The house is quiet as I sit and stare at the way the bright, yellow light of the sun embraces the slightly swaying leaves of my Uncle’s mango tree. Wherever the light touches brings about a cheeriness that while silent, beautifully compliments the thrill songs of the sparrows as they call to each other.
The bright cheerfulness of the outside with the vivid and shining colours is a stark contrast to my thoughts as I sit at the table and feel a brewing storm awaken within me.
I think I should be a lot happier that we are in December and that the ‘garbage’ year known as 2020 is on its last legs, but I’m not; if anything I’m a bit melancholy over the upcoming ending and as I sit at the dining room table, staring but barely seeing the swaying, long mango leaves, I try to remember if I was like this last year as well.
The year 2019 was not all that kind to me, and I do remember thinking 2020 would be my year. It would be the year where I finally started to harvest some of the desires I’d been nurturing for years now, and in retrospect it was- just not in any of the ways I had been expecting.
2020 was a year that pulled no punches and it made me seriously appreciate the lessons of 2019, while making a concerted effort to appreciate the ones I am being taught all now, which included making my health, both mental and physical my number one priorities; making time and space to connect with those who bring happiness to my life, and to give myself permission to let go of those who bring drama and pain, since I’m no longer into that.
When looking back over 2020, there are loads of harsh emotions to rise up, because so much happened and incredibly didn’t happen within this year.
Just speaking for myself, I had to contend with the abrupt death of my Father due to a major heart-attack, right after, the insanity of Covid-19 that is still ongoing, being broke AF and also choosing to actually embrace my life and make the necessary decisions that felt right and aligned, no matter how unrealistic it seemed.
This year alone, as I sit and reflect made me come to terms with how I was using fear, doubt and disbelief as shields and why I needed better armour.
My Dad’s Abrupt Death
Thinking of that night in early March, I remember he had come home from work – he was a baker and would go around the different neighbourhoods in the evenings to sell his goods, after making them legit, solely by hand. He would come home late, sometimes much later than 10 pm from ‘ on the road’ and watch a few shows on our old computer before admitting defeat and going to his bed to continue sleep.
On that night, I was already fast asleep, when he came home, but I was awoken by the panicked, frantic urgings of my mother at some ungodly time in the dead of night that my Father – a man who I could never get to go see a doctor- was being taken by my brother to the hospital.
Honestly, I was sure I was still dreaming, but then I heard the choked, sharp gasping for breaths and I felt the sheer manic, frantic, fear fuelled energy of the house and I got up. I barely caught a glimpse at the back of his shirt as he went through the door. Me and my mother ‘ Momi’ as I call her, decided we would lock up the house and follow them to the hospital in my car.
None of us ever thought that would be the last time we got to see him alive. My brother called us a lot as he made his way to the hospital giving updates, but mostly just being fucking terrified as everything got progressively worse and worse.
It was a night of panic, chaos and profound lost, all thrown together on the murmurings of an oncoming pandemic, all sharp, abrupt and left us staggering on a new world order.
Covid-19 hadn’t officially hit the island of Barbados yet, but the news coming in from around the world was enough for us all to have a healthy need to keep ourselves distanced and to suspect all surfaces of an impending attack, especially at the hospital and none of us felt safe as we waited for what we didn’t know then would be awful, permanent news.
That was the last night for my Dad on this Earth and by the next morning, around 1 am on Friday the 13th of March, I was driving my mother back from the hospital in a daze, heart utterly minced and in the freezing clutches of dread, guilt and terror.
I have never cried as much as I did that day as my mind struggled to catch up to my new reality. All my emotions it felt were trying to escape my body, no longer feeling safe with the tsunami of grief I was going through.
Eventually, I was able to cry myself to sleep, longer still to talk to people and to be strong again for others. In the months to follow, I figured out how to acclimate and how to make a decision about how I would feel about this new catastrophe in my life. I chose to just believe that we were all going to be ok and that was that.
It was simple, easy and freeing.
Today, months after that unprecedented night, thinking back over the time of his passing, I realize that life is fucking short and it makes me wonder why we place so many limiting conditions on what we get to do, enjoy and even just appreciate. Why we choose to make others and our own lives so miserable, when we could decide on making it amazing instead?
