“The things you own end up owning you.” Joshua Fields Millburn

I often find myself getting irritated when other people misplace my stuff. Mondays are the worst because my helper comes in on that day and she tends to place stuff in the nearest hidey hole. My boyfriend also pointed out to me that I am so protective of my stuff. Naturally I was very defensive but he was right. At the end of the day it is just stuff. Why do I cling to it so? Why do I let it rule my life so? It takes up so much space mentally, physically and emotionally. Why do I let the things I own, own me? How do I stop it?

Part historic/Part Genetic

If I think back, as a kid I always felt like I never had enough of the “nice” things. I had to wear my sister’s hand-me-downs mostly although I did get new clothes every now and then. It’s hard to develop your style when all that’s available to you is someone else’s style choices and the two of you are like chalk and cheese style wise. 🤦🏽‍♀️. When I was in high school, I tried my hand at sewing my own clothes. I sucked at it so I had to give up. 😂 As a result, once I was working, I could not stop clothes and shoe shopping. I treasured every item. I would be crushed when an item was damaged.

Seems my sisters and I inherited a hording gene from my mum as well. 😜. Thankfully, living is a smaller place has turned out be a blessing in disguise as I have had to get rid of a lot of my stuff when I moved in. There is definitely more that needs to go but at least I have made progress. I have to admit, although it was not easy to part with some of it, I definitely felt lighter emotionally and mentally when I was done. It’s easy to get caught up in believing that you need the stuff that you choose to surround yourself with. In my case, it gave me a sense of control of my life, a sense of comfort and a sense of security. Quite ironic for a self-confessed committment phobe. I actually committed to a lot of unnecessary stuff. 😜

Making the change

Let me start by saying that I have not reached the end goal yet of a minimalist lifestyle but I have definitely started the journey and it is quite a ride. One of things that prompted the start of the journey was the death of my mum. She saved so much and fought us tooth and nail when we wanted to clear out some of the clutter. Packing up the household contents was both a nostalgic journey as well as a hard lesson about the futility of hoarding. We are probably all guilty of holding onto items given to us by family and dear friends and I can understand why, but, if we are honest with ourselves, there is no good reason for keeping stuff “just in case”. As I am writing this, I am actually just looking at the shelves in my wardrobe which are an absolute mess and am having a good chuckle. I clearly still have a very very long way to go. The worst part is getting frustrated when things fall on my toes because the shelves are so stuffed with things that I never use it but never doing anything about it. 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️ Guess what I will be doing tonight…

One of the ways I also prompt myself to declutter is to put a monetary value on the stuff that is just taking up space in my world. I try to think of it as capital that I can invest in my future. I often try and think of purchases in this way as well. What job am I hiring this item for in my life? Will it become a white elephant or is it going to add value emotionally, physically or financially to mine, or my son’s life, or allow me to bring value to someone else’s life? And yes, sometimes life is too short and I buy something because I like it and I want it and because, at the end of the day, life is for the living.😜

Electronic gadgets on a white table top surrounding a quote by Joshua Fields Millburn
Quote by Joshua Fields Millburn. Image from Canva. Created by Grounded African

Lastly, another reason I will continue this journey and live more of a minimalist lifestyle is because I don’t want to be controlled by my goods anymore. It’s not fun. It weighs me down and adds no value to my life in any way. It makes me fall into the trap of being judgmental of myself and others because of what they do and don’t have. How sad is that? The Jones’s are welcome to their stuff. I am no longer about that life. I will not lie to myself, I will always keep a few pieces that are dear to me near and serve no other purpose. I am making space for things that matter like love, experiences, living my purpose and being the best mother I know how to be. I will no longer be owned by my things.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear about your journey of taking back control after a life of consumerism and keeping up with the Jones’s. Let me know in the comments.

Quote of the day: Tuesday

“We must be non-resistant, poised and peaceful, expecting our good to come to pass. We are the receivers, God is the Giver, and He must create His own channels.”

Florence Scovel Shinn

I am currently reading “The Complete Works of Florence Scovel Shinn” and have had so much of what she wrote resonate with me. I have put some of it into practice and have been blowing by the results. I will definitely share my learnings in my next blog post. Watch this space.

Quote by Florence Scovel Shinn. Image by Canva. Created by Grounded African

“You have to be where you are to get to where you need to go” _Amy Poehler

2018 has been a roller coaster ride of note but the good news is that I have survived it and even thrived a bit. Join me in reviewing some of the highlights of 2018 and my intentions for 2019.

I think it is fair to say that I have never had as crazy and unpredictable a year as 2018 has been. Thankfully I have made it through the hard parts and have ended the year on a high. It all really started with a not so great mindset going in to New Year 2018.

In 2014 I started a ritual of bringing in the New Year at home and taking a moment before midnight to be grateful for my blessings and lessons from the outgoing year and setting my intentions and naming my goals/desires for the incoming year. It has worked for me each year. Life kept getting better and better where I wanted it to. Unfortunately I went into 2018 at a party and did not take the time to centre myself and follow my usual routine. I could have but I allowed myself to be distracted. The result…I went into 2018 with my thoughts and emotions all over the place and no clear intentions and goals named. So that is what I manifested this year, a mixed bag of highs and lows. I didn’t even see most of them coming.
I have written a lot about the lows the past few months (on the rare occasions when I did write) so today I am going to focus on the highs.😁

It all started in on a Thursday in February this year when my boss popped up at my desk and asked if I was keen to go to Dubai for a few days for work. Who was I to say no! Visa applications were quickly sorted and plane tickets were booked and before I knew it, boom! I was on a plane to Dubai with him. It was a hectic visit from a business perspective but I also got to experience a taste of Dubai. We did the desert ride and had supper in the desert. I fell in love with Lebanese food and was awed by the sheer size and opulence of the Dubai mall.

