This week we will be discussing consistency. Consistency is the key to growth and constant improvement even when the changes can seem minor.
Consistency is hard. Showing up without seeing results in the areas of your life you are working on and taking those little steps is hard. They are so little that it's hard to see how they can possibly compound.
I would sit here and lie to you guys say that consistency came naturally to me, but what I would say is routine and consistent action was a part of my daily life from young. I remember as far back as 7 when my mum had us (myself and my sisters) wake up at a set time, have a family morning devotion, read, do any homework we didn't get completed the night before and get dress for school.
We even had a similar one in the evening with a discussion of our daily, working on a creative task and evening prayers. I was lucky in this regard to have been brought up with the value of discipline. During the weekends we played tennis or went swimming, I'd say that developed my interest in fitness.
After sixth form (educational institute for 16-18 year olds) Inconsistency made it's way into my life, the stress of dramatic changes and with every passing day, it became more normal. It’s interesting and somewhat incredible how quick it is for people to fall into bad habits and stick with them. Inconsistency took it's toll on me. It wasn't until I put pen to pen to define my top 5 values that things started to change for the better.
Everything is learnt and anything can be unlearnt. It's never to late to take that step. Consistency builds, routines and that builds momentum. It forms habits that become almost second nature. Please, never underestimate how much time, discipline and consistent action can contribute to your success. It can really transform your life, no joke! Consistent effort lives within the reach of anyone and is ultimately a much greater factor in success than you might think.
Start where you stand, in the now... Taking that little step, keep them up and watch your results compound.
Next week I'll be talking value and how to identify your values.
Hello beautiful people, happy Easter Monday!
It's Monday and you know what that means... Another blog post! Today i'll be discussing mindfulness and the journey to being more mindful in our everyday life.
Let's start off by sharing what mindfulness even means (It sounds like just a random word but there's more to it). Mindfulness essentially is a psychological act that brings our attention to things such as our experiences and other action that might be occurring in the present moment.
The reason mindfulness could be hard at times for some people lies in a few factors:
- Not willing to do the work it takes to sit in stillness and be still in their thoughts
- Not feeling comfortable with one’s own thoughts, emotions or feelings
- Not willing to focus
- Not willingness to slow down long enough to be alone with whatever comes to mind
When we can be more willing to allow ourselves to let these things happen, we as individuals can experience exponential truth and growth with ourselves.
I'm not going to seat here and say I don't have troubles at time. I do find it a little challenging from time to time, being able to get my focus on the things from the list above, let alone managing them appropriately. For the past two weeks my mindfulness practice had been swept under the carpet as I had a few changes in life that occurred. I have just been getting back into the full swing of things. Inviting God into my mindfulness helped me to structure my mind appropriately. I missed being conscious of what filled my mind, noticing and noting what typically I happened to be perceiving. Feeling and intentional thinking about the present. It's good to have gotten the ball rolling again.
Mindfulness has so many benefits, here are just a few:
- Increase awareness
- Increase clarity in perception, thoughts and thinking
- Increase focus and attention
- Increase consciousness of self
To reap these benefits all it takes, is to get started with mindfulness. Just start right now, just in the soil you are on now. Rooted in the now moment. I find practicing gratitude, thanking God for what I have in the now moment a huge game changer. It's all about perspective. Accepting what is whilst I work on improving or changing things, rather than trying to change everything overnight (things don't work like that). Mindfulness is definitely not about control. Mindfulness is more about letting go.
I'd say its best to start off by letting go of any expectations. Find a quiet space for some stillness, you can either do this in the morning or night. It doesn't have to be long at all, It could be as little as 4 minutes. How long you spend isn't where the benefits are reaped! Just a few moments can bring huge levels of some major clarity, which will help build a solid foundation for your days and weeks.
Remember, when you find yourselves lost in your thoughts randomly, bring your mind to your original intentions, maybe even laugh at how difficult you are finding it. It's a process, you wont get it right every single time and that's okay, 80/20 (a blogpost for another day). Don't be too hard on yourselves.
Hello beautiful people,
This particular post really hits home, literally. Today I will be discussing growing up as a black woman and my experience in the countries I have lived in as a person of colour.
Nigerian by blood. Both my parents are Nigerians (Yoruba's), so I was born in Italy Bergamo in a town called Calcinate. My parents lived in Romano before I was born. My mother moved to Italy in the late 80s. I grow up on a farm house in Fontanella before my family bought a home in Mozzanica.
