zoobisousbisous

I am beautifully and wonderfully made | Psalm 139:14

But I’m not a poet..

Poem : “Alive” ; November 13, 2015

I want to be alive.

I want to be natural.

Alive like feeling the hot, white sand between your toes.

Alive like a twirling gyspy skirt dancing to the beat of a drum.

Alive like the sound of an African child’s laughter in front of the mud hut homes. Showing all her teeth and disappeared eyes.

Natural like dreadlocks swaying in the wind.

Alive like dancing in the rain. Running through the rain with no umbrella. No shoes. Feet on the wet asphalt road.

I want to be light. Light that draws you in. Light that draws you home. Light that attracts, undeniable. Real and comforting. I want to be authentic. I want to be warmth. Cozy.

I want a happiness that makes people smile. A laughter that makes me cry. Makes you cry.

A joy that makes you question. Question what it means to have joy. Question the source of her joy.

She.

So joyous, so real, so natural. I want to know her. I want to be her friend. Her essence, her very nature. Its so tangible. It’s so attracting.

I want to be beautiful. Not simply for beauty sake. But to have an attractive spirit. A beautiful human.

To take care of people. To love, nourish and nuture those around me. To care with everything in my being. To give to want to be in the situation with someone. Feel your pain. I will sit with you.

I want that type of beauty.

I want to be so alive. So on fire. So here. I want to radiate light and love. I want to feel. I want to embody what it means to be human. What it means to have joy and to spread love.

I want to care. I want to listen. I want to help. I want to do. I want to touch. I want to hold your hand. Hold your hand when you are not strong enough. Care about others deeply.

Passionate. Passionate about living. About other people.

I want to feel every moment. To capture every moment. Every emotion. I want to take advantage of each moment.

I want to be so alive that in any moment that I sit still I am scared. Afraid that in my stillness I might not be living. Only to find out that I am soaking in the moment. Reflecting. Remembering.

I want to be still. Be aware. Be present.

I want to share and be present with people. In trials, in suffering. I want to be the light. Peaceful light. I want to have an aura of calm in a trial.

I want to be alive like the setting sun on a sunflower field. Walking through and touching each flower as the sunlight gently kisses the flowers goodnight. The yellow colour turning into pure gold.

I want to feel the earth. Listen to the wind. Hear the animals. Feel the breeze. Experience the sunlight on my skin.

I want to be alive like my melanin soaking up the sun like a thirsty wanderer in a desert finding a cool stream. I want my skin to feel the warmth of the sun. I want to be alive like that. As if, “yes finally, it has been so long since I have felt your warmth, sun.”

Alive like a polaroid camera of captured moment of friends. Or sipping warm tea in bed. I want to feel. Experience. Live. Love.

I want to feel revived. Happy. Joyous. Content. I want to be alive. I want to live. I want to be natural.

S.

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Blues Music.

I am currently so obsessed with blues music.

I have always loved classic jazz and swing music but I have a new appreciation and love for blues artists and musicians. I think it’s because of this popular music class that basically studies popular American music through the ages from ragtime till today’s music.

So far I’ve learned that blues has touched every other genre of music including country, rock ‘n’ roll, rock, gospel, hip hop and rap. It is just an incredible style of music.

Here are some of my favourite songs that I have discovered recently. The talent of these musicians is undeniable. At a time when Jim Crow laws restricted African American people, it is interesting how African American music permeated every facet of popular music then and even till today. Despite these artists not being promoted by record companies or were allowed to perform in certain areas due to these laws like the white artists, it is astonishing how this style of music or any music created by African American artists stood the test of time.

Hound Dog – Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton 

The original singer of Elvis Presely’s “Hound Dog” was Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. With a name like that you already know she will be a powerhouse singer. I love everything about this song. The whoops, the hollering, the growl in her voice. It is undeniable that she sang it better (shade, no shade Elvis). Although I like both renditions, I think it is clear to see who sang it better.

 

Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters

This song is probably almost as familiar as the first. The guitar riff at least at the beginning is very recognizable and has been imitated to buggery that I am sure someone will recognize it whether or not they have heard of Muddy Waters before.

Arguably, the single most influential blues artist during his time and now. He influenced the styles and performances of what we know today as “rock”. Bands such as the Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by Muddy Waters even naming their band after one of his songs.

 

S.

 

 

 

Rivers & Robots

I used Oneword to generate a topic to write about and the word : dawn was my word. I instantly thought of Rivers & Robots’ (my favourite indie worship band) song Light Will Dawn from their All Things New (2014) album.

 

I love this song, and this band. Their music is so simple but yet devoid of simplistic lyrics, which I have written about here before. It’s like they sing the Bible but in a modern way. This is just good Christian worship music which is hard to find these days. The lyrics are even more beautiful.

Lyrics:

As Earth starts to shake
The sleeping awake
Dawn starts to break
And life will be forever changed

Despite what they say
Your love will remain
You’ll come again
And on that day the son will reign

Though darkness surrounds
The Lord will arise and light will dawn across this land

In joy and in pain
I trust in Your name
My rock, you sustain
You’re faithful and you never change

You are really coming back
And I know I will see You face to face my God
One day every knee will bow
And one day every tongue confess that You are God

And I believe that I will see
The goodness of The Lord while I’m breathing
So I will trust upon Your name
You are my hope and my strength

S.

Bibles Over Brunch

I am starting a new segment on my blog and hopefully eventually in real life called Bibles Over Brunch.

Basically, it is where every month, a group of women read/study/meditate over a book of the Bible alone and then come together at the end of the month and share what was learned, what God has been saying through studying and to share what has been going on over the past month. It will be a way to be supported by other believers and also a way for women to get more into the Word.

Why Bibles Over Brunch?

Well basically I love food and I feel everything is more fun when food is involved! In all seriousness, it helps to foster that feeling of community when you share a meal with someone. Culturally, so many important events happen over sharing a meal: birthdays, weddings, holidays etc. I feel as though this time should be a time of celebration and excitement over what God is teaching us and also about being able to take time to relax, learn and fellowship.

How Will It Work Online?

I have started studying the book of Esther (cliche woman’s group book, yes but I felt I should start there, haha) since October 8th and I will continue till November 8th and then share progressively what I had discovered, what I was challenged about and generally what God was saying to me.

Is this doable?

In reality, we are not too busy for God we just fail to prioritize the reading of God’s word as a “must-do” in the myriad of things we have to do. It is something that often falls by the wayside because there is no deadline per se. This isn’t meant to be another thing to “check off” our list, but it is meant to be a way to joyously engage with the Word of God each month, each week and hopeuflly each day. So yes it is doable!

Keep an eye out in November as I talk about the book of Esther!

S.

 

Morning Routine

Eureka, I think I’ve finally got it!

At laaassssttt (cue Etta James), I have discovered a routine that works for me. I have always loved the concept of being a morning person and the whole idea of waking up at 5:30 am to start your day off blah blah blah but I have never been able to do it, until now.

Lately, what I have been changing is doing my work and studying in the morning so I am inevitably forced to sleep early. I am way more productive it seems when I do my most important brain work in the morning. I love going to the library when it is silent and when I am the only one there. There’s something so calming, comforting and motivating about it. My schedule so far goes like this:

  • 11:00 PM – asleep or at least most definitely in bed
  • 6:30 AM – wake up + stretch
  • 6:45 AM – do devotions + pray
  • 7:00 AM – get dressed; pack bag
  • 7:36 AM – take the bus to school
    • grab a quick snack on the way out to eat in the library
  • 8:10 AM – library; study + complete assignments till first class

This way I ensure I get minimum 7 hours of sleep and I can always get my work done during my most productive time. Thus, in the evenings after class if I am not feeling motivated, I am not going to feel guilty because I have completed the bulk of my tasks earlier in the day.

I love this! I definitely will continue to implement so far as it continues to work. It’s great because 3/5 school days my lectures start at 11 so I have ample time to complete work before then.

S.

2 Effective ADHD/ADD Study Tips

I haven’t been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and honestly I am scared to even see someone about it. That being said, I have always benefited immensely from tips for people with ADHD/ADD because I have terrible concentration problems at times and I get so distracted.

These are the two tips that helped me concentrate to self-study an entire university course in 4 months which was seeming impossible because I just. could. not. focus. No matter how hard I tried! Until I implemented these tips:

  1. Write down everything that pops into your head during studying or focusing on a task in a notebook and keep it on the side of your desk
    • All the random thoughts, questions, to-do lists, fears etc write it ALL down and then forget it
    • Don’t worry because you can look at the book after incase it was important!
    • I studied for 4 hours and I had filled two pages back to back of a small notebook so you can see my mind is constantly racing
  2. Listen to white noise NOT music
    • Listening to music can be a distraction – even if it is instrumental because the melodies will catch your attention and you will start to think about the instruments playing or something else
    • White noise helps to focus the mind and also to distract from the surroundings
    • The one I like is: Epic Thunder Storm because it’s the only one I have found to actually work extremely well for me when I am having problems with focus.

