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Can a Man Be Faithful?

Men often underestimate the emotional ramifications of their actions. Women often underestimate the shallowness of men.

Lauren Vinopal

Why can’t you just be faithful?

Any man who has ever been on the receiving end of that question, whether dodging crockery or wiping away his wife’s tears, knows that some women really want an answer. Do men who cheat really outnumber their female counterparts? Is infidelity in marriage more natural to men than women? And do some husbands think that “monogamy” is a board game?

This million-dollar question remains unanswered for most people; at least for those who still believe in the chastity of marriage and have a strong bias toward monogamy. Is it a possibility or just a swaying illusion; Can you be faithful to one person for life?

I must admit that when young and unmarried, there is that longing desire to find the best fit, and most importantly, someone you can trust and take them by their word as it comes. On the other hand, however, popular culture continually waters down the vitality of looking keenly and choosing a suitable mate for the long run. I think we have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed and heavily swept by tides of infidelity that we are so ready and willing to take anything; even if it’s not up to standard. We have decided to believe in the guile that all men(women) are cheats so take the best option that you can live with. Really? 😉

We never take the time to delve deeper into the reasons and predispositions that could lead one to be unfaithful. Sadly enough, it seems like fairy tale trying to grasp the fact that there are still faithful men and women out there. Wait, before you start mumbling and complaining, we’ll dig into research and psychology and try to understand a thing or two about monogamy, mating and definitely cheating! 🙂

According to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, it consistently finds that 20 percent of men cheat in their lifetimes, compared with 12 percent of women.Think it’s just about sex? Not so fast. When marriage therapist M. Gary Neuman interviewed 100 cheating men for his recent book, The Truth about Cheating, only eight cited sex as the main reason for their infidelity. Forty-eight of them said emotional issues drove them to cheat. If sex was a factor, other problems were probably lurking.

While women do cheat, the fact is men cheat more than women. It may come as cold comfort to women scorned, but they don’t seem to do so with the same intention as women. Cheaters, specifically repeat cheaters, tend to be opportunistic and capable of emotional compartmentalization.

Why do men cheat? Some may cheat because they are unsatisfied, but, as a rule, men don’t cheat because they are unhappy. Men cheat because they think they can get away with it and because they’re willing to let themselves get away with it. Cheating is, strangely, a behavior that can make it hard to be a good father and husband, but also a behavior that isn’t actually correlated with familial love or care.

Studies routinely find that men are more likely to cheat on their partners, commit sexual misconduct, and act recklessly when it comes to sex. Evolution, biology, and the platitude “boys will be boys” do not excuse poor and inconsiderate decision-making. But there are biological factors (as well as numerous cultural factors) that may make men more likely than women to act upon their sexual impulses.

For instance, the sexual pursuit area of men’s brains may be up to 2.5 times larger than that of females. Men report masturbating over twice as frequently as women, on average, with their primary motivation being insufficient sex. Upon reaching puberty, men begin to produce 25 times more testosterone (the male sex hormone). Although this is obviously not true of all men, on average, a male’s brain is, evolutionary, more primed towards sexual conquest.

Despite popular misconceptions, humans are not the only monogamous creatures, and in fact, the majority of human cultures actually practice polygamy (both polygyny, the practice of having many wives, and polyandry, the practice of having many husbands, are common throughout history). On the other hand, many birds and even our close relatives the gibbons almost always have one partner for life.

|Love you for life.|Gibbon Couple cuddling

Robert Weiss, a therapist and author of Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating found that despite being stereotypically seen as good at fixing things, men are almost universally terrible at repairing the damage done by cheating. Because the sex didn’t mean much to them and was simply available, they severely underestimate how devastating their behavior might be to their partner. For men who don’t come clean or get caught, repeat offenses are the product of the same mentality: It’s just sex.

Estimates suggest around 10 percent of expecting fathers cheat on their pregnant wives, and there’s reason to believe a man’s resistance to temptation is stronger when he’s newly married and having a bunch of sex in the kitchen in front of his new appliances then when his partner’s interest is declining. While women tend to cheat up, bedding potentially more suitable mates, men cheat down and all around.

Unlike men who cheat chronically as a result of deeper-rooted attachment disorders and sex addictions, healthy men who cheat occasionally are not pathological, they’re immature, Weiss says, adding, “Most men fall somewhere in the middle between being absolutely faithful and having cheated once, realizing it was immature and learning from it.”

Well, as obvious as it is that men are more likely to have illicit affairs out of a relationship; its also true that there are men to whom cheating ain’t their cup of tea.

Studies by Kinsey and Masters and Johnson suggest that about 50% of men are faithful to their wives. These studies were done some time ago and followed a period of time when men were separated from their wives for long periods of time because of war. Surely, the meaning of an infidelity when someone is necessarily away from a spouse is different than when they are living together. Also, the number of infidelities in couples who have been married for only 10 years, must, surely, differ from those couples who have been married for 25 years.

According to Dr. Fredric Neuman, Men who dont cheat fall into different categories:

  1. Some men simply have very little interest in sex, within or outside the marriage. I think that these are the men who have set down the various rules against different kinds of sexual behavior.
  2. Some men are shy. They may be in a position where an opportunity appears for an illicit sexual encounter; and they, sort of, don’t react until afterward. Sometimes they report these minor encounters to me with a vague sense of regret (not really much regret, however).
  3. Most men who are faithful are simply too busy in their lives to have much time for an affair. They are preoccupied with work, with dealing with kids and a home, with various social activities. Having an affair seems too time-consuming and not worth the effort. Most of these men aren’t thinking of affairs in the first place.
  4. Some men say they feel uncomfortable lying and practicing the various complicated deceits required to successfully pull off having an affair.
  5. Some men say that the stakes are too high. They know that their wives would feel terrible if they were discovered to be unfaithful; and, possibly, their marriages would be at risk.

The good news is that most men don’t need to cheat to understand the hurt it may cause to their partner — that can be accomplished through healthy, and more important, continued communication about trust, intimacy, and opportunities for temptation as they arise.

So Yes, a Man Can be Faithful. A woman too 😉 , if they choose to.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fighting-fear/201209/why-are-some-men-faithful-their-wives

https://www.today.com/health/men-sex-relationships-therapist-shares-surprising-truths-about-desire-t149064

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Humming Bird or Jack Hammer: Which one are you?

We are not so far yet into 2020. I do believe we still have our resolutions and set targets still put in place. Being worked on probably. Yes, i am glad January is fast gone and past behind us. Quite honestly, i feel like shouting once more, Happy New Year! It kind of feels like another new beginning to the year. I guess it’s probably because this is a new month. Lol!

Anyway, I just thought of reminding myself and you, probably, that as much as we want to achieve and do great things. Which is commendable as a matter of fact. Let’s just remember to be a lot kinder and compassionate to ourselves. Do you agree? Accomplishing New Years’ resolutions is quite challenging and much harder when we lose sight of ourselves in the process. Right?

It’s kind of funny how most of the time, when i make mistakes i tend to beat myself up much harder than i would with someone else. I am more graceful toward a mistake made by someone else, i actually find it easier to understand and maybe support through, but in the event i make the same mistake, i do a pretty good job of tearing myself down. Thanks to my quite perfectionist persona. I at times overlook the fact that I’m only human and i can make simple yet mistakes too. And the fact that i have to forgive myself more often.

Growth is challenging, and perhaps due to this, it can come with a healthy serving of self-criticism. In the face of failure or inadequacy, well-meaning people might tell you to be kind to yourself. Great advice. But not always taken into account 🙂 . Shaking off negative energy ain’t like flipping the lights on and off at pleasure. It takes more than that.

Sometimes we tell people, ‘be brave, love yourself, believe in your ability…’,but that’s pandering: it’s not an easy thing to practice if you feel shame. Less confident. Shame is powerful. So if you are not there yet, it takes time. Patience. Give yourself time and take small bits of brave laden steps, empowerment and courage. Everyday.

For the 21st century woman, it can be put matter-of-factually that: “The more we gain the smaller we feel”.

The paradox of declining female happiness is of the idea that, in spite of gender empowerment, this woman is not only unhappy, but also, unhappier than her mother and her grandmother before her.

