Surviving a broken heart

“It felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
– Jennifer Lopez on Ben Affleck, in her memoir True Love

“In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids’ sake. “I’m not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don’t think I doubted we’d end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that’s what they have.”
– Elin Nordegren on Tiger Woods, People

“I think when I came into marriage—especially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself… You’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family. I desperately want it to work; I desperately love my husband and I wanted to share everything together. And I thought that we were a very good team.”
– Princess Diana on Prince Charles, 1995 Panorama Interview

“[Divorce is] very humiliating and very isolating… But, by the way, if it’s not painful, maybe it wasn’t the right decision to marry to begin with. Those are the appropriate emotions. When people get in your face and say, ‘This will pass,’ you think, Are they crazy? I’m never gonna feel any better than I feel right this minute. And nothing’s ever gonna make sense again. And I still have moments where I’m like, ‘Nothing’s ever gonna make sense again.'”

— Reese Witherspoon on Ryan Phillippe, ELLE

Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be hurt? I suppose it has something to do with knowing you have nothing to lose by loving and everything to lose if you don’t. I believe that. I also believe that each experience, each encounter no matter how insignificant it might seem, bears something transformative. And ever expanding. Who I am, and all those amazingly scary, difficult-to-digest events that have brought me here. To this particular moment, to this particular place.

Here are tips to help you recover from break ups


Accept that you will have to go through some pain. It is an unavoidable truth that if you loved enough to be heartbroken, you have to experience some suffering.

When you lose something that mattered to you, it is natural and important to feel sad about it: that feeling is an essential part of the healing process.

The problem with broken-hearted people is that they seem to be reliving their misery over and over again. If you cannot seem to break the cycle of painful memories, the chances are that you are locked into repeating dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Your pain has become a mental habit. This habit can, and must, be broken.

This is not to belittle the strength of your feelings or the importance of the habits you’ve built up during your relationship. Without habit, none of us would function. But there comes a time when the pain becomes unhealthy.

Don’t Fight Your Feelings A break-up is often accompanied by a wide variety of powerful and negative feelings including sadness, anger, confusion, resentment, jealousy, fear and regret, to mention a few. If you try to ignore or suppress these feelings, you will likely only prolong the normal grieving process, and sometimes get totally stuck in it. Healthy coping means both identifying these feelings and allowing ourselves to experience these feelings. As hard as it is, you cannot avoid the pain of loss, but realize that by experiencing these feelings, they will decrease over time and you will speed up the grieving process. The stages of grieving frequently include: shock/denial, bargaining, anger, depression and eventually acceptance.

Keep busy. If you wake up early take a walk, go out to breakfast or do something around the house. Try a little “retail therapy” (go shopping) or enjoy the decadence of going to a movie in the middle of the day. Many businesses allow their staff to take “mental health days” if needed. If you can’t sleep do the crossword puzzle, read or watch TV. Don’t sit in your room and ruminate, you have to free your mind so your heart can heal.

Don’t try to mask your pain by trying to find a replacement. We all know the term “rebound relationship” these happen when we (unconsciously) use another person to fill the gap that’s been created by the ending of a relationship. These transitional connections can feel healing in the short term, but if you don’t process your pain appropriately you will not be able to be in a fully committed partnership.

 Give yourself permission.

It is okay to be smile again. It’s okay to find something funny and have your curiosity evoked. It’s perfectly fine to dwell on other matters besides your old love. It’s acceptable to feel those first flutterings for someone else. It’s okay to have your heart beat for something, someone else again.

I like to think that it really takes very little to survive after our heart’s been very broken — some gumption, a little bit of hope, the daring to dream again… and patience. Know this now: The time has come to stop wasting your heart and time in anger and obsession – re-living the pain of relationships past. Be thankful for the lessons and life experiences this relationship has taught you, and be hopeful for the future. Know that there are better things to come and welcome every new experience that comes your way with open arms—they may just exceed your expectations.


It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go and Hoping On

We are driving on Transcanada Hwy just past Swift Current, Saskatchewan heading home to Winnipeg. Every driver is supposed to drive at 110 km per hour on this highway. I am  driving at 114 km/hr, just 4 km above the limit, not too bad. In front of us to the right is a line of truck, my assumption is that they too are driving at 114 km/hr because it is taking too long to pass them. We stay on the left side.  As I attempt to pass the 6 trucks on the right lane, I see a sports car veer just behind us. They must be driving at around 130 km/hr. As we pass the first truck, I see car behind tailgating us, kind of putting pressure on me to speed up, coming just a few meters close to us. We accelerate to 119, he comes even closer.

I can not go faster than that to impress him…but he keeps on coming even closer. I choose not to yield to the pressure. These guy behind me is in a black BMW. I see him checking his phone, then making angry faces at me and getting closer and closer. I am feel threatened by his tailgating,  I know that his car is too closer to us than it is safe, a bad accident could easily happen should I have a sudden need for to slow or stop for unforeseen circumstances ahead of me. I speed up alittle bit, thinking it might calm him down but it did not. We continue like that for the next ten kilometers until we finally passed all the trucks.  Finally he zooms past us at a speed of lightening.

“I hope he does not get a ticket.”

I don’t how others feel when I was telling you this story; I have to be honest with you that when I first saw the car behind me I started to feel under pressure to speed past the trucks to give him a right of way. But as I thought through it I decided not to speed any faster, I knew that speeding was only one part of the solution of yielding to the driver’s behavior, I also knew I could show some anger or probably swear at him  but that is not me….I wanted to handle the situation differently, I wanted to stay calm and allow him to pass as soon as I had a chance. I had to choose to keep my testosterone in check and I knew that deep in me I had that power of saying no to the tempting spirit.

We all experience pressures in our lives. We feel pressured to perform, to conform and please others. We experience financial pressures, social pressures, career and professional pressures – pressures in relationships, (marriages, partnerships, parenting, etc.). We want to pin the blame for pressure. In this situations we feel that we need to take our power back from these external forces. And, this accurate – when we are experiencing pressure, it’s a signal that we have an opportunity to call our energy and power back to ourselves. We just get confused on how to do that.

The dictionary defines pressure as stress, a constant state of worry and urgency. It’s a force that pushes or urges, (emphasis on force). To pressure is to compel, or make someone do something. Some pressures are healthy, and even necessary. The adrenaline rush we feel at the start of a new project, or when we have a deadline approaching, helps motivate us. But when we try to do too much, all the time, stress becomes the enemy – quite literally. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, raises the body’s metabolic rate in readiness for a ‘fight or flight’ response. It increases heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. It affects background body functions too, like digestion, cell division and even our reproductive processes — putting them on hold until calm returns.

Being on constant alert and able to react to an imminent, life-threatening emergency is great when you need it, but living constantly in that state is detrimental. Stress affects our ability to think clearly and remember things; it has been shown to increase the likelihood of depression and can exacerbate health risks like stroke and heart disease. It also impacts our immune systems, which scientists now fear can impair our ability to fight cancer. Thus, unrealistic worries are over-reactions to a tolerable situation or a prolonged over-reaction to a threatening situation that can not be avoided. But how can you be sure a situation won’t cause trouble? You can’t. How can you be sure you won’t handle the problem any better if you worried about it a lot more? You can’t be. However, we can learn to recognize extreme over-reactions, e.g. being terrified while flying or obsessing for hours about an insoluble problem. But a little worry about crashing while flying is realistic and some thought is necessary to know that you can’t do much about a problem. So, how much time should you devote to a particular problem? There isn’t an exact answer; that’s why some of us let anxiety overwhelm us.

Many a times, we all find ourselves under pressure similar to my tailgate experience, we feel pressure, spoken and unspoken, to do everything and be everything, pressure to provide for your family, to be available to everyone, to meet company targets, to attend every meeting, to keep engaged, to have meaningful and well-maintained relationships. And as we well know, as we grow up we are taught by the people or our environments that we should suck up when we are pressure. We start on a journey that I call survival journey, you start to say, “I just want to get through today.” or, “Just one more party and it’s over.” We start to walk through sad places where we quit to enjoying the season s, the presence, others and starts trying to get through it instead. Beyond stressing about your general workload, if you dwell on the related risks and get wrapped up in thoughts of what could go wrong, you generate patterns of fear that start to seem normal. You get so used to being afraid that you actually start to accept it as a sign that you’re working hard: “Oh, I’ve got to give a big presentation, so I’ve got to be nervous.” That sort of thing.

