Posts in Inspiration

“The Alchemist” Book Giveaway

“The dunes are changed by the wind, but the desert never changes. That’s the way it will be with our love for each other. Maktub”- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

In Q1, I remember planning a giveaway of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Well, that didn’t happen because of many things – Bookshop didn’t stock, I couldn’t order from Amazon because the exchange rate was out of control and then I moved it back on my priority list. Well, the giveaway is open again as I now have copies available to readers in Lagos because of Logistics (I hope I can give Kindle copies sometime in the future). It includes a special 25th Anniversary introduction by the author. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post saying you want to win(I would love if you shared too; you know Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, BBM, etc    ). I’ll pick two comments at random.

In the meantime, these are my favourite quotes from The Alchemist.

 

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”

“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.”

“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind” The alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. “If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”

“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”

“Sometimes there’s just no way to hold back the river. Maktub (It is written.)”

 

Keep Winning!!!

 

On Getting out of the Boat

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

 

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist 

 

Yesterday I read that Yogi Berra passed away at the age of 90. He was an American Baseball legend who played in 14 World Series and was on the winning team 10 of these times. Yogi Berra had passed his prime, even by the time my parents were grown. So how do I know Yogi?

Yogi was famous for Yogisms, his quotes, among them the famous “it ain’t over till it’s over”. Yogi’s best quote as far as I’m concerned is “When you get to a fork in the road, take it”. For someone like me who “supposedly” shies away from having to make important decisions, taking a fork in the road is always good idea. I spend half the time contemplating and still don’t make a decision based on logic. Half the time, we usually have a fair idea where we should be at a certain point in our lives. Some people are even blessed with a clear view of which paths to take and have the courage to do what they should. For the rest of us, there’s just enough light for the step you’re on. Then there’s intuition and gut-feeling, understanding times and seasons and relying on the still small Voice telling you which way to go.

When we’ve dealt with direction, we still face fear. Maybe we’ve made too many wrong decisions and are not sure we can live through the consequences of another wrong turn. Or maybe we’ve just gotten too comfortable with the status quo and would rather not trouble the water (As an aside,  isn’t the blessing always in stepping first into the troubled pool? Selah). If it ain’t broke, we don’t fix.

What I do know is that everything that can go wrong can also go incredibly right and you don’t know if you don’t try. You’ll never cross the ocean if you’re afraid to lose sight of the shore. And maybe the beauty is in the journey. Because it’s on the journey we become masters- we learn patience, tolerance, how to deal with uncertainty and more importantly Trust. You’ll learn to ruthlessly trust the One who holds everything together.

 

You’ll never walk on water if you don’t step out of the boat.

 

” I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not be afraid I will help you.’ “

On Why We Stand

Originally posted in September 2015

 

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”- Eph 6:13

 

We stand, even though our hearts are breaking, because God is good and everything that He does is good. And even though we may not see it, He means everything for good.

We stand because we know that if God be for us, no one can be against us. Because we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Because we know that all things work together for good for them that love God and are called according to His purpose.

We stand because we know that it is for times as this that we are men and women of faith. We know that our Redeemer lives and He will take His stand on the earth. And after this body has decayed, yet in our flesh we will see God.

We stand because we know that nothing can separate us from God’s love, NOTHING. And because we know that in all of these things, we are more than conquerors. We stand because we know that earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. Because we know that there is a hereafter and our hope shall not be cut short.

We stand because the God of Jacob is our ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. We are still, because we know that our God is sovereign, He will be exalted in all the earth.

We stand because we know that we have the Holy Spirit with us, to comfort us. Because we know that Jesus felt what we are feeling, didn’t He also weep for Lazarus before He raised him? We stand because You will not abandon us to the realm of the dead. We stand because we know that this is a process- the mortal body must put on immortality and Death is swallowed up in victory. Because we know that our light affliction works for us more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

We stand because You O Lord are unquestionable. Shall the potsherd ask the potter what He has made? We know that You will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or sorrow or pain, for the old older of things has passed away.

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for Jehovah hath comforted His people, and will have compassion upon his afflicted”.

