Posts in The Becoming

In Retrospect

I had a million things to write, but I’ll save it.

 

I’m mighty grateful for a year in which I saw many different sides of myself, my friends (and those I thought were my friends), my family and my God. God has surrounded me with good people, I can’t even begin to explain how blessed I feel that I have these people around me. I’ve met people off the Internet that only God could have arranged our meeting. I’ve learned that people are full of so much love, and while I keep looking out for myself, it’s refreshing to know that I have a handful of people looking out for me too. It’s even more amazing to have friends who can relate because your journeys are similar. I’ve learned a few things from people I thought were my friends, but that is just human nature. I don’t take prisoners. I have an amazing support system in my family. Irrespective of how things have gone, God has held and comforted us. And we’re stronger.

 

When you’re in a long term relationship with someone, you watch them unravel and get to know a little more about them each passing day. It’s the same thing with God, except it’s on a greater scale. And I feel super duper blessed that God has shown and keeps showing me the many sides to Him. I’ve seen First Responder, Father, Saviour, Friend, Lover, Provider, Protector and Companion. So that when I call Him these names, I really mean them. And it’s beautiful to see. Sometimes He answers my most frivolous requests, sometimes He doesn’t answer my deepest desires. But I know that everything He does is good for me. So I trust Him.

 

And I’ve come to love myself. I try to challenge myself, but I also cut myself some slack for going through this thing called life gracefully. I’ve watched myself evolve and seen the good and the bad, and I still love all of me. I also really really like myself, and I hope to celebrate myself a lot more.

 

So here’s to a New Year of shameless self-promotion, a lot of love, a lot of light, a lot of energy and positive energy. A year in which I will not dim my light anymore.

 

Thank you for all your love.

Bisous

xoxo <3 :*

 

 

 

 

 

Carpe Annum

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”

Tupac Shakur, The Rose That Grew from Concrete

 

I previously wrote about having a stinging sensation on my legs and thighs when I run. It turns out that it wasn’t caused by cellulite as I was told but a more complex process. Apparently, your capillaries collapse when your muscles are not getting any activity. Once you start running again or doing cardio and your blood circulation increases, the capillaries open, but the surrounding nerves get overly excited and start sending messages to your brain. So your thighs start stinging. If you keep on, it will stop. However, if you stop, for say a month, you’ll be starting from Ground Zero when you start.

This year, I decided to get a little more exercise, and what better day to start than January 1st. I’ve been getting away with not exercising because my body seems to have a mind of its own; somedays I’m eating so much (like eating Eba at 10pm), other days I can barely finish a small serving of rice. So I’ve remained in the small size (even slightly smaller) for about 4 years now. Anyway, I just wanted to be healthier so I set out on New Year’s Day. I did a little over 1KM (I know, thank you) and ran back home, because stinging sensation. They don’t want us to exercise, but I know I’ll continue this time around. I’m rambling

It’s the same thing with goals too. You have to keep pushing regardless of how difficult it all seems and resist the urge to throw in the towel every time. It’s putting one foot in front of another and not stopping that gets us ahead. The climb is steep, but maybe if we didn’t focus so much on the challenges, we would make something meaningful. All I’m trying to say is, if we just got up and started off early, we’d get where we are headed in good time.

So by the time you read this, I’ll probably be running or would have run. This time around there are no new fancy running shoes or gym clothes to “bribe” myself. When I get enough discipline with this, I will get a reward. Hopefully I can bring this to all everything else I plan to do this year. I hope you can too.

Let’s Go!

2015: Don’t Look Back In Anger

Comparison is an act of violence against the self” – Iyanla Vanzant

 

This year I think that Instagram was one of my biggest weaknesses. The thing with Instagram is that everyone puts the good out there for you to see. And Lord knows there’s so much good on there (Oh by the way, I’ve been winning stuff there- Airtime from Afric Holidays, a bowl of sauce from Mobo Kitchen and Beat FM, a Kindle Book from Pretty Perfect Living and Scented Candles from Mystiquee Perfumery and livinginlekki.com ). There are a whole lot of beautiful people and places, and so many young people doing great. I see many people in their early 20s, and for some reason a lot of 25 year old women. Of course it reminds me of the year I was 25 and what I did for myself.

