simhasana

 

 

img_0018Its that time of year where if you’re anything like me, you begin to review everything you wrote down at the start of the year, (although I do this monthly) and make sure you are  somewhat on track with your goals and being intentional about seeing them come to fruition.

This brings me to why I decided to write an entry today. I’ve thinking soberly about my life recently, a lot is changing, and things are moving so fast. Looking for a pause button; mostly overwhelmed at the best of times.  

Please don’t read this entry sitting on the judgement seat, as you read I hope you can find your story in mine. And I as I go through yet another unveiling to bring about healing to both our journeys, I trust you will be kind enough to yourself by answering some of the questions in this blog and allow your mask to come off also. 

Lately my questions have been about my life: the past, the hurts, the ex’s, the frenemies, the dead end jobs, bad boss’s, corrupt colleagues… and my tomorrow. As I approach 40, I look around to find a small handful of close friends (I’m slowly learning to open up again and allow new people to come in). Desperately in pursuit of newness, afraid of sameness, and itching to create moments.  

Have you ever had those moments in your life when you seriously just want to get in the car, pocket full of cash, your fav radio station, clear road with no traffic. You, the road and destiny; only to wake up to the shocking realisation that real life is not at all like the movies. When will ‘it’ begin? Will I ever get married, will I ever be able to let the guard down long enough to allow someone to get close to loving me, for me. Are more kids on the books, heck do I want more? The truth is I had a decision to make. At this point of my journey, parking the car, leaving it punctured is far from ideal. Looking in the rear view it was clear that i’d come a long way. A bloody long distance, going back was not an option and parking in the middle was; well, also not an option. What do you do when the beginning is no longer in view, and the end is not in sight?  For me, this was a reoccurring hump on the road. Its obvious the show must go on, until curtain calls that is. So here I go again on my journey, no turning back, although it gets ever so tempting at times. But I want to help walk you through my survival kit for bumpy rides. Its inevitable that days will come when the car (vehicle-me/you) simply needs a rest. Thats the first place we start.

R E S T. When was the last time you gave yourself a MOT?

Every car owner understands the importance of having their vehicle checked annually to avoid a failed inspection. The consequences of failing a MOT test is costly, so you owe it to yourself to make sure you pass the inspection.  

Liken that to our own lives. I don’t know about you but I used to be a sergeant for ensuring my ‘life check ups’ were done without fail every year, usually on or around the week of my birthday. Because the thing is this, with check ups you are almost, always guaranteed the unpleasantness of other  less immediate problems. Truth is, they never pose a serious enough threat to make us want to act now.  I think that is why many people do not like going for check ups. However, when we ignore these problems that we know should be addressed sooner rather than later, as they may worsen. We face graver consequences that may cause us to fail our ‘life check up’ the following year.

Call me, turtle. 

I had a gut feeling 2017 was going to be quite an adventure. But one I simply had no appetite for, just trying to keep it real. Anyone that knows me, knows i’m the queen of hibernating when shit gets real. “Many turtles, are able to retract their heads and legs into their shells as a defensive manoeuvre”. And honestly, I can stay in the shell for what can sometimes feel like  lifetime. I guess growing up is a lot to deal with at times, and some days, I just have no gusto for being an adult. When all you’ve known is responsibility there’s sometimes this mischiefing urge to do the opposite. The sad part about that is, life doesn’t pause when you do. Time has no respect for my hiatus, and rightly so, it keeps on ticking.

Tonight I screamed silent thoughts of frustration, of wasted years, poor choices and failed relationships, disappointments, failed attempts of success.  I scream, knowing that better days are ahead; but only wished ‘those days’ could be today. I’m pretty sure you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, I do too. Well, one of the things I find that has helped me over the years is journaling my thoughts. Its always so encouraging to go back to the entires and reading through where your thoughts were and comparing them to how you now feel.

