This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for May, 2020

Tea Masala

This morning I made tea masala for the first time. Two years ago I traveled through six different countries in Africa for five weeks. I constantly drank tea masala. When I booked that trip I had no idea that it was the beginning of a new journey for me but it was a fitting place to start that journey.

Wanje Latte

 

In some indigenous cultures children are not given a name at birth. Their name is given as their character develops. Though that seems strange to me in many ways because that is not the culture I know, I think it is beautiful. Names mean things.

I was given a Kenyan name and I feel like the past two years have been a process of owning that name. Exploring its heights and depths. What are it’s limits and strengths. The world will give us lots of names. Some we take and put on to see if they fit. We look in the mirror and we keep the garment on, positive or not. Some we can look at on the hanger and know they are not for us.

The more you know who you are, the more you know what doesn’t fit you.

I remember as a teen “liking” everything that my boyfriend liked because I had no idea who I truly was. As you discover who you originally were, by digging under the layers of whats been put on you and you did not know to take off,  you start to explore your place in the world. This is me, so how do I fit with the rest of you?

My journey, from birth through self-discovery, has taken me to this place and I am now in process of putting some of it to print. I am working with an editor for the purpose of publishing a memoir. Our stories are powerful. Our stories can help each other. That includes my story.

I’ll keep you posted…

I Refuse to Be Sorry

Human relationships are fascinating things. There are different kinds of relationships and even different values we ascribe to the relationships or each other. I had plans to work on a few projects during this time and those plans have not changed. I often need help or guidance with projects that I work on. COVID has had different impacts on different people and some people have found themselves having more time and others with less.

A new friend of mine, who is someone I greatly admire, has been giving me guidance on one of my projects. He is also someone whose time has been filled with more things to do since COVID hit and I would not have guessed he had more time in his already full life. These past few weeks I keep feeling the need to apologize for asking more questions and needing more help. This week I took some time to analyze why I felt this strong urge to say sorry.

First I attributed it to being Canadian, and although that’s valid, I knew it was deeper than that. So when I kept digging I discovered that it is because of how I view the relationship and the values I have given that make me want to apologize. I hold him in such high regard and view his time as valuable, which it is. But the problem enters in that there is something inside of me that is not feeling that I am worth the valuable time he takes to help me. I feel like I want to say sorry for taking some time that could be spent on something or someone else that would be more valuable.

Now that I have pulled that out of me, I can look at it and say that that is garbage. Why would I think I am not worth spending time on? I am a valuable person with dreams and ambitions. I work hard to help others and this project will do that. I will not be sorry or feel bad for having others invest in me. I am worth investing in.

So I am making a conscious decision to channel those feelings (whenever I feel them because they will keep coming up) and use them to push me to continue to work hard and make the world better. I chose to also invest in others. People are worth investing in. Things may not always turn out how you had hoped but your efforts are not wasted. People are worthy of love, time, and attention. That includes me.

Please Help Someone

I had started this blog last week but had not finished it. Then the mental health piece of COVID 19 hit my family very close to home and very hard. COVID may take people who were fairly stable and push them to a dark place. People who were already in a dark place may not be able to see any possibility of hope.

Yesterday my friend Lisa said, “we are not all in the same boat but we are all in the same storm.” People who struggle with mental health during non pandemic times were in their own storms. Now everyone is in a storm so, to be honest, it’s not that hard to find people who are struggling. Many people are pushed to the limits of what their physical, financial, emotional, and mental health can take. In this storm there are many people who are drowning. You don’t have to look far. So in light if this, here is the rest of my blog:

This morning I am reflecting on all the offers of help. For the first few weeks of the physical distancing measures I saw posts on social media offering meals to anyone who would send a message and ask for it. There are help lines set up for children and women who are being abused. The covert offerings for women to send a Facebook message asking to buy makeup which would signify that the woman is not safe but she can’t say that directly. But all of these things, though well intended, are missing the target in a big way.

 People who are drowning can not call for help. We need to stop expecting that they can reach out or ask. If you want to help someone – then do it. ANYONE. Just make a call to check in. Drop off a meal – don’t ask if they need it, just do it. Who will be angry with thoughtfully delivered free food? Who would hate that you sent a message to say – hey I’m thinking about you, how are you doing really because this is tough?

We can use this time to reflect on the kind of person we want to be. If you want to be more generous or kind then NOW IS YOUR TIME. Do not wait to think you’ll do it after the pandemic is over. It won’t be over for a long time and if you buy into that line of thinking then you just wish you were a better person but your not actually going to do anything about it.

If you think you don’t know anyone who might be in an abusive situation or who is struggling then bring food to a single parent, or some toys for their kids. Single parenting is hard in normal times let alone in a pandemic. Check in on people. I’ve received a few messages from people to see how I am and they have meant the world to me.

Let’s also not forget this is a Global pandemic. Someone else contacted me about being a child sponsor and that made my month! You can help locally and global, the world needs help.

Stop waiting for an opportunity, opportunities are all around you. Go get them.

Below are numbers you can call if you do need help (please do reach out for help if you need it). If you are concerned about the safety or welfare of someone you can also call these numbers.

*Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868

*Fraser Health Crisis line: 604-951-8855 or 1-877-820-7444 (toll free)- trained volunteers provide emotional crisis support 24 hrs/day, 7 days a week.

*Mental Health Support Line (24/7 all ages):

310-6789

*Emergency Mental Health Crisis: Call 911 – Car 67 Mental Health Police Response

*Suicide Prevention Crisis Line: 1-800-784-2433

*Suicide Prevention Education and Counselling (SPEAC): 604-584- 5811