Grace, a girl or an act of kindness

If I do actually manage to do this just right – talk about jinxing myself – this should come as the perfect complement to – finally – a post all about writing!

Well, my writing that is, which feels a lot like an unending pursuit of chasing literal gold (Geddit! Because writing is literary!). Anyways we’ll come back to that one as one of two “get-to-know” me’s, as we throw down the foundations for the new phase for the blog.

But for now we’re back to basics, and by basic we mean not really basic more like complicated situation-ship. Because if ever there was a word that can have such deep and personal meaning whilst also seeming distant, and like a foreign language, then it’s Grace. The girl, or the act of kindness.

You know, it wasn’t quite any one thing that brought ‘Grace’ up to the surface for me, I mean sure I know a few girls who answer to that name in my life (as a card-carrying member of Feminist Inc.) but all this proves is there aren’ t enough girl names starting with G. And yes, we kind of slightly touched on how perfect love allows us to experience a covering, protection, a refuge, at church just a few days back.

But it took me clocking on to the simple truth of true kindness, for me to see Grace in a much clearer light. You know how life tries (more than tries) to throw you those little curveballs; and wait, just as you’re turning the bend on one curveball, *boom* another one, then another one, then another one. LIFE HAPPENS.

And for me in those situations, always at my weakest, there will be a wonderful word or a fun friend or just a new perspective that – I have no idea how it – finds me. And here is the trick, this sort of kindness is not quite the easy solution to my situation that I would have wanted, but it finds me, and it lifts me. Just like a wave.

The simple truth about true kindness is that it can take every and any form. And even with the experience of Grace that I have within the boundaries of my faith where it is this big and powerful vessel of acceptance and divine kindness, I know that in our every day we all experience the small doses of this, just when we need it the most.

And that’s it!

I always love doing these brief life-things with you, and I’m excited that they’re definitely here to stay, blog reshuffle or not.

What’s been your experience with Grace?

Ebun

xxx

 

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Recipe Read: Spiced Black Beans and Callaloo With Coconut Rice and Plantain

This time, I am actually on here and ready to get down, and on time.

I found this recipe – below – yesterday after playing around on the particular food blog for a Tagine recipe that I was so very into. And which came out beautifully. But this second recipe that I am looking forward to trying (yes, future stuff guys, *whispers* don’t let us jinx it) is the perfect summer complement for the season.

I’ll be doing this much more often to bring together a developing lifestyle section on here that will definitely include food.

And if you’re wondering what a part-time trying-to-be-a-writer person, who has only one wok, has to say about food, it’s simply this: Not everyday dine out in the lap of luxury, some days just eat home and relax.

Bon Appetit,

Ebun, xxx

Recipe Read: Spiced Black Beans and Callaloo With Coconut Rice and Plantain

The Girls Like me.

I was supposed to get this out yesterday. Not that I’m duty bound to; look at me, about to settle on another ramble on the writing process again.

But you know a girl’s got to be present to represent (lol, how do I come up with these).

But here we are, on our continuing journey of ‘sorry it’s late’ posts.

Although if there’s something I’ve literally – only yesterday – just learned, it’s that like Beyoncé, we all must embrace and accept each failure that life hands us, and use it as fuel for a killer album, as well as a movement of ultra-hyper-aware millennial women who stan for you.

And I do stan for the Beyhive, even as we still unpack the complexities that are the Saint Beyoncé and her beloved Uncle Sean Carter and their collaboration album.

But enough about that. I’ve been meaning to share a different type of album. Similarly, a movement, similarly millennial women involved, however not the slightest bit related to music.

The space: ‘Girls Like Me’, and all it’s offshoot parts across social media, and all the wonderful women involved in it, who have been serving up amazing discussions and reads. Having a space of people’s stories, ideas, lessons, all along the same parallels of womanhood, or girlhood, has been such a thrill.

And whilst not faith-related, it still somehow reinforces my idealistic views on faith, that gems like these exist, must surely be fate.

For now, here’s a space you should watch, as well as my current favourite read there.

Also, I might currently have a post on the space for you to go and discover yourselves, there’s a whole world of wisdom to learn from other women there and right now that’s so much more worth sharing.

