Call a truce with love

Art by Eka Peradze

Never think you are too cynical for love,
It will come busting down your doors
It will flood your senses
Ransack your heart until there is no dream left you wouldn’t give up just to feel this feeling again and again
Open your arms to it,
Let it in and set your terms
For love is better as an ally than a foe

Rain of tears

Art by Keith Malett

Eyes heavy with tears unshed I turn to the sun
These tears aren’t mine
They aren’t mine too cry, never were

Tell me your story, grandma

Art by Keith Malett

Call for the fore mothers I need to bring them into the light so they can stop ghosting me
Fill this room with them so they can finally rest
Tell you story, grandma?
What did that man do to you?
How dare they!
Oh, I am so sorry
That just have hurt, I feel your pain
I know loss,  great-grandmother I too have it.
Tell me your story.
Now rest
Let it end with me.

Ancient Voices

Art by Keith Malett

I hear ancient voices shouting down the passage of time
They speak old tales of love and loss, lives half lived, shattered dreams, deep wounds
They speak of power, dreams manifest, kindnesses that bind
I take it all in
This is who I am
Your stories made me
But they are not me

Untold Stories

Illustration by Aminah Danzler

Give me the pen I want to write.
Quiet, a room, soft light.
I have unfinished stories I need to tell so they can end.
Unfinished lines I need to complete.
I want to unwrite this story I am living.
Erase my grandmother’s pain.
Yes, the same one I have been carrying.
I want to breathe out her last sigh,
Cry her last tear,
Pray her last prayer,
Put down her sadness
And live, and love, and write a new and beautiful story
A story about how love got us here and now will lead us home.

Unlearning sorrow

Art by Keith Marlett

We carry a dark sorrow,
Generations worth of hurt and pain.
It’s a sorrow too heavy for words
Lurking in the shadows so you don’t know that you got it
That it’s got you
Weighing you down
Plaguing your dreams
Haunting your relationships
Unacknowledged

Say to great mother today
I see you.
You matter now, you always did
Rest, my love, let us make our own;
Our own joys
Maybe our own sorrows

Shedding fatigue

They said after hardship comes ease
So I toiled and waited
Still nothing
Now I want to shed this fatigue
It’s heavy and doesn’t feel like it’s meant for me

Streams in the desert

Last year my family and I were preparing to move into our first home. The house was far from finished though our money was. I was feeling equal parts thrilled, scared, unanchored – walking into the unknown. I mean, we were just moving house but to me it felt like metamorphosis.

So much else in my life was changing just then. I peeled off many old layers, uprooted & leveled up in so many ways inside. Here I was transitioning but like the house, who I was becoming was unknown and unfinished too.

I started to write myself these letters; to set intentions, to calm the fear, to remind myself why the seasons change, to teach myself things my heart needed to relearn.

If someday you find yourself walking this path – this is for you.
God is doing a new thing in your life.
Can you see it?

Learning to breath

When you are co-dependent, it’s always about the other person. Always about “us”. You get so used to putting others first, you see, that it feels as natural as breathing. Only you do it for a lover, a friend, for family, for the collective.

When you expect others to put you first always the way you do for them and they don’t return the energy you give it makes you angry. Except it’s unnatural for anyone to love like you do. Can you really ask it of another?

When it’s you who feels like you are underwater and running out of breath it’s you that has to come up for air. It’s you that’s gotta breath or die.

So you make a mad dash for the surface. You come up gasping, lungs burning fit to burst. You take one hungry gulp of fresh air, and then another, inhale, exhale, choke! Inhale again, exhale. Learning to breath for yourself, just yourself.

After a while you look around and realise the lovers, the friends, family, the collective – they are all doing just fine. This entire time you were breathing for everybody, making sacrifice after sacrifice, stretching beyond your limit, they could cope by their own damn self!

Read this if you want to get rich but are afraid to fail

So the Forbes list of the richest folk in the world this 2021 just came out. There are over 600 new billionaires on the rich list this year, half of them freshly minted. As in, they made their fortune in the past twelve months! The same twelve months that you and I have spent sheltering in place, afraid to die and worrying that we have nothing to show for all the years we lived. Sobering thought.

Now, I think it’s obscene for so much wealth to be concentrated in the hands of so few people. Or that a few hundred people are getting rich while billions sink into poverty. Or that so many decent working people are still slaving away to pay the bills and have nothing left. That said – how many of us want to get rich? I am not talking billionaire rich or even millionaire rich. I mean making enough to break the cycle of poverty in your family, enough to move out of the middle class, enough to live well and leave your kids set for life.

Many of us want this but we are here in our regular 9-5s looking forward to a paycheck or working away in our hustle barely breaking even.

The thing that strikes you most when looking at the rich list is that many inherited their wealth but the rest are self made entrepreneurs. Instead of working for one client – their employer – they are all selling something (goods, services, space) that people want. They have many clients paying them daily.

It’s clear that within capitalism you don’t get rich by working for someone. You get rich by selling something of value that more and more people want to buy and access repeatedly, everyday, for the rest of your life. Why aren’t we taking this path? Why are we here doing what we have always done?

For most of us it is fear. Fear that we will try and fail. Fear that the market is too crowded and there’s no space for us. Fear of trying something new in case it doesn’t catch. Fear of the unknown.

If you want to get rich and are afraid consider that it’s better to try and fail than to always wonder if maybe it would have worked. Consider that with a new billionaire being created every 17 hours you just might me one of those who make it to a few thou, to 10k, to a hundred thou or maybe, just maybe to a million or a billion. You have to step past your fear and try

Read this if you are 30 something

If you are 30 something and wondering “What now?” this one is for you.

Somehow we make it through our 20s mostly high on curiosity – finally free of childhood, eager to experience everything and test the limits of our capacity to take it all in. The thirst for fun, the ambition, the desire to make it and show we are somebody. Steadily ticking off the checklist of what’s expected of us.

Finish school – check

Get a job or make some money somehow – check

Buy stuff, a car, a home if you are lucky – check

Find love and marry – check

Start a family – check

Live a good life – ahem

In your 30s more and more of these milestones are ticked off and the novelty quickly wears off. The cheering crowds go home, literally, and you are left with a “What-now” feeling. Like, “Yeah, we did all of that and it was great. For a while. What’s next?” Nobody ever really says what comes after you have made it through The List.

And suddenly you realise that for over two decades you have had choices either made or suggested for you. That your entire life is, for the most past, based on what your parents, family, friends, religion, society thought was good for you. You reach a point in the journey where other people are no longer invested in telling you what to do and you have to figure out your next step on your own – including how to deal with everything you got going on that you didn’t consciously choose.

In your 30s is when your bad decisions start to haunt you. It’s when a mediocre life starts to feel like it’s sucking the life out of you. It’s when you just have to level up because where you are becomes inhabitable like a pair of tight shoes.

It’s scary at first. But your 30s in the time to refine how you live your life, figure out who you really are and what you want for yourself.

30 something is when you can clear the slate if you like and start afresh. Change careers. Study what really excites you. Leave that toxic relationship. Put up new boundaries. Heal. Change your circle. Get healthy. Explore and experience the world on your own terms.

If you are 30 something and wondering “What next?” the compass is inside you, just dig deep and go with whatever feels right. Your gut knows the way.

Return home

Image by Michael Aboya on Instagram

It’s tempting to keep searching. Searching for a deeper meaning.
For purpose.
Searching for happiness, for peace.
For belonging, a deep connection.
It’s all within.
If you return to yourself you find the door that leads to it all.
You find the path that will lead you home.

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