It causes me to realize that I personally do not want to live my life with so many regrets around the things I did, didn’t get to or simply gave up on. I don’t want to live my one life with so many stressful conditions and out of so sharp a fear of not being safe.
All of which I know now is governed by scarcity mindsets.
My Dad worked literally up to his dying day and that was the theme for my whole life: Work before all else.
Under this theme, I learnt the meaning of sacrifice- work had to come before all and I cannot tell you the amount of times I got crushed with disappointment when I got excited about an outing or something I was looking forward to, only for it to be shelved in favour of work and making money.
I learnt how to put my health on the line and brave it out from that paradigm, because my focus was concentrated on finishing the task at hand before all else and even now I have to remind myself that being healthy isn’t an option, it’s a priority and so all else can in fact, wait until I’m healthy, and in the right place to deal with it.
In the end, while I am so grateful for all My Dad did and gave for his family and I can honour his own sacrifices and determination to provide at all costs, I am filled with regret on his behalf.
I feel regret that he was so fully enshrouded by the scarcity and limited mindset that ensured he never got to truly rest and enjoy more of this life.
Regret that we never got to actually take time off and go out as a family, regret that he had to burden as much as he did alone ,and regret that he won’t get to enjoy his grandchildren whom he loved so much as they grow up and see the world through their fresh eyes.
Conversely, I’m also filled with joy that he got to do so many of the things he deemed important. He worked everyday doing something he both loved and had perfected. He proudly walked me down the aisle and I will never forget that special feeling and kinship I experienced on that day with him.
He got to meet and find endless joy from his first – possibly only- grandchildren, being there for so many of their first moments and me and him started to really vibe, sharing our insights on things from online business to navigating relationships.
The outpouring of sorrow, grief and love from his friends also helped me in a lot of ways.
Not only did it reinforce what I’d always known of my father- that he was a great guy with a really big heart but a mean mug, if all the stories of his good deeds are anything to go by, but it was also the fact that me and my family were not going to be the only ones to mourn and celebrate him.
I was not the only one who had those bonds and endless stories about the brash, ridiculous yet intense man who fathered me and that made me super happy. He had touched and made lasting, positive changes in the lives of all who met him and that alone helped me a lot through the grieving process and allowed me to find my own strength again.
His passing forced me to acknowledge that death comes when it comes and there is nothing you can do about it. It is what it is.
This made me really look over how I was living.
Was I taking care of myself, was I enjoying the time I had and allowing myself to see the beauty of this world or was I too wrapped up in the hustle and bustle to remember my one purpose here?
It turned out, it was the latter.
I was terrified of how to proceed and was assaulted with many questions that felt like bone-deep fears as my scarcity mindset unleashed itself, fuelled by the panic of ‘how the fuck do I provide and live now?’
When I realized just how deeply I had lost faith in the world and how consumed I was by panic, convinced the world would now hurl insanity rather than resolutions at me, I worked to calm down and to believe in Faith.
And so far, it has somehow worked!
My mother and I are not homeless, we eat everyday and the lights and internet are still going and we are healthy, living life the best way we can.
More and more I’m realizing that I can trust my faith, I can trust myself and my desires. Slowly I’m allowing myself to enjoy my existence and taking several moments to do just that.
Afterall, I don’t want to die, so then why am I finding it so difficult to just live?
It’s a question that highlighted I did want to live and I wanted the experience to be safe, and fuelled by deep unconditional love and support.
The Covid-19 Insanity
Nothing will ever make me forget that day when it was made official that Barbados now had its first two cases of Covid-19 and the freaking panic that went off in the island like a canon blast of old.
By then it was a few days after my Dad’s passing and there had been enough news coming in for us to know that with these confirmed cases, the country was about to change on a very large scale.
We- my brother, mother and I- went shopping for groceries and to our chagrin, it felt like every single household in Barbados was either on the roads or inside of the supermarket.
It was mayhem.
No one really knew what to do and the panic was all they needed to grab every and anything that in that moment made sense. Quarantine and Lockdown, though not official seemed the only way forward and Bajans when afraid, shop.
