Learning to evolve.

“I affirm that I accept that I may be powerless and not as in control as I hope to be in many situations but I can equally accept that I will grow in strength; be resilient and not scared to take control.” -11-05-2016, 8:32pm.

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^ That affirmation was so deep and fancy I could end the post here (lol). Hi guys, so this week I have been reflecting on the idea that despite my multiple attempts I hardly feel like I’m in control of things, which is a bold statement to make because I get a lot of things done and one could say that I’m currently balancing so many beneficial projects in my life. I find it hard to envision see my character past 26, because I constantly battle with an unrealistic attitude where I want to get everything done as soon as possible; call it impatience –  but as I’m typing this that I’m really absorbing how unrealistic this is. I used to get worried when I heard that a good indicator of the person we are to be is formed as a young adult because I don’t want to be like this or feel think like this forever. I would love to have an anxiety free life and a loose chest that doesn’t feel restricted for a good chunk of my life. Those with traditionally thinking African parents know what I mean when I say that they have been so set in their ways to the extent that we have just accepted them and some of their problematic tendencies or viewpoints as “just the way they are”. I don’t want to be that. I know that I’m not in my final form but the worried voice in my head seems to beg to differ.

As aforementioned in previous blog posts- I worry a lot about things which makes me plan for the future and formulate outrageous get rich quick plans in my head if my dreams don’t suffice. My neutral state is looking to the future and worrying- as opposed to enjoying the present. I just want to be better and want to feel more in control. This is ironic because I am the friend that people come to when they want to GATHER THEIR LIVES. I am the friend that will pick you right on up, dust you off like a rug and push you to live your best life. But I’m just such a worry pot and I’m tired of writing melancholic shit! I wish one day you could all come onto my blog and just read “yo guys, mans currently in Barbados.  life is popping, my edges are flourishing, my nails are strong, people are not stressing me! I AM LIVING MY BEST LIFE” What a glorious day that would be! but being stuck in awareness of my doubtful/worried spirit has almost made me my own hindrance.

I am forever berating myself, conflicting with myself, scaring myself into moods and mind-states’ that I cannot explain or bring myself back from. After a few weeks of constant self reflection and evaluation, I understood that I’m scared because I didn’t actually know how to be better. I didn’t know how to change, be more positive so I constantly mask it with worry. I know that writing and posting makes me happier- it’s also a form of release but who wants to be reading posts about how low or inadequate or overwhelmed I felt on Monday right through to Saturday? IT IS EXHAUSTING. Even as wavy a writer I know I can be at times- there is only so many ways I can write about the same thing. I want people to learn from my blog, I love that people can relate but I want us to learn more. The issue with relatable posts is that often they make people feel like its ok to stay in their mess. And it’s not- I mean: It’s okay to be in a mess from time to time but reading someone constantly writing that they are in a mental funk only results in people responding:  “omg so relatable” because (a) they either feel bad for you, b) they are probably in the same mess also and you made them feel better or c) they feel as though they don’t need to try to get out of that mess because Kemi’s going through it. Well to be honest Kemi is going through it and is now searching for ways to get out of it! I can’t keep putting up posts about relatable shit if I don’t offer any type of encouragement, advice or practical steps to tackle stuff because that’s not progressive.

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It’s easy to forget that with self-awareness should follow with a great deal of self-care and self-development- what is the actual use of being aware of your problems if you are not going to do anything about it eventually?  Awareness is important yes! It’s a crucial 1st step after getting out of denial, BUT a lot of awareness with no development and progress is a recipe to disaster. Nowadays, I view awareness as a type of poison if left dormant in the mind for too long with no subsequent action to follow. When you are aware of the problem areas in your mind and life for too long without eventually letting that turn into the question of “ok, so… what is the best course of action required for me to progress into a better individual?” AND actively/continuously trying to implement these solutions: the knowledge of your issues (simply knowing what’s shit about you) can dwell on/erode at your mind and affect your character. And the eroding comes masked as guilt, feeling stuck, feeling inadequate, stagnant and a range of other negative emotions. Negative emotions harboured in the mind for too long present themselves as negative actions. Based on my personal journey I know that one can be the most self-aware person ever, but if you don’t work on what you are aware of, you may relapse and become conflicted. You have not gained momentum in your self-care journey if you do not truly care enough to change and progress into a positive direction! Change is not easy hence why so many of us fear it; we are scared of who we may become on this journey, who we will meet, and feeling vulnerable/naked outside the comforting environment that our previous ways provided for us. Most importantly we are afraid of failing on this journey and falling into our previous ways. Because many of us still view failing as defeat.

