I had the honor of doing my first group motivational talk about a month ago. It was both a culmination and a dawning in my quest for my true identity and passion. Culmination because it marked the end of a journey that began six months ago when I finally took the plunge from the known into the unknown, murky world of self-employment. A new dawn because I was now doing what I truly desired, what made me who I am, a true realization of my identity.
When I first asked myself who I truly was three years ago, my identity was mired in my titles, material possessions and relationships. Most of us will tend to define ourselves based on the people and things around us and not who we really are when everything is stripped away. I was no different and I found myself frustrated by the feeling of worthlessness despite having a pretty decent life. As I started to peel away the masks that I had hidden behind for decades, I slowly started to realize my true vision. Interestingly it was something that I had always spoken about as a small child – to be a teacher. To shape behavior. To influence. To transform lives through imparting knowledge.
For me, the greatest feeling is guiding someone in peeling away the layers and masks to rediscover what truly makes them tick. What makes them happy. The light inside of each of us which will not be extinguished easily though we go to great lengths to keep it suppressed and possibly, forgotten.
Exactly one month ago I embarked on The Fulfillment challenge where my aim was to express gratitude for all that I have as well as to demonstrate that life fulfillment is found in the things we already have. To be honest, when I started I knew that it would obviously impact my life positively but nothing could have prepared me for the literal turnaround these past 30 days have had in my life.
You see, since my new beginning late last year, where I went out in search of fresh challenges, I had not really settled down or made much peace with where I now was in life. I’m a doer and resting on my laurels quite literally threatened to drive me insane. This challenge turned out to be tougher than I imagined, not only because it was public (I was being held accountable by all of you) but also because some days were really tough and I still had to show up.
I am a hopeless romantic. Always have been. Love stories bring tears to my eyes. I have often been accused of being naïve about love and relationships but I really cannot help myself. I grew up reading and watching fairytale stories which probably influenced my disposition to all matters romance. Back then, romance novels like Mills & Boon were the hottest reads, literally and figuratively. Predictably, there was always a tall dark handsome character who would sweep a fair lady off her feet and they would live happily ever after. The End.
As we head towards Easter celebration in a few days, here are a few tips on combating Holiday Blues.
This article first appeared in the December issue of Sage magazine.
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As we prepare to bring down the curtains on yet another year I’m sure most of us are wondering, where did the year go? Well, guess what? You are not alone.
A lot of us made very determined resolutions in January of this year, vowing that this would be the year of change. The thing about January is that it always makes us feel like we have so much time to make the changes we have long been putting off. Then before you know it, February is here and suddenly it’s Valentine’s Day and when you blink again, Easter is upon us. The cold months pass in a blur as we long for the warm months to return and let’s face it, after August, most of us just zone out waiting for January to start all over again.
Sad love songs. We all love them. They break chart records and make millions for their composers. Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to relate with the lyrics of a song when you are going through a tough time? I bet that musicians never write great songs when they are happy; the really great lyrics come during times of heart break and tragedy in personal lives. Those are the songs that people love.
We tend to be obsessed with fixing broken things. Broken hearts. Broken lives. Broken minds. Broken bodies. If you look at society today, there exist all kinds of doctors ready to offer a fix for anything you feel might be broken. There’s a stereotype about people who we perceive as “not being ok” and we steer clear of them till they are “fixed”. Till they are more like us and fit in to what we define as being acceptable.
In reality though, is there really any among us who is not broken in one way or another? And if truly, great things are born out of our brokenness then why our haste to fix ourselves all the time?
Late last week as my husband and I were taking our evening walk, we happened upon a heart wrenching scene. Right in the middle of the path lay a semi-conscious middle aged woman flanked by her two young children. The woman was on her way back home following an unsuccessful day of job hunting in a town center 40 kms away. According to the children the mother had not had anything to eat for two days and had not taken any water the whole of that day. She had collapsed from extreme dehydration.