If You’re Reading This…

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If you’re reading this, you have made it to the last day of 2020.

Congratulations!

What a tough year it has been. From the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, to a nationwide and global lockdown, from social distancing and practices that have become “the new normal” to record-breaking deaths in a year, from dealing with loss, grief and pain and the shocking turn of events from the #endsars movement in Nigeria…it. has. been. ALOT.

No matter what pain or heartbreak one bears from whatever events, it is true that where there is life, there is hope, there is opportunity, there is chance; A chance to heal, a chance to right wrongs, a chance to start all over, a chance to keep going, a chance to grow… a chance to live.

2020 may not have been the best of years for a lot of us – indeed, our spirits have been tested, pushed beyond limit and probably broken at some point- but you should be proud of how far you have come… not necessarily in terms of what the world counts as achievements and accomplishments, but in terms of how far YOU have come.

YOU have made it and that is all that matters. You may not feel like this year was anything to write home about. You may still be dealing with some unresolved disappointment, blow or pain that the months have thrown at you. BUT YOU are here and YOU are present. YOU should be proud, if not for anything, but for this.

So this is not a piece to help you take stock of how the year has been or one to give “tips” on how to bounce back from a rough 2020 or how to cope with a mentally challenging 2020 or how to set goals compassionately in 2021. While these may be useful, this is a blog post to celebrate YOU, for making it this far and for not giving up.

So here’s to YOU. 🥂

Never forget, the world is better with you in it.

x.

Meditation, Mindfulness and Multitasking

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

In a fast-paced world full of activities and distractions, it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed  and suddenly find yourself on autopilot, coasting back and fourth day in day out, as the weeks go by.

Sometimes, there are just too many things; goal setting and planning, implementation and execution, responsibilities at work, home, school… it can get crazy and you can swamped and cluttered.

Life can get so overwhelming especially when you feel as though you are being pulled in several directions but cannot get a proper handle on each aspect of your life…and those moments where it seems like you cannot seem to catch a break? You just want to sit in a corner, cry your eyes out and then move on.

The point is, life tends to get alot… and the thoughts that propel these activities that we engage in often get too much, and feel as though they are consuming us from the inside out. It feels like you are constantly chasing down these thoughts to put them in order but they keep getting away from you.

Then there’s social media. You have information about everyone and everything coming at you from every angle, unrestricted unfiltered, uncensored; the good, the bad and the very ugly. This can be unsettling some times and you KNOW you should take a BREAK, but there is that seemingly addictive pull to it that you cannot explain that gives you some sort of relief in spite of everything crazy going on in the world.

Meditation

No, meditation is not just about sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed and constantly making humming sounds.

Meditation is a whole lot more than that as it involves a using particular techniques like mindfulness to focus your mind on a particular object, thought or activity. By doing this, you are able to eliminate unwanted thoughts and clear the mind of any overwhelming feeling. You are also able to train your mind to be more attentive, aware, stable and calm no matter what may be happening externally. 

“With a calm mind, you are more likely to be able to act by rational choice and appropriately to the situation. When you are in a grip of an emotion, that’s going to bias your perceptions of what is occurring to what fits that emotion. Themes that don’t fit in, you are not going to recognize. So, a calm mind is an essential precondition for being able to respond to the reality, not the unrealities that you are preoccupied with. The Dalai Lama says that if you are only aware of how you felt afterward, that’s pre-kindergarten. If you are aware immediately afterward, that’s kindergarten. High school is being aware during, and college is if you become aware as the emotion arises. That’s what we would all like to do, so we can choose whether to engage or not, in order not to have episodes that we’ll later regret. And I think it’s possible for everybody to learn this.”

-Unknown

With Meditation, one feels more relaxed and refreshed afterwards and is able to eliminate any unwanted thoughts by clearing the mind of so much debris. Admittedly tough at first to do, with time, you learn to sit still and focus on one thing, perhaps your breathing, as you take steps to arrive at a peaceful place in your mind.

Mindfulness

In the midst of it all, it can get difficult to remain centred; to remain present or to actually be aware of how we are feeling in any given situation. In charting the auto-pilot course, we tend to take our feelings about situations for granted. We take for granted our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, mental health and how what is going on in our surrounding environment is negatively affecting us. And we just keep it moving.