Shortly after having ‘my moment’ of silent torture, I practised  ‘Viparita Karan’ (leg up the wall pose) to help relax and calm me. I’ve recently taken up Yoga again, after several years of putting it to one side. (I’m beginning to wonder why) By practicing regularly, I am much more capable of meeting a worry with a presence, of curiosity, and patience rather than fearful reactivity. My practice has given me peace of mind. Honestly I’m a better mother, friend and person, because I can handle the everyday ups and downs more easily. I feel better than ever. As a Christian I can easily see the benefits of being spiritually connected to God and being more aware of my being  and my presence. In some crazy way, yoga has reintroduced me to my spirit man in ways incomprehensible. 

Reaching for my journal I soon came across an entry that had me in tears. Not sad tears, but the happy: pulls you into pieces separate forcefully, act of tearing that causes your eyes to stream with warm tears and your mouth engaging in a smile, in one chemical reaction. All because I came across a promise that I had written several years ago. The sweetest part was knowing that finding it was no coincidence. It was just another one off the beautiful ways of reinforcing his love to me. Every word he has ever told me is way bigger than it is; and the first thing I can do is simply trust him. Trusting, means letting go of what I want and taking hold off what he has in store for me. 

What are you holding onto that you know you must let go?

I’ve learned that the challenge of living isn’t the problems we face but our stance in the trials. Yes, the issues are real. The longer I live the more I see hurting people, experiencing real suffering, and knowing actual pain. It’s way bigger than the movies, and more factual than the media’s depiction.

My journey has just begun, each milsetone finds me standing at the burial ground of my imperfections and breathing life back into it. With each resurrected limb becoming more beautiful than its dead remnants. This journey has me taking tests, and failing them countless times. On route, I learn what it means to  follow and be still. I never said I was always compliant, so lets just say most times I’m kicking and silently screaming, but in spite of, knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Truth is, you are fighting for your life in one way or another and perhaps getting ready to park the vehicle. My plea to you is; whatever you do, learn to rest, not to quit. It’s so easy to mistake tiredness as a reason to stop the car. But remember that the journey requires movement. I once read somewhere that, ‘stillness in itself is a movement’. Learning when to rest and when to keep on moving is one handy tool that you and I will need for this journey to wholeness. 

 

Thanks for following my journey and reading. Please feel free to like, comment or share. Any questions you’d like to ask please feel free to do so. I look forward to walking with, and unveiling more to you.

 

Namaste

Jewel

 

 

 

Put the light on…

Hey friends,

May is slowly creeping on us, I cannot believe it. It was never my intention to be gone for this long. I have been thinking about sending out a hello piece, but struggled to find better reasons besides saying, hello. It is important for me that when I do decide to share a piece, it would always come from a now, and transparent place.

As someone who appears strong, confident and sure of herself it’s so easy for people to assume you have your shit together.

‘You always look so good, It’s hard to believe you’ve been through so much’.

Today I want to share a little about my battle with depression.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, let me re-introduce myself to you. And it all started with Hello…From the age of 16 I was diagnosed with manic depression. And for several years I was on medication for this illness.  My life revolved around psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, behavioural therapies, drugs, sex, alcohol and wrong friendships, with the occasional church visits. My life spiralled out of control as the years went on, and although outwardly it would appear like I was coping, inside I was perishing slowly to my death.  As the cycle perpetuated itself, I would soon become suicidal and attempted multiple times to end the pain, resulting in me being hospitalised on many occasions. Being dependent on sex and  drug abuse, would lead me to making bad financial decisions that consequently took me to rock bottom. The day would come when I was finally presented with the choice of life, or death. Surely, I was in no sound mind to make such a life changing decision, but one that was imperative if I was to stop this cycle of sameness. img_1536

8 some years, I fall humbly to my knees, thankful to God that I chose life. And that His mercies never gave up on me.

You are looking at a victor of mental illness, a victor of someone who did not know that the mind had to be renewed on a daily basis. That you do eventually become how you think. My thoughts were toxic to say the least, thoughts of abuse from a young age, thoughts of abandonment, thoughts of being unloved, rejected…

I do not pen my heart for follows, or likes. I  do this for you. You might be that  ONE person who feels that their life makes no sense. Fed up of the sameness and monotony of your journey. You might have woken up today wishing you hadn’t. Believe me, I was the same. Some days I begged God to take my life. Just so I wouldn’t have to face another painful reminder of the past, and its pain that left with it many invisible scars. So, before you end it all, throw in the towel, or decide to check out of this life. Please believe that there is a God. He loves you so much, and that He sent Jesus to die for you. I am living proof of His restoration.

