Fairly recently, l took on a new role which involves a lot of commuting. A number of friends and acquaintances believe that the number of hours I spend on the train is a bit too much and some of them have stated out rightly that they could never see themselves ever doing this for a job. Personally, I am thankful for the experience because I believe I have learnt a lot these past few months. A whole lot I must say. The thing I enjoy most about commuting is that it provides me with time to think while doing a bit of people watching and writing. In this present day when we are constantly bombarded by social media notifications, phone calls, WhatsApp messages, text messages, BBMs and all other forms of modern day distractions, it has become quite a luxury for me to be able to set aside time to just clear my head and ponder about everything from life plans to trivial matters such as what I am going to have for dinner. Actually, scratch that, dinner is not trivial for a self professed foodie like me. Thankfully, this is where the gym comes in…when I can drag myself there. Lol…Pardon me, I digress. Back to my point… Being able to mentally eject oneself from all these distractions is what I refer to as standing still. Standing still for a period of time, be it 10 minutes or up to one hour in my case, i.e. a time when you can just sit, lie, stand, bend or take up any position that pleases you to ponder, allow your mind to wander while visiting/revisiting your goals. You know those goals I am referring to, those ones you have told yourself that you just have not got the time to think about because you have been so busy. You could stand still and think about these alongside everything and anything else. You could decide to reflect on the past, your childhood days or even embarrassing moments (I know I have had my fair share of them). Any wholesome thought goes within this period of standing still. I usually end up feeling a lot more grounded than I would otherwise have felt if I were constantly checking my phone and getting distracted by God knows what else. A greater feeling of control and peace usually engulfs me after my “standing still sessions”. Maybe this is what yoga does. I believe both concepts are the same because they both provide one with some time to eject oneself from modern day distractions. It is okay if you are reading this and thinking, “This is total bonkers”. However my suggestion to you would be, why not try it out and if after a few sessions, if you come to the conclusion that this is not for you, then at least you know one more thing that does not quite work for you. I personally have benefited so much from standing still and I strongly believe that if you actively and consciously practise this, you would be pleased at how much mind work you can get done in this period of sober reflection. Till you read from me again, keep keeping on. Image credit: nicktyrone.com
The inspiration for this post came to me about 3 months ago.
I was on my way to work having got on my regular train into the city. However, on this day, the weather was not very friendly and as a result, my train got delayed. As you can imagine, there was a mad rush of people whom I suspect also had delayed journeys, milling into the centre, trying to make a dash to their destinations.
As I walked on, I got to a set of traffic lights, pressed the button and stood there, with my headphones on, slightly oblivious to my immediate environment, while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I was getting particularly engrossed in “Drifting” by Enya when I was jolted into reality by a loud scream and the blaring of car horns.
Naturally, I pulled out my headphones from my ears and looked in the direction of the noise and all I saw was a woman running across the road. In her mad rush, she had crossed the road and just narrowly missed being hit by a car.
Of course everyone was relieved that she didn’t get hurt and some older people shook their heads but the funny thing that happened was that about 10 seconds later, the light changed to green for pedestrians to cross and the rest of us crossed the road.
As I carried on walking past shops on my way to my office, so many thoughts crossed my mind. I kept wondering what would have happened if this woman in her blind haste had been hit by the car. “What if she had waited for about 10 more seconds?”. I believe she would have crossed the road in a much more comfortable manner without having to put herself at the kind of risk she did.
This got me thinking about life in general, “Are we too hasty to go from where we are to where we want to be?”. “Do we in our haste to achieve goals, blindly rush off going after opportunities and taking decisions which in hindsight turn out to be a big mistake?”.
I have seen so many instances where people have rushed off to quit their jobs or relationships based on the promise of an amazing new position or partner elsewhere, only to find out that they may have been better off if they persevered a bit or left after giving it a bit more time and thought..
This is not to say that anyone should stay in an environment that constantly robs them of their joy. My point however is that, perhaps if we gave our actions a bit more thought, we would pursue these new opportunities in a more organised and strategic way which usually have a higher chance of success than if we dashed out like the woman, endangering our lives in the process.
