Quote of the week & talk of love

Quote-love

To jump on the Valentine's Day bandwagon somewhat, I chose a quote that talks of love. Then again, ultimately, everything on this blog talks of love. Particularly, self-love. It is with that focus that I share with you this week's quote:

"When we can meet ourselves where we are and treat ourselves with compassion, then we are able to meet others where they are and to engage with the world with compassion.
… We are all capable of great things when we find our own authentic and unique place in the world."

Marianne Elliot, Zen Peace-keeper and change-maker (definitely check her out)

Reflecting in my morning pages earlier, I came up with a new mantra for myself that is quite appropriate here. The context was largely work-related, being that my services are charged according to time spent. People who are not used to thinking of their time in terms of money, sometimes don't appreciate that mine is literally worth money. One related consequence is being shortchanged and another is that it's often challenging to find enough time for myself. So, by heaping and asserting all this value around my time, I can hopefully get across just how valuable it is. Long story short, this is the mantra and I think it applies to several other contexts as well: "By valuing myself, I confirm that I am valuable." 

Indeed, by valuing ourselves, we confirm, assert even, that we are valuable. As our comrades in Tunisia and Egypt have recently shown!

Week in review and protecting time

Last week's plans to make more of a conscious effort to make time for myself were seriously thwarted this week. One result being that I didn't get to post as much as I usually do. I accept that I'm the kind of person who finds it very hard to say no and a lot of it has to do with overestimating my capacity for doing. I've decided on a new strategy as a solution to all of the above: if unsure as to whether to say "yes", I should simply just say "no". It's going to be hard but, it's absolutely necessary if I'm going to be able to continue creating, blogging and devoting time to being healthy and to continued self-discovery.

I'm always interested in exploring different approaches to jump-start my momentum and  and this week I'll be trying out Katie Tallo's Life Cleanse Starter Kit – a one week guide to gathering momentum (check it out here. Bonus: it's free). She quotes The Road Less Travelled author, M. Scott Peck, M.D.: 

"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."

How appropriate! What strategies have you used to protect your time?

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On the lookout

Live-unchained
This week I had the honour of being interviewed by Kathryn Buford, one of the founders of Live Unchained, a collaborative art project for black women across the African Diaspora. Kathryn and her co-founder, Miriam, have great ambitions for creating a rich platform for black female artists to express their diverse talents, identities and perspectives. One that will live online as well as through physical showcases and in print.

Not only is Kathryn such a positive, inspired  and inspiring person but, her questions were so valuable in that they reminded me why I do what I do, and reignited again, my passion for it. I think us human beings can be very forgetful this way so, it's great to give ourselves opportunities to check in with our hearts and remember our dreams and visions.

Support this great initiative by voting for Kathryn and Miriam to win support to develop Live Unchained as a non-profit organization.

I'll let you know when the interview is up and in the meantime check out their blog.

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Last week on the blog

Lola-Faturoti

Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:

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Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).

Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!

Lulu x

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Image above: designs by Lola Faturoti (see post for more details)

 

 

New year, new mission, same big picture

Reflection

"2010 is all about doing and discovering." I am happy to say that this mantra worked better than any resolution I could have fooled myself into making. Vague enough to reduce the possibilities of failure and inspiring enough to pull me out of bed especially on dark, cold winter mornings. I started last year with an optimism and energy that propelled me through the tougher days. I did, a lot, and I learned a hell of a lot about myself, life, business and more.

It was exhausting!

Continue reading “New year, new mission, same big picture”

Week in review

Week-in-review

Inspired-by-Cheikh-Lo

Yda-Walt-art-wir

Ihsani-Culture-wir

Antonio-Ole-wir

Phew! Busy week in life and on the blog. I hope that both life and Afri-love have provided you with a lot of juicy inspiration and food for thought.

Here's a round-up of last week's posts, in case you missed anything:

A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebooktwitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.

Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.

Next week, look out for:

  • Quote of the week
  • Design inspiration from old-school music
  • An interview with a Kenyan filmmaker whose got big plans for the industry
  • A little adornment indulgence
  • Celebrating Morocco's Independence Day
  • Reflections
  • TGIF!

Have a fantastic week! Be proud and be inspired.