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”

– Greater Good Magazine

Scientific research has shown that mindfulness helps reduce anxiety and depression. By effectively understanding and becoming aware of our moment-by- moment thoughts, feelings and sensations, we can find better reactions to difficult situations.

While Mindfulness could be said to be the awareness of something (emotions, thoughts, feelings and sensations), meditation is the awareness of nothing (by elimination of unwanted thoughts). However, both leave you feeling relaxed, more in tune with your body and true self and all together relieved. They aid in improving sleep, reducing high blood pressure and are a great stress reliever.

Multitasking

Another side to it all is this belief that we can do as many things as possible at a time. In trying to meet deadlines, achieve certain things and just handle responsibilities generally, we find ourselves attempting to multitask… trying to do two or more things at a time thereby giving half the effort to both tasks instead of solely concentrating on one task until that has been achieved.

Multitasking is a Myth.

Multitasking is really just an attempt at trying to do two or more things at the same time. It has been scientifically proven over and over again that the brain does a bad job at trying to handle more than one thing at the same time. Examples are checking your social media while driving or maybe checking your social media while working or reading and replying messages while having a conversation with someone else.

The more we try to multitask, the more the tasks before us suffer because we do not give our full attention to the.

The world is already a crazy place. Allow peace flow into your mind for your mind is your greatest asset.

Rachel.

5 Tips to Help You Cater to Your Mental Health in The Midst of Chaos

The world is currently in chaos.

It is easy to get enveloped in fear and anxiety in these times and with everything happening around us, including the increase in the rise of corona virus cases, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the bad news flying back and forth globally.

For the first time in a really long time, we really understand what we mean by phrase “the world is a global village” as everyone’s business has now become ours. We are concerned about where people we engage with physically have been (even though most of us are working remotely from home). We are worried about being in the wrong place at the wrong time even if it’s just to step out to stock up on supplies.

Some of us have gotten paranoid or had mild panic attacks at the sound of every sound of a cough or sneeze even when it’s coming from us! Suddenly, our breathing does not feel right and we worry that our immune systems may not be strong to overcome this pandemic. A little spike in our temperature is automatically cause for alarm. We are therefore putting in place safety measures that we hope will protect our physical beings and see us through this pandemic.

However, while it is important to consider and observe every possible safety measure known to mankind to protect your physical body from harm, it is also important to ensure that in this period, especially as you work from home or self-isolate, you do not neglect your mental health.

Your mental health; which includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affects how you think, feel, and act. Your mental fitness or lack of it has the ability to positively or negatively affect vital areas of your life including your physical health. You have the ability to “think yourself sick” in that if your mind continuously conjures symptoms in your head, you may become paranoid to the point that you believe that you have a particular sickness.

The importance of optimal mental health during this period cannot be emphasised. So, here are 5 tips to help you cater to your mental health in the midst of the current chaos.

1. Limit Exposure to News

There is a lot of bad news making the rounds on televisions and in social media. The number of confirmed cases and deaths of this pandemic keep increasing. There are also concerning events simultaneously occurring around the world at the moment.

While it is important to stay up to date and remain informed of current developments as they arise, it is also important to balance and filter the amount of information coming at you.

Too much of bad news can cause untold levels of paranoia, anxiety and depression. So stay informed, but as much as possible, consider limiting your exposure to moment by moment updates in the news. Stay away from fake news; avoid reading and spreading every Broadcast message you receive especially when its from unconfirmed sources.

2. Entertain yourself

You may currently be working remotely from home or on self-isolation and so spend the majority of your day indoors. This may get boring at some point in time.

It’s interesting how most of us who never had a problem with staying indoors for days at a stretch now suddenly feel bored or feel the need to step outside to see what’s going on. Well, I guess there’s something about loving something more when it’s done naturally and without force.

However, given the present circumstances, you will find yourself indoors for days to come. Find new ways to entertain yourself because your normal routines may become boring overtime. Switch things up and research suggestions on things to do.

A few examples are: read new genres of books, write (in your journal or a book you’ve been meaning to work on), listen to music, exercise, create content (make funny videos), take an online course, chat with family and friends online, engage in funny and entertaining threads on social media and watch lighthearted or YouTube videos.

Speaking of Youtube Videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, BooksWithRachelEyo where I review books I’ve read. You can click the link below to entertain yourself and watch my latest book review!

3. Meditation/Prayer

No, meditation is not just about sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed while making humming sounds. Meditation is a lot more than that as it involves a using particular techniques like mindfulness to focus your mind on a particular object, thought or activity. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it seems.