Are we making hay even before the sun shines? Think about it…
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“When you grow up and learn a few things, you are no longer afraid of letting go… no longer afraid of the unknown” – Beyonce
I found this quote on the Facebook page of one of my secondary schoolmates and added my bit to the original quote, which now goes thus;
“When you grow up and learn a few things, you are no longer afraid of letting go… no longer afraid of the unknown and that’s when magic usually happens.” – Chika Efobi
The idea for this post came to me about 6 months ago when I was “spring cleaning” my room. Those who are close to me would know I am a kind of hoarder. Hoarder, not in the sense of not being able to bin/ let go of personal items, but in the sense that I tend to keep personal items such as jewelry, shoes, etc. in their original packaging and in cases of items I use more often, I save their boxes in case I need them in future for moving house etc.
On one hand, the practice means that most of these items are in near-perfect condition with resalable value for if/when I want to sell them on eBay or give out to family/friends. On the other hand this means that my personal space is always filled with boxes of varying sizes, occupying space, marking time for when I decide to get rid of the items. This has gone on for years and sometimes I end up forgetting that some of the items even exist until when I actually need them.
So on this day, six months ago, I decided to take on the task of de-cluttering my personal space and what a task it was! Boxes got thrown out, pieces of jewelry got rearranged and old shoes went. I even found a box for a pedometer, which I hardly use (I wonder what I was saving that one for…lol).
When I finally finished clearing out the boxes, I looked round my space and it felt airy, clean and light. It certainly smelt a bit better too! (not like my space smells…hey stop that thought!) People who have ever de-cluttered would know what I mean.
This got me thinking about life in general, “Are there people we are holding on to that do not necessarily add value to us?” Do we have friends and people in our lives that do not do anything for us but take up space and crowd our lives with unhelpful words, drama and negativity? Are we holding on to someone similar to that pedometer box which did absolutely nothing for me? Perhaps this is the time to let go, cut them off or even let them know how they could start adding more value?
Perhaps, the first step could be to have an honest conversation with yourself, after which you should be able to identify which friendships and relationships, which you should cut off to make your life less complicated and more beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong, this process is not in the least easy. It may seem painful, especially if you have convinced yourself over a period of time that you need these friendships/relationships but trust me, once you have done this exercise, you would experience some kind of peace which passes all understanding.
I hope you have a fulfilling week.
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Wow…I just realised that it has been more than a year since I made my last blog post. Where has all the time gone? Happy New Year everyone.
Let me start by rendering a huge apology to all my readers who I disappointed with my long absence. I got calls and messages regarding posting new articles but for some reason, I let life get in the way. I must do better this year.
This post was inspired exactly one month ago right around Christmas by my office Secret Santa event.
For those who are not aware, Secret Santa mostly takes place in offices or among groups of friends and usually involves each member of the group picking out a name from a hat and then buying a little gift for the person whose name was picked out of the hat. After which the gift is secretly placed into a bag and shared out during the office Christmas party or get-together.
My office organised one of these Secret Santa events and I drew out a name from the hat. Considering I was relatively new to the role, I was a bit confused as to what I should buy for said individual as I didn’t think I had known her long enough to know what she would like.
Nevertheless, I went ahead and got what I felt she would like with the relatively little knowledge I had about her, wrapped her gift and dropped it in the bag.
On the day of our Christmas drinks, I picked my gift (which someone else had secretly bought for me) and opened it when I got back to my hotel room. Lo and Behold, it was something similar to what I bought for my partner. I was thrilled! What were the odds? I was even more elated because I liked what I got for my partner so I was quite happy to receive it in return.
This got me thinking about life in general. What if we got the same attitude, responses, treatment we gave out to others? Would we be happy to be treated the exact way we treat each other? Would we be encouraged and feel treasured if we were talked to in the same manner we talk to others. Would you be happy if someone talked about you the same way you talked about others?
This gave me food for thought and I hope it does too. I believe the New Year is a perfect time to look inwards and make lasting changes.
I strongly believe that if everyone took a step back for a few seconds to evaluate what we were giving out, perhaps the world would not be in the mess we seem to be in.
There would be fewer killings, crimes, bullying, marital disharmony and sadness if we just stopped to think how we would feel if the tables were turned.
A better world starts with you. Think about it…
Have a fruitful new week
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“There is no such thing as a grey day, the sky is always blue. Sometimes there are grey clouds, in front of the blue sky so we say the sky is grey today but never… The sky is always blue” – Marianne Williamson
This is to remind you that just as the blue skies seem hidden behind the grey clouds, your life is always beautiful and brilliant. All you need to do is open your eyes and heart to see.
Have a fulfilling and blessed 2014
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