Meditation, Mental Stability, Meditation, Self Motivation, Woman Empowerment, Team Work, Prioritizing Life, Positivity, Wholistic Living, Uncategorized

The 2020 Chronicles- A Lesson Well Learnt

Happy New Year! Whew!! What a year 2020 has been. Its behind us now but if you’re like me you’re probably still trying to catch your breath from the reeling effects of it.

A few days ago I drafted this nice 10 point blog post on what I had learnt and wanted to share but in all fairness to the few faithful followers I had to delete it. My initial goal for this page was to be as real and transparent as possible…even at the risk of leaving myself vulnerable to public scrutiny or personal attack. The end goal is to help someone else through my life experiences- raw and uncut. So today I am going against the “ever green” blogging rule and I will speak from my heart. Here goes…

…2020 brought with it alot of “blessings” for my family and I. We were able to cross off more from our list of personal goals than we have been able to do in past years. I am not saying this boastfully. We were finally accomplishing silent but steadily progressive wins…BUT as the year continued I was quickly reminded that with every new level came new devils.👀

From January 2020 (when I accepted my new job position) straight through to its end I felt like I was on one of those rollercoaster rides in a horror night themed park. It was like all of hades had read my blog posts and had determined that they would test every single word I had written to make sure I was really who I was claiming to be! My faith in God and myself were tested beyond measure. Lets just say, things got real pretty fast!!

Working from home brought with it many benefits and advantages but also produced a greater degree of responsibility and risk associated with the position.

Most days I was able to overcome the hurdles and challenges that were presented and pushed through by remaining calm and focused in my daily routines.

By the 2nd quarter I had managed to adjust to the changes of working from home amidst emergency lockdown protocols.

Then in early October I enrolled my son into a homeschool program set up at a friend’s house to alleviate some of the pressure of mothering while carrying on my desk work. However, that decision was made reluctantly (all things considered) as it came on the tail end of a multi million dollar mistake that could have resulted in major loss. It was only by the grace of God and divine intervention the funds were retrieved and I was spared my job…Following that I believe I may have gotten passed up for a higher position that I was being considered for prior to the mistake. Ouch! …And that’s when it all really started to take a toll on me emotionally and mentally.

One hurdle and rollercoaster dip after the other, I overcame each one holding my breath waiting to see what new adventure the next day would bring. Then when everything seemed to be going fine, I would find myself dodging another bullet or dagger. This pattern continued throughout the entire year.

Some days I would say to myself “All of “this” can not be real, it has to be staged!”

I felt like I was apart of some social experiment and at any moment the camara crew would come out from hiding.

Then there were the emergency orders from the local competent authorities. We would be “allowed” to move about for a few days or a weekend then the next week we would have to brace ourselves for the horrifying Sunday 5pm national address. I think those three words “My fellow Bahamians” has been added to my list of triggers. LOL! 🥴

As Covid numbers continued to rise locally so did the death toll…Then its effects started to hit closer to home. One of my own family members living in the U.S. had contracted Covid and had to be assisted by a breathing machine. Then young mothers of childhood friends, neighbours and family members started dieing one behind the other.

I watched them all grieve their losses, some unable to give their loved one the usual “fitting” send off that was indicative of a traditional homegoing service. I think I had become numb to it all up to the point where I had to watch the graveside service of my friend’s mother from my telephone screen as I drove to collect a curbside pick up! She hadn’t died from Covid19 but it was the fact that because of Covid19 protocols I could not physically attend the funeral of a woman I once considered a mother. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I felt helpless…

Some days the reality of it all became overwhelming and even with written words very hard to articulate. Some experiences, both personal and communicated to me by other family members, I am unable to disclose because of its sensitive nature. Just know that there are some things that are beyond human comprehension and only God would understand.

A few times I found myself sitting at my desk and would suddenly get the urge to just start praying. The words and the tears would begin to flow. I’d start praying against untimely death from over my household and extended family, breaking generational curses and speaking words of declarations over my bloodline and lineage. I had to bind the spirits of depression and anxiety. I started to speak words of faith to dispel and cancel out every negative word that may have been spoken into the atmosphere.

In those moments it was as if there was another force guiding the words of those prayers.

Closer to the end of the year, it seemed everything I was experiencing was intensifying. From one major system failure after the other, to oversights, opposition, dodging car accidents, to my husband’s Christmas week fender bender. Everything seemed to be going haywire! So much so that a senior officer called me privately one day and admitted that she felt as though what she was observing could not be natural but spiritual. There is no way that these back to back activities were normal!

