On… a different take on failure

when-you-know-better-you-do-better

*Picks sticky note. Rolls eyes*

…and they have remained rolled for a while now because I cannot write on something I have not experienced.

What is failure?

I will not sit behind this laptop and tell you what failure. It’s a constant companion in your life even when you’re ‘winning in life’ because if you were perfect, you’d be Jesus reincarnated, and we all know where we stand on that. Which reminds me, when I was a volunteer teacher that many years ago, one of the kids in Class Four used to constantly read the bible. He was horrible at his studies but the confidence in which he said ‘I want to be taken up to heaven like Enoch without dying’ helped me refrain from giving his class exercise book to be ‘eaten’ by the school dog… Not sure why I told you that, but let’s ride on!

Failure for me isn’t so bad these days.

Correction.

Failure for me is not such a traumatic experience where I want to crawl into a hole and wait for the afterlife to be one in being with me. It’s still painful, like the time I thought applying a drop of bleach on the white part of a stained black and white stripped skirt was smart, only of it to sip into the black part, but the thoughts don’t haunt me for very long these days.

I feel like I’m lying on that last one. That skirt story happened more than a week ago hahahaha!

My point is, I  move in the pain of failure, not get paralyzed. The thoughts come up, but I’m kind to myself. “Well, you know never to do that again for as long as you live, yes?” and “Yes, leaving your laptop near a toddler was a silly idea, you know now never to do that again, yes?” and also “You put your foot in your mouth in that relationship/meeting? The taste will wear off and you’ll learn to calibrate your taste, yes.”

I do this because no matter what degree of a moron I was in a given situation, I am DETERMINED to take everything as a lesson. As Maya Angelou told Oprah, ‘When you know better, you do better.’ 

The point is to do better, not just know it after you’ve failed at something. That way you can live in your skin comfortably knowing in your gut that you are better, even by a fraction, than you were the previous day.

Have a better failure-filled day, won’t you?

 

Cheers. 

 

 

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On charity beginning at ‘home’

If you’ve been around long enough you know how the Sticky Notes Series works and today, the world gets 10 and I nil for having a sense of humor.

The house-help left on Wednesday. Thursday found me scrubbing the kitchen cabinets. Friday, cleaning the accumulated pile of dust in the living room. Saturday, cleaning under the fridge wondering how the help wasn’t fired sooner. House help issues anyone?

So you can see why this week’s sticky note is a sore subject, yes?

charity begins at home

See I don’t mind mboching (derived from the word mboch, the slang word for house-help) because I find cleaning cathartic. It does however get tiring when you’re doing a large chunk of the work alone because you’re he only young female in the house. That aside, I have made peace with mboching in the next foreseeable future, and this to me is my act of love for my family. There’s just something so sad about a mother telling her kids to help her with chores. Let the woman rest, please.

Merriam-Webster tells me that charity is:

  1.  benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.

  2. generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering

At this point my family is needy 😀

After watching some videos from Oprah’s Life Class, this sticky note found new meaning for me. Charity begins at home, home being this casing that I inhabit. The number of times I have told my friends ‘I am tired’ with life in the past few months makes me cringe. I have been a complainer for a long time, it’s just that it’s morphed to include spiritual lingo, as if that makes it better smh!

Being tired of, with and in life is a warning sign that something you are doing is no longer working. It’s a call for a mind shift, which is a lot harder than changing one’s circumstances, itself a hard thing to do especially when you lack the resources to actualize what you’d like. ‘Stop waiting for something to happen, it won’t,’ my elder brother Camillus told me recently. The change, he says, is happening in you, not out there.

The lesson this week: Learn to be generous and helpful toward the needy or suffering areas of your life. 

Currently my area of suffering is this perpetual fatigue brought about by the type of energy in my life. Joy is lacking because I have been looking for ‘good things’ in life outside of God. As James 1: 16-17 (NIV) says:

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Beloved, what areas of your life need your charity?

Here’s Oprah for that extra push.

 

Cheers Beloveds. 

On dealing with realities of life…

 “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved”- Helen Keller.

Now, when your life is looking some typa way, the last thing you want to be told is that that situation, in hindsight, is what ‘needs’ to be happening for the purpose of making us better people, should we choose not to be bitter.

