2020 , Time to Bet on yourself

February 2020,

One month down, 11 more to go to the new year. Hah!

How are you doing? how are your 2020 resolutions?

Did you note down your resolutions?

Here’s another one, how did you do on your 2019 resolutions?

Well, I tried, but I did not do that well.

My 2019 resolutions were text book perfect; you know them well because I am sure we share some. Start hitting the gym, save more, eat healthy, make homemade pastry, travel more and reduce my TV time.

I will give myself some credit; I tried to improve on my reading, I travelled a bit , not as much as I would have loved to because who wouldn’t want to travel all over the world  ;  but for the home made pastry ..well…… let’s just say we do not want to put  the bakeries and bread companies out of business .

Having performed badly in 2019, I decided to do something different in 2020; I wrote down only one resolution

In 2020, I will choose happiness.

In 2020, I am betting on myself over and over again.

Why not try the same, betting on yourself!

Because betting on yourself guarantees success; Betting on yourself means believing in the awesome person you are and in the effective person you can be. Betting on yourself means believing in your dreams and having confidence in your potential. Is it always a sure bet, well not entirely but this way you will always know that you put your best foot forward and most importantly you tried.  Always take time to acknowledge yourself for the small things you do, even when you do not accomplish the larger ones ; Appreciate yourself for the time  , effort and energy invested to get the end goal. List down your achievement and keep adding on to the list, eventually you will discover that betting on yourself is in itself winning.

The beginning of a new year gives us a false notion of a new start , but really the only thing that changes is how we sign the date ; the job we had on 31st Dec is the job we have on 1st January unless otherwise ; life partner  is still the same person  ( with all their lovely and annoying habits still intact ) , the children still there only maybe moving to a higher class or joining school like my little heart beat which means more financial responsibility . The house, Car, debts and loans we had don’t disappear with the beginning of a new year.

So, what really changes with the new year?   I think that the one thing that can truly change and redefine our life in the new year is changing our mindset. When you decide to change your mindset then the new year will bring about a Fresh start.  Underline Decide!

Most if not all things that happen in our lives are as result of a choice we made. The simple choice of waking up early versus hitting the snooze button to the major life choices.

So make that conscious and deliberate effort to bet on yourself from the time you wake up , to the time you go to bed .

You see by the end of the year we are talking about our wins, our failures and all cursing out the people who let us down. Friends who never showed up when we needed them and family who turned their backs when we needed a shoulder to lean on. This year, I am changing my tune; I am turning a new leaf; I am betting on myself. Because betting on myself means that I take control of my life and my happiness and thus removing any expectations from other people. I love my friends and family, and I will be grateful when and if they show up but ultimately it will not matter because they no longer hold any power over my happiness and in turn, they can also live their lives to the fullest devoid of any grand expectations from me.  

So why not start your day by choosing to bet on yourself?

Choose to commit to your passions and your interests; choose to give energy to things that make you Happy and Things that add value to your life. Choose to focus only on the positive aspects of yourself and your brain will begin to accept the beautiful qualities that you bring to the table.  

As we begin this new week think about the little ways you will bet on yourself, start small and move upwards.

You can do this, You’ve Got this.

Tapping into the Mastermind group concept: Part Two

How to create your own Master mind group

In the last article http://muqamispeaks.co.ke/tapping-into-the-mastermind-group-concept/ we talked about the importance of a Mastermind group which involved working with a group of likeminded individuals to a mutual purpose .

On the top of the list, the most important role of a mastermind group is the accountability concept. You participate in goal setting thus you have to provide a status report on the progress towards your goals. A mastermind provides the best way to learn by bringing together ambitious individuals with a collective vision.

So how do you create a master mind group that excels

First of all, just like anything else it needs patience and resilience. There is no guarantee that it’s going to succeed for the first time, but you always find a way of making it work. Below are a few steps to steer you in the right Track.

  1. Pick a focus area; as earlier stated it needs to have a shared goal; you can have as many groups based on different issues. It may be financial growth, business building, fitness, parenthood. Having a specific area of focus allows you to attract the right type of people.
  2. Membership; once you have the focus are, you can choose to either approach individuals who you feel fit in the mastermind or call for applications. The application process allows you to select individuals that fit within the group’s priorities. The bottom line is to ensure all members are critical thinkers who share similar interest, are supportive of the idea and have diverse skillsets to enrich the group.
  3. Set ground rules from the start; Do not wait for the group to begin, for people to join the see where it goes; No. Do your research, find out what works and what group rules ensure commitment and consistency. It also facilitates open communications on the contribution and expectation of members.  The ground rules also provide information on meeting decorum and basic logistics.
  4. Come up with an agenda; This ensures that the group is efficient and has structure. Create and share the agenda before the meetings to give the members a heads up and allow the meeting to flow seamlessly as all members are aware of the days procedure.
  5. Set up your tools; Figure out what tools will enable you meet your needs and priorities. The tools include Video conferencing, webinars, membership sites, file sharing and other popular but efficient tools.
  6. Decide on the membership Price; The membership prices enable you to facilitate the day to day running of the group. It also contributes to perceived value of the group; you need to be careful not to undersell or oversell; this comes hand in hand with what you are offering in terms of benefits, solution and content provision.
  7. Retain and grow membership; You may have a membership cap which may keep expanding based on your goals and growing capabilities. You need to keep members fully engaged by providing valuable content that helps them achieve results from their set goals. Having an interactive feedback loop allows you to keep members successful and happy while attracting more of your ideal members. The idea is to be consistent in delivering valuable, engaging and exclusive content

If you have an interest, the expertise and the passion, go ahead and create your own mastermind. It is a great business opportunity that is based on nurturing a community of likeminded individuals in different fields. Master group provides a rich well of diverse perspectives, great resources through collective efforts to bring about solutions to novel problems.

Share your thoughts on the master mind concept.

From one grieving mum , to another grieving mum.

Dear Marya Prude,

Allow me to call Mama Adana, I begin by acknowledging your baby and her presence in your life; The gift of having a life grow within you is beautiful and sacred and for that you will always be a mother. my heart aches for you and your husband, and for anybody out there who has lost a child. The pain of losing a child is unimaginable and crushing. Grief is a natural reaction to loss; it is also the last act of kindness we can show to a loved one. With grief comes a lot of sadness, anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, blame and more than I can list. The grieving process is personal and like no one’s other process. Grieving the loss of a child is lonely, isolating and terrifying. You are scared of anything and everything. I am hoping my words today will be a tiny drop of comfort to your pain.

I am sorry Marya, I wish I could hold you and comfort you. Tell you that everything will be okay and life will get back to normal. but I can’t lie; child loss is a difficult thing, Grief is messy, exhausting and worst of all misunderstood.

Give yourself time to mourn, be angry, bargain, repeat it all over and over again until you can finally emerge out of the darkness that has now swallowed you alive without growing afraid, anxious and inpatient.

Mama Adana, Cry, shed those painful tears, Scream, shout, do not hide your pain. The pain is real and so is the heart ache. You have lost a child who is precious and irreplaceable. It is okay to feel lost, powerless and helpless. It is okay to be angry with God; It is okay to ask Questions. Where were you God when I needed you?

We serve a mighty God; A God who can move mountains, but sometimes he doesn’t. It is hard to have faith in these doubtful moments. I have done it before, and so have many others; It is in our nature to panic, when we panic, we question God.

But Our God is loving, Our God is faithful, and our God listens, so tell him, talk to him, shout if you must, He can take it. Tell him what you are feeling, the questions, the anger. He can take it. Take your fears and burdens to him. God is on your side.

His comfort comes slowly in many ways – through his scriptures, through nature and through other people; God will put his arms around you and he will heal your broken heart.
I pray that you work through your grief and that with time you accept Gods compassion. There is freedom in surrender, there is peace in Trusting. This may not make sense, but isn’t that part of what makes him God?

You will be surprised by Gods abundant Grace. His Grace is above and beyond any human understanding, it cannot be described, nor can it be shared; It can only be felt …. And when it comes you will feel it and you will experience another side of God. A God who is more compassionate, more loving, more faithful and more of everything that is Good.
I can testify as a recipient of Gods overwhelming love and Comfort. Does that mean I do not hurt? No, I still Hurt when I think of my babies; I have days when I wake up and all I want to do is cry and give up on life but then where else can I turn to? God is the only one who can give me the strength to keep going

Dear mama Adana, Remember God is holding you and he is holding your tears.

I ask that Your true friends stand up, not the ones who are quick to tell you that you are young and you will have another child, not the ones who tell you to move on and conceive quickly. But true friends are the ones who give you as much time as you need to grieve, the ones who understand that grief is a personal experience that shall not be compared to any other person’s experience. The ones who acknowledge your loss and your pain, your anger and your confusion. Friends who accept that the old familiar person they used to know is gone. May you surround yourself with compassionate friends whose presence is their surest expression of Gods mercy to You; Friends who NEVER say “Move on”

Dear Mum, Remember no child dies without a legacy, it is up to us to keep the legacies of our babies alive; My son and daughter taught me about endurance, about having a fighting spirit, about grace but most importantly they taught me how to love; they introduced me to a world of genuine love and care , the kind of love that is pure and unconditional . I saw beauty in their eyes, even though we never spent a lot of time with them, their beautiful faces will never be forgotten to me.

Marya, Honor that little girl, you will not move on because you can never move on from love; Nothing, absolutely nothing including death will take the love you had for that child. So, tell stories of her little kicks that began as flatters in in your belly, her little hands and little feet that we did not get enough of, her beautiful face, tell it all, and never tire.

From another Grieving Mum.

The List Of Forty Rules of love by Shamz of Tabriz

  1. How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.
  2. The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.
  3. You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.
  4. Intellect and love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advices, ‘Beware too much ecstasy’, whereas love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!’ Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.
  5. Most of problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstanding. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language, as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.
  6. Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is the best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.
  7. Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.
  8. Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to look at the end of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
  9. East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.
  10. The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.
  11. The quest for love changes user. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without.
  12. There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of God pass through them.
  13. Try not to resist the changes, which come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
  14. God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.
  15. It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human being with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.
  16. Real faith is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure water, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.
  17. The whole universe is contained within a single human being-you. Everything that you see around, including the things that you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you set to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness.
  18. If you want to change the ways others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.
  19. Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part and that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow
  20. We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is an amount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.
  21. When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.
  22. Life is a temporary loan and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate.
  23. The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it fells upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.
  24. Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell.
  25. Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level of tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batin – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.
  26. The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile
  27. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside.
  28. The past is an interpretation. The future is on illusion. The world does not more through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.
  29. Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to live everything to the fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on 40 different levels. Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.
  30. The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a sing bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?
  31. If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before…
  32. Nothing should stand between you and God. No imams, priests, rabbits or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters and not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.
  33. While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.
  34. Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission a power that comes within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
  35. In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insane-I Kamil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.
  36. This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. For not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does it beautifully.
  37. God is a meticulous dock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.
  38. It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one-way to be born into a new life: to die before death.
  39. While the part change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every descent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.
  40. A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.

Reference: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

The Forty Rules of Love

I recently grabbed this book by sheer coincidence, I was waiting for a friend when I started reading this great master piece and 20 pages in I was hooked. I could not put it down even for a minute. I loved the writing; the book is a Novel within a novel. Set in two different timelines, two different cultures but sharing a basic component of defying conformity and taking on risks, going into unchartered waters of love and romance.  

The books look at the life of Ella Rubenstein as an ordinary unhappy housewife with three children and unfaithful husband. She takes a chance at living gain when she finds a job as a reader at a literary agency. Her first assignment is a novel about a poet Rumi and the Sufi Shams of Tabriz, the name of the book is sweet blasphemy. As she begins to read the book, she becomes curious about the author Aziz who is not well known. Out of curiosity she writes an email which turns into a stimulating connection. She begins to question about her obligation in an unhappy marriage.   

Sweet blasphemy introduces us to the travelling dervish Shams of Tarbiz, an incendiary who questions conservative wisdom and religious practices. He is traveling in search of a companion who he is expected to teach. He meets Rumi a beloved preacher and turns his life upside down. He is determined to turn Rumi into a poet. Rumi’s family and Community is not happy about unsettlement within their life and decide to take action.

It will be Spoiler alert if I go beyond that,

Both Rumi and Ella, despite being centuries apart, they are forced to question their current believes and practices; and begin to abandon their safety net for adventure, ambiguity and ecstasy of love. Neither Shams or Aziz can offer anything like the promise of lasting happiness; They can only offer the taste of a mystical union , divine love , the deep accord that arises when the false self-constructed to meet society’s demands for respectability .

Shams of Tarbiz shares the famous forty rules of love which is the embodiment of Sufi Wisdom. He repeatedly defies social and religious conventions, putting himself in the line of danger and drawing scorn and wrath of the self-righteous, closeminded moralists.

While Aziz influences Ella to look beyond her marriage, Shamz of Tarbiz Influences Rumi to become one of the world’s greatest poets and voices of wisdom. The novel has a few unexpected plot twists, you can call it nostalgic, but it is definitely a great read.

Tapping into the Mastermind Group Concept

Let me start by saying that I love Kenya and I am a proud Kenyan; Kenya is an awesome country endowed with a beautiful topography, rich wildlife , a diverse culture and the most beautiful fun-loving human beings ; well most times – once every five years we act up but that is a story for another day . Whether we are facing the worst state of affairs or experiencing our finest triumphs we still find a way to make fun out of it ; we are one of the most united countries when we are facing a common enemy but once we are done we go back to our tribal , class and gender cocoons to make each other’s lives difficult. But the most outstanding characteristic is how we never miss to make everything a learning opportunity.

From the Death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore , May his soul Rest In eternal peace , we learned about the boys club . From the boys’ club we learnt that friendship is intentional and it is an investment. Recently a new friend of mine told me in my mother’s French that ‘ndugu ni kurimirwo’ which means that every friendship has to be cultivated and nurtured. This means that friends have to chose to show up regardless of the different things happening in their lives. I always say that nobody is ever too busy – I mean even on your busiest day you will still find time to check up on the people you love without a second thought. We also learn from the boys’ club about the importance of having like-minded friends in the sense of where your life is going; friends who foster progress for each other without feeling the need to compete. The boys club has a purpose; they endeavor to change the world in their own different ways but also find a way to bring their efforts together to bring about more meaningful change. Lastly fun, laughter and letting lose; you need that group of people with whom you can let your hair down, laugh and just simply have a good time.

As we celebrate Eliud Kipchoge’s historic win at the #INEOS159challenge which once again showed us that no human is limited, we are introduced to a moderately new term; the pacesetters. I love how the newspaper articles put it “the pacesetters that propelled the world’s fastest marathoner to victory”: in other words, Kipchoge was powered to victory by a team of 41 pacesetters who are all seasoned athletes. The pacesetters were needed to ensure he maintained his tempo throughout. They also protected him from the wind in a V-shape Formation to protect him from the wind. No one left this formation at any particular point.

One very important thing to note is that all the 41 pacesetters are the best of the best in their respective fields but on Saturday they selflessly showed up to give their best; time, expertise and knowledge to ensure their colleague finished the race successfully. His win was their win.

So far, from the two examples of the boys’ club and the Eliud Kipchoge pacesetters we learn that we need to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who propel us to success and vise versa. But does that mean we need to now ditch our current friends to look for the best of the best to run with? I don’t think so. All it means is we now need to be more intentional about the people in our lives; how they contribute to our lives as well as what we contribute to their lives; which brings me to the concept of a mastermind group.
The concept of the mastermind group was introduced by Napoleon Hill in the book “Think and Grow Rich” where he defines a mastermind as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony”

A mastermind group which can also be called a peer advisory board is characterized by synergy of dynamism, commitment and resolve. Your peers provide feedback, help you brainstorm on new thoughts and potentials as well as aid you in setting up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. Simply put its an intentional group of supportive peers who help each other move to new heights in career, business and personal life.

Most mastermind groups will provide a platform for devising pioneering initiatives and results because it will tap into the experience and skills of your mastermind Partners. It is also an avenue to provide answerability and factual improvement in your business and personal life. Another benefit is the sense of a shared endeavor – there are others out there. A mastermind also provides a rich network of reliable partners in case one may need assistance and it provides the increased confidence that you are making the right decision thus promoting a positive mental attitude.

A mastermind should ideally be made up of people with similar interests i.e. business , career or industry ,it should also be made up of people with similar skills or experience level as it is a peer to peer design , the members need to share an inherent desire and inspiration to bring about extraordinary change , have the intention of being supportive of their partners and are willing to commit to change their ways of thinking , doing things in order to grow.

Look out for part two of this conversation where we talk about how to fashion your own mastermind and how it generally works. In the meantime, work hard to ensure you are giving your best to your current boys group or girls group as you also get the best from them.

The Power of Positive Self Talk

I always find it always funny when one of my friends tells me she is going to call herself for a meeting. I am sure we have all had one of those me, myself and I moments where we need to deal with an issue. One of my high school teachers used to say that neutrotypical minds should talk to themselves more than the mentally unstable people who we see walking around having animated conversations alone. Isn’t it nice though to actually talk to yourself? When everything shuts down and we are left with ourselves what do we actually hear; What is our inner self talk all about?

The words we use to talk to ourselves make us who we are; are we too harsh on ourselves, do we applaud ourselves or are we the first to downplay our own achievements? What kind of self-talk are we having when we are left alone to ourselves? Is it negative or positive self-talk?

I borrow something from my mother’s French – Kuiihuria; meaning you fill yourself …. HAH!! I feel like am having one of those inner talk moments where am the only one who understand what am saying – what I mean is you have to believe in yourself, fill yourself and feel yourself; Get it? Fill yourself and feel yourself.

Okay! Let us break it down;

Believing in yourself is all about self-trust; how much do we trust ourselves; Having self-trust means that you know yourself and you love the person you are. It means you are aware of what works for you and what doesn’t; you know where you are going, you love yourself enough to trust your decisions both big and small. You also don’t fear failure based on your decisions because your sense of worth is not external. Believing in yourself also means that you are consistently rooting for yourself and having the ability to take care of yourself in hard situations with abundant self-compassion that allows you to stand up each time you fall.

Iyanla Vanzant talks about how we treat ourselves; We have to put ourselves first, keep ourselves hale and hearty. Make sure your cup runneth over; what is in the cup is for me what overflows is for other people. Always keep your cup full of love, patience, kindness, self-trust and all a lot positive energy that you can find. When your filled up from the inside then you have the self-assurance to walk gracefully through life trails knowing very well that they exist to make us stronger and prepare us for better days ahead.

Let’s come to Feeling ourselves!

This we need to do every second of our existence and I don’t mean being vain and throwing your weight around. It means to have that unwavering self-confidence; believing in your abilities and who you are. Sounds a little like self-trust doesn’t it? it sure does but this goes and extra mile of being your own cheerleader and taking intentional time and effort to motivate yourself. You know how cheerleaders will say the craziest things to give their team motivation; sometimes unrealistic but it works. Yes, we need to do that to and for ourselves.

Sometimes we meet a lady dressed in jeans a t-shirt and some cute heels nothing special or extra ordinary but she will display a certain feeling of composure that just gives extra something to the way she looks. Feeling yourself is having that internal unexplained overwhelming self- assertion that yes I can and yes I am doing it!

I always remember powerful words that say the mind is everything, what you think you become. Self-trust and self-confidence go hand in hand; it doesn’t matter the odds against us. However, this does not mean that we don’t fail, it just means that we look at failure from a positive angle; we rise up after each fall and we learn with every failure.

Positive self-talk enables us to have self-trust to cultivate the life that we desire and enjoy. Positive self-talk reminds us that we deserve the best; we deserve to be loved; we deserve to be nurtured and cared for; we deserve to be respected and treated kindly. Only when we integrate this into our lives we can also be able to give the same to the people in our lives.

Positive self-talk allows us to Make bold decisions and chase what we want just because we can. It enables us to create a beautiful internal environment where we can enjoy our own company, be ourselves without the need of external validation thus making us Kings and Queens in our own lives.

I hope that everybody who reads this article today leaves here knowing that it all starts with You !
Loving Yourself
Trusting Yourself
Showing Up for Yourself
Standing Up For Yourself
Believing In Yourself!

Positive self-talk with help you manifest a beautiful mindset

Just like the phoenix, you Watched me burn, Now watch me Rise!

My name is Mukami,

I describe myself as an introverted extrovert, A lover of life and people.

I am that girl with a loud laugh, I love my books, my writing, my music and a fun road trip with great company will just seal the deal.

I call myself beautifully broken but also rising from the ashes like a phoenix.

I have had love, contentment and Joy. I have seen magnificent sunrises and glorious sunsets. I have travelled to wonderful cities, met beautiful people and experienced perfect moments.

I have also lost, lost to death, to malice, to ignorance and to life. I have had trials and tribulations that have broken me. I have been hurt by love, by death, by family and by friends.

The struggles and dark periods in my life have made me better and stronger; God is working on me and at my lowest point I have found Gods love. He is curing my wounds and healing my scars to help me find the beauty that is beyond human understanding. The seasons of brokenness and confusion is simply God just building me up for something beautiful.

God has been revealing to me the beauty in the hard times, the beauty that can come from the ashes and the beauty of being broken. I have learnt to see in the dark, I have learnt to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am rising like a phoenix from the ashes, I am emerging from the ashes stronger, Smarter and more powerful. Just like the Greek Mythical Bird I am transformed; letting go of my losses, my pain, my mistakes, worries, sorrows and ways of being.

Change is painful as it is beautiful.

Just like the phoenix, you Watched me burn, Now watch me Rise!

My letter to the Grieving Mum

I shed a tear every time I read a post on social media, or hear that someone has lost a child. The loss of a child in unimaginable and the pain is crushing. Grieving the loss of your child is lonely, it is isolating and terrifying. You feel scared of anything and everything. I am writing you this letter today hoping to reach out to a mum who is feeling alone and terrified, from one grieving mum to another with love.

Dear Mum,

Cry, shed those painful tears,
Scream! Shout! do not hide your pain,
The pain is real and its okay to be sad,
You have lost someone precious,
You have lost someone irreplaceable,
Its okay to feel lost, powerless and helpless,
Its okay to be angry, it’s okay to ask questions;
It is easy to panic, to question God, why would He take my child?

This is a difficult time, it is a time filled with loneliness and confusion. You may not be able to leave your bed, or shower or even talk to your friends; The truth is the sadness and the pain will not end; it will shift and it will change. It will take a while, it will take a while for the sun to shine; and when it finally does you will experience a new kind of strength, you will see the world in a new way; you will feel deeper, you will love harder and you will be beautified by your pain. But then sometimes you will find yourself back in the darkness; a sudden flashback, looking at a new born baby, a child playing on the street or a Facebook picture of beautiful triplets.

Sometimes the painful tears will surprise you.

Then we are back to square one.

But can I tell you something my fellow grieving mum? You will be fine! Your life is different, you will never be the same; because a part of you is missing, but you will be okay. You will have moments where you will break down but despite all these feelings you will be fine. You will be fine because slowly, slowly but surely you will find your healing. Finding your healing does not mean the end of the sadness, it means you will have memories without the current anguish that you feel today,

But Healing takes time,

You will heal in your own way, and on your own time; Healing does not fix the loss, neither does it mean replacing a child with another. Healing from the loss of your child means accepting your pain and taking time to grieve your child; Healing does not mean denial, it means embracing your agony, your sadness and allowing God to take control.

Dear Mum, please go ahead and cry, but remember God is holding your tears, we serve a mighty God. He can move mountains buts sometimes he doesn’t. It is hard to have faith in these doubtful moments and many unanswered prayers; This time of loss presents a time to seek God, a time to have faith that he will carry you through. I am a living testimony, Gods gives overwhelming grace and comfort that surpasses all human understanding. Cling to God during this storm, He is powerful and He is love.

Dear Mum, Remember no child dies without a legacy, it is up to us to keep the legacies of our babies alive; My son and daughter taught me so much, they taught me about endurance, about having a fighting spirit, about grace but most importantly they taught me how to love; they introduced me to a world of genuine love and care , the kind of love that is pure and unconditional . I saw beauty in their eyes, even though we never spent a lot of time with them, their beautiful faces will never be forgotten to me.

Let us find our healing together, let us honor our children, we can never move on from love, nothing including death can take away our love for our children that is why their memories will always be engraved in our hearts.

Let us tell stories of their little kicks that began as flatters in our bellies, their little hands and little feet that we did not get enough of, their beautiful smiles that melted our hearts, let us tell it all.

Great things can happen when we tell stories,

Do you have a story of your angel, Gone too soon ?
Write to me on muqamispeaks@gmail.com
Facebook : Mukami R. Mwaura
Instagram : Mukami Mwaura
Twitter : @MuQami_Mwaura

Making a Comeback !

Well, it’s been a few months since I logged on and boy did, I miss you all !! Yes, I am here! I really can’t explain a lot about why I went under, all I can say is that I found myself in a bad place all of a sudden. After having done so well in a lot of months I did not think depression would kick in after the progress I had made. I felt like life was giving me blow after blow and I had to take a step back.

So, I decided to take a step back, to honor my low moments, to acknowledge that grieving does not entirely end. I took time to heal and prioritized on self-care; I took time to lose weight which was weighing me down, I took time to celebrate myself and my wins. I took time to hang out with my family and laugh my heart out with well-meaning friends, I sang and danced in my car (I still do), shopped for and wore clothes that brought me joy, I went for photo shoots, meditated, still journaled and took time to cultivate experiences that were more relaxing, recharging and revitalizing for myself.

I took time to meet me again.

I have meet so many people who told me how much my blog helped them in their time of grief and loneliness, I was humbled beyond words to know hear this. I also realized that a lot of people are going through tough times especially when it comes to infant loss and raising up preemies. I also felt guilty for not being consistent in my writing but I am here now! I am here to hold your hand and help you walk this journey, as I walk it myself.

I have prepared a list of afew topics that I would love to share in the next couple of weeks that I pray will be a blessing to someone out there. This is me reaching out to you my awesome readers. Share on the topics that you would love to read about on this blog. Your kind thoughts, comments and encouragement always give me the strength to share my experiences.

To join in the conversation, write to me on muqamispeaks@gmail.com
Facebook : Mukami R. Mwaura
Instagram : Mukami Mwaura
Twitter : @MuQami_Mwaura