On Being the Same Ol’ Gee

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”

– Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth and Being Free

 

Do you know how stretch marks come about?

 

Stretch marks are these seemingly unsightly marks or veins that appear on the skin. They usually come about after weight gain or even a sudden weight loss. When you gain weight suddenly, your skin stretches to accommodate the extra weight. It’s why women have them after child birth and why teenagers always have them. The skin gets overstretched and is unable to keep up with collagen production. So the skin stretches, a painful process that causes itching and leaves scars.

 

But stretch marks aren’t entirely bad, they mean different things to different people. For some mothers, it’s a badge of honour, and a small price to pay for the blessing of being a mom. For some, it’s the prize of their weight loss. And for other people like me, it means that you finally now have booty, free of charge!

 

You didn’t go through all of this not to be able to tell your stories.

 

I’m listening to Jhene Aiko’s “Spotless Mind” and the very first line says “Change is inevitablle”. Strangely, as constant as that is (that being change), that’s usually the most difficult thing for us.

 

We’re always too eager to show the ones who have known us for so long that nothing has changed and that we’re still the same old people we were. But we also want to grow. And growth is hard – all the stretching and adjusting to fit your new size. Growth is a result of learning from all our failures and misadventures. Growth is leap of faith after leap of faith, or maybe just blind trust that lands you outside God’s will but still smack dab in the middle in His love.

 

I’ve written in the past about how painful the becoming has been for me. Sometimes, I imagine what it must be like to be God and have to deal with my tantrums and worrying, or the days He literally has to drag me crying and kicking to the next phase. There have been the days when I knew for sure that I was losing my mind, and other times when I wished that I could just hibernate for a while and sleep through my storms. But that didn’t happen, and  I didn’t die. And I grew!

 

I am still a Work-In- Progress. I find it incredibly amazing that God held me through this all. I didn’t just survive, I grew. And I didn’t go through all of this so I could be the same old Gee. I didn’t go through all of this so I could fit in your little box, and I definitely didn’t go through all of this so I could play small. All these scars, are not for nothing. Understandably, not everyone will understand the growing pains and the new person that I have become.  And that’s okay.

 

Because not everyone belongs in this new phase I’m in. If you only see me for who I was then maybe you should remain in the previous phase of my life.

I’m not the same ol’ Gee.

 

On Being the Greatest Alive

“I am the stone that the builders refused. I am the visual, the inspiration that made lady sing the blues. I am the spark that makes your idea bright, the same spark that lights the dark so that you can know your left from your right. I am the ballot in your box, the bullet in your gun… The story that just begun, the promise of what’s to come. And I’mma remain a soldier till the war is won”.

– Asheru,  Judoflip

 

I’m a Kanye stan fan. I say fan and not Stan because I don’t necessarily agree with everything that ‘Ye says or does. I loved Kanye from Graduation and College Dropout and I’d like to think that he’s one of the most gifted rappers, writers and producers. Down to earth, point-blank and full of indignation, what stole my heart most about Kanye was his ego.

I watched Kanye from being the first to admit that he was self-conscious and thinking that if he talked about Jesus, his CD wouldn’t sell to Kanye’s self-awareness that he’s a king and a wolf (beware Starks). Kanye has compared himself to Steve Jobs, Beethoven, Nelson Mandela, Picasso and even our Lord Jesus Christ. Kanye’s mind is like a Hermes factory, he jogs in Lanvin, he doesn’t think there’s a living celebrity with more weapons formed against him, and he will go down as the greatest voice of this generation. Oh and yeah, his greatest pain is not being able to watch himself perform live.

Kanye is also God’s vessel and is always bubbling with ideas, so much that he’s a superhero like Cyclops. Kanye is married to the most beautiful woman of all time, the top 10 of human existence who is undoubtedly greater than Michelle Obama. (I think Kim Kardashian is a lucky woman). Kanye is too busy writing history to read it. He is so credible and so influential and so relevant that he will change things. And he doesn’t apologise, he claims his apology to Taylor Swift was due to peer pressure.