Over the years I have learnt a thing or two about working under pressure. I have learnt that when one acts or live under intense pressure one start to create survival environments for themselves. I have seen people who live in survival journey making impulsive judgments, angrily rushing to bring closure to whatever matter is at hand. He or she feeling is compelled to get the problem under control immediately, to extinguish the perceived danger lest it destroy him or her. When one lives in survival journey they are robbed of their flexibility, their sense of humor, their ability to deal with the unknown. They forget the big picture and the goals and values they stand for. They lose their “cool” or feeling at peace, they lose their creativity.

I can’t help but think we’re a lot like that when life presses down on us. When the pressure gets too intense, we start looking for ways to bail ourselves out from under the thumb of circumstances that seem too much to handle. And all too often we are tempted to bail in terms of our attitudes, feeling angry, bitter, or even mad at God—or anyone else we can blame our problems on. Or, we are tempted to bail in our actions by refusing to persevere in righteous ways.

Apparently, gaining a sense of mastery or learning one is able to handle problems early in life, e.g. in monkeys who get good mothering and social support when young, seems to protect the adult from serious anxiety. Although fears are generally based on primitive automatic emotional reactions, more intense panic and specific fears occur when we feel particularly vulnerable–open to being seriously hurt. Some of this vulnerability may be genetic tendencies but much is probably learned, often at an early age. How are these dangers, these “Wow, that scares the hell out of me!” reactions, learned? Sometimes, we see the actual results of a real danger–a heart attack, an auto accident, someone going crazy–and we vividly imagine that might happen to us. Examples: Panic attacks often are exacerbated by the scary thoughts that the tightness in my chest and high anxiety means I’m dying from a heart attack, going to faint, going crazy, etc. Such thoughts greatly increase the panic.

Sometimes, we are given specific instructions by others to expect danger, e.g. some social phobics have been told that interacting with others can be disastrous–“they will think you are stupid or weird,” “you can’t trust them,” “you’ll make a fool of yourself,” etc. Sometimes, we have started to think in a certain way (the source may be totally unknown–a TV, movie, book, or just our own fantasy as a child) that implies some situation is dangerous. Examples of this might be: “Oh, what I just said sounded really selfish… dumb… critical… ” which grows into “I’m going to mess up when I talk to them,” “I’m not good at socializing,” “I can’t think of anything to say,” or “I get really uptight and start to sweat when I try to talk to someone.” We can create, in effect, our own dangers, and may be especially prone to do that if we are given certain genes and childhood experiences.

Norman Vincent Peale tells how a young business man asked him to talk with his father, the head of their business. He said. “I’m very worried about Dad. He is so nervous and tense. There are so many pressures and problems in the business and my Dad is giving way under them.” Dr Peale encouraged him to relax and talk over his problem of pressure in the business.  After a time, Dr Peale said to him, “I don’t suppose you ever read the Scriptures do you?”

“Certainly I do” the man replied.  Dr Peale said, “You read them but you don’t practice them.”

“Of course I practice them, I’m a moral man.”

“I wasn’t talking morals and ethics, I was talking about the healing power of God.  Have you ever read the 26th chapter of Isaiah, 3rd verse – ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you’?” Peale then went on to explain that the father had not been keeping his mind on God, he’d let it dwell too much on his problems.  He urged him to repeat the text three times a day to get it fixed in his mind and heart. Faith in God, more than anything else, helps us to keep things in perspective and cuts our pressures down to size

It boils down to whether or not we want comfort or character. You or I may think that life should be a bed of roses, but if that’s your take on life, you’re in for a big surprise—trouble happens! The issue is not if you will face trials, it’s how you will respond to the inevitable pressure that the problems of life bring. It may be that you face pressure at work. In the face of a seemingly insurmountable project, it’s easy to think, “If I just fudge a little bit I could get this job done faster.” Or, when the problems at home won’t go away, we find ourselves wondering, “Maybe I’ll just leave so I won’t have to deal with this anymore.” The sin of pride causes us to respond to problems with thoughts like, “I don’t deserve this.” And soon our attitudes are in the dumper and God’s work is derailed.


Are you feeling stuck in life?

