I trust the next chapter because I know the author.
As I sat in stillness earlier today, I found myself reflecting on how much has changed over the past few months – for me certainly, but for us all too. Any life is a life of change.
While change can be exciting, like a pay rise or a new home, the hardest change to deal with is that which is unexpected and out of your control, like the loss of your job or a global crisis. I, for instance, transitioned out of my previous role and then Covid-19 hit in close proximity. Yet, I have more peace than I have had in a long time. To be clear, I went through all the motions: sadness, disorientation, numbness, avoidance, all the anxiety that could be felt by a 5’4 human being and eventually, came to a place of calm. Peace of mind does not mean complacency. It simply is acceptance.
Accepting my past was half the battle – I quickly realised that I had to fight for my future in the same breath.
Here’s how I did it:
I reframed my mind
Focusing on what I can control, practicing acceptance, paying attention to what is there to learn from my experiences and choosing to look at the opportunities – which is in fact, a daily process.
I was speaking to a friend the other day, who mentioned that he’s been working on an innovative product to support the efforts towards fighting Covid-19 in Kenya. I was stunned. It reminded me that even in the thick of things, you can choose to identify the opportunities for growth because after all, the universe does not stand still, and as special as you are, not even for you.
Getting to this point is the culmination of endless conversations with God. I started to believe in my worthiness again because, God. I started to have faith and hope, because God. I started to make a plan, because God. I started to move forward, because God. Imagine having someone in your life, who you can release all your shackles to and just move freely? God has been the one for me throughout this season and throughout all seasons and God, to say I am thankful is an understatement.
My faith, by grace, is no longer conditional. I don’t need to know how this ends to have faith. All I know is that all things are working out for my good (Rom 8:12), that He who began a good thing in me will carry it to completion (Phil 1:6), that He has plans to prosper me (Jer 29:11) and that through Christ, I can do all things (Phil 4:13). Now, I may doubt many things in this life, but one thing I know for sure is that God has the first and final word. Do not allow anyone else to speak over your life other than The One who created you.
PS: This playlist which my cousin created has been particularly encouraging in this time of immense uncertainty.
I took action
With each action towards the right direction, you will find greater clarity, confidence and opportunity. Both big and small steps matter. Momentum is momentum.
Besides positive affirmation and seizing control over my mind, taking 10 minutes every night to think through the things I would like to get done the next day and writing them both in my diary and whiteboard (you gotta pull out all the stops when avoidance has been your default), has helped organise my time better. It’s still a work in progress but the fruit is evident.
Simply, on days I cannot fly, I run and when I cannot run, I walk and when I cannot walk, I crawl. By all means, I keep moving forward. Thanks MLK.
I found ways to de-stress
Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am occasionally chef-ing it up in the kitchen, being the ultimate music DJ in my bedroom and basking in our garden.
Here’s the thing, responsibilities will keep increasing, bills won’t stop coming and there will never be more than 24 hours in a day – amidst all this you have to find time for you. Find a restorative activity that helps you manage your stress and you will be happier, healthier and more productive for it.
I sought support
Pray, call a friend, video chat a family member – do whatever it takes to feel connected. We are social creatures by nature, so we weren’t built to endure every life change without others’ support.
In the event that you need professional help in these times of social distancing, I came across these digital/cellular support services based in Nairobi: Niskize, TherapyKenya and Wazi that you can reach out to!