I TOUCH MYSELF!

Somedays, one can not help but feel overwhelmed by everything, often, it escalates from a slight feeling of almost fainting to a quick out of this world, breath gasping almost dying feeling. In those moments of trembling, sweating, panting, in that daze , i still manage to touch myself.

Slowly and gently, i move my right hand and slide it across the spot. That part where i can feel my heart exploding in my chest , i touch that spot and breath, steadily, intentionally taking in all that sorrounds me, acknowledging it, being grateful and letting out all fear, stress and anxiety.

I love how the body eventually surrenders to the rhythm of my breath as the mind acknowledges the fear but refuses to be held captive by it . The trembling ceases and calm takes over at the sight of being held. Slowly with the hand still touching the spot where my heart hides, the small vibrations of warmth become more meaningful and the world around me is stable.

I have always been afraid of touching myself because in that moment, when breath is batted and the mind is sending fear signals to the heart, my hands are constantly looking for an external pillar, a thing , a person to grip and hold onto for safety. I have found that the safety is from within and when i touch myself, the comfort i find can not be stumbled upon externally.

Skin on skin, the warmth from the hand penetrates the heart and the mind starts to send signals of safety, i gain control of my body and my sorroundings and i am able to find balance. To find that floating feeling when fear is released and you allow water to carry the weight of the body in a swimming pool and all of a sudden , it was never the effort but the water that had the capcity to support you float if you let it.

There are many times and many things we think we have control over when really, we just have to surrender, hold ourselves and be reminded that we , and not any other external forces are responsible for our healing journey .

If for whatever reason you find yourself anxious, scared, overwhelmed…….. touch yourself. Remind yourself that yourpower is from within. Ignite it, float , breath!

Who is in your corner ?

Life is extremely unpredictable and it is very easy to lose balance when all the foundations of everything you believe in are being shaken. Life can only be worked out with, by , around and for people . People are at the heart of Gods very creation and how we navigate relationships with those that have been placed along our paths of life determines how fulfilled and balanced we become at practicing living.

We have seen people at a game for example, I think that it’s not so much about the game but the energy people are drawing from one another that is exciting . When the energy of the players is low , some funs sing songs , blow vuvuzelas and chant to encourage the players and to lift their spirits . When the game is going well, the entire space is like a huge ring of good vibrations . Vibrations of great energy that everyone in the space draws from to find some level of joy.

We have been surrounded by gloom and sad news lately, loved ones departing from us , governments disappointing us , churches turning the other cheek, isolation , loneliness, failure , disruption and fear. We have also witnessed some wins, promotions , new births , healings, fresh ideas , innovations , acquaintances and fresh paths . So where is our cheer ? Where is that energy that we all need to draw from one another to survive this stadium that has engulfed us in a pandemic ?

We all need some cheering on every once in a while .

When you assess the space you are in emotionally , physically , spiritually, relationally and intellectually , who is in your corner cheering you on and who are you cheering for ? Where are you drawing your energy in this season , what and who is keeping you balanced, focused and energized? It has been repeatedly said that “we can not pour from an empty cup” so , who is filling your cup and with what are they filling it? Whose cup are you intentionally filling and with what are you filling it ?

As we navigate the uncertainties of life , I pray that you will find a sure hope in the promise that you are loved. A love so pure that begins with you loving and appreciating yourself and then outwardly radiating to others around you. Take some time this month to check in with yourself , find those spaces where energy has been depleted and try to refill. Find those where energy is high and radiate it on others too. May the right energy be drawn to you, May you find cheer and hope. May you be cheer and hope to someone today.

THE ART OF VIBING GOD !

Sometimes I watch and observe people communing with God in simple and complex ways and I am appalled. It’s beautiful to witness most times, but also extremely fascinating how variant it is for everyone. Our revelation of God shapes how we commune with Him and those around us and often times , it’s heavily dependent on how we were introduced to the concept of communion with the Most high .

The allegory of love between God and the Jewish people in song of songs for me is the best expression of vibing God

I love to vibe God ! It’s one of the things that I look forward to with much enthusiasm. To sit him in a corner or not and just whisper dope lines until he blushes from goodness in his word reiterated to him . I love to hear him respond , with a chill down my spine or a still small voice . With the kindness of a stranger , the dope lyrics of a song , the rhyming of a poem , the genius of birds and strange animals , the fluidity of life itself ……. in many many ways .

This Friday on #Qweshunga , we launch into the art of God vibe. We shall explore how God has been vibing us from the very start of creation and how we vibe him back in our many different and unique ways . This is an opportunity for those of us who have never tuned into His dope vibes to harken your ears to listen , maybe you might fall in love and start vibing him too.