Let us know what you think!

Ebun,

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones.

I know this is totally me putting my foot in it, but around the time of my last post I might have said to myself a little something along the lines of “you’ll probably not get a chance to be back on here for a while”. You can imagine what did happen, with the spindly crawly legs of doubt all up in there?

2 months guys!

I know. And all it took was a lot of chocolate, some ice-cream and maybe the odd scare-tactic or two, to really get my butt into moving and on here. Turns out parents are right afterall, it’s not just candy and copious amounts of love, a little discipline goes a long way.

But enough about that!

We’re back to bringing you a little something just for you. And today, we have my attempt at convincingly selling the catchphrase, “you are what you say”. A somewhat obvious remixing of that famous childhood line ‘you are what you eat’. And in a way, these two things are not so dissimilar in the ways that they affect us, words and food (thank you Jesus, for food).

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As with what we eat, our words can build or break us down. But unlike what we eat, I don’t think I have ever been as conscious of the ways in which the words of others have benefitted me. 

Depending on how much of a friend you are to me, IR-L or UR-L or some other type of L, you might have seen the Instagram post that feeds in directly to this topic. It was around then that I had started to consider how much good or possibility could come out of just words; a simple communication tool.  And whilst there is the perspective of my personal belief and faith, the evidence in my life, in the countless well-timed words. Not just words of praise, or compliments but also the constructive criticism where it is needed. All of which have come together over my life journey like little sprinkling droplets of food to grow me as a person.

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These are what prove to me how endless the possibilities are for what words can do.

Which means we all probably have to work harder than Kanye West at choosing our words, but I think that’s a bar we can all reach.

That’s it for tonight. Short and sweet, and not too wordy.

Ebun,

xxx

Live, Love, Laugh …

And now we move even more firmly into the sunken place of sentiment, and mushy feelings.

We’re far off from all the socially accepted norms of February ‘lovin’, I know, and I apologise for not being here for that or any of the other celebratory opportunities along the way; mother’s day et al.

So we’re making it up to you by finishing off that L.O.V.E  conversation which we started at it’s most basic levels where relationships found love, and how what we put into relationships really define what love becomes.

So now moving on, we’re ready to dive into those clichés and the romance that Hollywood is forever reinforcing and the rest of our friends i.e. everybody else but us, are a reminder of. You know, that picture perfect joined-at-the-hips couple above a captioned ‘#relationshipgoals’ or ‘#bae’.  Or quoted pearls of wisdom like: ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ as if these three things somehow magically form a link?

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Well, there’s nothing really wrong with any of this, or any other accepted common laws on Love such as the ‘love languages’ that have filtered through popular culture as a mechanism to perfecting communication in a loving relationship.

However, these do not go to the heart of some of the most confusing and most referenced questions I have come across on the subject of love. Such as, how do you define love? or how does love feel?

And it’s not very surprising, love the powerful emotion that it is, gives birth to so many complex and different consequences, from heartbreak to fulfilment. So where to even begin making sense of it?

Even drawing from my personal histories of loves, and exes, there’s hardly been a consistent thread between the ways and the times I have felt in love. So what is it?

I’d like to imagine love as being quite similar to power, given the emotional weight it carries; and it goes some way to explaining why it is so complex too. As with power, it can be overwhelming, crazy even. But maybe that’s how it should be in order to use it to do things only love can do.

Cherieby b

And in my loving relationships, Love has done plenty for me. Just within my family, it is easy to see my gains from the wisdom my Mother readily imparts, or the moral sense of my father is always quick to remind me of, or the care and protection of my Brother and even further still, my gains from those exes who confidently assured me with stolen Drake lyrics that I really was special to them. I realise now that whilst in positions of love, I felt like I was the party in those relationships to have gained the most out of those relationships, to have gotten better, to have grown. And so I felt loved.

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Ebun,

xxx

p.s. I was not shading, ‘Live, Love. Laugh’ – maybe I was a little – aside from its being oversimplified, it’s a nice way of approaching living fully.

Before Love is …

So I was a hot-minute away from taking this single-word theme all the way into being overused.

