Posts tagged Motivation

The Girl who walked on Water

“Come”, he said.

 

Breathe deeply. Hold your breath. Let it out. Repeat. Then step out. One foot, then the next. Forward. Repeat.

That’s all she had to do – deep breaths, one foot in front of the other, forward movement – to walk on water. It seemed easy except she never got past taking deep breaths, understandably so. Who would imagine that she would ever contemplate walking on water, she who couldn’t swim? The absurdity and sheer insanity of it was worrisome. She had always played safe – no late nights, no speeding, no unhealthy eating – and it had always worked for her.

 

But then it was He who was calling out to her. He seemed to always have a clearer picture of these things than anyone else. And He seemed trustworthy. He was out on the water too, and He seemed pretty comfortable so maybe He knew more about these things than she did. She had read in the past about how Peter walked out on the water to meet Him – somewhere on the way He took his eyes of the man, Jesus, and he started sinking. Jesus saved him, but still, she wasn’t one to take chances.

 

Her gaze could be on a million things at once, so how could she keep her eyes stayed on Him? There were bills to be paid, goals to fulfill and dreams that she had to live out in colour. Then the nightmares too. It was hard. He had always told her not to worry, but surely He must know she was a worrier and thinker.

 

But this boat didn’t feel as good anymore.

 

In a way, she’d worried herself into a hole. One that caused her boat to fill up with water. And it was filling up so rapidly it didn’t make any more sense to stay in it. And well, He was persistent and reassuring. He had never stopped calling out to her, so maybe it was time to try this out.

 

Gingerly, with her eyes on Him, and her heart on His word, she tried again.

Breathe deeply. Hold your breath. Let it out. Repeat. Then step out. One foot, then the next. Forward. Repeat.

And boy, did she walk!

And there was sinking, and floating, and walking and flying, and tears and laughter. And there was failing and starting over again.

But she was never ever afraid of raging storms again.

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!

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 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

On Thirst

Thirst

And by thirst I don’t mean what a random girl sees when she sees Tyson Beckford’s shirtless photo on Instagram. That’s the Urban Dictionary meaning, won’t cut it here.

Thirst is deeper. Thirst is an eager desire for something, a craving, a yearning – like being thirsty for knowledge, for God, for success.  Sometimes I wonder why thirst works within this context better than hunger. Truth is, we all can go days on days without food, but not water/liquid.

Thirst is what keeps you up night after night, trying to figure out better ways to do things. You can just love the status quo and go on with it because “that’s how it’s been done for years” or you can challenge the status quo and try to forge a new path.

Thirst is daring. It’s daring to do the things no one else will do. It’s daring to take the lead when everyone else is content with being led. It is stepping up and taking control. It means you’re never ready, because there’s no such thing as ready. Every day is a good day to start.

Thirst is intentional. It’s not an alignment of the stars in your favour. It’s launching out into the deep and creating your own luck. Thirst is just jumping, knowing the net will appear. And if it doesn’t you’ll still land on your feet. Or maybe you won’t. But you will stand on your feet and do it again.

Thirst is almost inevitably failure. Yogi Berra once said “When you get to a fork in the road, take it”. I know that sounds crazy. But the point is, you can’t turn back, so even if you don’t know which turn to go. So you’ll have to take one.

Thirst does not accept defeat. In the words of Antoine Dodson (please DO NOT JUDGE ME) “In our family we don’t run around crying or acting sad, we just dust our shoulders up and keep on moving”.

Stay thirsty.

Love and Light.

On Healthy Fear

“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

 

When I was eight, I fell ill, as I typically did at the time. At the time, Analgin Injection was king, so I was given a dose. A few minutes later, I wanted to go pee. I got off the couch, only to find that my legs had become rubbery. I tried it again. Same thing, I went straight down. My legs suddenly couldn’t bear my weight, which was probably only around 20kg then. My mom brought me a potty and then we hoped it would just be a few hours. But hours turned to days, and days into weeks. I don’t remember all of it but I know there was anointing oil and prayers of faith and mantles to be tied around my leg. My mum eventually resorted to carrying me on her back when we had to go out, and out meant hospital.

