Brand New Beginnings

Brand New Beginnings

Date Like A Queen TB

 

Hello loves!  It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?  It’s April and you know what that means. RENEWAL and GROWTH!  My birth month always ignites something in me.  This month, I’m birthing new beginnings.  My main focus is expressing gratitude on a daily basis and shedding complaints.

One of the reasons I haven’t been as active on this blog is that I’ve been engrossed with my work as a matchmaker at Tawkify.  It’s been an amazing experience connecting people to their higher joy on a daily basis.  I’m combining my observations as a matchmaker and love coach in a new column at Tribe Called Curl called “Date Like A Queen”.  Check out my first article about the ground rules for you regal journey.  As always, I am grateful to have you on this journey with me!

Nonstop

As of today, I have completed 55 days of 101-day yoga challenge. I have taken 58 Bikram yoga classes. It’s funny how, 55 days and 58 classes in, I have no inclination to stop. I’m more than halfway done and I’m gunning for the end. Between you and me, I may go longer than 101 days–at least until I absolutely have travel.

Today was another ambitious day. I worked at the studio, took 11am class with Stephanie, signed in folks for the posture clinic, took the posture clinic from 1-4pm, then took class again at 4:30pm and headed out to my friend’s BBQ. It was a packed and fulfilling day. I got everything I targeted accomplished and I’m so grateful for the folks who helped make that happen.

Class with Stephanie at 11am was a warm up for the posture clinic after. My body really needed it.

The posture that followed was a true gift. We focused on the floor series this time. If you’re a Bikram yoga practitioner and you’ve never done a posture clinic before, run don’t walk to your nearest one! You rarely get an opportunity to walk through each part of every posture with experts who break down the medical benefits of each postures and teachers who provide precise, individualized corrections and observations for you.

In this posture clinic, we went over the floor series. It’s deceptively easier because it’s usually only 30 minutes but it’s a pretty complicated, intricate set of asanas. In the end, I realized that I don’t really listen and that most of what you need is in the teacher’s dialogue. I also had the experience of my whole world opening up at the slightest adjustment from one of the teachers. That is an opportunity I would jump at again and again whenever it is offered.

The class after was great too since I was thoroughly warmed up from class and clinic beforehand. I had a breakthrough in that I did not drink water until savasana between standing and floor series. That’s a big deal considering how I sometimes feel desperate for water. I’m happy that I did it and I’m not sure I would attempt to do an entire class without water. We shall see! I’ll debate the merits of water or no water at some other time. In the meantime, 55 days down, 46 more to go! Woohoo!

Gratitude Day 10

On Day 10 of 30 Days of Tessism, my gratitude can be found in the people that make my life work.

Gratitude:  Today, I am grateful for all the people who come through and support me whenever I am in need.  This support circle keeps me going year after year.  On my own, I can do but so much.  When my efforts are multiplied in a supportive network, nothing is impossible.

This network has come into play again and again to create miracles in my life.  I am especially aware of its power now that I am in Nigeria and am far away from the life and resources I am accustomed to.  My circle comes together and goes above and beyond to ensure that my being away does not mean I am disconnected or disempowered.  I am grateful for all the things they do in their busy lives to help me in mine.

Gratitude Day 8

One week of 30 Days of Tessism down.  Three more weeks and a lifetime of gratitude to go!

Gratitude:  I cannot reflect on gratitude without looking at one of my greatest blessings in life: my family.  They can be a tumultuous bunch and I wouldn’t trade them in for anything!

I am grateful for my parents who provide grace, strength, wisdom and guidance.  I celebrate my brothers who are solid examples of what the men in my life need to aspire to.  Everyone in my family has given me endless gifts throughout my life.  They’ve supported and challenged me.  They knew my greatness even before I could walk and remind me of it it everyday.  Simply, I am thankful for the family that I have and experiences with them that weave the fabric of my life.

How about you?

Gratitude Day 6

On Day 6 of 30 Days of Tessism is all about my friends.

Gratitude:  Today, I am grateful for the friends I’ve made over the years far and wide.  I appreciate the friendships that never lose intensity even if we are countries or states apart and have not seen each other in years.  I celebrate my inner core of fiercely devoted friends who lift me up.  They call me on my stuff.  Nothing slips by this core.  Complaints are humored for but so long.  These friends call for solutions and growth in our conversations.  They listen.  They weep.  They fight with me, for me, beside me.  Life would be meaningless without these upholders of joy and transformation.

My close-to-the-hip friends are not mere cheerleaders.  They rally behind causes in my life that I have long abandoned and remind me of promises I make not only to them but to myself.  They are the keepers of my dreams.  Through their eyes I can see myself especially when I am blinded by tears.

These kindred spirits do not stand for injustice, especially when it falls from my lips.  They demand my best yet they know when I need respite and meet each situation accordingly.  These friendships have given me wings as I fly through life.  In all that they do, they know that I would and do the same.

I am blessed with the incredible embodied in my friends.  Because I am their reflection, they make me incredible.  For this, I am utterly grateful.

Dearest

My father is dying.  Typing those words makes me want to scream.  My mother says he is and so do his somber friends who call to make sure I’m ok and ask why they haven’t heard from me in so long.

A few weeks ago when my mother told me the news, I angrily questioned all her years of medical knowledge.  Her nurse practitioner training was absolutely wrong about this.  Congestive heart failure.  Of all things.  She was wrong.  Over-exaggerating.

I would pretend I never heard it.  My body betrayed me as my mind encapsulated the news and prepared to bury it.  I worked to purge this virus of a lie, but could not stop my wordless, tearless heaving.  Since that moment, air is too thick to breathe and my heart beats only against my will.

Not true.  Absolutely not.

Daddy, hold on.  I am an ocean away.  A decade away from that promise of success.  Grandchildren.  Celebration.   All I have for you is missed conversations.  Things put off.  Panic.  Not enough time.

I’m left breathless around the choke of disappointment.  The loss of this love is not one I can imagine.

I will not.  Hold on.  So will I.

Tribulations “R” Us

I wish I could write something light and airy for you to read and consume with the ease that cotton candy melts on your tongue. Unfortunately, these past few days have been exhilarating and daunting. They have been relentlessly jarring me out of comfortable spaces to address the long overdue.

Everywhere I turn there is a fresh challenge: wisdom teeth chose this weekend to remind that growing wise is a never-ending and often painful process, maneuvering the end of a long standing relationship and trying not to be horrified postmortem, health issues of family and friends. It is nonstop.

I could rail against fate and all of this “too much” at a time where I’m not sure I can muster up “just a little” but I know that Tribulations “R” Us” always precedes Triumph Unlimited. So I’ll take my mind-boggling dose of issue stacked upon issue and dismantle each one powerfully to tap into the triumph that I’ve been squirreling away for days just like this. Take that, trouble! I’ve got more victory where that came from. Bring it.

Affirmation: Each tribulation is a gift that allows me to experience the amazing power of overcoming anything in my way.

Challenge Day 30: Score!

I swear I have the 30-day challenge blues.  After pushing day after day, I’m pretty sad that there is no more challenge left and that sucks the wind out of my sails.  Funny since I expected Day 30 to be the day to end all days where I would stand atop the mountain of my achievement and look out with puffed chest congratulating myself for daring the impossible.

I’m sure that I have the blues.  Now that there is no challenge each day, what will I do with myself?  Haha!  Anything and everything. The interesting thing about challenges is that they beget challenges–a sort of challenge-addiction.  Tomorrow or later this week, I’ll ruminate about lessons learned.  In the meantime, let’s get on with our last challenge!

Today’s challenge: Take stock of the last 30 days.  How did you do?  What did you do well?  What did you not do well?  What would you like to continue to work on?  How did it go?  What did you learn?
I’ll be sorting through the lessons learned on this journey for days to come but in the meantime, here are the stats of what I attempted this month:

My closest friends can attest to the wonderful peace I gained in these 30 days as well as the struggle it was to complete these last few days.  I know I couldn’t have done it without them or you.  I also know that I’m not quite done yet.

While I was able to challenge myself to different things each day, I haven’t gained mastery over anything new.  I have an experience of what it is like to live a revolutionary life but I still have work to do.  Each day of these 30 days of challenges revealed so much about myself to me.

The greatest revelation is that this month was a buffet of challenges for me to choose from and work on extensively in the near future.  All the challenges have been interrelated.  They are all pulling for the same transformed, galvanized life.  The next step for me is mastery.