 

So let’s throw it back a little (By the way, I’m not shading or subbing anyone. I’m just owning my narrative).  A few months before my 25th Birthday, I started to feel the tremors around. (I wrote about tremors in the past and how God uses it to make you uncomfortable when it’s time to move). I had just moved houses and changed jobs so it wasn’t any of those. I was in a relationship and everything seemed perfect (from where I stood at the time). We were two young people in love, and doing the right thing. There was no reason why this love would not work. Fast forward to about five weeks before my 25th birthday I noticed that the relationship was dying and being one that would not allow it to die a natural death, I decided to ask him where we stood. Of course by asking him I literally just spoke the words on his lips and he decided that we should break up and go our separate ways. At the time, we had dated for 2 years and I had literally built my life around him. So I had no life and no sense of direction. In the weeks preceding the break up I had started having a crisis of consciousness, so bad that I wanted to start therapy, but after the break up, it became full blown.

 

So while many people spent their 25th year inventing and just really doing things, I was just unraveling and trying to get to know myself. And it was a mess. I remember spending much of my birthday crying (after going home from the wedding where I saw my ex for the first time since we broke up; by the way, this was after I had posted really great pictures on Instagram) until my friend came to get me and we ate, drank and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy till we fell asleep. The next few months were a blur- work, home, Bible, sleep, church. I did cry a lot over the next few months, and I wrote too. Some of the most popular posts on here were written in that time, and they came from somewhere really deep in my heart that I could only reach because it was broken (I was like Adele). I could stand outside situations and view things in perspective, and more importantly, I watched myself evolve into this strong, beautiful woman (it almost feels like an ugly duckling story) with pride. Everything I am now, I fought to earn it, and I have been given grace too. So while I didn’t start a business or get into any 30 under 30 list, me and God, we made magic. And it is oh so beautiful.

 

I threw it back a little for this: It’s the end of the year and we are likely to focus on achievements and accomplishments and berate ourselves if we didn’t quite meet the targets we set. But go easy on yourself. You are still here, you are a fighter. 2016 is another chance to shoot your shot. I don’t know how much I achieved this year, I just know that some of my fiercest battles were fought and won this year and I’m grateful to be standing here in good physical and mental health. Of course, I missed a lot of personal targets, but I’m so grateful for all the spontaneous blessings. I had so many new “principles”, but I’ve learned to let love win and more importantly, let the Spirit lead. And I’m still growing, and stretching and moving. And it’s beautiful and painful. But it’s worth it.

If you’re still here, you’re winning.

Happy Holidays.

Love and Light. xo

‘Gbemisola.

The Essential Jesus

“I ain’t here to argue about his facial features/ Or here to convert atheists into believers/ I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers/ The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that’s the way I need Jesus… But if I talk about God my record won’t get played” – Kanye West, Jesus Walks

 

Not His facial features or even skin colour. And I say skin colour because lately someone has been trying unsuccessfully convince me that when Jesus was on earth, He came in form of the Negroid race. And this is not me doubting that He was. It’s just the whole idea of obsessing over His skin colour or race that I find irritating. I am black, African, and I know my Black is Legendary. I am here in Nigeria, but I’ve followed the movement since Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin when he went to buy Skittles, up until a few weeks ago when I saw Lacquan MacDonald’s murder video. I love Bree Newsome, and I think Rachel Dolezal is blacker at heart than Ben Carson will ever be. But I digress.

So I’ve been reading in Revelations 1:14-16, and Daniel 10:6 that Jesus hair was like wool and skin was like Bronze or Topaz, meaning Jesus was black, technically. Also means, he was probably looking like Wole Soyinka or Al Sharpton with white hair. Hmmm. This should make me feel good, you know that my savior and I share the same race. It should also make me feel superior to Asians, Persians, Hispanics and Caucasians, I mean we’re talking about Jesus here. But even the whole place where this argument comes from is skewed.

