Showing posts from 2020

My Body Is A Garden

Mother Nature has given us this challenge. We are fighting it with terms of imprisonment. Lockdown. Quarantine. Isolation. I am cultivating seeds of compassion in this war.  I am planting bulbs tolerant of cold temperatures, resistant to threats of frost, that will grow deep roots to anchor us against the ephemeral fashions of the world. Mother Nature gives and she takes.   It is time to listen.  My body is a garden.  Let me honor the flora and the fauna, enzymes that secure my immunity.   Embrace the journey, make better decisions.  Protect humankind. xoxoxo Mama Shujaa

Why I Do What I Do

Watch my short video here: Mama Shujaa xoxox

My Kilimanjaro Poem

 Honored to be published with others here: Cheers! Hana. 

Delicate Skies

Before dawn the rare hum and soft roar of an airplane rose, among the living and the dead. My mountain cabin  coffee bathed my throat as I pondered the peculiar lull that has taken over the skies in the past few months.  But now do we have a subdued and healthier ozone layer? Mama Shujaa xoxoxo

Beneath Georgia Skies

  For Dennis’ birthday we came up for a breath of fresh air, to the tallest waterfall in Georgia. Breathtaking.  As we walked a short trail to the Falls it brought back memories of our homelands - Nigeria for him and the muddy slippery village trails of his childhood. Tanzania for me and my paternal grandparents’village Marangu, which sits on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.  At dusk, we sat on the patio to our room at the Lodge. The repetitive call and response of tree frogs drowns out the hushed silence as the sun sinks into the horizon.  It brought back memories of when we sat on the balcony of my apartment in NYC overlooking the Hudson River (sans the tree frogs) in 1984.  I’m grateful for our lifelong journey my Beloved ❤️ Happy Birthday. Mama Shujaa xoxox

Self-Care, GRIT and Mindset

Sometimes expert advice is not expert.  Like doctors who tell you, "you are a little blue, here is something to help you sleep." Living in the moment and trusting my instincts is expert. And the things I have gone through in my life,  are the research and development I needed to help me show up and push through many struggles. They were my preparation, and it is ongoing.   So every morning I wake up and write down three things I am grateful for.   Yesterday's list is the same as today's. That happens. I am grateful for my health.  I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for listening to that clear voice within.  I am flanked by two smiling gentlemen in this picture, at a glamorous event. My husband holding my award and Mark, our chairman.  I received a Person of the Year award that night for my voluntary work on behalf of the Association of Kenyan Professionals, Atlanta.  I could not smile because my face was paralyzed.  And for many years, I had to learn to overco

I Was Wearing Someone Else's Armor

To fight my battles. I had to learn to use my own.  When I came to America with fifty dollars in my pocket in 1983, I had a five year plan. Get in, get your education. Get out. I started out as an au pair for a divorcee, a CIA operative* with a precocious five year old girl. I also worked other jobs to pay my way through college. Five years flew by and Memories are for Storytelling, so I stayed and created some beautiful ones.    But when you set roots somewhere for thirty-seven years and you still don't identify as being fully American, then it deserves some looking in the mirror.  Because badges of belonging matter.   *** Whose armor? Everyone's actually.  And what quarantine has gifted me is the time and ability to gate out noise and distractions, to stay true and committed to a NOW time goal, versus a short term or long term goal. I am grateful for that luxury of time in this chapter of my life.    *Disclaimer: based on the events witnessed and my putting two and two togeth

She Showed Me The Way 12 Years Ago

And I came up with the ideas. And I drafted, I rewrote, panting and sweating over and over again. Then my ego started screaming because I was alright in my comfort zone but the moment I started to go Blue Ocean around my next level of mastery, fear came up.  As much as I wanted success, because it was unknown to me, I stepped on the brakes. I let human nature take me back to homeostasis....kept my heart at 72 beats per minute, my blood pressure within its comfortable bandwith.   And so I survived in mediocrity, in procrastination, in showing up every day in comfort. But where does greatness live?  In the lives of those who have mastered walking into their fear and living on the razor's edge consistently to the point that they are comfortable in their discomfort.  She showed me the way, twelve years ago.  I started this blog, started really writing.  Published a little short story. It was anthologized in a South African journal.  I was consistent for a  while, then life hit, distrac

Nurturing hopes and dreams

Outside my window this Japanese elm is blossoming. A few years ago, its seed was planted, nurtured, and with time, it brought itself to fruition.  In nurturing our hopes and dreams, we often begin with just a seed. We grow and nurture our hopes, and sharing the fruit of our realized hopes and dreams is one of life's greatest joys.  This morning I am grateful for the many seeds I have planted in my writing.  As I tend to the soil, i.e. doing the inner work that will sustain growth and development, I look forward to sharing my realized fruits with you. I am tending the soil around this short short.  T he Shirt Waiting in The Closet The purple and white silk shirt in a plastic bag in my closet is waiting in perpetual uncertainty to be worn.  I bet I would have worn it with my pink platform shoes on December 24, 1979 when I squeezed through the bars of my bedroom window and jumped and landed on the flower bed. Safi's welcoming tongue on my bare ankles gave me the go-ahead

The inciting event behind this resuscitation

There is a double joy in returning to this blog. First the joy of revisiting and celebrating my heretofore consistent postings.  Second the joy of clearing my voice again and getting back to telling stories. We are all hard wired to tell stories. More than once, I have summoned the energy to type a quick blog post, only to give myself an out, and procrastinate myself out of the 86,400 seconds that we have in one day.  And now that we are 'sheltering in place' I have more time to work on my mental muscle, to focus my creative energy. Besides, lately, my ambitious writing voice refuses to be silenced.  It keeps reminding me of the guests gathered under a beautiful tree where a bar has been set up, offering cocktails before the ceremony titled "Six Feet Closer To Each Other, Finally" kicks off. On the lawn are rows of green folding chairs and yonder, the sun is just beginning to sink into the horizon. The story of after we get through this - the whole world is hu