The Lord shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I love this scripture! It gives us an idea of the expectations we can have when it comes to God’s commitment to caring for us. And the faith we can also have that he will come through for us, as He did for Paul many times over.
I don’t know about you, but there was a point in my Christian journey, where I was sort of bewildered as to how God’s blessing would find me. There were moments I felt like I was looking up, waiting; waiting for God to dive down and make it rain with whatever it was I needed.
Alas, that is not quite how God works. His riches do not fall from the sky. God uses the resources available to him (which includes you and me) to allow His blessings and riches to flow to those in need and to those who seek him.
The riches Paul refers are from God, who uses ordinary people from all walks of life to bless His children. From the person, you struggled to get along with but was then humbled by their generosity to a random stranger helping you with no motive.
The job you landed, with the support of the manager you thought wasn’t on your side. The customer service guy, who not only refunded you for the broken item but sent you another one free of charge. The friend who is always encouraging you, even when going through their struggles.
I could go on and on, as there are many ways we can experience God’s promise to supply all our needs. How? when we open our heart to living like Jesus. Being kind, generous, ready to help others. Obedient, when you hear that little voice telling you to check up on someone.
It may sound too simple, but when we serve others it is the greatest form of blessing to our lives. Don’t misunderstand, God’s blessing is not conditional. Nothing with God is.
Just think of all the times He’s already done it and how He’s used people and situations around you?
I’m utterly in love with nature and if someone would pay me, I’d happily spend my days exploring all it has to offer. Nature is a world of wonder on its own, through which I believe life sessions shine through. Our imagination is expanded in terms of how we see and relate to things. And even our belief system. faith through the eyes of nature is like a full plate of my favourite meal.
Recently on a trip to Richmond Park, the deers ventured across our path, in their usual calm, slow-paced, but just to let you know I’m heading somewhere vibe. I urged my daughter to get up close and slightly personal to capture the moment.
10 minutes later whilst all the other deer’s potted along, crossing the road, this one deer (pictured above), just grazed his way through a solid patch of grass on a bed of soil. Totally unbothered that the others had gone ahead.
It made we think, that’s one bold deer. Yes he was part of a group, but at that moment in time what was most important was satisfying his hunger. It didn’t mean he no longer wanted to be apart of that group. He just needed to do his thing.
Do you see where I’m going with this, sometimes we need to break from the group, the norm; to satisfy our hunger for whatever it is we need in that season of life. And no, it’s not an excuse to be unduly selfish, but to live purposefully and with intent.
I can never really give it justice in capturing it, as I’m no photographer and my daughter would wholeheartedly agree. But I hope you’ve been able to get a taste of where my imagination went as you glanced at one very satisfied deer.
The takeaway from today’s post.. Make sure you take time to satisfy your hunger for life .
I love writing and am always drawn back to it, after long spells of avoidable procrastination. Which usual starts with me developing a complex about my writing style. My doubts are not necessarily about whether I’m a good writer, they tend to border on how I come across to others. Is my writing too formal or casual? is there a point to it and how much can I get away with!
Never one to colour in the lines, unless I was too young to know about it or have a say; I’m all about the authentic person. No matter how mad hatter you are. And so thinking about practising what I preach and encourage others to do and be. I’m gonna get back to my love of writing.
If you haven’t already switched off, the take away from this post is… I’m gonna do what I love, how I want, and hopefully bring others with me. All the ridiculous self doubt and time spent analysing something I and I alone have total control of is simply a waste of time.
Do what you love people and the rest will take care of itself (literally)
It is amazing how a profound revelation in relation to our own indifference, can just waltz into our being at the least eventful moment, challenging our well thought out version of ourselves. A bit of a mouthful I know, but in sharing this reflection, I wanted to take care to accentuate the power of these profound moments in words and how much we need them to help us live in love without prejudice.
Years ago, when the bus was my car, I used to observe this one particular lady and her three kids getting on or off the bus on my way to work. For whatever reason, there was constantly an issue with her oyster card. It then always seemed like the children were at odds with each other and the mother equally at odds with the children. This made for an interesting bus journey but I tell you what; I immediately judged her and her children.
