The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts – it gives you what you demand with your actions.
Dr. Steve Maraboli
If there is one thing I believe in completely it is the power of the Universe, hence I identify as a spiritual person and not a religious one.
In Three Little Birds I wrote that my mum’s battle with cancer is what made me stop believing in the goodness of God. I have issues with God for many things, but letting my mum suffer the way she did is one of the main ones. I believe God exists, but I do not believe He loves all His children equally. Which is why I stopped praying to God circa 2012 after my mum was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. After years and years of asking God for things with little to no avail I was tired of feeling unheard, and the love of my life getting diagnosed with cancer was the straw that broke the camel’s back. My relationship with God is non-existent and maybe one day we shall figure things out, but for now I am not interested in religion.
According to an article from HuffPost:
A spiritual person is one who seeks to elevate himself, to connect with a higher power, or simply his higher self. He believes there is more to the world than what is easily seen, than what is merely physical. He will have certain guidelines of behavior and diet that he will go by, but all in the name of properly attuning with the infinite and entering some higher state of consciousness. Tibetan monks are the best example of the spiritual.
So what is the difference between being religious and being spiritual? The same article clarifies it as:
Religions attempt to gain access to a higher power in the hope of improving your life’s condition. This usually means sending out your prayers to the deity of your choice, hope that you’re heard, then have the firm belief that something will happen. Spirituality involves the attempt to focus your mind to gain access to the higher power within yourself in the hope of improving your life’s condition. This usually means meditating to send your thoughts to the Universe in general, hope that it hears you, then have the firm belief that something will happen.
Those two definitions may seem pretty similar but if you look closely you will see that with religion the higher power is outside of you (your deity of choice) but with spirituality it is within you.
The author further explains:
Religions revolve around loving God (by whichever name you give him), knowing that He loves you in return … Spirituality is all about knowing and loving yourself directly … It takes out the middleman of believing in another that in turn believes in you, and just goes straight for the believe in yourself part … Religion gives you this confidence (to achieve your dreams) by knowing that some higher power supports you, spirituality gives you this confidence by knowing that you are a conduit for the power that you need.
Charles-Guillaume Étienne, a 19th-century French playwright, penned the phrase “On n’est jamais servi si bien que par soi-même”, which has widely been translated as “If you want something done right, do it yourself”, although the literal translation is “One is never served so well as by oneself”.
That phrase best explains why spirituality works for me unlike religion. I am deeply averse to disappointment and after years of feeling let down by God I moved from being a religious person, to believing in nothing, to now identifying as a spiritual person. I am infinitely more confident in the higher power within myself than in the one outside of me. Which is why when I now want something I put it out to the Universe rather than pray to God for it. Spirituality has a heavy emphasis on agency (the ability to make decisions about one’s own life and to act on them, free of violence, retribution or fear) which is something I am fully embracing in all aspects of my life right now. I have agency and I have a voice and I intend to use them to make all my hopes and desires come true. In H Is For Hope I wrote that if you are deliberate and intentional with what you want, and you work really hard for it, most times the Universe will reward you accordingly.
Sometimes though the Universe ends up rewarding you because you need a goddamn break. I have said before that 2014 and 2015 were the hardest years of my life as my mum was desperately ill and was being admitted to hospital on a monthly basis. I will not dwell on those two years in today’s post as I will go into greater detail about them next year when I am telling my mum’s story. Just know that in those two years I was the angriest, saddest, most anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, helpless and guilt-ridden I have ever been in my life.
But kuna venye the Universe came all the way through for me in 2016. That was the year I won a trip to Dubai courtesy of EatOut following a competition they ran during the third edition of Nairobi Restaurant Week.
I had never been out of the continent before and I got to spend three days and two nights at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai which is the most spectacular hotel I have ever been to. Plus Dubai in general was just so beautiful and magical to experience. In addition, I got to ring in the last year of my twenties with a three course dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar.
2016 was also the year I got a new job after months of actively declaring my desire for one to the Universe. Though it was also the year I added a whopping 10!!! kgs. Yo!! My mum used to say I look like I have been put for baking powder. Lol.
But while 2016 came through for me it was mostly on a subconscious level as I was not actively aware that I was a conduit for the power that I need from the Universe to make my hopes and desires come true. It was only this year when I realised the true power of intentionality and my life has never been the same since. I said in How Lwile Got Her Groove Back that I’mma make 2019 my bitch and by being intentional in each and every aspect of my life 2019 is hands down the best year of my life. I cannot reiterate enough that living with intentionality will change your life in ways you never deemed possible. But you have to be all in; I know for a fact that the Universe does not respond well to half-assed endeavours but it almost always rewards those made with zeal. Which is why I kicked off today’s post with that quote from Dr. Maraboli.
I have written multiple times about what the Universe has done for me so far this year so I will not repeat myself today. What I will focus on instead is the response to my blog.
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
Writing is my talent and my purpose. I do not know exactly how things will pan out but I know this blog is what I was put on earth to do. But fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck this writing shit is hard! The first person to clue me in on just how hard writing is was Magunga during Biko Zulu’s Creative Writing Masterclass XII. He said not only is writing hard AF but it is even harder to explain just how hard it is because you cannot show the WIP. It is not like, for example, a football player who you see training a couple of days a week and then playing matches on the weekends. With writers you only get to see the finished product. You are not privy to the early mornings and/or late nights, or the rewrites upon rewrites that are so time and energy consuming … Think of how exhausted you feel after an entire day spent reading for an exam. That is the best example I can give to explain how exhausted I feel after a few hours of writing. There is a friend of mine I text a few times a week to lament about how tired I am of writing, sana sana when my alarm goes off at 4:20 a.m. (hehe) and I would much rather continue sleeping.
But it is oh so worth it! Especially now that people are starting to respond to the blog. I began getting engagement in the comment section of my posts a few months ago but only recently have I started interacting with readers IRL. For example, this weekend I was at the Tusker OktobaFest (sooo good) and a few people stopped me to say hi and that they love the blog. It is a fact that almost everyone who stopped me only did so because they recognised me with Adelle. And I ain’t mad at it because that is how the Universe works. It brought Adelle to me almost 15 years ago and now, owing to her ginormous social media presence, my blog is growing because of her.
But, while I am aware that my blog would not be where it is right now if I was not friends with Adelle, it does not mean that I am just here holding my dick in my hands. People may come to the blog because of Adelle but they stay because of what it has to offer. And of late I have been getting a lot of feedback from people saying the blog comforts and inspires them and it always makes my heart sooo full to hear that.
Hell just this morning I woke up to a long and beautiful email from someone who also resonated with the therapy post. Yaani at the end of the email they even threw in a book recommendation! Love it!
In the Creative Writing Masterclass we were told that the first year or two in a writer’s journey is all about affirmation which is why it makes my heart sooo full when people resonate with the blog. Plus I get to have interesting conversations with people in my IG DM (mnajijua) that stemmed from feedback on a post but we now chat about random things every now and then. Though I must say there is a stark difference between my IG DMs and my Twitter DMs. My IG DMs are mostly full of babes, though there are a few guys too, that respond to something they read on the blog and the conversation grows organically from there. Ninety-nine percent of my Twitter DMs are guys offering me dicklofenac. Like really, somebody once used that exact word.
It makes me think of how people saying were that at the Tusker OktobaFest the main stage was Twitter and the beer garden stage was Instagram. You had to have been there to get it but I see no lie because even when it comes to DMs there is a remarkable difference between Twitter and Instagram.
Aki I have gone on and on so to conclude real quick:
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.