 :)

Images, starting 2nd from top: art from Cheikh Lo's new album, Jamm; cushion by Yda Walt; fashion by Ihsani Culture; work by Angolan artist António Olé

 

Banking on time (and reclaiming it!)

Reflection

I used to imagine how wonderful the world would be if everybody simply did what they loved without concern for money. The idea was that we would barter our work. Need a house? Get in touch with the guy who loves building houses. Need a new dress? Get in touch with the woman who loves making clothes. And so on. This vision was guided by faith in the diversity of humanity – that there were enough people out there who loved to do all the different things that would need to get done, in order for our societies to function. People who loved to balance accounts, people who loved paperwork, people who loved to clean etc.  

In this vision, the exchange of services would not necessarily be linear. I would not have to do something for you just because you did something for me. After all, you might not need what I have to offer but there would be somebody else out there who did. Again, faith in the diversity of humanity in that, at the end of the day, the supplies would match the demands.

Ideal come true
Imagine my excitement when, a few weeks ago, I heard about timebanking. In brief, people (and organisations, facilities etc.) 'deposit' their time by giving help and support to others. They can then 'withdraw' time when they themselves need something. The beauty is that, the different skills, resources and talents of a community are effectively pooled and the interaction and collective action facilitates and fosters community engagement and all the benefits that come with that. A pioneering UK organisation, Spice, has had great success with the model and it has me thinking about the possibility of transferring some of these ideas to African contexts.

Shiny, glittery, precious time
One amazing thing about timebanking is that, those involved are putting a premium on what I consider to be one of our most valuable resources – time. Our time is all we have and yet we so often squander it as if it exists in constant supply! As if it is so abundant as to be relatively worthless. We spend it doing things that bring us no joy; we spend it doing things that take away our joy and; we spend it being knocked about by the consequences of our mindlessness.

I've been guilty of this myself: always busy, doing a million things, responding to every kind of request, coming in from every direction and generally steering off the course of where I want to go. Exhausted, I've often longed for evenings spent in front of the TV, under a flimsy illusion of that comatose activity equating relaxation. Overextending myself on the one hand and feeling that "there aren't enough hours in the day" and then, on the other hand, wasting those very hours. It's quite insane and it shows: feeling stressed out, feeling imbalanced, feeling unproductive and feeling unsatisfied. 

The time of reckoning
And then there is the moment when it all comes to a head and a force intervenes (the universe, God or whatever you believe in). For some it is in the guise of an illness or injury that forces them to slow down, or stop, and thus gives them the time and space to reflect on the course their lives are taking. For others it is a major project gone wrong, an exceptionally nightmarish client or an investment gone sour. For still others, it's feeling overwhelmed and out of control. It can even be as extreme as seemingly losing everything that you hold dear.

Whatever it is for you, it's likely to be disconcerting, frightening and to be hard to even consider that it is actually an opportunity for good things to happen. That it is the possibility of a turning point towards a more positive experience, rather than merely the dark moment it initially appears to be. That in fact, you are being given the chance to live a more mindful, purposeful, passionate, joyous and enriching life!

I guess many of us miss, distrust or ignore the signs and keep on robbing ourselves of our own precious time. We are lucky however, that the signs are persistent and that they will most likely appear throughout our days. That means endless opportunities to make better decisions and start living the lives we want. If we invest time into imagining what those lives can be, we may already be half way there.

Do what you love
Do what you love. I've always appreciated this advice and in the past year and a half, I've seen, firsthand, the results in action! It's not without its challenges – it definitely means some readjustments to the life you may have been accustomed to, e.g. financial expectations, the security of being employed, conventional ways of working etc. However, and I've probably already bored many with this assertion, the rewards more than make up for any teething period trials. And I say this while not yet clear of the latter! The freedom and control over your own time give you the space to bring into creation the things you've dreamt of.

While this world is still governed by the exchange of goods and services for money, I observe many more people providing goods and services out of love rather than purely for money. I feel it's a significant step. With organisations such as Spice, who are keeping their eyes on the most rewarding prize – community and essentially, love – I'm hopeful that some version of my original vision is actually possible. Half way there?

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There's a lot of inspiration out there to help you reclaim your time, and your life! Here's some that I've found particularly useful lately: