Love has no heroes

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My heart has been shot full of arrows,
I’ve had terrible heartbreaks,
But in-between heart aches,
I’ve been a great defender of love;
I’m just a soldier of love.

Am I the only one who care?
Who else cares about the faith of love?
I know there’s many others just like me
I know they too ain’t have had enough of love
‘cos this heart of mine has been doin’ battle on the front line;
But love’s got no heroes in these modern times,
what love needs is a defender,
Who’s not looking forward to being a hero;
I am just a soldier of love.

I see it in your eyes my friend,
That you once felt the heat of love too,
There was a time when you believed,
Love is the only way to make it thro’ the night,
Or just be another casualty,
Of a broken heart,
From that heart that’s doin’ battle on the front line,
But Love’s got no heroes in these modern times
What love needs is a defender;
I am just a soldier of love.

I’ve lost the use of my heart,
But I’m still alive,
Still looking for the light,
At the endless pool on the other side of love,
It’s jus a wild dream,
But I’m doing my best,
Though I’m at the borderline of my faith
I’m at the hinterland of my devotion
I’m in the front line of this battle of
mine,
But i’m still alive,
I’m just a soldier of love.

Every day and night,
I’m a soldier of love,
All the days of my life,
I will always be a soldier of love,
Though I’ve been torn up inside,
I’ve been left behind
Still I ride tall
I have the will to survive.

Trying my hardest,
Doing my best to stay alive,
I am love’s soldier,
I wait for the sound of trumpet,
That declares victory in this battle,
I know that love will come.

Time will turn it all around,
I am lost but i don’t doubt,
That I will ride tall,
I have the will to survive,
Trying my hardest,
Doing my best to stay alive,
I am just a soldier of love.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Life is awesome!

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Oftentimes, we call Life bitter names, but
only when we ourselves are bitter and
dark.

And we deem it empty and unprofitable, but only when the soul goes wandering in desolate places, and the heart is drunken with overmindfulness of self.

But the world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper so that we can perceive and be awed by their beauty.

There are in life a few moments so
beautiful,that even words are a sort of
profanity.

The most beautiful thing we can
experience is the power of mystery.

It is the source of all true art and all science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it.

We must abandon arrogance and stand
in awe. We must recover the sense of the
majesty of creation, and the ability to be
worshipful in its presence.

For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a
sedative of ordinariness which dulls the
senses and hides the wonder of existence.

For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worth while from time to time
making an effort to shake off the
anaesthetic.

What is the best way of countering the sluggish habitutation brought about by our gradual crawl from babyhood?

We can’t actually fly to live on another planet.

But we can recapture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on
a new world by looking at our own world
in unfamiliar ways.

The feeling of awed wonder that science
can give us is one of the highest
experiences of which the human psyche is capable.

It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver.

It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.

Two things fill my mind with ever-
increasing wonder and awe, the more
often and the more intensely the mind of
thought is drawn to them: the starry
heavens above me and the love for life
within my heart.

Life is just awesome!

I see these two things before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.

Life is deep and high and distant; and
though only your vast vision can reach
even her feet, yet she is near; and though only the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast.

And life is veiled and hidden, even as
your greater self is hidden and veiled.

Yet when Life speaks, all the winds become words; and when she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words.

When she sings, the deaf hear and are held in awe of her beautiful voice; and
when she comes walking, the blind
behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and astonishment.

You just have to open your eyes and see how awesome life is!

You just have to open your ears and hear her beautiful voice singing in the wind.

Rise to the top of the mountain and watch life’s splendid view.

Stand in the bottom of the valley and be awed by the size of the mountain.

Feel the caressing touch of the wind on your skin and you will know just how gentle life is.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Your life is a priceless masterpiece!

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“You are special!
Created by the hands of God himself!
Awaken by His breath!
Filled with His spirit!
Redeemed by His blood!
Live by His love!
For none on this earth could be measured
equal to you!
So live as what you are supposed to be!
The masterpiece of GOD!”

I once lived with a poor old man who,in my young untainted mind,was a masterpiece of God.

I remember him best,my old room mate and my best friend,
in those early hours rising with the sun,
as if disturbed from his slumber,
abruptly rooted from his place of rest
while the house slept.

All but me alone in my single bed,
listening to the first sounds of day,
and he, ever persistent, a clockwork man, rising just before the neighbour’s cock crow.

How he rumbled urgently down the thirteen steps of the stairs with a cough and a grunt he started reaching for his razor.

Into the wash basin, he searched
busily through the soap suds with his badger hair brush,
his mouth held in an awkward hush,
In readyness of shaving his scruff of of a beard.

His frozen stern face unflinching
as he scraped away the memory
the burden, of yesterday with skill and grace, his concentrated frown
lost in the silence.

Rising with a cold flush having bargained with the mirror for a confident clean-shaven face,
an old confident man was now looking back with a new day laid out before him.

To me,his whole image of this morning shaving ritual was a God’s masterpiece!

How could such a poor old man be so hopeful about a new day,always ready ready to face it with the confidence of a clean shaven face?

I read too, a story one time about a man who lived in a tiny apartment and died in
extreme poverty.

At one point in his life, he had even been homeless, living on the streets.

This man never had any successes
to speak of, nor any noted victories.

He lived and died as just another face in the crowd.

After the funeral, some family members
went to his little run-down apartment to
clear out his belongings.

They found a painting hanging on the wall, so they decided to sell it at a garage sale.

The woman who bought the it from the garage sale took it to a local art gallery for an appraisal and was shocked to discover that the painting was extremely valuable.

The piece of art that hung for so many years in a little run-down apartment was painted by a famous artist who lived in the early 1800s.

The woman decided to auction off that
painting and ended up selling it for several million dollars!

Just think how that poor man’s life might
have changed if he had known the value of what he possessed.

He was a multimillionaire and didn’t even know it!

So many people today are living with priceless treasure inside, and they don’t even know it.

Sometimes we have to explore what’s on
the inside of us to really understand what
we have.

Don’t settle for living a mediocre existence.

You are a masterpiece, created by the most famous Artist of all, but if you
don’t understand your value, you’ll go on
thinking, I’m just average; I’m not that
talented; I’ve made so many mistakes.

Don’t allow those negative thoughts to play in your memory box.

Instead, every morning when you get out of bed, remind yourself, I am important.

I am handpicked by God, and I am a person of extreme value and significance.

Remember, You are God’s special treasure, selected by Him and for Him.

You are created in the image of Almighty God.

He made you exactly the way He intended, and He equipped you with everything you need.

You have the strength to stand strong in the midst of difficult situations, and the wisdom it takes to make good decisions.

Understanding exactly whose you are, and how you fit-in God’s plan, creates such purpose, confidence and such identity.

You are a person of destiny.

You have an assignment and you are full of gifts, talents, encouragement and love.

You have rich treasure inside you that people need.

You have more in you that you realize, and you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Dare to be bold and believe that
you are a person of destiny because you can leave your mark on this generation.

Understand you are important, and out of
your importance, know that you are called to add value to the world around you.

No matter where you are in life today, you have potential to increase, grow, to be strengthened, and to move forward.

God created you for His good purpose, and know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are His masterpiece!

You are God’s own masterpiece.

That means, you are not ordinary or average; you are one-of-a-kind original!

When God created you, He went to great length to make you exactly the way He wanted you.

You’re not meant to be like everyone else; God designed you the way you are for a purpose.

Everything about you is unique and everything about you matters.

You may feel like your life looks ordinary today, but when you understand your value-not only who you are, but also, whose you are-then you will love yourself more, and you will also love those people around you in a greater way.

Realize that because you belong to Him, you are extremely valuable.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

When the family Isn’t forever

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I just love the following lines from a song

‘Bless the Broken Road’;

“I set out on a narrow highway many years ago/
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road that was my life/
But I got lost a time or two/
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through/
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you/
Every long lost dream led me to where you are/
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars/
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms/
This much I know is true/
That God blessed the broken road/
That led me straight to you” .

Those from seemingly happy families
cannot imagine losing ties…of course
not, you have the love and support you
deserve.

It is completely different for those who have suffered pain, hurt, neglect from their nearest and dearest.

Family harmony is a dream we all
share.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could function, day to day, like our favorite television families?

Sure, life would come along with a one-two punch,but because we are so connected, in sync, funny, and resilient, by the end of the day we would land on our feet, together.

Whether you relate more to the family of
The Cosby Show, Malcolm in the Middle,
or Family Guy, those families always come out wiser and still united in the end.

Real families aren’t so predictable,though.

Marriage, child rearing, going to work,
moving across the country, cleaning the
house, going to school, loaning or
borrowing money, having medical
problems, dealing with one another’s
moods; this is family life.

It’s a messy marathon, and some of us find the experience more painful than others.

Into some families comes divorce, or
alcoholism, or mental illness, perhaps
poverty or abuse.

These families struggle to be connected and have positive relationships.

And with enough pain, some of us walk away from our families and never look back.

There are times when it is wise to create
some emotional distance from our
relatives.

We don’t need to be intensely involved with every member of our family
all the time.

Our family systems have their own sense of rhythm.

Varying closeness and distance is a natural process that brings balance in the dance of maintaining manageable emotional energy.

We all do it, and it is a function of
every close relationship we have.

Some of us have the experience of
deliberately cutting off connection,
particularly with one or both of our
parents, for an extended period of time.

We have another argument, the phone
gets slammed down, and something inside us closes our hearts to them forever.

We have run out of energy to explain, defend, and extend ourselves and
we just need a rest from that intensity.

Such periods of distance and recovery are common in families.

You may be in one of those periods right now.

It may feel like a burden has lifted, and you vow you’ll never go through that, whatever that was,again.

When we cut out a key family relationship from our life, it takes quite a bit of energy to keep that emotional door closed.

And, any positive emotional energy that that relationship could provide us with is gone.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you trust a person, or even like that person, or want to have anything to do with them.

Forgiveness,in such cases, is about
letting the offender(s) and yourself know
that the situation doesn’t bother you
anymore and now you are able to move
on by yourself without them,henceforth.

I cut off my family completely,and these days,I feel much better and grateful to myself for that brave decision I made many years ago.

They don’t take too well the fact that I no longer want them in my life, but all they do is create drama and they just don’t understand that I don’t want that type of mess in my life.

Overall, the people who I thought I needed the most in my life, turned out to be those that I want absolutely NOTHING to do with.

I’ve read many stories online where a lot
of people (who were supposedly brought
up in good families) try to talk down to
and condemn those who’ve decided to
cut ties with their family members, but
what they don’t understand is that
sometimes your own family can be your
worst enemy.

There is no use in keeping people like that in your life. And if it is of any use,I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.

I know that sometimes no matter how difficult it may be you need to shut people out in your life.

Yes, you may not want to,
(change is scary) but sometimes you
need to get rid of the people in your
life that give you too much stress and
not enough happiness.

Who cares if it’s your “family” if they treat you wrong.

People who treat you decent are
family,even if they are not blood relatives.

Just because someone grew up with you, raised, and knows you well you does NOT mean you should keep him/her in your life.

Just like the verses of the song at the beginning of this post,some broken roads lead you to better things in life that you would never have had,if you got stuck trying to fix relationships that had deteriorated beyond any rational repair.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I just love the power of the written word

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I’m an introvert.

I hardly value conversations that go beyond polite greetings.

But I just love power of the written word.

Words that have been thoughtfully crafted to express our innermost joys and pains.

Words that inspire us to be poets,to philosophise on our every day life,giving colour to ordinary events.

Because it is occasionally possible, just
for brief moments, to find the words that
will unlock the doors of all those many
mansions inside the head and express
something – perhaps not much, just
something – of the crush of information
that presses in on us from the way a crow
flies over our heads, and the way a man walks and
the look of a street and from what we did
one day a dozen years ago.

Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer to the force that created men distinct from trees.

Something of the inaudible music that moves us along in our bodies from moment to moment like water in a river.

Something of the spirit of a floating single leaf in the water of the river.

Something of the duplicity and the
relativity and the merely fleeting quality
of all this.

Something of the almighty importance of it all, and something of the utter
meaninglessness sometimes.

And when words can manage something of this complex nature of our thoughts, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being – not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses – but a human being, and sometimes,that’s what we call it poetry.

But the paradox of this whole matter is : the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world.

That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember.

And these awesome experiences are best recorded in the written word for our very own rememberances,and for posterity of generations to come who are beyond the reach of our own imagination.

But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster.

And for this monster to express itself and rejoin the world of the living,it chronicles its experiences in the written word,freeing itself from its own suffering, and finding carthasis and its own healing in this very self-expression power of the written word.

The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain – and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world.

It is like visiting a Riviera and listening to the sounds of the sea and walking barefoot on the sandy beach: The sea fills my ear with sand and with fear.

You may wash out the sand,
but never the sound of the ghost of the sea that is haunting me.

And that’s exactly the same way the written word records our experiences for rememberance and for memories of captured moments,that enrapture our souls in a way that a spoken word can never imprint in our minds.

And that is the kind of power that the written word spells over my psyche!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

What a girl! What a morning! What a date with my destiny!

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I will never forget the day I got my first job.

I was roused from sleep by the ringing of
my phone.

I groped about my bedding trying
to locate it, while cursing whoever it was who had interrupted my dream.

“Get a hold of yourself, man!” I muttered to myself.

The phone was not on the bed.

I swept my hand across the earthen floor in the slum shack that I used to call my home, and there it was.

I picked it up, peered at the screen and sat up straight.

“Hallo?” I said to the caller

“Hallo? Am I speaking to Ben W.?”
“Yes.”

“This is Susan from Profarms Consultancy.”

My mouth went dry.

“Well Ben, you have been shortlisted for the position of Associate Consultant.
The interview is tomorrow morning at eight. Will you make it?”

I could barely find my voice but I managed to let out a faint “Yes”.

“The interview will be conducted at our head office on Mombasa Road. Please bring your original documents and national ID.”

“I will. Thank you.”

I sat on the edge of the bed long after the phone call ended.

Silence punctuated by the occasional roar of motorcycles passing by filled
the one-roomed house.

It had been three years since I graduated.

No job had come my way.

At least no job worthy of the degree I earned at the university.

I had sent applications via post and online… nothing.

I had resorted to knocking at office doors randomly.

I never went beyond the receptionist.

Over time, i did odd jobs here and there.

I went less to the post office and seldom stepped into the local cyber cafe to check my mails.

I mingled less with the friends I went to school with and more with the boys at the car wash and garage.

At least the latter did not ask questions such as “Where are you these days?”

I spent the rest of the day in a daze,daydreaming about my improving prospects in life.

How time flew in that sweet day!

The sun was now setting.

I needed to get ready for work.

I got out my Janitor uniform from under the beddings.

I did not own a flat iron.

And I was not fond of borrowing from
my neighbour — a ravishing beautiful married woman who resided in my dream every night.

Doing this kind of thing,and seeing her beautiful smile and smooth-skin hands handing over the ironing box everyday,and with my boiling hormones, the mere act of borrowing the box was likely to drive my head to have funny ideas about her,and this would be a good recipe for disaster with a bachelor like me.

To straighten my clothes and give them a semblance of having been ironed, I
folded and placed them between my mattress and the bed before I slept.

I poured water from the 20-litre jerrycan into a basin, taking care to leave enough to make tea with.

Dashed to the common bathroom with bath water.

Shortly thereafter,I was on way to Classic
Apartments, where. I worked as a janitor,, opening the gate for well-to-do tenants returning home from work, with the small radio playing my vernacular music on full blast, occasionally stealing a snooze.

The next morning, I left for home early in order to prepare for the interview.

However, I was not early enough for some reason.

A long queue had formed at the
estate’s communal water tap even though it was only 4:30 am.

I quickly joined the queue holding a
container.

It was chilly, but in my white vest and towel, could not feel it.

Several months spent as a watchman had hardened my body to the chills of the night,and my soul too.

The queue moved slowly.

I hummed a tune to while away the time.

A girl who was a few steps ahead joined in.

She turned around just in time to catch my eye and winked.

Blood rushed south as I smiled sheepishly, much to her amusement.

In a short while, the girl reached at the head of the head of the queue to the tap.

She filled her jerrycan just in time for at that very moment, the tap went dry.

The people behind her cursed.

The more emboldened pelted the landlord’s roof with stones.

He never experienced water shortages.

All the roof guttering in the estate fed water
into a 10,000-litre tank at the back of his house.

I was devastated.

I did not have a single drop of water in the house.

The thought of asking, nay begging, for water from the girl saddened my soul.
I knew her willy ways.

Nothing from her was for free.

Nonetheless, she was the only neighbour who was friendly to me.

She greeted me when I moved into the neighbourhood.

She even helped carry my meagre belongings into the house.

The rest did not lift a finger to assist..

They sat in front of their houses staring.

There was pity in the eyes of a few but disgust in most.

Perhaps they saw me as the girl’s next victim.

Perhaps they saw the girl’s next abuser.

Either way, they just stared.