Are you feeling stuck in life? Many people do. Sometimes it feels as if we simply cannot move on with life. As if there was something that keeping us from pursuing our dreams and hopes. AND THERE WE ARE, Stuck! We feel limited and simply do not know what to do. We have no idea how to break free from the limitations that are imposed upon us. What is worse, we do not even know what it is that is imposed on us and who imposes these limitations on us. It’s quite scary to be confronted with an invisible obstacle you cannot seem to tackle. Even though the situation may seem hopeless, there’s much you can do about it. In fact, there are a variety of highly efficient tactics and powerful tricks you can use to free yourself from being stuck in a rut.

To illustrate how painful being stuck can be, I want to draw from the analogy of the movie, the Groundhog Day. If you have not seen the film Groundhog Day, please do so immediately—it is hilariously entertaining, touching, and has thousands of implicit lessons for improving one’s life, community, and the world. Some of you may know I wrote my dissertation on the 1993 romantic fantasy starring Bill Murray, directed by the late Harold Ramis.

Groundhog Day is about an arrogant TV weather man (Bill Murray) who finds himself stuck in a time loop where he keeps repeating the same day over and over. The worse part? He’s the only one who remembers the past day’s events — no one else seems to remember anything! At first he uses this time loop for personal gain. After a while though, he starts to evaluate his life and priorities.

In the movie, the main character, Phil Connors is trapped in a recurring day — a freezing February day in Punxsutawney. The town never changes; the events and the people never change. Only Phil can change.

It is impossible for Phil to have any control over the external world. Every morning he wakes up and it’s the same day again. He is compelled to find how best to survive and prosper, and decide if this is a curse or maybe a blessing. This is a nightmare everyone fears: to be trapped in a repeat mode forever.  Boredom crushes creativity and saps motivation at work and at home. The good news, there is an antidote to boredom.  It is about tapping into the power of purpose.  The fun part is that there are 5 lessons to be learned from the movie.

So what you can you and I do to get unstuck? As we have already established, you won’t be able to break free by digging deeper. What is necessary is to find another approach that helps us to address the underlying issue.

Here a some lessons for us

Don’t give up.

Again, Groundhog Day as life metaphor: Most of us have at some point been trapped in a situation where no matter what we did, we couldn’t extricate ourselves from some endless cycle of lameness. In the film, Phil’s attempts to bypass the situation altogether by offing himself don’t pan out; they don’t solve anything. The lesson is clear: Giving up doesn’t solve the problem.

Look at the big picture

This is about meeting yourself where you are. What are the current issues? Where do you want to be? And what is the in between? Remember, “The way out, is through.”

Take the wheel. 

Stop being a passenger in your own life. Take responsibility for your well-being and break the cycle of blame. Where you are today is solely the result of your choices and actions. Where you will be tomorrow is a result of things you do or don’t do today. Your circumstances and your results are your responsibility. Yes, many external factors are beyond your control, but you can change how you feel about them.

Do your best, live in the moment. 

Your best may be different at different times, and at different tasks and in different situations, but it begins with being in the presence, being in the moment you will always know when you are doing it. “Presence” is not about attracting attention to oneself, as some seem to think, but about being present and PAYING attention.

Express, Don’t Repress

As you work your way through your rut, don’t suppress your emotions. Instead, experience them fully. Going back to our example of a job loss, perhaps you’re very sad that you lost your job. Maybe you loved that job and wanted to stay with the company for the rest of your working career. Rather than be depressed for weeks or even months, express the emotion you’re feeling. If you feel you need to cry or yell out in rage, then do so. After you’ve let the emotion out, let it be. Don’t dwell on it forever. Experience the emotion and then move on. Remember, each event we experience in our life is a learning opportunity. Find the lesson that’s hidden in your current situation so you can move on.

We are All in a Prison of Our Own Making

Everyone is living out their own Groundhog Day as we speak. You’re bumping into the same problems, the same issues, the same challenges in most of the situations you’re in, because, duh, you’re you, and this is your heavy, heavy synthetic bag. You could even argue that this is The Point of why you’re here. 

Help Others In Need

The first time that Phil passes the old homeless man on the street in Punxsutawney, he pats his pockets pretending not to have any money. But over the course of the movie, Phil becomes more and more empathetic to the old man’s tragic situation. Phil buys him meals on numerous occasions, and tries to save the guy’s life when he’s stuck out in the cold. Phil also repeatedly catches a kid who falls out of a tree, helps some women with a flat tire, and performs the Heimlich maneuver on a restaurant goer. As his actions show, helping others doesn’t just only make them feel good — it can make you feel great, too.

