Friday, August 22, 2008
To the Mountain - Part deux
To the Mountain – part 2.
So I went up the mountain again and this time I was paying attention to how to get up the mountain. Someone sent me a note saying they didn’t know how to get up so I decided to share my strategy.
When going up the mountain, you have to do a few things first.
- Be aware of whether or not the atmosphere is conducive. Let me explain – you certainly don’t want to be hiking up a mountain when it is 100 degrees outside, it will be too hot. That being said though you must consider the urgency of your need to climb said mountain. If every thing is going okay on the ground then prepare for your journey and watch for an opportune time. So for example if you want to buy a house, but the interest rates are too high and your money is just a little funny, but you are in a decent place you can rent well then maybe you should keep doing your prework, while you save a little more and then when the sun goes down, or the weather gets cooler then you can climb. However if you need to make a move by say starting a business because opportunity has come knocking and while you know that the sun is hot and everything may not be perfect but there is a once in a lifetime opportunity waiting for you on the top of that mountain, then my friend, start moving. Don’t worry about the sun, just make sure you carry some water.
- Have the right equipment. Put on the right shoes, get some loose comfortable clothing. This is not the time to focus on being cute. Let me translate. So if you want to climb the mountain to buy a house or start a business, then for you this is not the time to focus on being cute. When you are walking up, you will invariably sweat, so you may want to forego makeup unless of course you want your foundation running down your face. Now is the time to go barefaced. The time to delay personal gratification, so that new speedy bag that you have had your eye on, this may not be the time to get it. Or this is not the time to insist on upgrading your shoes from aldos to louboutin. There is a time for everything under the sun and good things are not running away. My dear if you insist on wearing stilettos to the mountain, well, don’t call me if you sprain your ankle.
- Get a soundtrack. I always have my mp3 player with some inspirational music. Yesterday I rocked out to Kirk Franklin and Mary J and before you know it I was at the top. There were moments went I got tired but then that Mary would tell me how I am just fine, fine, fine and I would shout Hooh! And keep on moving. So I believe a soundtrack is crucial to the mountain and to life. Get a soundtrack in your head. Be careful of what you allow in it. There are a few scripture that speak about renewing your mind daily and focusing solely on good things. Consider this, you know how a song gets stuck in your head. So imagine a woman is trying to climb a mountain of trust with her man. Said man hasn’t really given her any reasons to be concerned of his fidelity, its just that she has so much baggage that she finds it difficult to trust. She allows her soundtrack to me, Beyonce’s irreplaceable, rihannas take a bow, etc. Before you know it, oga is out because of some supposed slight. Be careful of what you allow in your head because those things transform your thoughts and your thoughts transform your life.
- The other thing about a soundtrack is that that it drowns out the naysayers and believe me there will be naysayers. Most of the people you will meet on the mountain are people who are making their own journey so they tend to be happy fulfilled folks who will offer you a smile, a word of encouragement even a hand up if you get to an unstable point. This is because they’ve been through and someone helped them to. For me, when I decided to go up the mountain to write my book people started coming out of the woodwork to help. All you wonderful people who have given me free but invaluable publicity, peeps like Bobby Taylor who promotes the book in her sleep, for free sef! My girl. Once you start to climb, there will be people who will help. Believe. Now on this same mountain there will also be a few naysayers. Those folks who have decided to sit down at some point and go no further and have become embittered because everyone and their mama is passing them by. So they sit there and shout out how you can’t make it, how its dangerous, how it’s the stupidest decision you have made. You stumble a little and they are right there saying ehen, shebi I told you. When I put my book out for the public. Someone close to me basically told me, that the book was crap. This person said they didn’t think it would do well. For a minute it threw me, but I turned my soundtrack up and kept moving. Later this same person after seeing it on TV and in mags etc came back and said well that they had taken a second look and it wasn’t so bad. I laughed and I was glad that I didn’t need his affirmation. There will be people who will tell you that if you want to buy a house that you are stupid to take a risk on a neighborhood in transition. There will be those that will say you are crazy for opening a business. My husband is an entrepreneur with big dreams and occasionally people in his life don’t always get it. Sometimes he stumbles, (to be expected, it is after all a mountain) and those people say ehen, who told you to dream big. Me, I won’t lie sometimes fear wants to rise up, but again I turn my soundtrack up and I remind myself and him, that making money is not the hard part, building something that will last past the next contract is and we will continue walking until we get to the top because we will get there and you know he does the same for me – which brings me to the last part.