I had no choice.

As the disappointed tenants walked away, I made my way to the girl.

Unlike the ravishing beautiful married woman, who I always had in my dreams every night,this girl,Stella was her name-she was the kind of of the girl I clearly didn’t need in my life: a gold digger to be exact and the resident estate call girl who was always yours for the asking.

“Hi Stella. A moment please”.

“For you I can give a lifetime,” she replied.

“I don’t have any water in my house and I need to be ready to go to town today. Could you give me a litre or two? I swear I’ll fetch you some water tomorrow morning”.

Stella advanced in my direction and gently laid her right hand on my left shoulder. She drew closer
and whispered into my ear.

“I’ll give you more than two litres but you have to pass by my house before you go to work tonight. I want to cook for you.”

I felt the hair at the back of my head stand on end.

For the first time that morning, I felt the
cold chill in the air rush to my bones.

I tried to worming my way out of Stella’s
schemes but she was the stronger one.

In the end,I yielded.

I promised I would pass by an hour
before going to work.

“Better make it two. We might be inside for a while,” she riposted as
her hand slid down my shoulder.

She then poured more than enough
water into my jerrycan and went into her house, all the while giggling with delight.

I was rooted to the spot for a while with a stupefied look on my face.

Nonetheless, I shrugged off the whole incident and prepared for the trip to town.

I gingerly shared the water according to the morning preparations; bathing, brewing tea, wiping the shoes and brushing the teeth.

I put on the only suit I owned.

I did not own a mirror but felt that I looked good.

Stepping out with the confidence of a man who thought good things were in store for him, I ventured into the narrow slum streets.

There was an extra spring in my walk.

After all, I was going for a job interview.

I cast a glance at the shacks around me and unconsciously bade them
goodbye.

I even smiled at the bus conductor.

Indeed, I was in my best element.

The charm that had been chipped
away by years of toil and anguish was slowly being restored.

The almost permanent smile I had during my campus days was now making its way back to my lips.

I looked around the bus.

Several people were engrossed in some communication or other on their smartphones.

Others were browsing the dailies.

Soon I would also be typing and browsing in a smartphone too.

I was going to be important.

I was having a date with my destiny!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Cultivating resilience to retell your story after trauma and failure

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When faced with trauma or total failure, some people manage to emerge stronger than ever.

How do they manage it?

While some people understandably
crumble after extraordinarily harrowing
events, others, have an extraordinary capacity to rebound and survive.

Their successes challenge many of our
common notions about the resilience of the human mind.

Tales of extreme resilience are very rare in the media; after every tragedy, we are more often reminded of the permanent scars an event can leave on the mind.

Such extreme differences in the way people cope are striking, and puzzling.

What makes some people more resilient, so they require less help and can pull through quicker than others?

And why do a minority even manage what psychologists call “post-traumatic growth”, living deeper, more meaningful lives than before?

These survivors do not appear
to possess any remarkable innate attributes.

Instead, what set them apart is the way
they frame the story of their illness,failure,trauma,bankruptcy,divorce and how they integrate it into their personal narratives.

This suggests that resilience and recovery do not require extraordinary resources or an innate toughness, but rather a willingness to adapt to circumstances.

Re-framing your life after a deep upset –
getting your story right – can require
considerable energy and imagination.

In theory, these resources are open to
anyone. But that doesn’t mean they are
easy to apply.

All traumatised people have
lost something.

Usually the thing they have lost is the safe, predictable world that they
knew; it can touch a person at the deepest existential level.

Trauma creates a rupture in a person’s life story,

More often than not,it diminishes the belief you have in yourself to tackle everyday problems.

In the other lot that is resilient,It teaches them about the shortness of life, the preciousness of life, the closeness of mortality, the possibility that their loved ones may be gone tomorrow through death ,estangement,divorce,separation etc.

Their strength seemed to come from
an ability to reappraise and reform their
lives, to think about their lives anew, form closer links to their immediate support group, and to change
behaviours and habits.

Living through a catastrophic
event may mean you face death.

You have the sense you can die any time.

This changes your life.

The idea that becoming acutely aware of
your own mortality can trigger dramatic
changes in attitudes has a long history in
psychology.

Survivors of traumatic events are brought nose-to-nose with this reality, and they must find ways to temper it, to assure themselves that their lives count for something and that they will not merely end up as “food for worms”.

The task,is to create narratives that are “of lasting worth and meaning”, that “outlive or outshine death and decay”.

It seems the ones who respond best are
able to re-imagine their lives in the most
positive ways.

Still, bouncing back from trauma does not
always require us to build an ambitious
existential vision for our place in the world.
It is stressed that the key was to find
meaning in life, rather than the meaning of life.

Live as if you were living already for
the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now,but with new resource of resilience to counter future failures!

Successful adapters tell lucid, forward-looking stories about themselves that join their past to their future.

Retelling your life-story is not the only way to recover from trauma, however – there are many other behaviours that can help you rebuild your mental fortress. Who you mix with may also be crucial.

Knowing that you have buddies who are rooting for you instead of a your divorced family,for example, is gladdening and reassuring.

Identifying with others and confiding in them is also critical to recovery from trauma.

Because you know you are not alone, that there are people behind you.

Social resilience, as well as being culturally dependent, cannot account for all the nuances of a community’s response to your tragedy.

It is puzzling, for example, that women, despite being better than men at
building ties and sharing emotions, almost always report higher rates of PTSD after a traumatic event.

The critical recovery process is
exposure to your main fears and self belief in confronting these fears.

You confront fear and you learn to deal with it.

You learn to exercise control over it, instead of letting it control you.

The potential to recover is in our genes.
The question is how to mobilise it.

For most people, trauma represents an
existential crisis.

It wakes us up to the deep questions of
life.

Once awake to those questions,
anything positive is possible.

But when you have inadvertently become so strongly invested and embedded in a diminished belief about who you are, it can feel like an internal battle when you consider the possibility that there might actually be another, more aligned and easy way.

As painful as your old story is, it is all you
know, so it is important to recognise that
in spite of it not serving who you ARE, it
has become a comfort zone which feels
safe and which very effectively protects
you from the unknown.

Over time, as you become more and more associated into your comfort zone, you inadvertently adopt its corresponding (and often limited) range of experiences
as the underlying fabric and truth of the
entire spectrum of your awareness and
understanding of yourself.

When this happens, it isn’t difficult to see why the mere suggestion of there possibly being another way of being, doing, and living might send you reeling from sheer uncertainty and fright!

Built into the consideration of letting
go of all that you know, no matter how
dysfunctional or toxic it might be, is a
fundamental understanding that you
might feel naked, overwhelmed, and
exposed by what is nothing short of an
emotional homecoming to your REAL
Self.

It is not uncommon at this place for you
to experience grief over the sense of time that has been ‘lost,’ or as you begin to see that there might have been another way of doing, being, and responding to the people and situations around you all along.

Showering yourself with self-love and
forgiveness here is the key, realising that
your journey as a Spirit in this physical
lifetime has its own inherent wisdom,
timing, and pace.

You simply couldn’t have come into this awareness and understanding before everything in both the seen and unseen realms collided to bring you to this precise place of retelling the story of your life.

Also built into the consideration of letting
go of all that you know is the realisation of your essential nature in this lifetime as
alone.

No matter how many people or how much activity you surround yourself with, you are the person that is most aware of and connected to the REAL You –your passions and strengths as well as
your fears and soul-level needs.

Being able to truly know and embrace
your real Self requires a soul-level
acceptance of absolutely ALL of who
you are.

And even if you don’t know exactly what that means, as a first step it requires a definite willingness and commitment to see, have, and behold the possibility that you are actually more intuitive, capable, and wise than you know.

The idea of deliberately choosing to put
yourself in a position of having to
actually feel your essential nature as alone is one that requires deep personal courage and bravery to face.

If you are at this place of contemplating just that, it is imperative you recognise that you are receiving a deep inner call – no matter the story and confines of your past – to step into your power in this present moment of NOW.

There is no getting around the fact that
stepping into what can feel like the
‘abyss of the unknown’ is one and the
same as honouring and allowing yourself to arrive more fully to who you really ARE.

And what I know beyond a shadow of a
doubt through my own personal experience and that of many of my friends in similar situations I am privileged to work with, is that as
much as this call towards greater
happiness, alignment, and peace is an
inner one, it is an outer call too.

This means that you have not only the inner resources necessary to create the
complete shift you want and need, but
because the universe wants this for you, it will bring to you precisely the outer
support and resources to help you do just
that as well.

What Are The Secret Ingredients That Will Enable You To Harness Your Desired Life- change?

•Intuition and self-trust.

These are the qualities that energetically and emotionally enable you to expand and move into a whole new realm of possibilities for yourself.

Together, following your intuition,
honouring your TRUTH, and trusting
yourself to take decisive action create
both the vehicle and the path that will
move you away from where you
currently are to where you would like
to be.

•The power lies within you.

If you are at this place, realize you are
being called to feel into and ultimately
step into your real Self NOW.

This is a pivotal place in your journey.

Seeing there is a certain dynamic at play
that keeps you stuck presents you with an opportunity to consciously choose a new way of being and a new story for your life from now onwards.

Even if you don’t know HOW you can possibly be a new person to yourself and to others, do, or act any differently from who you presently are, at this stage it is your TRUST in that deep inner call for healing, growth, and change that will unlock these very same things for
you.

It is important to be aware that this is also the place at which you can
inadvertently end up turning your back on your inner voice and relegate yourself to a pre-determined future of ‘sameness’ –more ‘stuck to your past’, frustration, and pain.

Willingness to open yourself to an
expanded range of inner and outer
possibilities combined with a resilience,
determination, and courage that
surpasses your humanity and comes
directly from your soul enables you to
accept your fundamental nature as alone.

You must be willing to let go of the
shadow life or ‘crutch’ that has been
limiting your experiences and thereby the extent to which you have been able to truly see, know, and enjoy your real
Self and fashion the life you truly deserve.

There is no one else but yourself to rely on in this moment but as you get ready to step into the unknown, you will also likely begin to sense with every fibre of your being that when you make this
commitment once and for all, your Spirit
will finally be FREE.

Go ahead and retell the story of your life in a new positive way!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

When things go wrong, don’t follow them!

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When was the last time you celebrated failure?

This can be a discomfiting question to people who have not cultivated resilience in their mindsets.

Failure stops non-resilient people right on their tracks. End of story,so they tell themselves!

How many times have you encountered a
disappointing situation?

Everyone goes through some form of disappointment from time to time
in their lives.

The difference lies in how we discipline
ourselves to get up and move on.

Some of the disappointments are major.

A failed relationship or being sacked has major implications on your life, but more importantly, on your self-esteem.

But it all depends on your perspective.

It also depends on how well you can
see the end of your story.

Non-resilient people see the story of their
life stopping when they reach a certain difficult point in their life or business; maybe their business failed or they
are declared bankrupt. Or they have been divorced.

Resilient people,on the other hand,develop a mindset that says;‘OK — that’s a hiccup, but now the story continues.

Finding the bright side of life or business
failure is at the heart of developing
resilience in life as in business.

If we see a failure as a success waiting
to happen that’s generally what happens in the long run,in spite of many failures that we may have to endure.

Most people despair when they encounter despair because they have not seen their story to the end.

They view the temporary setback as the
end, while it was just a turning of the pages of their lives.

People with a success mind-set know that
failures are part of the experiences they will encounter on their journey towards success.

Those with a failure mind-set tend to see failures as the end of everything.

You must have a clear vision of the successful person you were meant
to be in the future, so that any setback comes as a temporary problem and not the end.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I will still be here for you

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“Time can heal a broken heart, but it is your job to gather the pieces all together in one place.”

When your latest love has had enough of you,
When he no longer cares about you anymore,
When all your calls no longer excite him,
When all your texts go unanswered,
I will still be here for you:
Then one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When you’re crying and you are all alone,
When He doesn’t call you for that date
on that lonely Saturday night anymore,
While he’s left you alone and brokenhearted,
Call me for a shoulder to cry on,
Call at my door for a sanctuary to mourn your newly lost love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When he’s made selfish love to you,
Only caring about his own selfish lust,
Leaving you high and dry,
And wondering what is it in him you saw in the first place,
To draw your love for such a selfish beast,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When his words degrade the loving woman that you are,
With painful insults still stored in your memory,
With him, telling you, why he has to cheat, to be satisfied

When he tells you that if you get pregnant,
that this child will not be his to keep,
That you must get rid of this new wonderful life,
That both of you forged into being,
The fruit of your misplaced love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When he tells you that you have become fat and ugly,
Or too skinny that his friends doubt your health,
Or too mothering that you douse his libido,
Or too talkative that you’ll soon drive him deaf,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

Because it will be with me,
that you’ll find love that will last,
And it will be forever,You and Me,
Only because I was the one that you didn’t realise,
That will always be there as a friend,
Even when the colour of love has faded, under the toll of years and heartbreaks,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

You and me always belonged together,
But we had to explore the world around us,
Before settling into this lasting friendship,
The ship that sailed you away from me,
Will one day bring you back to your safe harbour,
And whenever it does,my love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Want to lead an awesome life? Be present in your every day life!

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“There is only one time
that is important –
NOW! It is the most
important time because
it is the only time that we
have any power upon.”
~Leo Tolstoy

As humans we tend to spend a lot of time in the past or the future.

In other words,we are absent from our every day life.

We spend much time thinking about what was and what could have been.

The mind is a noisy place.

We often get lost in thoughts of a remembered past or an anticipated
future.

Whether reminiscing or regretting what has happened, or planning or worrying about what might happen, the past and the future steal our attention away from the present.

We become mentally absent,living on autopilot, forgetting to experience what’s happening right here and now.

And we spend much time projecting into the future and wondering about what may happen.

This way of thinking is indeed a great way to make much of your life a lot more miserable and limited than necessary.

The key to solving this problem is of course to live as much as you can
in the only moment that you ever really live in and control.

This magical moment right now.

The moment that is all there ever was and – probably– will be.

There are more advantages to being in the present moment besides being able to decrease mindmade suffering.

Some of those advantages
are:

•Clarity. When you are living in the present moment, you have a much better focus and things flow naturally out of you.

This is very useful in conversations, at work, while writing or while playing your favourite game on the tennis court.

•Calmness. You feel centred and anchored into the present moment, relaxed in whatever you do you do,and find it more easy to savour this magical moment of your life in calm contemplation.

Since you are not projecting into a possible future or reflecting on previous experiences, there is very little fear holding you back to enjoying your life in the present moment.

If you make it a habit,peace will reign for most part of your life as transient inconveniences are soon swept away from the present moment into your forgotten past in a moment.

•Positivity. Since there is little fear in this present moment, there are few negative emotions when you are in the present.

Instead you move around on the
positive part of the emotional scale.

Now, that sounds nice and useful.

But how can you step away from the thought loops that whirl back and forth through your memories and fantasies?

How do you actually return to the present moment?

More on that later towards the end of this post.

But let’s first look at some challenges of living in the present moment.

You will slip back into involuntarily thinking about the future/ past when you don’t practice to savour the present moment.

But the more time and effort you spend
connecting with the moment, the easier it gets reconnecting with it every time you are dragged into worrying about the past or the future.

And you will find yourself staying there longer with practice.

I have written quite a bit about being present and how it can help you.

Today I’d like to list some of my favourite
benefits of being present.

Many of them relate to or blend into one another.

Now, being present is quite hard to keep up without practising transcendal meditation as well.

In my case,I adopted Buddhist meditation twenty odd years ago,and it has served me well in the practice of savouring the present moment.

As a beginner,you slip back into not being present many times over in the initial stages. And that’s OK.

Don’t beat yourself up for it.

Just accept that you are not present and you’ll feel better and more relaxed for being honest to yourself.

Then it will be easier to slip back into
the present moment again.

Just like with anything else that we pursue in life, going for perfection often just leads to anxiety and beating yourself up.

Going for consistency and improving your consistency gradually – slipping back into old habits less and less – is more useful.

Also, being present isn’t a magic pill that will solve all your problems or “fix you” into an extraordinary happy human being.

But like regular exercise, it can be helpful in several ways such as following:

• Improved social skills.

This may be one of the first things you discover when you start experimenting with being present.

It was for me.

If you have the problem that you get nervous/shy and “don’t know what to say” in a conversation then presence is one solution.

When you are present your head is no longer filled with past scenarios (“what did she mean when she said that?”) or future scenarios (“what will they think if say this?”).

You let go off self- consciousness.
You are just here. That’s all that matters. No anxiety about your being present or being who you are.

All your attention is focused outward towards the person(s) you are interacting with.

You just let things flow out of you.

And in a way of a helpful tip, assuming positive rapport is a way to tap into your presence in conversations.

Assuming rapport means that you pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends,even when that person is a stranger.

Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

When you’re with your best friends you are probably not thinking ahead that much.

You are just enjoying the interaction, the present moment and all of you just let things flow naturally.

Presence can also help you with listening.
It helps you to decrease the bad habit of thinking about the future and what you should say next while trying to listen. If you are present and really there while listening then that will also come through in your body language, which gives the person talking a vibe and feeling that
you are really listening to what s/he has to say.

Being present also improves your focus and allows you to better tune out possible interruptions or distractions in your surroundings.

•Improved creativity.
I have especially found this one helpful in improving my writing skills,cultivating the spontaneity of my thought-flow and coherence.

If you write or do some other creative work you may have found that your best work flows out of you when you are not thinking that much.

You just write, paint, or act in a play.

You enter a state where things just come to you.

Then later you can come back and edit your work.

This one is similar to the first reason.

Writing is for instance similar to a conversation.

When you are present in a conversation or while writing things it’s often best to not think to far ahead or you start to get self-conscious and second- guessing yourself.

You create mental blocks that stop your creativity from flowing unhindered.

• You appreciate your world more.

One of big advantages of becoming more present in your everyday life is that you decrease the amount of analysing and labelling you do to the things/people in your surroundings.

You don’t judge as much.

This might sound strange but in the moments when you are present the ordinary world becomes more interesting and wonderful.

Colours can seem brighter.

You see more aliveness in trees, nature and in people.

You see the wonder of all your man-made gadgets and stuff.

Things that most often seem common, routine and boring become fascinating and something you can appreciate.

It’s like you are observing your world with more clarity and curiousness.

Like a little kid again,discovering things while they still feel fresh.

Before they have just become walking, talking and growing labels with years of associations and thoughts attached.

Before you actually use this tip though – if you Just think about it in your mind – it may not make that much sense.

• Stress release.

When you are present there is a certain stillness and centeredness inside and around you.

You calm down.

If you are feeling stressed during your normal day then one of my favourite ways to let that go is to take belly breaths and just focus on them for a minute or two.

This pretty much always calms me down.

The breathing with belly seems to calm one down in a physical way.

And by focusing just on the in and out-breaths you connect to the present
moment instead of the past or future scenarios that are making you feel stressed.

•Less worrying and overthinking.

If you are a chronic overthinker that goes round and round in circles in your mind before you ever get anything done then being present is a great release from that. Imprisoning habit that mostly leads to procrastination and delays decision making.

I’m not saying that you won’t slip back into overthinking.

But being present just for a while can help you.

It can allow you to stop worrying about what may happen and just take some action to get started.

It helps you to actually see what happens.

If you’re an overthinker you may find 3 Good Reasons to Stop Thinking So Much, And How to Do It helpful.

•Openness.

This is perhaps the best benefit.

Being present removes the labels you put on people and things– temporarily – and opens you up to see and experience things without your preconceived
notions.

I think this is a big part in how being
present helps you in conversations and with your creativity.

You are open to new things as you are
without many of your barriers within your mind.

Things can flow easier through you without all that stuff in the way.

You make things easy on yourself in way.

And you often get better results at the same time.

•Playfulness.

As you are present you may feel a playfulness arise.

This makes it easier to just do things,especially when you are in company of other people .

When you see things from a playful point of view things become less of a struggle created from within.

You let go of that heavy,overthinking frame of mind.

Everything won’t become super easy to do.

But many things become more enjoyable and easier to do.

They become lighter. Less of a burden.

Kids are often more present and playful.

You can return to that playfulness by connecting with the present.

There are quite a number of ways to return to the present.

You can try a bunch of them out and see
which one(s) that works best for you.

My. favourites at the moment are:

•Focus on your breath.(This one comes from Buddhist meditation practice).

I mentioned this one above as belly-breaths.

You can find a quick guide to belly breathing in my other articles.

•Focus on what’s right in front of you.
Or around you. Or on you. Use your senses. Just look at what’s right in front of you right now.

•Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the fabric of your clothes rustling and focus on how they feel. You can for instance use the heat of the sun or rain or wind and how it feels on your skin to connect with the present.

•Pick up the vibe from present people.

If you know someone that is more present than most people then you can pick his/her vibe of presence (just like you can pick up positivity or enthusiasm from people).

If you don’t know someone like that I recommend listening to/ watching cds/dvds by Eckhart Tolle like ‘Stillness
Speaks’ or ‘The Flowering of Consciousness’.

His books work too. But cds/dvds are better than books for picking up someone’s vibe since the biggest part of communication is voice tonality and body language.

•Through awareness.

It’s hard to stay present because when you aren’t present, you’re not there
to notice your absence.

But with practice you can awaken to the richness of the present moment and
appreciate your role in it.

Thinking about being present is not a method of being present, so turn off your analytical mind and turn on your observing mind.

Focus on your body, which is always in the present no matter where your mind is.

Or your breath, or your senses, or your surroundings.

Anything that can anchor you in the current moment.

•Through positive acceptance.

In other words,don’t resist the present; embrace it.

As each moment reveals itself to you,
greet it with unhurried appreciation.

Surrender to whatever the moment brings, and be open to the present as it opens into the future.

Love what is, and what is becoming in this present moment of your life.

•Through involvement.

Inhabit the present more fully by sensing the immediacy of whatever present experience there is, free of yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s expectations.

Get out of the there-and-then of
thinking and into the here-and-now of
experiencing.

Welcome each new moment, and dance with it to the rhythm of your present life.

•Through authenticity.

Stop worrying about what others will think of you at this present moment.

See every new moment as an opportunity to embrace your passions, to live in alignment with your values, to fill the present with what matters.

Some people focus on the present, but in the wrong way.

They place too much weight on what
they’re doing today.

But this is future-focus in disguise:by valuing today merely for its perceived
impact on tomorrow.

The results are worry, fear,anxiety
and stress.

It also makes them focus on only those
aspects of the present that are useful for the future, to the neglect of everything else.

Being present is not overweighting certain aspects of what’s happening now, but connecting more fully with all of it at this present moment.

Treat today as an end, not just a means to some longed-for tomorrow.

Right now, this thing that’s happening is your life.

You have been blessed with this instant, and this one, and this one.

These moments will only
happen once in “NOW”,and not ever again.

Be present for them.

Go ahead and cultivate and awesome life for yourself by living in the present moment!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stung by criticism? Here is your raincoat to weather all sorts of criticism

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“If you keep the feathers of your heart well oiled, the water of criticism will run off as from a duck’s back.”

I recently received a very disturbing email from a collegue who had won a joint project coordination job with me for technical consultancy.

He had hoped to muscle me out of the project during our application.

When we were awarded equal participation for the same project,he drafted a nasty email to our principal client and copied it to many other staff participating in the project discrediting my suitability for participation now that we would have to share the professional fee.

Does this sort of envious criticism sound familiar in your general life?

Let’s look at my nasty email as a case study on how to truthfully ward off criticism which is unhelpful and not constructive.

How often do we receive criticism and it
doesn’t touch us, sometimes we don’t even notice it?

When there are no self-beliefs for the insult to hook into, it rolls off like a
raindrops on our raincoat.

But when deep down we hold limiting beliefs, the criticism arouses them.

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

If we do something we will be criticised, and we cannot do anything about it.

Thinking “he shouldn’t criticise me” will not stop the other person. It is hopeless.

All it does is it harms us.

Instead of blaming the one who is criticising us, it is better to focus on the one person we do have control over: ourselves.

Look inside, discover the beliefs that
caused the criticism to stick, and begin
to undo them.

So that the next time when we
receive similar criticism it rolls right off,
like the raindrops on our raincoat.

Not sure how to discover your own limiting beliefs? Here’s how:

Finish the following statement: “Someone
has criticised me, and that means…”

What comes up for me whenever I’m stung by criticism is:

•I am inadequate
• I do not fit in
•I am not fit for this kind of power games.

I was quite surprised the first time I was confronted with these self-limiting beliefs.

What is it for you?

What beliefs rubs in the sting of criticism?

The next step is to question those thoughts with the help of these four questions and turnarounds, which are the opposite of the initial thought.

1. Is the criticism I’m receiving true?
2. Can I be absolutely sure that it is true?
3. How do I react and what happens, when I believe that it is true?
4. Who would I be without these thoughts?

Let’s question the thought “I am
inadequate.”

It is important to do this inquiry having a
concrete situation in mind.

So my situation is: I’m reading the email, which states that I will cause problems in the line of my professional duty by doing ABCD and it would be better for me to put my talents into better use elsewhere.

If you like you can question the belief about yourself that you just discovered.

Answer these questions along with me, keeping in mind your situation on this honest journey to self discovery.

1. I am inadequate. Is it true?
Yes. In the eyes of others.

2. Can I absolutely know that it is true?
No. I hold myself adequate truthfully and up to the task.

Just notice how it feels to express an honest “yes” or a “no” as an answer to these two questions.

There are no right or wrong answers here; it’s about discovering what is
true for us.

And just notice how your mind
wanders: “Yes, because…“ or “No, but…“

3. How do you react, what happens,
when you believe that thought?

There I am reading the email that states
that I caused problems and I would better
use my talents and help in other projects.

How do I react, what happens when I
believe the reinforcing thought of criticism that I am inadequate?

I make myself small. I hit reply and I
answer, “Sorry. Okay, then I will not do the coordination of this project.”

I feel crushed and incredibly hurt.

I am afraid what others who read that
email will say.

I picture a catastrophe,loss of professional pride,personal dignity etc.

4. Who would you be without these reinforcing thought?

Who would I be without the thought that I
am inadequate?

What would I do, feel, or say if I could not think the thought that I
am inadequate?

I would be curious what makes my
colleague think that I am causing his
problems.

I would ask him to meet me and explain his perspective on the issue so that I could understand.

I would entertain the possibility that there was just a misunderstanding on his part about my aptitude for the task.

I would not disregard the supportive emails I received from others within the same project.

In fact, I would give much more credit to them.

I would be much calmer.

I would be genuinely curious about what
went wrong without blaming myself.

The turnaround would be: I am very
capable at my job.

The turnaround opens us up to the
possibility that the opposite of our thought feels as true or even truer than the initial one.

Examples to the turnaround statement
broaden our vision and help us see reality in its complexity.

So how can that it be true that I am very
capable at my job?

– The three supportive emails I received
from colleagues confirm that I am very
capable at my job.

– My work has always been appreciated in the previous years.

So what was the problem in the first place?

The criticism, or my deeply rooted belief
that I am inadequate?

It was the belief, wasn’t it?

“If you keep your feathers well oiled the
water of criticism will run off as from a
duck’s back.” ~Ellen Swallow Richards

The next time you feel hurt by criticism,
look for the underlying limiting belief and
question it with the help of the help of the above illustrated self-belief analysis.

This is how we keep our feathers well oiled.

One day you might even find yourself
grateful for criticism and the opportunity it presents to look inside, and better yourself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Savour life to the last moment of your dying breath!

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The older I get, the more I realise that there’s no slowing down time and everyday, even boring old Monday blues is a gift.

I realise now that clichés are so irritating because they hold uncomfortable truths. Clichés like ‘every moment gone, is gone forever.’

I understand that everything I do, should become sacred ,cherished at that moment and savoured.

When I’m in this mindset, preparing a
meal is not a chore, or listening to my play list music is not just pleasing,but a blessing.

When I’m in that mindset, everyday is special, and I don’t have to wait for one day in the year to celebrate.

If we reserve our joy only for the
experiences of a lifetime, we may miss the life in the experience.

Something is lost when we get so busy and consumed with productivity that we find ourselves speeding through our days
instead of savouring them.

Busy-ness robs us of the gift right in front of us in a way of a savoured moment that will be swept to oblivion in probably just a second.

Take your time with food today.

If you’re the one who cooks in your home, spend more than the minimum amount of time preparing the meal.

Slowly cut and cook each ingredient, imagining what they will taste like when blended.

When you eat, chew slowly.

Make each bite intentional and deliberate, counting to at least 20 before swallowing.

As you do, remember to appreciate and enjoy all the flavours in the food.

And above all, remember to smile between bites.

And if you are like me,blend the taste of your food with the sweet music playing in background.

Enjoy the beautiful view coming through the window of your dining room,the sounds of nature in the chirping birds.

Sometimes, our biggest frustrations too turn into our most beautiful
moments of our lives.

Just this morning, my cat decided to wake
up an hour before the sunrise and scratched at my face to let him out to do his ablutions outside the house.

This didn’t work well for my Sunday schedule as I like waking up late.

Frustrated and offended that my cat couldn’t understand my Sunday schedule, I had to decide: Would I find a
way to be okay with this moment right
now, to savour it and see the beauty in it; or would I just be mad?

Watching my cat crawl like a circus prop across the floor to
tug at the green plastic ball in the trunk of his sleeping Basket, I catch him
Looking lovingly at my dishevelled morning face with love that he can’t hide.
Having been awakened already,I look through my bedroom window and I’m washed in the most beautiful half-dawn and half sunrise that I could have missed as the beginning of my beautiful Sunday.

I sit on my bed suffused in the most exquisite scenery; misty sunrise is already washing over this charming valley that is festooned with the beautiful Ngong Hills and the ground is full of thousand tropical blossoms of every colour.

Around me,the hills rise through the mist
their blunt tips trying to touch the bright
blue of the sky as it hovers cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighbouring houses.

They too seemed full of joy, as if they have special plans, and had put on their
finest Sunday clothes for the occasion.

And I realize that as much as I’d like an extra hour of sleep or to get ahead with my well deserved rest, there aren’t many
moments better than this one.

As we are busy waiting for the highlights,
children are growing up too fast, precious
moments with loved ones are slipping away, and our life’s countdown is continuing.

And perhaps one of the saddest realisations when we lose a loved one is knowing that we spent so many ordinary days together, so many un heralded moments when we did not understand just how special and brief that moment was.

As we are busy waiting for a grander day than today, life is teaching us that it values process, that becoming is just as important as being.

That one day, when you are all you are meant to be, you could very well be dead.

Life reminds us that it counts special days, and grand days in much the same way.

Hence, if you are going to spend the bulk of your days in process, shouldn’t it matter almost as much, if not more than the event?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Buddhism & Detachment: The new road to personal freedom

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I have had to deal with many questions
about my Buddhist meditation in relation to my Christian spirituality.

For most of my friends who have heavily invested into their Christianity and to them, the concepts of any other faith
are considered false,my dual spirituality sounds like a contradiction.

Buddhism is just my base philosophy,not a religion in the sense of my Christian spirituality.

My spirituality is firmly rooted in my Christian faith.

My approach to life’s philosophy is anchored on my Buddhist meditation practice.

When it comes to choosing a meditation
path, I’m not talking about choosing one
religion over another, more like one
practice over another.

This is akin to saying that just because
you’re married, you don’t have to give up
all friendships with other people and only stick to the friendship of your partner.

You could have as many friends as you like,both single and married,and still enjoy the bliss of a good marriage.

Good friends do not interfere in your
primary relationship and can serve as a
fantastic support when you need some
perspective.

Ask your yourself; can an infantry man in the army still be a Christian?

Buddhism,at least from my perspective, is a faith in the practice of here and now.

Christianity is a practice for the
afterlife.

Trying to be a good Buddhist in the modern world is not easy; there is much that conspires against one on every side.

Out of all the various concepts of the Buddhist faith, only two or three really stand out as central and dominant.

In this respect, I suppose impermanence, bliss and compassion stand out to me as being really central ideas, about which much else revolves peripherally. Karma and rebirth are both concepts Buddhism has taken from Hinduism.

It is hard to find one axiom within Buddhism that illustrates this fact so well,
as that of non-attachment.

It sums up the whole concept of all world’s religions in so many ways and serves to illustrate the theme of how hard it is to be a good Buddhist.

In recent days I have found myself increasingly contemplating how central and important non-attachment is, and have therefore chosen to write about
it quite spontaneously as an abiding theme, which acts much like a key to many other aspects of Buddhist philosophy and its application to life.

‘Attachment is the origin, the root of
suffering; hence it is the cause of
suffering.’

The starting point can be how difficult it is to be a good Buddhist.

It is difficult for many reasons, but chief among them is the way most people view this world.

To me, it is a fleeting thing, ever-changing and I am aware every day of its transient nature.

Every day I think of death in general, danger and uncertainty, like that very day I could die, it could be my last.

These are not idle dreams; they occur as serious thoughts all the time. I check my life for danger as I wake up; check myself over for symptoms of impending illness; check my mind for bad thoughts and review critically all my recent interests and activities to see if everything is OK.

I check my motives for doing or saying things.

I correct my wrongs and right any errors if I can.

In this way I have become deeply habituated over many years now in following a certain inner path,a certain practice, if you like.

It is a certain way of engaging with the world.

This daily practice of mine is entirely rooted in Buddhist principles.

I would have it no other way. It is what passes for my personal religion and has been for over twenty years now.

I have no problem with it, have resolved myself to it and commit myself to it wholeheartedly. It has given me great pleasure and I have learned all I know about life, people and the world from its teachings.

I feel as though I am firmly embedded in it, enveloped comfortably in it as a world view and would hate to adopt any other set of ideas to live by.

It is difficult to be a Buddhist, chiefly
because the rest of humanity does not
approach life like this.

Two overwhelming internal forces largely drive the rest of humanity: desire and hatred.

Everything people do – virtually – can be reduced to these two strong impulses.

Almost everything they say and do, most of the interests they pursue and most of their speech and activity are motivated by and absorbed into whom they like, what they like, and what they hate.

Thus, they are strongly pulled towards what they like and repelled from what they hate.

For me though,I have chosen to be completely detached from motives of love and hate as the sole drivers in my life.

Call this choice detachment,for that is what it really is.

While we are all like
this,naturally,without tutorship of Buddhism, I have chosen the path of complete emotional drtachment as my road to complete personal freedom.

I still include myself in this stream of
people I am talking about who are driven by hate and desire,but I’ve deliberately detached myself from practicing them as my life’s philosophy.

I do not exclude myself or raise myself up onto some morally superior holier-than-thou dais.

I am much of the time just as absorbed by this as anyone else.

Nevertheless, it is useful to know this and to carry this idea around with one inside every day.

It leads to many insights almost on a daily basis and can lead one to moderate the excesses of one’s attractions and repulsions.

It allows one to understand what one is looking at in the world.

We look at people and lament their
selfishness, without realising that we are
just the same.

We lament their hating this and wanting that, without realising that we are just the same.

Therefore, compassion and love arise from this awareness, as it pulls us all together as human beings.

We are all selfish and hate this and want that; this is our nature.

Knowing this gives us a great basis for forgiveness, love and compassion for just about anyone without favouring anyone with undue attention at the expense of all others.

Any ‘wrong’ people do is based upon desire or hate, and thus knowing that we all share these passions, make it easier to accept and forgive such ‘wrongs’.

They can be distinguished only in their degree of wrongness, but they all share the same basis; thus no-one is more deserving of forgiveness, than anyone else.

No ‘sin’ is worse than any other is: they all derive from the same desire and hate.

‘…it is said that as long as one is in cyclic
existence, one is in the grip of some form of suffering.’

To know that we are all based in desire and hatred is to know humanity in all its
strengths and weaknesses.

It is true to say that you do not know someone very well until you know what they really like, what they most earnestly desire or hate.

Moreover, it is true.

For the most part, people are simple beings, driven mostly by these two forces of desire and hate.

We want this and we don’t want that.

That is how we move through life drifting towards one desire after another and away from one hatred to another.

In this way, our life evolves [or stands still] and then we die.

We experience pleasure and pain continuously in varying degrees and in
varying forms, some coarse and some
subtle, but that is the pattern of our lives, of everyone’s life. I

t is observably so, and how things actually are.

Buddhism is a philosophy based upon a profound view of how people actually are.

‘Non-attachment…views desire as faulty,
thereby deliberately restraining desire…’

Yet to be a Buddhist is to cultivate
detachment, a separation from all this, to
view the world as less enticing and less
permanent, to be detached from its pains as much as its pleasures.

This is the fundamental essence of how a Buddhist lives, tasting the pleasures and pains infrequently, cultivating a sort of
detachment as if you are holding the world at arms length slightly and looking askance at it.

Buddhists can apprehend the general
dissatisfaction of life.

We can see that much work needs to be done on ourselves.

The nature of the world cannot be changed, but the nature of ourselves can.

That is where the real work sits.

Like so many aspects of Buddhism, the view of non-attachment arises to some extent from the core experience of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Like impermanence and bliss, non-attachment is a basic aspect of his experience.

It can be seen as a part either of the fruit or a part of the path to personal freedom; or indeed, both.

It is an aspect of both.

It is an aspect of the Buddhist path to gaining enlightenment, and it is at the same time an aspect of the behaviour of a Buddha.

It arises from the enlightenment experience, primarily as a reaction towards the nature of impermanence.

Because things are impermanent, so it behoves one to deal with this fact. It is the way things are.

Inescapably, this is how life is: nothing is
permanent, everything changes and will
disappear.

Knowing this changes our perception of the world and the priorities we find in being here.

One reaction, therefore, is to view the world somewhat sceptically, in a nonchalant and detached manner.

Knowing that someone you love is
going to die or leave you sometime, changes your love for them
somewhat.

Knowing you will pass from this world, and never be seen again, inevitably
changes your love for it; your attachment to it is correspondingly diminished by this
knowledge.

This forms one basis for non-
attachment.

‘…when you have attachment to, for
instance, material things, it is best to
desist from that activity. It is taught that
one should have few desires and have
satisfaction – detachment – with respect
to material things…’

Every day we see things we like, people we like, foods we like, and attractive things we would like to buy or share our lives with.

To fill our lives with these things we love seems natural, but in truth, it is path to pain, and not to peace.

If given complete freedom, we would most certainly get rid of certain
things in our lives that we dislike, certain
objects and certain people.

We would shove them all out of our lives, if we could, if we had the choice, because we do not like them.

In addition, we would fill our lives
with pleasant things, nice people, beautiful persons who we enjoy and who we like the look and feel of.

This is what we would all do if only we could, if we had the chance and freedom.
Instead, we suppress some of our great desires to remain socially acceptable and decent, and suppress also some of our aversions.

In this way, we manage to remain in a socially acceptable bandwidth of normality and accepted conduct.

Those who do not accept these norms
become deviants and criminals and come to occupy a subculture that has rejected the norms of society.

From a purely Buddhist perspective, that is a painful and unhappy path to follow, as it leads to misery and friction with others almost daily.

If the aim of life is to become content and happy, then there are certain rules we must follow, one of them being to acknowledge the fundamental social nature of all human beings.

Therefore, to turn your back on society inevitably leads to great pain and
loneliness.

This increases one’s suffering and that cannot be a good path to follow.

One attitude towards life is therefore to
keep active desires and hatreds dampened down like fires, which could at any moment, and with only a few puffs, be suddenly set blazing up again.

That is the nature of mind.

This is how we are.

It is how we behave.

The Buddhist view is slightly different, as it is to work through this manifestly unsatisfactory way of living – of being little more than a slave to these impulses – and to try and become more detached, more neutral, less engaged with those alluring things we want, and less averse and enraged by the things we dislike.

‘…the sense of an object as being attractive, unattractive, or neutral…feelings of pleasure, pain, or
neutrality arise. Due to such feelings,
attachment develops, this being the
attachment of not wanting to separate
from pleasure and the attachment of
wanting to separate from suffering…’

Non-attachment gives us the much-needed space to contemplate what we want and what we hate so as to more fully reflect upon whether these things we love or loathe will truly bring us the pain or pleasure we believe they contain.
By reflecting in this way we can choose what to do and what not to do – it puts the brakes on to some degree.

It is a path of abstention most of the time because it recognises the fundamental unattractiveness of most things.

Excess pleasure leads to pain and thus on reflection there is little that is worth
enjoying to excess.

This is the dominant theme.

Non-attachment can therefore be
seen as the general antidote for all excesses and indulgences.

It attempts to wake us up to the actual state of things and provides us with a kind of barrier to place between
ourselves and the world we engage with.

It dampens our drives and cools our passions in order to reflect on what is or is not a good path to follow.

It forces us to contemplate the probable consequences inherent in every action we are considering.

Overall, Buddhists wish to choose actions
that will increase happiness for all and
reduce suffering for all.

Actions, words and thoughts can therefore be graded into those that increase happiness and those that do not.

Those that do not are either neutral or they are harmful to self or others.

‘…the mental factor of desire…accompanies the perception of
an attractive object…’

The Buddhist view is to try to dampen and work through our innate urges.

It is to build a more peaceful inner world, that does not indulge these selfish impulses, but which constructs a more compassionate viewpoint, a still centre.

Over the last ten or 15 years I have become accustomed to this approach and it amazes me some days how successful I have become in cultivating this
detachment and I have set up sort of
internal alarm systems to stop me going
beyond certain limits with food, drink,romance and all the other alluring things of the world.

It is hard work and boring work, but it is a task I have set myself, which has now become entrenched.

What alternative is there?

There is no other method of restraining
these impulses and restrained they must
be, if we wish to achieve some modicum of spirituality.

It is useful work and hard work, but one
must be ever watchful in the hope that one dies a better person, that one can look back at ones life and remind oneself how there have been certain improvements and that one has become a better person, a more detached, more controlled and more compassionate person.

My aim is to die peacefully and to truly regard my life in its entire vicissitudes, and see it as successful in this sense of it being better than it was and that I die a more rested and more contented person than I was before.

I hope that is the case and wish it to be so.

I take daily action to build that type of future for myself.

I call that a Buddhist path and so I
would call myself a Buddhist, one who tries constantly to be kind and happy, to be restful and contented as far as is possible, and also to look back at the many positive things I have done and to truly know that I have improved and become a better person.

A better person with fewer desires, with less hatred and filled with more compassion, more peace, more love and more contentment than I had before.

If I can measure my life at all, this is how I
would choose to measure it.

Moreover, what progress there has been, if any, I would measure precisely in those terms.

If I am less desirous, more contented, less hateful, more loving, more peaceful, more contented, then I can die happy.

That is the nature of non-attachment, a path worth cultivating.

In terms of being selfish or being kind, I would say I am kinder to my own spirit and soul,and more or less indifferent to others.

In terms of being more loving, I would say I have moved a long way to love myself and not require my own validation through craving the love of other people.

I am much more compassionate than I ever was to myself.

In terms of anger, I have done much work, and can truthfully say that I rarely get angry and try to remove the poison of anger from my mind and my life.

I’m not angry at myself,and I need not be angry at others.

In terms of hatred, I have worked hard to purge it from my life.

For when you don’t yourself,there is no need to hate others.

I feel lucky to never have been a very hateful person to myself; unforgiving at times, but not hateful.

In terms of desire, I have made some limited progress, though I would be a
liar if I said I desire nothing. I desire comfort and peace in my life,and I have realised that this is a situation I can cultivate for myself without input from other people.

Much work still needs to be done on this, but some discernible progress has been made.

Thus, in all these ways, I do consider myself to be a good Buddhist, and to have successfully cultivated a form of non-attachment in my life, which works for me.

In all these ways, I therefore do view this
world with little real interest.

I am detached much of the time.

I do know that I will one day die, and though I do not wish it, I have come to accept it.

I try to see every day as my last.

Every day I try to be kinder and more compassionate to myself and to play down the negative forces within me.

Every day I try to be a better person and to be less desiring, less hating, less judging of myself and to feel myself closer to humanity as a whole,and all living things.

This is the way I have chosen to live.

I do consider it to be a Spiritual life, a good life and a life worth living.

In small ways, I do believe it has been
successful.

And I have made peace with myself.

I’m only in control of things that impact directly on my life.

I’m not bothered with any other life except mine.

This has freed me from the guilt of trying to figure out how I’m perceived by others.

This has been the sweet road to my personal and it is not hitched on any other life except mine.

Only peace flows in my mind as I contemplate only one life to deal with;and that is my life,independent of all others.

B.W~5th August,2015

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Prostate Cancer: the good, the bad and the ugly all rolled into one

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That ability to accept one’s insecurities and admit helplessness is something men never learn.

Unless, one admits suffering, one has no chance of getting over it.

It takes courage to keep the faith even when all hope seems extinguished.

Courage is accepting that you are afraid and are still facing your fears.

That is what being a real man, is about.

This is something I learnt the hard way on my 50th birthday.

Here is the story around it.

On my 50th birthday, I decided to give myself a rather strange gift: getting tested for prostate cancer,and Oh my! I really got the gift pack that was not in mind,though it was always probable at that age; I was told that my PSA was off the chart, an almost sure sign that I had advanced prostate cancer.

What a gift pack to celebrate my life that has clocked half a century!

I’ve handled many other challenges in my life,but this one takes the first prize,no doubt.

But before you start pouring in some sympathy,get yourself tested first,that will be the best thing you can do for me!-more on this toward the last part of this post,please.

Despite the relatively asymptomatic nature of prostate cancer, I was not greatly surprised considering my age.

However, a definitive diagnosis of advanced, incurable prostate cancer is at best a wakeup call, at worst a life threatening judgment.

My life would never be the same again.

I am convinced that an unequivocal positive attitude and a confident reliance on the healing powers of the body through our God-given immune system are essential to dealing with cancer.

I do not expect my cancer to be cured.

I will be satisfied with coming to terms with it – perhaps a standoff-Like North and South Korea, a 50- year truce,so to say.

I guess the medical term might be “remission.”

It has been more than three years since
my diagnosis.

My initial treatments seem to have been successful.

I feel as though I have walked. (Or should I say stumbled?) through the valley of darkness and am emerging, a bit weakened and chastened, into the light of a normal existence.

One of my personal therapies is increased physical activity.

At age 53, I am determined to continue
playing best love songs on a playlist I didn’t know I would cherish during the september of my years.

I also try to eat right and sleep adequately.

But most of all, I maintain a positive attitude.

I find that I pray more, I drive less aggressively(that’s good for my car and other road users too!), and I move more
slowly and deliberately.

The world of cancer, which I have entered, has changed the way I look at everything: my life, my relationships, the trees, the sky.

I hope I am more gentle, more caring, more sensitive to others, more open, and more flexible.

I find that my priorities have changed.

I still feel passionately about certain issues, but I realize that they do not
depend solely on my efforts now.

In many ways, my life is richer.

I have learned that cancer can be treated as a chronic illness.

There will be highs and lows, peaks and valleys.

I have gone through the first “valley of tears” and am now on a high plateau, perhaps moving toward a peak.

My prayer and hope is that I will have the courage, strength, and grace to again face the darkness of the next valley, whenever it comes.

It took a while for me to learn how to face
the challenge ahead.

I realized I needed to get on with life.

What else could I do?

I’ve always been a bit of a high-strung person, but this just brought out the anxiety in droves. I realized I needed to stay positive.

I had to keep busy and let my partner
encourage and help me,though I’ve never been good at taking help.

I learned about my particular form of cancer and what kind of treatment was available for me.

I learned to brace myself to face the challenge ahead.

Keep busy and stay positive

During treatment, I tried to stay busy to
keep my mind from going negative.

My partner helped with that.

Suddenly, the neighbour’s children needed babysitting and things needed fixing around the house.

Sometimes I think my partner broke things on purpose so I would have to
fix them. I presume that in her beautiful mind,she intends to validate my worthiness around the house by “cooking up” situations that are meant to remind me that I’m still the “man” in my home and I should man-up and take charge!

She is a clever one,my Daisy!

And you are reading this journal,thanks to my cancer; I would never have thought of it if I knew I had long to live!

Clichés

Scattered among the hundreds of thoughtful and caring responses I
received to my prostate cancer diagnosis from my, friends, and colleagues, there were a few reactions that were
difficult to handle.

After listening to several people attempt to say the right thing while assiduously avoiding the idea of cancer itself, I sorted their deflective responses to my bad news into one of three categories:
soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers.

Soothsayers

A soothsayer’s favorite expression is “Don’t worry. Everything will turn out fine.”

Variations include, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” and “God gives you only what you can handle. I know you’ll be able to handle this.”

While responses like these were
meant to be encouraging, in the end they felt like clichés that moved immediately to a happy ending – and jumped right over my need to process, and eventually to accept,the fact that aggressive cancer had become
a reality in my life.

From my point of view, it was a fairly long time before I would be able to say,
“Yes, everything will indeed turn out just fine”,without sounding both cynical and sarcastic.

By focusing only on the happy ending,
the soothsayers inadvertently excluded the intermediate struggles that lay between then and now.

Eventually, I decided that the soothsayers, by automatically presuming an optimistic outcome, did so because they were simply emotionally unable to entertain a bad ending.

My standard reply to their presumed sunny outcome became, “Well, I certainly hope so.”

Minimizers

At least the soothsayers always assumed a positive ending to my illness.

I was less sure about the minimizers.

To be sure, prostate cancer has one of the highest cure rates of any cancer.

But as I was looking down the long dark
corridor of tests, procedures, and
eventually, treatment, all these positive
statistics missed the point of my individual experience with aggressive cancer.

Rather than encouraging me, the minimizers only tended to deepen my gloom when they made comments like, “Oh, my husband had prostate cancer. They took it out and he’s fine now.” Or, “Prostate cancer has a high cure rate, you know.”

Yes, I already knew.

Or, “My brother-in-law came through the
surgery with flying colors. You’d never know he had cancer.”

Despite their undeniable good intentions,
the minimizers’ focus on what had
happened to other people conspired to
diminish my own experience, possibly even implying that I was just a whiner at heart.

In the end, my response to the minimizers was simply to say, “I’m really glad things worked out well for him.”

Fixers

Many married men have probably heard
their wives accuse them of trying to “fix” a problem rather than taking the time to
listen sympathetically to their feelings.

I certainly count myself among that oblivious multitude.

But it was only after hearing several men tell me what I should do in order to cure my cancer did I really get what my partner, Daisy, had been telling me
all these years about prescribing a quick fix without actually listening to her.

Fixer statements I heard included “You should have the proton beam treatment,” “Make sure you insist on robotic surgery,” and “I know a great urologist.”

All these solutions were offered before I
even had a definitive staging of my cancer, much less even knew what treatment options would be feasible for me.

As with the sooths and minimizers, these
statements were made with a sincere
intention to be helpful.

But every fixer definitely hitches to the cliché “fire, ready, aim.” They focus more on outcome,than the due process of getting to the outcome gradually-that is,they start from the top/down approach as you can from this convoluted cliché.

Once again, all I could do was smile
appreciatively and say, “That might be an
option. We’ll have to see how things go.”

Within a few weeks of my diagnosis, I had
pretty much gotten used to the soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers.

I always wanted to keep in mind that their intentions were harmless.

Their messages were just clumsy.

I had certainly responded in a similar
manner to other people’s problems at one time or another without realizing I might be doing harm.

By focusing on the caring intentions that lay behind their words, I could see they meant only the best for me.

As time went on and they recovered from the initial shock, most of the soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers eventually became sympathetic – even empathetic – listeners.

Had I made the sarcastic responses that so greatly tempted me when I heard their comments, I would have hurt both them and me.

In this instance, I was glad that I had chosen to be patient.

Through all this, I have learnt that the best cliché as far as cancer is concerned is “get yourself tested,if you haven’t already”. That’s more helpful to any one than any other cliché or remark you will ever make!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stay calm. Don’t lash out,and this world will be yours to conquer,to hold,and to behold

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I would like to share something personal
with you,a story from my youth.

It’s the story of how I first glimpsed at what true strength and power is and where they come from.

I hope this story helps to further illuminate your journey through life.

I remember one day when I was in the back seat of my parents’ car.

I was probably about thirteen or fifteen years old.

We were parked in a hospital driveway, waiting after I had been attended to for wound dressing, though I can’t recall why or what my father was waiting for.

After a few minutes, another car pulled up behind ours and the driver began to
impatiently honk at us.

Soon he began to scream and curse as well.

I think it was a taxi delivering a sick patient to the hospital.

I turned and saw a man whose face was contorted in anger, scarred deeply by furrows of rage and bitterness.

The driver had obviously lost control of
his emotions, as it was impossible for us
to go anywhere with his car blocking us
in at the rear end.

It was as clear as day that we were
stuck in the driveway until he moved.

What on earth did he want us to do?

My father sat in the driver’s seat, gazing into the rearview mirror.

His face was strained with confusion, trying to figure out how to process what was happening,but he held a calm demeanour as well amidst all this confusion.

My father was a great man, always striving to do what is right, strictly honest and keen to help others,especially those in distress.

Finally, somewhat frustrated, my father opened the door so he could go and speak with the impatient man in the
car behind us.

I remember feeling afraid when he stood up because I knew that the other person was really angry.

I watched my father begin to walk toward
the other car.

As the car horn continued to blow, my father abruptly stopped and paused.

He seemed to be contemplating something, and it appeared as if his entire being was softening.

Without saying a word to this angy driver , he slowly returned to the car and sat back down.

My father’s expression was one that I
had never seen before on him: a look of
straining and struggle with a hint of shame.

Eventually, the other man drove off and
that was the end of the incident.

The image of my father’s face profoundly
affected me and was forever tattooed in my memory.

I was just a young boy and, in my
mind, my father was perfect.

He was my hero and my role model; I idolised him.

He was not a large man and I never
knew him to fight; yet I felt a tinge of
disappointment that he hadn’t stood his
ground and confronted the other man.

I felt that he had retreated in what could have been one moment where he proved his heroship to me by fighting this cad of an arrogant driver.

And my impression was that he felt the same way.

I became full of anger.

I imagined myself beating him up again and again yelling,“This is for my father!”

I was angry, partly because he had hurt my father, but mostly because he had hurt my view of my father as my hero.

He revealed to me a flaw in my father’s
character: he was afraid and perhaps not
strong enough to fight back.

It left me bewildered and, for the first time, I realised that my hero wasn’t perfect.

Something deep inside me was forever
changed.

Years later, as a college student, a friend
and I went out for a meal.

While eating, an acquaintance of ours lost his temper and began yelling at my friend.

My friend listened silently, showing no change in his demeanour.

Eventually, the man finished yelling and my friend quietly stood up and walked away without saying a word. I was so impressed by how calm he was.

Later, I asked him how he managed to
keep his cool.

He smiled and told me, “A strong person is not one who knocks other people down; it is one who does not let his anger get the better of him.”

I was stunned.

Now,just like my father,I’m a very small man,and ussually,I compensate for my lack of stature with threats of violence and menance,and this has always been the curse of “small men”!

I knew that my friend was completely right.

Who demonstrated more strength?: the person who had lost control of his temper or my friend who had kept his?

These words touched my soul and aroused in me an understanding of where true power comes from: it comes from within.

And inner strength dwarfs physical
strength.

That night, this realization lingered in my
mind.

As I was digesting this lesson, suddenly I remembered the incident with my father and the horn-honker, many years before.

A voice within me asked, “Who was the
stronger man,my father or the crazy taxi driver?” and chills slowly crept up
my spine as I realised that it was, in fact, my father.

While the other man had allowed his
rage to overcome him, my father had
controlled himself.

The other man had lost; he lost to himself when he allowed his emotions to take over.

My father, on the other hand, had stood victorious over himself,conquering his own emotions, commanding them down.

The other man was a slave to his passions; my father was the master of his.

It was then that I saw my father for the
truly strong and courageous man that he was.

The weak and easy path would have been to return anger with anger, yelling with yelling.

But my father had the strength to resist
this; he had the power to calm his mind
while a tempest raged about him.

It was in this moment, that my own path
became a bit clearer.

I realized that I must embark on a journey of conquering myself,because I now knew that I did not want to
be a slave to my passions.

The only other option was to master myself, to command the hidden forces within.

When you feel negative emotions rising,
threatening to overcome you and make you into their puppet, remember that the
strength and power needed to maintain
calmness lie forever within you.

And that’s a lesson I learnt from my father,though at that time,and encumbered with the rashness of youth,I had considered my father to be the weaker man in that silly encounter with the taximan.

If you can master your own anger and passions at the moment of weakness,you will have conquered the weaker part of yourself,and in so doing,this world will be yours to conquer,to hold,and behold!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

To Daisy:my best friend forever,my soulmate

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There are some people,
who we hold in our arms,
for just a little moment,
But our heart chooses,
to hold them forever.

And that’s you,Daisy,
my best friend forever,
my soulmate.

You’ve brightened up my life
With colours bold and bright.
Before you knocked at my door,
Black and white and grey,
graced my every day.

The colours were so cold,
But now they’re bright and bold.
Of my life, I felt so weary,
Surrounded by colours dim and dreary.
My life, it was bleak before,
But now there are colours galore.

You’ve brightened up my world –
New colours you’ve unfurled.
New colours came to play
And brightened up my day.
By bright colours, I am wooed:
They brighten up my mood.

Blacks and greys and whites,
Can make a striking sight,
But they’re colours of the night –
For me, they are too polite.
You’ve turned my world around:
New colours I have found.

Bright colours, I can see,
And all those in-between.
You’ve shown me different shades –
Added colour to my days.
My old life, I so hated,
But, a new world, you’ve created.

I know that without you,
I’d have a different view of this world.

To my life, you’ve added spice,
And it’s really rather nice.
You’ve shown me brand new paths;
You’ve made me smile and laugh.
I’m no longer feeling blue,
And it is all because of you.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Come celebrate my life with me

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Won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life?

I had no model.

Born and brought up in Africa,
My dreams about future were just that;
Mere dreams.

But I made up a bouquet of tree leaves,
Placed it over my head,
And declared myself a black prince,
Amidst poverty and disease,
Famine and droughts,
Coups and civil wars.

I chose to cling on to my dark skin,
Without skin bleaches and foreign cultures,
Deprived of pride and dignity,
Among other great people of the world,
Who called ours, a “Dark continent”.

But standing here on this bridge of hope, between total decimation and optimism,
For a future that looks bleak,
I declare myself a true son of Africa,
Though despised and famished,
I want to live as Africa’s true native son,
Running free and wild,
In this new dawn for Africa.

My one hand holding tight to the ancestry of my forefathers,
my other hand holding out,
To capture the dreams that come with new dawn,
that wil will bathe the conciousness of the black man,
And secure his place at the table of the celebrated people of the world,
As an equal among equals!

That dawn is already here my friend; come celebrate with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me as a black man, and has failed!

By Bernard Wainaina,
Nairobi,1st August,2015.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Write it in your heart everyday that today is going to be the best day in your life

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We’ve inherited a desire to strive, to pursue success, to improve our external conditions, because this striving helped our ancestors survive and reproduce.

To find food, guard against threats,both real and imaginary impress potential mates.

It seems to me that contentment doesn’t
motivate us to be happy or even compel us to take action towards a lasting happiness; anxiety does.

Our vigilant ancestors had more anxious offspring than blissful ones, and so we are the children of restlessness.

Our emotional circuit was designed to induce behavior beneficial to survival and reproduction,not to create happiness.

We are hardwired to be effective in our futile game of survival, not satisfied.

This hardwiring of our psyche has at least six interrelated consequences on our emotions which misguide our pursuit of happiness.

• It’s preset: By default you have a baseline happiness level that you
spend most of your time at.

• It’s situational: Deviations from the baseline level are determined largely by whatever just happened to you.

• It’s relative: Your happiness depends not on your overall condition but on your current situation relative to your recent past or your expectations.

• It’s transient: successes and improvements generally don’t provide the expected lasting satisfaction.

•It’s acclimating: you get used to
what you have, it ceases to be enough, and you want more.

•It’s recurring: although the last
success led only to fleeting happiness, you don’t learn the lesson and still expect lasting satisfaction with the next success.

Let’s examine these consequences and their impact on our emotions and behaviour.
~ Preset: We each have baseline levels of happiness, contentment and satisfaction where most of our lives are spent.

These levels are remarkably persistent and largely hereditary.

A person’s future happiness is much more highly correlated with their past and present happiness than with their age, marital status, income or net worth.

Lottery winners are surprised to return to
their prior happiness levels once the initial high of winning wears off.

For most people, there’s minimal correlation between how well their
lives are going and how happy they are in the moment.

~Situational: The idea that one’s emotional state should be determined by events is pervasive; it’s no coincidence that the words happen and happy share a common root in their construction.

Almost every action life performs is designed to improve its external conditions: every amoeba wriggling up
a chemical gradient, every car on the road driven by someone to somewhere they’d rather be.

But letting today’s events determine today’s mood is problematic because circumstances are transient and so the happiness dissolves when the circumstances change, as they inevitably do.

Seeking refuge in the impermanent and the unreliable lets minute-by-minute events hijack your emotions, your mind, your self.

To the extent that your emotions drive your behavior, situational happiness reduces your authenticity, by expressing a conditional, contingent version
of you, not the absolute, essential you.

~ Relative: By default our happiness is
determined relatively-today in relation to yesterday-actual reality relative to desired.

Outcome is deemed to have relation to our expecations.

This is unfortunate because if you’re happy only when things are improving, or when things turn out better than expected, then no matter what you do, your life will be spent on a seesaw, above your baseline emotional state half the time and below it the other half.

~Transient: We behave as if we’ll get permanent happiness from our own achievements, but we usually get only fleeting happiness, even from
unchanging good circumstances.

One blessing, one smile rule applies here.
We are happy about the money we just
found in the street, not the pile we already had.

The sweetness of any good outcome swiftly fades as other concerns vie for our attention, and our emotional state returns to its default level.

After we accomplish a goal or realize a
dream, our attention is normally redirected elsewhere.

After silencing one inner voice of discontent, we hear the others more clearly.

This is good for survival, but bad for happiness.

~Acclimatising: Because our emotions were designed for circumstantial living, we have an impoverished ability to feel emotions that didn’t serve our ancestors’ day-to-day survival and reproduction.

Gratitude, compassion, and awe don’t come naturally.

Everyday miracles seem to go
unnoticed.

We quickly get jaded, and return to
our baseline happiness level.

We exaggerate the difference between our current circumstances and the next level up and down: up so that we’re motivated to improve, and down so that
we’re motivated to not lose the progress we’ve made.

Most people carry the feeling that they’re one step above poor and one step below wealthy.

When people are asked what the good life is, what would make them happy, their requirements tend to increaseover time as their circumstances improve.

If we already have more,we need more to stay happy.

Bliss remains just out of reach, tantalizingly close but elusive, always on
the receding horizon.

~ Recurring: When you get what you wanted, you find to your surprise that it leads only to temporary happiness.

Then you immediately forget the lesson and believe the next thing you get will lead to permanent happiness.

That promotion you got didn’t bring you lasting satisfaction?

That can be explained away this way; “I believe the next one will”,you say to yourself,and then lay down the present happiness to go for the next one.

You’re earning more now than you were before, but it’s still not quite enough;
with the next raise you’ll be able to buy the stuff you really want.

This mentality traps people in a cycle of hope, pleasure, disappointment,forever chasing the more.

So what can we do to about this predicament?

Bring mindful awareness to your emotional biases.

Notice when your emotions are influenced, or even controlled, by minute-to- minute circumstances.

Have an internal locus of happiness, not an external one that can be fostered everyday.

Resolve to make every day the best day of your life,in spite of the changing circumnstances

This enables a more authentic expression of the self, and it’s empowering to realize that your happiness is under your
control.

Base your happiness on absolute conditions, not relative conditions.

I’m not suggesting unconditional happiness here,that is only a fool’s paradise;all I’m saying is that one’s emotional state should be rooted in reality.

I’m saying that you have reasons to be happy, and they are fundamental and ongoing, not situational.

You are alive.

You are conscious.

You can contribute one happy sentence to humanity’s great story.

Cultivate a deep gratitude for these and
other persistent goodnesses.

Continue to improve your life.

As your happiness becomes based more on your absolute conditions, your progress will serve as a refuge, letting you handle the inevitable setbacks with equanimity.

Increase your baseline happiness level.

There are sources of happiness within your power: self-esteem, self-efficacy, extroversion, optimism, and gratitude.

All are accessible with the right frame of mind.

Be more present,both in your life and in larger environment.

Since we’re bad at knowing what will make us happy, focus more on today’s happiness than tomorrow’s happiness.

Don’t sacrifice the journey for the destination; a life should be lived, not optimised or perfected in order to realise happiness.

Being present doesn’t mean letting today’s events dictate today’s mood; it means living each moment with an awareness of persistent blessings and a savouring of temporary ones.

Your genes use happiness as a goal state to serve their ends; repurpose happiness to improve the present and not just the future.

Don’t deprive yourself of pleasure, or the things that give you momentary happiness.

Don’t turn away from the happiness right in front of you just because it won’t last, but accept its impermanence without longing for unendless roller coaster of see-saw happiness.

As you become more successful in life, don’t ratchet up your requirements for contentment.

Learn to differentiate between conditions and events that are renewable sources of happiness and ones that lead to adaptation and put you on a happiness treadmill.

Most people discover too late that achievements and material possessions
bring only fleeting happiness, while cultivating close friendships and pursuing self-selected passions bring lasting happiness.

But everyone is unique, so examine what works for you.

Don’t pursue happiness singlemindedly to the exclusion of other goods, like joy and meaning.

Don’t stop striving, but choose for yourself what’s worth striving for, what’s worth moving toward.

Achieve not just for the temporary
happiness it might give you, but also for the lasting impact the achievement has on the world.

Strive positively, not negatively.

Be motivated not by a desire to flee the present but a desire for an even better future.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I face my own mortality with positive acceptance

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In the big scheme of things, our mortal body is on loan from the universe.

And that is the reason why I do not fear death.

I presume I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and I never suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

Otherwise,where was I before I was born?

Along with the gift of self-awareness comes awareness of our own mortality.

Our battery is running down and can’t be recharged.

We prefer not to think about that, we wish wasn’t so, but the tragedy is that we are mortal, not just that we know we are mortal.

Knowledge yields power, and by
accepting that our time is limited, we can use this information to live better.

How?-you may ask.

By being grateful for the time we have.

We can lament that our time is finite, or we can rejoice that we have any time at all to be alive.

We didn’t do anything to deserve a life.

The sequence of events necessary for us to have arisen out of nothing were so unimaginably improbable that we should
be stunned that we are here at all.

Out of all of the people who could have existed, we are among the small percentage who actually do.

We can complain that we don’t have much time, or we can celebrate that we have a lot of time-think about someone who complains of boredom;this is someone who has a lot of idle time on his hands with nothing to put in it,but still wants more time to live!

At the cosmic scale,our life is an infinitesimal dot between two infinite spans that encompass eternity.

But at the human scale, a lifetime is long enough to do amazing things.

To pursue and master a dozen passions.

To build a hundred friendships.

To love and lose and love again, and again many times over.

To chase our dreams and,if we care enough to work hard, to reach them.