And you know why this whole argument is pointless? It is because while we’re here trying to argue about which race or form He came in, we’re missing the whole essence and person behind the skin. We’re missing the Jesus who was at Jacob’s well and started a conversation with a Samaritan woman, even though He knew that Jews and Samaritans didn’t quite get along. I’m saying that we miss out on Jesus as our Friend because we want to make sure He’s the right colour to be our friend.  We’ll miss out on the Jesus that didn’t discriminate, because we want to prove a point.

We argue too much, about the time of the year He was truly born, when it should be enough for us why He was born. We argue about His skin colour, even though He would have still died if it was one dead beat black man or a trailer park white “trash”.

I think that those who really know Jesus and have experienced Him do not worry about those things. Jesus is a the King, Deliverer, Counsellor, Savior, First Responder, Shoulder to lean on and all round Cool Guy. But then again, maybe why you only see the race is because you don’t really know Him. I hope that you see Him in everyone around you too.

 

Kanye’s song got played. I hope my blog will get read…

Lessons from 2015: Friendship

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul”- 1 Samuel 18:3

One of the greatest lessons of this year for me was the need to cultivate good friendships. While I can say I love people, I had always been indifferent as to whether people stayed or left. This year though, I’ve learned the power that comes with good vibes and positive energy. If I have a good feeling being around someone or some people or I just feel that the energy in a place is good, I stay there. My friends have been my cheerleaders, support system, critics, sisters (and brothers) and God’s gift to me.

I also met a couple of beautiful people this year and I tried my best to stay in touch, but then again, some people are drifters. I remember praying that I’d have really good friends and meet people with love in their hearts and souls. God answered. I think it’s safe to say that I have friends for a lifetime, God willing.

 

 

David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see you and rebuke you”- 1 Chronicles 12:17

 

This part right here. I like to think that I’m not such a difficult person to deal with. However, I’ve come to the realization that people can switch on you any moment. You don’t even have to do anything to deserve this treatment. In the same way, people will see you and just hate everything about you- your hair, the way you chew, the way you laugh, even the fact that you exist.

What I learned this year was that as long as I kept my conscience clear before God and didn’t harbor any ill-feelings towards anyone, irrespective of what they did, God always looked (looks) out for me. For every time that the enemy tried to bring me down, God fought for me and reimbursed me. God is constantly cleaning up after me, and so no one can judge me, seeing as He has already judged me worthy of love. I can’t even begin to explain here, but those who were around me this year understand what I choose not to say. I can’t say I live a charmed life, since the life I live is better than that.

 

 

You will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heartJeremiah 29:13

 

At some point during the year, I was really at the end of my rope- financially, spiritually, physically and mentally. My body was shutting down, I was broke, I was lost and I was depressed and losing my mind. I would spend all my nights fighting to get my mind to be still so I could sleep. And then I’d get up in the morning and have to go to work. At some point I took a couple of days off and really sought God’s face. What I have learned is that God takes away everything that stands in the way of His relationship with you. God wants your eyes to be on Him alone, so He will remove everything distracting you. In the end, when you walk with God, it is a really beautiful experience. You can’t know someone if you’re not friends with them. God shows you different sides to Him – friend, deliverer, savior, father, advocate, provider, confidante and protector.

There’s no better friendship than His friendship.

Life is a Marathon but I’m a Sprinter

They say life is a journey and the beauty of life is in the journey itself – the sights to be seen, the experiences to be had and all that other stuff. I believe it, I even wrote about it a couple of times. I also know that all of this is an adventure on the surface, but then it’s deeper on another plane (I’m trying not to sound like Jaden Smith, but you get what I’m trying to say, I hope). In another space and time, I would have said that this was one huge experiment, but then I know God doesn’t play, and I really do believe in His purpose for EVERY single atom.