BUT,

By doing this, you are able to eliminate unwanted thoughts and clear your mind of any overwhelming feeling. You are also able to train your mind to be more attentive, stable and calm no matter the chaos happening in the world at the moment.

What you can do is take five to ten minutes of your day meditating. You can sit in an absolutely quiet place, close your eyes and focus just on your breathing or any other sound. When thoughts try to creep in as they normally would do, you mentally swat them away and maintain that quiet calm.

Praying also helps quiet the mind and keep the brain functional. This is because your body ultimately bows to your mind and the belief system you constantly reinforce therein. If you strongly believe that prayer will bring you peace and comfort, then it will. Prayer does not have to occur in a structured pattern. Just say it as you feel it and your spirit may just feel a tad bit lighter.

4. Keep in Touch with Family and Friends

This is another way to cater to your mental health during this period, especially if you’re self-isolating and alone. Talking to family, friends or loved ones can act as a much needed boost to your mood and general attitude to life.

As much as possible, resist the urge to self-isolate your mind. Reach out to people or friends you have not checked out in a while. Thank goodness for technology as we can now video call and voice call friends and family all over the world.

5. Stay Positive

I will be the first to admit that this may be hard to do right now, given the circumstances and the news that you wake up to every morning but stay positive.

Things may be uncertain or scary right now, but what you have is your attitude and state of mind. Stay positive, think happy thoughts, pray for those in need and stay hopeful.

This too shall pass. ❤️

Stay Positive

Wishing you Love and Light,

Rachel.

P.S.

Photo by Oleg Magni

We need all the positivity we can get. ❤️So, I’ll be sending out daily encouraging emails/newsletters to your email to keep your positivity level right up there, starting Friday, 27th March 2020. Click the link here to receive the daily and weekly emails and share with friends and family.

Free daily encouraging emails/newsletters

I Feel Like Dying; Excerpts From a Lunatic’s Journal (3)

16–02-2020

I drove by Third Mainland Bridge today.

The water looked inviting.

I parked my car a couple of times along the stretch. But I was too scared to walk close to the edge of the bridge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life. My purpose? Why I’m on earth? It doesn’t make any sense. It never has. I continue to search. I feel lost. I feel alone.

Why can’t anyone hear me screaming through these smiles? Why can’t they hear me fighting to stay alive? Oh, I’m just being selfish. Everyone has their life to live, I guess.

It’s crazy of me to think of diving into that never-ending water. But sometimes I hear it calling out to me. I hear it promising me heights of ecstasy and peace of mind that I will not experience here.

I do not want to be another statistic.

But aren’t we all?

Crazy.

Lunatic.

Mad.

I Feel Like Dying; Excerpts From a Lunatic’s Journal (2)

24-01-20

I have torn at my hair a little more than I should in the past hour, desperately attempting to pluck each thought from my head. My braids are in a bundled mess.

I winced in pain when my hand successfully yanked out a loose braid, ripping out a chunk of my hair along with it. At least, I got something right.

My mind constantly runs ahead of me and I feel powerless to stop it. It wages war against my soul and losing seems like the only option available to me. And these knives on my bed? I need them and they need me.

I have not stepped out in months. My soul, I mean. My soul has not stepped out in months. My outsides? Perfect.

I often wonder what the other side of life looks like. Today I want to find out.

I know I’m crazy. I mean, who wants to die so much that they are already dead on the inside?

Lunatic” is what Law calls me.

Same difference.

6 Simple Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health in 2020

You may have penned down your goals/resolutions/action points/ideas…whatever you’re calling it this year, for 2020; some of which may include plans to eat healthier, exercise more, sleep better or just achieve and maintain optimal physical health generally. However, it is important to ensure that you are intentional about your mental health this year.

You may be wondering “what has mental health got to do with it?”

Well, ALOT.

Your mental health; which includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affects how you think, feel, and act. Your mental fitness or lack of it has the ability to positively or negatively affect vital areas of your life.

Furthermore, your mental health helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others, and make decisions in life. It therefore goes without saying that if you are mentally fit, fully present and at peace generally; and if you constantly decide to be happy in the midst of life and its eccentricities, then you are bound to achieve more.

“Your mental health is a priority. Your happiness is an essential. Your self-care is a necessity.”

