Real Life OVER Reel Life

Well, living the reel life has gotten a little out of control for me and so I have to take a step away from reel life to live a real life. Listen, as entertaining as social media can be, it can be just as destructive, some would say even more. In other words, the entertainment that it offers conceals the dangers that are lurking in every view, tweet, mention, hashtag, handle or caption. When I started watching YouTube, it was for educational and research purposes ONLY. I would get on YouTube, get the information I needed, use it and continue with my day. Most of my time was spent living my life, confronting all the challenges and triumphs in MY life. That is right, MY LIFE.

Until I got sucked into this rabbit hole of being a subscriber, receiving notifications and thinking that I had to watch, engage and support these channels that provided information and yes, entertainment. I found myself being aware that I was spending too much time on the platform but seemingly unable to step away and just get on with things in my own life, I stayed glued, ready to watch when a new video came out. Then it became a crutch, when I was sad, I would watch a video or videos to laugh and relieve stress, to learn how to cook something, learn about a place, what to wear, what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, when to be mad, at what and at whom to be mad. It became a lot. It was too much. But I kept watching.

Then I started noticing that I was not enjoying MY life as much (but that made no sense). I became dissatisfied with everything and everyone in my life (again I could not put my finger on why that was). It seemed to make more sense to spend hours watching someone else living THEIR life. Until it felt weird. Sifting through the madness of that person’s life with them or getting another message that somehow contradicted last week’s message. Until you realise that what you see is not all there is and what you think is not how things are. When you come to accept that there is an algorithm ready to keep you addicted, you need to shut it down.

You need to push back your seat or get off the bed and leave. Take a step outside and remind yourself that you can use your time to live your life instead of watching what someone out there is doing, preaching, saying or ranting about. Your day should not consist of moving from one video, “reels” or “shorts” to the next that in the end make you more unsettled than anything else.

When you do step away you realise how much more you can get done, you can do more of the things you like watching others do and you can go to your own places too! A screen is just a screen. whether it is a television, laptop or phone screen. That screen tells you no matter how much you relate and it seems similar, you have entered a world not your own. So the aim should be to live in your real world, grow and thrive there and make memories based on what you can capture of your life and not one geared towards your entertainment. While there is useful information out there, your life should not be bogged down by all that is out there. Step away for a while, get back in tune with you and your life and leave the nose behind.

Dream Seeds

Dream Seeds

What do you see
when you look ahead of you?
Do you see all the problems
or possibilities?
Do you see famine
ot the harvest to come
do you see bread
or the millions
that from your seeds
who will be fed.
DO you see a fallen forest
destroyed by hate and those depraved
or the potential of another forest
bursting out of your heard?
What do you see
within yourself?
DO you see a dead end
or the solution to a problem?
Are you afraid 
that you will not make it?
Or are you building a bridge
on the strength of your dream seeds?

A Place of My Own

What if there was a place that was all your own? A place that no one could invade at will, order for you or dictate what you could do. Finding a place of your own is often associated with your living situation. Moving to your own place shows your independence. However, sometimes, even after doing this we still have this burning desire to have a place of our own in this world. This could stem from feeling trapped in one or all areas of our lives. So we go on a quest to find that place.

Finding a place of our own takes many far and wide and along the way, some may get lost and are never heard from again. Some try to begin by looking back. Here, they may find the past a bitter pill to swallow and end up choking on their bile. So what to do but pretend, pretend as if we have the answers, know what to do, and make a mess on top of the mess we forgot or could not bring ourselves to clean up.

So is it that it is so hard to find that place? For many they spend their lives on that quest and end up going in circles, ending up where they began. But what if (hypothetical of course) we could cut through the noise that is this world and find our place? We would have to sift through too many things that do not matter but that now dominate our minds, heart and soul. We would have to let go of so many things to recapture our souls.

Now, this leads all the way back to each of us and guess what? It was always about us. That place we are trying to find required us to properly know ourselves. Trying to find something that was never lost now that is the joke because you knew all along with that that occupying that place was inside of you. You know the answers but they are too scary to contemplate, you have the plan but you seem frozen in that same place. You know you must come to terms with all of yourself and move outside of the world created for you by others who don’t really know or want to know you.

Finding a place of your own is half the work because first, you have to know who you want to be when you find that place.