Being transparent is so important, we cannot heal if we remain masked. I know for me I gravitate to people  who allow me to see their true authentic self. And the truth is said for those who have connected with me, in times past and even today. People are drawn to the real you, not the pretend you. For so many years i’ve shared my story in bite-sizes and it has been that level of transparency that have allowed me to form lasting relationships. Being courageous to dare to reveal, and refusing to skirt around my truth has helped healed so many, including myself.

Today I found myself struggling to get my day-to-day shores completed. All of the sudden, with no warning signs I found my self procrastinating on things that would otherwise take no time at all. Refusing to accept the truth, I phoned a friend. It was in our conversation, the heart of the matter was revealed. My transparent moment became the reason behind this blog. Through this conversation he told me to retrace my steps and rewind the days leading up to today. It soon became apparent I had been inconsistent with one of my daily habits, and the scariest part of it; was It could’ve been avoided. Had I known two weeks of missing the gym would’ve made such an impact in my mental health, I think for sure I would’ve reconsidered missing a day. But one thing I can say is that It is so important to be in tune with the triggers that cause you to revert. You must start to understand what your triggers are You have to protect yourself from these triggers. The same way you would protect your home with a burglar alarm system.  You have to set up a system in place that protects your mind at all costs.

img_1190-1Truth is I am human. I live in a body. My flesh is constantly throwing its dummy out of the pram desperately seeking attention. Putting the light on it and revealing its ugliness is one way of me fighting back. Today has been a wake up to the reality that yes, although I’ve come out of depression, after battling with it for 15 years without medication, or counselling.  It was sobering to say the least, and being awaken to my triggers is the greatest help. And my need for Jesus as my healer and constant life support is something I do not take lightly. I’m honoured to be His patient among many things. There is no doubt that day(s) like these will resurface. But I am living proof that there is a God. There is NO pit too deep that He cannot dig you out from. He will bring everything that this world has tainted and work it together for good.Since January I’ve been attending the gym 3-5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I’m no where close to my fitness levels or weight goal, but each morning at 6.30am I find myself down a familiar road, walking and talking with Him with no interruptions; just the two of us.  In the desperate pursuit to hear Him, and pour my heart out to the one whose ears are never deafened to hear me. You see some days, we just need an outlet. I have grown fond of this outlet over the years, the safest place I can share my heart, without shame, guilt or inferiority. That first sunrise, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the crisp air were all welcoming additions to entice my morning journeys to my new favourite place; the gym. Yes, the gym for me has become so much more than just an institution to build physical muscles and the delights of me one day fitting into my favourite skinny jeans. It has become my training field for so many of the other things I see Him working in me.

The contradiction of life is that I am experiencing one of my most fruitful seasons. Busy, productive and beautiFULL. Each day I am discovering His goodness in a new way. I even took the step of faith and started that new business which i’ve put off for quite some time. I’m also currently in the process of moving homes, and schools with a teenage son who is also on his journey discovering this gift we call life, and trying to figure out his purpose in the plan of God’s big tapestry. All the while finding my feet in many unchartered and unfamiliar fields, with different projects I will share with you all as time goes on. img_1322

I know it’s not always easy, and sometimes it feels safer to  hold back. Sometimes we don’t know how we’re going to be received if we were to put it all out there, So I understand. This is why it is so important to use wisdom and discernment. And even for me, I share a lot but there’s still so much that I’ve yet to disclose. This is partly because I am under submission to my fathers will. Whatever gets disclosed have to be for the greater good of revealing His goodness in my tests, and to give testimony of His goodness. Anything more outside of that, well for me is irrelevant.  Make no mistakes about it, the beauty in restoration is that it affects everything. Nothing remains the same. The exteriors and interiors must be demolished in order for the building (you/I) to be rebuild.