We panic buy.
Ramming the supermarkets by force and taking all we can. It’s a ridiculous pattern, but one I’ve grown up with and anticipate as it happens with every single holiday and any sign of a tropical storm or hurricane warning.
Covid-19 hitting this Island was in fact the largest and deepest natural disaster Barbados had experienced since Hurricane Janet in the 1950’s. However, unlike Janet who came barreling in with high speed winds, treacherously pounding rain and caused so much property damage and mayhem, the Coronoa virus, was quiet, easy and much deadlier.
I have never been so up to date with press conferences and gathering of information before in my life and I was a star journalist for over 6 years, working at three different publications, one international. Yet, this pandemic was nothing I had ever experienced. Suddenly it was not something happening in a detached way across the world, no. Now it was here.
Now touching was deadly, sneezing and coughing were tantamount to a death sentence. Suddenly every interaction needed to be carefully monitored and everything was shutting down. Information felt contrasting so the only thing left to do was to wear masks and keep your distance from everyone.
Take no chances as it could easily cause you your life.
Having been working from home for a few years, that particular situation made no difference to me, what really got me were the insidiously long lines to everything and the understanding that ‘social distancing’ really was a strange phenomenon to people, as crowds love to huddle together, as if they are steep shavings attracted to magnets.
The fear was palpable and in many ways exciting, but the fall out was nothing short of awful. My family had at least 2 essential workers and seeing how they had to work, how they had to be so careful and how exhausted they were, made me really take this pandemic much more seriously than before.
The way everything closed down and the reality that it meant over half of the population were on the breadline- but you still needed money to literally eat and pay bills etc-, brought with it another kind of fear.
It catapulted me right back into the mindset of scarcity and I lamented not making enough, and got frustrated that I felt that I never would.
Yet, it also slapped me in the face with the very real and pressing need to take my health super seriously. That lesson I had learnt from my Dad’s passing was being reinforced within me as the days went by.
As the body count rose globally at an unprecedentedly alarming rate, as more people got a positive test for the virus, as more businesses closed down and more people were desperately trying to figure out a way to make whatever ends meet that they could, I took a deep breath and asked myself one question: “What was the point of this and life?”
So many were going stir crazy, so many were crying out from abject fear and genuine worry and so many of us just wanted to stay healthy, not get the virus and live.
It was no longer about wealth or any other constructs we used to diversify ourselves; it was now about being human. Being a healthy human and helping others however you safely could.
The lockdown didn’t faze me, it was just a few normal days for me, but what it did do was highlight how deadly important it was to have your priorities right.
Suddenly no one was scoffing at the idea of mental health from the angle of self care or maintenance. Mental health in those months had less to do with illnesses and more to do with being actually healthy. It was important to be both mentally and physically healthy and to encourage the same for fellow man.
Health in all forms was center stage and the importance of it could no longer be denied!
Covid-19 made us all look so deeply into ourselves that we had no choice but to heal or to admit that we simply did not want to heal our wounds.
For me, it was a time to drop the fucking struggle. In this moment, where it felt at all times one report away from zombies, I got such clarity about myself, faith and desires.
I realized it didn’t matter. The things I wanted more than anything in those months were to feel safe, healthy and loved.
I desired deeply to feel those things intrinsically and for others to as well. It made me look at my life, my thoughts, actions and belief systems differently and decide it was safe to transform them.
It is a lot of work, but I genuinely decided that since the reality was that I could be infected- though I was determined I never would be- then it meant I had something to lose.
I had something to protect, cherish and love. And that something was I. It was me the whole time. During those months of lockdown, I reconnected to myself and it was super important to me to live as happily as I could each day with whatever I had.
The difference that decision made was much more powerful than I could ever have foreseen and it is not a lesson I will soon readily forget.
Each day we were under lockdown I saw how the Earth seemed to inhale again, how everyone was more connected through technology and how much more willing we were to help others and be innovatively creative again.
From singing in the streets to help with morale, to creating Zoom parties and reconnecting all we could, the human race banned together across the Globe.
And the Earth grew.