To have an exciting, fulfilling, meaningful,
awesome life.

Each one of us is also hanging from a branch that we call life,which will eventually break.

We must foster the commonality of our plight, foster. empathy and kinship while we still have time to live.

Help others to cope with their mortality and to get the most out of the time they
do have.

Resolve to live as long as you can, and stay as healthy as you can. Grasp the branch firmly; don’t let go and fall before
it actually breaks by killing your soul with worries and fears about the certainity of mortality.

And help others to live healthier, longer
lives as well.

Did you know that we are dying all the time,even as we live?

The child we once were no longer exists; as we change we are continually dying and being reborn into new phases of our life.

With this frame of mind, what we call death affects only the last of a long series of many versions of our own selves, all of whose predecessor phases having already passed on.

We are an incredibly fortunate collection
of atoms forged in stellar furnaces and pulled together by gravity or some deeper, hidden force to create us, as existing live beings,say as opposed to the very same carbon atoms that form rock granite,or diamond.

When we are finished with our body, its atoms will be recycled to further use to serve spirit along its upward journey toward ever more complex and useful forms.

Let’s Celebrate that we can get to participate in such a beautiful process of renewal into new forms that will serve this universe right after our demise!

Maybe,our body atoms will be recycled into trees that will enhace the living environment for those who come after us.

Accepting our own mortality as opposed to resigning to its impotent fate makes us savour life in a very positive way without fearing to take risks .

Let’s take more risks and make life more adventurous.

Each of us descended from an incredibly long and unbroken series of creatures
who survived long enough to reproduce, and so we’re instinctively wired for survival.

This makes us fearful of death but not fearful of living wrong or false to our own convictions.

Ignoring mortality encourages the belief that we have something to lose.

We have nothing to lose in death:it has always been a certainity since the moment we were born.

It is incredible that with the infant mortality that prevailed at the time of my birth,I have had the opportunity to live this long!

And in between,I’ve lost most of my agemates too!

Mortality therefore,is merely a question of when, not if.

We are not risking our life: we are only risking the time we have left, and what we could have experienced and accomplished in that time.

It’s possible to carry this too far and
take too many risks, but most people take too few, and as a result they live unnecessarily dull and mundane lives.

Life shouldn’t be safe;it is death that will be safe. I mean,we can’t be more dead if we are already dead-isnt that safe enough?

It is important that we pursue meaning instead of just being alive for the sake of it.

Some people don’t like to think about mortality because they fear that it renders life meaningless.

What’s the use of struggling so hard if we are to die,they ask.

But the very transient nature of life renders the search for meaning not absurd, but urgent.

This fear results from a focus on the self as a source of meaning.

We,as individuals,cannot encompass all the meaning there is to life.

But we can create meaning that death can’t destroy by looking outside
our self and making a small difference each day by increasing the happiness and reducing the suffering of those around us.

Let’s make a big difference over the course of our life by changing the world a little at a time, doing something to let the future know we were here.

It is important to treat life as an urgent business that must be attended to at THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Trying to prepare for death is largely futile.

Once we are living our ideal life, we will love every day and won’t want it to end.

Closure in death is impossible.

The best we can do to prepare is to do everything we want to do, as often as we can by valuing our time highly and
making the most of every day.

Also, not only is our time finite, but we
probably won’t know in advance when our branch will break.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Let’s sing and dance while we can.

Let’s tell people who mean anything to us how we feel about them, repair our own regrets, and forgive ourselves for having taken life so seriously that we are not able to embrace our own mortality as a part it.

And let’s not say anything that we wouldn’t want to stand as the last thing we ever say to them.

When not sure about what to say to our dear ones,then silence is preferred,even on our death bed.

Let’s not make a practice of ruminating on our mortality as a loss, it’s depressing and counterproductive.

Let’s factor it in to our behaviour towards ourselves and others,and then get on with the main business of living for the time that is left.

Let’s only think about it to the extent that it improves our life, by cultivating gratitude, compassion, selflessness, health, boldness, urgency, and meaning.

B.W~30th July,2015.

Take my hand,and I will lead you away from negativity-trust me,I’ve been there!

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By all standard definitions, I used to be an positive energy vampire.

I lived in my own self-created drama world, prone to rages, complaints,
and self-pity.

I exhausted the people around me and played games of control, superiority, and victimhood.

A positive energy vampire, by my own
experience of that definition, is someone
lacking in self-love and trying to pull that
love out of others,much like a dentist would pull out a rotten tooth.

Such a person is simply hungry for self-love, not inherently flawed.

I know. I’ve been there.

When I decided to change, I realized just
how much I hated myself, how much I
judged myself, how many impossible
standards I set for my own acceptance.

I began to work on accepting and loving
myself just as I was.

Bit by bit, I opened up to the beauty of my face, the beauty of nature, the beauty of the human smile.

I began to fall deeply in love with everything and everyone.

After years of hunger, years of being a love vampire, biting others to get it, I realised that I could feed myself.

I didn’t have to hurt myself or anyone else to get the love I wanted.

In that awareness, I remembered the
people who had accepted me when I was
“toxic.”

These people became my teachers and mentors.

Their kindness and love, which was invisible to me in a state of desperate love hunger, suddenly became crystal clear in my newfound self-awareness.

It hurts me to confess that some of these
people never got to see me get better.

They gave up on me and left.

All they knew was my darkness and they gave as much as they could before they left.

And they are still,my greatest teachers.

After I healed my mind and replenished my self-love tank, I began to reach out to others on the same dark journey.

I’ve met so many people who have been
abandoned by everyone around them,
because they’re “positive energy vampires.”

I find these people in my family.

I find them in my old circles of friends.

It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve really tried to give back what was given to me in form of self-love after healing.

I’ve tried my best to be loving and supportive to people who only know how to take (at least, right now).

And it’s been worth it.

A few years ago, I lived with one person that everyone around me told me was toxic.

I was always exhausted after hanging around her and I knew that, deep
down, she resented me.

She treated me just like I used to treat people.

I didn’t “cut ties” or “protect myself”
from her as all the advice articles say.

I gave her some of my time—not all of it, but some of it.

I took care of myself enough that I
could heal from any emotional pain I got
in our meetings.

Eventually, she stopped talking to me.

We didn’t speak for close to five years and, the other day, she suddenly called me to ask if we could meet up.

When I saw her, her eyes were sparkling
and her smile shone for miles.

She couldn’t stop talking about all the epiphanies she’d had and all the ways she’d healed.

She had stumbled across some powerful lessons in a program she enrolled in and it changed her life.

She kept saying, “Now, I understand.”

Everything I would talk about that she eyed suspiciously—now, she understood.

After a long conversation about her new,
joyful life, she paused, looked away, and
said, “I hated you, you know. I couldn’t
believe anything you said and I just didn’t
understand that happiness like this was
possible. I thought you were lying. I was
such a jerk to you. Why did you keep talking to me?”

I smiled and said the words that I’d used to defend her behind her back when others would interrogate me with the same question: “You deserve it. I saw myself in you. You weren’t a jerk. You were hungry. I knew you’d wake up one day and, when you did, you’d remember this, remember me.
And, one day, you’d be that person for
someone else.”

And, now, she is.

I’m not saying we should all surround
ourselves with people who make us feel
bad.

I’m not saying that we should spend all
our time giving compassion to others at our own demise.

What I am saying is this—oftentimes the
“toxic” people are the ones that need
compassion the most.

And although you probably won’t get a
“Thank You” from them in that moment,
being kind, seeing them from a
compassionate perspective, and refusing to resort to negative adjectives—that could really change a person’s life.

Your acts of kindness, though they may not be immediately rewarded, are never wasted.

They will sit inside the recipient’s mind,
outside the walls of their self-imposed
limiting beliefs, awaiting their awakening.

And, if they do awaken, they will remember you and they will learn from you.

And your acts will have contributed to a more loving world with fewer “positive energy vampires” and more people who love themselves and love others.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Shame on me… I still love you!

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Everyone of my friends is furious with me for going back to you, but they don’t understand us.

Daisy! I am so lonely I can hardly bear
it.

Once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.

You still fascinate and inspire me.

You influence me for the better.

As one needs happiness so have I
needed your love; that is the deepest need of my human spirit.

And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit.
It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love— to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know.

How long these hours are,just here alone by myself!

Yet,it is good for me to know the measure
of my love and need, that I may at least
be brought realise who and what you are to me,never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.

Dear Daisy, let us make and keep our
love more beautiful than any love has
ever been before.

I can only live, either altogether
with you or not at all.

Yes, I’m. determined to wander about for so long far away, until I can fly into your arms and call myself quite at home with you, can send my soul enveloped by yours into the realm of my earthly paradise….

You will get over it all the more as you know my faithfulness to you; never another one can own my heart, never — never! O God, why must one go away from what one loves so much?

Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time.

At my age, I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances?

My Angel, I just hear that this blog post goes out every day — and must close therefore, so that you get to read it at once.

Be calm— love me — today — like yesterday,and if tomorrow ever comes,love me again too.

My trust for your love is sometimes mingled with fear, because I feel myself unworthy of your love.

But if I am worthy of it, you will
always love me; and if there be
anything good and pure in me for you, it will be proved by my always loving you.

I feel that it is only with you that I can do
anything good at all.

I can’t say how every time I ever put my
arms around you I felt that I was home.

Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world.

I wish that when we met at home last, we had not parted at all.

There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us.

But we love each other.

My little girl…happiness is within you….

So unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow like the sweet flower
you are…

I know the answer to all your worries — Just spread your wings and set yourself FREE.

The important thing is, I don’t want to be
without you for the next 20 years, or 40, or however many there are left in my life.
I’ve gotten very used to being happy around you and I love you very much indeed.

Should I ever draw you the picture of my
Heart, it would be what I hope you
would Love; though it contains nothing
new; the early possession you obtained
there; and the absolute power you have
ever maintained over it; leaves not the
smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our love;
and Friendship, as the days of Love
and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near
a score of years roll over our Heads,
with an affection heightened and
improved by time — nor have the
dreary years of absence in the smallest
degree effaced from my mind the
Image of the dear untitled but beautiful woman to
whom I gave my Heart.

We will get old and get used to each other,but never take each other for granted.

We think alike.

We read each other’s minds.

We know what the other one wants without asking.

Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit.

Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

I love you,precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life.

How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day!

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to
you….walk with you,till you come back to my arms again.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Hope is a pocket of possibility

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“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die
alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

~Orson Welles

“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself.
Life’s cruellest irony.”

~Douglas Coupland

I’ve been screaming in my heart for years and no one has ever heard me.

I am nothing but a nobody.

I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.
Because loneliness has been my loyal companion.

And I’ve fallen.

Fallen so hard.

I’ve hit the ground.

Gone right through it.

Never in my life have I felt like this.

Nothing like this.

I’ve felt shame and cowardice,
weakness and strength.

I’ve known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust.

I’ve seen things that cannot be
unseen.

And yet I’ve known nothing like this
terrible, horrible, paralysing feeling of dying alone.

I feel crippled.

Desperate and out of control.

And it keeps getting worse.

Every day I feel more sick.

Empty and somehow aching.

Life is a heartless bastard.

Loneliness in these last moments is a strange sort of thing.

It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by
your side in the dark, strokes by your hair
as you sleep.

It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t
breathe.

It lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner.

It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you’re struggling to stand up.

You wake up in the morning and wonder
who you are.

You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin.

You doubt you doubt you doubt.

-do I

-don’t I

-should I

-why won’t I

And even when you’re ready to let go of life,you doubt whether there is really no one out there who has any use for your poor life.

When you’re ready to break free from agonies of life,you hesitate.

-Maybe someone out there still needs me-you lie to yourself.

When you’re ready to be re-brand-new-you hesitate.

Loneliness is an old friend standing beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye,
challenging you to live your life without
it.

You can’t find the words to fight
yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough never enough never ever enough.

Loneliness is a bitter, wretched
companion.

Sometimes it just won’t let go.

Makes me wonder about the falling raindrops outside my window:

I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling
down, tripping over their own feet,
breaking their legs and forgetting their
parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end.

It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me
and left me to evaporate on a concrete
slab-a lonely life.

In these last days of my life,hope,empty hope, is hugging me, holding me in its
arms, wiping away my tears and telling
me that today and tomorrow and two days from now I will be just fine and I’m so delirious I actually dare to believe it.

Hope is a pocket of possibility.

I’m holding it in my hand.

Hope.

It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips
blooming in the springtime.

It’s a fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.

And it’s the only thing in the world keeping me afloat.

I have absolutely no pleasure in the
stimulants in which I sometimes so madly
indulge.

It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason.

It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.

Raindrops are my only reminder that
this lonely world has another heartbeat besides mine.

That I have one,too.

But soon,and soon enough,I will lie down in eternal rest and silence.

But my soul died out of loneliness,many years ago.

I never had a friend.

But I wanted to be somebody’s friend.

I wanted to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with.

The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world I keep trapped in my head.

I wanted to be that kind of friend.

The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them.

I wanted to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body.

I wanted to know where to touch you, I wanted to know how to touch you.

I wanted to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me.

Yes, I did want to be your friend.

I wanted to be your best friend in the entire world.

That’s now water under the bridge.

I’m leaving this world without a friend.

I’m just a blot in the dust that the wind will soon blow out of place.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Create a brave new world in Stoicism; Indifference is power

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“I’m always ready to die. If now, I am ready to die. If, after a short time, I
now dine because it is the
dinner-hour; after this I will
then die. How? Like a man
who gives up what belongs to
another,without regret,without resistance,without bitterness.” From Discourses,by Epictetus

The above passage shows us how Epictetus treated death from his stoic perspective.

The bitter truth is, indifference,which the core-value of STOICISM, really is a power.

When selectively applied, and living in such a way is not only eminently possible, with a conscious adoption
of certain attitudes, it facilitates a freer, more expansive, more adventurous mode of living.

Joy and grief are still there, along with all the other emotions, but they are tempered – and, in their temperance, they are less tyrannical.

If we can’t always go to our philosophers for an understanding of Stoicism, then where can we go?

One place to start is the Urban Dictionary.

Check out what this crowdsourced online
reference to slang gives as the definition of a ‘stoic’:
~stoic~Someone who does not care about the stupid things in this world that most people care so much about.

Stoics do have emotions, but only for the
things in this world that really matter.

They are the most real people alive.

Picture this scene with a stoic; A group of kids are sitting on a porch. Stoic walks
by.

Kid – ‘Hey man, you are an old faggot an you suck!’

Stoic – ‘Good for you.’

Stoic keeps going,unperturbed.~

You’ve got to love the way the author manages to make mention of a porch in there, because Stoicism has its root in the word stoa, which is the Greek name for what today we would call a porch.

Actually, we’re more likely to call it a portico, but the ancient Stoics used it as a kind of porch, where they would hang out and talk about enlightenment
and stuff.

The Greek scholar Zeno is the founder,
and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius the most famous practitioner, while the Roman statesman Seneca is probably the most eloquent and entertaining.

But the real hero of Stoicism, most
Stoics agree, is the Greek philosopher Epictetus.

He’d been a slave, which gives his words a credibility that the other Stoics, for all the hardships they endured, can’t quite match.

He spoke to his pupils, who later wrote down his words.

These are the only words we know today
as Epictetus’, consisting of two short works, the Enchiridion and the Discourses, along with some fragments.

Among those whom Epictetus taught
directly is Marcus Aurelius (another Stoic
philosopher who did not necessarily expect to be read; his Meditations were written expressly for private benefit, as a kind of self-instruction).

Among those Epictetus has taught indirectly is a whole cast of the distinguished, in all fields of endeavour.

One of these is the late US Navy Admiral James Stockdale.

A prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years during that conflict, he endured broken bones, starvation, solitary
confinement, and all other manner of torture.

His psychological companion through it all were the teachings of Epictetus, with which he had familiarised himself after graduating from college and joining the Navy, studying philosophy at Stanford University on the side.

He kept those teachings close by in Vietnam, never letting them leave his mind even when things were at their
most dire. Especially then.

He knew what they were about, those lessons, and he came to know their application much better than anyone should have to.

Stockdale wrote a lot about Epictetus, in speeches and memoirs and essays, but if you want to travel light (and, really, what Stoic doesn’t?), the best thing you could take with you is a speech he gave
at King’s College London in 1993, published as Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus’s Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior (1993).

That subtitle is important. Epictetus once
compared the philosopher’s lecture room to a hospital, from which the student should walk out in a little bit of pain.

‘If Epictetus’s lecture room was a hospital,’ Stockdale writes, ‘my prison was a laboratory – a laboratory of human behaviour.

I chose to test his postulates against the demanding real-life challenges of my laboratory.

And as you can tell, I think he passed with flying colours.’

~‘You are unfortunate in my judgment, for you have never been unfortunate’~

Stockdale rejected the false optimism proffered by mainstream religions, because he knew, from direct observation, that false hope is how you went insane in that prison.

