I don’t think I can describe the overwhelming emotion I had from everyone’s response from my last blog. Sure, when I write my only wish is that I can touch someone’s heart, but the amount of hearts I was able to reach this time around made me very emotional. With that in mind I felt like i can do more. So, I came up with a little project with hopes it can help change people’s lives this time.
I remember the feeling I had when I went to Africa. Just a little girl going to help change the world. Once I was there, I realized I alone did not have the power to change the world in the two months I was there, but I did have the power to change a few lives. 200 to be exact. They were the students from the village school. I helped paint murals, I taught a few classes, and then I organised a big soccer tournament. I split the school in four teams, the boys played the game and the girls were their cheerleaders. The girls were assigned their days to meet with me and my help after school to come up with their songs and dances for their teams. It was a blast! Us girls worked for weeks on weeks on this and do you know what the boys of the teams would do? They used to take out their instruments and created a little band for the girls so they had music to dance to. Their culture was one where I learned so much love, at least that’s how it was in Ghana!
One morning I was woken up by all the kids singing on their way to school. When I listened carefully, it was the songs I made up for them. How humbling is that! You know what the best part was? The school did not separate in their given teams. Instead, the entire school would unite and sing the same songs all together. In that moment, I then realized the big things were not important in life. They only had the necessities in life, no wants, no tvs, no cars, no fancy bags, no fancy meals but they were the happiest people I ever met.
Mamma Anandaaa was what those 200 children called me. Thing is, I showed them love, something they were not used to. I mean the affection part, the hugs and kissies. Dads would go away for weeks or months at a time while mom went to the cities to sell to make a little money. The children were often forced to go sell too and then would be punished by the school for missing class. But they woke up everyday singing and smiling. Their funerals would be a village celebration. The rain in their house would cause them all to meet in one house that it was not leaking in. Sad right? No, not for them. They would be in that one room all singing, dancing and definitely laughing. Oh, how beautiful it was to of been able to witness the purity of life. A lesson I could never forget.
My last day there they put together a little surprise for me. As I was saying bye the entire school started to fill up the classroom. Then some out the windows… I was confused. They said “Mamma Ananada we never felt so much love from a volunteer and this is for you”. They put on a whole show for me, everything I taught them, every dance move, every song. The kids even took out their drums and played in joy. I think I literally cried for hours. Most teachers, students and elders personally thanked me with loving words and a few gifts they put together for me. I wished i could of stayed there forever. A moment too intense for words, but a feeling I will have for a lifetime. What a beautiful way to end my trip! I went there in hopes to change the world, but they changed me. Just as this blog is doing for me. I hoped it can help others but its making me grow in so many ways.
So here I am today, and I want to make another little change in a big way. And I want all of you to be part of it… ready?
21 DAYS OF PURE ME
WHAT IS IT?
Being where I am now, you know, soul searching I can still have a hard time with doing things for myself. I often get discouraged or overwhelmed and let my emotions stop me from doing simple things like training or baking for instance. Quite frankly, I’m tired of it! I want to be that go getter, that do-er and that self-lover on a daily. But the hardest part is creating or breaking my habits. 21 days is proven to make or break a habit so this is how I thought of “PURE ME”.
Basically, everyday for 21 days you have to do something for YOURSELF. It can be a 5 minute walk, an hour of exercise, read that book you’ve bee thinking of or even a guilt free 24 hour getaway where you completely disconnect. Not complicated really! Whatever YOU choose is YOU time. It is YOUR HAPPY PLACE. Guilt-free.
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT?
Start with making a list of things you’d like to do on a daily, simply choose one a day. Then, choose one big thing that you always wanted to do like: treat yourself to a massage, or go on a hike. Plan when you will do it and commit. That’s it!
Here is my list:
- Write (blog or journal)
My one big thing:
- 24 hours away (spa and hotel up north)
The goal here is to love yourself first. We are all deserving of that! I know we get lost in our daily lives and cannot find a way out. Or maybe you are that ‘people pleaser’ who does everything for everyone and then you are depleted for yourself. I want you to be able to keep all your beautiful qualities and then some! Set simple goals so you do not set yourself up for failure. Your second time around maybe you can set bigger goals. I know I’m in a funk, so as much as i want to Crossfit 5 days a week I haven’t been able to do that since my baby, so it is not the only thing on my daily list. They are all things that will make ME HAPPY on my list and that is the point. Keep it simple because pleasing yourself everyday is already very challenging!
I would like for you to put 3-5 things on your daily list and one on your bigger list. If you feel like you can handle more than one, by all means go for it!
Lastly, my favorite part:
- Nominate 3 people in your life that you feel are deserving to love themselves first!
It doesn’t have to be moms only! Teenagers and men can definitely join the movement 🙂
- My mother Dora
- My mother-in-law Carmen
- One of my besties Irene
These three women are all mothers. They are all selfless, and love to please everyone around them. The only downfall of being as giving as them is that they rarely have time to love themselves FIRST. I always here them say, ” I have to go back to yoga, that’s it I’m going to start walking this week, or I really have to spend some time alone to detach because I’m losing myself”. They’re all wonderful women with the biggest hearts I know. Even though I might not show my gratitude all the time(yes, a work in progress), I am very very grateful to have them in my life and it hurts me to see them love so hard but neglect their needs.
- My other bestie Krystina
I nominated a forth, here’s why. She is going back to work in one month after a year of maternity leave with her daughter. I know how hard this next year can be juggling work life, family life and keeping a household together…all while not losing yourself! So I want her to know how to love herself in the right ways for this next chapter. I personally struggled and I want to give moms the right tips to stay grounded and happy. Losing yourself in what is supposed to be your greatest days of your life should not be an option. So this is for you xx.
Your 21 Days of PURE ME starts in 24 hours! So get cracking… pull out your pen and paper, write your list, and enjoy the process.
I will be joining the movement too! I start tomorrow 🙂