The importance of optimal mental health cannot be over-emphasized. So, here are 5 practical tips to prioritize your mental health in 2020.

Take mental breaks/Unplug

This year might get crazy; crazy good and crazy not-so-good. You will face challenges, obstacles and probably overwhelmed at some point. Perhaps, it may be from the goals you have set as nothing good comes easy. You will therefore need to take mental breaks periodically to ensure that you do not get mentally burned out.

Mental breaks are great for your mental health in general because they give you a much-needed boost in creativity and productivity. They serve to rejuvenate and refresh your mind so you are not simply existing on auto-pilot mode on a day-to-day basis, “barely makin’ it“. These breaks, if taken the right way, serve to provide a healthy balance between rest and work/productivity in a very busy and distracting world.

Also, when you take these mental breaks, unplug from the world for some time. In a fast-paced world, such as the one we live in right now, it is easy to get enveloped in every distraction available to mankind. While it comes with its perks, the internet and social media have made our connectivity and access all the more heightened. We are connected to everything and everything is connected to us. Access to you has never been easier.

Take occasional social media breaks if necessary; disconnect from the world for a bit. I promise, YOU WILL SURVIVE. Be okay with listening to your mind and thoughts rather than having it crowded with information all the time or being pulled in different directions.

You can read more about why you need mental breaks and 5 simple ways to take a mental break here.

Avoid toxic environments

You need to be intentional about the environments and people you constantly relate with. You need to have the courage to move away from toxic people and environments that are not mentally healthy. If you can stay away from places, avoid certain types of food to preserve your physical health, then you need to be ready to do same to maintain optimal mental health.

When your brain is constantly filled with any form of toxicity such as verbal and emotional abuse, gossip, negativity as well as verbal beat downs, YOU CANNOT BE PRODUCTIVE. This is because your brain does not know the difference between right and wrong. Whatever you constantly reinforce is what it will believe. So if you consistently place yourself in these kind of environments, sure enough, you will begin to think like this.

So what if some of these toxic people are family members? Find a way to manage your relationship with each family member so you do not get mentally dehydrated while dealing with them.

Avoiding toxic environments and people will ultimately help to boost your mental health as you will not be constantly consumed by negativity and toxicity, thereby leaving room to allow you be creative and productive.

Say “No”

It is simply amazing what power this little two-letter word holds and what peace it brings. So I learned this pretty much late in life and used to be so stressed out and burned out due to the loads of commitments and deadlines I would bring upon my self just because I could not say no.

I would inconvenience myself for others to my own detriment and I was constantly unhappy (this is not to say that sacrificing for others once in a while is not good, but there has to be some kind of balance in place)…and being unhappy or constantly burned out is definitely not the recipe for productivity or getting things done; because honestly, if your mind is tired of doing so much all the time, then you’re bound to be moody, irritable, confused, frustrated and lack the necessary concentration required to get things done.

Learn to say “no” once in a while to avoid taking on too much at once and getting burned out. Practice Selective availability. If you cannot do it at the moment, you cannot do it and that is fine. As long as it is not a life-death situation, your mother, brother, sister, friend, cousin, uncle, niece or nephew will be fine. As soon as you unburden yourself, you can help out.

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”
~ Anna Taylor

Meditation/Prayer

No, meditation is not just about sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed while making humming sounds. Meditation is a lot more than that as it involves a using particular techniques like mindfulness to focus your mind on a particular object, thought or activity. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it seems.

BUT,

By doing this, you are able to eliminate unwanted thoughts and clear your mind of any overwhelming feeling. You are also able to train your mind to be more attentive, stable and calm no matter what may be happening externally.

What you can do is take five to ten minutes of your day meditating. You can sit in an absolutely quiet place, close your eyes and focus just on your breathing or any other sound. When thoughts try to creep in as they normally would do, you mentally swat them away and maintain that quiet calm.

Praying also helps quiet the mind and keep the brain functional. This is because your body ultimately bows to your mind and the belief system you constantly reinforce therein. If you strongly believe that prayer will bring you peace and comfort, then it will. Prayer does not have to occur in a structured pattern. Just say it as you feel it and your spirit may just feel a tad bit lighter.

Journaling

I have been journaling for close to six months now and it has been absolutely amazing!

After my post on how journalling is changing my life and the benefits of journalling, (which you can find here) I have received quite a number of messages from people sharing their journalling stories and how it has helped them alot.

Look…it is something to be tried.