Hope this helps!

S.

Lean In.

This phrase has been on my mind for quite some time now. I’m not really sure where it came from or what it fully means.

As I left my teaching job, I had to ask myself did I fully lean in during my year away? Did I fully engage in it? Was I truly present? Was I actively participating in the opportunity provided to me to the maximum of my ability?

The answer is no. I can’t lie I did not. I realized something about myself that I also look toward the future. A future job, future travel, future degree, future, future, future.. I never live in the present. But it isn’t just about living in the present. It is about engaging with the present in a tangible way and knowing the present is where you are supposed to be.

“Leaning in” is really just about extracting the most you can from any and every opportunity presented to you.

I think this is so revolutionary. For someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, a lot of it stems from the fact that I feel I am not doing what I am supposed to do and I am not where I am supposed to be. I never fully lean into the opportunities afforded to me because I always think they are a means to an end. So, I don’t put in my all because I feel as though I still have another destination. To be honest, there is no end. There will always be the next thing. I risk looking at life like a means to an end rather than what it is. I have started telling myself, “where you are is exactly where you need to be and what you need to be doing for this current moment and time in your life, it is not accident so lean in“.

How does this concept of “leaning in” look?

Well, to lean in isn’t just to live in the moment because that connotes passivity. Leaning in is taking the present by the reigns and experiencing and extracting all that you can from every opportunity because that is all you have and that is where you need to be and why you are there. It is consciously participating in where you are in life. I’ll give a practical example:

I am going back to the university to study a Bachelor of Arts degree in French/Min. Philosophy or French Honours (uncertain yet). The way to not lean in would be to take the courses required of me just to complete this degree and apply to graduate school while the entire time thinking about the next step. Also, it would be like thinking about how I shouldn’t be going back to university because realistically I should have applied to graduate school already if I had done well in my first degree. Not leaning in is treating the present as a means to an end and not engaging in it. 

Leaning in:

I am going back to university for an opportunity and privilege to expand the boundaries of my mind beyond the scientific realm of which I studied during my first degree. I have the ability to stretch myself and become a well rounded individual and study subjects and topics to grow me, and challenge me. Instead of just taking courses that I will sit in a classroom for and read and write, I will mix it up with a community service learning course, a dance course a drama course. These are courses if you asked me a year ago I would never take. I will take a semester abroad during my degree to fully expand myself. I want to profit to the maximum during these two years and gain everything I possibly can. Let me do the maximum amount of education for this Arts degree that I can instead of just settling. Let me push myself to the maximum and out of my comfort zone. Instead of just studying French let me try to get into Honours. Why not? During this degree, let me join clubs and meet people that challenge me to become better, more creative, let me realize another side of myself that I did not know. Know myself on a deeper level.

Leaning in requires something of you. You are experiencing what your current situation has to offer you and taking advantage of it to the fullest. You are saying, “ok I am here, how can I make the best of out this situation (whether good or bad) and how can I experience the most and challenge myself.” You also tell yourself, “I am supposed to be here at this time, at this moment it is not a mistake”.

I am promising myself to really lean in this year into every aspect of my life. Not thinking about the future and especially not the past. The present needs to stop being a transitory destination to a future destination but a destination in and of itself. I need to cultivate the habit of understanding that every new opportunity is an experience to grow, challenge myself and learn something I never would have it.

I want to get this tattooed I love the concept of this so much as this alleviates a lot of my anxiety issues. I don’t think I am behind anymore. I think instead: let me really learn everything there is to learn about this moment, this course, this program, from this person etc. Time is so precious. I don’t want to live the rest of my life in anticipation of a future time that never arrives because the future is unattainable. All we have is the present.

I think this also goes back to the promise of everything working out of our good as believers. Why? Because when we do lean into every single opportunity provided to us, there will never be a downside. If you truly put in your best and stretched yourself to be more and do things you never thought you could, it will never be for your bad. You will find yourself in places you never thought you would be.

Engaging actively in life and experiencing everything there is to experience is the key to happiness. Not just success but happiness. There is no regret, there is no mistake you are where you are meant to be.

The long and short of leaning in:

  • Do your best wherever you are and take chances to stretch yourself
  • Know where you are is where you are supposed to be
  • Participate tangibly with the present
  • Do not waste any time obsessing on the present or the future 
  • Extract all you can from every opportunity presented to you

S.