9 years of Afri-love + so much more than a blog

9 years ago tomorrow, I published my first post on a new blog I named Afri-love. I had thoughts and theories I wanted to explore; discoveries I wanted to share; inspiration I wanted to pass on; and community I wanted to find.

I didn’t know it at the time but, my humble blog was about to be the most powerful vehicle for me to find my voice, to realise my purpose and to build some incredible relationships along the way.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I love creating lists of 9. Therefore, it’s thus fitting to share one with you, celebrating this 9th anniversary of what has become so much more than just a blog! Continue reading “9 years of Afri-love + so much more than a blog”

#justformechallenge: how to enjoy 28 days of me-time this February

In August 2017, 7 weeks after my son was born, time for self-care – actually, time for anything, other than looking after Leko – seemed like the biggest luxury in the world. 

So I gave myself a challenge: commit to doing something for myself, every day of the coming month.

Doing things with a community of like-minded people is always amazing and so I roped in Afri-love Women and others to join in. Sharing helped with accountability, motivation and inspiration. 

Let’s do it again!

After the success of that challenge, I’ve decided to run another, this February. 

I’ve tweaked a few things, this time around. For those who like a bit of structure, the following are some specific prompts. There are 28 so you could very well choose one for each day of the month: Continue reading “#justformechallenge: how to enjoy 28 days of me-time this February”

Me-time: 9 tips to enjoy more of it this year

Me-time can seem so elusive. 

We are often last on our own lists but, this is the year it’s going to change, right?

I’m writing this after the third Afri-love Connection Club vision-boarding and goal-setting workshop I’ve run this year. Pretty much every single one of the 32 women who participated had space dedicated to how they were going to take better care of themselves and make more me-time this year. And I believed them!

But we know how it goes…

So how can we ensure that good intentions don’t fall away to let old habits and the busyness of life take over?

Continue reading “Me-time: 9 tips to enjoy more of it this year”

An invitation to the road less travelled

I am always awed by how things come together and at the appropriate time.

My decision to talk about the road less travelled in August was rather arbitrary. It’s my birthday month and choosing the more uncharted and less understood path, is something that has coloured many of my years thus far. So I thought I’d celebrate that somehow.

Continue reading “An invitation to the road less travelled”

#justformechallenge: how a month of daily self-care went down

Thursday marked the end of the #justformechallenge: a month of consciously creating me-time, every single day.

My #justformechallenge results

I succeeded in doing something, just for myself, for 30 out of the 31 days. On many occasions I felt like giving up – wanting to just skip the day. Often this happened when it got late, I was tired and doing something felt like a big effort. However, I was always glad to have insisted on getting off my behind (or staying on it, if the activity required it 🙂 and giving myself that time, if even for just 10 minutes. Continue reading “#justformechallenge: how a month of daily self-care went down”

#justformechallenge: let’s make August all about me-time

A few months ago, I asked a question about me-time in the Afri-love Women group: “what do you do just for fun?” It seemed like it should be such an easy question but, I myself struggled to answer it.
See, there are things I love to do that I do out of necessity, such as yoga and cooking. Then there are things that I love but, don’t actively do. For various reasons (aka excuses!). For example, I love being by the ocean and swimming in it but, that’s not something I can currently incorporate into my weekly or even monthly schedule (or can I? …). I love to dance but… ok, I don’t really have a good excuse for this one. After all, as a teenager I would do this in my room all the time, with special coloured lightbulbs to set the scene and everything!

I appreciate that there are some mental blocks at play. Continue reading “#justformechallenge: let’s make August all about me-time”

My natural pregnancy journey + birth affirmation cards

I first started to write this natural pregnancy journey post at 20 weeks. I was loving all the education I was receiving about natural pregnancy and birth. Now, at 31 weeks, I’m even more grateful for what I learned and the decisions I’ve made so far – my pregnancy has been such a pleasurable experience!

The natural path

I appreciate that the information about approaches to a more natural pregnancy and birth aren’t the standard and you often have to actively seek it out. Luckily I love to learn and I’m happy to go out of my way in pursuit of the most natural options possible when it comes to many things. From what I put on my skin, to what I put in my mouth. From how I treat myself when I’m unwell, to what I use to clean my home.

Natural pregnancy resources

When I became pregnant, I had a new and most precious project on my hands and I dived in with enthusiasm. For those of you with less time, or who may not know where to begin, I thought I’d share some books, services and other resources that have been of great value to me. I’ve also designed some illustrated birth affirmation cards for you to download (details below).

Continue reading “My natural pregnancy journey + birth affirmation cards”

Real talk for creative African women – join in!

Last week I launched the Afri-love Women Facebook group, for creative African women balancing self-care and professional excellence.

When I started this blog, almost 7 years ago, I always had a vision that it would be more than just a one-way conversation. That it would lead to activities and initiatives in the real world. In late 2015, I held the Afri-love Sundown Sessions – 3 intimate evenings of live music, co-hosted with musician Sirena Riley. Late last year, I co-hosted a Nairobi brunch for women creatives, together with the Nzinga Effect. Both events were successful in many ways and, I received such great feedback from attendees. I knew that I wanted to create more opportunities for interaction with like-minded people – in real life and virtually as well – and the Afri-love Women Facebook group is step one.

Continue reading “Real talk for creative African women – join in!”

Expand in creativity, business and life – September round-up

Regular readers may have noticed my blogging hiatus, as I reconfigured my life and business. However, Afri-love subscribers have been less neglected, thanks to A week of Afri-love: a weekly email I started a few months ago, where I share 5 Afri-love-worthy things. Each edition includes:

  1. Buy African: featuring exquisite African-made/made in Africa goods
  2. Something to look at, read, watch or listen to
  3. Some visual place to get lost in (usually amazing Instagram feeds that will fuel your imagination and take you places!)
  4. Events across the world
  5. Last but not least, an “expand” item – something that I’ve come across that has been useful for me in my quest for better health, creative excellence and success in my business

For those who don’t receive these nuggets weekly, I thought I’d do a round-up of “expand” posts, every 2 months, selecting just 5 of my favourite items.

Here’s edition number one! Continue reading “Expand in creativity, business and life – September round-up”

Black Female Yogis

Black Female Yogis Yoga Racheal Wasia Wasia Koya Webb

 

I first took a yoga class when I was in university, around 15 years ago, and I’ve been in love ever since.

In the many different classes that I’ve taken over the years, I am often the only black person, let alone black woman, in the room. Fair enough I live in England but, London is a diverse and multi-cultural place.

I have come across several people, with complexions similar to mine, who have misconceptions about yoga that prevent them from trying it. Some feel that it’s in conflict with their religious beliefs and some feel that it’s something that only ‘privileged people’ do. I think it’s a shame for barriers such as these to prevent the discovery of the amazing benefits of yoga – physical, emotional and yes, spiritual too.

I’m always excited to discover black female yogis who are breaking the mould (and hopefully some of those barriers). Here are 3 women I’ve come across, via beloved Instagram (which, over the past year, has really encouraged me to concentrate on truly creating the life that I desire). They have inspired me to get serious about something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: develop a consistent, regular practice.

They are, from top: Yoga Racheal (@yogaracheal) is a yoga instructor who describes herself as a ‘lover – encourager – giver – believer’; Wasia Wasia (@wasiawasia) is an artist, musician and yogi; Koya Webb (@koyawebb) is an international holistic health coach and yoga instructor; Racheal and Koya are run Acroyoga workshops together, in Los Angeles, CA (There’s one tonight!).

 

Resources + inspiration

For those of you interested in practising yoga, here are some other useful resources and inspirational people:

Continue reading “Black Female Yogis”