Like all good advice, quote or scripture, this is easier said than done. The struggle is real. And I acknowledge it. For anyone hurting in ways they never thought was humanly possible, it takes time. If you have to, stash this somewhere at the back of your mind until you’re ready accept that God’s still Good in all this.

Current thoughts: We’re all sore after our elections and some people will be burying their dead this week because Kenyan police… Wah. My prayers for strength and healing go out to those affected. Loi Awat bought #HostRescueKE to my attention. Check it out, but also reach out to your people who live in affected areas. Also, I’m not a counselor but if you know someone who’s willing to offer free counselling services for those who’ve experienced the wrath of the Kenyan Police or protesters, please let me know. I’ll be happy to partner with them for comms related activities.

Call to action: Let’s not justify bad behavior with ‘that’s how things are’. This is specially for those who’ve been taking foolishly on social media and in public. If your words don’t unite, be quiet. There are better ways of bringing our point across without trashing other people’s perceptions, social background or tribe. Please get yourself some moral standards.

If you look at your life and you see that you are nothing like the image of God in which you were created as, work back to the truth of who you are, a reflection of God in Christ. I say in Christ coz he’s the human personification of God on earth.

Feel free to apply that last one to your daily life. And yes, you will fail from time to time, but repent and try again. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself is not a suggestion, it’s a command.

 

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On actions of self love- adult style

This one will be short.

I’ve come to learn, with my full 27th year on earth approaching, the greatest act of self love is self improvement. Work on your issues while you are still free of commitments such as marriage or a child. If that ship has sailed, still slot in 20 minutes every day to check in with yourself and see what you can fix, change- whatever.

WORK ON THINE SELF. 

Please don’t turn forty and have the same emotional intelligence that you had in high school, still blaming the world for not bending over to your whims. Please don’t clock forty and be excusing or blaming your bad behaviors on your parents and your ex when you were a teen. Please don’t check into the forth level and damage your family because you refused to deal with your pain- the world is doing a good job trying to without you playing minion.

In short, grow up. Deal with your issues. Expand. Evolve. Be better.

I am HELLA tired of people (myself included) for blaming external forces for the rubbish that we spew from within. You have a garbage attitude toward life because you’ve allowed that rubbish, not to be thrown at you because that’s beyond us, but to remain in you. Clean out your houses my beloveds.

That right there, is an action of self love. Whether or not you like the process is irrelevant.

 

Yours Faithfully, 

Human on a life detox.

check yourself

On the truth about wholeness…

 “10 ways to become whole”

“12 questions to ask yourself to know whether you are whole”

“Buy our book today and begin your journey to wholeness!”

 “Here, pop this pill and you will become whole!”

 

I’m here to save you from aaallll that. Well… most of it. 🙂

All religions come with the same packaging- You’re a Crap Human Being, Here, Follow Me and You’ll Become, Well, Still a Crappy Human, but Better.

We all understand that perfectionism or deity status is unattainable but yet we try to get to it… walking, reaching, running, struggling, pushing… child, you need to stop!!

Now, if God is perfect, is He capable of creating a crappy human? Acne and missing limbs aside because this isn’t Eden, if Adam and Eve were created in His image and likeness, and then for God to lean back and go, ‘This is VERY good!’ what makes you think you are less than ‘very good’?

No. This is not a pep rally for your self-esteem, I’m getting somewhere.

The question now becomes, why are you trying to change yourself to look like His image and likeness? You understand how absurd that is, yes? It’s like a zebra painting on black and white stripes to try and be a zebra. First of all them lines will be crooked; how’s he gonna reach it’s backside? Second, if it rains, or he becomes weather beaten, that stuff will fade and leave his original stripes in full display.

You’re no different child. Your activities toward ‘becoming a whole person’ are equally absurd.

Here’s how you reach wholeness: shed off all the lies told by your mind and society and embrace the truth of who you are- a child of God. 

inner beauty

I thought this work by Marcelo Monreal was really cool…

Jesus didn’t come here with a ‘Listen up here you sinners, do as I tell you or go to hell’ swagger. He came here to show us how we can live like gods even in our human bodies. That last thought makes people uncomfortable- if GOD is your father, that makes you His child, so that means you are…?

Side note: Whatever religion or path to God you subscribe to, the thinking is the same. If all He makes is perfect, then you are perfect. Just stop using your golden goblet to shovel dirt!