June 27th 2015, Glastonbury Festival: Kanye stops his concert to declare to his audience “You are now watching the greatest living rockstar on the Planet”. In his own words, he may not be able to make the same statement, 10, 20 or 30 years from 2015, but in that moment, he was the greatest on earth.

That was HIS MOMENT.

Obviously I’m a little obsessed with Kanye.

But what will you do in your OWN moment?

Are you going to hide behind the celebrated virtues of modesty and pretend humility, or are you going to get on the stage and own it, knowing that you’re the greatest as long as you keep putting work out?

And it’s always YOUR moment.

Finally, in the words of Marianne Williamson,  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Love and Light

xoxo

‘Gbemisola

How to Run without Getting Tired

“They do what they do to shackle and hold us. So we gotta do what we gotta do to keep growing”

– One Day at a Time, Tupac Shakur (with the Outlawz and Eminem)

 

“Don’t Run”

I never ran as a child. I was grossly underweight. To put things in perspective, I weighed 22kg in JSS2. I was constantly dizzy from just following my mum to the market. I would squat while she was still haggling and touch her to whisper “mummy I can’t see again”. Then she would find me a stool and a soft drink hawker. There were no PET bottles then, so we’d buy 7-up and pour in a small nylon which I would then drink from. In secondary school, I always knew running was not for me from get-go. I figured I would fit in the March Past but I had Zero Precision. So I settled for the throws, except that I weighed too little for the shot put and the javelin always landed right in front of me. I didn’t try any sporting activity for a long time.

When I suddenly gained weight and grew two sizes larger in 2011, I knew I had to start running. I was a healthy size and now had the burden of keeping the weight in check. So one fine Saturday morning, I wore running shoes and slacks and threw on a tank top. Again, I didn’t last long. You see I now had cellulite. And the thing with cellulite is that the first few times you’re running it stings really badly, something to do with pores and capillaries and some other terms I don’t really understand. It felt like a thousand sand-flies, and then like werepe too. My thighs and legs were numb. I had to go back home and didn’t run again for a while. In the next few years, I would try to run again, maybe a total of six times and give up because of the numbness. The irony is that if I kept at it for say one week straight, I wouldn’t experience the stinging and numbness again.

 

How to run without getting tired?

Don’t run. If you don’t want to get tired, just don’t run. It’s a cause and effect thing. You can’t run and not get tired. All Sprinters and Marathon runners know this, and even though they train hard year in year out, there’s not one of them who wasn’t panting at the finish line.

And that’s how life is.

You’ll burn out from fear and anxiety and stumble because of rejection. But you keep gotta keep it moving.  And you will be breathless, and you will feel faint, and you will want to stop half-way, but you will get to finish line if you don’t stop. Just run.

Run from the things you don’t want. Run to the life that you want. Run for your Life.

Keep running!

Have a great week.

Love and Light

xoxo

You’ve Got the Love

Originally posted on April 20, 2015

“Well I’ve been searching high, I’ve been searching low (to)

Feel this completeness, everywhere that I go.

Maybe if I just keep walking, walking, walking

Through my mind I’ll stumble on it somewhere

And somehow in this space and time I will lose my worrying mind”- No Love Child, Corrine Bailey Rae

 

They say when all you can see is your pain, you lose sight of God. I used to write about love and sorrow, and pain and heartbreak. I used to be filled with longing for the things I didn’t have and it consumed me so much that I lost sight of the things I already had.

 

For a long time, all I did was ask God for things that I wanted. I had a long list and one of the top 5 items was a partner. Seeing as I had done a shoddy job at choosing for myself, I decided to wait for Him to help me with that last major bit. I had prayed about it before then, albeit subjectively. So this time I went all in and prayed again. And all I could hear was “Live Child. Live”

 

I had written previously about living and all the things you could do while you were single and waiting for something to happen. It turned out that I never took my own advice. I’d write the things that I thought and felt at the moment, but I never went back to read them when I needed the hope I always wrote about. Well, early this year, I told myself that I would start taking my own advice and living freely. There’s so much I missed out on not living to my full potential, and now it’s a herculean task trying to catch up.

