Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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Growing In the Midst of Contradictions

I feel like throwing up…literally. Reverse to two hours ago when I sat at the dining room table ferociously eating the americanized version of Chinese food: fry chicken with fry rice…and French Fries. Okay, I know: this sucks! I am living a life of contradictions– yoga/meditations and then putting all that junk in my tummy. I feel awful, physically and emotionally. I woke up this morning, did yoga and meditated. I ended up at the park and even hugged a tree (!) with my nephew. In the morning, I barely ate and then as the evening rolled around I found myself– with my sister– heading to the chines restaurant.

When we arrived home and as I was eating the food, I realized how I was just not enjoying the food. However, I was hungry and continued to stuff my face. I still have half of my food in the kitchen–what am I going to do with the rest of it?

Although I am trying to own my role in it, something has to be said about the importance of being around people who are not into healthy living when that is your goal. Food is literally an addiction for me. I once had a friend who was addicted to drugs and with a lot of the things that he told me, I could have easily replaced the word, “drugs” for the word, “food.” The fact that I live with my family who do not see the importance of havinstock of fruits or vegetable, is difficult. This is even more difficult because I do not have a job that could finance eating entirely healthy. Just a few moments ago, I began to think of that previous line and realized that I could at least control the amount of food that entered my mouth— hello!

There is a thin line between being compassionate to oneself and being just plain ole lackadaisical about the situation—a very thin line.


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MeMe (past, present, future)

I came across this idea on a blog that I recently discovered and immediately liked it, both the blog and the idea. So here goes:


20 Years ago:

I was ten. The first thing that came to mind was me living in Jamaica with my uncle, aunt and cousins.

15 Years ago:

I moved to United States. It was December and I was moving from a tropical place to a cold one. My mom dressed me in layers because of the cold in America. I remember it like it was yesterday— I wore blue jeans, a purple sweater. I remember me going without fear of the unknown—interesting.

10 Years ago:
I was in college, far away from home. I went to a predominantly white school, began my journey of what it meant to be black in America. It was difficult for me… to be in one instance, living in a place (Jamaica) where you were the majority, and the next, coming to a place (America) where you are the minority…. messes up ya head, if you let it.

5 Years ago:
I was in DC, moved away from home to serve in Americorps. There, my idealistic seeds were sown. I came across quotes like, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and the story of “Stone Soup,” highlighting the importance of community involvement.

3 Years ago:
I decided to go to grad school. I remember a silent voice told me that if I didn’t apply, I was going to regret it. Sure enough, that following spring,after I sent in my application and received my acceptance letter, they eliminated my position and offered me a job as an administrative assistant because I had a BA degree. When that happened, I smiled internally, I knew what that voice was talking about…glad I listened.

1 Year ago:
I completed my first year of grad school. I was excited and was doing very well. I also received a summer job of implementing a conference on leadership development for girls. Was deeply infatuated.

Yesterday:

I did yoga in the night, in the hallway of my parents’ home. I did it there because every room with adequate space in the house was occupied. It was one of the best sessions I had. Sounded OM for at least 15 minutes after that session.
Today I:
Did yoga in the morning (lovely session, better than last night, actually… ma body’s getting stronger), went to the Grand Army Plaza library in Brooklyn, near Prospect Park, in the afternoon. There is this grand gate there were magnificent sculptures—I wanted a camera, badly! I loved it. I needed a day around books where I could just browse. The best moment aside from my yoga session was me asking the librarian how many books I could check out of the library and his reply was, “99 used to be the limit and now it’s down to 50.” I thought he joking at first, but he was serious.

Tomorrow I Will:
Inshallah, do yoga and meditate before my sister and nephew gets up. Go to the neighborhood park; read my books that I got from the library. Try to find my checkbook: I have to pay my therapist in MD her final fee. Maybe hug a tree in the park.

In the next 5 years:

Happy and content. Live a lot more in the moment. Healthy– physically, emotionally and spiritually. Have my own place where people feel welcomed and loved. Traveling a lot more. Follow through more on my dreams. More financially secure. Avid yogi and runner with a little pilates in between. One of these or all: having just completed the Peace Corps or another degree or just completed the Peace Corps and working on my degree or in my dream job and totally happy about it. Know to write and speak French and Spanish fluently and beginning Arabic. In love with a fabulous guy who loves me back. Surrounded by great people—keeping the people who are in my life now.


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I Reminisce (In Truth)

And when you are reminded of the past, look at it without rose colored glasses. Those few words I just wrote, randomly,and yet, they make a lot of sense to me–my higher self is speaking again… A song just came on the radio and it took me back to a time and I begin to think in shudda, wudda, coulda terms, and totally forgot about the moments of anxiety, confusion and dishonesty that plagued the reality. I got caught up in emotion and those words yanked those rose colored lens from in front of me, and the sadness I felt went away, suddenly. So, looking back, I reminisce but with such knowledge and growth that I wish to never repeat that portion of my past again.


