23 Jul

Emotions and getting things done 

I will no longer rely on my emotions to lead me.

When a great idea or inspiration shows up, it comes with sufficient emotions to get you started. You must ride on the wave of that decision to start, but not rely on it to carry you all the way.

I received the buzz word, ‘excellence’, and felt this irresistible pull to address all that isn’t excellent in my life and business. I started with a pen and notepad and went round the shop making note of the curtains, signage, decor and all that I wasn’t proud of. I did the same in my home and I’m currently working on me, my habits and proclivities.

The practice of writing a list was liberating on so many levels. I ordered fabric for new curtains and booked in a fitter. I spruced up the shop with new decor while providing more choices for my customers to purchase and bought an outdoor plant for the shop- going with the flow. At home I booked in a handyman, made an appointment with a highly recommended oven cleaner and left a voice message for the garden. The exhilaration spilled into other areas of my life and for the first time in a while, I held the reins of my life and knew I could steer it whichever direction I pleased.

The handyman showed up in my absence and despite schooling my guys and leaving the list on the door of the refrigerator, he left unsure about what needed to be done. The text he sent me said something about my partner not knowing what he was to do. In crossing notes with the said ‘partner,’ it was the handyman that couldn’t do half the things in the list. The gardener did not return my phone call and the reins I had held with confidence days earlier started to feel rather limp in my hands. The oven cleaner did come through like a shining star and I’ll leave his details below should you want a brand new oven, guaranteed.

Three weeks later and I was yet to source another handyman or book a gardener. Not because there are none but because the wave on which the decision was made had been reduced to a ripple too weak to carry me through to the end.

Today, I am exploring ways in which I can keep going, even when I don’t feel like it. One thing I know for sure is that my emotions do not have the responsibility of seeing me through from start to finish, I do. Remember the three states of matter, solid liquid and gas? Emotions are like the gas state of our being. They take up whatever shape the situation happens to be and drift away when the lid is open. Emotions are not reliable.
I have been a student of my own mind for as long as I can remember and it never fails to amaze me what a powerful machine it is- for good or for bad. The mind can create and believe in dreams and cause them to come to pass. It can also give life to nightmares which can come to pass. For nothing is impossible to him who believes.

A scripture I have been meditating on is ‘Now to whom who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his mighty power that is at work within us’. That power is what I’m now drawing on to get things done. It is more powerful than our emotions. It raised Jesus from the dead and it is ours to use.

I say all that to encourage you to tap deeper into yourself, go past your thoughts, beyond your emotions and reach deep down and draw from the strength you have in Christ. This power works for all things from sorting out unruly gardens to finding a life partner.

I hope this has inspired you, follow me on social media @toksaruoture, as I share snippets of my mind and discover what’s going on in yours.

Have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

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15 Jul

Note to Self: Harnessing the Power of Our Emotions

A TV programme I was literally hooked on in the 90s was ‘The New Adventures of Superman’. This was the series where Superman morphed from Clark Kent to Superman with a flick of his hair and a pair of glasses. I don’t think they meant to make  Lois appear galactically stupid, but that’s what she ended up looking like.

One of my favourite episodes was the one where HG Wells visited Metropolis and enlisted the services of Lois & Clark to avert a would-be catastrophe by taking them on a ride in his time travelling machine. I have always (and still) fantasised about time travel.  While they were away in the future, Lois discovered that Clark was indeed Superman. She wrote the fact down because she knew her memory would be erased once they travelled back to the present and she’d have no memory of their journey.

When they did return, however, Clark stumbled on the piece of paper seconds before Lois saw it and with his speed of light skills, ripped it to shreds and she was none the wiser.

While we are sadly unable to indulge in time-travelling, there is something Lois did that we can do to help us navigate trying times. We sometimes swing from one extreme emotion to another. Like Lois, we know the emotional journey to a place of sadness will end and we’ll be back to our default setting when the storm passes. Similarly, we know that our sojourn into extreme bliss will eventually come to an end and we’d be back to our baseline emotion. Here’s what to do; while in the space of happiness, write down your thoughts, your emotions and  the things you feel certain & happy about. This is a good time to write goals and make plans for the future since your confidence level is at an all-time high, there’ll be no holding back. In those moments, you feel there isn’t anything that you cannot accomplish, do you agree?

What happens though when some event knocks the wind out of you? You may swing to the other extreme, or at the very least get back to ‘reality’, your default setting. You no longer believe, you might even berate yourself for making ‘stupid’ plans. You look at all the obstacles staring at you and suddenly you are not so certain that your plan is doable.

When you make up your mind to make a decision...In reality, all that’s happened is a change in emotions. Your emotions have affected your judgement, first for good and later for bad. What we need to do is harness the positive emotions while we’re in that space, write plans and make decisions to support that plan. Create a blueprint if you like and vow to follow it. The reason it is important to actually write this down is because when you return to reality, your memory and emotions will return to its usual state and it will be hard if not impossible to ride on those waves of confidence again. The quote above was written by Maya Angelou, she absolutely adored her brother and that was one of his favourite word of encouragement to her. I love and agree with it because it takes a certain amount of guts to make a decision, and guts are also required to follow through. Often when we decide to do something powerful and important and then procrastinate on following through we lose momentum and it may never get done.

I have a note to self  that I read when I’m discouraged. I wrote it while I had fearless conviction. It starts with, “These feelings of discouragement are not real Toks, they are temporary. Do not make crucial decisions or make any important plans now. Stick to Plan A…”  This little note to self has been a beacon of light that guides my path when I’m blinded by disappointment or anxiety.

Why don’t you write a note to yourself and see if you can harness the power of your emotions?

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