Gratitude: I am grateful for that I could complete this month of challenges when I’ve done nothing like this ever before

On the horizon: More results, lessons and mastery…the journey – to be continued.

This is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper.1

Challenge Day 29: Dare to Want

One more day to go and suddenly I am incredibly exhausted.  I’d rather nap than blog.  The only thing that keeps me going is my promise.  Good thing I made one, otherwise I wouldn’t have continued.  Thank you for the strength you give me by reading and witnessing my journey.

The last few moments before the end of a grueling marathon can be the worst.  It is in those moments that your mind, body, being resolve whether to finish or to curl up in a ball right there.  The next challenge is important for me to keep going.  Come run with me.

Today’s challenge: Dare to want…wantonly.  Allow yourself to want for no reason.  Want things you’ve never wanted before.  Want until you want no more.  Write it all down.  Change your mind if you need to.  Keep going until you see what you say you want and match that to what you really want.  Write that list about ideal mate that you’ve resisted writing for years.  Go ahead, write it.  Want him and everything.  Go!

Wanting is such a odd thing.  Most of us don’t allow ourselves to want things fearing that wanting things that don’t manifest may kill us or be close to dying.  We treat our wants as if we will never have them and work to push them away.  In turn, we end up yearning those things that we deny.

We suffer when we live as if wanting is a reminder of our inadequacy.  We are stuck believing that we’re not enough to deserve or earn our wants.  What if wanting was a normal part of your day as simple and constant as brushing your teeth?  What if wanting was a tool that you use to design your life?  Today’s challenge is my opportunity to dream to the point of incredulousness, dance into the impossible and shed suffering.  So I will be writing that list and collaging my vision of heart-thumping future.  What have you not dared to want?

Today’s victory: I spent a wonderful weekend failing and winning at most of my challenges.  When I missed the challenge mark, I made sure I went back and hit it dead on.  That looked like heated discussions, impasses and, finally, peaceful resolution.  I’m glad I have these tools working actively in my life.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the incredible community that surrounds, supports and fuels my dreams.

On the horizon: The scoreboard

Challenge Day 27: Lose Wait & Late

This next challenge is one I put off as long as I absolutely could.  In fact, I cheated to make sure it was one of the last challenges I did this month!  Rather than avoiding it any more to the point of further egregiousness, I’m biting the bullet and going for it for these next few days.

Today’s challenge: Give up procrastination and lateness.  For the rest of the month, do not live as if there’s tomorrow or that you have a right or an out that makes it ok to be late.  Lose wait.  Lose late. Go!

Oh, that time thing is one of my biggest issues and it’s closely bound to my procrastination.  Since this challenge is incredibly difficult for me, I had mercy on myself and am practicing it for a few days as a start.  I will challenge myself to 21 days straight of no procrastination or lateness in the next few months.  In the meantime, baby steps.

To come to terms with how detrimental procrastination and lateness have been in my life, I turn to a trusty passage:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

~Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5

There’s but so much time in this life.  There is no tomorrow.  It’s gone in a blink.  Why wait?

As for being late, it’s my m.o. all over the place…except for movies.  I am fanatically early for movies–at least an hour or 45 minutes early to shows.  I am committed to getting great seats, no stress finding seating and an overall enjoyable experience at the movies for which I am never, ever late.  Ever.  Odd for a person who is pretty much late for everything else.  I will attempt to apply such dedication to the rest of my life.

Being late, while it may seem innocuous to me since I really intend no harm, chips away at friendships and networks, constantly disappointing and creating mediocre expectations and strained acceptance of “that’s how she is”.

For the next few days, I will honor my friends, networks, commitments and myself by practicing a new-found awareness of and respect for time.  So no more 11th hour blogging and other transgressions…I need all the support I can get so my friends, countrymen/women lend me your encouragement.  It’ll take all that and then some for me to be successful.  My stomach flips at the thought but I’m ready to dive!

Today’s victory: Today’s victory was very simple.  I kept a promise that involved time, my usual nemesis.  Every time I meet the demands of time and promises without avoidance, it’s a huge win.

Gratitude: I am grateful for how much more free I become with each day.  Every day I grow.  I know that every new day presents a new opportunity for breakthrough.  For that I am utterly grateful.

On the horizon: Doing what comes naturally