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How to Listen

I burned my hand last week, badly. It was the palm of my right hand and I was in pain for hours. In the end, I had to go to the emergency room. After waiting in the hospital with my hand in bags of ice, I finally got a chance to see the doctor. My doctor, Dr. G, was Muslim. When he found out that I too was Muslim, he started to test me on my Muslimness; the man was less worried about my hand and more concerned if I knew how to recite El-Fatiha

The moment I burned my hand, I knew it was a wake up call. After all, it was the month of July, a month and a half after I arrived home and in some ways I feel as if I am sabotaging my own progress. I have made some progress spiritually, but I have to be better to my physical body and claim my purpose without question or doubt. So, in the midst of trying to be compassionate to myself, I want to do better and listen to lessons of the Universe. They say that the Universe speaks to you at first in a soft voice and if you do not listen it will begin to increase its sense of urgency with a tap on the wrist, then a slap on the face and it will continue until it might give you something to really listen to if you do not take heed. So, I am trying to learn how to listen in order to make the right choices.

I remember reading Eat,Pray,Love some months ago and the author stated that at the ended of her journey, the women who she became—this complete being was probably the same person who was speaking to her at the most difficult time in her life ( she heard a soft voice speak to her years earlier). Her higher self spoke to her, the one who knew what she was capable of, spoke to her in the most compassionate voice, but in a voice that was also urgent. She listened. I want to listen to my higher self. I sense Her speaking to me everyday. In a quiet prayer, I continually seek guidance to know the right choices that I have to make and when to implement those choices. I want to be at a place where I can look back and know that I learned my lessons from the soft voices and maybe from a couple of taps on my wrists and not a slap in the face for me to wake up and listen.


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Ladybugs at 1 in the Morn’

Lady Bug in Hand

A ladybug landed on my shirt two nights ago. My sister pointed it out to me and I was immediately in awe! Why you ask? First, although it might sound “dweebish,” ladybugs are my favorite insects and secondly, I knew it signified something good! It was 1 in the morning and we were in the living room, what is the likelihood of that happening to me. It had interesting colors: one side was yellow-greenish with black dots and the other side was red with black dots; the head was a greenish color–how cool is that?! It stayed on me for a very long time. I took pictures of it on my hand, my fingers, on a leaf…. My sister thought I was insane, but for a person who is trying to grow spiritually and figure “ish” out, I knew that the Universe was speaking to me


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Click!

I need a camera! I feel like I am missing out on some good shots and especially moments that I want to capture forever. However, I am broke—flat broke, as it’s commonly said in Brooklyn. Oh, how I wish I had a Fairy Godmother….. or Fairy Godfather even!


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When Losing Weight, Who Are You Truly Losing it For?

Three years ago, I began a journey of taking care of my health. For a long time, over a year or so, it was a personal thing and weight loss was not a competition. Then I lost 70 lbs and I did well: I ran a 5K and I started graduate school. In graduate school, with the demand of school work, and just (maybe) pure laziness, I gained 25 of those pound back. I was a size 14 at that point. The need to lose those pounds consumed my life. I worked my butt off during the summer of last year to loose those extra pounds that I gained and became even more toned. I then was a size 12. I was doing well for a long time and was in a very happy place. December of last year I moved to another city, and the last semester kick my butt, as well as trying to get over some other personal stuff— a dude. Anyway, taking care of myself physically and emotionally became less important. Subsequently, I started eating anything and everything, trying to cover up my pain (heartbreak) and the disappointed in myself (gaining weight) with sesame chickens, burritos, chicken kormas (literally means buttered chicken) and icecream, gaining back almost all the pounds that I lost, all but 30.

I found myself living in the past of my glorious days of being a “skinny girl” and having to place in conversations the fact that “I wasn’t always this fat.” I also dreaded seeing my friends again in New York because of pride, honestly. The weight issue began to consume me and with that, the more I ate. I was so unhealthy I body felt clogged in every way imaginable. I knew I had to do something about this and decided to come out of my self pity. I began to realized that it wasn’t about the weight exactly, it was about me living the best me that I can. For me that means having the ability to do what makes me happy and content, which includes, excerise, yoga, laughter, eating healthy,etc.

I started with a detox of being vegan and eating natural ingredients, did yoga and meditated. Through these practices I realized that the greatest achievement was in believing that I deserved to be healthy, not due to what society or anyone else thought but because I am entitled to be the best me that I can be. And so, I will go down the road of healthy living in a more balanced way. I pray that I will take it one day at a time.