Journalling has been proven to reduce anxiety, clarify thoughts and perspective, encourage mindfulness and self awareness as well as serve as an emotional release, thereby keeping you mentally fit for periods at a time.

Reach out/ Open up

When was the last time you genuinely opened up to someone about your feelings, emotions or just how life is treating you in general? When was the last time you said something along the lines of “You know what, I’m not doing so great?” when a trusted friend or family member sought to know how you are doing. When was the last time you felt light after having purged yourself of any deep-seated emotions that linger within?

I will definitely be the first to admit that it is not the easiest thing in the world to open up or bare your soul to anyone. In fact, it is easier and faster to just mutter a simple “fine” when asked the usual “how are you?”

However, opening up to a trusted friend, a family member, your therapist (if you have one) or even a stranger, boosts your mental health as it purges your brain of any conscious and unconscious mental blocks that may prevent you from living a mentally healthy life.

You should not be ashamed or guilty to open up about what you may be dealing with, including any mental illness or challenges you may be facing. What is unhealthy is holding things in with the expectation that they would just fly away.

Please reach out and open up today.

I hope these tips have been somewhat helpful to you.

Wishing you Love and Light,

Rachel

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I Feel Like Dying; Excerpts From a Lunatic’s Journal (1)

10-01-20

I have two knives on my bed.

Crazy.

One to carefully and precisely carve out the deep-seated, soul-shattering pain I feel in my heaving chest; and the other, well, for emotional support while I slowly carve.

Mad.

In the past hour, I have caressed my left palm with the tip of each of the knives’ shiny blades at least twenty times, daring the unthinkable. It is amazing what comfort each knife brings to my spirit.

Lunatic.

The knives stare at me invitingly from the comfort of my soft grey duvet. The air conditioner whirs gently in the distance but I hear them clearly. I hear them gently calling out to me and reminding me of the heights of ecstasy they have promised. I hear them promising me so much, I am certain that undoing what I have started is impossible. Most importantly, I hear them promising me silence.

Idiot.

Deafening silence...

Crazy. Mad. Lunatic. Idiot. Crazy. Out of Control. Restless. Chaotic. Lunatic.

A Fresh Start; Year 2020

Happy New Year Lovely People!!

Congratulations on making it to the year 2020 and thank you for sticking with me and my blog posts in 2019! I am super grateful for your comments, posts, shares, encouraging words and kind feedback.

Welcome to a fresh start and a new decade bursting with opportunities for the taking. Welcome to a joy-filled, peace-filled, productive and goal-smashing 2020 loaded with unconditional love for self and others. Welcome to 2020.

Whatever your journey in 2019 may have been; exceptional, amazing, boring, mind blowing, frustrating, full of growth, nothing to write home about,…2020 presents a chance to start over.

In starting over, you may want to consider some of the following suggestions:

Plan. Prepare. Perform. Pursue. Prioritize

Plan: The year is starting out and you have taken note of what you want to accomplish this coming week, this month and this year. You need to plan. Plan in detail how you want to achieve these goals. Yes, “life happens” on some occasions, but that is no reason to abandon planning. You want to save? Plan. You want to travel? Plan. You want to start a business? Plan. You want to get into school or take a course? Plan.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Prepare: Be prepared for the successes and challenges that may come your way as you achieve those goals this year, lest they overwhelm and shake you. Be prepared to make mistakes and be prepared to fail. Be prepared for delays that my not necessarily be denials. Be prepared to do great things.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”~ Benjamin Franklin

Perform: And when you’re done planning and preparing; when all you’ve consulted, researched, come up with backup plans B-Z…whatever it may be, GO FOR IT! Just go for it. It may not be perfect on the first go and mistakes are bound to occur along the way, but get it done. Be brave enough to start with where you are, with what you have and with what you are. Be brave enough to put yourself out there for the world to see your light. Surround yourself with encouragers, overcome procrastination and go for it!

“Done over good.”

Prioritize: In all of this, do not forget to prioritize yourself. Your health; mental and physical. Take care of your self, of your soul, of your spirit. Exercise, eat healthy, be present in whatever you do. Engage with other human beings and social activities, limit social media consumption and take mental breaks when needed. You are your most valuable asset. Take care of You.

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”

~ Anna Taylor

Pursue: This year, pursue your goals and passion with everything you’ve got; that which sets your soul on fire; which makes you feel alive. Pursue it with all you’ve got even when others do not seem to understand. And when the obstacles and challenges show up, when the going gets tough, remember your why and keep going.