It flourished and came alive and honestly it felt as if it was a direct message to all who could understand it, that it necessary to pause, to breathe in and slowly out and to allow ourselves to slow down, enjoy the roses, and indulge your senses in where you were.
It was a moment to take stock of your own existence and make firm, actionable decisions. It was a time to renew and bolster your faith in this realm and the Universe/ God/Source Energy and your own power.
So I did.
I dropped the hustle and bustle and like the Earth, I allowed myself time to see my wounds and heal them. I made a decision around my own Faith and followed through with it and honestly each day, I feel better and better.
I am more aware of what is happening with me, I actually check in with myself and I am learning to identify who I am and love me as is. A journey in and of itself which I’ll go into more in upcoming posts on the blog!
Figuring Out Myself
2020 has been the year to teach me the hardest lessons about what I truly hold dear and what I believe about my own life.
In many ways this year was tantamount to setting my house on fire and rushing in to grab what I loved from inside before the blaze destroyed it all.
This year, as the entire Earth stood still, I learnt how much I love my family and friends. I learnt to take my health and self-care as real honest to God priorities, I learnt that I was in fact safe, deeply and unconditionally loved and I also sadly learnt that I was addicted to fear.
I learnt that many of the conditions and limits I had been accumulating like a deranged hoarder were no longer best serving me, rather were getting in my way and depleting my energy.
This year allowed so very much introspection and healing for those who decided to give it a try and during my own reconnecting to self, I realized that I have been using fear-based emotions as a protective shield around my heart.
Pain, suffering, disappointment all things that hurt and can inflict real long-lasting damage upon my heart were all used as a vaccine for my heart by my ego.
If I had already given up, or didn’t believe I could, then when I inevitably failed, it would suck but it wouldn’t crush me. I felt that being hopeful, excited and all those things were just gateways to having my heart ruthlessly drop kicked into the sun, because there would be nothing to protect me when it didn’t work out, just as my ‘ struggle eyes’ saw of my future.
Those ‘positive’ emotions were simply thugs, luring you in and priming you for unadulterated failure and there would be nothing to help, or soften the blow when your charred remains floated back down to Earth, only to be blown away by a stray breeze.
With my sour grapes mentality, there seemed to be a modicum of protection and over the years as I tried and failed, got tricked, made epic mistakes and watched my life spectacularly explode, I chose to use fear as my shield to try to protect myself from the blowback.
The draw back?
The more you use this particular drug, the more you crave it and the more NOTHING happens in your life without severe consequence.
The more you think and hold space for fear, the more things unfold in your life that fuels and breeds it.
Soon, I was majorly unhappy, unable to so much as day dream without something totally fucked happening in my head.
Like I’d think of a really good day and somewhere in there I’d either be attacked by a gigantic, blood thirsty shark ; have a too long to be called a flash-back to an awful and more often than not gross memory that would completely take over my brain or something good to me would catch napalm level fire.
Can you say ‘clusterfuck’?
So yeah, after copious amounts of time stalking life coaches, researching energy, psychology and how mindsets work, it came to me, just how addicted to fear I am.
Just how hard it is for me to now even imagine having any of the things that would feel good to me without some kind of mental recriminations: ‘this is a stupid thought’, to ‘ You’re going to be so fucking crushed when it doesn’t happen’.
All of this to deter me from rehabbing my addiction, but I had to.
I recognized that if I did not start, I never would know what I could accomplish. I would never get stronger and those miracles I longed for would actually never happen, because the truth was I am stronger than I knew and was locking them all away from me with this fear-fuelled insanity.
So this year, as the Earth itself took a breath and recalibrated, as humans over the world over finally came together and started understanding what it meant to be alive and human with much fewer distractions, I too began the journey to identifying my triggers, my limiting beliefs and emotional wounds that kept my fear addiction alive.
The irony was that the more I slowed down, the more I told the world it would have to wait until I was in tip-top shape because my health in all forms took precedence, the more abundance I seemed to call in for me and my family.
Things that were totally messed up began to fix themselves and came to us with so many benefits and bonuses. The less I worried, the less I had cause to.
