Been a while …

… since my last post; about two months!  I keep doing that – not keeping up with my posts,   I hope to do better some time soon; with more regular posts.

It has however been a very eventful 6/8 weeks for you and me both!  Further 6/8 weeks of lock down and working from home for all of us; and trying to keep the spirit high in spite of the physical and social distancing/lack of contact with our friends and loved ones and some losses as well.  I hope you have all fared well and are coming out okay, as best as can be, with the slow easing of lock down.

It has been an interesting period of continued self reflection for me.  Some powerful realisation of past traumas and the effect they have had on my behaviour, decisions and actions; tears shed as I came to these realisations, forgiveness and moving on, while bearing in mind that I might get triggered still. However with the new knowledge, trusting that I will be able to better manage the triggers when they occur.

Very  interesting though is the resonance that perspective is key in everything!  Some of the experiences that caused those traumas, I didn’t go through alone, but the impact on me differs totally from those of the others. Perspective really is key: we each choose the meaning we give to occurrences.

I have also clearly mapped out an 8 year vision and the route to getting there.  Busy time, but the clarity has meant I have gotten to work.  As I do the work, I have found that I am feeling a bit lonely on this journey, but I am also beginning to connect with people on the same trajectory, which is great.

As unusual as this period has been, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity of time to work on myself; and the direction I am moving towards.

Action finally taken…

 

I finally bit the bullet! 👏🏽👏🏽

Action … Now for the Doing (if I can just conquer my fear and get over my insecuities)…

The call just got published on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/108369670782986/posts/113352880284665/?d=n

If you can, help promote the call …

The beginning of something great, I hope & if not a place to learn from.

I am so excited for this journey 🙏🏽💃🏽

Action … Now for the Doing (if I can just conquer my fear and get over my insecuities)…

So I’ve had this idea (which stemmed from another idea I am waiting feedback on) for a while.

This idea required me to put an ad/call out for others to join me at the table. I have however found one excuse after the other that’s delayed taking action! I have written the call, had it vetted by others & now the question is where do I post the call.

The decision on where to post has taken the best part of three weeks!  In the process, an online profile has been created, yet still no post!

I have got to conquer this fear! Nothing grows when we sit in a place of comfort, so I’ve got to step out of my comfort zone to have a semblance of living those dreams …

 Well said Dale: time to get busy!

Busy here I come …

Anyone joining me on the journey of getting busy? What do you need to conquer the fear over & get busy with?

 

Looking back, past trauma & Next Steps

As part of my transformation/growth journey, all my readings and the podcast talk about looking within and healing past trauma to be able to move forward.  So I am looking back, reflecting and musing over the past two decades; what was and what could have been …

In the January 2000, with an 8 year old daughter and one year old son in hand and my mum visiting from Nigeria, I received an offer to London School of Economics to study an IT course I had applied for.  I looked at the cost and thought definitely not! If I had that amount of money (£7K), I could do so many other things (talk about being naive)! A time when the dot.com/digital age was taking off, what a move that could have been & in hindsight, what doors a post-graduate qualification from the University  would have opened!

I however, went on to take a one week temporary role in a charity organisation as a purchase ledger clerk (in spite of holding a degree in Business Administration and another in Finance & later on, to complete a masters degree in Finance & Administration). That temporary role became a ten and a half year job in which I grew to become the professional I am today. I had a great mentor in my line manager to whom I owe a lot of my work ethics, diligence.

The charity organisation, I describe as my “professional training ground” – every time I thought/had plans to move on, opportunities to learn & grow opened up.

After ten and a half years however, I bid farewell to my “professional training ground” & took on a role in The Gambia, where I was responsible for the organisation’s operations; with support from the Directors in UK.

At this point, my daughter had just finished the first year of her law degree and my son had just finished his first year of secondary school. We all travelled to be with my dad for his 70th birthday. Turned out to be a great reunion as my brothers also came home with their families (last time we were all together before my mum’s passing last year).

On the first week I settled in to work, I received a call that my daughter was in a condition that I  later got to know was a “mental breakdown” and was later diagnosed to be “bipolar”!

What in the wold is that?  I had no clue and was in no way prepared for anything like this; I was distraught!  To make it worse, I couldn’t immediately get to her as there was only one flight out per week! I eventually made it out to her, where she was in hospital and on medication.  My brothers (who fortunately hadn’t returned to their bases after dad’s birthday) and her god-mother held space for me until I got to her; I am so grateful for them and the role we continue to play in each others’ life.  Thus began a four year journey!

I was eventually able to bring my daughter home where she received further medical attention.  After about three months being monitored and medically cared for, we agreed it was best to defer her studies for a year, so we returned to The Gambia together, where I resumed work.  My daughter returned back to her studies after about a year with me, with support from an NHS appointed case worker, but relapsed.  It was a really difficult time balancing work and being there for my daughter, but we were fortunate that by the time she relapsed she had been allocated a new case worker, who turned out to be a God send (and who continues to be in our life to this day)!  The universe does indeed have my back!  Every time I was about to give up my job, she’d tell me not to and that if I needed to be there, she’d let me know.

I held on to my job, but I was in despair, crying and praying at night, consumed with work during the day (I guess it helped keep the worry at bay).  My son was in boarding school in Nigeria, where I eventually also took up a job, after almost two years in The Gambia.  I recall (and chuckle) a day when his god-mother, who was listed as his guardian called me while I was still working in The Gambia, to tell me the school had called to say he had an injury and she had been asked to pick him up: I burst into tears at my office desk!  At that moment, I felt like the world was caving in on me; it turned out to be nothing serious, but just the thought of something being wrong with another of my children was too much to fathom.

