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That seat is taken

That seat is taken
Have you gone to sit down on a chair and suddenly you hear these words ‘ sorry that seat is taken’ clearly there was no one sitting on it otherwise you wouldn’t have made the attempt at all. Sometimes on the trains you actually sit down, either because you didn’t see the reserve sign or you were hoping the person wasn’t coming at all.  Suddenly before you realise there is somebody standing there with some sort of grin/ smile just looking at you with the words ‘ that seat is taken’.
It might just be me but i have come across that many times in life.

That job that you thought was definitely yours, that promotion that you have been preparing for, sometimes it feels like you were just warming the seat for someone to come and occupy. You are not quite sure what happened, did you miss the reserved sign or were you just keeping watch until the right person appeared? I have some very well meaning people in my life and recently when a seat suddenly wasn’t available anymore, there were all sorts of reaction and advice, someone even said you have to kick off. That sounded very tempting, I wanted to throw a big tantrum but upon reflection chose not to go that way. Firstly because it will not be a pretty sight and secondly because I believe there is a seat somewhere with my name on it reserved just for me.

You see where I come from, I have seen people carry their chairs from home to the school just so they can have an education. I have also seen the ones that have made a seat of the concrete floor, a piece of wood,  a brick, anything that has supported their tired legs in order to better themselves.
Do not worry when some opportunities elude you through no fault of yours. Keep trying, keep asking and if for a short time you have to make do with some uncomfortable tools as a chair, then do it with style. What you mustn’t do though is to become so used to the temporary position of insufficiency that you make it your destination. Don’t choose to sit on the floor when there is a chair available  with your name on it , reserved  just for you, don’t get use to being so disappointed that you stop expecting growth / better opportunities.
I am beginning to learn that we are stronger than we think and it is only in these circumstance that we catch a a glimpse of what is on the inside of us. If all opportunities are removed then me may have to create our own. After all, there are people are sitting in comfy chair but still have a bad back.
If that relationship hasn’t worked, cry, laugh scream , throw , do whatever you need to do to express your disappointment but let it be temporary, in a little bit dry your tears, square your shoulders, lift your head high and ask ‘ is this seat taken?’
For your consideration
Simplygyaps

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Featured

A warm welcome 

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to my blog.

Iam  a  wife, mum of 3 kids, an employee, a fan of Christ inside out kinda girl.

Iam on a journey to explore what Iam made of, hopeful all the work that is happening on the inside will start showing on the outside.

My journey at the moment is like a building that has scaffolding all around it, outsiders really don’t know how it looks like untill all the scaffolding is removed.

Building sites are by nature messy and chaotic but all being equal the results is worth the process.

Come with me if you are on a journey yourself.

simplygyaps

post

Classic to Epic

Classic to Epic

As my daughter enters her teen years, it is only fitting that I reflect on a conversation my youngest boy had with me a few weeks ago.
They had been given a task in children service which involved designing a vehicle of some sort, when they came home my 7 year old was showing me the design for himself and his big brother.
These were the words he used, he said ‘ mummy my design is classic and Kurtis’ is epic ‘ he said this with some sadness and regret so I said to him but classic is very good’. To which he replied that although classic is good, epic is where he rather be. He went on to explain to me that his brother had added a lot of extras to his basic design to turn it into an epic design.

Basic instinct
Recently I was thinking of this conversation and realised how relevant that is to our lives, you see even in our faith, we are encouraged to add on to the basic,( salvation) knowledge, faith etc until we become epic. Whatever that comes naturally to us, whatever your talents or interest are, it is usually presented in the basic or to use my sons word classic form.  That’s what we call the  potential, it is our basic ability, our instinct,  then it is up to us to add on the extras, the skills to become epic.  Although classic is good and needs to be celebrated and used, we should not desire to stay here for ever, we should aim to add and build on theses skills to take it to the Epic level.

Let me paint you another picture, when we are building a house, the foundation is very important, a lot of work goes into, still it will be a surprise if someone were to pack their bags and move into the foundation with no building. Yes they may move into a caravan on the site but never into the open foundation, why? Because it is meant t to be added unto, to be turned into a roofed building at the least. A basic structure we can move in of a necessity, but usually with the view to add on to it in the near future.

Whatever that has been gifted to us, a good singing voice, a writing ability, a leadership potential, an ability to act, parenting, whatever it may be, we have the ability  to take it from Classic  to Epic.

Usually our basic inherent ability is gifted to us,either thorough DNA or just by devine orchestration but to take it to Epic, we need to put in some work. We need to study, we need to submit ourselves to learning. We need to invest time and resources and to remain teachable, adaptable so as to remain relevant . If we are gifted with children whether through biology or by virtue of our work and callings, then here too we have the responsibility to help nature them to discover their classic talents and help them take it to the Epic level. I say cheers to kiron for teaching me this lesson and
Happy  birthday to my daughter.

I celebrate with you too whatever the occasion may be, including those celebrating the life of a loved one that is no longer with us.
For your consideration
Simplygyaps

Centre stage

Centre stage
This weekend I watched a bit of the X- factor and then also there was the match between Stoke and Manchester United ☺️. In both scenarios there were people living their dreams and then others watching them do so.

I am not criticising watching some tv, I do so myself, I remember when the 24 series was on, I was consumed by the characters, my friends and I watched and after discussed it, predicted what was coming and got so caught up in the drama that we forgot that it was someone else living their dream. A writer a producer and some actors somewhere were living the dream and we were helping them to do just that,and that’s ok so long as we also pursue our dreams at some point.
I heard someone say this, that there are three groups of people: one group makes things happen, another group watch things happen and the third group just wonder what just happened?  😀Every time that I watch any talent show or enjoy a good movie, I ask myself this: is there something that I am born to do so well as to take the centre stage? Of course we can be equally effective behind the scenes but when you become the best at your craft, you don’t need the stage to be the centre of admiration.  It is said that champions are not made on a stage, they are simply outdoored, admiration  and the stage will find you even in the ends of the world.
There are people who love being the centre of attention, there are others who shy away from it and still others who find themselves there just by doing what they love to do. This is just a very short reminder that as you watch X factor or whatever you watch religiously, as you watch your favourite team or your favourite band, know that there is someone or a group of people even, waiting somewhere for you to take up your act.  And it needn’t be something spectacular, it just has to have your personality, potential and passion.

IMG-20170909-WA0000

That  business idea is going to give employment, that hidden talent you have is going to inspire a whole generation. As we cheer others on let us also give thought to what our dreams are, so the world can cheer us on.
Centre stage is more than being on a stage or the centre of attention, rather it is about using your talents to serve others. The more you serve the bigger your stage becomes.

for your consideration

simplygyaps

Beautiful mind

The images featured today bring me some warmth, they may not do it for you but you can find your own. The first half reminds me of one of my favourite childhood programmes. called ‘by the fire side’, my friends from Ghana may remember this as well.
This week I spent sometime with my friend and her family, she has 4 lovely kids and one in particular loves order and routines. In fact she gets frustrated if people don’t use the right bin for the right rubbish, we rolled our eyes whenever she complained but it made me ponder on order in our minds.

I remember when my neighbour travelled and allowed his teen son to have a party, of course it went over the scheduled time and out of hand, the noise kept us awake all night and I was just praying for the light of day. Well I drifted off for a few hours and there was the day light which saw him tidying up the neighbourhood.
So I thought that party was noisy and kept me awake but what do you do if the noise is in your head with no ending time?

This week I have had some thoughts on my mind which were so constant, it reminded of that party next door. I also realised that no matter how loud an external disturbance is, we can either walk away or hope for the person causing it to move on. However when it comes to internal disturbances it is not so easy, after all how do you move away from something that moves with you? Still I say it is not so easy but not impossible, there are still choices we need to make when the party going on within our minds becomes a disturbing noise.

I don’t know what will signify day light to you but I found a very solid template in the book of Philippians which for me is a great place to start. It simply states that if you want a beautiful mind then we need to look to see if the image that we focus on is beautiful, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or just simply wow. The challenge however is that, images that keep us awake are usually not any of these beautiful adjectives, how then do we get back to that template? Sometimes we need to work extra hard to find that famous silver lining in that very thick clouds. There are other times too that we need time to process whatever is causing that disturbance in our minds and it might even involve getting help to process it.