The Stoics themselves believed in gods, but ultimately those resistant to religious belief can take their Stoicism the way
they take their Buddhism, even if they can’t buy into such concepts as karma or reincarnation.

What the whole thing comes down to, distilled to its briefest essence, is making the choice that choice is really all we have, and that all else is not worth considering. ‘Who […] is the invincible
human being?’ Epictetus once asked, before answering the question himself: ‘One who can be disconcerted by nothing that lies outside the sphere of his own choice.’

Any misfortune ‘that lies outside the sphere of choice’ should be considered an opportunity to strengthen our resolve, not an excuse to weaken it.

This is one of the truly great mind-hacks ever devised, this willingness to convert adversity to opportunity, and it’s part of what Seneca was extolling when he wrote what he would say to one whose spirit has never been tempered or tested by hardship: ‘You are unfortunate in my judgment, for you have never been unfortunate. You have passed through life with no antagonist to face you; no one will know what you were capable of, not
even you yourself.’

We do ourselves an immense favour when we consider adversity an opportunity to make this discovery – and, in the discovery, to enhance what we find there.

Another shrewdly resourceful Stoic mind-hack is what William B Irvine – in his book A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (2009)– has given the name ‘negative visualisation’.

By keeping the very worst that can
happen in our heads constantly, the Stoics tell us, we immunise ourselves from the dangers of too much so-called ‘positive thinking’, a product of the
mind that believes a realistic accounting of the world can lead only to despair.

Only by envisioning the bad can we truly appreciate the good; gratitude does not arrive when we take things for granted.

It’s precisely this gratitude that leaves us content to cede control of what the world
has already removed from our control anyway.

How did we let something so eminently
understandable become so grotesquely
misunderstood?

How did we forget that that dark passage is really the portal to transcendence?

Many will recognise in these principles the general shape and texture of cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT).

Indeed, Stoicism has been identified as a kind of proto-CBT. Albert Ellis, the US psychologist who founded an early
form of CBT known as Rational Emotive
Behaviour Therapy (REBT) in 1955, had read the Stoics in his youth and used to prescribe to his patients Epictetus’s maxim that ‘People are disturbed not by things but by their view of things.’

‘That’s actually the “cognitive model of
emotion” in a nutshell,’ Donald Robertson tells us, and he should certainly know, as a therapist who in 2010 wrote a book on CBT with the subtitle ‘Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy’.

This simplicity and accessibility ensure that Stoicism will never be properly embraced by those who prefer the abstracted and esoteric in their
philosophies.

In the novel A Man in Full (1998),
Tom Wolfe gives Stoicism, with perfect
plausibility, to a semi-literate prison inmate.

This monologue of Conrad Hensley’s may be stilted, but there’s nothing at all suspect about the sentiment behind it.

When asked if he is a Stoic, Conrad replies: ‘I’m just reading about it, but I
wish there was somebody around today, somebody you could go to, the way students went to Epictetus.

Today people think of Stoics – like, you
know, like they’re people who grit their teeth and tolerate pain and suffering.

What they are is, they’re serene and confident in the face of anything you can throw at them.’

Marcus Aurelius started each day telling himself: ‘I shall meet with meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable people’

Which leads us naturally to ask just what it was that was thrown at them.

We’ve already noted that Epictetus had the whole slavery thing going on, so
he checks out.

So does Seneca, in spite of what many have asserted – most recently the UK
classicist Mary Beard in an essay for the New York Review of Books that asks: ‘How Stoical Was Seneca?’ before providing a none-too- approving answer. What Beard’s well-informed and otherwise cogent essay fails to allow for is
just how tough it must have been for Seneca – tubercular, exiled, and under the control of a sadistically murderous dictator – no matter what access he sometimes had to life’s luxuries.

It was Seneca himself who said that ‘no one has condemned wisdom to poverty’, and only an Ancient Greek Cynic would try to deny this.

Besides, Seneca would have been the first to tell you, as he told a correspondent in one of his letters: ‘I am not so shameless as to undertake to
cure my fellow-men when I am ill myself. I am, however, discussing with you troubles which concern us both, and sharing the remedy with you,just as if we were lying ill in the same hospital.’

Marcus Aurelius lay ill in that hospital, too.

As beneficiary of the privileges of emperor, he also endured the struggles and stresses of that very same position, plus a few more besides.

I know better than to try to improve on the following accounting, provided in Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life:

~He was sick, possibly with an ulcer. His family life was a source of distress: his wife appears to have been unfaithful to him, and of the at least 14 children she bore him, only six survived. Added to
this were the stresses that came with ruling an empire. During his reign, there were numerous frontier uprisings, and Marcus often went personally to oversee campaigns against upstart tribes. His own officials – most notably, Avidius Cassius, the governor of Syria – rebelled against
him. His subordinates were insolent to him, which insolence he bore with ‘an unruffled temper’.
Citizens told jokes at his expense and were not punished for doing so. During his reign, the empire also experienced plague, famine, and natural disasters such as the earthquake at Smyrna.
Ever the strategist, Marcus employed a trusty technique in confronting the days that comprised such a life, making a point to tell himself at the start of each one of them: ‘I shall meet with
meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable people.’ He could have been different about it – he could have pretended
things were just hunky-dory, especially on those days when they really were, or seemed to be. But how, then, would he have been prepared to angle both into the wind and away from it – adapting,
always, to fate’s violently vexing vicissitudes?~

Where would that have left him when the weather changed?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Meditation by the seaside-cultivate a sea of tranquillity in your life

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The theme of tranquillity oriented meditation is based on letting go.

{Insight; Letting go: not fighting or going after something that comes into your life,which you have already formed some attachment to.}

The most important aspect of this type of meditation is your attitude.

There are seven attitudes that
form the foundation of mindfulness
practice: “nonjudging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, nonstriving, acceptance and letting go.”

Nature acts as tonic to our stressful lives.

As you practice this kind of buddhist meditation, you may notice your
mind is busy with thoughts.

That is okay.

Thoughts are not the enemy.

You do not have to fight them and you do not have to follow them, either.

Treat thoughts like anything else that draws your attention.

Notice them, allow them to be as they are, and gently let your attention open back to, and settle on, the breath sensations.

Create a mental beach and an ocean as the baseline of your meditation frame.

Let all of your conscious experience — sounds, sensations, thoughts, emotions, everything — become the wind,the breeze coming over the sea.

Feel all of it moving and changing, arriving, moving around and over you, and then going.

Notice how the wind takes on different qualities — soft, strong, harsh, gusty, gentle.

Relax as the wind blows around you.

Let it come and go in all its forms.

You remain here, in
calmness, abiding by the enveloping tranquility that this mental breeze creates in your mind.

Close your eyes and visualize yourself
at the beach, sitting on the warm sands,
with a refreshing sea breeze sprinkling
your whole body.

You are safe and secure.

You are watching the waves drift in and out, over and over again.

Each wave is like your breath, rising up inside from deep within and then releasing and returning out to sea.

What do you notice about the surface
of the ocean?

It’s much like your life — some parts are rough, choppy, with impending waves of uncertainty pounding away.

Breathe in these moments that are challenging and upsetting.

Remember that you have the stability and strength to weather the storm.

Breathe out your fears and doubts
about the outcome.

What will be will be?

Only the waves can carry all your secrets
and anxieties out to sea.

What’s happening below the surface
of the ocean?

It is a calm, serene, quiet and contemplative underwater experience.

Schools of fish are swimming to and fro.

Sea plants are sashaying to a mysterious, musical current.

Starfish cling to rocks in colorful display.

Luminescent shards of sunlight splice through the water, transmitting
warmth and radiance downward.

Depending on what life tosses your way, you may be bodysurfing the big one
or floating along a sea of serenity.

Be mindful of the journey, the highs and
lows, the good times and the bad, the joy
and the pain.

Move gently with each wave.

Remember: you are not your anxiety.

People who struggle with anxiety tend to think it’s permanent and part of their identity.

When you’re in the midst of angst, it’s understandable to think
this way.

But these reactions, in reality,are
temporary.

Worrisome thoughts are a sign or signal;
they contain a message for you to decipher that will help guide you to a place of well-being.

They suggest asking yourself the
following three questions to help you
better understand yourself and figure out
the changes you can make toward your
well-being.

Go on and create tranquillity in your mind,and the whole world will bow to your rhythm of peace and tranquility.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

To all girls: You’re beautiful!

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First and foremost,this is to all the girls who at one time or the other,have come into my life.

This too,is to all the girls who left,and those who have stayed in my life.

In effect,this is to all girls!

This is for girls who have the tendency to
stay up at night listening to music that
reminds them of their current situation.

Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears
under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a
daily basis.

The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve.

The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they’ll be satisfied in this life.

The girls who scream and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen.

The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul.

The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral.

The girls that never win,both in life,and in love.

The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he’ll notice her one day.

The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it’ll get better somewhere down the road.

For the girls who love with all their heart
although it always gets broken.

To girls who think it’s all over.

This is to real girls, to all girls: You’re beautiful,and you know it! Don’t ever let any one take this away from you;you are beautiful!

And don’t ever let a guy make you feel ugly because no matter what, you are beautiful, with or without him

Remember: Just because you don’t have a prince yet in your life, does not mean you are not a princess!

And life,my dear girls, isn’t a music player where you get to choose what’s being played, it is a radio where you have to enjoy what’s being played.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Call-to-action; “Don’t sabotage your own happiness!”

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Most people don’t want to be happy, which is why they aren’t.

Give me a few moments of your time to allow me to explain this disheartening fact in an objective way:

People are programmed to achieve their foremost desire at almost any cost (imagine the adrenaline-fuelled superhuman powers people develop in life-or-death emergencies.)

It’s just a matter of what that foremost desire is.

People don’t want to be happy because they think it means giving up on achieving more through suffering.

They believe happiness is a reward for their stoic suffering.

More people don’t want to believe it’s a choice because that puts responsibility in their hands,and not the circumstances.

It’s for the same reason people do self-pity: to delay action, to make an outcry to the universe, as though the more they
state how bad things are in their life, the more likely it is that someone else other than themselves will change them.

Happiness is not a rush of positive emotion elicited by random events that affirm the way you think something should go.

Not sustainable happiness, anyway.

The real stuff is the product of an intentional, mindful, daily practice, and it
begins with choosing to commit to it.

Everybody has a happiness tolerance – an upper limit – as it is.

It is the capacity for which we allow ourselves to feel good.

Other psychologists call it the “baseline,” the amount of happiness we “naturally” feel, and eventually revert back to, even if certain events or circumstances shift us temporarily either to immense sadness or rapture.

The reason we don’t allow those shifts to become baselines is because of the upper limit – as soon as our circumstances extend beyond the amount of happiness we’re accustomed, and comfortable, feeling, we unconsciously begin to self-sabotage.

We are programmed to seek what we’ve known.

So even though we think we’re after happiness, we’re actually trying to find whatever we’re most accustomed to,our modus operandi,so to say, and we project that on whatever actually exists, over and over again.

These are just a few of many psychological impediments that hold us back from the emotional lives we claim to
want.

Here are a few others:

•Everybody has a limited tolerance for feeling good

When things go beyond that limit, we sabotage ourselves so we can return to our so called comfort zones.

The tired cliché of stepping outside the comfort zone then serves a crucial purpose: it makes people comfortable with discomfort, which is the gateway to expanding their tolerance for happiness.

•There is a “likability limit” that people like to remain under: everybody has a level of ‘success’ that they perceive to be admirable – and un-threatening
to others.

Most things people do are in an effort to ‘earn’ love or approval.

Many desires, dreams and ambitious are
build out of a space of severe lack of our self-love.

It’s for this reason that some of the most emotionally dense people are also the most successful: they use their desire for acceptance, love, wholeness, as fuel –
(for better and for worse.)

The point is: once people surpass the point at which they think people will judge and ridicule them for their success (as opposed to praise them for it) they promptly cut themselves off, or at
minimum severely downplay/minimize it so as to keep themselves in good standing with those they desire approval from.
(It’s ultimately not that people value ego and material over love, but that they think those things will earn them love.)

Most prefer the comfort of what
they’ve known to the vulnerability of what they don’t.

… Even when “what they don’t know” is, objectively, much better.

If we redefine “happiness,” in terms
of what human beings innately desire (comfort, inclusiveness, a sense of purpose, etc.) we can then make the choice to seek comfort from things
that are ultimately aligned with what we want to achieve.

•Many people are afraid that
‘being happy’ equals to giving up on achieving more.

Happiness is, in essence,a form, acceptance.

It’s arriving at the end-goal, passing the finish line, letting the wave of accomplishment wash over you.

Deciding to be that way every day can make it seem as though the race is already over, so we subconsciously associate ‘happiness’ and acceptance’ with ‘giving up.’

But the opposite is true: the path to a greater life is not ‘suffering until
you achieve something’ but letting bits and pieces of joy and gratitude and meaning and purpose gradually build, bit by bit.

•People delay action once they know truth – and the interim between knowing and doing is the space where suffering
thrives.

Most of the time, it’s not about not knowing what to do (or not knowing who you are).

It’s about the resistance between what’s right and what’s easy, what’s best in the long vs. short term.

We hear our instincts, we just don’t listen.

This is the single most common root of discomfort: the space between knowing and doing.

•We’re culturally addicted to procrastination, but we’re also just as
enamored by deflection.

By not acting immediately, we think we’re creating space for the truth to shift itself from riff-raff of life, when really, we’re only creating discomfort so that we can sense it more completely (though we’re suffering needlessly in the process.)

•People believe that apathy is
safety.

We’re all afraid of losing the pieces and people that make up our lives.

Some people try to cut ahead of the pain-curve and don’t let themselves feel as though they wanted or liked those things in the first place.

The undercurrent here is the sense
that everything ends and all its impermanent and while those things are more or less true, there is something just slightly truer, and it is that death gives life meaning.

It’s the fact that we can lose what we have that makes it sacred and precious
and wonderful.

It’s not about what pain you suffer,
it’s about what you suffer for.

You can choose to cut yourself off from feeling good so as to buffer the sense of loss and suffer from numbness, or you
can have an incredible life and have to mourn wildly when it’s over, but at least there was a means to that end.

•Few know how to practice
feeling good (or why it’s necessary).

It is almost essential to raising your upper limit, augmenting your baseline, and ultimately assimilating to the new chapter(s) of your life without destroying them out of unfamiliarity.

Practicing feeling good is simply taking a moment to, literally, let yourself feel.

Extend that rush just a few seconds longer, meditate on some things
you’re grateful for and let it wash over you as much as possible.

Seek what’s positive, and you’ll find that your threshold for feeling it expands as
you decide it can.

•People think happiness its an
emotional response facilitated
by a set of circumstances, as
opposed to a choice and shift of
perception/awareness.

It seems that the people who are steadfast in their belief that circumstances create happiness are not
to be swayed – and that makes sense.

It’s for the same reason that we buy into it so much: it’s easier. It’s the way to cut-corners on your emotional life.

It’s seemingly logical and fairly easy to attain, so why not stand by it fiercely?

Because it’s ultimately false.

It maintains that you must wait to feel happy, and as we know, unless you are cultivating your baseline to be all-around
higher, you’ll spend the rest of your life hopping from one perceived high to another.

Some of the statistically happiest countries in the world are nearly-impoverished, some of the most
notable and peaceful individuals to grace the Earth died with only a few cents to their name.

•The commonality is a sense of purpose, belonging and love: things you can choose to feel and cultivate,
regardless of physical/material circumstance.

Most people don’t know that it’s
possible to shift their baseline,
since it’s always framed in a way
of being “how one naturally is.”
If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times: the woman with anxiety who says “it’s just the way I am.” The man with a dozen irrational fears
who attributes them to “his personality.”

The thing is that nothing has to be an essential part of you unless you decide it is – least of all anxiety and fear.

In fact, those things are never essentially part of who someone is, they are learned behaviors.

They are ego-reactions that go unchecked.

They are flashing lights and waving flags from our innermost selves that something is not right, but we’re avoiding making the shift (mostly by deflecting on the circumstance being out of our control.)

•People believe that suffering
makes them worthy.

To have wonderful things in our lives without having suffered for them somehow translates to us feeling as though we haven’t truly “earned” them,
and therefore, they are not completely ours.

On the flip side: the idea that beautiful, joyous things could simply be ours without any conscious creation of them on our part is terrifying, because
the opposite could just as well be true.

•Many people believe they can beat fear to the finish line.

Worry is a cultural past time of most people, and it’s ultimately a deflection from the fact that we buoy between extremes: not caring about anything or
caring so much about one thing it could break us altogether.

Worrying conditions us to the worst possible outcomes so they don’t cause as much pain if they come to pass.

We’re thinking through every irrational possibility so we can account for it,
prepare for it, before it surprises us. We try to imagine every “bad” thing a person could say about us so they’re not the first to do it.

But this does not change anything.

You still won’t expect difficult things to arise.

You will never know what people are really thinking, or how often.

