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Maya Angelou – let’s celebrate interconnectness

This afternoon, I heard the news that Maya Angelou has died. Although I did not know her personally, it was sad to hear this news. I loved that she was also a fellow artist: being an author and poet. I remembered watching some of her interviews, which were with Oprah Winfrey. She lived an interesting life, which in some parts people may have been described as tragic. I admired how she seemed to have lived, experienced, observed and always took some positive insight that she would share. Some of these later became inspirational quotes that people share via online posters.

 

Upon hearing the news of Maya Angelou’s passing, I started to read some obituaries on her. This was interesting as a few months prior, I was looking at her profile online. I think I read an article about her involvement in Civil Rights, and felt compelled to do some background reading, which also included learning about her time spent in Ghana too. I then went to my pinterest account to look up some of her quotes, I came across the following which stood out:

maya angelou

“We are alike”

What was poignant about these words is how she expresses that all of us go through our different challenges; and how we are not alone – we are alike. This is so true! I have an interest in mindset and love. I started writing a book on love that got put on pause. This was due partly at the time to realising that I needed to understand love more. On my journey into exploration, a theme that kept popping up was  ‘separation’; how it does not exist with love. People may feel separated or divided due to sex, faith, gender, religion, race, money, social background and many more.

[Tweet “Separation does not exist in love #SophiaWorldWisdom”]

So often, people feel disconnected, lost, or alone; and this could be because they see themselves as being in it, on their own. They may have experienced some pain or trauma at some time. But pain is something that is natural, like the “bee” sting.  Hopefully if we are not seriously allergic then we will recover. If we did not know how to treat the sting, there will be a person who knows how to deal with it. They may even have experienced a similar sting.

[Tweet “Pain is like a bee sting, that is a natural process of life #SophiaWorld”]

“Please reach out and smile”

We are not alone. There will always be someone there who will listen with an open heart. It may be someone who you know that you can email, or pick the phone up and call. It can be a person online who at first may appear to be a stranger.

I like to close with the following Maya Angelou quote:

 

“Open your eyes to the beauty around you,

Open your mind to the wonders of life,

Open your heart to those who love you,

And always be true to yourself”

 

May you rest in peace Maya Angelou <3

 

 

 

 

Do you want to be in my gang?

From the beginning of human kind, once there was a collection of people there would be a tribe. The tribe will normally share certain characteristics, sometimes based on where they were from geographically. Then as time went on there were more definers, some which were man-made for example borders and countries. The world has evolved to include: organisation, professional body, team, FaceBook group; Google+ community and Meetup. Question: have you ever been part of a gang?

 

The playground

It was at school where I learnt about making friends, the feeling of wanting to fit into a social group. I made friends and saw some pupils become very close and form their own cliques or gangs. Gangs sometimes conjured up negative connotations. This is because sometimes in gangs, they may be up to no good. They may want to be different from others, and want to either exclude or isolate from the rest of the playground children. At the top structure of a gang hierarchy, there will be a leader, who usually makes up rules on who they are and what made them different. You may wonder why use the playground, but it does not really go away. You grow up, and may be working in an office where there is a playground of different characters just like on FaceBook too.

 

Invitation to a tribe

A few years ago, some time after entering the social media sphere with my brand SophiaWorld, I got an email from lady who was connected to someone in my network. She invited me to have a chat with her. A talk was scheduled in and one afternoon, I pulled over in my car and took her call. She then spent a majority of the conversation discussing her group. [I should have realised that she will be pitching to me] Then came the question: so how can I work with you?  I thought that it was a bit strange as it was our first encounter.  Then she went further to question herself aloud –whether or not I would be a good ‘fit’ for her exclusive group. She went on to describe the code to be a member of her group: how she wanted committed members. I also made reference to a person that I knew, who she had also heard about. She responded with how she likes them, but they were definitely not the right ‘fit’ for her group. As she was sharing this story I thought this very individual probably turned her down – and good on them. The conversation was ‘wound’ up with cordial greetings; and I thought this is not a tribe I want to join. Interestingly enough she referred to it as a tribe.  I did not get a call back; and I did not want to be part of her ‘exclusive’ gang.

 

“You have to belong to this religion to be a member”

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be part of a group, sharing an interest. I have my own book club that I created a couple of years ago, after discussing the idea with another friend. I enjoy it. Although I created it – there is democracy – in that each of us has our turn in choosing the book; and we have fun. There are other types of groups that go further, they may say that you have to be this ‘religion’ to be part of this book club. This to me seems very exclusive and unnecessary; as I question that my faith and spirituality, will determine whether I enjoy romantic books? I do not subscribe to this as this form of man-made separation.  This to me is not love and being part of a community.

 

Is the point of community to get together?

Community to me is coming together and sharing ideas, of course there may be some codes that need to be there to protect each other from harm; and to enforce fairness.

Here is a tweetable:

[Tweet “@sophiaworld: The sum of individuality makes a rocking community! #BeHappy”]

Talking about a community going too far. I decided to leave a writing community recently, as I thought that the leader did not appreciate individuality. She was coming up with rules of why I cannot be myself.  I decided to leave and expressed this to her. She later responded with: “Well I will be changing the rules”. So was this the leader losing focus on what a community was, and being on a power high?

 

Here is a tweetable:

 

[Tweet “@sophiaworld “Why not be your awesome self? #BeHappy””]

 

I shared this in my personal FaceBook page; and how I intended to write an article on this. I thought it was important to discuss groups, gangs and how this is an area which sometimes prevents people being true to their own inner heart, as they have the fear of not being accepted. If you think that people are not going to accept you for whom you are, then they do not deserve to be in your space.

 

Question: Why are you a part of a community? Is it to uplift your awesomeness?

 

Bonus question: do you want to be part of my BE YOU community @SophiaWorld?

 

 

 

 

Mr Prince Harming

I first came across Karen Salmansohn, a year ago in my FaceBook feed. I was curious about her tag on her website, “Self Help for People Who Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Doing Self-Help”. The line was catchy, and I liked how she played with the area of self-help, that seemed to become increasingly popular. People were starting to become more self-aware, wanting to understand “why are they here” and “what is there purpose”. As the case when something seems to be on trend, you get different people popping out of the woodwork, giving their two cents!  I also like people who do not sound too “cliche”.

“Oprah Winfrey is a fan”

As I navigated around her website, I also found out that she had been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, which is always a good sign. I paid attention to a book that she wrote on dating, called: Prince Harming Syndrome. I loved two things here: 1) The play with words and 2)  It was about breaking bad relationship patterns. This was different to how to the love acquisition styled books, which shouted how to get the one. As mentioned by Karen, this will not make a lasting happy ever after style relationship.

“You can have your happy ending”

I liked how Karen started the book with giving an account of her old relationship pattern, with the Prince Harming type, to where she is today with her husband and son Ari. From reading the book, I learnt where she got the inspiration for naming her son.

“It’s an inside job”

There are three types of categories of relationships described in the book. Two out of the three, you do not want to fall into if you really want to have a sustaining relationship. In the book, Karen looks not only at the outward view of looking for love but also about your internal workings. So often, people are going looking for things when they do not truly know the person inside. Like with the philosophy of letting things in: sometimes you need to let go of the negative baggage, which is not really serving your purpose. This can mean past relationships, and even the stories that you may have learnt from your parents. So it is therefore an inside story.

Be LOVING

Be kind. Being kind is about loving you, as well as being loving to others. In a relationship as Karen states, you need to be a good listener and show appreciation. Often when we think we have something, we may start to take it for granted. People want to feel special.

“Fools Rush In”

Shakespeare, who has to be one of my all time favourite writers, once said that if you act in haste, then you will repent in leisure. Too often in the dating game, people like to jump in and forget to ask those questions that are important to them. And you can see this when you read articles where people complain about being in a relationship, where their partner does not want to commit. As Karen suggests, the early stages of a relationship is getting to know the person. Find out what their views are on commitment, what is important to them, and I do not want to ruin the surprise for you so read the book to find out the rest!

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