I was always the only black girl in my class. Aware of my blackness early on. Won't say I was treated differently, but I would say I was seen as different simply because I didn't look like any of the other kids. I was called 'Chocolatina' (Chocolate girl) by my classmates. Wasn't bullied or anything. I won't say I fitted in and I won't say I didn't (sounds complicated I know), simply because, everyday I was reminded that I wasn't white. Around that time I started to hate my nose shape (which I actually love today! I feel like it suits my face so well).
My family were always respected in our community we gave them a different narrative of what a black family looks like that wasn't what was displayed in the media. Africans were stereotyped as poor, loud, uneducated and dirty. Not been any of those things got them confused. One of my sister's teacher one time insisted that my sister must have been adopted and wanted to meet our mum. This could have been because they didn't have any experience meeting different types of black people that were not in a certain way perhaps.
Around the age of 5 I moved to Nigeria, I remember it been different to what I was used to. Although I spoke and understood both English and Yoruba (just a little at the time) I felt as though I didn't quite fit in. The schooling system was different, the culture was different , the food (although I did grow up eating Nigerian foods I mostly ate Italian foods, as we mostly had a Mediterranean diet) and the people. I was treated differently at first especially by family members, almost as special. I lived in Lagos and Abuja but also visited Emure Ekiti and other places in Nigeria.
We moved over to London when I was 9. I had a hard time in primary school as I was bullied and teased by the girls in my year. I had a weird accent, I grew up with a strong Milan accent although I lived in Bergamo. I think that was partly because my mamma preferred the Milanese accent and scolded us when we sounded too Bergamasca (sounded like some from the province of Bergamo. There was also this particular boy once I was in year six that just hated me for no reason. Feeling like I didn't belong was an understatement, bearing in mind I grew up in South East London and still felt that is crazy.
Moving over into secondary school I was becoming my true self. I even stood up for those who were getting bullied, was friendly to them and just generally was a better person, because I understood what it felt like not belonging because of ones difference. Different because of ones: colour, nationality, culture, tradition, up brining and religion.
In my mid teens entering the job market as a young black woman, I found that interviewers/ managers were surprised that my name is 'Raffaella', I guess it isn't a common name for a black girl. I even get people telling me that I don't look like my name which I actually find funny.
Now I have lived here for the majority of my childhood (turning 21 this year) although I have no trace of an Italian accent as its over powered by my British accent it only comes out to play when pronouncing certain words. To me I have a unique mix of a British, Italian and Nigerian accent. As I moved around a lot growing up I found it hard to call a particular place home.
Being from different places, traveling, meeting new people and changing environments frequently did teach me some valuable lessons which are:
- Be nice to people, you don't know what they are passing through
- Be that person you wished you had around you in primary school
- Be genuinely interested in people, listen more and make others feel important
- Change is essential for growth
- It's okay to be different
- Not everyone is going to like you and that's absolutely fine
- Be proud of who you are and what makes you who you are
I hope to travel all over the world. I mean, even unconventional places that are not typically on the regular travel bucket list. Would love to document all that on here very soon.
Hope you enjoyed this post...
Hello beautiful people,
Just getting back into blogging again. I have been writing although I've been gone for so long. I won't be writing a long paragraph to explain my disappearance, but I would say that I will be more consistent in my updates from now on.
So what have I been up to you might ask? I've been doing a lot of thinking, improving and habit building (will post soon about this in detail). Part of what I have been working on has been my written communication. This will be an avenue for me to nurture and grow in this area. I would love to thank you all in advance for your support and encouragement. I pray these contents would be of some value to you.
Today, I would like to talk about life and the seasons of life we might find ourselves in. There are three main seasons. It's only safe to start off by saying it can be far too easy to compare ourselves to the next person be it our friends, family or even that random person on Instagram. The main thing I am getting at is that everyone's journey is different, everyone's timing is different, everyone is in a different season, frame of mind and therefore it is too hash for us to feel down when we see others at a point in their life that is also where we'd like to be. Rather than feeling down, it is better to celebrate with them! The bible says, when others are happy, we should be happy with them
(Romans 12:15). Aside from that not everything on social media is the full reality, we only see what others want us to see, meaning that we don't always get to see the dark moments in peoples life.
Now that that's out of the way, let's dive into the three main seasons we find ourselves in life.
The Waiting Season
Life isn't black and white, we don't just experience joy and sadness. We experience uncertainty, change along with other similar emotions. In this season its easy to be anxious due to life and its uncertainties. Accept the seasons you might find yourself in, seeing what lessons could be learnt see how to grow from it and how to leave as a better stronger self.