I see us living in restoration mansion together. I see broken men and women being restored back to wholeness. I see masks falling off, and laughter being the sound theme of the every room in our homes. I see scars being supernaturally healed, and relationships revived.

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Jeremiah 31:4

Once again I will build you up,  and you will be rebuilt, my dear people Israel. Once again you will take your tambourines, and you will go dancing with happy people

These words friends, have been the meditation of my heart this week. As clearly as I heard God saying to me that He himself will rebuild my life. I believe this to be the truth for every one of you reading this entry today. As I conclude for today I feel that someone needs to know that the God of heaven and earth is in the business of rebuilding, repairing and  reviving.

Stone by stone He will rebuild our lives. 

God is not wasteful, and nothing you have ever been through will ever be wasted. Lets ‘go-again’ and  get on this road trip together.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, let me re-introduce myself to you. And it all started with Hello…

Signed,

Jewelbygrace

 

Running my race 

 

Hey friends,

How long has it been? Never intended to be gone for so long, especially as I’ve just begun this blog life. It’s not the ‘done’ thing, right? I blame it on life demands, you know raising a family especially teenage boys, juggling business and work,  and yeah my return to the gym. I’ll write more about this in another post. My whole life has changed in a matter of weeks, and dare I say it. I am loving it!!!

You could say I was enjoying my ‘real’ life far too much away from the social media world. To be blatantly honest I couldn’t even tell you it was a planned thing. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and most importantly resting. Some seasons demand more of you. You see, when you understand your race, you prepare differently. You plan strategically. You ensure that you travel light.

Carrying excess baggage on a road trip can cause unnecessary breakdowns. Baggage isn’t always luggage. Just saying! Happy it’s the weekend. Can summer come already. It’s so cold…

Running my race was birthed by a conversation that me and my best friend were having about life and the current demands it places on us. As she approaches 40, single, unwed, and without child. Life may seem somewhat unkind. Often neglecting the remarkable blessings that are happening around us daily, we revert to complaining and wanting more. But theres nothing wrong with wanting more, surely not! I guess wanting more because the Joneses seem to have it altogether is considered the wrong way of wanting more. After-all tiresomely seeking after something that others have, is the worse type of pain to induce on yourself, the burden of trying to keep up can be all too exhausting. Running a race in another man’s lane, with another mans shoes on. The sheer thought of it, spells folly.

(Isaiah 40:31 ) Listen it is so easy to be like Jacob in this scripture whining and complaining. Some seasons it sure does feel like God has lost track off us. It can almost feel like He doesn’t care about what happens to us, or even knows anything about our lives. Like really, has He even been listening to our cries?

If that’s you, be assured. God hasn’t let go of you. I LOVE this bible promise that talks about how Gods hands are not too short to save us. If you are anything like me, visual. I see this HUGE enormous God who holds literally everything in His hands. Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us with His right hand…

I really hope someone gets blessed by this and encouraged to get back on the tracks of their life and begin to run in their lane again. Far too many people are simply existing and not living. This is not the way it was supposed to be, and having gone through it and wasted too many years of my life that I will never get back, I refuse to relax and allow others to do the same.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42). Changing the world one life at a time…

Instead of being daunted by the immense need on the planet, let’s be determined to be part of the solution by helping to change the world, one life at a time. We cannot do everything to alleviate all the pain and injustice on the earth, but we can each do something! – Christine Caine

I WILL LIVE, I WILL NOT EXIST

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My Inheritance & great Reward

Run your race at a steady pace
See the goal but don’t make haste 
Because you’ll need your fuel
To face;
The turbulent and unsteady places
Your eyes transfixed 
Don’t lose your focus 
You WANT to fulfil your God-given purpose 
And get to YOUR finish line  
To hear the words ‘well done good and faithful Servant’. 

Listen, you have to get your running shoes on. Set your eyes on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. Live YOUR life, and run YOUR lane using EVERYTHING you have because it’s going to take all of it to get to the finish line – your finish line.

Cheerleading you all the way,

Jewel x