Do one thing at a time
Anxiety and overwhelm kick in when there’s a lot going on.

But even when you have a lot to do, it’s impossible to do everything at once. The most effective way to make progress towards any goal is by doing one thing at a time.

Make a list of what’s most important for you to do. Do one thing first. Then, move on to the next. Keep repeating until your day is through. When you get distracted, come back to the one thing you’re focusing on.

Give thanks to whatever or whoever you give thanks to, but acknowledge your own role in your success. 

Live in Beauty

The French believe each day should be lived in beauty. No, that doesn’t give free rein to having a closet, cleaning the garage or basement. I do love a nice pair of shoes. It expresses that life is beautiful…hardships and all. Notice the single flower reaching for the sunshine through the snow, or the dog out for a walk, wagging his tail and carrying a favorite ball. That is beauty. It’s also a moment of perfect clarity.

Master Joyful Skills

If you are bored at work or home, put yourself on the path to master joyful skills.  This can happen regardless of your time, financial resources or the level of teaching talent available in your community.You will see that even if you are working in a rough neighborhood, with a terrible work schedule and a low wage job, you can cultivate a sense of purpose.

In the movie, Bill Murray brushes up on his piano lessons with a local teacher and eventually rocks out to a full house.  He worked with what was available and poured passion and purpose into it.  He mastered a joyful skill.

Being stuck in a rut is no fun, but as I always say ‘nothing last forever’!  Everything has its season, and I strongly believe that when one door closes another opens.  Just as the universe appears to work against us sometimes, it also works for us a lot of the time.  Remember that the universe seeks balance, so things will eventually level out, no matter how bad the outlook may be.  The more positivism you can foster during this time, the better your chances of getting out of that rut feeling better than ever.  You’ll be able to pour that new motivation and energy into your goals, and work that much harder (and focused) on your success. The idea is not to avoid these issues, because sometimes it is not possible, but to be aware of what they mean and know how to turn them into opportunities for new opportunities and personal reinvention .

The wound is the place where the light gets in.



“The wound is the place where the light gets in.”– Rumi, 13th Century poet and philosopher. Walking through the pain – feeling it, being with it, listening to it – can be our guide in getting through it and coming out the other side of it. Rumi may be telling us that walking through the pain we will find those parts of ourselves we never knew, a deep strength, a courage we need in our sorrow, a compassion for others in pain, a compassion for ourselves, a gift of feeling deeply. We may learn more about our own self. Walking through the pain, we will find a depth to life we never knew.

This is very much true. For being brokenhearted can bring you into that realization that you’re indeed is a human being — fragile and vulnerable; an earthen vessel that can crack and shatter, in one blow of the hand of life. And you have no other choice but to endure the pain and mend and heal your broken heart and spirit, until you are ready to face the world again.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”

As you undergo pain and suffering in this life, always remember that nothing in this world is permanent. Your pain is like rain clouds — after it poured it self out, it will vanish and the darkness will be gone. Pain and suffering are like mists. There will come a time that they will evaporate and become part of the wind that guides and assists your frail wings so that you can soar, up into the blue and wide sky during summer and spring.

Being with our pain, letting our wounds be, and not picking at them, will enable us to see them for what they are and heed the lessons they hold for us. This is not a talent, it is a skill anyone can learn, and one we can all practise. Cultivating joy is a practice, and it takes practice. It is possible to find ways to feel joy, even in your darkest moments, and there are various ways in which you can prepare yourself for them.

In other words, never, never, never give in! The brick walls in life are there for a reason. They are not there to keep you out. They are there to give you a chance to show how badly you want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it as badly as you do. They are there to stop the other people.

Let go

Change is never easy – you fight to hold on and you fight to let go. But letting go is always the healthiest path forward. It clears out toxic attachments and thoughts from the past. You’ve got to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you. Again, it takes hard work to let go and refocus your thoughts, but it’s worth every bit of effort you can muster.

Trust God 

God is always close to those who are hurt and in need of healing. It makes no difference to God whether His children are feeling the pain of a physical injury or suffering from an emotional wound. As Psalm 34 says, He is close to those who are suffering from broken hearts. He helps them to heal their bleeding spirits and restore their hearts. He does not leave anyone to suffer their pain alone. Instead, He stays near to help guide those who are hurting so that they can find healing. He restores broken hearts just as surely as He uplifts wounded spirits and straightened crippled limbs while He was on Earth.