We both agreed that the only remedy was consistent perpetual prayer. She recommended what scripture I should incorporate into my daily devotion moving forward. The irony of it all though, is that she admitted to not being a strong professing Christian but God saw fit to use her to recognize the powers that were at work and speak words of encouragement into my hearing.

I took her advice and came into 2021 with that same posture. Making prayer and praise my daily mantra. It is the only thing that has kept my mind at peace in the middle of the chaos.

If there is any valuable lesson I have taken away from 2020 it is this:

Without God, family and trustworthy people, life is meaningless. I don’t care how many goals I had made for the year ahead. It doesn’t matter how many of them I was able to achieve. It doesn’t matter how smart, creative or efficient I think I am. Without God’s intervention in my life everything would have fallen apart. Everything!! I saw God’s hand in every single scenario that was meant for my destruction. And what I thought was man’s rejection was actually God’s protection.

He blocked every fall, turning my disappointments into learning experiences and working it all out in my favor.

I have always known the importance of prayer but 2020 has reaffirmed how powerful consistent prayer truly is when applied. The act of prayer acknowledges our human limitations and God’s all sufficiency. I am the first to admit, I definitely needed discipline in this area of my spiritual life. I now recognize more than ever that prayer is not just about me and my selfish desires. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend the lives of everyone I hold dear might be dependent on my obedience to pray.

When we have exhausted all energies and options God’s strength is unwavering. He is unmatched in his ability to protect, to heal and to save. Where man’s intelligence falls short, His is unmeasured. In 2020 I watched the smartest and most brilliant minds run out of answers and come to the end of their rope.

We can construct the most strategic and thought out plans, but without God’s sustaining power and His intervention our plans will not flourish. I have been sitting back and observing social media posts of what is intended or expected for 2021. And while I completely support the power of positive words to manifest what you want to see I have learnt to approach my aspirations with a spirit of humility and silent grace.

Im thankful that God loves me enough to allow me to have gone through the process of 2020 without having lost in order to learn. God is faithful and His mercies in my life are everlasting. I thank Him that inspite of the tears of 2020 I walked into 2021 a little bruised but triumphant nonetheless.

I am inspired to become more prayerful and to walk in the quiet confidence of knowing who I am in God. No status, no amount of works and no title can validate my position in Him. He is God, I am His own and that is enough.

Love and Blessings.

Meditation, Self Motivation, Woman Empowerment, Team Work

The Will To Rise

The past few months have been both exciting and terrifying at the same time, to say the least, after being released from my full time job in mid April. And even though there was a level of expectation of what was coming, I still felt an equal amount of uncertainty when it actually happened. This new unplanned change that my husband and I had not quite prepared for was now interrupting future plans and with it came a degree of anxiety in me that I have never experienced before.
Some days I am positive, optimistic about new possibilities and new opportunities. I try to focus on the precedence of God’s faithfulness in my life over the years. I make a deliberate effort to remind myself of all of the times when He allowed a door to close, how He opened another one exceeding my expectations and providing a much better plan than what I had left behind. I had seen Him do it time and time again in every area of my life and I anticipate Him continuing in that same vein.
While, on the other hand, some days I get really sad, impatient and pessimistic about what the future will hold as time passes with no sign of progress. And its not that I have any immediate needs that aren’t being taken care of…but there is this unsettling feeling of stagnation, this daunting feeling of being stuck in one place, unable to move forward! By nature, I am a planner as well as an over thinker coupled with a bit of OCD. My husband will testify to the fact that I plan out every thing down to the most minute details. From short term to long term goals, family vacations, to the very outfits and everything else in between, months and even years in advance. So I’m sure you can imagine the amount of anxiety that I have experienced in the last few weeks of living in the unknown.
Yes, I have shed some tears and I have asked myself and God, all of the “Why, what and where” a few times. BUT if there is anything that I have learnt from my journey these past few years, it is that change though uncomfortable at times, if approached with the right perspective, is always accompanied by growth.
Right now, I am learning what it truly means to find rest in God on an entirely new level.