This week I have learnt that if we just accept that disturbing thought, and just concentrate on it without bringing any order to it, we will make ourselves ill because where the mind goes the man/woman follows. So for me, a beautiful mind doesn’t necessarily mean I will have no disturbing thought rather it means, I will choose to work through it to bring some order to these thoughts.
After all how many people can have a 24 hour rave everyday without ever getting tired?

That is why I personally don’t appreciate very gruesome abusive depressive videos even if it carries a motivational message. I will rather watch beautiful asset based moving videos even if it is asking for support, because when you can see that something is working, it is easier to join in.

I do not write this naively or arrogantly, I know that due to mental ill health, some folks do need extra support to work through stuff. I also know from my own experience that some of us choose to dwell on some negative words, images, conversations to our own detriment, we choose to keep minor issues that rob us of space to receive some major ideas. This I believe is when we can choose to dwell on whatsoever things that are lovely, pure and of good report.
Things that will make us go ‘wow’ in a very beautiful way.

For your consideration
Simplygyaps

Undefined

I love this girl featured right here: who said brides should wear dresses or high heals for that matter? That femininity is defined by the length of one’s hair? She is my sister’s friend and I have to applaud her for not playing to other peoples’ definition.

I never really liked definition in English class, they sounded so final, so black or white, anytime I was asked to define a word, I was tempted to describe it instead. The thing with definition is there is no margins for errors, you couldn’t just drop  a word or add to it.  I felt that it boxed me in and was too restrictive, still definitions are very necessary for setting boundaries and for order in the language.

I heard a story of a young bride who used to cook the same meal in 2 pans at the same time instead of one, so her husband asked her one day why, her response was ‘I don’t know, my mum used to do that and that’s all I knew growing up, I am just following the defined way of my mum. Still puzzled the husband went to his mother in law and asked why she cooked in 2 small pots instead of one, mother in law said, I don’t even know why, I saw my mother do it all the time, so I just followed suit. Finally🙄 they went to the grandmother to listen to the mystery behind cooking the same meal in 2 separate pots rather than one big pan. Well well, the grandmother couldn’t stop laughing, she said oh dear daughter and granddaughter, the only reason why I did that was because, I couldn’t afford a bigger pan and I had too many mouths to feed, that was the only way I could feed my big family. Of course they all laughed and thought how very silly, all this time they could have cooked in one big pan only if only they had asked, if only they I had opened their minds to some possibilities.  If they hadnt set so tight a defined way to cook.😀

You see I know that story is a bit out there but when we set such strict defined roles and labels, we box ourselves in and stifle our imagination. I have met a lot of people who have been through some of the most horrific experiences, I have met some also who have made quite a few mistakes. There are many things I have done or experienced, some I am proud of , others not so much, but none of these things on their own really define me. I am sure you can identify with that, you may be a parent, an employer or an employee, a daughter, friend, all these things you may be but none of those aspects Can justly define you.

We restrict our selves and our potential by trying to fix so snugly in someone’s definition of us, if you are a fan of the bible which is like the bestseller of all times,  you might know that we are made in Gods image that means we have the ability to create.  My understanding of that is Iam undefined, I can adapt , expand , I can stretch and I can definitely imagine. Don’t try so hard to fit into a defined path that you don’t even believe in, you are way more than your mistakes. You have a fresh page so start filling it with some words you like and words you choose.

I once saw a young girl exhibiting alleged side effects of some medication. Reading in between the line it became apparent she had read the label. After talking to her for a bit she admitted that she was just acting out the possible side effects of the medication. In her naivety she had ignored the little wording ‘possible’. We all laughed but later on I thought how sad that we talk, walk and behave in ways that fit the definition that the statistics have assigned to us.

We at inside out have decided we are more than labels, numbers or statistic, in fact we are changing our mentality, we choose to think bigger and better.
Whatever aspects of you people have experienced, you are more, you have the ability to be more, after all you are not defined by what people say about you. You are only what your maker says you are: well, we say you are flexible, teachable, stretchable and unstoppable.

