The Gospel According To Lesley: Home vs. Nest

‘Home’ can seem so relative and so meaningless. A hotel is ‘home’ if that’s where you eat, sleep and wake up with familiar people that may or may not be ‘family.’ And by that definition so is pretty much anywhere else you carry out those functions. You may have had many ‘homes’ in your life time. Your parent’s. Your grandparent’s. Your in-law’s. Foster care. Your first flat. Your last flat.

A ‘nest’ on the other hand at once suggests something personal, unique and cosy.  If someone tells you they’re ‘nesting’ you have no doubt what so ever what they mean. A clear image immediately springs to mind. Besides, no one says ‘homing’ or ‘home making’ (unless you’re a housewife, do housewife’s say that anymore even?) and ‘home maker’ is NOT what you mean. Neither is ‘decorating.’ You’re not decorating. You’re kinda settling in with your stuff around you. Without the burden of permanency.

Do you remember a rather melodramatic post from 3 years ago about fear of commitment? You can read it  again here. So much melodrama over a 3 month commitment to a flat share but here you are 3 years later – nesting.

Then you realise that the nest is kinda small and that you get quite a few people staying over despite your cranky attempts to push everyone away. So you figure maybe its time to get a bigger nest because family and friends really matter to you.

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

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Hi. Happy New Year.

Thank you for following my blog.

I’m glad that you found something useful, inspiring, enlightening or entertaining here. Because that’s all I really want to do – inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain. Especially entertain. I’m not trying to convince you that my point of view is right or wrong. I don’t know that is. I’m just sharing my point of view which can be quirky, heretical, mind blowing and impractical sometimes but always original. And always creative. And inspiring.

I want to make you think. And maybe question your assumptions. I like being subversive. I sincerely believe that nothing is sacred and anything is possible. If you can think it, you can manifest it. I also believe that I should leave the world better off than when I arrived – not worse. Yes. That could mean me or the world. Or both. I love puns, metaphors and paradoxes. I love mind games. I love challenging group think.

Freedom is my primary value.  I have high value for self direction, stimulation and universalism and low value for security, power and conformity.

I explored many routes during my journey to self determination. Religious. Philosophical. Scientific. Magical. Professional. I studied Law, The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, The Harvard Business Review, Vogue, Zen Buddism, atheism, libertarianism, Lassez Faire capitalism, capitalism, philanthropy, philanthro-capitalism, feminism, womanism, African feminism, Afropolitanism.

I had a whole lot of teachers. I’m grateful to all of them. Even the ones that hated me a whole lot. I instinctively resist any and all attempts to bully and confine me. I respond to haters by doing more of what they hate. So I just got better and better at being me.

A couple of years ago I started studying wealth and success and came across the Laws of Attraction. I’ve always attracted good fortune, I was less fortunate in holding on to it. Or so it seemed.  Take my case with Oxfam and my career in the humanitarian sector. Right? No way. Thank god Oxfam happened. I might have still been stuck in that industry working crazy long hours for someone else – and for peanuts compared to what I earn now.

Oxfam wasn’t a fit. Ashoka was closer to a fit but still wasn’t what I wanted and they really paid peanuts. I’m doing exactly what I want to do now and earning more. As a matter of fact I’d be happy doing what I’m doing even if I wasn’t paid to do it. Yeah. I found that place. And it doesn’t involve crazy work hours, sexual harassment and someone higher up the ladder stealing my ideas. Work – life balance is built in.

It wasn’t easy to get here. I had a lot of resistance, external and internal too. After being an employee it seemed like I couldn’t possibly live well if someone wasn’t paying my salary. The first couple of years were especially scary as everything crashed around me.  I’ve had a lot of adventures in the  years since then. Thanks for sharing them with me. I’m in a good place now. In the place that I want to be – feeling good.

I had a pretty good year last year. And I’m confident that 2018 is going to be even better. Only doing the things that make me feel good. Living my best life. And still sharing it with you – to inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain. And make you think a little. And maybe laugh a little too.

Here’s to a fabulous 2018.

 

Talking About Beauty: Ayurveda & Exercise

I found out from my ayurveda therapist that my constitution vata (find out yours here) doesn’t need strenuous exercise. It just overheats the body. I never did finish that story about my experience with hot yoga. Around day 45 of my 60 day challenge I was exhausted physically and had some weird ridge growing in my abdomen.