Be Courageous 

When your heart is broken, it can be difficult to even consider being courageous, but courage is necessary to complete the healing process. It takes courage to stand up and move forward when your heart has been broken. It takes courage to leave behind your pain and sorrow. It takes courage beyond measure to dare to love again after suffering from heartbreak, but God gives us the strength to do all those things. He stands beside us and helps us move forward so that we can heal our hearts enough to be able to open them to others once more in an echo of God’s perfect love for us.

Healing begins when we examine what’s in pain, wonder how it occurred, and allow it to teach us. 

In fact, sometimes the brokenness is immense and the only grasp, the only power we have over that large and complicated pain looming over us is to bear witness, to tell its story, and to seek out companions and helpers who are willing to agree that yes, there is something breaking or messy in front of us, and we will not leave or even look away until repair has begun.

Look up to the sky

In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion. Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.    Beah is speaking here from his experience growing up in Sierra Leone. Beah’s recollection of his father’s words helps him to keep pushing forward, even though he is lost in the forest without a purpose in life. He is able to hold onto this precept even as he battles depression brought on by his isolation from other human beings. It is this lesson that keeps Beah moving onward even when horrible things happen to him and those around him; he believes that his destiny will still have some good in it so long as he is alive. Conversely, he knows that his life will end when he has run out of good fortune, so he has no fear of pushing forward toward whatever life has in store for him.

His experience though not comparatively the same as mine but I can relate to it.  Growing up in Kenya my mother would tell us to always look to the sky because our source of help comes from there, we believed that Creator lives in the heavens, “God looks down from the sky on us, everyday He brings hope to us for a better day and through Him something good always happens every day,” my mother used to tell us. The sky inspires us in many ways. Besides holding ground for the heavens, the sky suggests optimism, dreaming, peace, strength, and a connection with the atmosphere and the universe at large.

I want to inspire you because most  of us are feeling busy worried about many things such as the current COVID19, financial anxieties, anxiety of depression and other issues happening to the world today, it is easier for us to give up on your life and future. I want to encourage you to look at the Sky, there you will find strength and hope beyond the circumstances; a new way of considering life, a new way of living. This steadfast approach that highlights fortitude is often misconstrued as petulance however, the Sky knows, like the old wise men in villages, what the gods are whispering. The Sky uses its strength, power and coverage to hold these secrets, my secrets, your secrets in place via light via fragments of information from the healers, over 2000 seasons that bring forth our blessings. 

5929EC5C-0684-42F5-9AA0-5B9014F00723Even in the deepest pit I always believe that things will look up soon. I believe God’s goodness does not cease, it is new every morning. The lyrics of an old chorus say “God is so good; He’s so good to me.” We can all sing this song because He is good to each of us personally, in ways that meet our individual needs. His goodness provides us with benefits. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” We should remember, however, that good things may not always show up as happy experiences. Sometimes good can come disguised as adversity or hardship, but God can use difficulties for good, as we learn in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Even when life seems out of control, you can be sure of this…God has a plan and a purpose for you. Because of God’s love for each one of us, He provided a plan for our salvation – the way that we can become a part of His family and live the life He has promised us.

Embrace change and do your research = Nemawashi

70543C47-98F8-4542-91F1-E67B830D3D02You are in the business of change. In fact, we are all in the business of change. We try to get customers to accept our offer. We try to get colleagues to support our cause. We try to get friends to join our Saturday dinner. Making change happen is what most of us do, most of the time.

But change doesn’t come easy. Change takes people from the familiar to the unknown. And perhaps the familiar isn’t that bad. So why take the risk?

Getting people to change takes effort. You can’t make important change happen by email. Instead, you have to pack your bags, walk the halls, talk to people, gather feedback and build support.

I am interested to Japanese way of networking, of building ground up support. In my journey to learn these from the Japanese, I came along the word Nemawashi. Nemawashi is a very important word in Japanese.  It is made up of two words “ne” which means root and “mawashi” which means to wrap around. Or wrapping up the root. A good translation however is “groundwork”, usually associated with a decision or a meeting.  In Japan they can move 15-20 meters tress from one location to another.  They dig down, cut the tap root, bind up the root bowl, get a big crane and put the whole tree on a truck and transplant it to another place.