“When the going gets tough, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Don’t give up.” ~ Roy Bennet

So here’s to wishing you an amazing, productive, laughter-filled, joy-filled, peace-filled 2020. 🥂

May all your dreams come true!

Love and Light,

Rachel.

Bounce Back; 7 Tips to Recover From a Rough 2019

Going through social media the past couple of weeks and seeing what a tough time 2019 has been for a lot of us was actually surprising. I had sat in my little hole thinking it was just me who had had a crazy year, only for thousands of people to open up about how rough 2019 was for them.

It just goes to show that no matter what one is going through or how peculiar it may feel in that moment, there is also someone, somewhere in the world, who may be experiencing something similar even though unique, and can relate to what you’re going through.

So…

You’re not alone.

If 2019 knocked you down a little too hard or more than what you expected, here are 7 simple ways to bounce back to help you get ready to embrace the beauty that will be 2020. These simple but super useful tips are sourced from a mix of my experiences this year and what has helped me in bouncing back so far, a podcast by Robin Sharma I listened to a while ago and one of my now favourite books of all time, The Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

Seek Perspective

When you sit down to reflect about how your 2019 has been, especially when you look at the rough times, ask yourself “How could this be worse?” , “What was good here?” “What were my blessings?” , “What am I grateful for?”

When you look at some of these moments that may have caused you pain, brought some disappointment, heartbreak or betrayal, attempt to reconceptualise your thoughts if you have been looking at the painful experiences negatively. There is no doubt that these experiences may have been rough or painful, but by reconceptualising, you begin to see things with a growth mindset. No matter how much you feel like the victim in a situation, and granted, you may have been, try to ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” “What can i do differently going forward?” “What ways can I improve better?”.

Leave other people to find out for themselves and concentrate on YOU.

Leverage for growth

As mentioned earlier, what you do not want to do in bouncing back in sitting in a pit and letting only negative thoughts cloud your mind. However, what you want to do is to use these rough times in 2019 (no matter how rough they may have been) as opportunities to leverage for growth going forward.

Hard times are nothing more than Growth in wolves’ clothing.

Ask yourself “How can I use this to grow?” and “How can I use this to cover the shattering of my ego?”

Sometimes a situation looks so bleak that you feel that there’s nothing to learn from it, or that there is nothing to grow from, but I bet if you looked close enough, you would find at least one way. Some of these rough times may just help us become stronger as individuals.

Appreciate the season

The truth is that difficult times come to crack the shell of your understanding, to humble you, to remind you that you are human. You may appreciate the pain that comes with these times, but you can appreciate the season; the season of growth, stretching, improvement. Learn to use the stumbling blocks you faced in 2019 as stepping stones in 2020 and turn those wounds to wisdom. Share with people what you have learned during the painful seasons and wear your scars proudly.

Feel to heal

If there is any pain you need to heal from in 2019, then you need to feel it. Running away from it and pressing the “reset” button or burying it deep down to enter 2020 with is very unhealthy. Deal with it and feel it so you can move on. Reflect on those tough times and pay attention to the difficult feelings that came with it. Do you still feel any resentment, anger, bitterness or any negative feelings towards something or someone? Are you disappointed in yourself for not reaching certain goals? You need to dig deep and deal with these feelings.

To release a toxic feeling, the only way in is out.

Do not tie achievements to self worth

Ahhhh. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned this year; not basing my self worth on my achievements or accomplishments. I am definitely using this going forward in 2020.

A lot of us base our self worth on our achievements and accomplishments in different seasons of our lives. So if we are not employed, married, married with kids, do not have a high paying job, are not able to finish an online course, are not able to read a book in a year, not able to gain admission into school, are not able to save a certain sum of money by the end of the year, then we are failures and nothing more.

This is not true!

Even if you did nothing, you are still worthy; worthy of love, of friendship, of happiness, of peace and of laughter. You are still worthy of all the amazing blessings God gives. You are still amazing and special. Your “amazingness” does not come from the “things you do” but who you are at your core. You are already made perfection by God.

“When you use unconditional self-love as the starting point when setting any goal, you remain aware that perfection is not tied to the end result, but rather the reality of the present moment.You were perfect at the onset and you are perfect now; you are perfect throughout. You are aware the entire time that the end result won’t define you. It is through the practice of awareness that you are able to see the perfection that exists in yourself, which also lets you see perfection in the world around you and in each being in it.”

Do not wallow

Refuse to wallow in the disappointments of 2019. Refuse to remain in the pit of negative thoughts from 2019. Forgive yourself for mistakes made, chances not taken, discipline not exercised, not being discerning enough or moments where fear overwhelmed you and pushed you out of an opportunity. Forgive yourself, take the most important and practical lessons that can be applied in the new year and move on. Remember, time waits for no one. Time spent wallowing can be spent on doing and being better.

Detach from Outcomes and Focus on the Journey

A lot of us tend to focus heavily on the outcomes and destination of our goals or desires for the year that we forget to just enjoy the journey. We are too busy looking at where we want to get to that we forget to be present and enjoy life for what it is. In bouncing back, learn to detach from outcomes, while still having them, of course, but most importantly, focus on the journey, the experience and the lessons.

Learn to be patient. If it wasn’t your turn this year but another’s, be happy for him/her. Next year may be your turn…and if it isn’t, you try again in 2021.

Remember, you are not the accomplishment of your goals or desires.

Here’s wishing you an amazing, productive, laughter-filled, joy-filled, peace-filled 2020. 🥂

May all your dreams come true!

Love and Light,

R.

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If You Are Considering Giving Up on 2019, READ THIS!

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.

The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Easier said than done right?

Tell me about it.

October 2019. You may not be feeling those ground-breaking, self-achieving goals you set towards the end of 2018 or at the beginning of 2019. In fact, you may have had a really tough year and are ready to face the fact that you’re done…ready to hit the RESET button.

YES, the first week of 2019 seemed full of promises, opportunities, and goals you set out to achieve for the rest of this year. From those weight loss and healthy-eating goals, to spiritual goals, to that career change or taking a big step in starting a business/project, to finishing books you’ve always wanted to read, to completing courses and acquiring more skills without any excuse, the list seems endless.

You may have “run out of steam” and are currently considering giving up totally and patiently waiting at the train station for the 2020 train to arrive. Some of the reasons why, may be due to circumstances beyond your control. You may also have decided to start working on these goals again from January 2020 even though you can get to work now, but there’s just something about a new year that gives you that added boost and determination…right?

You may have adopted the “Abeg I cannot come and go and kill myself” mentality (which by the way, is the most convenient to say, but in reality, could be a way to escape from accomplishing goals you set or yourself) and are fine with this because, actually, you cannot kill yourself.

You look back on this year and see that the little steps you decided to take towards an important goal now seem too big and scary to accomplish. There are now more reasons why your plans can go wrong than right and the sole reason why it can go right is proving difficult to find. And so it seems safer to just remain in your comfort zone where nothing goes left and everything goes right. Sadly, it is safe to conclude that you may be fading out.

HOWEVER,

I’m here to remind you that 2019 is not over yet! If you have been making attempts from the beginning of 2019 till now but none seem to come through and all you have been left with are mistakes, remember that:

“Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

ALSO REMEMBER:

To take a closer look at your goals

If you wrote them down or made a mental note, pause and reflect on the three most important goals that you determined you would set out to achieve this year. Now, DO EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS OR SET THINGS IN PLACE TO DO SO.

To count your wins

This year was not all bad. There were some minor insignificant wins that you had this year, even if the only one might be approaching the year end alive. Count them. It’s easy to forget the good and focus on what did not go right. However, count those wins and remain grateful but hungry to do more.

To believe in your capabilities

The mind is powerful and belief in oneself, which stems from the human mind, can either make or break you as an individual. Your belief in yourself and your capabilities can either create an amazing life for you or destroy one full of potential. Believe in your capabilities to see things through and get them done.

To resist from making unhealthy comparisons

The year is wrapping up. Social media is going to be awash with lists of achievements and stories from the journeys of others. People will share more their highs than lows. Resist comparing your journey to theirs. Pay attention to your Behind The Scenes and not someone else’s Highlight Reel.

It is not too late!

To go after those dreams and work hard in the achievement of your goals. You can write 2019 off as having run its course or you can be determined to put in work these next two months to set things rolling or put things in place. Your choice. The fact remains that it is not too late to achieve whatever it is before the end of the year.

Give 2019 that extra push. Sometimes, all you need to do is try one more time.

You can do this!

P.S, 

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