 

Three months into 2015, I wonder where this Gbemi was hiding before. I know that there was a time for standing still, the time when I was supposed to grow root and be strong for the future. And I don’t think that I regret any part. I just wish that I had been a little braver. I’ve seen doors open only because I dared to knock. I’ve seen all the love around me only because I dared to open my heart. I’ve learned that God didn’t use the potter analogy for nothing. Because no matter how many times I’ve felt broken and torn, He pieces me back together piece by piece till I’m whole and brand new again.

 

Above all, I’ve come to realise that the greatest love I’ll ever have is my Father’s love. And that’s manifested in my love for myself and the love that I have to give. I’ve learned to open my heart to the endless possibilities that life can offer. I’ve learned that it’s okay to reach out to grab the things I want, because not everything is a mirage.  I’ve grown to a whole new level of self-love that scares me sometimes. I went from the girl who was (and is probably still) too shy to speak in public to being the light of the world.
In the end the love was always here, only it was within.

Letter to My Younger Self: Sierra Tango Oscar Papa

 

“Now before I finish, let me just say

I did not come here to show out

Did not come here to impress you

Because to tell you the truth when I leave here I’m gone

And I don’t care what you think about me, but just remember

When it hits the fan brother, whether it’s next year, ten years

Twenty years from now, you’ll never be able to say

That these brothers lied to you Jack” – Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, PSA

 

 

Dear Gbemisola,

I wish I had written sooner. I hope you get this in good time, it will make things a whole lot easier for you. But then again, maybe the beauty in life is in the stumbling and sauntering. Whatever happens, you are reading this now, and it means you are still alive.

 

If I had to give you one advice to live by, it would be a single word: STOP.

 

Stop obsessing over everything. You’re 15 and ready to take on the world. I know you think you have it all figured out- graduate at 19, serve at 20, get married at 23 and have all your babies by 28. But I need you to let go off everything that you’ve planned. The thing with life is that most times you don’t even know what you want till you see it. I wish I knew a better way to explain this, but I don’t. Don’t be so pre-occupied with what you want that you lose out on all the beauty in life.

 

Stop obsessing over love. I know you don’t like to hear this, but you’re only just fifteen. You may think that you know what love is, but what you feel has not even scratched the surface. Love will kill you. Love will raise you up. Love is your mother working seven days a week for you. Love is your father buying drug after drug so that strange illness doesn’t snuff life out of you. The things you’ll do for love, the things you’ll do in the name of love, some of it will make you wonder if it was ever worth it. Love is amazing, but it’s never enough. You’ll find out though. And oh that boy you think about every night before you sleep, ten years from now you may hear he died and not feel any emotion.

 

Stop being so easily swayed. There’s so much that you’ve been taught already. You’ll find some of it to be utterly useless. You will learn that it pays to be your own woman. You’ll find the things that you think you should stand for in life. When you do, hold on to them. Never let anyone’s opinion shape your perception of someone or something. There’s over 6 billion people on earth, and we all have opinions. Not everyone will agree with you, and you shouldn’t agree with everyone either. Just don’t go on the offensive.

 

Stop being so damned soft. You’re still a good person, emotional, romantic, and godly. But good don’t always win. You’ll learn though. You see you may have been taught that if you give good out you’ll get good part. The earlier you stop expecting everyone to be nice to you, the better. People will hurt you, sometimes intentionally, other times unknowingly. Grow a backbone. We’re all living breathing people sauntering through life and trying to get home. Don’t expect too much from other people. Don’t take everything so personally, otherwise you’ll grow into a bitter lonely woman.

 

Stop putting other people before yourself. Stop putting yourself before God. You’ll find that you’re clueless about this thing called life. Put your hands in the hands of the One who designed the journey. Stop worrying too much and trust Him. I know that this is hard for you, but just wait and see what He does with you.

 

And Oh, no matter how much you cry, find the things that bring you joy. Regardless of how many times life knocks you down, there’ll be so much to laugh about if you only took the time to look. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. Love yourself. Life is hard enough, you need to be on your own side, just in case no one is rooting for you. But there are people rooting for you. When you think everyone else has left your side, a stranger will offer you a handshake. That’s the beauty of life.

 

Love yourself Kiddo. Love.