Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009: Reflections for a New Year

I feel guilty saying all this because I have kinda let myself go this holiday however here goes.

My personal reflections on the learning from 2008 are:

I love walking.

One reason why I do is because it gives me needed space to think things through, figure out angles, follow a thought for lengths and also it keeps me healthy. I used to be down with bouts of flu and cold for weeks, these days I tend to bounce back after a couple of days. It hasnt always been easy to walk. Those who know me know that I have had lots of physiotherapy on my knees, but I had to persevere and am now doing 4-5 hours walking a week. I am virtually knee pain free. See all my knee was crying out for all this while was to be used lol! I had to push through the pain at first for sure but it is doable.

One of the key lessons I have learnt this year is to put in to practice, winning habits. I used to have a punctuality problem but on the off chance a friend mentioned how he uses a kitchen timer to focus his mind on a particular task until the alarm goes off. I decided to use that to get me out of the bath on time to catch my trains ( I love my bath and my rubber ducky). I can honestly say that I have cut the punctuality problem by 50%. A little change in a critical area can make all the difference.

Back to walking. One other key lesson I picked up this year came while out walking on a cold winters evening. It's funny how things that are everyday suddenly take on new and deeper meaning at one particular moment. Anyway this day it was a lone runner. Now runners are a dime a dozen over here, nothing new to see, however on this particular day I was mulling over a few things and this 'running man' passes me on his possibly regular running route, and a voice in my head said, 'He is doing what it takes'. The message was clear to me, it was clear the next day when I saw a female runner doing her thing. The message was that this was what these people had to do to be fit, in shape, de-stressed etc and they were doing what they knew it took. These runners snuck out when others were watching CSI with a warm drink in hand, to do their thing because they knew that this is what it took to be where they want to be. Maybe that person watching CSI had his or her thing as well, and so on saturday they would be up when others were sleeping to do what they had to do to be fit, in shape de-stressed etc.

When people come together you only see a part of them; a very small part of their activities. You might see them eating a double burger at that point but maybe that persons has calculated what it takes and when they go home they will sneak out for that run, in the dark.

You have to know what it takes to get your goals and targets and yes it might involve waking up half an hour earlier but just do it. Others are also sneaking out here and there to do their thing. Dont forget we are in a competition whether you want to be or not (and yes I think sometimes black women mentally resist or pull out of competing because they are afraid that the cards are stacked against them, so they say 'I am not competing' and you can see it reflected in their presentation attitude, habits etc).

The thing I love about getting older is you understand the working of your body much better. You know from experince and trails and errors what works and what doesnt. Dont defeat yourself by rejecting the little 'knowledges' you have gleaned about yourself over the years, this will be what gives you an edge especially in an ageist society that favours youth and makes it hard if you are not a spring chicken!

Another lesson: for many people weight loss and fitness is a psychological 'balance' thing. You try all sorts of formulars and combination and then one day you discover that by eating breakfast at exactly 7.38am suddenly everything falls into place. This is your unique balance point. This understanding if so important, do not discount it or disregard it for the view or methods specified by 'experts'. The entity called you is extremely unique. Who knows why 7.38 is your balance point, maybe as an individual your blood pressure or sugar levels are just right at that time, maybe mummy used to come in and give you a kiss when you were little, who knows, its something very specific to your psychological makeup.

Next lesson, I wake up and do my 'thinking' 1st thing. Mornings and early morning when you wake up are one of the best thinking times. The clarity available to you before thoughts begin to fill and cloud your mind is without equal, so it is the best time to strategise, think through notty problems or just plan your way forward for the week. If you have your own business on the side besides your 9-5, you can use this time for yourself in many ways. Sort out a strategy, think through a busines idea, get your priorities straightened out etc etc! I have found this 'first thing' time of the morning very very useful as opposed to after work or late at night which I use for tasks that ae more routein and dont require as much brain power.

Other tips for a new year

Any army that doesnt know who its enemy is, is about to get wiped out. It is high time black women recognise who their enemies are by examining from where the 'offensive' against them is coming. By their fruits (not their color), you shall know them.

Black women need to create an identity for themselves outside just being 'race women'.

Self-care, Self-advocacy, Self-in-front is the order for 2009. If you feel squeemish and uncomfortable about this philosophy, then have a look round you, to see where selflessness and being all giving and all sacrificing has left black women in your circles and make your own conclussions.

Always have in mind, 'How does this proposal benefit me personally'.

Get clued up about interracial dating in the IR Dating E-Book

Send your questions to (I will try my best to give a reply/answer)

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