At the end of the day , may we be reminded that God vibes us through his word , his people , the places he has given us , the gifts upon our lives and the work he has called us to do . May we learn to vibe him back in the service of others and in the heed to his call to draw near to him daily .

As we QWESHUNGA with God vibes in the coming episodes, may we be reminded to inspire , to play and to live !

John 17:3 , “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

QWESHUNGA: INTRODUCING THE ART OF SPACES

Inspire, Play , Live !

I have often wandered and marveled at the depth, sensitivity, and beauty of spaces. Every time I am ushered into a space and or place, my world literally explodes, or not depending on how the space is structured.  Either way, I am constantly blown away by the possibilities of either witnessing beauty or how much of it I could add to a given space, at an opportune time.

Whether they be physical, mental, virtual, spiritual, or otherwise, spaces have a way they create orgasmic magic that can only be enjoyed by the ones daring enough to indulge. This week on Qweshunga, we introduce a new segment which is about the art of spaces and places.

For those who are just catching up, Qweshunga is a Ugandan “runyankole” word that means playfulness. It is a vlog series highlighting the power of playfulness on this journey called life. It is our space to Inspire, Play and Live. The new segment shall enable us to host a couple of guests who are skilled at creating the magic of transforming various spaces for the benefit of others and this journey will be amazeballs! The best way I can describe such a journey is through this poem that I love dearly.

BEAUTY IN NATURE- BY ARTI CHOPRA

“There is a poem in every flower,

a sonnet in every tree,

a tale in every lifetime

it is just for you to see…

there is a lyric in every brook

as it rushes over rocks,

there is an ode in every nuance,

as loves wonder unlocks,

there is rhythm in every sound,

every beating of a heart,

there’s poetry in every union

and every couple who are apart

and just as there is wonder

in every new life created

there is sadness and regret,

for the unsaid and unfeted

just listen for the music

that your ears cannot hear,

just strain yourself for the melody

that is so far and yet so near

the wonder of the creator,

the magic of the divine

is there to feel, for all of us,

to soon be yours and mine”

There is so much you can learn about spaces. There is so much you can change about how you have been relating with them. Do not forget to Qweshunga with us every Friday on all our social media platforms especially, YouTube and Anchor. Together, let’s Inspire, Play and Live!

Inspire, play, live

UNDER THE SHOWER …..

Sometimes I dance under the shower. To all the dope songs in my mind and all the cool moves I can master. Without a care or worry but mere gratitude for the privileged ability to pour water to the roots of my short hair daily.

Sometimes I cry under the shower . Some days are extremely overwhelming. After I have done all I can to shield my tears from prying eyes in boardrooms, water fails me as it draws out the tears so easy as I turn the shower knob everytime. Water makes me vulnerable, it calls to me, it breaks me, it heals me. …….

Sometimes I stand under the shower, burdened by the weight of this worlds cares and anxieties, unable to control my mental turbines from churning, shaking from the uncertainties of what the days ahead might bear …..

Sometimes I dream under the shower. All the best ideas have come from the privacy of my bathroom. I have seen clearly into worlds angels and demons fear to trade with my eyes closes and every drop slowly digging into my scalp. The hope , the joy , the bliss of watching water flow over your naked body ……

Sometimes I get punished under the shower . For things I can not dare forgive myself, I lash my skin with hot water until I cringe. No, I am not addicted to pain, I am just grateful for water and her ability to cleanse. I long for the heat on my bare skin as a reminder that I am still human and I deserve a second chance. Weird, I know !

Sometimes I get lost under the shower . Unaware of my surrounding, unbothered by time and its speed, undistracted by the splish splash dripping of the water on the bathroom tiles. I could stay there forever . I get to think all my thoughts , see all of me and love all of me just the way I am

Sometimes it’s calming , and most times calm and hope are all we need to get through the day/night . Most times it’s healing , like that fresh start after an epic fail ……….

Sometimes it’s a good feeling because it revives, heals and restores. But most times it is just water, unable to deal with pains better left to the care of prayer and fasting !

Sometimes I sit under the shower . My legs unable to hold me any longer . Allowing the water to fill up underneath my feet until I regain some sense of balance ………

Sometimes, it is just what it is , standing under the shower .

Qweshunga

“You are the storyteller of your life, and you can create your own legend or not” – Isabel Allende. 