Indaba

Indaba

We will come like avengers
from the four corners of the earth
where we have been scattered 
and gather.
Here around this fire
we will tell stories
of how we triumphed
blazed through failures like wildfire
and jumped the line
of discord
that tried to derail
and intimidate.
Here we will remember 
that we are someone
mighty and valiant
our Ori go before us
and we are not afraid.
No we cannot be stopped
our energy comes from remembering.

We are forked lightning
that can never be stopped.

Learn to Dance in the Rain

I saw this quote recently and it coincided with some hard truths I stumbled upon. Lately, I have felt immobile by regret, discontent and a feeling of utter dissatisfaction with the state of my life. I know a part of this was burn out but it was also a malignant feeling of seeming never to truly be making progress in any area of my life. It came from a sudden attack of feeling stuck in life and realising that I was not blameless in this. I realise that the time has come for me to admit and accept some hard truths and this episode of discontent has revealed some true gems that have birthed great discomfort for me.

Some Hard Truths:

  1. The hand that wields the sword is more dangerous than the sword itself: I am pretty sure that you have heard some version of this before. However, for me, it has come to mean that I am not blameless in the state of dissatisfaction and discontent I am experiencing now. I have continued to make the same mistakes expecting a different result because of how earnest I am about experiencing change. I am earnest but my actions have done more harm than good. I need to take accountability in this regard.
  2. Do not wait on something outside yourself or your environment to make you feel complete or happy: Again I am sure that some of you have heard this before. But we need to recognise the truth of it. I have lived in denial of this. When you look beyond where you currently are and think that things will get better when you leave where you currently are then you will always be miserable there. I have to find the good in and learn how to be content again where I am.
  3. Do not make excuses because they trip you up and keep you grounded in the same place: It is so easy to blame everything on others or circumstances. Do not make excuses take action and own up to your part in whatever has gone wrong.
  4. Big things happen from small moments and actions: I have to stop resting on great expectations with Bollywood productions. Just do the small things and let go of those big plans.
  5. You control the journey you will experience in life: It is so easy at times to blame others for where you are at a certain point in your life. “If you did not have to do this for her”, or “If you did not have to go there for him” are thoughts that can hide the fact that you made decisions whether based on desire or out of a sense of duty, fear or guilt. It does not matter, you chose to help, to give and to be where you now regret you have been, what you have done and how much of you and your resources you have given.
  6. Make things right as soon as possible whether or not the fault is yours: It is a lot harder said than done but having peace of mind demand this is done. So whether we want to or not peace comes from making peace.
  7. It’s not that you cannot find time to pursue your dreams, it is that you have not made time for them: I have wasted so much time doing truly meaningless things time I could have spent working on those things that aligned with my goals and vision for my life. I now have to work on being disciplined and pursue my dreams actively.
  8. Lack of fear and self-confidence stunts you, not what others say or do: At some point we have to decide to move forward in spite of it all even our own limited view of our abilities.
  9. Don’t wait on the approval of others: We often turn to friends and family to get validation or a word of advice about something important t o us. However, learn to be more confidence in your ability to make the right decision. I have realised also that what I want more than sound advice is to place the final decision on someone else. So now I need to practice making the decisions that need to be made without expecting others to tell me what I should do.
  10. Your ideas wont wait on you to manifest, when you put them off they eventually find another more capable source: With this I will be simple, your great idea is your great idea until someone else makes them come alive. Then they become a wish never fulfilled.
  11. No one is limited or needs more than who they are: It has become so easy to compare yourself with others, without even realising it. Then one day it all comes to a head and you realise you have been making a list of all your shortcomings and they now overwhelm you: “What have I done, achieved in this life so far? Nothing”.
  12. Self-help books do not produce change in your life, only your thoughts and actions can: I have read a couple of self-help books and while in the moment they were great they were not this miracle text that delivered on results the way I erroneously felt they would. I now realise that they can help toa degree but I have to do the work, show up and make the time to work on improving areas of my life that need the work.

I know that as with anything else truly being accountable is the best way to learn from those truths highlighted above. But in a world that seems to change so rapidly nowadays we need to stop and pay attention, then take action.

When One Suffers…

When I would hear about a tragedy happening to someone, whether I knew them or not, I would immediately say, “that is so terrible” and immediately think, “thank God it’s not me!” I was relieved I had been spared the suffering that person was enduring at that time and I prayed fervently to God that it would never be my experience. You see, I naively believed that I was more special than others in their darkest moments. Little did I know that it was just that my turn had not come yet, but it would.

