Lessons In Solitude

Solitude

I recently moved into my own space, and have found myself spending a lot of time alone,  which is something that is taking some adjusting to.  I am 100% certain that anyone who is related to me or knows me personally rolled their eyes at the first sentence because even when I am at home or at a social gathering I often become quite reclusive (anti-social extrovert), but to my defense, self-isolation in a house full of people or at an outing is different from being alone, I mean alone, ALONE. 

Home Alone

Although I grew up in a house filled with siblings and preferred moving in with my best friends when I first moved away from home. I have never been afraid of being on my own and to some degree thought that I naturally preferred it.  To my surprise, the first two weeks in my new home started off with trying to fill my space with noise, overthinking myself into an anxious pulp and eventually enjoying my own make-shift routine.  Even though my new found life of solitude is still taking shape, I’ve compiled a list of 3 lessons I have learned in my time alone… 

Lesson No 1: Value Time With Loved Ones 

Time on your own can remind you to value the time you spend with your loved ones, teach you to value their conversation, laughter and even encourage you to put your phone down.  For instance, when I was still living at home catch up time with my little brother was  often characterized by ”uhms” and ”yeahs” while we both stared at our phone screens but the last time I went back home we made it a point to get the picnic blanket, lay it out in the backyard and have an actual conversation, he even convinced me to give Trapo’s  Oil Change a listen.

Lesson No 2: Enjoy Your Own Company (boredom) / Get to know yourself

Sizwe

The world will always try to put you in a box, label and tell you who you are but society will not have that hold on you if you are firmly standing in who you believe you are and you can only get to that point from spending time with yourself, battling through your boredom and literally getting to know yourself.   I personally believe in the power of Self-acceptance and Self-awareness.  The benefits of being aware of your habits, (sub)conscious coping mechanisms, strengths, weaknesses and the complexity of your humanity are essential for the progress you wish to make in any area of your life. An awareness of your strengths gives you an opportunity to know how to build on them. On the other hand, being aware of your weaknesses gives you an opportunity to turn them into strengths or simply embrace them. It is also important to note that, the world cannot invalidate you if you have already validated yourself. The world can not break your character if it is built on a solid foundation.

Lesson No 3: Make time for your spiritual well-being

” I sit in silence and find whenever I meditate
My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate
My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date” – J Cole

The world is filled with so much noise and pressure that we often find ourselves drowning in it. We seem to forget that there’s more to life than deadlines, he-say/she-say, Instagram likes disappearing and Twitter hashtags.  Making time for your spiritual well-being goes beyond Sunday services and involves habitual practice on your own. A few years ago a preacher told me that my mental and spiritual well-being are intertwined, which is something I have found to be true. So, in my experience, meditation, and prayer help alleviate my anxiety.  Making the time for my spiritual well -being includes 15sec conversations with God at hourly intervals and logging off social media platforms for as long as I need to. My time alone has allowed me to define what spirituality looks like to me even though there really isn’t a script for this type of stuff.

giphy

No man is an island, we all need companionship and human connection. I believe in the power of community and the importance of the relationships that we have with the people we have in our lives. All I hope for is that this blog post has inspired you to make time to get to know yourself, take care of your spiritual well-being and hopefully,  see the value in being fully present in the moments spent with your loved ones.

One last reminderLife is a journey and no one will ever have it figured out but that should not stop us from trying.

 

 

Self-Validation is a Super Power

Validation

Self-validation is YOUR superpower, it is the ability to clap for yourself even when no one else is clapping for you. In my humble opinion, Self-Love and Self-Validation are CLOSE cousins…

Validation 1

The ability to validate yourself allows you to own all the good/bad decisions you make and that is the fertile ground to cultivate the best version of yourself. In the long run, Self-Validation curbs self-doubt and negative self-criticism which often leave us feeling frustrated, insecure and unworthy. 

“Self-Validation is a form of Self-care, it also breeds Self-Awareness, which leads to Self-Acceptance.” – iSlenderSaMaCatalogue

I am a firm believer in mentorship and getting a second opinion, however, I believe that the most successful people in the world mastered owning their voice and setting the pace for their story. The likes of Oprah Winfrey, Afua Osei, Sho Madjozi and the likes individually learned to trust their voice and be their own hype man which now serves as the foundation to their success.

“A million likes will never be enough if you do not like yourself.” – Leanne Dlamini

Self-Validation is a form of Self-care, it also breeds Self-Awareness, which leads to Self-Acceptance. In the 21st century, being able to validate your decisions, your beliefs, your boundaries and simply being able to say NO is a form of Self-preservation. External validation prevents you from being able to put yourself first which results in your well-being taking the back seat. External validation makes the idea of prioritizing oneself seem selfish, which sums up my theory that Self-Validation and Self-Love are LA Familia.