A short explanation for this is that more is expected of her- ace it at work and school, be a super wife and stellar homemaker, be strong but not intimidating, have wisdom and experience within the looks of a debutante, Oh, and don’t forget to keep up with the latest trends and celebrity gossip for crying out loud! I am quite convinced men too sail on the same boat though the narrative is a little different. 😉

For this, we either blame ourselves for failing to keep up or falling short of these expectations. Driving ourselves insane trying to stand or Keep up! Its not entirely our fault.

Our culture as a whole teaches self-criticism for motivation: it teaches to build self-esteem by measuring ourselves against others.”

Kristin Neff

Self-kindness is…

Strategies you employ in the face of inadequacy or while suffering. Being warm to yourself as opposed to being self-critical. Not ignoring the problem but rather having a balanced view of the situation. Not suppressing but also not exaggerating an emotion. It is observing things the way they are without allowing the confusion of self-pity (poor me!) situation to creep in. Not victimizing yourself or being so harsh but accepting that this is also a phase in the seasons of life.

Sometimes we run so much after passion that we forget the path of purpose. When you feel like a failure, because maybe you haven’t found something passionate to pursue, you do not know what you are supposed to be doing with your life at the moment, when you’re feeling useless; do yourself a great kindness. Forget passion. Do something that is a lot easier; follow your curiosity. If passion is this intimidating grand concept that takes EVERYTHING, curiosity is GENTLER. It does not strip you bare. It instead gives you clues, breadcrumbs, small things that pique your interest but do not require you to break your bank account to pursue.

Remember, we are different, some like Hummingbirds, will keep moving around, from tree to tree, flower to flower, trying this and that until they find what suits them. Which is okay. Then there are Jack Hammers- those who have always known their path, probably from childhood. And they are solid on pursuing it. Never feel bad for taking so long to really find and combine areas of interest into a complexity that best suits who you are. We all take time to find the best vibes that resonate with our inner being.

If you were created a humming bird, then that is how you need to be. Yours is a beautifully complex life and your service is that, your zig-zagging path cross pollinates and aerates the world. Release yourself from the pressure of passion and humbly follow the trail of the Humming Bird!

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What do you love doing? How to find your passion

Ever since i can remember, i have always had this desire within me to make use of my linguistic skills and create an impact in my life and in the life of others. Back in High school i challenged myself into writing poetry, novels and short stories ( which I no longer do as often 😦 don’t ask me why 🙂 ). I just knew i wanted to study law or become a journalist.

Fast forward to what i am today…honestly i am still building the founding blocks of who i see myself becoming. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been a black and white affair but i am grateful for the small steps and milestones that have earmarked my progress over the last few years.

It’s been a combination of disappointments turned to steering energy to prove a point, weak points still being worked on to create a clearer vision and attainable goals. However, most importantly, it has been about being honest with myself. Asking the tough questions which i have been shying from, sometimes quitting and hibernating, then out of perspective, hitting the ground running with new energy and much more focus. Oh, and do not underestimate the power of research! Yes, research on trends!

Anyway, enough about my blubbering and monologue: question is, are you doing what you love? Whats your passion?

When i was younger and naive, i just thought things should ideally fall into place as long as i work hard and do my part. But we all know life has some special twists and turns that teach us and wisen the soul. I say this because i missed to get an admission into law school but instead got an acceptance into business school. I was crushed. Angry. Very angry.

Well, i ended up pursuing that course and specialized in marketing ( which I believed is something that will still make use of my social,creative and linguistic skills :-)). But if i must confess, the first two years were a struggle for me because i felt lost and a bit discouraged. Along the way however, i embraced the fact that sometimes you gotta do what you can while still looking for what you would love to do. Just keep moving.

I bet by now you’re wondering if i found my passion? Well, ha ha i guess i did after my undergraduate. I had to expand my visage and embrace even the things that weren’t as clear in the beginning. This however does not mean i haven’t had to work in jobs i died inside, felt enslaved and too tired to motivated to get up, dress up and show up each week; day by day. I have. It is part of the learning curve, part of the sharpening but what i have learnt to be more valuable, is having the courage to walk away when you don’t see any visible growth or alignment to what your vision in life is.

I mean, we all cant be poets and musicians, just because we love creative arts but we can always find a way to live a fulfilling life and use that talent creatively by thinking slightly outside the box. Maybe writing music, producing it, promoting it…get my point? Sometimes we can find our passion right where we are. It’s a matter of changing perspective, adjusting the lens and not being afraid to do things your way.

How to find your passion

  1. Ask Yourself: Is There Something You Already Love Doing?Do you have a hobby, or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility?
  2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About
  3. Brainstorm :Nothing comes to mind right away? Well, get out a sheet of paper, and start writing down ideas. Anything that comes to mind, write it down to evaluate later
  4. Ask other people for ideas. See what others have discovered as their passions. Look all over the Internet for ideas.The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of finding your true passion.
  1. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
    If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.If you can do your passion as a side job, and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need.
  2. Give It a Try First. Test your idea.
  3. Do as Much Research as Possible
  4. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More
  5. Never Quit Trying

I do believe that as long as you put your mind into learning it, embracing it as it comes, life becomes easier. More options unfold and unseen solutions to reaching your greatest potential surmise. Not all of us are lucky to start off where our passion lies, but none of us is allowed to die without truly living and doing that which makes your heart glow with satisfaction.

I hope 2020 will be more about you knowing what you want to do, chasing it and never quitting. When the going gets tough…the tough keep going.

Happy Holidays!

Test yourself and find your true passion.

https://www.psychologies.co.uk/test-whats-your-true-passion

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gET TeArY: hERE’s wHy YoU sHoUlD cRy MoRe OfTeN!

It starts with a quivering lip. Or maybe blinking faster and faster to keep the wetness from escaping.

Before you know it, you’re getting teary — again.

When was the last time you cried? How often do you let those warm, salty, clear drops of liquid escape the corners of your eyes, letting them gently caress the edges and lines of your face, trailing slowly to the neck leaving a traceable trail of distinction as they fade into dryness?

What’s your style? Bathroom person or it-does-not-matter-where-i-am kind of guy? Are you a Crying Machine, one of those people who cry at the drop of a hat — not to mention weddings, birthday parties, your kids’ school plays, and the humane society public service announcements showing those adorable dogs in need of new homes or you may be the type who can’t remember when you last cried. Dry Rock that needs to be hit hard. 🙂

Crying is the shedding of tears (or welling of tears in the eyes) in response to an emotional state, pain or a physical irritation of the eye. Emotions that can lead to crying include: anger, happiness or sadness.

The act of crying has been defined as “a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures“, instead, giving a relief which protects from conjunctivitis. A related medical term is lacrimation, which also refers to non-emotional shedding of tears. Various forms of crying are known as sobbing, weeping, wailing, whimpering, bawling, and blubbering.

Why Do We Cry?
The ”why” of crying may seem obvious and straightforward: You’re happy or sad. But that’s too simplistic.

”Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. But then people [also] cry under other circumstances and occasions,” says Stephen Sideroff, PhD, a staff psychologist at Santa Monica–University of California Los Angeles & Orthopaedic Hospital and clinical director of the Moonview Treatment Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

For instance, he says, ”people cry in response to something of beauty. There, I use the word ‘melting.’ They are letting go of their guard, their defenses, tapping into a place deep inside themselves.”

So what are the benefits of Crying? Could there be hidden science in this simple, natural…most of the time almost involuntary and unconscious action in both man and animals?

1. Has a soothing effect

Self-soothing is when people:

  • regulate their own emotions
  • calm themselves
  • reduce their own distress

A 2014 study found that crying may have a direct, self-soothing effect on people. The study explained how crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps people relax.

2. Gets support from others

As well as helping people self-soothe, crying can help people get support from others around them.

As this 2016 study explains, crying is primarily an attachment behavior, as it rallies support from the people around us. This is known as an interpersonal or social benefit.

3. Helps to relieve pain

Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins.

These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.

4. Enhances mood

Crying may help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals.

5. Releases toxins and relieves stress

When humans cry in response to stress, their tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals.

Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress. More research is needed into this area, however, to confirm this.

6. Aids sleep

small study in 2015 found that crying can help babies sleep better. Whether crying has the same sleep-enhancing effect on adults is yet to be researched.

However, it follows that the calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.

7. Fights bacteria

Crying helps to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme.

2011 study found that lysozyme had such powerful antimicrobial properties that it could even help to reduce risks presented by bioterror agents, such as anthrax.

8. Improves vision

Basal tears, which are released every time a person blinks, help to keep the eyes moist and prevent mucous membranes from drying out.