To this day I question myself; was it my fault that my daughter had a mental breakdown, was it because I took up a job outside the U.K. at that time, should I have given up my job, so many questions I ask myself, but then I tell myself I am not that important to have been the cause (but who knows)!  I am however grateful for my daughter’s transformation today, I am so proud of the woman she has grown (and continues to grow) to be.

When I listen to the news and see the care available for mental health and how young adults who have breakdowns/episodes sometimes have to be held in police cells, I empathise with the families, but am also reminded that in spite of my family’s experience with mental health we have reason for gratitude in respect of the timing (as it was at what now seems to be the early stages of what is proving to be a global epidemic amongst young adults) and based on our experience, there was sufficient resources for my daughter to be able to access the care she required at the time.

My son returned to U.K. a couple of years before I did.  I also returned when he insisted he needed me to be in the U.K.  I resigned with a plan to also use the the opportunity of being jobless, to reflect and figure out which direction I wanted to go with regards living my dream.  Fortunately or you might say unfortunately, but I choose to put it down to timing (I believe everything happens in the right time for each of us) my employers offered me a role in the U.K. office where I got to work from home!

I accepted the offer and six years on, I am where I am still in employment (changed jobs, grew professionally and am now a Director and still dreaming of things I would like to do to be of service), but am now beginning this journey of self-discovery, reflection and finding my purpose (and trying to conquer the fear holding me back from stepping out to live my dreams).

Of course, I can’t reflect on the last two decades without a mention of my personal life.  I feel that I have been very naive in my relationships, sometimes compromising on who I am , but I am glad I eventually stood up for who I am. Of course that has meant not being in a relationship for quite a few years.  This again is something I beat myself up about; not being able to have provided my children with an example of what a great relationship looks like (as we all know, children learn by what we do)!

In spite of my thoughts about what could have been and questioning of what I should or could have done; I truly have no regrets about the journey so far, rather I am full of gratitude for where the journey has led me and for the opportunity of time to be able to commence this new journey

I believe the time is now (it is not too late, but time won’t always be there) to work on myself, to practice more mindfulness and gratitude and go do those things that truly fulfil me; and hopefully along the way, attract someone who is also on a spiritual journey of mindfulness and wholesomeness.

Next steps for me:

  • Keep addressing any past traumas
  • Find my purpose/my why and start “doing” rather than just “dreaming” and building castles in my head

What are you doing to live your dreams?

Belated Happy New Year (2020)/Foundation Building to #Becoming

It is hard to believe that it’s been almost six months since I last posted anything!

Life’s been ongoing of course!  Made some moves (at the end of last year). which I had been planning for a while and had tied a lot of things to by saying when the moves happen, I will do this and that.  Well, the moves have happened – mostly, so it is now time to start doing the ‘this and that’.

So I describe this new decade and new year as a time for #Becoming #Steppingintomypurpose #Steppingintomyfullpotential #mytime #anewjourney

January 2020

This is an excerpt from a posting I made in a closed group I am a member of: “Over the years I have questioned what I do – I have worked in the charity sector for more than 20 years, but in the back end (support function) and have always said I don’t feel like I am making an impact. People would say, but you work in the charity sector & your organisation does this & that, & makes this & that impact and you are part of that; but I just wasn’t feeling it! This led me to discussions with friends at various times over the years, to start a charity organisation in which I could be hands on; but it’s been all talk! (N.B. This year however, one of my personal objectives is to stop “building castles” in my head & start doing!”  – This surmises this new journey I am on.

So all through January, I have been listening to podcasts! Some might say I am now a podcast junkie, but believe me; I have had so much motivation and uplift from these!  I wish they had been around a few decades ago, perhaps I would have had the courage and encouragement to go do the things I dreamt of.  I am however choosing to believe that now is the right time for me and that’s why I have suddenly awakened to listening to the podcasts.  I am also choosing to believe it is not too late to live those dreams – being in  your golden years, doesn’t mean you can’t live your dreams!  So this is #mytime to #makemydreamshappen and to #liveinmypurpose.

I have listened to tons and tons of podcasts (from as far back as 2014 recordings) and have found the interviews with several inspiring personalities inspiring and thought provoking; and have read several uplifting and motivating books.  I listen to at least one podcast a day (more like 5! in all honesty as that’s what I do on my train journeys to & from work) and have begun mediating in the morning.  I am left feeling invigorated and believing it is not too late to #liveinmypurpose, so 2020 is the year to lay the foundation and begin the work towards achieving #mydreams and #livinginmypurpose.

Are you an #over50woman feeling listless, unfulfilled and/or confused about what next; or feeling “there has to be more to life”, if so, I invite you to join me on this journey.  Of course, if you already started a similar journey, I’d love to hear your insights.

Podcasts I have been bingeing on and think you might find useful (and picture of my apple podcast library) are shown below:

#ON purpose with #JayShetty  #the mindvalley podcast with #VishenLakhiani

#The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes  #Women of Impact with Lisa Bilyeu

#Addicted2Success with #JoelBrown and of course, #Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Books I have read in January which I have found really motivating and full of ideas:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  • Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success

 

For February:  I plan to read a few more books and continue to develop my mind and receive inspiration by listening to more podcasts and reading more books.  I also plan to put together a #visionboard and get back to #journalling.