I am honestly still doing the work, faking it until I make it where the need is,  intentionally choosing myself despite how anxious I get when I choose to let my friends down and miss out on on a ladies night in the name of Self-Care. Through trial and error, I am learning to confidently set the pace for my life, before I worry about what the next person will say, I owe it to myself to own my life and so do you.

choose

 

Caring For Your Natural Hair On A Budget

 

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WELCOME TO THE  NATURAL HAIR CLUB

Congratulations on your decision to end your relationship with chemical treatments AKA relaxer, after spending an ample amount of time familiarizing yourself with relaxer products it only makes sense that you find the task of caring for  and growing your natural hair daunting but this needn’t be the case because it isn’t necessarily true once you figure out the dos and dont’s of natural hair, caring for your hair is easy. According to my cousin Nomonde, Sharing your natural hair care tips, accelerates your natural hair growth and  I’m trying to grow these inches, so here goes:

PRO TIPS

Shampoo

  •  Always use sulfate-free shampoo, this will make sure that your hair has less breakage.
  •  Unless you really have to, wash your hair once a week. Excessive washing results in loss of moisture which results in breaking.

Conditioning

 Castor oil and glycerin, have really great benefits for hair,

  • To stimulate hair growth, heat castor oil, base scalp and cover with a shower cap overnight then shampoo.
  • To combat brittle hair, wet hair,  apply glycerin and cover with shower cap overnight then shampoo.

Moisture

  • I prefer using hair foods’ which have coconut oil/olive oil as a key ingredient.
  •  A water based hair spray to make the water spray.

Twist Outs

Twist outs accentuate the curly texture that we all love so much.

  • Bigger twists, looser curls.
  • Smaller twists, tighter curls.

Rub  hair food in your hands before you start undoing the twists. Curls can last a few days after the twist out so you do not have to twist your hair everyday, just tie your hair in a bun before bedtime to preserve curls.

Protective Hairstyles

Braids are your friend !

THE WATER SPRAY 

The water spray = Water based hair spray + Water + Olive oil + Glycerin.

The water spray is one of the key components to keeping your mane healthy and moisturized.

Water Spray – key ingredients and benefits:

Water – Contrary to popular belief, water is your friend, natural hair strives in a moisture rich environment. 

Olive oil – Combats dandruff , Stimulates hair growth and seals in moisture.

Glycerin – Defines curl pattern and keeps hair moisturized.

THE BUDGET:

 I based the calculations on prices at the leading pharmacy in South Africa,

  • Castor oil – R 25.99
  • Glycerin – R 9.99
  • Water based Spray – R 33,99
  • Olive oil- R 47,99
  • Sulfate free shampoo – R 33,99
  • Hair food – R 15,00

TOTAL COST : R 166, 95

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There you have it, my guide to caring for your natural hair on a budget.

Remember what cousin Nomonde said, Your hair grows faster when you share your natural hair care tips with other members of the natural hair club.

Comment with any hair tips I left out and remember to share. XXX

Self Love 101

If you were on social media at any point in 2018, I am certain that you scrolled past a self-love post at least once a week.

In efforts to find out what my peers really understand about self-love outside of social media quotes and threads. I rounded up a few of my friends and asked them to share their understanding of love with me.

As I had expected, my friends gave me a variety of responses. My friends defined love as being effortless and empowering, acceptance and forgiveness. To my surprise a few of my friends admitted that they do not know what love is [an honesty I admire. ]

I then asked the same group of friends if they loved themselves. Unlike the first question where every answer was different, the answer to this question was uniform, 70% of the group of friends I asked, confessed that they love themselves with restraint. I did, however, receive different reasons why they love themselves with restraint, the reasons are the inability to forgive and accept who they are, and/or uncertainty whether they are deserving of the love that they can boldly describe and give to others.

In my opinion, the answer to whether you love yourself comes from what you define as love. I define love as a commitment, and that means I commit myself to the people and things that I love. So, if I fail to commit to myself through my actions, thoughts and speech its a sign that my self-love tank is running on low.

It’s safe to say that you cannot ask others to give you what you cannot give to yourself, neither can you pour out of an empty cup. If you fully and completely love yourself you can effortlessly fill others, care for others and show kindness to others.

self-love also equals to self-awareness and self-awareness can only lead to a better version of yourself because, Self awareness = improved strengths and weaknesses. Self awareness, can also make it easier to accept yourself which can increase confidence. Most importantly, self-awareness + self-love = the important skill of self validation.

It takes 10 000 hours to perfect any skill, so how about you commit the next 417 days to practicing the skill of loving yourself in whatever way love means to you.