Nemawashi as an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for a change or – in the Western world we might see it as getting ‘buy-in’. The primary difference is that Nemawashi is done quietly – almost covertly – before the idea or desired future state is formed. The process includes talking to others who are related or interested in your idea and gathering their support, thoughts and feedback before any formal steps are taken.

Nemawashi can be used in various ways but in a commercial sense it can be useful for gathering information about your new industry and identifying ways you might work with and add value to people already in it, or navigate it more effectively once you’re in it.

Nemawashi is about laying the groundwork for change:


    A. Identify the people impacted by the change. Identify the people impacted by the change. Ideally, the people impacted by a certain change are also involved in the actual decision-making, but that’s not necessarily the case.
  B. Once you have broken people’s trust by shutting them out of the decision process, anything you will try to do to diffuse the situation after the fact will be considered suspect.
  C.Spend time listening at the coffee machine and informal settings to really understand concerns. Have you thought of reaching your modern problem solvers through social media? What better way to do Nemawashi than using social media to engage your creative problem solvers?
  D. You can also use ‘Nemawashi’ to lay the foundations of change. If you start slowly, communicating & getting feedback on aspects of the proposed or expected change in phases, you can lower resistance substantially. In fact, if done well, it is possible to get people motivated to change. This is especially relevant when the change may prove to be unpopular, but does require care.
  E.Be flexible to change and new ideas. Building consensus doesn’t mean everyone always agrees. Instead it means listening to all perspectives and then analyzing all of that data to make the best possible decision — even if it isn’t the same idea as you originally had.
 F. Once support has been achieved from the people in authority, call for a formal meeting to make the decision official. If possible full change will happen, but otherwise gradual change will begin.

So in the context of Japanese business, “Nemawashi” in Japanese means an informal process of carefully “cultivating the roots of relationships” amongst co-workers and one’s superiors at the office, by holding one-on-one discussions and small meetings to quietly lay the foundation for some proposed change or project. This is done by talking to the people concerned, listening to their needs or concerns, addressing any issues, gathering support and feedback, all with the aim of getting group “but-in” before the official decision-making meeting.




Death doesn’t have the final word

Koffee with Joe

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? — Psalm 56:3-4 (NIV)

As I walk in my journey of life, I get to ask myself the question whether I am prepared to die and how well I want to face my death. I do not fear dying but I   if I had a   choice for when to die I would choose to have it wait until I over 70. I have a reason for my case: I am the first born from a  large African family and I would like to help them with some of their needs, and I believe that I would like to go back to Kenya to continue with the work of an orphanage that I founded in 1994. I pray daily that…

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Of all negative feelings people can experience, anger is probably the most common everywhere. We live and see a society of millions of angry people, we see it on television, parents experience it with their two year olds, with people shooting innocent people for not reason, with teenagers, I know of many siblings who have […]

via Working with Emotions — Koffee with Joe


Beyond the distance, across the faded stars and enchanting sky. There are rays of sun peaking out to inspire your shine.

Admire, take it in…don’t hold back.D9B8748A-6F94-4B80-880C-7727EA468C1D

Working with Emotions

Of all negative feelings people can experience, anger is probably the most common everywhere. We live and see a society of millions of angry people, we see it on television, parents experience it with their two year olds, with people shooting innocent people for not reason, with teenagers, I know of many siblings who have held anger for years because of an ill treatment done to them by a member of their family. Anger is demostrated in every corner we turn, we see it on our streets through the graffiti drawn on city buildings and businesses, we hear on the radio through the music sang, we see it on riots, on demonstrations and wars in Syria, in places where hurricanes and other natural disasters have hit.
What anger management professionals tell us is that anger has a personal dimension, it can be the fire that burn inside us and when provoked it cab lead to more damage, it is a flicker of fire that can destroy an entire with one strike. We all get angry, about things that are unfair or when things don’t go the way we expect, but here I want to engage us in a discource to talk about that explosive anger that overwhelms every bodily vein.  Where your mind seems unable to focus, where nothing exists except the pressure waiting to explode.  This is the anger that all of have experienced at one time or another.  It’s a hard feeling. I remember having this episodic anger one Sunday afternoon when I was about 14 years old or so, back in Kenya. I was fixing our family bicycle, which was the one mode we had for the extended family of sixteen children, and I needed a screwdriver to complete a task. I asked my younger brother Isaac to get it for me. He refused or was slow to get it for me, as the older brother in my family it is expected that when you send a younger child they should do what you ask them to do without any question. I was very angry with my brother for refusing or delaying to follow my orders, in great anger I took a log and threw it at him. He duck it and ran away. Whenever I get flashbacks of that incident I feel bad for my immaturity at the time, I would have injured or even worse I would have killed my brother just for refusing or delaying to follow my orders. In that moment I was allowing my outburst emotions to control my destiny, to control my thought process for no reason. I have since changed and I now act better in similar situation.


E7BEC07B-E974-4B84-BB60-9F30FC5FF9F7Note that “normal” people often believe they have more control over events than they really have (an exaggerated sense of mastery to quell our fears?). Many experiments with animals deprived of control have immediately produced agitation and intense tension. Also, psychological experiments studying the much later impact of early experiences, like animals allowed to control their food and water supply vs. animals having plenty to eat and drink but no control, have demonstrated marked and complex influences on the adult animal’s behavior (less emotionality, fewer fears, less stress hormones, different brain organization, more adventurous exploratory behavior). An interesting and surprising contrast is that early physical trauma did not produce as much adult emotionality in animals (there is some reason to doubt that this holes true in humans). Apparently, gaining a sense of mastery or learning one is able to handle problems early in life, e.g. in monkeys who get good mothering and social support when young, seems to protect the adult from serious anxiety.

When Things Fall Apart

49DD319A-D2EF-4D00-ADFE-DEC6D6F1E5B2: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times. Just a few pages into the book, Pema Chödrön had me hooked with the following:

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

When I read these words, I felt at peace because I have gone through a lot lately, with lots of my house appliances breaking down. At the beginning when my sump pump flooded the basement I was angry but I cleaned it without much fuss, but it was when sewer back up, when the furnace broke and the water heater tank shut down that my inner peace got tested.All this happened in a span of 2 months. It cost us lots and we complained a lot.  But one evening when all inside was screaming I felt peace beckoning me as I looked through the window when a storm was pushing an evergreen tree but the tree kept on pushing back. I knew that I had to do the same. I knew that I could find my way back if all I see in the chaos is the negatives. I had to let it fall apart in order to regain my place. 


Sometimes these little glimmering moments of balance and joy are enough to convince us that we have the ability and wherewithal to stay in the phases of life in which things only come together and then remain perfectly balanced. We begin to grasp desperately at whatever has brought us joy while simultaneously worrying about what will happen when it’s gone. And just like that, these shiny spaces where things come together are lost.I am stronger now because I allow for things to fall apart, I feel more blessed and hopeful.

Living under constant pressure

Being on constant alert and able to react to an imminent, life-threatening emergency is great when you need it, but living constantly in that state is detrimental. Stress affects our ability to think clearly and remember things; it has been shown to increase the likelihood of depression and can exacerbate health risks like stroke and heart disease. It also impacts our immune systems, which scientists now fear can impair our ability to fight cancer.68EFEA55-9DD5-44E1-BE15-E62551A253EE

Finding your purpose

FC25F3A2-DADE-4DAF-9809-471186F98E48Ikigai is what gets you up every morning and keeps you going.
Gai is the key to finding your purpose, or value in life. The best way to really encapsulate the overarching ideology of ikigai is by looking at the ikigai Venn diagram which displays the overlapping four main qualities:
Having a hobby, raising a family, or being able to work and make steps towards diving deep into that passion project you’ve always fantasized about, are all Ikigai.

Ikigai lies in the convergence of four primary elements:
• What you love (your passion)
• What the world needs (your mission)
• What you are good at (your vocation)
• What you can get paid for (your profession)
What is the one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your Ikigai? Find it and pursue it with all you have, anything less is not worth your limited time on planet earth!

Do your best, live in the moment.


Your best may be different at different times, and at different tasks and in different situations, but it begins with being in the presence, being in the moment you will always know when you are doing it. “Presence” is not about attracting attention to oneself, as some may treat to think, but about being present and PAYING attention.

Remember that every day you live it’s a gift from the Creator of the Universe saying to you one more time to go and make a difference, to touch a heart, to encourage a mind, to inspire a soul…do your very best with what you have.