As the National Eye Institute explains, the lubricating effect of basal tears helps people to see more clearly. When the membranes dry out, vision can become blurry.

Well…Im so impressed. With all these interesting and quite astonishing insights from research, what more could prevent you from getting a little teary once in a while? Don’t you think you deserve it !

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mUsIC: What does it have to do with It?

How music affects the brain to trigger the positive effects depends on the type of music, the tempo and how often one listens to it and in what situations.

Music is a very important part of our daily lives. We listen to it in the car every day, at school, work, at home while doing the dishes or just to relaxing in bed. The link between listening to music and cognitive performance has sparked the interest of many researchers in the field.

Although research has shown some contradictive and ambiguous results, there are some useful insights which are worth looking into. Using music for concentration and relaxation is a method proven by many scientific studies.

Many people like listening to music while studying or working. Listening to one’s favorite song while studying for an exam or doing homework can be very beneficial for staying focused. If you go to any college library, you will see most students listening to music while reading or doing their projects. Even students with anxiety and depression are able to concentrate better while listening to music.

In the workplace, music can improve productivity and bring attention back to the present moment. Music also has the ability to improve the mood of students and employees and allows them to focus better and work on their tasks faster.

Employees who listen to music may work more quickly than those who do not. When music is used to stimulate the brain and help with concentration regularly, over time, people become stronger and more focused. Overall, listening to music can not only improve concentration, but also decrease stress and activate different sections of the brain at the same time.

How music affects the brain to trigger the positive effects depends on the type of music, the tempo and how often one listens to it and in what situations.

Music has the ability to affect one’s concentration making it easier or harder to focus, the effect depends mainly on the person but also on the type of music. Some people say that any type of music disturbs their concentration. It is not a proven solution that works for everyone.

There are numerous studies and research in the field which show that through music people are able to concentrate better, comprehend new concepts and solve problems faster. In general, music has positive effects on the brain and cognitive functions.

“Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory,”

Dr. Masha Godkin

While listening to music the brain releases dopamine which improves memory and relieves pain. Enjoying music has positive effects on language-related memory. Singing, listening and playing music together help people connect because they make them more trusting and generous. That is why in churches many people gather to sing and listen to religious music. Listening to music also triggers the right part of the brain which controls creativity and motor activities.

It can also help in the healing process of sections damaged by disease or injury. The style, rhythm, volume of the music one listens to, as well as their personality, are some of the important factors to consider. For example, classical music is known to be the best for listening while studying; however, there is no firm evidence of the effect.

Nonetheless, what is proven is that listening to music with a steady, repetitive sound at not very high volume helps concentration better than loud and inconsistent music styles. Some people perform better when listening to neutral music, rather than their favorite songs.

A study shows that some types of music can improve cognitive performance and minimize the effects of stress and anxiety. It focused on the impact of volume and different genres of music on students. So, it is not only about listening to music but the kind of music matters as well.

According to Godkin, it’s good to stick with classical music. One reason this genre works well is that there are no lyrics to distract you. You can also branch out into meditation music, which is ideal for concentration as it is meant to relieve stress and relax your mind.

Music has a profound effect on our mood, blood pressure, and heart rate. For the best music to focus and study, choose tunes that keep you awake but won’t cause you to start tapping your body to the beat.

Instead of relying on the radio or a random mix, it can help to create a playlist of the best study music for concentration. You can plan a set amount of uninterrupted music, which serves as a built-in timer for studying. When the music is up, you’ve earned a break.

Everyone’s taste in music is different, but when it comes to creating the best study music playlist, here are some genres and tips to consider:

Go Classical

You may not want to go to a symphony concert, but the soothing sounds of classical orchestra music seem to increase mood and productivity, which makes it great for studying.

Consider Tempo

Music with 60-70 beats per minute like Beethoven’s Fur Elise appears to help students study longer and retain more information.

Spa Music

Ambient sounds that you would expect to hear on a soundtrack during a spa treatment can help you relax.

Nature Sounds

Like ambient music, the sounds of babbling brooks, birds, wind and rain are very calming and make great background noise. You can even create your own mix with websites like Noisli.

Electronic Music

New Age and ambient EDM music are a good choice for those who don’t like classical. Any music with little to no lyrics is best.

Sound Control

The volume of your study music is key. Don’t drown out your own thoughts. Remember, it’s supposed to be in the background.

ref.

https://www.ncu.edu/blog/can-music-help-you-study-and-focus#gref

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1 Thing Unhappy People Refuse To Do For Themselves

 It’s not your job to change who you are in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. You are worthwhile. Not because other people think you are, but because you are breathing your own air, and therefore you matter.

-Marcangel

Life is really hard sometimes. There’s no escaping that reality. It’s impossible to live well without encountering a certain level of struggle, and there are some seasons in our lives that are especially heartbreaking.

For Marc and me, one such season occurred over the course of 15 months when we were in our late-20’s. It was a period of profound loss,beginning when we lost our jobs and our house in the downturn of the economy.It started out as a financially scary and uncertain time for our family. Worry seeped into everyday life. “Unhappiness” is the simplest word to describe it.

Then, as we were learning to navigate our new reality, we were hit with a devastating loss: the death of a mutual best friend from sudden cardiac arrest. The loss of such a key figure in our lives was intense! We were absolutely devastated and knocked down to what seemed like the lowest of lows for weeks on end. And just as we were beginning to get back on our feet, my older brother died by suicide.

With so much loss in quick succession, there were days when getting out of bed was our biggest accomplishment. This is the nature of struggle, but as the days turned into weeks, months, and then years, we learned to press forward. We learned that we are resilient. And we now hold a greater appreciation for what we have and the people who are dear to us.

Sitting here now, years later, I can honestly say that Marc and I have learned great lessons from that agonizing time in our lives.We’ve learned how to cope with the hard times, the pain and disappointment, and above all, we’ve learned the vital importance of self-love and self-care―the magic that makes smiling again (and again) possible.

The truth is, everyone experiences unhappy circumstances on occasion, but there is a big difference between experiencing these bouts of unhappiness and living a habitually unhappy life. That’s what chronically unhappy people do. And although many of these people are afraid to admit it, avast majority of their unhappiness stems from their own perpetual self-neglect.

Marc and I have helped hundreds of unhappy people rediscover their smiles, and, in the process, we’ve learned a lot about the negative behaviors that typically hold them back. Self-neglect stands at the very top of this list. Even if you are generally a happy person,self-neglect is something that can easily creep up on you.

The key is to give yourself the extra attention you need and deserve.

Resisting and ignoring your own feelings and emotions does not serve you. It leads to stress, illness, confusion, broken relationships, fits of anger and bouts of deep, dark depression. Anyone who has experienced any of the above knows that these states of mind are horrifically unhealthy… and when you’re in the habit of self-neglect, it’s near impossible to escape.

 You have to admit, to a certain extent, you have spent too much of your life trying to shrink yourself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated.Less needy. Less YOU. Because you felt broken, and you didn’t want to be too much or push people away. You wanted to fit in. You wanted people to like you.You wanted to make a good impression. You wanted to be wanted. So you could feel healed.

So for years, you sacrificed yourself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, you suffered.

But you’re tired of suffering, and you’re done shrinking. Right? Good!

 It’s not your job to change who you are in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. You are worthwhile. Not because other people think you are, but because you are breathing your own air, and therefore you matter. Your thoughts matter. Your feelings matter. Your voice matters. And with or without anyone’s approval or permission, you must be who you are and live your truth. Even if it makes people turn their heads. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave.

You may have been broken down by adversity, but YOU are not broken. So don’t let others (or your own mind) convince you otherwise.

Source: Marc&Angel

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High Heels-Good for your Soul but not your soles?!


“…wearing high heeled shoes may at first lead to adaptation and increased strength,” the ratio of strength between the side and front and back muscles may eventually become unbalanced and unstable.”


New York Times
Black, peep toe heels
  • UK researchers say both women and men find those in heels more appealing.
  • Around two-thirds of businesswomen say high heels make them more attractive.
  • Men are almost twice as likely to smile at a woman in heels than one in flats.
  • But the same academics say that the shoes cause back pain and broken ankles.

I must admit like every other young woman  who loves to adorn and swap into a more serious and appealing look, I definitely go for the heel look. Yes. I have quite a collection of heels, of course in different sizes and colors! 😉 Truth be said, I’m just in love with heels. They give me a different tone into the dullness of life. Strut! Strut! Strut!

The reason I have decided to dig a little bit deeper on heels (apart from the fact that I love checking out the trends) is that I bumped into this old newspaper article that caught my eye on the pros and cons of high heels. Not that I haven’t heard or entirely lack the gist of it, let’s just say for some time I have not really been that engrossed enough into taking my time to research a bit on what I have heard. Till today.

“On that day you are seeking to look particularly attractive, you should put on a pair of high heeled shoes“. This is according to a study that confirms women wearing high heeled shoes not only feel more attractive and confident but they indeed appear more appealing to both men and women.

A team at Aberdeen University reviewed 20 publications on high heels to find the high risk of injury and musculoskeletal pain. The results are published in the journal BMC Public Health. Lead author Dr Max Barnish said: ‘There is pressure on women to wear heels, and celebrity influence with people such as Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton making it fashionable to do so, whether they intend to or not.

heels

Up to two thirds of women studied in these publications reported feeling confident and more attractive in high heels. Men on the other hand were found to be more likely to smile at and offer assistance to a woman wearing heels than one donning flats. The con to this effect as found out is that these shoes despite having such a positive effect on a woman’s attitude, can injure her body.

High heeled shoes can cause injuries from the toes up to the spine. The likely injuries include back pains, broken ankles and sprains. Not overlooking the double risk of developing bunions. Women who make this choice of footwear, according to the study are more likely to fall.

A new report published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice looked at young women who were studying to become airline attendants at the Hanseo University in South Korea. The group was instructed to wear heels to class—a wardrobe requirement should they get hired by a Korean airline.

Over four years, the researchers studied 10 women from each class, ranging from incoming freshmen to seniors. In a lab, they examined each woman’s balance and tested their ankle strength using a wobbly board and computerized exercising machines.

Surprisingly, the attendants’ legs seemed to get stronger the more they got used to high heels—at least at first. Compared to freshmen, sophomore and juniors exhibited a greater strength in muscles around their ankles, especially those on the inside and outside of the joint. However, the senior class women—who had been wearing heels the longest—showed weakening in those same muscles, and dramatically worse, even compared to the freshmen.

Jee Yong-Seok, PhD, a co-author of the study and a professor of exercise physiology at Hanseo University, told the New York Times that while “wearing high heeled shoes may at first lead to adaptation and increased strength,” the ratio of strength between the side and front and back muscles may eventually become unbalanced and unstable. Translation: those sexy stilettos are still not great for your body over time, even if you feel like you’ve gotten used to them.

So what next for us?

Well i think everything should be done in moderation. Not too much.The best advice is to stick with a heel that’s no higher than 3 inches, and vary your heel height as much as possible: high heels one day, comfy flats the next. And always give your feet a break if they hurt; carry sensible shoes with you so you can change if you need.

Yong-Seok also told the Times that women who wear high heels often should practice heel lifts and drops whenever possible to prevent injuries to ankles and other leg muscles: Stand barefoot, then rise onto your toes repeatedly; then stand on the edge of a stair and slowly lower your heel over the edge. Doing both exercises regularly can help strengthen your ankle muscles.

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Is sleeping That Healthy?

I know some people may have difficulty wrapping their heads around the benefits of having and enjoying enough sleep. In such a fast paced world where everything seems to be running all day long, reeling economic activities and even sometimes never ending streams of books, phones and laptops begging us or is it subconsciously enticing us to have one last look on them?!How often do you get to enjoy a sound, good night’s sleep? How long do you sink in and just replenish your energy level and the mind?

social-7In the past, sleep was often ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths. Now, though, we are beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. We’ve learned, for example, that when people get less than 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night, they are at a greater risk of developing diseases.

Sleep may seem like a waste of time. You could instead be answering e-mail, doing the dishes, repairing the deck or decking the halls. But research shows that you’re more likely to succeed at your tasks—and enjoy greater well-being—if you get some serious shuteye. For quite sometime i have been struggling with the inability to really sleep at the right time regularly and more so doing it in a peaceful state of mind. Not that i noticed the discrepancies till this habit started taking its toll on me bit by bit.

Of course, it’s not easy to sleep when you’re feeling overwhelmed. In fact, most of us lose sleep because of stress. That’s especially unfortunate because sleep

combats some of the fallout of stress, and poor sleep has been linked to significant problems, including:

  • greater risk of depression and anxiety
  • increased risk of heart disease and cancer
  • impaired memory
  • reduced immune system functioning
  • weight gain
  • greater likelihood of accidents

 

To assess your sleep deficit, ask yourself:

  • Am I often tired?
  • Am I using caffeine to get through the day?
  • Do I sleep well?
  • Do I wake up feeling refreshed?
  • Do I get drowsy while driving or watching TV?

The conclusion of the matter basically denotes that sleeping in the end has a myriad of benefits for our daily living and overall productivity as human beings. Given our physiology and composition. Experts suggest that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Everyone is different, though, and you may need more after a few days of burning the midnight (or 2 a.m.) oil.

In the next blog well delve deeper into the specific benefits of getting quality and temperate quantity of sleep in our lives. Be sure to link in and check it out.

 

 

 

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Are You Intentionally Draining Your Mental Energy?

Today, I want to remind you that the stories we tell ourselves change EVERYTHING we see. When we enter an experience with a story about how life is, that tends to be what we see, even when there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

We tend to compare our present problems and stress to an old parable in which a group of blind men touch an elephant for the very first time to learn what it’s like. Each one of them feels a different part of the elephant, but only that one part, such as the leg, trunk, side or tusk. Then the men eagerly compare notes and quickly learn that they are in complete disagreement about what an elephant looks like—and lots of tension and drama ensue.

mental 2

Something similar happens through our wide-ranging, different past experiences. Some of us have been deeply heartbroken. Some of us have lost our parents, siblings or children to accidents and illnesses. Some of us have dealt with infidelity. Some of us have been fired from jobs we relied on. Some of us have been discriminated against because of our gender or race. And, when we enter a new experience that arouses prominent memories of our own painful story from the past, it shifts our perspective in the present—it narrows it.

mental 3

When a negative past experience narrows our present perspective, it’s mostly just a defense mechanism. Every day of our lives we are presented with some level of uncertainty, and our innate human defense mechanisms don’t like it one bit. So our mind tries to compensate by filling in the gaps of information by clinging to the stories we already feel comfortable with. We end up subconsciously trying to make better sense of everything in the present by using old stories and experiences as filler. And while this approach works sometimes, other times our old stories and experiences are completely irrelevant to the present moment, so they end up hurting us and those we love far more than they help.

Thus, whenever you feel tension and drama building up inside you, ask yourself:

  • What is the story I’m telling myself right now?
  • Is there any proof that this story is true?
  • Is there any proof to the contrary?
  • What else would I see without this story occupying my mind?

Do your best to consciously detach yourself from the story you’re telling yourself for a few moments. Give yourself a quick reality check.

 

Adopted from Marc and Angel; Think Better Live Better .
And if you are s truggling with this in any way, know that you are not alone.

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The 10 Human Regrets

Only the mediocre die always at their best. Real leaders are always improving- and raising their bar on how superbly they can perform and how quickly they can move.

-JEAN GIRAUDOUX

Have you ever regretted forgoing an opportunity or chance in your life path that would have proven a sure and better prospect in propelling you toward your personal vision and self improvement goal? What could be the one dreaded thing that lives and eats life away within you and scares the sense out of you yet you keep pushing it further, never get enough time to really confront and do away with it…? Personally i regret not taking up one particular job offer, within one company i so much wanted to work for even for a day…because i was so scared of the work load and culture shock i would meet…plus too much negative opinions from my ‘trusted friends’…how can i just jump onto this when i haven’t even stayed in my current job for 3 weeks…what will my boss think of me…blah blah…

Eventually i found a place in my heart to forgive myself and more importantly learn more about my fears and drives as an individual. What really motivates me…what puts me off…how far can i embrace uncertainty…and most of all how much faith do i have? I realized that getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you’re meant to be on. Sometimes we need to get off track before we can develop the clarity to be on track.

On that note i owe deep gratitude to one special person in my life, who through their influence, subtle nudge, a strong presence even in absence, iced with a worthy reading culture, has proven to be a constant beam and pillar to motivating me in creating a habit of reading meaningfully.( Of course i have been an ardent reader but truthfully…most of the time just for fun and entertainment. Nothing more or less…). They lent me this book from which i base today’s title…with a usual reminder of how the rich and most successful people tend to also possess the largest libraries. Odd. Simple. Plain. True.

‘A hare inherits a swifter pace than a snail, but a snail may distance him in the end by  slow and sure progress day after day. It is not usually the most brilliant scholar in a college class that wins the valedictory or the highest place in after life. His very brilliance is his peril, for he depends upon it rather than upon hard work, which is the winning horse in the race of life, even though he gets a head-start.’

What our society,businesses,families and communities lack and are in dire need of are enthusiastic,initiative and responsible young men and women ready to be leaders without a title. No one needs formal authority to lead- only a desire. A will to be involved and the commitment to making a positive difference. It starts with an excellence in our current roles.

Leadership has nothing to do with what you get or where you sit. Leadership is a lot more about how brilliantly you work and how masterfully you behave. Right where you stand. One cannot be creative and innovative if they are too scared to think ,feel and be different. Everyone is an original copy of themselves ( unless of course there is a duplicate of you in existence somewhere…i hope not 🙂

So lets dive into this 10 regrets…enough blubbering.

  1. You reach your last day with the brilliant song that your life was meant to sing still silent within you.
  2. You reach your last day without ever having experienced the natural power that inhabits within you to do great work and achieve greater things.
  3. You reach your last day realizing  that you never inspired anyone else by the example you set.
  4. You reach your last day full of pain at the realization that you never took any bold risks and so never received any bright rewards.
  5. You reach your last day understanding that you missed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the mastery because you bought the lie that you had to be resigned to mediocrity.
  6. You reach your last day and feel heartbroken that you never learned the skill of transforming adversity into victory and lead into gold.
  7. You reach your last day regretting that you forgot that work is about being radically helpful to others rather than being helpful only to yourself.
  8. You reach your last day with the awareness that you ended living the life that society trained you to want versus leading the life you truly wanted to have.
  9. You reach your last day and awaken to the fact that you never realized your absolute best nor touched the special genius that you were built to become.
  10. You reach your last day and discover you could have been a leader and left this world so much better than you found it. But you refused to accept that mission because you were just too scared. So you failed. And wasted a life.

Many times we play victim and blame everything outside of us for the mess we find ourselves in. When we learn to assume responsibility for the place we are now, we begin to realize that each one of us alone creates the lives we get to live. Choices make or break us.

It is estimated that we live an average of 960 months.(subtract the ones you’ve already lived...) Life is short if you really slow down and think about it. Remembering the shortness of life strips away all distractions of life and reminds us what’s most important. Will you just die and be manure or will you leave something to be accredited to you? You do not have to be a freedom fighter or the president. Start where you are. Trust me noble acts have a way of getting out and about.

Ref:

Robin Sharma, The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable On Real Success In Business And In Life. Pg. 45&46

Wilbur, Successful Men Of Today Pg. 32

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Is The Majority Always Right?

I have always found it fascinating and quite intriguing when you consider that thought processes are not just mere patterns of routine brain activity but rather complex and highly enigmatic energy shots that lighten up certain areas of our minds, consequently…our entire system. Living in present plays a vital role in generating new thought patterns.

While riding the bus to work this morning, i let my mind flow and be carried away to the lush green grass and bush stubs that cover the pleasantly adoring Nairobi National Park. The tall,graceful giraffes i could see from a distant were already up and religiously engrossed in an almost ritual-like grazing routine. Further ahead i could catch a glimpse of the beautiful ostrich flapping its huge heavy wings, maybe signifying a new mode for the day ahead…till a cool gust of wind, breezy zephyr jolted me to the throbbing noise inside the matatu.

” If you arrest him you are arresting another tone of 45 million other citizens…let our people come out in large numbers and vote for better. Vote for change…We ought to send them home this time…,” the heated radio conversation rumbled on as i unsuccessfully tried to listen in and connect the dots. At the back of my mind i kept on wondering how much will power ‘democracy’ yields and how extensively majority power dynamics influence our daily lives as citizens. Whether we consciously notice it or are swept unknowingly in the masses.

Some few years back in high school,my literature curriculum included a play- An Enemy of the People ( i consider it a privilege to have studied it) authored by famous playwright and who most consider as the father of modern realism- Henrik Ibsen. The drama predominantly addresses the hypocrisy of society as a rotten sepulcher that tolerates moral degradation as exemplified from the highest ranking of power hierarchy, the noblest, to the humblest of persons in society. Moderation. Democracy. Though written as a response to disapprove the hypocrisy exuded by leadership during the Victorian Age, i figured the dynamics and patterns are relatively ,if not completely the same as in our current society as a nation.

Ibsen humorously lays out the play, with a guised, resilient backdrop that seeks to address issues that even our present society has problems grappling with; corruption;moral decay; shrewd deals and an elusive address of justice for the minority in society. The common denominator reiterates to the ‘fact’ that ‘the majority is always  deemed right.’ I find it true that ideas grow stale and platitudinous- they  die. Henrik ,through his main character Dr. Stockmann, shoots straight that there aren’t absolute principles of either wisdom or morality. Everything is relative.

He further portrays that the masses are nothing but raw material that must be fashioned into the people. Most of them are not ready to stand up, but are rather intimidated and ruffled at the thought of facing down the hypocrisy of the aristocracy clothed as a democracy within their current jurisdictions. They are people run down completely by the brain wash of governmental bureaucrats and unsated political mongrels’ greed for power and wealth. This makes it imperative for individuals to cultivate humane qualities that will shape a society and masses into a more rational and educated level, one that fully understand and participate in real democracy.

Majority rule dynamics are deep rooted in the Bible era too. For instance the time the Israelites are sojourning to Canaan from Egypt; Moses being a sensible leader sends forth a 12 man reconnaissance party to go out and spy the land. After several weeks this party returns and gives an account of what they observed. Unanimously they agree that it is a beautiful, fertile country with strongly defended cities and with men of huge stature. However, when it comes to the final verdict whether or not to pursue the promised land and take over, there is disintegration of 10 against 2- Joshua and Caleb.

It is clear that victory had been guaranteed to them from God but due to majority mentality the Israelites are thrown into a panic frenzy and become uncontrollable. Some even suggest hysterically that they go back to Egypt! See how majority power waters down a pre-determined course of action? It only needed a few influencers to press the correct buttons and exert an adequate amount of pressure for the masses to go berserk like untamed mindless creatures without a sense of sanity or reasoning ability to make logical decisions on their own. Fear, Irrationality. An enormous lack of faith and confidence. A risk averse mentality.

Even though they finally reach the promised land, the Israelites have to spend a painstakingly 40 years extra time to achieve it. Something they could have done roughly in a year after crossing the Red Sea. Look around you…Within you…do you have the guts to confront what is wrong and stand for what you believe is right and can benefit the community and society? Soon we are casting the vote. How mentally prepared are you? Do you vote for change or a community,family,tradition,party and popularity?

It’s deeply embedded within the human nature to want to be associated with and affiliated to things, people, organizations, movements – innocent on their own- but life threatening and huge impediments to personal and societal growth if supported for all the wrong reasons as vessels to put pressure and bring about a shift in dynamics. Whatever the reasons you are affiliated to a political alignment, activist movement…think…is the cause right for development or is it just cool and popular with no real issues to be addressed?

The majority is not always right and only the strongest man stands alone.

How firm are you?

 

Honesty Shows

An honest man’s the noblest work of God.

Robert Burns

What comes to mind when you hear this word?

According to Wikipedia: Honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.

Back in campus I do remember the frustration and tearing within my heart every time I saw a fellow course mate get away with cheating in exam. Not once. Not twice. Literally in every paper you’d glance and identify a cheater’s demeanor. The confidence. The tactic. Prowess. (Sometimes I wonder how the invigilators missed the obvious!) Not that my morals against cheating were that strong at the time…my only inhibitor was fear.

To cheat you gotta have the nerve and stamina.

Well, my friends and I would dare each other but soon get flustered and break out of the deal as soon as we got into the exam room. We didn’t score straight As in all units.(that’s expected 🙂 ) God knows we really wanted that. But then again, we did go through the exam period calm and peacefully depending on our memory and skills. Knowing that the results eventually were from pure hard and smart work. No strings attached.

The day of honest reckoning however, didn’t come. At least not for those I knew.