Then over time, I saw her and the kids together less. I observed a shift. The company she kept seemed questionable. Her appearance became more dishevelled and the hustle became key. As my eyes opened to the situation, my judgement grew.
Finally, I no longer saw her with the kids. I saw her alone, homeless on the street. And my viewpoint was dim. Full judgement applied: I criticise her being, her loss, her faults and what I presumed to know of her. As a mother, my heart went out to the kids, but not her. I would not offer kindness.
Then recently I sat in my car, taking in my surroundings and as I looked up; I met a flash of lady’s face draping across my memory. And then it came to me; that much needed profound realisation. I had no right to judge her and never once in judging her did I pray for her.
Because we presume to know a person, and by this definition cast judgement on them, does not mean we get to forever label, treat indifferently or regard them as unworthy. For we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is shamefully to have judged her but was so easily done. As I sat in my car, I felt a deep sadness at my lack of empathy and kindness.
As people of faith, we fall so short at times in our endeavour to be like Christ. Fortunate for us, He is a big forgiver of sins. So I sought His forgiveness and I prayed over that lady and her kids, as its never too late to pray or correct a wrong. Even if I never see her again, I know my prayer has power and God can do more than I can.
Where has your judgement led you astray or blinded your love and gracious towards others? if so, how can you take positive steps to change this, now or in the future?
Actions you may consider:
Pray for the person or situation
Offer up a kind gesture
Clear the air in a positive environment
Commit to reflecting on and paying attention to your thoughts and how they affect your actions.
When you have a new idea or desire to make a change in your life, it can be pretty daunting. Especially if you are daring to be bolder than you have ever been. You may have the urge to seek out a friend; to sound out your thoughts or help you gauge whether your idea is way off base or aligns with your vision. The core of who you are and what you want to achieve.
From personal experience, this can be quite powerful. We are at our best when we allow others (the right people) to be a part of our journey. However; who we choose to lean on and when we choose to lean on them should be factored in before there is any leaning.
I say this because often there is a vulnerability or element of fear intertwined with bold decisions to implement or seek change.
Give your idea or boldness to change an opportunity to survive by adapting good sharing habits and fundamentally knowing and being confident in your ability to make good decisions; knowing what’s right for you.
And though we may convince ourselves that “we just want to gauge where we’re at” subconsciously there are times when what is ultimately being sought is validation and not valuable insight. And seeking validation from the wrong person at the wrong time can kill your idea in an instant.
This way when you do approach someone for valuable insight, you are clear in your own mind that you are not seeking validation or permission. You are purely giving voice to your plan, with openness to being challenged positively or discovering valuable gems that could help you along the way.
How can you do this? here are some helpful tips:
Ask yourself what do I want to achieve by sharing my thoughts with this person?
What makes this person, the ideal individual to connect with?
Is the right time? (timing is so important, both in terms of where you’re at and where that person your trusting is at)
How am I likely to feel after speaking to this individual?
Lastly but more importantly if you are a person of faith, Why not try asking God. Recently I wanted to find a good Accountant. I prayed about it and God’s reply was for me to ask a friend. I had no idea if this friend even knew an accountant, but it turned out he did!
I pray this week: that your vision will flourish and those you choose to share it with, will add nuggets of wisdom and hope.
It’s the start of another week, but really the continuation of the journey you’ve been on, and another opportunity to shine. So my wish is that this week is filled with little moments that remind you, just how valuable you are and that nothing is wasted. The joyful or challenging moments are adding to the amazing story you’ll come to share and evidence in your life.
I can say this because it’s been a challenging time recently with the addition of a new baby. In truth, there are days when I wonder if this beautiful gift is the end of my desire to be a fully-fledged entrepreneur. Especially as you then tend to feel older and for some reason consumed with the idea that time is running out.