I currently would say I'm in the waiting season. It isn't always easy but I'm using this slow season as a time to learn, heal and grow. My advice would be not to waste too much time on Netflix or YouTube but rather reading, learning about the mind, our world, about ourselves and becoming mindful of our actions.
The Painful Season
The next season is the painful season. This is typically a dark time for most. This is when all those things normally just hit: you lose your job, you lose a family member, things are going left and everything else in between.
Being in this season does not mean we give up and finish ourselves mentally. No, but it is the time to be mindful, watch, pray, rejoice (hardest thing to do when things are going left) and to do the good things that make you happy. It might not be easy to see at first, but there is always a way out!
In the painful season, it is the most crucial time to hold on tight, these are rocky times. In times like this, I lean even more on God, believing in a power bigger than mine, believing in his promise over my life and giving thanks for the things he has done so far. There is a famous quote I love by Roy Bennett that says, “Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” It is okay to actively express your disappointment, anger and frustrations towards a situation as this means you are aware of the issue at hand. At this phase (believe it or not) things start to change , it is how we transform those feelings into action working for a better tomorrow. Devise a coping strategy along the way.
This is not a dead sentence, its only for a short term. Surround yourself with positive people, seeking counselling, prayer assistance from your local church would help. Exercising, selfcare, eating a balanced whole food plant based diet could also help to feel better internally. For instance, a new hobby I find keeps me busy and eases my mind is running.
Remember it is okay to grieve, don't feel like you have to be put on a front 24/7. It is completely natural to respond naturally to difficult things. This will help you in not exploding due to bottled up feelings and emotions. Be open and honest with yourself, that is the only way to truly grow and heal.
The Plentiful Season
Right this is the one. Would it not be amazing to be in this season all day, everyday, all year... forever? Of course most of us would love that.
In this season, everything is good, we are healthy, happy and thriving. With that been said, it is easy to be inconsiderate of others that are in pain or are down. You can actually feel guilty of what you have work for and been blessed with.
We all generally experience life through our own lens, in our own shoes. In the midst of blessings, abundance and joy it is natural to fall out of touch with the realities of pain and suffering. I believe that in the Season of Plenty, it is actually the time to share, giving to others. For example, through hospitality and generosity, reaching out to others who are struggling, volunteering, giving out value.
The Plentiful season clothes you with more. More: joy, energy, blessings, and radiance. More than you need for yourself. Share with others! You feel good you can make an impact to someone's life, the dopamine and endorphins you get? Boy oh boy.
I must mention this... Please and please DO NOT feel guilty when you are experiencing this season. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy, celebrate, give and remain grateful for all things. Enjoy the greatness, share memories and moments with loved ones, laugh and live life to the fullest.
I pray that whatever season you might find yourselves, you will find a way to grow, connect and transform in God.
Hello beautiful people,
Today I'll be sharing seven of my favourite bible verses. It is a little difficult to narrow down my favourites. I mean I have loads! They are all great. But, I decided to put together a small list of the ones that speak to me now in this season I'm in. This too is difficult, because different verses relate to me at different times... It's constantly changing as I change.
That said, these are some of the popular gems that have become famous by their helpfulness in daily life and mindset shifting abilities.
1. Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest."
2. Romans 12:2 "Don't change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking..."
3. Proverbs 3:25-26 "Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be confidence and will keep your foot from being caught."
4. 1 Corinthians 10:13 "The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are temptation, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it."
5. Psalms 20:3 "May he remember all the gifts you have offered. May he make all your plans successful."
6. Habakkuk 2:3 "This message is about a special time in the future. This message is about the end, and it will come true. Just be patient and wait for it. That time will come; it will not be late."
7. John 3:17 "God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him."
If you know of some other famous scriptures or ones you that you think should be included in this list please add them in the comments below…
Hello beautiful people,
Last week I was listen to a message at church and one of the key questions that came up was are we showing what it's like to be a follower of Christ? From reading the word and from hear the word from a young age (from as young as I could remember), from giving my life to Christ at 9 and re giving it to him again at 15.
There have been times I question my walk with God, I question how I show up in the world and I question if I am being a 'Good Christian', whatever that even means.