Come to think of it; it is a strange behavioural pattern – how sometimes we deceive ourselves thinking that no one will unmask our dishonesty. Thinking that we can hide in the crowd. But I have come to learn that we do not really get away with anything.

I am not sure that we all get repaid in this life for every dishonest deed we do, but I’m convinced that we all harvest the fruit of our labor.

Another way to look at it is considering these words:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from the nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Gal 6:7-9, NIV

We may think we won’t be unmasked or that we can hide in the crowd, but we are only deceiving ourselves. Whereas we all make mistakes and we all fail at one time or another.

Believing we can get away with a little indiscretion becomes detrimental eventually. Little- leads to large. And a few- leads to many.

Consider some of the national scandals in Kenya : 1. The Jacky Maribe-Jowi love gone sour scandal.

2. Famous, meticulous and respected seasoned anchor Esther Arunga and famous Quincy…

3. Pastor Kanyari and panda mbegu saga

4. The National Youth Service Scandal was a corruption scandal within Kenya’s Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Ksh. 791 million ($7,650,000) is said to have been stolen from the ministry’s coffers. Remember air-supplier Ann Ngirita? And many others…

5. Triple Governor Arrests- Governors Moses Kasaine ( Samburu),Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Ferdinand Waititu ( Kiambu).

Its sad to note our systems are not as strong to punish and prosecute stringently as developed countries but we must agree the stains remain like a dark night.

A quick comparison to America:

1. Richard Nixon, will go down in history as the only American president forced out of the White House.

2. Jimmy Bakker, who established a multi-million-dollar religious TV ministry but ended up with a fourty-year prison sentence.

These individuals were going places in a big hurry. One dark night the skeletons that they had carefully hidden in an obscure closet appeared, grabbed them around the throat and strangled then.

If we make a conscious decision from the onset to be honest, decent, clean and not put skeletons in our closets, then we can concentrate on what we are doing. Not having to worry about a knock on our door in the middle of the night, a telephone call, or a press conference that tells the works of our indecretions.

Truth is always the truth.

If we live by the rule of honesty and accept our problems, we can go far

Nice Guys Finish

…or don’t they?

I know we’re are used to the common cliché that nice guys finish last. Well, could be true. However, what’s the whole point of starting anyways? To finish, right? So that means even the nice guys actually do finish. Whatever it is to be finished 🙂 maybe a little delayed than the rest.

Would you describe yourself as a nice guy? On a scale of 1-10 where do you rate yourself ? 😉

Nice guys finish last is just another cynical way of reinforcing selfishness in different levels. Firmly graining the presumptuous ideal that each one of us should take care of ourselves and not care about others or how it affects them. Media is amass with this wanton school of thought. Dulling the edges of our sensitive humane personas slowly without us even realizing it.

But there is something positive that has come with this wave of the covid-19 pandemic. Renewal of humane acts of kindness. A jolt into the basics of who we are as a people and what matters most. Life.

When the world literally shut down. All distractions and engagements came to an abrupt halt; we have had to face the real deal of living. Caring for each other. Reaching out. Appreciating all we have. All to keep positivity consistent and soaring.

We’ve seen money being trashed on the streets. Where did all the haste to finish first go? We’ve been touched by anonymous random acts of kindness to the homeless. Street families. The less fortunate. Our focus his shifted from selfish to selfless. Question is…how long will it last?

Being nice could be, but is not limited to: being thoughtful, pleasant, polite, considerate, agreeable, congenial, helpful, gentle, caring and much more.

I am deeply convinced that if we were not born nice (which I doubt) then we can choose to cultivate it.

Do you know someone who has done extremely well and is nice? What of the exact opposite?

Well both cadres do exist but at the end of the road when we’ll have to face our life record; being nice triumphs. Its a law of nature that we’ll always reap what we sow. Simple.

Learning to treat everyone with respect. Consideration and thoughtfulness is a skill we learn. When we might be ignoring the janitor for their lowly post or lack of skill and qualification thereof in befitting roles, ever wonder if they could know significantly more about certain situations than we do?

A person who performs manual labor can certainly be as intelligent as one who sits at a desk, performing clerical work. To be nice translates to accepting each person for their individual worth.

Its disturbing when some people still decide that others are not worth bothering with simply because of their socioeconomic class, job title, race or tribe. EVERYONE HAS VALUE. God didn’t make no junk! 🙂

These seemingly unworthy and unrecognized persons can teach us, encourage us, and even turn out to be indispensable allies. They could be our knights in shining armours when we least expect. Being nice always comes back to repay us in the longrun.

It’s quite funny and sad too that at times some people feel superior to others and treat specific classes of others as being a little more than human. Especially, this happens to some individuals as soon as they append Ph.D or M.D after their names. In their mind it’s as if a degree or title elevates them above others.

Yet, no mater how famous we become or how much we achieve, we do well to remember that we’ll still remain the same people we were before the titles and degree. Our character doesn’t change.

We’ll do well to keep in mind that:

Everyone in the world is worth being nice to.

We get out if life what we put into it.

We don’t lose by being nice.

Yes, some people will take advantage of our kindness and might even consider it a weakness, however, kindness still prevails. If we are nice to others others respond to us in the same way and we can give our best to each other.

Essential Things You Should Know How to Do

How have you been? Staying safe? Maintaining the distance? Above all sanitizing! 🙂 Well it’s been quite a while since we last talked to each other. Don’t you agree?

I must admit that with the surgence and rapid spread of Covid-19 over the last few months a lot has changed. Drastically so in your life. Mine too.

Who would have thought in our time we’d live through a period of being locked down. Not hugging. Not shaking hands…it would have sounded ridiculous to even entertain such a thought! I know right?

At first, it was pretty difficult to not hug a friend. To not shake their hand. Felt…weird. How about wearing the masks? All the time. We thought it’d be for the infected or medics perhaps. Now we can’t live without them masks literally! 🙂 Oh, and queen of all – Sanitizer!

‘nough about blubbering. I realized that in these isolated times I can learn a thing or two even as I lockdown the skills I already have intact. Its a spiced way of being constantly productive while indoors.

I have to give credit to Marc and Angel for the inspiration to write this post. Despite the lists running to a hundred or so items I just picked a few I can start with as I progress to the much complex ones. Funneling it is!

Knowledge is Power

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

Here goes our list and we’ll try expand on them one by one as time goes by as we track progress. I promise they are as short and sweet as they come.

1. Use Google Effectively – Google knows everything. If you’re having trouble finding something with Google, it’s you that needs help. ( bet you didn’t expect this to top the list. Question is…do you always find what you looking for online? How exhaustive do you use Google. Or like me you just know the basics? 😉 )

Some links to help:

2. Do Basic Cooking – learning to prepare simple and hearty meals is as basic as learning how to bathe or shave! So get in the kitchen n get things simmering. Start with learning how to boil water for some inspiration. Dice some carrots. Slice some fruits and creatively space and isolate them on a sterilized plate 🙂

3. Select Good Produce –  With cooking comes this ultimate test. Avoiding rotten fruits and vegetables can be an evil tease and an awful surprise. Be a pro the next time you have to pick a juicy melon at the grocery!

4. Manage Time – Not doing so is called wasting time, which is okay sometimes, but not all the time.

5. Speed Read – Sometimes you just need the basic gist, and you needed it 5 minutes ago. 

6. Remember Names – Do you like when someone tries to get your attention by screaming “hey you”? ( I’m in this boat sailing right through. I can remember faces but names…that’s another thing. If you relate…let’s get our act together n be better. 🙂 )

7. Handle the Police – Because jail isn’t fun! With all the curfew and uptight security all our vicinities. This skill is indispensable. You just have to know the right thing to do and right words to let out. Good luck! Be confident in handling the Afandes when it can’t be avoided.

8. Perform Basic First Aid – You don’t have to be a doctor, or genius, to properly dress a wound. Rev your skills.

9. Perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver – Someday it may be your loved one and we don’t want panic tales.

10. Do Push-Ups and Sit-Ups Properly – with all the craze to stay fit at home note that improper push-ups and sit-ups do nothing but hurt your body and waste your time.

11. Speak at Least Two Common Languages – Only about 25% of the world’s population speaks English.  It would be nice if you could communicate with at least some of the remaining 75%. ( Get to even master your mother tongue. It’s important 🙂 )

12. Handle a Hammer, Axe or Handsaw – Carpenters are not the only ones who need tools.  Everyone should have a basic understanding of basic hand tools. ( Add hoe, Slasher and safety gloves to change your light bulb. Some things – have the boldness to handle.)