- Take a partner – A husband, a friend, a mother, a sister, a stranger who has the same goals and visions as you. It is easier when you take a partner. You encourage each other, you support each other on the way. You overcome your fears together, you push through together. You share tissues to wipe off the sweat or the tears. You get to the top and celebrate together. So take a partner or three!
So I hope this helps.
See you at the top, my darlings!
Posted by Naija Babe ::
7:51 AM ::
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
To the Mountain...and beyond.
Today I climbed a mountain.
Near where I live there is a mountain...a 2 mile hike up that can be grueling in places. I have climbed it quite a few times before, it never is easy but it gets easier each time.
The first time I started to climb this piece of imposing rock, I got winded a quarter of the way and decided that it would be detrimental to my life to continue.
The second time I got about halfway and decided to celebrate my wins and save some climbing for next time.
The third time I was determined to reach the top.
There is a part that is so steep they have provided handrails. While climbing that part my heart threatened to jump out of my chest and sit down. I had to call on Jesus more than a few times, startling the oyibo lady next to me, I mention the fact that she was oyibo because African Americans tend to be very used to random shouts of Jesus, in fact had she been black she might have said, "amen sister, amen".
But I digress.
After I got through the steep part. I had to rest. Many people walked by me, an old wiry man with a walking stick, a toddler skipped along with her teddy. A pregnant lady who didn't look it, a heavy set women who did. Two teenage boys with a ?boombox - they apparently just came from the 80's. None of them were breathing as heavily as I.
"Come on sister, you can do it" I looked up to see two black sistah's in their pink and green workout ensembles... I smiled. Well skeewee doggone it I CAN do it! So I continued and huffed and puffed my way to the top and when I finally got there I fell on my knees and thanked God for not letting me die on the way.
I sat there reflecting on how much life is like this mountain.
It is hard work. Maybe there is something you know you need to do. Some dream you want to accomplish but it sits in front of you like an imposing stone. You can't go around it. Got to hike it. You've got to push through the tough parts and you have to pace yourself when it seems easy. Either way you have got to keep moving.
There was a time when my life seemed like it was refusing direction. I would make this plan, it would make its own. My husband and I would plan for such and such on this date and then things would not work out. Some days I would wake up and like many of my sisters and brothers when the day dealt with me, I would say Na wa O, anyway I thank God.
People would ask me, "How far now? What's up with this or that? When are you going to do x,y or z?" I had no answers. At some point I started to get frustrated.
There is a point at the mountain when you can feel trapped if you allow it. To go up, problem, to go down, problem. Some people just sit there and sigh.
Today I know of brilliant people who are sitting there. They can't see their way forward and they can't see where they came from. Forget the rock, they have become one with the rock.
When I look at these women I want to cry with them, I want to shake them, I want to shout Oya! We can't sit here forever, we have got to make a move! The mountain is not going to get any smaller and the path won't get any easier. Oya, ngwa! kunye! Get up!
Wikpedia says Inertia means a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. So the question is which one are you?
My friend tells me she has lost her passion, she doesn't know what to do? My dearest. This is for you. Put one foot in front of the other. I know you don't think you can go the distance but this you can do. I know you don't think you know where you are going but all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. Get in motion. Make a move.
Trust me. I speak from experience. When you don't know what to do, don't lay down in despair. No O! Get up, face the day and deal with the basics, get in motion and before you know it, your life will be spinning on its axis, creating its own gravity, drawing your dreams to you. Filling your life with passion, making room for possibility.
Na so I come reach the top of this mountain and I took in the view and I thanked God for getting me through. I looked down at the path I had come up and I was amazed. I had come that far?
Yes! and all I did was put one foot in front of the other!
Be well, be blessed.
Posted by Naija Babe ::
12:07 PM ::
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