But we thank the Lord, who in super-hero swooping style saved me from myself through the words of a fabulous ‘preacher man’. Can I hear an Amen?

And in a somewhat related sense who knew workplace banter could apparently take a turn into being “real-deep”. Like “preacher” real-deep? I found myself saying – mentally – plenty of Amens and a – quiet –  preach sister as my colleague fleshed out a key part of that very big and complex emotion that is Love.

Don’t get me wrong the entire topic of ‘Love’ is a great one to talk about, especially for me as I feel so strongly about the impact ‘Love’ has had in my life. It also fits naturally as a follow-on theme from Hope and Faith. It’s just I think I can do one better by focussing on one small aspect of it at a time, aspects I believe to be a key part of what Love is all about. And all this in a bid to impart something a little practicable for you and me both.

Cherieby d

You see it become obvious to me that whilst people are quick to define Love, struggle for Love, play dirty to get Love; we can all be a little less enthused when it comes to putting the same amount of energy into the more general aspects of our relationships. And often these are at the very core of what Love is born from.

So if we haven’t even started to figure out the building blocks of what our strong, and lasting and good relationships are. I don’t think we are equipped to being able to figure out what strong, lasting and good Love is. Because before Love is a relationship, something connecting individuals in this like-for-like environment and then maybe there is love after that because love – like all good things that last – has to have a foundation to rest on. Foundations like generosity, understanding, dependability and et cetera. And that’s what we will get right to in the posts that follow.

 

Fine enough of the mush! Sometimes ‘deep’ Love, but sometimes just throw a nice party and have your friends endure ‘enforced party hat’ wearing all in the name of Love.

Love, love, love. I think I’ve exhausted my use of this four letter word.

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Exhibit A of my great friends

 

Ebun,

xxx

Faith

Permission to begin with a joke?

Thanks very much. I’m going on the assumption that I’ve suitably charmed you into saying yes.

So what did the busy bee say to the lazy bee?

Bzzzzzzzz. Bees don’t talk guys, besides there never existed a lazy bee, stay alert of terrible jokes this year, but especially of roadmen #remainwoke2018

But truly, happy new year again guys! And in wishing you everything that I would wish myself, I hope for a deeply fulfilled year, and happy days everyday #flourish2018

So just before the festivities of the new year, I made mention of the fact that I am a person of faith. Which brings us to a second single-worded topic.

Faith.

Basically, a person of faith is typified gentry speak for ‘I practise a religion’, if you don’t know, now you know. For me specifically, it is that I am a Christian. But recently this week I wondered why this was the case, with this immediate connotation of the word ‘Faith’. I mean do people who don’t practise a religion not have any of whatever ‘faith’ is.

Is there such a thing as a ‘person not of faith’?

I guess, to begin with, what is Faith?

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You see for me, having faith or practising my religion has been a sort of anchor for me over the years. And especially – even if I don’t like to admit it – in the times of my greatest fears or troubles or anxieties about the future. It has served as this little beachside resort that I would pay a visit to, gather my strength, to return back to reality more secure and confident about one life goal or another. A sort of personal journey?

Maybe that’s what struck me the most, how personal a journey having ‘Faith’ is and what it can mean on a personal level. And in that light, I feel that the journey of Faith can be many things; the support and structure of religion, a dependable trusted voice or an imaginary beachside resort.

In short a perspective that builds confidence. Borrowing from Christian scripture and calling it: confidence even in the face of things that are uncertain, maybe very shaky.

And whilst I can’t dictate faith to someone else, if anyone asked me, I’d never stop talking about how meaningful it can be to life in general, but also how impactful it is for when the road gets tough and you need more reason to persevere.

Finger’s crossed we all have something to hope for, and a dose of faith to take us through.

 

Ebun,

xxx

 

Psssst *whispers* In-case you’re wondering where the wonderful world of Birkin Bags, Louboutin shoes and general lifestyle goodness has disappeared to, well I’m wondering too ???

Hope

Wow, another week, another calendar eve and I am actually here again.

Today I came across a new word, being a geek it feels completely fated that I now use this word consistently for the next day or so.

Also, today we officially enter the twilight zone of 2017, as one day fades into another, we enter the new somehow meaningful date of 01.01.2018. And I have been pretty undecided between a last hour sale haul of my Achilles – shopping – heel: Zara, or paying homage to the word ‘sermonise’ and giving you some meaningful recollection of my year?

I guess you can figure out the winning choice?

You see, in recent years, today is usually a day synonymous with  ‘reflecting’ as I try to find ‘meaning’ in the events that have made up the precedent days in that year, and shape them into a forward-looking inspiring message for myself to act out into the upcoming days. I figure in some way it is a controlling attitude to life.

But I take some comfort in the fact that much of this reflection is done as guided by my faith. I hope this isn’t a surprise that I am a person of faith; if it is you might want to take a look at my last year’s Christmas post.

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In previous years, themes like Destiny, Purpose, Change, The New, have been the guiding words into my new year. And this year is no different with another theme: Hope. A short four-letter word.

This year has been a year that I think for many there has been a sense of instability. Things have not been the easiest to predict on a world facing stage and whilst that would be exciting to go fully into on politics, on culture etc, maybe here is not the time or place. And with the ‘unpredictable’ on this world stage, one can only imagine the many ripple effects this carries into our everyday lives.

However what I am holding on to in this new year is a measured optimism; that because there’s been the experience of the negative, of the inconvenient truths, of downs, there has to be the experience of the positives, the uplifting facts, of ups to look forward to into the future. Much as I have come to experience with my neglectful writing habits, there are lessons to be learned even in this 2017 and these inevitably bring us to better in 2018.

 

Well if that’s not happy, I don’t know what is?

Happy New Year and beautiful hopes for what it brings.

Ebun,

xxx

Who are you talking to?

Who are you talking to?

So guys, we finally got there. Got to the point, got to the gist; of all that this digital life of ours should hold true.

Basically, I think I am going to be going for an overall theme into this new year, and the post below is going to be a sample of that.

It seems this entire period of sporadic posting and mixed up themes has been really eye-opening for me – which I talk more about in the next post – but it’s all given me an unencumbered freedom to write however I want and this I think can now be worked into a slightly more focused blogging experience.

Today we talk a little about one of the life experiences that I have reluctantly – like for real though grudgingly – accepted as one of the most important tools to problem-solving and just generally self-helping.

It is the very easy exercise of talking.

Yeah, I know, a wide majority of issues are best dealt with with the silent stare reserved for the stupid. But I’m not talking about that type of talking. I mean more of the useful life conversations, where there is actual sense to be taken away from.

Around the autumn of this year, there was a lot of publicity, media campaigning etc around mental health that really brought to light and did an amazing job of seeking to lessen the stigma that discussing mental health can often carry. I mean it’s not every day that we each seriously consider our mental states or health, despite how important this is for the overall benefit of just about every other part of our wellbeing and health.

Equally, right around this time, October or so; as is usually my response to grey-er skies, all my favourite flowers withering, the temperament of standard British Weather, I tend to be a little more deflated and less spirited. Pretty tame stuff, I know.

Considering I was still very much unaffected in any other area of my life despite the way I was feeling on the inside, I’ve for all of my life luckily gotten off very lightly as far as dealing with how I have felt mentally.

And this is pretty obvious when you consider that until recent years most of my coping mechanisms are literally as soft as they come, think buying myself bright flowers, re-arranging my wardrobe for the 50th time, picking a new distracting obsession like ‘writing’ (lol).

But as you can imagine there is an endless string of self-help mechanisms that we all resort to at times like this. More than one way to skin a cow and all: sorry vegan brethren.

It is not until in recent years that I have found myself more outwards looking for better ways of dealing whenever I’ve found myself ‘out-of-character’. And I have found that – especially in this year – opening up to the right people, surrounding myself with the right ‘understanding’ voices, that I have formed richer views and perspectives, and challenged myself to see not just myself but other people as sources of encouragement.

Note I say ‘right people’ up there. Not everyone will have the capacity or ability to speak to whatever you are going through. But I dare you to not find a single person who has not stood where you are at the moment, or who does not understand what it is that you are mentally in the state of.

So there it is guys. The new focus, hope you like it?

Ebun,

xxx