Kanika: Poet. Lover of Words. One who tells the stories of the mundane and inanimate. Bearer of Light, Water, and Sky.
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Well. As always, so much has occurred in my life since my last post.
Yesterday made it officially 6 months that I have been living in The Gambia. Time has its way of moving so slowly here that you just forget about it. You look up and its December, but believe me when I say it still very much feels like July. I have gotten discouraged and regrouped and gotten discouraged and regrouped again. Such is life in The Gambia. I’ve kind of gotten the hang of cooking on a single gas burner in my thatched roof hut. Still, just a few days ago, in an attempt at make some French fries, I nearly started a grease fire and burned down the entire village. Balance. Kanye West is in the hospital. Finally. Something bit me last week that left my ankle with a burning itch for days. This is Africa. Apparently, I have asthma and allergies now. I pop the off-brand Claritin but thankfully, I haven’t needed the inhaler. I’ve dropped nearly 50lbs on the its-hot-as-hell-I-walk-everywhere-and-eat-rice-once-a-day-diet. Oh and did I mention that I'm seeing someone seriously for the first time in 4 years? No? Well I am and…let’s just say strangers have been telling me I’m glowing. He’s amazing. It’s taken some time, but I’m surely attracting my tribe. Loud, vivacious people with big hearts: girls that love to laugh and eat and guys that bark louder than they bite. Then, my uncle transitioned shortly after Thanksgiving Day. I can hear his voice and see his face in clear memory. It continues to be a surreal feeling. I spent last Thanksgiving with him and my aunt. I wanted to see them and one of my sisters before I moved abroad. So, I booked a flight to Chicago and made it happen. Educated white women and black pastors voted for Donald Duck to be their president and in the most epic political move in decades, seven parties merged to support a single candidate, Adama Barrow, to successfully seized the presidency of the Gambia after 22 years of dictatorship.
And here we are.
Y’all know I love writing out my goals. I have a pretty extensive list for 2017 broken down into categories! Awful I know. But seriously. All I want, is to be successful. I don’t leave it up to chance even though I do look at like gambling. I’m putting in the work and I know I’m gonna hit big soon.
More importantly, I am happy. So so happy! It is a feeling I have earned. Self-care is a full-time job. I worked hard to get to the place of acknowledging and properly managing my emotions, honoring my spirit, and making decisions based solely on what I want and need. I am a woman growing in wisdom and Spirit. It feels good and I’m so thankful for those of you who continue to shower me with love and support.
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My niece once confessed that she thought me to be somewhat impulsive. She thought I just decided I wanted to go somewhere so I packed up my stuff and left. Knowing the truth, I thought that to be hilarious! I'm a very spiritual person. Most of my major moves involve intense prayer and meditation. I've learned over the years that most people talk about this process but don't truly engage in it. It sounds good, in theory, to tell someone that you meditated about something but meditation is a work of diligence. Before I moved to Virginia, I prayed and meditated about that move for the entire 2 years I was in graduate school. I actually had two locations in mind. By the close of my final semester I was pretty clear. When I got to Virginia, I began another cycle of prayer. I knew the type of work I wanted to do and the conditions that I wanted to do it. And since 2011, that has always been my process.
Dream. Pray. Prepare. Move.
In ten days, the last two years of my life will rise to an amazing climax. Imagine having your dreams unfold before your eyes. Imagine truly living out your destiny. It's a surreal feeling! I've read numerous blogs. I've talked to people that have done it and those that are doing it and I've concluded that nothing can truly prepare you to travel from Mississippi to The Gambia. As happy as I am, things are not exactly ideal. I have family members that are ill and friends that are enduring painful life changes. How does one find balance? I'm relying heavily on the tools I gained in therapy to maintain my well being. I now know that my journey to better self care was divinely destined. Without therapy, I imagine that I would be completely overwhelmed with the desire to take care of everyone else while trying to prepare for my biggest move yet. Instead, I've completely let go of the need to fix anyone or anything but the few things within my control.
My plan moving forward, is to be mindful and present and to use my creative gifts to positively impact the lives of others. In living out my dreams, I hope to inspire others to make sacrifices, to take risks, to pray, to meditate, and to lend themselves over to God's divine design for their life. To anyone reading, may you be fulfilled by this process of self-love and may you experience a true sense of peace, happiness, and freedom.
I'll be maintaining my site as best I can while abroad.
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I have been working hard the past few months. My aim is to increase the amount of time and energy I put into my health, my spirituality, and my business. This journey is not a paved road. Losing weight is a challenge. Getting in 3-4 workouts a week is my goal. So far I've been successful. I'm trying to end my relationship with the scale but I can't bring myself to do it. I know that the number it displays is not an accurate depiction of my health or the hard work I'm putting in but something about it motivates me. So yeh, me and Tyrone (my scale) are going to keep trying to make it work.
Spirit told me a while ago that I was not disciplined enough. After some reflection on this message I think this applies to several areas of my life. One of the downsides to having the amount of creative energy that I do, is that it's sometimes hard to focus on one thing until completion. Discipline. I need to be more disciplined. So the month of October is dedicated to actually completing projects. I'm debuting a new online course this month so I really need to focus so I can just get it out. I've done most of the work but there's a lot still to be done! I try to aim for balance but something always gets neglected. In a perfect world I'd have a housekeeper and a personal assistant to handle the logistics of organizing my life. It could happen.
I showed my "therapist" ( she's really a clinical social worker) my overwhelming To-Do list and she helped me narrow it down to the three things I mentioned above so that I can have some peace. Being able to have someone understand how my mind works and assist me in moving at a normal pace is invaluable. Y'all just don't understand. Sometimes I feel like I'm going at light speed. My brain is like the night sky on the Fourth of July. Synapses firing on overload with creative ideas, tasks, and a never-ending diatribe of what I need to be doing at any given moment. So, although I sought out professional services for other reasons, I've extremely benefited from help in this area of my life.
My aim is for 2015 to be the most productive year of my life to date. I released my first book on my birthday. My online course came shortly after. Then I buckled down after a heart-to-heart with my mentor Romal and designed my new and improved website. I've traveled to Africa twice, speaking to students and teachers. I'm releasing another online course this month and I've decided to close out the year with my spoken word/poetry album. Plan is to release that on Christmas day. This is nothing compared to what some people are able to produce in a year but it's everything to me.
To all my fellow creatives out there, how do you manage your creativity? Any strategies for working on your ideas through completion? Let me know!
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