For your consideration

simplygyaps

 

Passionate Provision

My friend featured today in this post is an actress in Ghana, she is also a talk show host but I believe it hasn’t always been easy to turn her passion into that which provides for her. To stretch her thinking outside the box, to be authentic and true to who she is and what she believes in.
I want to share why she inspires me: when we were in high school we got into trouble many times mostly not our fault😛 But one  of the things that bonded us was our love for reading, our friend Maria was very popular by virtue of her access to books. I believe reading all those fictional stories just opened up our imaginations that went beyond the conventional labour market.

I can remember how happy I was whenever I got hold of a new novel, how I would rather read than eat my tea if it was going to interfere with my reading schedule.
You see, I loved words, the formation of them into sentences to tell a story, I could see words coming to life anytime I read but how was this ever going to lead to providing for me? It almost seemed that that we had to separate passion from provision, to go to work without our heart?
When I found out that my friend was in acting, I felt really proud of her, for not following the crowd, for not just going with what our society would call ‘ a normal job’ but working hard to make passion provide for her as well. I can’t see it being very easy, announcing to one’s very Ghanaian parents in those days,  that after the university education , they were thinking of going into acting. I see many people struggling with this concept of passionate provision, how to turn potential coupled with passion into that which provides.

My friend Ellie told me the other day how much she loves her job, she says she is genuinely happy, well if you know her personality and the things she cares about, her persuasive character and her passion when recounting a good experience, it is a good fit for her current sales job. She looks at situations through her own personality which makes her presentation almost flirtatious, she has found a way to make her passion provide for her as well. she says even though it is her job, she doesn’t need to separate herself, either as a mum or her home rather it is just an extention her life.
Again I was talking to a young man recently who has found a job as a bouncer at a night club and he told  me it is the best job ever, even though the hours are very unfriendly. You see before he got this job, he used to get into trouble all the time  for alleged bullying, disagreement and threat of fight even, what ever it was that was getting him into these situations had to do with his passion for keeping order. He now uses that in a positive manner and he couldn’t be happier.
As per Confucius famous saying, ‘ choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ There is also a verse in the bible that says, our gifts will open doors for us, but sometimes this seems almost impossible, doors seem to be tightly shut in our faces as we pursue that which brings us joy.
We then set off with the intention of taking any job in the interim whilst we wait for what we actually want to do, but as we get into that day to day of life, time passes by and unfortunately most of us never get the chance to go back to explore that passion and the potential associated with it. Time becomes our enemy, relevance eludes us and opportunities seem to pass us by.
Work becomes draining, a chore sometimes when our passion/ potential and gifting are somehow not involved. When we have to completely take on a new persona in order to do the job. When even our values are not in alignment with  the job, when provision completely overshadows passion.🙃

For the people that were bold to pursue what they are passionate about even when it looked like it wasn’t ever going to provide for them, we salute you, with the biggest salute going to my friend Judith Nana Abena Asantewaa Asante. For those of you who are still thinking of doing that, we cheer you on, and for those who have completely forgotten about it, we say it is never too late.

for your consideration

Simplygyaps

A procession

Leading

Look at my cute nephews, they were recently page boys for a couple and by virtue of their role they led the bridal procession. Page boys are normally trusted with wedding bands and walk down the aisle ahead of the ushers. I believe it went alright as I haven’t heard otherwise, but have you ever heard or even witnessed a page boy run off to speak to his friend or even chase someone whilst the ceremony is still in progress? I believe it happens but would it not be very surprising if my young nephews decided to chase someone in the hall and the bride followed them? The page boy although leading the procession is not the main player in the ceremony, they were simply starring in some one’s dream.

The couple would have been in rehearsal, would have surveyed and seen other couples walked that same way before and would therefore been able to tell when someone is taking a detour.
Now that we all agree that the bride will not follow the page boy blindly even if they are as cute as my twin nephews, let us look at what we do when pursuing our dreams .

We get the big idea, the dream, the leading , call it whatever, and like a bridal procession, there are people in the line to play different roles but the bride is usually the main player, well maybe the mother and a few other leading women, depending on the family dynamics. You have the dream, you are the one trusted with that big idea and others may be there to help you pursue it.

Likewise people in and around your life, may be walking in front of you or by you  by virtues of their roles  but that doesn’t  necessarily make them the main dictators in your God given dreams. Like the bridal procession, the flower girl/ page boy physically walk in front of the bride but does not provide the guidance for her big day.  The issue is when you give the page boy too much power, he wouldn’t know what to do with it, your dream is unique to you and the moment you allow the opinion of others to change what is deep in your heart, you may end up out of line in your own bridal procession.

Page boys come in many forms, older siblings, more successful friends, bosses, funders, opinion leaders etc. The thing is by one reason or the other, they seem to be in your line of procession but let me assure you that, you are still the main carrier of that dream, after all our hearts beat differently.
Do not allow narrow minded people with small dreams talk you out of your big ideas. My nephews will have a lot of growing up to do before they can be the main players in their own big day. They operate at the level of 8 yr olds and therefore couldn’t have set the stage for someone else big dream.

It is easy for us to see them when they are young but the problem is when the page boy situation is in big people. Suddenly we begin to give them our whole attention, we begin to rearrange our plans to suit their outlook, we begin to start believing their half truths and their opinion rather than what we truly deeply hope for. We fall out of line in our own wedding procession and become bystanders cheering others on.

I once knew a manager who will get his whole team in an office and tell them that they embarrass him, he will tell them off to the point of crying. He definitely was a page boy and by virtue of that was seemingly leading a group, how ever he wasn’t fit to give instructions for someone else’s dreams. The truth is, page boys/ girls can easily be replaced and that was just what happened to that big page boy manager .😀

Any time we want to get to a destination, we need some directions and we plan our route, we usually start from Where we are.  We need to assess our selves and see if we have given too much power to some people in our lives who are abusing it. We need to know our desired destination and then work out a route or 2 that will get us there. We may need a few rehearsals and study other people that have gone that way, then when we start our own journey we will be so sure of the way we are heading, that we will not be easily side tracked when the page boy/ girl takes a detour. After all how many brides will leave their big day entirely in the hands of the page boy?

For your considerations
Simplygyaps

Mirror mirror

IMG_5083What happens between childhood imaginations to becoming too realistic and wise up to the point of losing our ability to dream? This week I have had the opportunity to pause and reflect on a few things and realised that I have become almost too realistic to dream. My thoughts as I pause long enough to look in the mirror.
At the pool side seeing how free the children are, the ability to lose their inhibition, the frolicking in the sand, the sheer joy of being free ,made me ponder over life in the adult world.
Could we become too wise up to dream? Is my reality now an an enemy to my imagination? Sight the enemy of faith? Have I stopped waiting to exhale? When I have the opportunity to ask big, what would I ask for?
There was a recurring dream I use to have a few years ago, somehow I realised in my business of life, I don’t have this dream anymore, I am too busy surviving in the real world. Oh how I wish I could go into my place of imagination, where I dream of big things happening around me and through me! Where I dream of being a life changer and causing change around me. Where I use my influence to cause people to think beyond their imperfect, encouraging them to create seats out of whatever is available to them.

Taking a break in sunny Spain has almost reminded me of my childhood in Ghana, where I was not afraid to dream and imagine. In the absence of credit cards and loans, I could only imagine and dream with no pressure to physically achieve these things.
I am very grateful for where I live now but sometimes the man made opportunities around us can actually hinder us to tap into our natural abilities. We plan to borrow to get that house rather than imagine and believe for better, we consult the experts rather than using our relationships around us.

Oh how I wish I could dream again, how I wish I could just imagine that beautiful place of possibilities, watching my kids swim, bury each other in the sand, make me wanna lose my sensible self and run wild.
Then I think of the reality of going back to work, doing the school runs, taking care of the home, then I sigh deeply. But maybe it’s not all gloomy in my real world, maybe it doesn’t have to be so all the time and maybe the reason why I am appreciating this time is because of my real world with all it chaos.

Indeed all work and no play makes me grumpy and narrow minded, it robs me of the ability to sit and stare, but can you also imagine if sit and stare is all I ever did?
My reflections on this trip therefore brings me to this resolution, I have to bring my dream world into my real world somehow. After all I don’t need to get on the plane to be able to imagine.

If you are reading this, my advice is to lose your inhibition now and again, and don’t become too grown up so as to stop dreaming.
For your consideration
Simplygyaps