First let's start by defining what/who a Christian is. So, a Christian is a person who has been made new in Christ Jesus and has renewed their relationship with him. Life as a Christian is about praising God, getting to know him, his words and his work. It's also about talking to him (through prayer) The bible says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
We still haven't defined what/who a good Christian is/does/look like. Some might say that a good Christian is someone who prays morning and evening, reads their bible daily, tithes each month without fail, serves at church without excuses, evangelises everywhere, every time, each day of the week (hey, even on Saturdays). I mean these are all great things to do but that's not being a 'good Christian' is all about. A Christian life isn't totally down to what you do or don't do.
Being a 'good Christian' is certainly not about performing certain actions. But It is rather about allowing Christ into every area of our life, no matter how dark or ugly we think it might be. By doing this he is able to transform our hearts, our mind and our lives. We need to remember what Hebrews 12:2 says, "looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
As you seek to know him more, I pray that you continue to grow in strength, wisdom and grace!
Hope you are well. Today I'll be giving a few reasons as to why I love Mondays so much.
From my early years I had always been a far of this day of the week in particular even though no one at school understand why. They all thought I was crazy! I believe my love for Mondays came from my mamma also loving Mondays.
To me, Mondays are full of possibilities ( I means so is any other day). There is just something about Mondays that give me a good feeling. I look forward to the week ahead. On Monday morning I'm always up bright and early reviewing my Sundays plan of my week ahead, seeing what I need to get done, what's coming up and other things like that.
Apart from all that Mondays are typically the days I start a new book, Start reading a new part of the bible. These are all things I honestly look forward.
Generally I love Monday just because it a new day, new week, I get to set a brand new tone and I get to be extra grateful to God for his unending love in my life.
I hope that even if you still don't end up loving Mondays like me, you could at least still take on Mondays like a boss!
Fine Monday to you all,
Hope you all have been enjoying this festive season. God has been so good I don't know how to thank him enough.
I've been sharing my time with my mamma. She is my shero, my inspiration, my why, why teacher. She is a beautiful women both inside and out. A great women of God, a pastor at our Nigerian Ministry CCSSP (Christ Corner Stone Salvation Praise).
Over the weekend we were sharing a couple of things. We mostly discussed goals, plans, intentions, focus and productivity. We shared some things I remember her tell us (myself and my siblings) as we were going up.
My mum always stresses the important of starting the day with prayer and gratitude to our maker. Growing up with a strong praying mother, I always heard these scriptures, (Philippians 4:6)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.", (Colossians 4:2) "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving..." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Focusing on God has always made me set clear intentions and plans for my days.
Benefits of starting your day focused on Christ?
The benefits are endless! I'm just going to list a few...
1. Less likely hold grudges
2. More courage to do the thing God is calling you out to do
3. More patience and strength to relate with others
4. More likely to encourage others
5. More clarity and overall focus and stillness
Setting intentions is how I round up my morning prayer session. The over-arching principle is always my question to God. How can I grow today? What do I need to know? What do you want me to work on? My intentions are always: Learn, be, do, feel and experience. I sometimes say it out loud, I may whisper it, write it down, It may just be a silent request. The bible says the proverbs 3:6 "In everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and crown your effort with success." Another verse my mum always highlighted to me growing up and one she still reminds me of.
After my personal prayers and gratitude, I read the word, then I journal and affirm positive words, conditioning my mind for greatness. After all that I worship and pray with who ever is home with me that morning (normally My middle sister) then I go about the rest of my morning routine.
With focusing and remaining focus throughout the day, there is something I do that is called 'Hyper focusing'. The word Hyper focused originated from ADHD literature. This term "describes the phenomenon when a single task consumes one's full attention, whether or not the task is important." (Bailey, 2018)
Hyper focus is basically intense focus plus deliberate attention minus distraction that means do not disturb mode on and dedicated work mode on! I normally do a 25mins slot of then a 5 mins break and repeat as needed or just do one slot and move on to another task, I find that works well for me.
How to enter a hyper focus mode?
Here are four simple steps I use to enter this focused mode...
1. Choose a productive task or objective you need your full attention on
2. Eliminate as many external as well as internal distractions as you possibly can
3. Focus on the task you have chosen
4. Carry on drawing your full attention to this chosen task
How to remain focused?
Not the easiest thing to do as distractions are always around us. Our minds wonder, a new notification just entered, we are thinking about to have for dinner and everything else in-between.
1. Setting strong clear daily, weekly intentions
2. Anticipate the obstacles you might face as you are completing you task: A few minutes taken out to make a simple plan can save you so much time and increase your productivity
3. Set a timer: I normal work in 25 minutes work 5 minutes break and a 52 minutes work 17 minutes break type work timing, try these ones and others and see what works best for you
I hope you got some value from this post...