Loving yourself is making decisions that allow you to make the most of the experience and your life.
Will Smith did an IG story over the weekend talking about how our likes and dislikes or our needs and fears will only keep us where we are but if we want change we have to focus on what is right and true. He hit the nail on the head because our thinking and acting reflects the love we have for ourselves.
Love isn’t getting your nails done and a massage or even that steaming cup of coffee, it’s opening your eyes to reality and making the necessary adjustments to change for the better even if it’s uncomfortable and emotionally painful. Love is asking the question “Am I loving myself by doing this instead of that?”
Often times, we come to a fork in the road and are forced to make a choice. Sad to say, we are often moving out of habit not free will. Who holds the strings to your life? Is it old beliefs, other people’s approval, the notion of this is what I’ve always done or is it just the easiest choice to make?
Loving yourself is giving yourself the chance, every day, to be an active life influencer. What you do with your time and the choices you make will define the life you live at the end of the day. This doesn’t mean you have to be anything grand but it does mean that you at the end of the day you are able to shine a spotlight on yourself and know that you moved out of love for self.
I’ve heard successful people say they live by their calendar. If it’s not there, it’s not done.
This is the perfect time to get a plan down, develop systems, implement rules and set boundaries. A plan that allows you to take stock on past actions and get clear about what you want moving forward.
I recently read an article of business owner, Denise Duffield Thomas who outsourced all of her housework so she could better enjoy her family and focus on her business. Many people try to do it all instead of surrendering and letting go so tasks can be delegated for increased productivity and personal satisfaction. I applaud her for acknowledging her weaknesses and asking for help managing the tasks surrounding them.
Now is the time to decide what your goals are so you can create the routines, schedules, and process of getting there joyfully.
Let’s talk about what’s on your schedule based on your goals for the year:
Nights out with friends
Do you take time out to plan your week? When do you do it? On Sundays or Mondays? Or do you plan each day as it comes?
How far out do you plan?
I like quarterly planning because it gives me a timeframe to focus on hitting certain milestones.
This is believing in the unseen, the future, the possibilities.
I’ve struggled with faith and believing in positive outcomes in my life. I struggle because I focus on the negatives and get caught dwelling. Faith is trusting the process of the right now and getting excited about what’s around the corner.
The magic is in the moment when we know it’s done.
This year was rough and trying. I cried many days and was unable to get out of bed. I even went months without reaching out to loved ones. The year felt like I was in a deep abyss but after spending sometimes reviewing each month, actually each week of the year, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
I surrendered to many things thus I didn’t respond much cause I had faith that things would work out. I mean for most of my life I’ve been highly favored and blessed so why not now. I do wonder what could I have done to deserve my current situation but then I think have faith, believe in yourself and trust in tomorrow.
Faith is more mental than it’s spiritual.
Most of all, put in work daily for what you want. We often dream of freedom and once we have it, we don’t know what to do with it. Freedom isn’t free without a plan. Faith works when you aim for something.
Sometimes we get stuck on the literal but I want to let you know that thinking outside the box and being innovative is creative.
Being creative is allowing yourself to be free.
There are so many ways to practice Kuumba daily. It could be everything from cooking only what’s currently in your pantry to creating a side gig using a skill you have like teaching piano to baking cakes.
We aren’t all artistic but we all have the means to be creative.
Let’s looks for ways to innovate!
What are some ways you can express yourself in 2019.
I sometimes feel like this should have been ‘ubuntu’ instead.
Basically, I’m not competing against anyone cause if you win so do I.
There is a saying that if you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room. It sounds good but I could never subscribe completely to it because I see the fractures in the logic. My argument is if this is true why would smarter, richer, more accomplished, etc people invite those not on their level to sit at the table. Kind of pretentious in my opinion, to leave behind people because they aren’t as smart or whatever as you and what about those who are as smart as you?!
I will agree that if you are the smartest in the room and full of arrogance about then, you ARE in the wrong room.
I believe we should have a Ujima Circle that consists of 3 types of people.
People who are smarter, more influential and connected than us. These are mentors who understand their responsibility to share their knowledge and offer invites to spaces that stretch your perspective. They are leading the pack.
People who are fresh, eager to learn and look up to us. These are people we mentor. It’s our responsibility to pass on our knowledge and help them grow into their desired self.
People who share the same aspirations as us. These are likeminded peers and colleagues. These are people who are next to us on the path.
Do you have at least 3 people that fits this in your life? Tag them in the comments below and share the wins they’ve had that were also yours.
If you don’t have at least 1 friend ahead of, 1 beside you and 1 learning from you, set an intention today to attract this ujima circle into your life in 2019.
Kujichagulia is a mouthful yet fitting for its meaning.
Having the fortitude to control the narrative around, about and within you.
It truly takes self determination to hold your space in the world.
This is my favorite Kwanzaa principle because it’s strong, unapologetic and self assured like all the ballsy women I admire like Harriett Tubman, Zora Neale Hurston, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, my grandma.
In 2018, I feel this principle was tested within me every single day. 2018 was the year of space. I’ve often awakened and felt as if I wasn’t in my body at all. What I learned about space is it provides an environment absent of pressure and expectation, a freedom. With this freedom, I’ve had to manifest anchors and goalposts to ground and motivate myself because without this I was liable to float away and get severely burned by the sun and in turn fall in the ocean like Icarus.
I had a friend recently call me “the engine that won’t quit”. I feel like my daily is nothing admirable, it’s literally me finding the strength and balance to get up, put one foot in front of the other and focus only on what’s in front of me.
What I’m hoping happens is I become aware of what I want, who I want to be and make deliberate moves to become that person. Ultimately, I’ve had to use my imagination and believe that I’m moving forward for a purpose.
Step by step, bit by bit with blind determination.
First off, Kwanzaa isn’t religious, it’s cultural for a people who were stolen and traded from their motherland. Despite it all, we know we come from a place entrenched in culture that we can only scratch the surface of remembrance. Today marks day 1 of a 7 day homage to African heritage and values. Today we reflect on the principles of Kwanzaa and celebrate how far we’ve come in 2018 and set intentions for 2019.
Umoja is unity.
Coming together and standing as one.
We are one.
In 2018, I wavered on this like the flame of the black candle. Instead of leaning on my community to lift me up and give me the support I desired, I isolated myself. I wanted to ask for help but I felt like others had their own ‘stuff’ going on. I didn’t show up to things like I’ve done in the past cause I didn’t feel I had anything to offer the group.
I know now I was wrong to think that way and by not showing up and asking I didn’t give my community a reason to come together and strengthen. Every chance the community gets to unite for a common cause, it gets stronger.
In 2019, I will show up for my community and trust that they will show up for me.
What about you? Share below how you practiced Umoja in 2018 and what is a way you can practice it in 2019.