I digress.

So life is a journey. And it’s obviously long distance. Because 365 days multiplied by 20 years is a whole lotta time. (I am not 20 years old by the way. I am just trying to put this whole thing in perspective). It’s easy when you have your life planned out for you – school, holiday, church, and all. When you start to struggle to figure life out on your own is when the journey really begins. So from being sheltered and taken care of, you are thrown into life as we know it.

 

It’s hard to figure this thing out already- what roads to take and which turns are dead ends or like our current Eko Bridge on a crazy traffic nights. Then when you figure that out, after many wrong turns (if you’re a wanderer like me), you start on what is seemingly the journey to the destination. Oh wait!

 

Life is not an endless journey (“to give you an expected end” Jeremiah 29:11). It’s just long distance, with many curve roads and paths with obstacles. But that’s where the problem lies in for people like me. I’m not a long distance person. I’m a sprinter, and I can’t even guarantee that I’ll go on win my Sprints. So I have a burst of energy and I’m all fired up and I zoom, and then I start looking for air and water. Or I’m too burnt out and burned from losing that I just lay on my end of the lap and cry and don’t move again. Sometimes I have blisters on my feet from the shoes that hurt or from the thorns on the way. But in all, after close to three decades of trying to figure this thing out, I’ve realized that I’m no Long Distance Runner.

 

Some days I imagine God waiting for me to finish my drama and tantrums and then say in a voice without emotion “Are you finally done? Let’s go.” Sometimes, He walks beside me, somedays he drags me on to the next lap. And they’re the times that He stitches and washes me, nurses me back to health and sends me on my way. Life doesn’t come with a hibernate button.

 

But I guess I really do get tired sometimes

(Do not be afraid. I will help you)

The Nook

“For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” – Psalm 27:5

 

/nʊk/

  1. a corner or recess, especially one offering seclusion or security.
  2. a right-angled corner

I am always tired. Well, not always, but almost always. You get the picture?

Last week I was looking for the word to explain how I felt I was getting through life: Wobbling!

I’ve had bursts of energy where I’m skipping happily through life and feeling that my feet are really like hinds legs. You know when you know you can do all things through Christ and you’re really feeling like you can take on the world? Everything is working in your favour one day. You’re levelling mountains and striding freely in open spaces. You’re praying and receiving power. God is blessing all that you put your hands to. Then boom! You’re like a deflated felele ball. No energy, no life. You can’t go through life’s simplest tasks and you certainly feel “distant” from God. It’s how Elijah felt after defeating the Prophets of Baal and Jezebel swore to kill him.

Not a good look.

 

“Come unto me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in my everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness. Actually it draws me closer to you… Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been… I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light” – Jesus Calling

 

I’ve learned this the hard way. Every time I start to feel really powerful and like I’m God’s PA, I soon hit the point when I run out of steam. I would think that perhaps I wasn’t spiritual enough and maybe my heart is rocky ground. But even though I’m still a work in progress, God doesn’t really think this way. I always say that God’s relationship with everyone is different.  While some people get clear sentences from God, for the rest of us, our own unique relationship is in just being near Him and drawing power from Him all the time.

 

And this part is my own opinion from experience: God doesn’t exactly need you to be strong or powerful. He needs you to trust in His power and Presence, His love, and His willingness to be near you at all times. It’s probably why when Elijah was weary and tired, He sent His angels to feed Him, enough to make the forty day journey to Horeb. And it’s probably why when Elijah made it to Horeb, God wasn’t in the Wind, or the Earthquake or Fire. He was in the still small voice. (And oh by the way, it’s the same mountain where God hid Moses in the cleft so he could see God’s glory in passing. Selah!).

 

I realise that not every conversation with God will be lit. But the nook never fails. The nook of God’s right hand, the right angle, is where things happen. That’s where He feeds and restores, and blesses you with strength and light for the next phase. The nook is the place of rest. The nook is the place of security.  The nook is home.

The nook is rest.

“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!!!