I have been reflecting a lot on the importance of leaving behind a strong legacy and what then it means whilst one is here on earth. Simply put I am realizing one simple thing: that life takes time to build itself and we all have to be patient in seeing how things are supposed to unfold. I am realizing that the paradox of Legacy building is not loud, pretentious, attention seeking. That in fact it is actually the opposite. It is doing the mundane things no one enjoys doing, it is working behind the scenes and not expecting praise and it is about building the right relationships to serve the populations I have been called to serve.
In this digital age, this means we must be more intentional with how we interact with each other. I find more and more these days with the growth of digital communities we sometimes want to substitute a text message for a phone call or a face to face meet up for a skype call. If we truly want to impact the lives of the people around us we must be intentional in how we show up in our relationships. At the same time one must be proactive and take inventory of the relationships that you find yourself in, ask yourself how am I serving in this relationship and how I am I growing in this relationship? From the girls that I serve through GESL my non for profit organization to the women entrepreneurs I mentor on a year round basis, it is important for me to be diligent in how i provide the tools, resources and spaces they need to thrive and live dignified lives. That is my sole purpose and so if I find myself doing anything outside of that call it is easier to know what is a distraction and what isn't.
Lately I have found myself planted by God in spaces to leverage and amplify the voices of the girls and women I serve through my work. I know it is a season to continue to build legacy by cultivating the relationships that are most critical for the lives of the girls and women I work with to thrive. It is a season to continue to work, stay focused on my call and do what I am here to do.
How do you build legacy? What things are you intentional about?
I can't believe we are completely done with the first quarter of the year. Last month was extremely busy for me as a women's rights activist and gender and development professional the month of march regrettably always has me moving around much more than I'd like to, to the point where I usually get depleted; but it is the order of the day. I started my month with completing my spring semester with my graduate students ; attended the board meeting for the African Women's Development Fund USA which was held during the commission on the status of women; and co hosted our 3rd annual Afriwomen Hangout event, an intergenerational feminist gathering of African Diaspora and continental women. Those gatherings in addition to my work trip to Egypt Cairo left me completely drained and tired. I returned back to the U.S. thinking of how to better ground myself after such a busy month as I continue into the second quarter. Here are three things I am practicing this next quarter
1. Being more present in the moment and enjoying quiet time
This is such a cliche statement but it's so true. I can count the amount of times my husband tells me to switch off mentally from work; or from social media. More and more I understand the importance of setting things to the side and just tuning into the moment. Social media and my work being partially remote sometimes has me always on. I am making more intentional effort to switch off at a certain time and just focus on being in the moment and cherishing the little things. Being in Cairo leading a workshop on selfcare for female entrepreneurs, I found myself immersing myself much more in the moment and it felt so good! It felt good to just be in the desert and ride a camel, or drink mint tea at a tea parlor after midnight in one of Cairo's oldest neighborhoods. I want to replicate these moments more. I also aim to spend more time in quiet this quarter with little to no distractions. Wish me luck :).
2. Saying No and cutting back on commitments and not taking anything I didn't put on my annual plan The concept of saying no is not just about saying no but it also about being confident in your No. A lot of times when people don't have clear boundaries they struggle or can be resentful when you say you can't take on a project or give a discount for a class you are offering etc. I am learning that saying No is also an opportunity to have a conversation in hopefully sharing a way of creating boundaries in the various relationship spheres I find myself in.
3. Listening to my body and spirit more
Sometime we push our bodies so much and by the time we realize it it catches up to us. After a month of constantly being on the go, I was knocked down with a really bad cold. I am realizing that I need to be more proactive with wellness as it relates to my body. I plan to take walks at the end of each day and get back to a better eating and breathing regiment. Because if our bodies aren't right, our work can come to a complete stand still. Paying attention to my spirit means spending more time in prayer.
Purpose is the very thing you are called to do on earth. It is your divine calling. Many times so many of us can be so confused about what we are doing here on earth . So we spend a lot of time either doing the wrong things or delaying that thing God has placed on our hearts to do. On my recent podcast I talked about why goal setting and envisioning your life is so important. Purpose is directly alignment with setting goals and a vision for your life. If you aren’t clear on your purpose it could become very difficult for you to achieve what you are called to do. So here are some ways you can work towards aligning with the Purpose for your life.
1. Serve God- Serve People: Serving people is a form of prayer to God . The more you serve the more selfless you become. Being on purpose is about removing being self driven from your vocabulary. In this day where digital communities are solely about self promotion and less about adding value to others, the key to truly tuning into why you are here on this earth is to serve the needs of others. This applies in career, business, etc. One of the ways to practice the art of serving is to volunteer in various areas of our life; serve at your church; serve for an organization or a cause you care a lot about.
2. Follow your Passion: What is the thing that you can do without necessarily getting paid for? What is the thing that when you talk about it your eyes light up? That thing is your passion. When you seek after volunteer opportunities make sure they are things you enjoy doing, things that light up your soul.
3. Start things and do them consistently: You have to start somewhere. We don't have to have all of the answers figured out. I learnt this at a very earlier juncture in my career and in my work. Most of the things that are successful in my life I just took a leap of faith with passion and perseverance and they have yielded fruit in many ways.
I believe these three thing will help you as you begin to think of your calling in life. For more on how to discover your purpose stay tuned for my latest podcast.
You change every moment and sometimes even you don’t know that you are changing so allow room for that change. Last year I have grew so much and God has pushed me in ways even I couldn’t imagine being pushed. We have been through a lot together me and God and we have traveled the world together as well all whilst doing his work. I couldn’t have imagined going to some of the places I went to this year if not for God and his grace.
As I journey through life one thing I am becoming more and more uncompromising of is my growth process. I believe there are times we are expected by the people around us to explain every piece of our change process. As I was sharing with a friend the other day, how can I explain my change process to someone if I myself I am still trying to figure it out? I remember having a really intense conversation with a close friend years ago who kept challenging the fact that I had changed and had left no room for her in my change process and I had no response for her. Asking someone to explain their change process is like asking the author of an ongoing book, what is going to happen in unwritten chapters. How can the author explain this to the reader when the story is still unfolding? God takes His time to design us each of our lives and what is most important is to key in to those changes. As we change so do our perceptions on certain things in life, relationships, our work, our calling etc.
So here are three things I make sure of to remain focused throughout the year and to embrace my change process
1. Tune out the noise: I do my best to tune out the distractions around me. From what gossip exists about a famous pop star, to anything that may pull me away from what i truly need to be focused on I have learnt to zone into what matters the most on a daily and weekly basis. My relationship with God, my family and my work.
2. Press Forward: pressing forward for me has meant I need to always set goals and have clear timelines of how to achieve them. Every year I may update my vision board and develop a personal strategic plan for what needs to be accomplished for the year.
3. Have a winning team of supporters : For me what centers me in all of my work is my faith. Knowing I am not doing my work for accolades but to please God has kept me focused, streamlined and allowed me to do less explaining to others about what God is doing in my life and building relationships with a community of people who are there to support me in being the best version of who God wants me to be.
This year I embrace further change, and as I set out to accomplish what God has called me to do I look forward to what there is to learn, as I continue to write the story of my journey. Happy New Month.
Welcome to my lifestyle segment of my brand. Here I will share my writings, heartwork, wisdom and life happenings as it relates to my work.