But what a load of crockery! Have you ever owed a cupboard full of plates that you’re convinced you’ll use one day despite the fact that there are only 4 of you in the house? The feeling; that your running out of time is a lie, just like that cupboard full of plates. This is how our minds deceive us in fixating on the negative.
When faced with these moments, I have to go back to basics: the foundation of God’s word to get my head and spirit straight.. literally. I know that can in itself to be a challenge, but once that block or focus has shifted you realise that we need to trust what God has in store for us, no matter the storms, or confusion that comes our way or how delayed the vision seems. God is not a liar and He has given us so much and for a purpose.
Time is on my side because God is for me and he is the shepherd of time and my life – C Foune
I am back! Being away from writing for almost a year has made me realise, how much; I love and miss it! It’s so therapeutic and through writing my imagination is ignited and my passion flows. It is also a positive platform to connect with others and I look forward to sharing more stories; connecting with writers and readers alike.
In keeping with the core values of my blog, I want to continue encouraging and inspiring others to live purposefully and abundantly, confident in the belief that all things are possible. Understanding that our mindset is a huge factor in achieving our desires, and that we can push past the limitations that lurks in the shadows of our mind; to achieve those desires.
Looking back, I have loved the content shared so far on Reflections of a Storyteller, but growth is everything. So in future I want to be less formal in my writing style and really connect with the realities of life as they are lived. I want to avoid getting caught up in worrying about the criteria of success on social media platforms or how my writing may be perceived.
I write to making a difference to that one person’s day or life, and that’s where my focus will be.
I want to also add a journal element to the blog, where real life situations and scenarios can be captured and shared to fully show the relatability in the things we all go through as human beings. Especially when trying to improve the outcome of our lives. So, join me for chapter 2 of Reflections of a storyteller and let’s enjoy the ride together.
P.S stay tuned in to find out why I have been M.I.A for a year and remember:
“Life is designed to throw punches at you, you are designed to punch back” – Camille Foune
I remember standing in the corner, of the front facing garden of my family home back in Jamaica; hidden between the wall of the veranda and my favourite plum tree. Which when in bloom, was like the 25th of December, all season round.
Sheltered from the busyness of the street by the plum tree, and the prying eyes of those inside my house, standing by that corner was my anecdote of heaven. There I would stretch my arms wide open; first the right, then the left. My feet would follow suit and as I felt the air below me, I experienced the freedom of flying.
“I was in the air and it was awesome”This was a memory I strongly held onto from childhood to my early twenties, as vivid as night is day. The belief that I flew! You heard me right, I flew!
I know what your thinking…..humans can’t fly!
I really believed in that vision, that the dream or feeling I had was real. It happened and no one could tell me it didn’t.
I have long loved the outdoors and I think even as a child I was always “exploring, reflecting, trying to find my place in the world” This for better or worse has followed me through my teens, twenties, thirties and hopefully, it will in my 40’s.
That dream was real to me and I did feel and experience the freedom of flying because back then I was physiologically releasing my self from my circumstances and giving my mind permission to wonder, to be free.
As I have gotten older, I may no longer believe I can physically fly or that I ever did, but what I have realised, is something fundamentally greater to my existence in this world.
I realise that I experience the freeing of my mind from situations and challenges through my dreams, prayer and through my love of nature.
“I’ve realised it’s impossible to fully live, unless I’m prepared to accept that I can never stop exploring, or setting my mind and self free through methods others may find out of context. Even more so when viewed in terms of faith, but this is where my strength lies”
Through dreams, my subconscious brings to the surface, so vividly at times the challenges or struggles I’m facing. In some cases through those dreams, I am able to see and understand what my real thoughts and emotions are and what I need to work on.
One might say dreaming about each step of my long awaited promotion and it happening exactly as I dreamt is crazy. But through faith all things are possible. Right? Hell yes!
I unashamedly love praying. I’m not ritualistic and tend to pray as if I’m talking with friends. Prayer is intimate for me and I find it soothing, peaceful and powerful. Through prayer, I feel a great sense of belonging and peace.
Nature, there is just too much to say! Nature is captivating and I can be lost in the untouched woodlands of tall glorious multicoloured trees that rise to meet the sky.
Especially in summer when the trees seem to toy with the sun, giving an illusion of balance in this world. The dynamics of light and dark and how easily one flows into the other. Nature balances me!
So, at the end of the day, am I crazy or am I just living a liberated life? As individuals, we need to be free to see life, the world, through the lens we choose it.
So I encourage you! Dream how you want to dream? Hold onto them no matter and find freedom in the things that unashamedly express the inner you!
Recently I visited a certain cafe, and behind the counter stood a food assistant. She had been employed by this particular café for years. Diligent, hardworking and very good at her job, we had mutual respect based on origin.
On this occasion, as I placed my order and waited to pay. I took the time to really notice her and the surroundings in which we both stood. So much had changed, prompting my curiosity. I found myself wondering: How much of this change, had she, herself really experienced?
At that moment I realised that I had rarely seen her behind the cash register. Certainly not in the last 5 years. She was never the one collecting payments. Always the one making the sandwiches. Which to be fair, she did with such humility!
She was never the one collecting payments
Whilst I understand that not everyone can occupy the coveted position of managing the cash register. I felt a pang of ” distress” on her behalf. Is this all there is? and is she truly happy? Newer, younger staff now hold the converted position and my friendly food assistant is still the one making the sandwiches.
Then it hit me: it’s not so much the fact that she is never behind the till. It’s the readiness for the opportunity to be the managing that cash register. In our lives, what we put out can determine the opportunities that come our way.
None of us is born equipped. We have to work towards building our skills and widening our options. On the basis that our starting point should not be our end point. There has to be growth along the way, otherwise, I don’t care what anyone says your stuck!
if your stuck, you need to become unstuck. You need to move on from making the sandwiches to managing the till and potential running the cafe!
I say this with love: you CANNOT be afraid of learning. Technology is not going to bite you. Some jobs are not only meant for special people. You have the ability to do more, be more. Therefore seek more!
Without judgement don’t end up stuck in the same situation, having prepared to go nowhere! Seek more and meet your opportunities. They are in abundance all around you!
I love quiet mornings. They are pure indulgence. And this morning I was basking in it. Even my husband noticed.
I always wake up with a worship song on my mind. Today it was: “Looking for a Saviour” by United Pursuit. As I played it, I was just overcome with the goodness of God
It’s so easy to forget the good times and the truly amazing moments. The ‘God moments’. Where nothing makes sense and not because there is confusion. But because stressful situations change to blessings overnight. Long awaited goals, suddenly take momentum.
Reflecting on my professional journey, with this in mind. I realized that though I felt, perhaps I could have achieved more. There was no point looking back with sadness or regret. I would not rewrite a fictitious story in my head.
As I can only look forward with gratitude! That despite, my own confused state of mind at times. Or the years living in my head, never truly fixed on a destination. God still enabled me to succeed.
Reaffirming that with faith, all things are possible
I’m an over sharer. I try not to be, but when it comes to matters of the heart I haven’t mastered the art of saying too little yet. Thankfully, my over sharing has so far worked out favourably. I find in sharing and sounding out my thoughts, I inadvertently expand my learning and reflecting. This challenges my perception and awareness, leading to emotional maturity.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on marriage and my definition of it. I’m coming up to my 2nd anniversary in six months time and so far marriage has been a big period of adjustment as you’d expect. Though, not as daunting as i’d imagined.
As someone who often felt conflicted about marriage. Wanting it, but on my own terms, which really involved the concept of an arms length union. Not too involved, but present. I knew I would face basic challenges.
And sure enough one of my greatest challenge is space. I love people, I love my family and friends. But in truth, I have my limit of how much interaction I can take in any one go. I love my own company; space to reflect, cloud watch, zone out, not be on a timer is vital to my sanity.
However when you are married with a child, space can become like an inexpensive luxury that continues to elude you, despite it being in great supply, apparent! As we mere portals spend 22.3 per week, averaging 50 days per year watching TV.
I tend to live in my head, especially when it’s impossible or unlikely I’ll have the physical space around me to reflect at the time I need to. With a child, a shared bedroom (forever) and one bathroom, where do you go? Especially in winter!
Is this what God intended? I found myself asking recently. When he said two become one. That you suddenly have a shared sense of space on many levels with another human being. You are free, but bonded to co-existing until death do you part.
For some reason my mind conjured up a metaphor of an apple. I wanted to say grapefruit but it’s such a sour fruit in nature, consciously linking it to marriage, felt over negative. So let’s link marriage to an apple. My reasoning, went something like this:
“I am an apple and in preparing and accepting the choice of marriage, I will lose half of who I am. Half of all that makes me who I am, selfishly and unselfishly. But having been forewarned, I get to take all the bits of me that I really want to keep and stuff that into the half of me going into marriage, in order to merge with the other half of my soul mate”
I know, I know! I am a drastic thinker. “Deep” is the word often used by my friends I believe. Explaining my crazy, yet totally visual metaphor to a newly married friend, she challenged my thought process straight away. Her response was simply “maybe seeing marriage as a predefined thing is the problem”
Whether it’s a fruit, object or set of rules. Each half comes with their own notion and definition of marriage, often based on teachings from our ancestors or ideals we have somehow deduced as fit for marriage from our own observations growing up. But shouldn’t marriage be an individual thing?
Sure there are foundation truths in relation to the success of any marriage, I. e communication is vital and never go bed angry….honestly, don’t do it.
I concluded this from our conversation: essentially marriage is a case of two become one. But in becoming one, you both together, have the opportunity to define and redefine a marriage that reflects who you both are anytime you want throughout your lifetime together.
In looking at marriage from this standpoint, there is hope and a sense of adventure for the journey and the outcome. So yes I do need space, I crave it. But it hasn’t been taken away from me. I just need to refine it within my marriage.
And in doing so, I can be fully be myself. Managing my time and space to reflect who I am, my interest, character and separating out a time for us and a time for me. That sounds a more balance view I think.
Here’s what I say to me writing this and you reading it, marriage isn’t like an apple, it’s whatever we want it to be. The version, shape or opportunity drawn together by two becoming one!
Standing by my new favourite place, staring out at the view before me, I pledge to be more present. To take in the world around me, I tell myself. To not be lost in this season of anxiety and stress.
As I look out the kitchen window, with a brew in hand, tranquillity washes over me. I notice the swaying movement of my neighbours backyard tree as the wind moves gently through each branch and gives life to the little buds of flowers breaking through.
Cascading my eyes to the patch of grass on my right, in one swooping motion, and am met by beauty in the simplest of form. The gentle caress of the wind moving through each blade of grass, triggers my reality.
I want my life to be like the branch and blades of grass. An existence in which the daily challenges of life, move about like the wind, but I am not destroyed or overwhelmed by them.
There is peace despite the challenges, and I am able to exude tranquillity to those around me.
As a mum of a creative and free spirited 9 year old, I have long learnt that nothing is safe in my house. Old dresses can be transformed into three piece outfits overnight, beautiful cards reserved for little notes to inspire others, become papier-mâché’ and even my sanitary napkin once became a shoe. I kid you not! As proof below you will find one transformed into a unicorn/person.
Having illustrated the essence of my daughter’s character, I must say, I wouldn’t wish her any different. She is motivated by her creativity, which in turn makes her resourceful and witty.
Not only is my daughter motivated by her creativity, she is also massively motivated by money. I recently shared a video via Facebook, relaying my excitement at having bought a Selfie Stick. It was purchased on a Sunday for £9.99, and used to film my excitement and left in my room to recover.
As I got ready for work Monday morning I noticed my selfie stick had a shine to it. On closer inspection, I found it had been loving wrapped in gold tape. As I started to unravel the tape, I realised the selfie stick was broken. The little clever clogs!
I promptly rushed into my daughters room, voiced my unhappiness and told her she would need to buy it back from her Christmas money. That was the worst news ever! She chanted the whole morning “I am not using my money to buy it back” and I was adamant, she would.
I have to confess, she did not. Miss little clever clogs, on return from school used the glue gun she received for Christmas to glue the selfie stick back to together! Her response “told you I wouldn’t buy it back”. Forget the cheekiness, in that moment I was so proud!
Motivated by her creativity and a desire not to spend her money, she resolved to find a resolution to the predicament she found herself in.
It reminded me that at times we can find ourselves in unintended circumstances, where we are presented with limited options or no options at all; effectively stuck between a rock and a hard place.
In sharing this story I want to remind you, that you do not have to be trapped. Let your motivation be your light, your guide, your resolve to finding the right solution for your situation, and not to the detriment of your money, your creativity, your values, your relationship or any other factor. But staying true to who you are
I encourage you as always to find your “why”, and hold on to it in challenging times. Persevere and find creative resolutions. Be confident in your goals, in your actions and keep striving.
If you find this a struggle, here are some helpful tips:
Reflect on what motivates you and put steps in place to keep yourself motivated, this may include:
Writing down 1-2 sentences that affirm your “why”
Repeating it to yourself everyday
Taking 5 mins out of every day to visualise your vision
I had driven nearly an hour in a muddle of road works and traffic, to satisfy an innate need. At the point I mentally committed myself to undertake the one hour journey, logistics was not at the forefront of my mind. I simply envisaged the reward awaiting me. A classic cheese burger from Bryon burgers washed down with an Oreo milkshake from heaven. Creamy, indulgent, thick, flavoursome milkshake sipped from a frozen metal cup. Pure indulgence!
Whenever I go to Byron I spend quite sometime staring at the menu, only to order the same dish. The cheese burger, with no onion. I then through nosy glances admire the tower of a burger being delivered to nearby tables, wishing mine would arrive looking just like that.
As the waiter approaches my table, I’m a little disappointed. “Oh, its so small” I think; and then I get stuck in, already convinced I’m going to need something else to eat as this will not quench my hunger. It simply will not do.
Then as I take my last bite of the burger, having drank half my milkshake. I get super happy that I did indeed chose the right meal, because my stomach is about to explode! I couldn’t eat another thing. I take comfort in my Oreo milkshake from heaven.
This story is a great analogy of the need to stay on our own path in life and make decisions aligned with our values, vision and what you can handle. Not decisions or actions based on what we see those around us doing.
It’s easy to steal glances or outright follow another’s path because it’s looks bigger and better, and you think it may bring satisfaction. In reality it does not and will not. Because that journey belongs to someone else and not you.
I encourage you, choose your own path, run your own race. Make life decisions based the outcome you want for your life. That way should challenges come you will be able to face and fight them based on your belief and vision.
As I encourage you to be more courageous, I’ll share with you something from the best selling book of all times, the bible. Through his word, God has given us his promise that we can be courageous because we will never be put to shame or be disgraced. whether; young, old or because of things lost, we should be confident in marching forward
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Issiah 54:4)
As courage is about being bold and confident. Know that God has got your back in this area and you can fully own the platform as you run your race.
The biggest limitation to your successful is you! It’s your past and how that plays a role in you being able to trust, believe and walk confidently in following your passion. It’s the limitation you put on taking risk
Today I am encouraging you to take the biggest risk, you’ve every taken. I am encouraging to let go of the past, of all that hinders your future
I encourage you to believe you are good enough, to believe in your skills and talents, to believe you can and that the possibilities are endless. And finally I encourage you to believe that the future is where you belong
*Get a note book or piece of paper
*Write down the things you are struggling to let go of
*Then flip the page and write all the things you want to achieve. Write down the skills and talents you have
*Now go back to the first page and put a line through all you written. Replace it with “my struggles exist but they do not define me”
Pin the 2nd page somewhere you can look at everyday to remind yourself of the future your looking forward to
For 2019, I made a commitment to myself to read more. To expand my knowledge, vocabulary and awareness of the world around me. I thought about having a list, which captured definite reads such as; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which powerfully demonstrates that the journey to finding our dream, our purpose is ultimately right in front of us and John C Maxwell’s Put Your Dream to the Test, which I started a year ago.
But Alas, Christmas came and it was dinner and secret Santa time with my tribe. Our annual celebration of the year past and dreams for the future. 2018 was pretty intense, so while thankful, we were glad to see the back of it and we were ready to look forward. And so, it was an inspiration in itself to see that the same present I bought for my secret Santa, was the same present given to me: Becoming by Michelle Obama. Talk about having solid cheerleaders in your life that know just what you need.
So my idea of a list went out the window and “Becoming” by the first lady of all times, became my first book of the year and it did not disappoint. The book was a revelation and an inspiration to me. So much so that everywhere I go, I find myself pledging to buy it for others. The writing style, the stories, the context, the journey, all eloquently captivated to give the reader a real insight into Mrs Obama’s life, her character, her passion and her values.
Her outlook, mind-set and approach was particularly inspirational. Despite her background, the challenges faced, or the position she now occupies, the former first lady consistently thrives to ensure that her actions and influence bring lasting change to the lives of many. And as someone who believes in the power of kindness to others, Becoming resonated with me on many levels.
By the end of the book, I stood at my kitchen window, looking out at the trees, the calm of the clear blue sky, reflecting on all I had just read. The legacy of it all and I thought this women is phenomenal; what I would say if I ever met her. And in that moment I decided I would write to her. I was going to journal a letter to the former first lady!
In reality the letter is more meaningful to me, than it ever will be to her. The letter is an affirmation of all the promises I made to myself whilst reading her story. It is to recognise my connection to the world around me. The desire to do good, serve others and be present.
Updating my journal with that letter I realised that I had spent most of the life unconsciously operating in survivor mode. I wanted to do well in life, and that meant never stopping to thinking about my past. I concentrated on racing towards a future “only I could give myself” But in trying to forget the bad, I forgot about the good I had experienced and how that’s contributes to who I am today.
I forgot to look up and recognise the power of the collective and that the collective good can prevail. The world is changing, the struggles still exits. But if we each commit to doing what we can, the world can become a more inclusive place. So I will continue to chase after my dreams and be motivated in doing so. But more importantly I will take time to look up more often and do more good.
Let me put this out there, in encouraging you I am not speaking from a place of I have and you do not. I am not telling you I’ve made it and this is how. I am sharing with you that I get it, I’ve felt it and that the struggle is without a doubt unbelievable real.
My heart is to encourage you to see those struggles differently, to hold it together in the face of uncertainty, to take action and move boldly to, to see that we are all on an individual journey and that even when the image is glossy and rose tinted, we all face challenges and we all have successes and it’s all down to action and perspective.
People look at me and say “you got it all together” someone even once told me “you’re famous now” but that’s perception. My action and perspective got me here. To a place where, I can confidently own my journey, view my challenges as growth and bring a positive mind set to whatever I am doing.
I haven’t made it yet, far from it, there is so much I want to do. My goal is to do colourful and dynamic things that bring positive change to the lives of people. But this is not really about me, it’s about you.
I want you to know that you are capable, that although what you bring to the table may already exist, the truth is, it still’s needed. It’s still relevant. You are relevant and only you can believe that about yourself and what you have to offer despite it all. To have faith that your life can be everything you ever dreamed and more.
I like to think that we know within ourselves who we are and we know when it’s make or break time and some of us get lots of opportunities which our eyes are not open to because we feel we can’t’ we’re not ready yet, or that’s not for me, what if I fail.
Let me say this, if you don’t try, you can’t succeed and to succeed, you must fail, and failure is not the end.
So I challenge you when you’re next make or break moment comes what are you going to do?
I was a child running around causing havoc only as I would. My tongue was fierce and I was a feisty little madam. I had respect for authority, but I also deeply believed I had a right to readily challenge it. And trust me growing up in the Caribbean that was unheard of. You did what you were told even if, it was the most ridiculous reasoning you ever heard.
Well intended statements such as “don’t sweep at night” “you think you bright (meaning to say clever) and “don’t question me” was a part of our everyday language. Even now, I often wonder why we continue to spew these words. I know culture is a big part of it, but surely it’s time we changed it?
Context over, here’s what I want to lay down.
One day I had obviously done something upsetting to my aunt but rather amusing to me. I don’t exactly remember what. I suppose you could say my mind fixated on the response rather than the action. And in her annoyance she yelled “you will amount to nothing, you will just get pregnant before time”
That statement is forever edged in my memory and yes subconsciously I still hold on to it. Not because I buy into the negativity it so clearly depicted, but because at the age of 9, I learned my first lesson about identity and self-worth. I heard her words, they became the air around me for about one minute.
I knew the weight of that statement, having heard it said a thousand times in my short little life. It was common and in some ways normal to speak that over girls who exhibited any form of behaviour not consistent with “staying in line with the rules”
You want to know what I did. I reclaimed the air in the room. I rebuked that negativity over me and I vowed to “show them”. Them, being all those who have and would cast down words of negativity on me or put limits of the design of my life. I used that statement to; propel me, challenge me, to find the spirit of resilience in me.
That statement of negativity was a catalyst for change in my life. I am proud of who I, and I strive to live accountable only to myself and my faith. It’s easy to use negativity to control, conform oppress, hide and there are those who only seem to survive by breaking others down
The long and short is, that, for some reason there is more negativity in the world than positive and for obviously reasons it’s harder to control another person’s words or actions. So, that leaves you and your response to it.
Will you allow another’s negativity to break you or will you use it as a catalyst for change in your own life?
Look to yourself first and you will never be lost – Camille Foune
Welcome to reflections of a story teller!
I am excited to be blogging again and as an avid believer in the power of storyteller, I know there are some truly exciting times ahead as I share my life stories and encourage others to share theirs in the name of inspiration.
My love of encouraging and inspiring others is the primary reason for starting and committing to a blog. I want to write to break the trend (so to speak) where our actions, words, life situation and how we look is constantly airbrushed. From my own personal experience and speaking to others, it seems as if the reality of our own truths cannot be simply stated or owned. It has to be dressed up. Especially on social media
The reality is we all have amazing sun kissed sky moments and we all go through incredibly challenging times. Yet, without hesitation the former is often openly publicised and voiced religiously; whilst the latter, seems to propel us to hide. To keep our pain and struggles on the down low. Is it a case of we don’t want anyone to know our business or do we feel ashamed, less than or even unsuccessful in comparison to other family, friends and peers?
Through this blog I want to have true conversations about areas of life that are both live and death so to speak: relationships, career, miscarriages and faith to name a few . And to do this, I am going to share some of my successes and struggles; the reality behind them, my own truths and what that has taught me and will hopefully teach you! So get on board the storytelling journey and be inspired
A new baby and the uneventful adventures of late-night feeds, led to the binge-watching of Reese Witherspoon’s “Little Fires Everywhere” and its gripping, intertwining storylines. It was so good, my husband finished watching the series before me, which never happens in my household.
Without divulging a single spoiler, and after processing the ending: one profound thought channelled through: “It is important to be kind to others, however, the act of kindness should never be borne out of the need to satisfy one’s ego or re-affirm a position of power”
This further led to me reflecting on the rise of social media, entrepreneurship and the desire to be wealthy. True kindness in the rat race of modern society can seem far fetched as everyone focuses primarily on “making it” personally or professionally.
Yes, collaboration and the sharing of ideas exist, but so too does the need to secure what is “mine”. However the same law of kindness applies personally or professionally, and it is healthy to have some element of altruism, whilst we chase our dreams.
It’s being amazing that throughout this pandemic, communities and individuals have pulled together to help each other and the intrinsic value of kindness has been restored. And I hope this continues long after this crisis.
Kindness about giving to receive or doing good to elevate our status. Kindness when selfless and humbly extended, uplifts the receiver and not the giver, creating a chain of positive actions that makes the world a better place.