine words weave
P.s. another commitment to myself is to get some writing on this blog once a week. At the very least.
One of the things that sometimes hinders my writing is, I want my writing to be honest. I am aware that my truth may not hold true for someone else, and it’s in that difference that learning and interchange can happen. Why am I writing about this?
There’s been a topic that keeps coming back to my mind, and I guess in some ways I’m afraid to write about it, publicly at least.
When I think about the reasons why, I think a lot of it is due to the fact that as a child I was repeatedly taught that “it’s not everything, that you tell to everyone”, said differently, ‘keep your business your business.’ As a child how do you judge that? How do you know what are the things you share, and what aren’t? Sometimes you choose to follow the example of the adults/ caretakers who gave you that advice. Other times you become paralysed by the indecision and decide it’s safer to not share anything with anyone.
The thing is it that by the time you become an adult with the capacity to re-examine things and make those decisions according to your judgement, you have already formed the habit of a lifetime, and might not even consider re-examining the decisions that you made as a child, that likely no longer fit your current circumstances, or perhaps even work against the life that you desperately want to lead.
I recently finished reading (listening to the audiobook ) “Maybe you should talk to someone” by Lori Gottlieb, there were so many insights and lessons within it, and days later, I feel I’m still absorbing some of the gems of it. One such point of interest was when the author mentioned her therapists use of something I had come across before but inevitably fell out of practice with. Allowing for space between an action and your response, means you can intentionally choose what that response will be, as opposed to a reaction, (which from my view is more about neurological pathways that have been so travelled that they automatically come in to effect).
Sometimes it is okay to delay your response, sometimes it is okay for your response to be, I don’t know, or ‘I’ll take some time to think about that’.
So currently I’m not completely sure when or if I will write about this topic which is weighted, and emotional and really important to me. I’m going to allow myself to sit with that uncertainty no matter how uncomfortable a feeling that is (which i could write a whole other post about) and, not let it be a driver of my decision i.e. deciding never to write about the topic, or just put it all out there just to be rid of the feeling. I’m going to give myself time to formulate a response, and then take action accordingly, and also remember that if at a later date that decision isn’t working I can re-examine it and change my course of action.
Do you have lessons from your childhood that could use some re-examining? Have you done any un-learing? What was that process like for you? Do you make space between an action and your response? How have you found that practice? Do you have different thoughts to me?
I really love thoughtful conversations, please leave your thoughts in the comments, if you’re reading this.
I’ve been able to spend some time really thinking about my business goals, reflecting on where I want to take the business, and also listening to the Being Boss podcast, (after finding a great article online from them about overcoming the fear of selling. ) What has come out of this process for me is the realisation that I need to explore this concept of scaling back.
At the moment I would say my brand could definitely use a more focused approach. I feel like at some point I became overwhelmed with all the different things I could be doing, and tried to do “all the things” only to then be perturbed by how challenging it all was.
Running a business is hard work, it can be a lonely experience too. Having a clear plan and regular habits in place makes things a lot easier.
I want Soul Knit Sew to be impactful, to have a positive effect on individual, local, and global levels. I guess it’s really a matter of planning out how exactly I intend to do that. Really getting some clarity around my vision.
With that said I’ll be taking some time out to work that out. Those orders I’m working on currently will be completed and sent out, but after that I won’t be accepting any new orders.
Thank you for your support up to this point, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.
In a conversation with my mother recently she mentioned a Yoruba proverb.
Eni ti eyan ma ku han, eyan okin fi ara pamo fun
Why hide yourself from the ones you’ll be exposed to when dead
Consider this, when we die there are certain people to whom responsibility will fall. Those who ought to wash our (respective) bodies and prepare them for burial, those it falls on to take care of the rites, and organise things. In essence they are those who must take charge of our bodies, the ones to whom the obligations and, in effect our bodies now belong.
What can be inferred from the proverb is that these people have a stake in our lives, and a responsibilty towards us after we are departed. We can not hide ourselves from them in death, so logically it does not make much sense to hide ourselves from them in life.
If we feel the need to hide our problems and or struggles from our nearest and dearest, shouldn’t we also consider that at a certain point these will become their struggles too?
We are planted in the soil of our particular situations for a reason. (I firmly believe that this reason is growth, and developing a firm rooted understanding of our ultimate purpose in existence; to worship the Creator). With our ultimate reliance being placed on the Creator we can develop an understanding that support can come in from varying places and indeed people.
Reflecting, it dawns on me that I’ve made a lot of errors of late, and the one person that understands the most about how I feel concerning those mistakes, is the person I have made those errors against. What I’ve learned from this experience is that those around us can, if allowed, shed light on issues from different perspectives and help us to clarify our understanding of things, and in that way enable us to come up with a game plan for how we wish to move forward.
There is great benefit to be found in seeking assistance, and also from assisting others. As it is said, Islam is Naseeha, that is, the good advice. We can benefit from consulting with people. We still have the right to disagree, of course and that right is ours no one can take it away from us, but the blessing of having those around us who are invested and actually want good for us is that we get to make use of the resources they offer.
At times these people might be friends they may be family, the key is that they are trustworthy and want good for us, not only on a superficial level, and because of that are willing to point out to us, or indeed help us point out to ourselves where we’re going wrong or falling short of the persons we are/aspire to be.
In brief; Life is difficult at times. There is no harm in sharing part of that difficulty with those who will be there for your body after you have left it.
Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin, All praise and gratitude is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Just over a week ago the new addition to our family was delivered safely into this world. I can not adequately express what a privilege, honour, and humongous blessing it is to become a parent once more. How awed and humbled I am that this honour was written for me again.
It is not possible to thank God sufficiently for all the blessings that He bestows on His creation, but it is possible to try and remember to be grateful always.