A month later I was off to China for a few days. Boy was that a long trip or what! China was a bit of a culture shock but it was a good experience all around. I am still blown away by the amount of food everyone seems to eat and yet they are all so tiny. It was fascinating to put my anthropology student hat on and learn how, in a lot of ways, Chinese culture is similar to African culture but there is also a lot that is different.

My son continued to blow my mind this year. His swimming technique improved dramatically in a short space of time. He stepped up to be the goal keeper in his soccer team when no one else wanted to do it even though it was no longer a position he enjoyed. He blew me away at his karate tournament. We have been working on focusing on what we want rather than fearing what we don’t want and it showed in the way he carried himself and fought and won his fight. I thought my heart was going to burst with pride! He knew he had not been consistent with his school work and as a result he received far fewer awards that he had hoped for. To his credit, he did not dwell on this and instead saw it as motivation for next year. So much so that he even drew the pic below for his wall so that he doesn’t forget. I am also amazed by how he has handled his granny’s passing. Every month at the time she passed, we light a candle and each say a prayer for her and to say thank you for her. This month, although he was on holiday with his dad’s family, he insisted that I video call him so that we could light the candle and say our prayers for granny. He is such an amazing soul. I am truly blessed to call him my son.

#Neverstopclimbing #Groundedafrican
Alex’s 2019 Motivational Poster

Lastly, after all the sadness and stress I have been facing since August, along came shiny happy December 😃. I was promoted at work, I started my gratitude challenge for the month on IG and Facebook and it has left me in a good place mentally for 2019. I have had so many little surprises during the month as well which I believe is as a result of consciously being grateful everyday.

2019 is going to be an awesome year for me and my son. I have declared it my Year of Yes. Everyone who knows me, knows that I normally prefer to hide at home because I can. I have lived my life in fear of so much simply because I believed it was the only way to cope as a single woman and mother in this world. The problem is that I have merely been surviving and it is time to start thriving! It is time to accept that I am worthy of so much more and all I have to do is believe it and receive it. So that is what I will be doing this year. I am so excited! I can’t wait!

I wish you all a safe and Happy New Year! May you manifest your desires in 2019. Thank you for all your support in 2018 and I pray that you will join me on my new journey in 2019! It’s gonna be a quite a ride!

Poem by Warsan Shire

My future is now…

#life #lawofafftraction #focus #positivevibes #futureisnow

I have spent the past few weeks reading books on the law of attraction to get my mind back into a positive space. When I attracted all the good in my life in the last 4 years, I did it from a place of positivity and of faith. This year has been hard. A lot of challenges have cropped up and somewhere along the line I lost my positivity and my faith. You can read more about how got started on this here.  

Before I go any further though, I just want to take a moment to say thank you to those that have shown Grounded African such great support by liking and sharing my page, my posts.  A special thank you to those who approach me in person and message me to let me know how much my posts get you thinking.  Your support and great feedback have kept me going.  Thank you!

Yes, I have also found that and attitude of gratitude goes a long way to building a positive spirit so I have started to be more conscious of all that I have and that I have achieved in my life.  I started a manifestation journal about 3 weeks ago.  On my first page, I simply took the time to list the things that I have achieved.  Now, I am no rich kid and by society’s standards I don’t have “a lot”.  I don’t drive a fancy car and I don’t live in a fancy home. I do however drive a car that I own free and clear.  This more than some have.  I do have a home that I have purchased with my blood, sweat and tears.  I still have that bond to pay off but I finally took the plunge and committed to that huge debt 3 years ago.  Once again, more than most have.  I am independent.  The list is actually quite long and I am very grateful and proud of all that I have and have done.

Next up I just listed what I am grateful for.  It’s one thing to acknowledge what you have done, it’s another to be grateful for it all.  So I listed all that I am grateful for. Once again, that list is long so I won’t bore you with the details.  I don’t know about you but every time I do this exercise, I feel a deep sense of peace because materially, I am blessed and I know that those blessings will be multiplied in the future.

Lastly, I listed all the things that I want to manifest in my life.  Once again it is a long list 😜.  One thing I did notice though.  Sometimes, what I really desire went against what is logically the best thing for me.  So I wrote down the “best thing for me” and tried to make peace with it.  Let me tell you, it’s been three weeks and peace was not to be found anywhere🤦‍♀️.  I decided that I will accept what I truly desire.  The funny thing is that once I accepted what I believed I truly desired, it actually became easier to let it go.  I was only able to let it go though once I released all the “stuck energy” that I had been holding on to. It has been a very weird experience.   

Ok ok so now I guess you are wondering about the “stuck energy”, aren’t you?  It came as a shock to me actually. I was scrolling through Twitter when an affirmation that was recommended for Capricorns for the week peaked my interest.  The affirmation was as follows:

#affirmation #positivevibes #lawofattraction #letgo

I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to happen anytime soon so imagine my shock when, within about 2 hours of starting to say the affirmation, I was balling my eyes out about everything that has ended in my life over the past 4 and a half months. (There has been so much that has come to an end).   All the pain and anger that I didn’t even realise I was holding onto just came flooding out of me.  I cried myself to sleep, I woke at 4 and cried and cried and cried until i left for work that morning.  What a release!  I continue to say the affirmation daily because I can feel that I am not done yet but I have to admit that I am a lot more at peace. The stuff and people whom I had given my power to definitely no longer have it.  😉  I have taken my power back!!!!  Whoop Whoop!😁

On that very positive note, I will be loving and leaving you.  I hope you are enjoying sharing my journey with me as much I enjoy writing about it.   Thank you again for your love and support.  You can also follow me on:

IG: @groundedafrican

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groundedafrican

Twitter: @GroundedAfrican

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