Boy did I freak out. I was sure it was something awful like cancer and I was going to die. The therapist told me it was just my body reacting to what it did not like. The heat, the strain,  the sweat. I never did like sweat and heat and strain but thought I had to endure it because well I heard somewhere thats how thing were done.

“No” my therapist told me. “Your constitution needs calm stuff like yoga, swimming and walks outdoors.”

No wonder I could never stick to one of those hectic gym schedules. Or a running routine. So now I do 30mins of yoga and 30 mins walk or dance daily. I’m working up to an hour each.

I started my at home yoga practice really small. I went through up and downs. Some mornings I was all gung ho about it and some mornings it just wasn’t a priority and I skipped yoga. I pushed through those. I didn’t let it stop me altogether. Gradually it became part of my daily routine and I noticed that it did help me function better too. I think I’m addicted to yoga now. But as addictions go that ain’t so bad. I’m an addictive personality.

I also go dancing once a week. I’ve started salsa lessons. Love it. Love the music. And I am overcoming my biggest challenge in salsa. Letting the man lead. read about it here. And let the music lead. I love the sexual energy in Latina dance. Our Igbo dances are less about sex and more about energy and acrobatics. Or seduction. Anyway I figure that should keep things ticking along just fine. I do not want to be jumping upandan, jiggling, sweating and getting hot more than I have to.

And its about time I stop putting it off and finally take those swimming lessons. Yeah.

 

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#WCC2017 – Welcome to 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women

Hey. Over here

Women's Crisis Centre Nigeria

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.

Today is the International day for the Elimination of all Forms of Violence Against Women.

We are here to share and reinforce our commitment to ending VAW and ‘leaving no one behind.’

The Women’s Crisis Centre started out in Owerri, Imo State in 2002 as a community based organisation empowering the community to end VAW as part of a MacArthur Fund for Leadership Development Grant. Since then it has grown and has provided legal and counselling services and training to more than 5000 men and women around the world.

In 2002 we set up the first shelter for victims and trained community advocates to mediate domestic conflicts in Owerri, Imo State. In 2010 we ran a series of lectures and a free family law clinic in Abuja that reached hundreds. Since 2011 we have counselled and advised thousands…

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The White Savior Industrial Complex & Sexual Harassment of African Female Aid Workers. Pls Take Our Poll

Update:

Don’t ever stop speaking your truth, no matter how much they try to shut you up.
It maybe almost 8 years later but guess what….someone is finally listening!

Chi Onwurah MP has offered to look into my assault while working at Oxfam GB AND bring sexual harassment in the development industry in Africa to the attention of Royal African Society and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa.

Got a story to share? Send me a PM and or take my Poll. Let’s kick sexual predators out of the international development sector in Africa and make it truly humanitarian.

 

 

Source: The White Savior Industrial Complex & Sexual Harassment of African Female Aid Workers. Pls Take Our Poll

What’s In A National Anthem? #NGWomen4Peace

In 1978 Obasanjo’s military government decided to change the national anthem as part of its preparations to hand over power to a democratically elected government after 12 years of military rule and a 3 year civil war.   As a true Nigerian man he was offended that the previous anthem was written by two white women, if he could have changed the country’s name coined by another white woman he probably would have. The new anthem was written by 5 men and the music composed by the director of the Nigerian Police Band. Women were not considered good enough for such an important task. The new anthem sounds very masculine and military and the sovereign motherland of the first anthem became the fatherland, with all the character of a fascist sound track. Hitler would have been proud.  It sounds ominous, brooding, saturnine, and paternalistic. It announces – women beware, we are a nation of men – men of war.

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Dr. Gloria Laraba Shoda, President NCWS at Press Conference announcing their alliance with #NGWomen4Peace on 28 September 2017

How To Register a Statutory Marriage in Nigeria

  • Marriage is registered at a local public registry or the marriage registry usually found at every local government secretariat
  • The intending couple files a Letter of Marriage Intention and pays of a fee of Naira 2,000.
  • A person under 18 years of age, who wishes to register a marriage, is required to present a letter of consent from his or her parents.
  • The registry will display the Letter of Marriage Intention for 21 days on a public notice board.
  • Provided that no objection to the intended marriage is made during the 21 day period, a couple may then register their marriage.
  • Birth certificates or official documents showing the ages of the couple are required together with the results of HIV and genotype tests.
  • A divorcee must produce a divorce certificate, while a widow or a widower is required to present the death certificate of the late spouse.
  • A marriage registrar may witness the exchange of oaths by the couple.

(H/T Australian High  Commission. Beautifully simple.)

 

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