If your path to wholeness has been about looking, talking and acting nice, rest from your ways. Wholeness is attained by going back to your original ‘very good’ design that’s a little lower than God. So peel away all the nasty stuff you have become, confess it to God and ask him to show you who you are. Like a child… hmm! When scripture find practical application in your life…

It’s odd but I’m finding that the more I learn who I am, the easier doing what’s right becomes, even in the tiniest of things. King David no longer sounds deluded when he says, ‘You have tried my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tested me and You find nothing [evil in me]; I intend that my mouth will not transgress.” Psalms 17: 3 (AMP)

Will thou be made whole?

 

Cheers.

 

PS: You know how we Christians like to make things sound easy but lemme be HONEST and tell you that this journey to wholeness WILL BE PAINFUL!

You’re in a castle of your own making, your fortress, your protection. Every bit of work toward being who God says you are means a brick, and sometimes whole sections and foundations, fall away, until there’s just you in a heap of rubble.

When you see just how simple and true the world outside your walls is, you won’t need to be told to make your way out of the mess.

Beauty and wholeness awaits you.

 

On why adults should play…

The Kenyan system killed our creativity. Why art, music and physical fitness were scrapped off is beyond me. We were forced to be adults at age 5. I cannot grasp how I see more than 5 school buses during my 20 minute jog- where are you taking children at 5:00 am??

We are creators, and this is as fact, as fact as the fact that the sun does not rise from the East. We are creators because we were created. The very fact that you cook or pair clothes together makes you a creative at the very least! Fine, not everyone is in that field, but we all have creativity in us.

Creativity cannot be lost, only buried and block, and this excavation is done through forgiveness and play. Forgive whomever you are still blaming for not living a colorful life, then go out and do those things that they’ stopped’ you from doing that you wanted to do. Take a drawing class, go take up a hobby as random as glass making because your heart feels some type of way every time you’ve seen a clip where glass is glowing.  Take walks because all those shades of green and bricks fascinate you.

Play.

I have coloring book apps that help me with mindfulness. You can read all about it here though in summary, it helps you relax and as been known to be effective therapy for people with depression and PTSD. Your mind basically quietens, and something about colors makes it hard for your mind to habor negative thoughts. I’ve found that I am able to piece things together when I am in this state of mindfulness. Your conscious mind shuts up and lets your undervalued companion, the subconscious mind, to work.

I asked a friend in a group of three whether she knew any great coloring ups, and our friend told me, when I explained mindfulness, “most people mediate but coloring books work outside kindergarten too”. Silence was palpable after I share the article. Ha!

Maureen, chill, what’s ‘mindfulnes’? Is it like minding your own business?

Google says it’s:

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

So next time someone tells you to grow up, kindly point out how NOT well being grown has served them. If watching series and movies, drinking, sleeping etc. has not been working for you, change your play. Plan a trip, go on a nature trail, color, take up a random hobby, do kiddie stuff with your kids, do a racing games.

Play.

Even Shonda Rhimes does it.

Wanna know more? Here are some other ways to practice mindfulness.

 

Cheers my players.

To Just Be

by Camillus King`ori [my elder brother]

I think almost everyone will agree that the entire universe comes from the same source, created by the same hand. Yet, I have never looked up at the night sky and thought,  ‘You know what would make those stars shine brighter?’ I have never looked at a bonfire and thought about the intricacies of fire, where it comes from, how it works. I am simply happy to watch. I have never looked at a bird and thought, ‘What is your purpose? Why are you doing what you are doing? Maybe you could try that another way!’ I am simply happy to watch it go about its business. I am yet to meet a man who looks at a mountain and goes, ‘…if only it had X, then it would be magnificent.’

If everything in the universe comes from the same source, then it must all be equal. My ego would go as far as to say man is superior to all things in the universe. Why then, do I feel as if I need to be more of one thing and less of another? Why can’t I look at an asshole the same way I look into a fire; I know not to get too close or I’ll get burned and yet I don’t wish the fire were cooler or more controlled. Why can’t I trust that if the birds had a consciousness, they would be happy to simply watch me going about my day without asking why? What next? What is the purpose? Maybe you should try that. Stop doing this. What does this mean?

Why is it I am the only being on the entire universe that is not enough to just be?

 

PS: He talks just like that… ha!