Down our street, there was a Medical Centre in a two-storey building. It was a small practice, owned by my an acquaintance of my dad. He lived on the first floor, while the clinic was on the second floor. The ground floor was residential as I remember it. The building was fairly decent. The paint was peeling but it was still more distinguished than the houses around it. The Doctor (we called him Dr. Jubilee because that was the name of his clinic) seemed well off, almost made me wish my dad was a Doctor and not a Pharmacist. You see, Dr. Jubilee was also a lover of dogs. His dogs were Alsatians, but we didn’t know what they were called then, so we called them Police Dogs. He must have had about three of them at the time. They lived on his balcony on the first floor.

One fine evening, my mum wanted a doctor’s opinion on my inability to walk. So she backed me and we walked down our street to the clinic. I had never been inside Dr. Jubilee’s compound before. I had only seen the dogs from the road and watched them, on my way from running errands. But that night I was face to face with my fears. I was on my mother’s back on the ground floor but was convinced that the three barking dogs would jump down from the balcony and tear me to shreds as I heard Police Dogs do. I kept begging my mum to turn back but she was convinced that they couldn’t come back. I thought she had lost her mind, so I took matters into my own hands. I jumped off her back!

Of course I fell, but I didn’t have the time to fail. So I got up and tried to determine which leg was better and could bear my weight. The left leg seemed fair, so I rested on it while I attempted to limp out. Mother was stunned as she watched the movie unfold. When she finally came to, she had a good laugh, asked me why I chose to punish her for weeks and then promptly gave me a new nickname – talantolo (one who limps). Let’s just say that I never saw Dr. Jubilee, there was no need. I went back to school about a week afterwards.

Fear is – a treacherous adversary. Fear can freeze you, and destroy you. But maybe fear is good too, the healthy kind of fear. Fear makes you want to conquer new ground and do great things. I don’t know if my story is a good illustration of the good that fear can bring. But the fear of fear is worse than the failure we are afraid of. Once we conquer our fears, we find that there’s really nothing on the other side. But you should never be afraid that you forget to live life and dance in the rain.

Maybe I’m just trying to tell you that no matter how hard I fall, I always get back up – I crumble, and I limp and then I walk. Then I fly away

Or maybe I just wanted to tell you my talan-tolo story.

On Shame and Failure

“The young think that failure is the Siberian end of the line, banishment from all the living, and tend to do what I then did – which was to hide.” –  James A. Baldwin

 

I remember growing up and being a very intelligent child in Primary School. Then I went to Secondary School and it all went south – I was always in the bottom half of my class, and that’s putting it mildly.

Honestly, I didn’t really care. I was a young an underage child that was literally thrown to the sharks. And I was happy to still be carelessly living from day to day, until the period before the end of the school year. I did not have any problem with failing and having to repeat the school year. The only thing I feared was the shame of having my friends shame me. I already knew that shame from home. My mother was constantly comparing me with my sister and threatening to withdraw me from school to learn a trade. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the full dose so I managed to wing it till JSS3. Just before JSCE, I summoned courage to suggest to her that I would not want to proceed with formal education again. I was tired of failing. I had found my calling.  Hairdressing.


“We shame you as a way of gaining compliance and obedience. We shame you for your D, we shame you for your missed shot on goal, we shame you for what you wore to the dance”- Seth Godin

Failure is such a heavy word. No one likes to fail. But it is shame that puts an unhealthy fear of failure in us. Sadly, and I know how cliché this may sound, Failure is essential for mastery of anything in life. We overcome obstacles, not because we don’t fail, but because we find a way around it to reach our destination. There’s something called Failing Forward; kinda like when Kanye said “reach for the cloud and if you fall you land on a cloud”.

But maybe we’re part of the problem. We shame people for their choices. We shame them when they don’t choose. We shame them if they fail or lose. And when they win, we shame their spoils.

Let me tell you what shame looks like: I’m in my late 20s. I don’t know how to play any competitive games, I only play Solitaire on my Kindle and will never play any games I can lose. I rarely answered questions all through my years in University for fear of looking stupid.

I only just started trying my hands out at competitions, now I understand that I may not always win. I only just stopped taking things personally.  And I’m only really just learning to fly. I’m breaking rules and redefining the boundaries, because there are really no boundaries.

And if I fail, well, I forgive myself and just start over again.