But it is important to understand that what was promised was not an easy journey. Some of you may have 20+ years of issues to reverse- that cannot be done in one day! The self-care and actualisation journey is not one to be completed in one month or a year, it is a life time journey that comprises of constant progress. There is no fixed set destination, there are several destinations that we reach daily, weekly, monthly and yearly- you will not be perfect by the time you are 40 (or for me 26 lol). It is easy to imagine the destination of a balanced life of self-care/progress as having a perfect state of mind and being well balanced and successful in all aspects- but this is fake! You will only be better than before because there will always be more work to do, this journey isn’t like a report deadline at university because there is no deadline to submit by, YOU are a project that you will always be working on. The work may become easier for a period and it may be harder or shit for another length of time but the idea is to just always aim to be better than before. ( derived from the idea that we reach success and a life better suited to balance at every progressive moment of our self-care journey because of the concept of relativity)

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To make this relative to myself: For example, I have an issue with my body and weight fluctuation. (I say fluctuating but that shit just be going up yall). I realised my problem area that is making me feel insecure and result to baggy black clothing is my belly and very apparent waist (not in a good way lol) so ultimately- my goal is to have my stomach on flat flat and waist on what the hell is that! So, I’m aware of my unbelievably ridiculous eating habits and I am aware of the problems it has fed into i.e. my belly – this is the awareness stage. If I were to just stop here at this stage how would I reach my goal? So, the next stages comprise of development and progress. I set myself targets, goals and solutions. Solutions including: buying apple cider vinegar, exercising, eating better, and being strict on myself in aspects. I don’t eat processed food anymore and avoid minced meat and red meat like the plague now. Doing  all of this plus core workouts for 30 mins a day is an achievement to me and helps me gain momentum in my self-care journey on a mental and physical level because the results are positive. My belly area still bloats and I am still so far from where I want to be but because I am progressing on my journey and doing well, I am happy. Self-discipline has been exercised which is amazing considering that I have had issues with controlling myself/being disciplined.  However, I relapse sometimes but have conditioned myself to understand that failing on your journey is not bad! It’s the not getting back onto my healthy eating or exercise at the next available opportunity that is bad. It is wallowing in self-pity, giving up and reverting back to the state of awareness that is problematic. If I find myself falling too many times on a personal journey, then I know that something is up, something is not right and I need to go back to the drawing board and devise a new strategy. My final destination of success in this instance (going back to the analogy of my belly lol), is a flat stomach but I pass many victory points and destinations on the way simply because of the mini self successes that I achieve on this journey. I learn self discipline, body positivity, acceptance and perseverance on this relatively small quest for a snatched waist. THIS is why I say there is not one set destination on your journey of self-development and progress.

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In summary, The key word for my life this year is progress, for such a long time I was a know-it-all. I was legit that friend with all the answers: the metaphors about life, the one telling you what mind-games he’s playing and how to counteract it. I must have thought I had life figured out because in the beginnings stages of being aware of myself, I stopped learning or trying to be better. I thought I was the best version of me and that was that, not knowing that I was just ignoring my issues due to complacency and perhaps the arrogance that comes with a perceived higher state of mind. The day you stop learning is the day your mind starts dying. Now I’m 22 with the same problematic personality traits as I had when I was 20- to be quite honest that isn’t even the problem it’s that fact that in these two years I have ONLY JUST started working on these issues. And that is the issue with these “I have a temper and a bad attitude that’s just me take it or leave it” people. Big man? You don’t wanna better your mental state nah? Where’s the progress? We must actively refuse to be taken prisoner by our innate ways and tendencies. Gain some control!

I have to finish this part here because if you are at this point of the blog post then we can mutually agree that you have tried, you deserve a gold star and you have been reading for too long. To be honest this was supposed to be two posts but I decided against it. My next post will be like a part 2 in this self-care and development vibe which consists of what I have been doing and what I hope to start doing (from advice given) to progress in self-development, because y’all, I am having to break down everything I thought I knew to gain enough humility to reconstruct and re implement in my development journey. So that will be an interesting post. I genuinely hope this post helps you as much as it does me. (As always let me just disclaim that I am not a life motivator person, I don’t have all the answers, I just write as I experience and learn.)

I hope you get the chance to cook yourself a bomb ass fancy meal at some point this week because this always helps me to express self-care. And if you cannot cook or don’t know what to cook- Youtube: “how to make Jamaican saturday soup” -thank me later.

Stay full,

Kemi.

(all image credit in this post to Asiyami Gold)

-Kemi

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