Now I believe that when one of us suffers we all suffer. Since the pandemic, I have heard too much of death and loss, of sudden tragedies and life-threatening emergencies. Through them, I have come to be more compassionate. So now my first thought is not that I must be lucky, but what can I do, what can I say to lessen the blow for that person. How can I be of service to ease some of their anxieties and pain? How much bearable those moments of loss, suffering and pain would be if we realised the importance of really, sincerely and authentically supporting each other. I know there is a sense of peace and comfort with knowing that many are with you, praying for you that many support and will lift you if you should fall and fall hard. It is good to know and this brings peace of mind that money or any valuable possession can never replace. W need each other.

For me, this is a truth I can see more clearly at times like these when uncertainties seem ever more present than they were before. We need each other, not to be separated by perceived advantages that make some feel more valuable, more visible and less silenced. We need each other because our very survival depends on it. Without each other, each of us will get lost along the way until there is no one who can if you a hand. No one to cheer you on, loudly and passionately, to the finish line

It is easy to turn away from someone else’s pain and suffering if we want to do so. However, because there are many threads that connect us in some way or another, it is impossible to avoid. So instead of trying to avoid the impossible, why not see your humanity in them and support, encourage and uplift them to where they can be healed. So that when your time comes there will be someone or many someones there to advise you, help you to find and apply the antidote and help to nurse you back to health. When one suffers we all will suffer and when one is honoured we all must rejoice.

Moderation: Why is it so hard?

Let’s make this week a Wisdom Week and start today on the right path by considering the value of moderation.

Quotes about Moderation (307 quotes)
What does this even mean?

Moderation is the avoidance of excess or is defined as doing something within reasonable limits. Now, moderation is not an area I am NOT strong in. When I decide to do something anything, I go all in. There is no halfway about me. However, this is something that has time and again been detrimental to my achieving any goal I have, as I get into trouble a lot by having the most unrealistic mindset and acting in the most extreme and unnecessary manner. And this is can be so exhausting. It is certainly no sane way to live! No matter what it is, if I am trying to be healthier for example, in the past I have gotten to the point where I end up eating next to nothing because it seems even a “superfood” or the healthiest thing on God’s green earth has a disadvantage. So, quinoa is good, then actually not, well dark chocolate is way better than milk chocolate but actually, it’s not! This goes on until I end up with a way of eating that is so extreme that I cannot keep it up and worst is damaging to my health and well-being. In order to have the perfect diet I somehow end up with a really unhealthy one and I know the inability to approach the enterprise with a concept of everything in moderation is the main culprit at play. I have yet to master the art of thinking and acting in moderation.

Balance and Moderation - Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
Is moderation a balancing act?

The question is also, is this possible for everyone to do? Can we all live a life based on a framework of moderation? To be extreme is to be farthest from the centre. If we are always going to the extreme, we are always moving away from the centre, we are always awry. If we are always awry, then we can never see the way ahead clear enough to read those signposts that can help us to the other side of where we want to be. Always having to remind ourselves that we have to be the best version of ourselves and be positive, smiling, smiling and being on our ‘A’ game can be quite annoying, tiring and lead to frustration or even resentment. Even being kind can become sickly sweet as the giver can burn out faster than a forest fire. Stretching yourself thin to do good has its disadvantages it would seem because we don’t know how to straddle that middle ground and find our centre.

A part of this need to be so extreme I believe, stems from how some view moderation. Some believe in order to be successful you have to give all or nothing. But is it really a good thing to have no middle ground (centre), to compromise on nothing all the time? Me having such a mentality has not worked out well. You see the more I tried to be an extreme me, the further away I got from myself because no one can last long being off-centre. It will manifest in some unpleasant ways that will set you back further than you thought you would ever be.

1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for your  stomach's sake and your often infirmities.
Can something seemingly good for us be too much?

So at this point, I am all for moderation in my life. I no longer believe that I have to be the best, just that I have to do my best which sometimes is just showing up, not because I have anything to contribute but because that is all I have in me to give on that day, at that time. And that is okay. There is nothing wrong with being moderate, in fact, it is the happy medium I now seek. I know it is not elusive or a unicorn, I know I will have to rethink, relearn and reevaluate how I look at the world and how I look at me. But I believe it is the star I need to see my way ahead and avoid potholes that my extremist mindset cannot see.

Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 | The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower