Second Chances!

 

After the accident I had last year, my folks became a bit skeptical about my driving abilities. My mother worried about my state of mind even more. I was shaken by it but I put up a very strong “front” as usual. If your family is like mine, nuclear family includes my parents’ siblings, my grandmothers and some cousins. The news went viral ,in the family way. It was as expected though. (lol)

I was one foot out of the house before it happened. I needed to move to my brother’s house because it was closer to school. Fast forward to a couple of weeks after: My sister in-law starts encouraging me to use her car as and when I need it. Then she allows me to drive she and her at that time a little over two months old baby! That was something special for me, really. I was gratefully that she trusted me that much. She didn’t even consider what had just happened. She was positive I was fit for the road. And she was certain she and her son were safe with me. That was the deal breaker! My family joined the trust train and I did too. She gave me a chance!

God gives us second chances too! He looks beyond our past failures. He trusts us with what’s ahead. You cannot keep wallowing in self-pity! Do not lose hope in yourself. So you fell, and then? Get up! Clean the sand or dust off ! Now chest out , heads up, shoulders up, and walk!

Don’t stay down. Down is never an option; Proverbs 24:16”for the righteous falls seven times and rises again…….”

Travis Greene says it nicely.. ”You got up so we could get up again!”

Peter made a mistake, he betrayed Jesus ,but that did not mean it was His end. He did not stay down, neither did he kill himself. He got up and shook the dust off. Knowing full well that he had been forgiven, he went about his Father’s business. He went about witnessing and bringing salvation to people.

God gives us second chances and beyond. He loves us. If He didn’t, Jesus would have never gone through the pain, agony and stress!

Happy Easter! You are loved! Christ will surely come again!

 

 

 

Clutter

Some weeks ago I cultivated the bad habit of just dropping my coat on one of my chairs once I open my door. After a week, I couldn’t deal with the clutter, so I figured I’d hang them where they should be. It ended up being a ‘clean up’ evening and in less than an hour every other thing was in order.

Cleaning up and decluttering have some sort of ripple effect. When you clean one part, you get the feeling of , why not finish everything up then? And, it comes with the responsibility of keeping the place as clean as possible until the need for the next decluttering day (doesn’t often go as planned, but I guess the little efforts count).

But there is something about clearing clutter that also brings perspective.

Clutter takes more space and creates assumptions.

My apartment felt less spacious and it felt so crowded. But guess what, I never thought so until the chair was super full.

Dropping the first coat at first seemed ok, then came the second , third…. It didn’t feel like it was a big deal at all! I did not realise how not ok it was until the chair was full, and now, I kept giving myself excuses about when it was ok to fix the mess.

The thing about clutter is that you have to realise it is a problem that you need to fix.

My friend had been to my place a couple of times that week but she didn’t say a word. Because it was clear I had to fix it by myself. I had told her earlier that I needed to clear the chair and she had come three times after that and nothing had been done. So we spoke and acted as though that very visible chair did not exist!

Some clutter can only be cleared by you!

You know where everything belongs. It is your life and your space and fortunately, you know what went into the mess you happened to consciously or unconsciously create so it will take you to put things back where they belong.

It is still early in the year, but even if it was mid year or the end, who cares? Once you realise your mistake, don’t keep piling up the mess, please. Do something!

You started seeing this guy and now you can see and feel it’s getting pretty messy? Clear the clutter, before it’s too late.

Or perhaps, the school year started and you have not studied, now, the notes and articles have piled up. It’s not a lost cause. To clear this clutter you’d have to read, more often and that is how the pile will keep reducing.

You want to apply to school to further your education. You have saved 10  schools which you intend to look at. It has been 5 months already and no progress. Clear the clutter by reading on one school every day. That is how the pile reduces.

You have written 10 proposals and not one has been sent, it is your 11th draft this week. To clear the clutter, send 1 proposal. You would find the courage to send the other 9 almost immediately.

It starts with one move, one decision, a little effort and voila!

Did I already talk about how much free space , perspective and clearer vision decluttering brings?

Don’t get yourself in a wrong and hard place too deep. The repercussions could redefine your life in a way you would not be excited about.

 

So make the move! Today….!!!!

Process: a series of actions conducing to an end.

To make very good food you have to go through a process(insert above definition). By that I mean first buying the right ingredients, then taking these ingredients through whatever process is most suitable to bring out the best end result.

Now, as a foodie, I have had a lot of food from across continents. I like to learn and understand the process. I also like to know what ingredients were used, watch YouTube videos on how people make their native food or help people cook (when and if I have the opportunity) .

Now it is important to not be too clumsy with the cooking process either. There is a skill my grandma has of knowing exactly what went wrong if the food didn’t taste as planned. Because she knows exactly what went into the process, if she happened to skip a step she could tell. That is how it is with processes. If you do it right, you can keep track and know what to fix or add in the end if something goes wrong.

Order is important. Clumsiness makes you lose sight of the process and when the end result is way off track you have to start from scratch,….again! Whereas following a process would have caused you less stress.

In all my food adventure moments, I have realised that making some types of food takes a lot of time and so when someone says, I can make the same in half the time, I am skeptical about the taste. And often I haven’t been wrong.

Sometimes there really is no way around the process. Unless you want to settle for less quality and mediocre taste. I have always believed if you can run, why walk? In other words, if there is a better way why settle for less?

Life is full of many such processes. Taking the shorter way around sometimes is an unwise decision and being clumsy doesn’t help either. And like with my food analogy, the taste may be quite substandard if you rush and if you do not take into account the process.

When circumstances seem to be taking you the longer way, a better response is to keep going and make the most of every step of the process.

Keep track of the process and know that even if it doesn’t come out as planned you can fix it to an extent, if not entirely.

I have never been one to enjoy lengthy processes. Many times, I would resort to the fastest way possible, but I’ve learnt that it does not always work that way.

You cannot make palmnut or groundnut soup (native Ghanaian dishes) in 25 minutes. There is a lot involved, and the result of having well-cooked protein and finger licking soup cannot be compared to a lot of other feelings of food satisfaction, trust me.

So, trust the process. Sometimes it’s slow but then again it is sure!

Have a blessed week!

 

No turning back……

My friends and I decided to go on a girls trip a couple of months ago. Well, not entirely an ‘all girls’ trip and here is why.

So we got my cousin who also happens to be the fiancé of one of my friends to be our tour guide! It was the best decision we made though!

Now, if you have not visited the Kakum National Park and you live in Ghana you should.

For those who have never visited Ghana, but plan to ,this place is a must go. Cape Coast is beautiful. For a second I felt like a tourist in my own home.

We decided to do the famous canopy walk. Two of us were against the idea and the two love birds were for the walk. Like you guessed, love won!

We figured we would rather face our fears than walk away feeling defeated.

It was quite easy when we started to walk on the first bridge, but after the second bridge my friend and I were not sure we wanted to walk through to the end.

Now you have a choice to take the left turn, which is the third bridge in order to return. Otherwise, you have to go through all seven bridges. There is no turning back after the third!

After much convincing, we stayed on the road for the seven bridges. Meaning no turning back.

We had to stay the course and finish the race now, and we had to device strategies which did not include complaining and regret.We had chosen our song and now we had to dance to the rhythm.

We came back alive in case you were wondering, and that’s how come you are reading this story, but I learnt so many things during that trip.

From feeding crocodiles to holding their tails to walking on the canopy.

In summary;

Keep the right company. I don’t know how anyone is comfortable with friends who do not challenge you. You need them, they need you, and you need each other to do the impossible.

It’s ok to voice out your fears to the right people. I was honest with my friends. This was going to be a huge challenge, and so they gave me all the pep talks I would need to equip me for a walk I thought was ever so scary……

Strategise. I figured if I would hold on firmly to the ropes, calculate my steps, walk fast and try not to look down I would be just fine.And it worked! By the time we got to the fifth bridge I was walking on the bridge like I owned it! The fear was almost gone, except for those few times the bridge make a loud creak and I assumed that might be God calling us home!

The race is not for the swift. Faster does not always means stronger. The test of time proves so much. Some people who started quickly and hurriedly were in tears by the time we were midway. If we had felt less of our ourselves because of their initial enthusiasm, we would have gotten it all wrong.

Sometimes the harder way is the better way. The third bridge was the loneliest bridge I ever saw. But on the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh there were tons of people who were encouraging each other and keeping the bridge balanced because of the almost evenly distributed weight…

Celebrate your wins and gains! The joy you feel after jumping a hurdle is immeasurable. My friend and I were content. We did it! After all these years. And it was just half as complicated as we envisioned!

 

As the year ends, remember that everyone is on a different chapter in the story of their lives, so stick to your book. Keep good company, and you would see how much greatness you will exude when you have positivity all around you. Take big risks for big wins. Face your fears soon, because you’d have to face them eventually anyway. And it is ok to cry, sometimes the tears put things into perspective.

 

 

Do not forget to share, like and follow! It is the most wonderful time of the year!

With love to my scaredy cat friend whom I adore……

 

 

 

Puzzles

A couple of days ago I spoke with a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while. One of the things I like about my friends is how we never really make a fuss about the fact that we haven’t spoken in a while. Even after a month of inconsistent communication, when we speak, it feels like we never missed a day apart.

I love you my super amazing friends!

We spoke on a wide range of topics. After a while, she mentioned how she noticed other people in positions and situations she’d like to be in. Their lives seemed to be falling in place.

There are some unwritten expectations from society we sometimes get caught up in. Once we do not have somethings that people ‘normally do’ at our age or with our status, we begin to feel inadequate.

If not all, most of us had our lives planned out by 18. Dream jobs, dream start-ups, salary, vacations, family.. most things had ages attached. Let’s look at Mr Y’s life plan: By 24 bought an apartment and started building projects, by 28 married with three kids, by 32 millionaire, 42 early retirement, 52, motivational speaker. (This is someone’s actual ‘former’ life plan incase you were wondering!)

If I write out what I planned from when I was 12 you would be super amazed.

As we were catching up, I got an imagery I shared with her. If you have ever been a teacher in the Montessori curriculum (I was), you may understand why this came up so vividly. I have had to assemble many puzzles; I have honestly lost count. And some puzzle pieces are over a thousand!

I told her something I figured I’d share;

Sometimes we can choose to see life as a puzzle. We all generally figure out puzzles differently. Sometimes it’s easier to assemble a puzzle by starting with the borders, and sometimes it’s easier to go by rows. Other times it’s not out of choice, you tend to assemble the puzzle based on what works, so test and fail or trial and error.

Some puzzles have the most beautiful images created once you assemble the last few centre pieces and we are all always eager to see the full picture.

We all have our puzzle pieces of our lives to assemble. There is no point trying to make yours look like someone else’s. The puzzles are different, and the pieces are custom made. It will not fit perfectly if you switch your piece with someone or try to carve a piece like your neighbours’ just because his or hers looks good.

Unless you are dead(literally), we are daily assembling our pieces. It is a process. When we pick the wrong piece and it fits wrong, we change the piece. We make mental notes; we look through the other available options and we try to make calculated decisions and then we pick another piece. If it works, we get excited, fit it in and move on. If it doesn’t, we take deep breaths, ‘try’ not to get frustrated and find a more suitable piece.

There is no point hoping and dreaming you could live someone else’s life. Remember that they assembled the pieces of their puzzle themselves. They have tried and failed and finally made some good choices. Some had sleepless nights and worked really hard to get their puzzles even half way through. Take inspiration from them and focus on your puzzle which is right in front of you. Learn their strategies and add your experience, then you can create a design that is unique and peculiar yet significant and beautiful.

 

It doesn’t matter what your puzzle looks like now.It is not a race! What matters most is that you are working on it!

 

Don’t hesitate to share this if you feel as blessed as I felt writing this. I am considering doing French versions of my posts but I am still thinking and praying about it. Because I seem to have a good number of francophones reading.We thank God!😍

Tripping?

Early last week one of my kid sisters sent me a series of messages. She was super sad and needed to talk or cry. She needed some sort of outlet to manage the weight of sadness she felt.

She had taken an international exam and unfortunately she could not make the pass mark. First of all, she is a smart kid hands down. I mean, she has seen many many many A’s in her pretty short life and on countless occasions, she makes me super proud. Honestly, this was not such a huge deal, because she has the opportunity to retake the exam. However, she was disappointed in herself and feeling inadequate after she saw the results.

When she told me, I told her it was not a big deal. Of course it was easy for me to say. I was not in her shoes and I do not have to face all the stakeholders’ in her life with the news. But I thank God for a supportive family.

My brother made a special meal for her, another sibling spoke to her about life and disappointments and how she can deal with them.

When it was my turn to give her the ‘big sister talk’ I told her this true story…..

I went for a program at my church last week. When the choir was called to sing one lady stood up to walk towards the stage. Her heels were pretty high and so her second step did not land on the ground, in other words, she tripped.

But guess what , she got up , didn’t care that we all noticed her, wiped the dirt off her hands and kept on walking.

I learnt so much from that!

In life we trip. We fall, we make mistakes, we fail exams, we say the wrong things that cost us, we make wrong decisions. We all have at some point experienced at least one of these , including literally tripping.

What is important in all this, is rising up. It’s shaking off the dirt, lifting up our shoulders again and walking to the stage. Walking towards what we have prepared for , walking towards to what we want and what we know is going to make an impact in this world and the next.

Life happens and things do not go our way, but it is necessary that we never stay down when we fall. We make a difference when we pick ourselves up and start again. When we learn from our mistakes and make it a point not to repeat them.

So today, look yourself in the mirror and say,’ I can do anything I put my mind to.’

Because you actually can!

 

@: This is for you little sister, and to anyone who needs to hear this today and on any other day!

Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] “

 

If this speaks to you on any level, do not hesitate to share. Someone else may need this too.

 

Sharing your story

A while ago after work my colleague and I happened to have a conversation on shyness and nervousness. I had a lot of stories to share about that but one story particularly stood out.

I have been nervous many other times but this one time, I can never ever forget.

I was singing with a group in a huge auditorium. Maybe a 500 to 1000 seater auditorium or even bigger. All of a sudden(literally out of no where)  I felt I was going to pass out. A wind of nervousness just engulfed me and my legs began to shake, my hands began to shake. The music ,voices and instruments were gradually fading, I could only faintly hear any sounds. Then my vision got weird, everything and everyone was so blur and then there was a ringing sound in my ear, so loud. Honestly I was at the verge of passing out.

I did not want to be remembered as the fainting singer and I was hoping my brain would please send the right message to other parts of my body.

“Please, please do not disgrace me now dear body and brain, not here, not now!” I said to my brain.

Long story short, my brain obeyed, the performance was soon over and we walked off the stage. Look, on that day, I knew that I could not live with this nervousness and shyness. I had to deal with it somehow and asap!

 But I knew there was only one way to overcome this, and it was to keep facing it!

I honestly always thought no one had ever experienced this. I shared this story with my family but not in detail and like I assumed, they could not relate much.

But my colleague! She knew exactly what I was saying. She ended my sentences while I told her the story and recounted the exact same thing she experienced a while ago in a very similar gathering.

That to me was everything. Someone understood my story and could relate. We could share it and laugh now and even go into details of the events. After so many years, I had met that someone who just got it.

At that moment, in that instant , I was so content.

My story may seem quite basic to anyone who has never had to face it, but to someone else, it could be an opportunity to relate and share, like it was with me and my friend.

In the end, we shared ways on how we have learnt to overcome these fears and how long it took us to own our stories and make the most of it.

Sharing your story  is really important. It helps you create new communities, bring change, break cycles, correct stereotypes and sometimes it helps you reduce the weight of your burdens and get tips on how to deal with them.

‘There is nothing new under the sun’……..

Someone else, closer than you think is living or has lived your greatest fear, and has overcome it. How else would you know unless you make the decision to not be silent ?

And so;

Cheers to those who have shared and are still sharing their stories, whatever they may be, perhaps very sensitive stories or even stories like mine.

On one hand sharing has cost some their careers, family and friends.On the other hand, it has freed so many others of heavy burdens they have carried for years and given others an opportunity to take bold decisions.

Cheers to those who do not yet feel empowered to speak.We see you, we hear you , we stand with you!

Cheers to those who are preparing to share their stories!Thank you for the taking this bold step. 

 

It is your turn! It is my turn! It is our turn!

(If you have a story to share whatever it may be you can send me and email at aadjoa.asiamah@gmail.com 😉

 

 

Make a move….

One of the things I have learnt in the past few months working in the heart of a big city is that some type of hesitation can cost you. Especially the type of hesitation that happens in the train during rush hours before and after work. Most of the time the trains are full to the max and once some one gets up, another is looking to take that seat.

If you have been standing for a while and still have a long way to go , you honestly look forward to giving your legs a break. However, you must take note that the 50 (or more or less) people around you have been looking forward to the same opportunity over the last 10 or 20 minutes and hesitation at any point can cost you another 10 to 20 minutes being squeezed in some corner (standing) and unable to move you body as you ought.

Those who take too much time thinking of someones next move almost never get to sit.  It is often a ‘make a move now ‘ moment.

……

These situations remind me of  Ephesians 5:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 [a]”making the very most of your time [on earth, recognising and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence],……………”

If you have the opportunity to benefit from a situation and nothing is holding you back why the hesitation?

If you make a move and someone happened to be a step ahead it’s ok ,it happens!

I have been in this train situation many times and I was tired of my hesitation costing me.

I found ways to be tactical though but of course, on many occasions, someone has been one or three or six steps ahead. However, I feel content that I tried. I saw an opportunity and I made a move.

Many of us have awesome ideas we have been hesitant to share. Ideas the world needs, ideas that could change lives, ideas that are solutions to major problems but we are hesitant.

Win or lose, taking a step makes a huge difference.

Losses make you wise, smart and of course more tactical.Before you win you would have tried 100+/-  times and mastered all the other 99 moves that are unlikely to be fruitful.That consequently makes you wiser!

So like I try to do everyday, take your chances! Win or lose, you would  have learnt so much!