The not so artsy art of being alone

Loneliness is a strange thing. A dangerous thing. A slow consuming poison that has the power to eat away at you without you even knowing it.

I grew up in a house full of humans. On top of being the only girl out of five boys, I have a thousand cousins and as far as I can recall, there has barely ever been a day where my grandmothers house was not full of people. And so as I child I learnt what I call “The art of being alone in the midst of crowds”. I didn’t have the luxury of taking some time out to lock myself in my room when I needed space because I didn’t have a room of my own but also because the mannerism of retreating was not allowed at home. So I became a pro at timing out in a kictchen full of people and escaping into my own world. I mastered the art of retreating while surrounded by noise; both beautiful and sometimes chaotic.

And as it would happen, this is something I carried with me into adulthood, except it took on a different form. I consider myself a warm, inclusive human being who makes friends quite easily. I am incredibly being on creating authentic connections and also intentional about pouring into the relationships I build. I have probably said this to a friend or two in passing…I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by this feeling of being alone. I sometimes feel so alone, I feel my heart breaking at the thought that it might be more true than I would like to admit. And I guess what makes it harder is that it doesnt quite add up, doesnt quite make sense in my head. How does someone surrounded y such an amazing army of men and women feel the way that I often feel.

I sometimes think that this art of retreating in the midst of people has somehow led to my doing life alone without realising it. Hence why I am where I am today. I don’t quite know how to undo it. I don’t quite know how to invite the army of amazing souls that surround me, into my heart-space. Though I also sometimes wonder if nobody sees, if nobody hears my loud silent cries

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

OUTRAGEOUS FAITH ~ SENSELESS BELIEF

If you know me, you will know that I have always been an optimist. If I don’t see it, I will go out and search for the good, for the light and for the other side of the story. But somewhere along the line, a big chunk of my perspective on life took a massive dip. I couldn’t see clearly. Didn’t quite know how to always believe. Always trust. 

And so at the beginning of this year, I found myself trembling as I made the decision to be bold in my declarations over my life.

A month before the year was over, I applied for a program I wholeheartedly wanted to be a part of. I believed and felt as though I needed it to help boost and elevate me into the new year…. I received an email on the 6th of Jan 2020 saying I did not make it into the program. I sat at my desk at the office and felt the tears burn in my eyes. My heart sank. And for a few minutes I was absolutely shattered. If not this program, what more was there for me to look forward to in this new year? Ok I had Business School to look forward to but I wanted more. I wanted to be part of that program in particular. I wanted to have everything that I wanted.

Who knows that there is something incredibly exciting yet equally daunting, about wanting something with your whole heart. You believe, imagine and visualise yourself in the greatness you seek. And somewhere at the back of your mind, you question whether you really want it. You question whether it’s really your season and time to have it. You begin building a house to carry the disappointment. You make room and furnish the part of your house where your fears and failures will live.

It was in the process of building this exquisite mansion to carry and house my failures, disappointments, secret bold prayers and undercover crazy dreams…you know, the ones you barely tell anyone about just in case things don’t quite work out. It was during this time that I made my decision.

The decision to live with OUTRAGEOUS FAITH and SENSELESS BELIEF.

I made the choice to be bold. The choice to be courageous in my resolve for wanting more and living at a higher vibration. A vibration that would call for me to risk having my heart broken, my ego bruised and give the gremlins in my head a platform to say “Told you, you couldn’t do it. Who do you think you are? You are not that brilliant”.

And I guess that’s the whole point of OUTRAGEOUS FAITH & SENSELESS BELIEF…To crack your heart wide open and awaken you to life, dreaming and possibility. To challenge you to place something else in the room saved for fears and failures. To call us to step into a higher version of self. To believe  with your whole heart. To stand in sure confidence that things can and will work out. And to know that if they don’t, for one moment, for a season, we dared to believe. Dared to dream. Dared to step and experience wholehearted living in its purest form.

I have made up my mind and there’s no turning back. In every area of my life, I am choosing to move with

                                           COURAGE!

OUTRAGEOUS FAITH!

SENSELESS BELIEF!

But first, let us CELEBRATE

“Those who celebrate the small victories and the simple pleasures win the game over and over again”

There is a project that I have been working on for almost 8 months now. I had planned and created enough buffer (Or so I thought) for it to go live, worst case scenario, at the end of November 2019. Around mid September the number of loopholes I had to climb had increased from 3 to 26 and so I found myself sitting at my desk with a sinking heart as I realised that there was no way in hell I was going to make end of November. Fast forward to the beginning of this past week and when the project resumes again I am on cloud 9. Everyone in the office is a tad bit confused by my excitement because we are still in the testing phase yet I am thrilled as though we have gone live, i.e. done and dusted. I know we are not done but we are also not where we were a couple of months ago. We have made PROGRESS. Taken a step forward. And I can’t not be happy.

I am in the business of celebrating even the tiniest of victories, because they too, count.

The thing about celebrating ourselves, milestones, goals achieved etc. is that we have fallen into this illusion that it only counts if its big. Or it only counts when it is done. Or worse, it only counts if it is noted by certain people. And yet we somehow seem to forget that life itself, is a series of small steps, moments, incremental, a jigsaw puzzle that comes together gradually. It is not one big long never ending marathon that we ought to have figured out by a certain point.

There’s something about pausing, that has filled my heart with so much gratitude for the strides already taken. Something about remembering to do that YES, air punch when I have taken 3 steps while I have 15 more steps to go before the finish line. I work too damn hard to deprive myself of the feeling that comes with knowing I HAVE MADE PROGRESS. I HAVE TAKEN A STEP FORWARD.

My project is not over yet. The end is close yet also so far still. And that is okay. Today I want to pause, indulge and smile from the inside out with excitement because we have advanced and made headway.

I am in the business of celebrating even the smallest of victories because they too, count!!!

Remember to CELEBRATE yours…They too count.

CHOOSING TO CHOOSE MY POSTURE

“Life is a matter of choices and every choice you make, makes you”

John C Maxwell

On the evening of the 31st Dec I found myself at the back row of a church I had never been to before but decided to give it a go because I wanted to do something different. So, different is what we tried. Different is what we did.

There’s this quote that kept coming my way over the past couple of months that says “Whatever it is you are not changing, you are choosing” and in the days leading up to the new year, it boggled very inch of my mind. What exactly have I been choosing to choose? Where and how have I been making intentional choices? Or rather, have I been even making choices?

Church was so full. Packed to the brims. I knew some people went to church on New Years Eve, I just didn’t know it was this many people. Halfway through the service I realised that I was there but not really there. Couldn’t even figure out if I was thinking of anything in particular. While lost in that moment of probably being overwhelmed by all the people around me, I decided to dance and sing along (It was a catchy song). And before I knew it we were doing a countdown to into the new year. The singing and the dancing continued and for the split second that I paused, I realised that I was enjoying myself. Happy. At peace. Full of joy. And right there in that moment, I decided that there was room in my life to be so much more intentional. Deliberate intentional living is what we were choosing to pursue.

And so I whispered to myself: “I am going to dance my way through life. I will be postured in joy. And I will dance”

This is me. This is me choosing to choose the posture I adopt.

This past year was a blur. Sharp. Demanding. Eye, heart and mind blinding. A year that felt like I lost so many parts of self. A year of being stuck. A year where I felt myself refuse to move. Refuse to let go. Refuse to heal. Refuse to see or experience life any other way than that which had gotten me in the posture I found myself in. A year where I chose to accept the posture that circumstance had left me in. I needed the stability, because who knows that sometimes pain and turmoil can be a steady safety net.

I walk into this new year knowing very well that life, as it does, will go its own way. And that’s okay. As it happens, I will be making the choice to remain at a different and higher wavelength. As it happens, I will be choosing to dance my way through the chaos, through the interruptions, through the moments that don’t quite make sense. I will be choosing the posture it finds me. Choosing the posture I remain in after all that needs to happen has happened.

Choosing to choose. Moving with deliberate intention. Evolving. Changing.

I am going to dance my way through life. I will be postured in joy. And I will dance.

Leadership Crisis in Corporate South Africa

“We need leaders who add value to the people and the organization they lead; who work for the benefit of others and not just for their own personal gain. Leaders who inspire and motivate, not intimidate and manipulate; who live with people to know their problems in order to solve them and who follow a moral compass that points in the right directions regardless of the trends.”

I recently attended a conference that dared to answer and unpack the topic of whether Corporate South Africa is going through a leadership crisis.

CRISIS Catastrophe – Mess – Disaster

A crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty

The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death

The topic intrigued me and made me cringe at the same time as I have been pondering on Leadership or the lack of leadership in general, in the corporate space. I have seen and I have experienced broken leadership. Leadership that leads from a place of fear and insecurity. Leadership that tears down and doesn’t know how to build. Leadership that seeks to shine  but fails to own up and take accountability for the mistakes and failures made along the way. Leadership that is yet to learn how to empower it workforce. Leadership that struggles to lead with bravery, have the difficult conversations without taking things personally.

Should we even be calling this leadership?

Yes. This is leadership. Leadership that is yet to grow and move with authenticity,  courage, conviction and a sincere passion for the growth and development of people. Leadership that needs to be cultivated. Leadership that is its infant stages. Leadership that needs to evolve with time and experience. Leadership that needs to be given a second, thirds and fourth chance. Leadership that needs to be guided. Pruned. Believed in.

With that being said, there are of course individuals who are far from being leaders. Individuals who only know how to manage and get the workforce to deliver. So maybe what we are going through is a transition crisis from management to leadership. A crisis given birth to by the high expectation that everyone in a position of power is a leader. A crisis that stems from the inability to recognise the leaders without  title. A crisis rooted in hierarchical norms.

I believe that leadership in Corporate South Africa is going through a steep learning curve. And as with every learning curve, there are going to be some hard lessons along the way. Sadly so, most of those lessons, hitting individuals.  If you find yourself at the frontlines of crappy, immature, sometime draining and unclear leadership…sorry. I hope you are able to build the stamina and resilience needed to withstand what may feel like the hard punches of being part of someone else’s growth journey.

What I know for sure is that there are legends who have been in the game and have steered the ship through the roughest storms. There is a generation of young men and women who are holding the fort, learning from those who have walked the path,  redefining the status quo, transforming the landscape. 

I dare say that Corporate South Africa is going through a steep growth curve. Right now it feels like a mess. It probably is a mess but it is all part of the process.

GROWTH – Widening.  Change. Sprouting.

Progressive increase. A stage or condition of developing and maturing.

 

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