I am being forced to completely surrender my will to His and simply trust in His unfailing ability to protect, provide, sustain and secure a future for my family without having the slightest idea of what He is going to do next.
Lately, I have found myself speaking and meditating on words of affirmation. In my attempt to maintaining faith, thinking only on those things that are lovely and of good report, one day back in May I was led to pull up Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise”. Meditating on the words while sitting on my bed, I began to hum a simple melody that I was hearing in my heart. Now normally, I love to sing when I’m alone and its mostly during my personal time of worship but this time it was different. I was singing a new song, not one of worship but one of self motivation.
A few times in the past, I had come up with melodies but would quickly dismiss any thought of putting pen to paper. After all, I had never really considered myself a soloist, song writer or had any aspirations of becoming one either. However, that day I was compelled to search my phone for a voice recorder and began recording myself singing the simple but catchy chorus. That evening when my husband came home and greeted me, his usual question came next “…So what did you do today?” Listing off all of the things I had managed to complete around the house, I added “…oh and I wrote a song…”
“Wow, baby that is awesome…” exclaiming how happy and proud he was of me that I was being productive and making the most of my day. Now it was time for him to hear what I had produced! I knew that if he liked it, it was worth something pursuing further because he is one of the most brutally honest persons I know. I was confident in the fact that he wouldn’t spare my feelings and risk me embarrassing myself. After listening to the raw version that I had recorded on my phone, he gave his smile and stamp of approval “I like it! …but its not complete…Now tomorrow write the verse to it and then you’ll have a full song”.
By the following day I had written two verses and a bridge and as they say the rest is history in the making. The title of the song is called “I Will Rise”. Now, I knew that even though I could “manage” to sing, I was also well aware of my limitations. I am a bit of a perfectionist so if I was to get the desired sound that I was hearing in my head, I needed the help of a few trusted and well abled friends. So I told Michael what my vision was for the song and he advised me to pray about who I should choose to help me bring my vision and heart project to life.
Fast forward, four months later…this week we completed our last studio session and in just a few short weeks our labor of love will be released to the world. And if I told you that from May to this point has been an easy ride I would be telling a lie. Quite honestly, after choosing the group I had absolutely no expectations of what the next few weeks and months would hold. Going into this thing, I took a major leap of faith because not only was I now putting my money where my mouth was, I was exposing myself to public scrutiny by stepping out of the comfortable box I had been confined too for so long.
Surprisingly enough, not only did all of the ladies I had invited to be apart of the project excitedly agree, after hearing the song they all fell in love with it! And though we are all from different backgrounds, all varying ages and stages in our lives, there was one common thread that connected us and that was our resolve to rise above the obstacles that we had all faced and overcome in our personal lives. So the message of the song resonated with us all on varying levels.
Of course it is natural that when women get together, things never go “as planned” so during our rehearsal sessions, we have had times of sharing, each individual either telling their story, depositing a nugget of wisdom, giving an encouraging word or simply being a listening ear. It was these unexpected, unplanned interruptions that created teachable moments for me. It was during those times that I realized that our coming together was not just for me to simply complete and produce a song. It had become more than what I had bargained for in an immeasurable but very rewarding way. Each lady began to testify how they would catch themselves singing the song sub consciously and how it had ministered to them.
The song had already taken on life and was making an impact, not just on the ladies but also on me.
I read a meme the other day that said “We rise by lifting others”…that is precisely what we all did as a collaborated force. It was no longer “Simone’s project”, we became a group, each member taking on the vision as though it was their very own.
So what started out as just a simple melody from the heart during a period of feeling down, rejected and being in a place of obscurity, blossomed into what we now call “Four One”…a movement of four women singing for an audience of One.
Amidst the frustration that I sometimes faced with clashing schedules and rehearsal cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances, family emergencies and health challenges; our desire and commitment to seeing others touched by what had been entrusted to us outweighed it all. Being apart of the “I Will Rise” Project has helped to fortify my faith during this season. It has taught me, through observation and practical application, the power of creativity when there is a presence of unity and freedom. I have experienced first hand the principles of true servant leadership, humility, patience, endurance, selflessness, genuine love and pure friendship.

Through this project I was also reminded that it was ok to be human…it was ok to ask for help, it was ok to not have it all figured out, it was ok to not be ok all the time and most importantly it was ok to sometimes take a step back and simply rest…To find the beauty in simplicity…To appreciate where I am now while on my way to where I want to be.

I don’t know how far reaching this song will be once it is released. The ladies and I have high expectations because what The Lord has allowed us to create is a beautiful sound with a powerful message that will be very difficult to ignore…
Either way, if nothing else becomes of it, one thing is certain and that is, this entire experience has changed me for the better and with that change came growth…I think we all grew in one way or the other…because we found the will to rise while lifting each other…I would not have had it any other way.
Ps. To get an update on the official date release of the latest Single “I Will Rise” stay connected by subscribing to this Blog or linking with us via our Facebook Page “The Rise Project”.