My earliest memories and experiences of relationships are founded on playfulness. Relationships with my toys, caretakers, neighborhood, school, food, etc. Running through the rain, role-playing ‘mummy and daddy’ with ‘kakebe’ or metalic tins, digging holes in the compound for a game of ‘dool’, creating and crafting dolls among many others. When a child is born, the first thing we usually do is to make funny baby sounds and noises to try and communicate, try and get a connection of some sort. We make faces and make a fool of ourselves to the ordinary eye in an attempt to connect with this new being. So what happens to us as we grow older and find better and bigger things to occupy our minds? We lose our playfulness and in the end lose a bit of ourselves.

I am so excited to have found that playful Penny and to announce the rebirth of that QWESHUNGA space with the qualities of being light-hearted and/or full of fun aka playfulness peradventure you may get inspired and find your own mweshungo. Ever wonder why you do things the way you do? Random waving and smiling at strangers, jokes amid tense situations, desperate cries for attention amid tight schedules, sudden adrenaline rushes, uncontrollable creative ideas, and artistic expressions among others – that’s you seeking to play throughout whatever activity or environment you are faced with.

QWESHUNGA is a survival skill that every one of us has albeit some of us a bit more than others. It enhances the ability to adapt and change in the face of changing life environments and must be encouraged! Qweshungaring happens in the confines of relationship: it’s a two-person/ place phenomenon. Our relationship with others, spaces, higher beings, work, or the gifts we have and finances are all founded on playfulness or not. Our blueprint for each of these is coined around relationship and how that was introduced to us. We can QWESHUNGA alone but only if we have first had the experience of Qweshungaring with others. QWESHUNGA is one of the core characteristics of creativity. How do you create without playing with the mind?

I have chosen to take some time to build or rebuild this playful space by sharing my stories and those of others through QWESHUNGA. This is a vlog series focussing on “playfulness”.  The main theme of the vlog is relationships and the underlying constant is how playful as humans we must get with our God, our work, our finances, our people ( those we relate with), and our spaces or the places we occupy from time to time and the impact of that kind of lifestyle whether positive or negative. 

This vlog is inspired by my life and my relationship with five sub-themes: God, people, places/spaces, work, and finances. These relationships have been both funky and painful and I desire to share learnings from both sides of the coin. With this vlog, we shall playfully explore my life through the lens of my relationship with those sub-themes as well as invite other people to journey along by sharing their own experiences or stories and learnings. 

The purpose of this vlog series is to highlight the need to lead full lives and to have fun while at it. To live with purpose, to cheer up, let our hair down sometimes, and live life to its fullest without holding back and killing the dreams and gifts hidden in us. It is to inspire, motivate, and teach a thing or two about living playfully yet purposefully and wholesomely.

The series will air once a week and will be supplemented with audio and written blogs. This will be a worthwhile journey, I invite you to plug in and let’s QWESHUNGA. Subscribe, follow, like and add us to your life on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud and on Anchor. Links will be sent to a platform near you.

I look forward to Qweshungaring with you.

Don’t forget to inspire, play, and live every day!

Beautiful Vine

Photo: Marijoëlle

I once dated a great girl. She was perfect.

See, we danced to the music in our heads, she held me and span me around every day as a ritual to nonexistent music and she often whispered, “listen closely, you will hear the music.” And as she held me and rhythmically moved me around, we lost track of time and transposed to a whole new world where only the two of us existed. We created magic and spread that magic in all we did and said.

She spoiled me stupid with gifts. Please it’s no secret that gifts are my love language and boy, did she communicate. I loved and cherished every gift and the anticipation of one made my members sing.

She left me handwritten notes all over the house in hidden spots and loved me tenderly with her mind. She had a way with words, that one, and made sure I indulged my mind with her beautifully crafted notes.

She loved my people. Y’all know I am deeply relational and she deeply cared for my loves. Checked on them, remembered their important days, and showed up when she needed to.

I once dated a great girl! She was phenomenal. At least according to the testimony of her life,

She loved deeply, trusted wholeheartedly, and gave every bit of herself to make me happy. See, she gave me all of her and I loved the responsibility of stewarding that.

She wanted to more than know my body, she wanted to connect. She sought a lot more than the simple release of sexual pleasure, she gave more than that.

She invited me to her world and gave me the most important seat to watch life with her unfold. It was fancy and sneaky, fun and explosive, daring, and adventurous. It was everything I needed to get out of my shell.

She introduced me to her God. The one who is all-knowing and merciful. His grace carried us to places I can never take you with words. Her God loved and blessed me, and we, together, thrived and flourished in the land that was provided for us.

I once dated a great girl! She was beautiful. At least according to the state of her heart.

She created magic for every space and everyone she met. There were no bad days with her because she carried sunshine itself. She smiled and time stopped. Her eyes were the true definition of glorious. Her smile stopped the traffic every time.

She walked with such grace you had to rhythmically put her in slow motion every time to understand her aura. The energy she left with the people and spaces she encountered was indescribable.

I once dated a great girl. Her name was beautiful vine.

Dear HC…

Our “Inspector Derrick”, here are the things I love about you;

  1. You are curious.
  2. A good listener.
  3. Generous.
  4. Compassionate.
  5. Alive / woke / full of fire.
  6. A learner.
  7. Present: body,mind and soul.
  8. Playful: humorous, energetic.
  9. Your laughter is deep.
  10. Your wisdom is ageless.
  11. You love deeply and are kind – empathetic.
  12. You have a good eye – your attention to detail is fascinating.
  13. You are a excellent orator.
  14. You have mad writing skills.
  15. Your fashion sense is out of this world, literally!
  16. You are well traveled and exposed.
  17. You carry healing energy, whether it be through comfort, presence or affirmation.
  18. You love yourself and it’s evident – those stretches you do are intense. Your vehicle has been serviced well.
  19. You teach so effortlessly well.
  20. You are beautiful.

I stan!!

Plagues And Pains

We were sick before, COVID-19 only exposed our rot and wickedness.

Let’s not pretend that we are shocked about MPs getting UGX 20m or is it UGX 40m now? They have stolen a lot more and we have watched on. The Black Monday Movement exposed the maleficent theft of public resources and the people pillaging this country and we called them noisemakers. Now, theft has become the new normal and we are still waiting for a sign, some miracle to prove that the country is being plundered.

Impunity lingered in our beds and households and we turned, and looked the other way. Women and men were shot and murdered in cold blood, and we asked why they were moving at night or alone. Women were raped and we asked what they were wearing and why they were hanging around their abusers.

Unpaid care work, exploitive bosses and poor pay existed before COVID-19. The pandemic only exposed our indifference to them before the crisis.

Hunger, violence and strife, hopelessness and sheer madness loomed over our streets but privilege blinded us from reality until we were all put on forced lockdown.

Why are we pretending that we are now awake? Why are we crying now for a country and economy that died years ago? Are we just discovering the body is missing? Did we not laugh and clap while the body lay in the streets; devoured by vultures and violated by flies and maggots?

How many calls to wake up have we received and yet still snoozed because it’s not yet our time ? How much money need to dispear before we rise up in arms? How many must be raped, tortured, and murdered before we realize that enough is enough?

Are we not the ones who accused bicycles riders, motorcyclists and taxi drivers for driving recklessly only to turn around and drive like lumpens? Were we not the ones who sang songs of victory while our laws were raped and abused continually? Did we not say the rest were mere noisemakers because “it was our turn to eat?”

We all know we have been sick a long time? The signs and symptoms were clear and we still chose not to medicate. Now, we are witnessing the impact of our misbehavior in failed systems and a falling economy and we are still silent.

Foolish Ugandans, who bewitched us?!

Solution Architect!

Thank you for the many messages of love and celebration that came pouring in. We are committed to sharing all of them with our world.

I don’t remember the year or the day we met (I seriously need to hire someone for this because wow!) but I am sure i remember the happenings. We were gathered at Worship Harvest Naalya for a service…no it was not a Sunday service, it must have been the special kind that happens at the end or beginning of the year or in between.

They called for those with testimonies and there she was; tall, strong, beautiful, and very confident as if she had been a part of this Church for the longest time and I was perfectly sure she was pretty new to this congregation. As if that wasn’t enough, she was talking about climbing mountains. ‘I guess she is just as strong and confident as she looks,’ I thought to myself.

The following year, Penelope was everywhere from the music team to organizing Church events; you could think she was one of the founders of the Church. Everywhere you turned she was there, from celebrations to burials – Penelope! Always fixing broken things or building something; anti solution architect!

I have not met anyone who gives like you Penny! You go all out every single time. I remember you at burials working like you were a blood relative, at hospitals to comfort those who had lost a loved one, taking charge of situations, keeping the ship afloat!

I used to ask myself, does she ever break down! She always seems to have it all figured out and then I discovered the vulnerable side of you. That side of you that reminds me that you are human; you hurt just as much as you love. For me, that’s a clear reminder that what you do for others is a sacrifice. You are no superhuman, you simply choose each day to look beyond yourself so you can touch another life; the kind of heart the world needs.

Someone once said that love is something we do and you my dearest Penelope have lived it out so well. You touch lives and they stay touched. Just a simple hug in the hardest times and we stay hugged forever. Thank you for giving of yourself! I love you my dear one!

By A star Katooko