The more I praised my body, the more it transformed and got healthy. The more I praised my work, the more creative pathways opened up to me.
I felt powerful… in hindsight.
As it was all going down in real life, I was battling my demons; I was working to heal my cravings and was going through fucking withdrawals.
Breaking any addiction is hard work. It is inner work and requires you to be committed to your own recovery and it can be grueling and epically emotional, but I had to believe it was all worth it.
Oftentimes I would catch myself wondering what the point of even trying was.
Then I would remember that I’m alive and I want to enjoy this life. I want to be more powerful than a perceived failure. I want to be more confident and persevere over a simple misstep and I wanted to succeed!
I could only be powerful, confident and successful when I learnt to trust myself and trust in the outcome I desired to enjoy.
It’s been a process and it will continue to be, as it’s not a sprint, it’s a long-ass marathon, but each day I recommit to it and slowly but surely I’m making small and huge progress. I celebrate them all!
My Dad passing showed me that I was divinely loved, provided for and supported because he was the sole, consistent breadwinner, and I was so sure life was about to be super awful, and fucked as we moved without pause towards a world that was brought to its knees with a pandemic that seemed to only need a single touch to spread and kill and leave everyone it came into contact with, fearful, weak and fighting to stay in this realm.
And yet, here I am still, months later- alive, healthy, well fed and learning to enjoy life rather than give into my conditioned (after years of playing and mostly losing at the hustle and grind game), compulsive need to worry.
Covid-19 made me realize that I want to live- to thrive and that being afraid to do so was a slap in the face to my Creator, because the reasons I was so afraid stemmed from my own mind and not from my aligned desires.
It made me really reassess my purpose in this life and see myself with shocking clarity for what felt like the first time.
This year, among all the bad, I figured out all my good.
My body transformed itself because I focused on being intuitively happy and allowed myself to love the body I have right now as is and I’m so proud of my achievements!
I reconnected to the writer’s side of me and wrote a batch of real life inspired blog posts that I’m super excited to share with you and all who chooses to read them, over the course of 2021.
I learnt to slow down and not get so caught up in the day-to-day grind and hustle that depletes me, rather giving myself time and space to breathe, to reconnect with my heart and soul and to heal a good set of my wounds- money included.
I gave myself permission to be full of radiance, to breathe and rather than find reasons to be frustrated and afraid, I celebrated the small victories, praised the tiniest of accomplishments and allowed my mind to click that my life is easy, simple and full to bursting with awesomeness.
And as it is often is with self-fulfilling prophecies and self-actualizations, I really am in such a better head and body space than I have been in literal years. I feel safe, loved and most importantly, enough as is.
And so now I sit here in this quiet house, with the breeze, light and slightly chilly caressing my shoulders I know that I have a long way to go in terms of practicing being honest about my desires and focusing on them alone, rather than getting caught up in the bad, spiral inducing twister of stormy thoughts that consist of fear fuel, in the form of ‘how can you do this?’ And ‘It’s not possible, I don’t have…etc”.
As I think over 2020, I can now pinpoint the wounds I am still nursing back to health and am learning to celebrate all my achievements, and the simple fact that I am alive daily, because as this year ends and I get to celebrate the Christmas Season and pray for a wonderful 2021, the only thing that truly calms yet simultaneously fires me up, is the realization that I am still ALIVE and that means more than gold to me.
My life is more than being afraid of not making money, or of making too much money, or of being healthy enough to worry about economics and heartbreak. My life and the fact that I am alive and determined to thrive means that it’s about love.
I get to treat myself to massive quantities of love, laughter and joy. I get to enjoy this world that my Creator placed me in and indulge all my senses and I don’t need any more brushes with death or health concerns to finally read the large all Caps on the walls yelling, ‘ENJOY YOUR TIME HERE!’
So to you, the wonderfully awesome person who read the entirety of this post and have arrived here at the end, I want to offer you a heartfelt and sincere, thank you!
Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for being on this journey with me and for continuing as we embark on a new 365 day adventure!
Happy Holidays and I wish you a warm, safe and super healthy New Year in 2021, devoid of fear based addictions and loads of LOVE!
You made it to the end! Wooot!