13. Smile for the Camera – People that absolutely refuse to smile for the camera suck! Learn to capture moments. Its not anybody’s thing so get out of your rat hole and live life 🙂

Last but not last nor least 😉 ( we’ll add more who knows!)

14. Give a Compliment – It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, and it’s free.

Scripture’s Grand Themes Expand the Mind,

April 20

He shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book… And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes. Deuteronomy 17:18, 19, NKJV.

Light reading fascinates the mind, and makes the reading of God’s Word uninteresting. The Bible requires thought and prayerful research. It is not enough to skim over the surface. While some passages are too plain to be misunderstood, others demand careful and patient study. Like the precious metal concealed in the hills and mountains, its gems of truth are to be searched out, and stored in the mind for future use.

And when you search the Scriptures with an earnest desire to learn the truth, God will breathe His Spirit into your heart, and impress your mind with the light of His Word. The Bible is its own interpreter, one passage explaining another.

By comparing scriptures referring to the same subject, you will see harmony and beauty of which you have never dreamed. There is no other book whose perusal strengthens and enlarges, elevates and ennobles, the mind as does the perusal of this Book of books.

The injunction of the Word of God is “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God and the human being are to cooperate. All are to work out that which God works in.

Students of the Word of God are to use the knowledge they have gained. They are to improve the opportunities that are thrown in their way. With a settled conviction of duty, they are to use their knowledge and influence in any channel, to the end that they may gain more by their use.

Study the life of Christ in this respect. Follow Him from the manger to Calvary, and act as He acted. The great principles which He maintained, you are to maintain. Your standard is to be the character of Him who was pure, holy, and undefiled.—Youth’s Instructor, June 30, 1898.

Courtesy of: Ellen White Writings: To Be Like Jesus.

Lessons From My Bed: With Love

Attitude

“How are you holding up so far? Don’t forget to sanitize. Be safe. Stay at home.” 🙂

I know by now you are well aware of these life saving, simple buzzer words all around your vicinity.

Today we (Kenya) stand at 50 cases so far on COVID-19( personally I thank God coz seeing how stunned and reeling other regions are adversely hit, its taking a slow stroll on us). It’s official we are not allowed to travel upcountry… We might carry this thing to our innocent folks in the village, if you know what I mean 😉

It’s funny to think of it but I even miss handshakes and cosy hugs ( especially from tall people lol!). Today I was in the banking hall then suddenly got this sudden urge to clear my throat and cough a little-(no don’t panic, I’m okay, just that the sanitizer disrupts something within my system that makes me wanna sneeze). I couldn’t do it…I kept thinking,” all these eyes will swallow me alive in a single gulp!”

We are at that point you have to suffer alone for the greater good…or worse still; be carried off to isolation if you exhibiting some strange symptoms. 🙂

I perceive the look of distrust deep within my close friends eyes. Sometimes- no, actually all the time- it hurts. Jabbing the insides like a hot knife through butter. But I understand them. I get it when we can only smile tensely and tersely as routine yet the joy does not radiate from within. The love has slowly grown cold.

As much as it would be comforting to believe and live in the lie that this too caught us by surprise; at some point the bubble has to be pricked for reality to set in. When it hit the headlines that Wuhan was the epicentre, I didn’t bother much. I thought, “this is their problem and they’ve got means to deal with it anyway.”

All we could think of is dealing with our pandemic at hand- locust menace. (BTW where did they go? Are we still tracking and taking pics or they vanished in quick succession like Moses’ plagues as soon as Mr. Corona came knocking?!)

Soon it was Italy…USA… Spain…Nigeria…South Africa then boom! Finally Kenya. Some of us bluffed, ‘Hii ni ugonjwa ya wazungu…’ ‘Hii si ya vijana!‘(FYI Kenya is a youthful country. ) When the media was busy ranting sanitize! Maintain the accurate social distance! Avoid personal contact! It wasn’t a matter of priority or urgency. 😦

We were busy singing ‘nobody can stop reggae…’ Busy realigning ourselves for 2022.Breaking down the BBI recommendations. Complaining how the government is appointing old folk into lucrative positions while youth are educated and unemployed.

Rallies and meetings every weekend. To an extent I think this disease has done good in calming the politics of Kenya. Finally, nobody, Mr. Corona has had the honor of stopping reggae 😉

In a moment the lens zoomed in and we have a clear picture of the true priorities in life – preserving life itself. Being in good health. Just staying alive. Appreciating everything and everyone as they come.

Oh! Did I also mention I went online to learn more on black, Homosapien genes vs. Neanderthals? Somehow it came up during a discussion with a friend and to make our argument solid, we found out apparently dark Africans, especially those around East Africa, have the 100% human gene ( with the hot climate) that makes us resilient to infection and disease; while the rest of humanity especially fair skinned ones have around 98% of the same. We were confident before the shaking of how impossible it would be for the virus to survive in our kind of DNA. ( I still think there is a science worthy of researching here 😉 )

I just look back and its very interesting how far and deep we went to rationalize why it wouldn’t thrive in East Africa kwanza Kenya (don’t call me ignorant you gotta do what you can to keep afloat and courageous in such times!). Now it all seems like a long night that we can’t wait to wake up from.

From washing hands a few times a day and mostly maybe after using the washroom or before eating, to a feverish obsession. Thank God hands don’t dissolve or melt. We’d be crippled!

I used to look forward to long weekends indoors, sprawl my lazy body on the couch, watch a series or something. Once in a while eat out with friends( and of course take snapshots and selfies!) The gay excitement of hanging out, rolling on green grass not caring whom you come in contact with or even how ( just watching out for pick pockets). Scrambling into matatus during rush hour and slumping into those seats not caring who’s seated next to you.

When We’d look forward to church service and worship. Catch up with friends. Meet during weekdays, catch up, joke around…do I sound like a depressed prisoner right now? Lol 😉

Or you’re feeling a tinge of guilt like me for taking most of these simple things for granted? Some of them we might have slighted or not even had a second thought about them.

I know We’d give anything to get our lives back to normal. But also we can agree it hasn’t been entirely a bad life right? It’s a new growth curve. A shifting curve in all we’ve known and embraced as normal.

I can’t really say I know how it feels to be totally locked down; but pretty sure it sucks. Especially if I picture it in a third world setting. I’m not even sure it will work entirely in my country. The set restrictions are already stifling.

Maybe far stringent measures will come. I think so. Maybe life will get more obscure and distant. I don’t know. However, what I’m sure of is that even if I’m spending so much time online and in bed 🙂 life is still beautiful.

No matter what happens, I still hope we’ll wake up and slowly it will vanish as it came. No more people will test positive. Even if they do, I look forward to seeing more recovered cases.

That as much as everyday feels like Sunday; I appreciate all the time at my disposal to learn something new, spend more time introspecting savouring each moment. When bored of course peruse snapped memories to keep hope alive that this too shall be over. Tomorrow is another day with more courage and will to live.

Shalom!

Learn To Love Thyself

I remember when i was a little girl i’d spend most of my free time glued to the television either watching Channel O or STV , deeply engrossed in the latest Jams and throwback music hits.Copying the moves and mimicking the voices. I just wanted to be a star. Lol! I must admit that i really enjoyed singing along to music lyrics even before i understood the real meaning of some of them. I can confidently assert that i was fast at grasping ’em lyrics than my math formulas for homework. 😉

One of those songs that still hold a special place in my heart is The Greatest Love of All by Iconic Artist and Songbird, Whitney Houston. She clearly puts out the message of self-love. Learning to love oneself. Yes, sometimes it is easier to propagate this attribute when you’ve grown up within an affirmative environment. But let’s be honest, not all of us have grown up in appreciative surroundings where we felt supported and really understood. Maybe you’ve struggled to even make it to this point . It’s more of an I against the World kind-of-phrase that should describe your life this far. Sometimes the pressure within and from society can make us forget the little tidbits that make life beautiful and colorful.

I choose orange as a sign to remind you…wait a minute…do you really love yourself or do you think you love yourself? When was the last time you really showed you loved you. Like yours truly? 🙂

Tomorrow is the 14th of February ;-). Got any plans set? I know, maybe you are a sucker for love or an extreme romantic. Even the rational ones. Everyone needs some love.

Yea, at times Valentine’s is blown out of proportion and most of the time packaged as a couple thing. Love bird getaway time. And a question begs to be popped, Can you be single and still love yourself through consecutive Vals? Or does a cold emotion of longing, sometimes envy or even worse desperation creep up your being begging to be assuaged with whatever means possible?

Most of us might hide behind the garb of indifference toward gentle intimated acts of affections when done to others. Sometimes we might dismiss this acts as childish or wasteful but it could be because of how we’ve been brought up and our social view on how to show love. However, when we feel love and understand that it gives as much as it receives, we put much effort into showing it. Living it. Flowers are the most traditional signature of expressing love or affection; and trust me, even the stone-hearted melt with this simple act of thoughtfulness.

Not all of us will be surprised by red roses. Not everyone will go out with friends to party and have some good time. Not every heart is cupid-shot at this moment and rushing with the eros kind of love. Fact is, like Chrismas or any other holiday, whether you celebrate it or not, the mood is contagious and we all get drawn by the vibe in the air and just want to celebrate. Coupled. Single. Loner. Freshly Dumped.Bachelor for life. Name them. There is that part of us that wants to feel the love too.

And that’s why remembering to love yourself is one of the best things you can cultivate as a lifestyle today.

Being in love with yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth and it will generally help you feel more positive. You may also find that it is easier for you to fall in love once you have learned to love yourself first.

If you can learn to love yourself, you will be much happier and will learn how to best take care of yourself. When you are truly in love with yourself and happy, you should stop comparing yourself to others so much and should find yourself more confident, not worrying as much about what others think.

So instead of glooming up and pitying yourself this Valentines and the rest of the year, how about you challenge yourself into taking up a few of the suggestions listed below and spoil yourself!

  1. Have Fun By Yourself
    It’s always good to have a few days set by for yourself, that is just for you to do something fun. In doing this you can learn to enjoy your own company, and most likely feel more confident doing it on your own.This could be, going to the cinema, going on a date with yourself or finding new things to try.
  2. Travel Once A Year
    This may be completely out of your comfort zone, but that is a good thing! If you can travel on your own, this will be a great self-love experience. You will be learning new things not only about yourself but also another culture. This also helps to bring you out of your normal routine.
  3. Forgive Yourself For Your Mistakes
    Reflecting on your mistakes can help you to forgive and forget. If you can look back at some poor choices you may have made, and forgive yourself, you can start to move on and forget about the past. Loving yourself despite any mistakes you made in the past is great for your self-worth.
  4. Surprise Yourself
    Try things out of your control, and say yes to things you would not normally say yes to. This will also help you with getting to know yourself. You may find out that you enjoy things you never realized or tried before. Try and get out of your comfort zone and see what happens (it will most likely be positive!).
  5. Start a Journal
    If you can write down your thoughts and feelings, you can go back at a later date and see how you coped with certain situations.This is also a positive way for you to get rid of any negative experiences and feelings, helping you to focus on the good things and learn from the bad.
  6. Give Yourself A Break
    We can be hard on ourselves sometimes, it’s natural, but you need to give yourself a break from time to time.No one is perfect, and you can’t expect yourself to be so.Certain things happen but you need to accept them and not be too hard on yourself. Try and put aside 30 minutes of your time, to completely relax. Having a break from the chaos of life is a great way to love and care for yourself. This could be having a bubble bath, reading a book or meditating.
  7. Learn How To Love Yourself By Saying No To Others
    Sometimes we do too much for people, we like to please other people, so we tend to stretch ourselves too thin and commit to everything we can. We can forget to look after ourselves sometimes, so that’s why it is good to say no. Focus on yourself when you can, or if you are overwhelmed.
  8. Make A List Of Your Accomplishments
    Creating a list of what you have achieved is a great way to fall in love with yourself. This makes you feel good about yourself, and find happiness from what you have accomplished. We can sometimes focus on the negatives and forget about the positives, so this is a great way to remind yourself of what you have achieved.
  9. Make A Vision Board
    Visualizing your goals is a good way to feel motivated and excited about your future. You can focus on your dreams and start to love your life and yourself.
  10. Pursue New Interests
    It’s great to try something new that you have wanted to try for a while, or have been too scared to do.You never know what you might enjoy until you try it, so think of a new hobby you could try, or go to a place you’ve wanted to go to for a while.
  11. Love Yourself By Challenging Yourself
    If you can challenge yourself, you will also be getting to know yourself and what you are capable of. Perhaps you are a singer, who sings as a hobby but has wanted to sing at a gig for years if you can take that leap and book a gig you will challenge yourself and feel much more confident. Just go for it, and see what happens.
  12. Work On Your Self-Trust
    A great way to show yourself self-love is to trust yourself and your own instincts.You are most likely going to know what is best for you, and self-trust is a step to self-love.You need to trust yourself before you can trust others, so listen to your gut and trust how you feel.
  13. Take Care Of Yourself
    This one probably seems obvious, but taking care of yourself plays a big part in learning how to love yourself, and a lot of people do not do it. If you take care of yourself, you will be the best version of yourself. Eat well, Dress up, Work out at Home, Bask in the sun( its heavenly!) just live life to the fullest.

Remember the Greatest Love of all is Learning to Love yourself!

Tribute video

Let’s Revisit and Audit It

I must admit I’m not a new year resolutions and goals kind of freak. Honestly, I tend to bask in the newness of the days and months. I let it sink in and marinate into my head. Then, maybe, later try and audit what next and way forward. That’s pretty much how I live my life…more like an intertwined chain-link.

Even as we are excited and over the moon about this new year and to some, a new decade; it got me thinking and analysing some of the lessons I’ve learnt in the past year or so.

I must admit it hasn’t been an easy task, especially for someone like me who tends to take it a day at a time as it comes…but in the end you gotta sit yourself at some point and face the facts as they are. Right?

So, lesson number one that I’ve come into terms with and keep reminding myself of is the fact that I don’t have to be the best in everything. At some point you realize that when you’re naturally competitive, it comes in as an insatiable desire to excel in everything. To be the star. To be the centre of attention. And this can be a lot of unnecessary pressure to an extent.

Coming into terms with the fact that sometimes I have to take a back seat and let someone else run the show is something I’m embracing and you can be sure it doesn’t necessarily make me lazy or any less ambitious. It’s more of letting me strengthen the areas I excel in while complementing the best way I know how, those who have more expertise and skill or talent where I can’t deliver.

Secondly, I guess I never learn this, but I hope my poor head will stick this in eventually; life is a gift and at any time it can be snuffed out in the twinkle of an eye. Last year I lost my grandfather to suicide and in as much as it a was a mixed roll a coaster of emotions, one thing was crystal clear; life is about bonds,memories,the people we care about and the decisions we make.

For sure I can never understand why he made that choice but it still stands that he no longer is in our midst all we have are the memories and good times. And that is what we live appreciating. We can choose to let go of the past. We can choose not to judge but rather accept it as it is. In a way it makes life lighter and easier.

Another thing I observed is that you don’t need to do good to only those who do you good. And it ain’t wise to keep a record of the good works you do to others as if waiting for them to reciprocate.

We are all different and not all of us are endowed with the tender,sensitive and caring gift of going out of our way and selflessly giving and being there for those we love. I say this because I realized that as much as I can be detailed and even remember most of my friends birthdays at special events, show up and support I don’t always expect them to do the same for me. I had to accept that how they appreciate me will definitely be different. I can’t change that.

But I don’t allow this to be a hindrance in my continual giving, showing up and sometimes surprising them. At times we let ourselves be sucked into the feeling of expecting a good turn in return. But fact is, it ain’t always like that. Not everyone in the circle responds to things like you do. And that is actually a good thing. We’d be aborted bunch of humans i f we all were the same. Don’t you agree?

Lastly, ( but not least). You gotta be patient. Slow to speak. Slow to respond. Just take your time. Or let time take you 🙂 . I believe in the power of destiny. That when I’ve done my best, when I’ve done my part then God will handle the rest.

When you learn to appreciate everything. When you assume a gratitude attitude you find that even in the midst of turfs and storms, there is always a streak of hope. A glimmering ray of good things to come.

Accept things as they come. Sometimes we can’t change how things have turned out to be…but for every season there is a reason and definitely a lesson. What have you learnt?

I hope you are grateful and wiser this year even as we rehearse and set new goals and accomplish the carried forward ones. Happy 2020!