You will not be able to prepare to cope with your irrational fears, because there’s no basis in a reality you could possibly get ready to deal with.

You cannot beat fear to the finish line.

You are not cheating your way around pain.

You’re actively pursuing more and more of it.

•Happy people are often
perceived as being naive and
vulnerable.

If nothing else, happy people are stigmatized as being clueless and ill-informed and delusionally positive and disconnected from reality, but the
only people who perceive them that way are people who do everything in their power to justify the negativity in their lives they feel they cannot control.

It is people who don’t choose a better life
that are naive and truly vulnerable, as “happy people” may lose everything they have, but people who never choose to fully step out of their comfort-zone- lives never have anything at all.

I’m compelled to believe that just like love,happiness finds its home in the lives and hearts of those who allow themselves to be most vulnerable!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Memories of Phone Conversations with my father~Father’s Day 2015

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There was no need to check the caller ID.
I always knew it was him. I could tell by the ring—it grabbed you by the shoulders and spun you. around.

Even the phone seemed to panic, sprouting arms and legs and scurrying down the counter.

“Pick it up! Pick it up!” it implored. “He hates to wait!”

“Hello?”

“Ben?”

“Hey, Dad.”

“OK, listen very carefully. Your mother bought a new cereal that’s the best organic cereal I’ve ever had in my life. It fortifies your whole body. You’ll never
eat another cereal again as long as you live.”

“Wow. What’s the name of it?”

“The name of what?”

“The cereal. What’s it called?”

Brief pause. Obscure questions like this annoyed my father.

Muttering to himself: “Uh … What’s the thing called?”

Then to me: “It’s got a helluva box. You should see all the literature on the back. It’s very educational. I’m just trying to remember the name of the thing … Hold on.”

Muffled crushing sound. His massive hands were slaughtering the mouthpiece.

“Joyce?”

Beat.

“Joyce?”

Another beat.

“JOYCE!”

My mother, responding from a cave in Pharaohs pyramid,issued an unintelligible squawk.
“Ben’s on the phone! He called me. He wants to know the name of that cereal!”
“Arrayrrrkkkk?” It was impossible to understand her. She was in the other room, and the TV was blaring.

“The name of that cereal you bought!”

We were getting close to launch.

“Warrakkaa?”

“THE CEREAL! WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE
CEREAL YOU BOUGHT TODAY?”

Liftoff.

“DO I HAVE TO BUY A BULLHORN TO
HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOU? OR
SHOULD I SEND UP SMOKE SIGNALS?” To
me: “She won’t be happy till she blows my voice box out. If you want to know the truth, she’d love to kill me. Then she can eat all the cereal she wants with her next husband. Hold on. Let me get the box.”

He dropped the phone on the counter. It slid off and bounced on the floor a few times. I heard the sound of slamming cabinet doors and a snatch of conversation as my mother entered the room.

Joyce: “Calm down. It’s over there—two feet in. front of your face.”

Some more rustling as the receiver made its bumpy pilgrimage back to his hand.

“Ben?”

“Yeah?”

“I got it right here. Just hold on …”

Beat.

“OK, you there?”

“I am.”

“You listening?”

“Completely.”

“It’s called … Frosted Mini-Wheats.”

~

Six weeks later,another new conversation, the telltale ring sounded again.

I’m having my favourite dinner; chicken sauce and honey pasted pancakes.

My startled telephone, frantic and disoriented,jumped up and hurled a pepper grinder through the kitchen window. I ran in and lunged for the
receiver.

“Ben?”

“Hey, Dad. How’s it going?”

“Do you have a minute?”

“Yeah. What’s up?”

“OK, well, your mother and I have decided we want to die together. I don’t want to get morbid or anything, I’m just—did I interrupt your dinner?”

“No, no, I’m fine.” I lie,but I’m kicking myself for allowing him to frighten my healthy appetite for this good dinner begging me to maul it!

“Listen, we’ve been together a long time. I could never live without this woman-your mother, that is. And if I go first, I
can promise you, she won’t last long. She’ll will herself to die. Are you sure you’re not eating?”

“Positive.”

“OK, now point two: no funeral. We want to be cremated, and we want to go in the lake. You know, the lake behind the neighborhood here.”

“Right. I know.”

“So here’s how it works: Whoever dies first, they get incinerated and put in the closet. When the second one goes, mix us together and put us in the lake.”

“We won’t have to deal with this for a long time …”

“And I want the cat in there too.”

“You want the cat in where?”

“I want the cat cremated and mixed in with us.”

“Oh. So Mom’s OK with that?”

“Hey, she knows what that cat means to me. Here, ask her yourself.”

He called for my mother.

“Joyce!”

A hush.

“Joyce!”

Total Radio silence.

“JOYCE!”

She hollered back from the laundry room:
“What?”

“Ben’s on the phone! He called me(a lie!) Tell him about the cat!”

“What about the cat?”

“The ashes! When we’re dead! Never mind!” To me: “I told you she lost her hearing aid again, didn’t I? They have a shrine to her at the hearing aid factory.

Listen, once we’re all dead, mix me,
your mother, and the cat together. Then put us in the lake. Just dump us in by the bird feeders.”

My mother entered the room.

“Here comes the Queen. They built the Suez Canal Canal in the time it takes her to move from one room to the other.”

“Why are you yelling? You know I can’t hear you from back there.”

“You couldn’t hear me if we were Siamese twins locked in a trunk.”

“Don’t give me nightmares,” she said, picking up the other phone.

Me: “So you’re OK with the cat, Mom?”

Mom: “If it makes him happy.”

Dad: “Listen, Ben. We’ve only been married 60 years. If that’s not love, everyone can go screw themselves. I mean, next to us, Romeo and Juliet
were a couple of morons.”

Me: “It’s quite a love story,you have,Dad.”

Dad: “I almost had a heart attack the first time I. laid eyes on your mother, she was so beautiful.
She’s gotta be the kindest human being who ever lived.”

Me: “I agree.”

Beat.

Dad: “I told you she bought me those Mini- Wheats cereals, right?”

Me: Yep!

Dad: No. I mean,she used to wear mini-skirts then,and I tell you,Ben,she was a thing….

Me: stop it Dad….I gottta go,see you later!

Total Radio Silence.

Happy Fathers’ day Dad,you were a real eccentric!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Fathers’ Day,2015: The thankless role of an under-appreciated dad

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By Daisy Mburu-Guest Author

Before I became Madam Daisy to my dad, I was his little girl, who went everywhere with him.

He a little ahead, while I trailed him wearing him down with incessant questions and chatter, which he bore with patience and fortitude.

I had a habit of going through his pockets
because I would always find sweets and coins, which I would gleefully keep. (He recently told me that he left them there for me to find).

As the last of four children, his third daughter, I should not have been special, but I think I was, if my childhood memories are anything to go by.

My earliest memories are of me and dad making burnt omelettes, reading newspapers instead of storybooks and traipsing across the hills of his
childhood.

Most memorable however, are the pretty new dresses he picked out and bought for us, his girls.

My mother’s choices never quite
compared.

LUCKY GIRL

As I grew older, as a tween going on teen, it was dad who took me shopping as I prepared to join secondary school.

Those days there were no malls, and supermarkets had just a few aisles
with even fewer shelves and a poor selection of anything a teen would like.

We stopped at a rural shop, and from the look on her face, the woman behind the counter could not believe that a Meru man had brought his daughter to shop.

Her mouth was agape when I started ordering everything, from mudboots, garish blue nail polish to the most personal items a teenage girl would need in boarding school.

My dad bowed to my every whim, paying for everything I asked for.

“You are one lucky girl,” she told me, as dad stood aside, smiling indulgently as I took hours to pick the many items I wanted, items I knew my mother would not approve.

I never thought much of the woman’s remarks, as I soon thereafter transformed into a nasty teenager with a bad case of attitude.

Dad patiently bore my frequent tantrums and door slamming, and through it all, he found it difficult to say no to me.

The only time he did was to refuse me a pair of secondhand shoes because he insisted on buying a new pair!

Many years later, shopping late at night in a 24-hour supermarket with numerous aisles and countless shelves, a distressed middle-aged man stopped next to me, apologised and thrust his phone at me and asked for my help picking items
appearing on his screen. “Teenagers…” he offered in way of explanation.

From the list, I couldn’t help but notice how sophisticated teenagers have become.

The man was relieved when I finally tossed the last item into his shopping cart.

On a whim, I asked if his daughter appreciated his efforts.

MOMENT OF TRUTH

“I’m afraid I don’t hear thank you enough,” he said.

My heart stopped.

Right there, in my mind, I saw my dad following me in trepidation, gingerly
treading on the egg shells around the demanding force my teenage self had become: a heavy sulking cloud of moods threatening to rain constantly, demanding my dad’s wallet.

Then, it hit me that not once did I ever say thank you. Even once.

I had walked around entitled, while my beloved bewildered dad followed in my wake picking the tab of a spoilt brat, probably wondering where his little girl had gone.

I now realise it was a choice he made to labour in love and sacrifice by taking on the thankless role of an underappreciated dad.

Mr Mburu, thank you. You are the best dad a girl could ask for, and I appreciate you everyday most especially on this Fathers’ Day.

Today, many years later, I want to apologise for all I put you through.

Thank you for suffering me.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

All of my temptations are held inside the hotel’s mini bar fridge,please don’t leave it open!

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I’m on a two week treat at Lamu Island,courtesy of one of my generous clients.

When I’m the one footing the hotel accommodation bill,I’m normally very fussy about the mini bar in th the hotel room.

Picture this,dear friends;

You check into a hotel for a short
holiday, right?

If you are checking into a
Grand hotel like the ‘Nyumba Gereza’ guesthouse wonderfully situated in the center of Lamu Town, just behind the
market (incredible place!), a pleasant porter called Yusuf or Hussein, will grab your bags and lead you to your room while asking where you are from, (Malawi, you respond without blinking), and if it’s your first time in Lamu and he will tell you how to differentiate between a Lamu door inspired by the Arabs and
one inspired by Indians. (One is square
the other is dome-shaped….now you
know).

He will slip a key attached to a wooden
holder into your lock and step aside for
you to walk in first (just in case there is a
boobytrap).

Then he will place your luggage on a low side table and show you around: This lights come on from this switch.
(I can never find what switch
lights what bulb normally, by the way).

This is an AC just in case it gets too hot,
just press this red button to switch it off
and on.

This is the bathroom and amenities. (Oh brilliant, what’s the hotel’s policy on standing on toilet seat?); and that is your hairdryer if…wait,I don’t think you will be needing that Mister. Yusuf, stop!

He will continue: Here we have a bowl of
fruits courtesy of the hotel: (Are the
fruits real or plastic?).

This is the mini bar, you can have your soft drinks and alcohol from it, and this here is the price-list of the items. (Note to self: Do.Not.Touch. Minibar.)

Me: Do you mind removing the minibar
from the room, please?

Porter: Excuse me?

Me: Yes, like remove it, take it away.

Porter: You mean like the whole fridge?

Me: Yes, like the whole fridge.

Porter: I’m sorry, but we can’t.

Me: Why, is it too heavy? It’s only a mini-
fridge, I can help you carry it out if your
back is bad.

Porter: Haha. My back is fine. It’s not the weight, it’s just that we are not allowed.

Me: By who, hoteliers association?

Porter: Hehe. No, it’s… why don’t you want the mini-fridge in your room?

Me: Because I will be tempted to drink all the wine and Vodka in there.
No I’m serious. I will wake up at 2-am
and feel miserable and drink
everything.Don’t give me those eyes…
you know that feeling; when you wake
up in panic and all you want to do is sit
in front of the mini-bar in your
underwear and drink all the booze in
those small pretty bottles?

Porter: (with a self-concious supercilious laugh)Haha. No, Mister. That has never
happened to me.

Me: Not even once?!

Porter: No. I’m sorry.

Me: Oh, don’t be. I just thought we had a
connection there.

Porter: Haha. Look, I don’t know, maybe I can remove all the drinks in there instead?

Me: Then you take them where? To
someone’s minibar and increase his
temptation threefold?

Me: No, the store….maybe. I don’t know. I
will ask housekeeping.

Me: Um, Look, on second thoughts, don’t
bother, leave the drinks there I need to
practice some self control. Do you have
a key?

Porter: A key?

Me: To the mini-bar!

Porter: Oh, no. Sorry, the minibars don’t come with keys.

Me: That’s odd, don’t you think?

Porter: That minibars don’t come with keys?

Me: No, that elephants can’t hiccup, yes, that minibars don’t have keys.

Porter: Uhm, yes, it’s…it’s a bit odd, yes. (Odd look).

Me: Next time you go shopping for a mini
bar please get one with a key.

Porter: Uhm, why, sir?

Me: So that you can lock all the drinks and all of my temptations in there.

Porter: (Offers a very concerned look) Certainly Mister.
.
Me: Did I tell you I’m SDA?

Porter: No. No. I don’t remember you
mentioning that part. So you don’t eat
meat?

Me: Why not?

Porter: Because SDAs don’t eat meat.

Me: Oh, I eat meat all right. I’m not that kind of SDA. I’m the kind of SDA that gets
tempted by the minibar.

Porter: Haha.

Me: Haha.

Porter: Anyway, Uhm, so here is our safe. You can keep all your valuables here.

Now, I have a thing about safes.

I have always wondered about this safe
biashara by the way. I have used the
hotel safe about zero times in all my
travels. Who uses the safe? Are there
guys who travel with shitloads of cash,
like 2 meter – and stuff it in the safe
because where they come from they
haven’t heard of VIsa?

Or those very old wealthy women
from some unknown oligarchy in
Eastern Europe who come with
expensive jewellery which they place
there as one just doesn’t wear expensive
baubles while one snorkels.

Or maybe you travelled with your title deed for that newly bought plot in Kitengela. You figured you have worked so hard to buy that plot of land
the title deed deserves a holiday too, so
you bring it to Lamu and as you sip your
cognac with ice (horror!), you get it out
of the safe and you stare at it as you sit
on your balcony because it makes life so
much better. (By the way I predict that
should the madness on social media
hold for much longer, people will start
Instagramming their title deeds very
soon.)

The lovely porter,Yussuf, is saying: And this complimentary bottle of wine is from
the manager to welcome you to our fine
establishment.

You pick the bottle of wine and weigh it in your hands and pretend to read the label, nodding appreciatively.

You know nothing about wine
but you pretend to know by taking ages
reading the label as he looks outside at
the sea and thinks how he will not miss
this part of his job when he retires.

Talking of wine, don’t you hate those
people who take 20 hours reading the
label when the waiter brings a bottle of
wine swathed in a white napkin at
dinner.

The poor waiter stands there holding the bottle tilted with one hand behind his back as they nod and then comes the pretentious question to try and prove how much they know about wine: So was this a late harvest? Like you
lived in France for 12-years.

You reluctantly place your complimentary wine back on the table as the the porter says, Breakfast is from 7.30am to 10.30am, dinner is from 7.30pm to 10pm, please enjoy your stay with us, Mister and don’t hesitate to call us in case you need any assistance.

Caution!; Dear Nairobian middle-class, the decent thing to do at this point is to tip the guy. Give him 500 bob, I’m sure it
won’t create a crater in your budget. And
it will mean a lot to him.

After he is gone, you will remove your
shirt and pants and pick the envelope
with the letter from the manager and
you will instantly know the lazy hotels
from the real deals.

Lazy hotels will always address you as, “Dear Guest” and then print out this template letter that they have used since the hotel opened.

The real hotels who actually care about
you will take time off their very busy
schedules to write your full names and
even have the manager sign the letter at
the bottom using a pen. Nyumba Gereza Guest house always writes my name.

Then the manager will sign it at the bottom in ink, and basically what that says is that this guy sat down and signed a few dozen of those letters because it matters to the hotel, because it’s important!

The details are indeed where the devil lives.

Read that letter. It introduces you to the
product.

It tells you what you might want to do if you are at a beach or a bush property.

The letter might say, Dear Sir, after dark please don’t leave your room to go to the restaurant without an escort because there are buffaloes roaming around .

If you don’t read the darned letter you won’t know about the buffaloes and when you leave your room after dark and you pass by a thicket and hear something cough and you assume it’s a Maasai and you tell it, “ero, sasa?” and the buffalo takes offense for being mistaken for Maasai and it charges, you will wish you read the letter. So read the damn letter, it’s like 200 words maximum,after all.

After reading the letter you will walk to
your balcony in your underwear and
look out at sea. (I love beach properties,
safaris are too ‘mzungu'(Snobbish) for me.)

There, you will think of something deep and unworldly which might unlock a nirvana of sorts.

You will go back in, pass by the mini-fridge without making eye contact,
and grab a bottle of water which you will
open and take to your chair, back on the
balcony, and watch saggy tourists amble
by the beach, followed by dark ribbed
chaps with darker nipples trying to sell
them beads or a glass-boat excursion
(oh wow, look, I can see the corals!) or
sex or maybe if they’re lucky, weed.

It’s a capitalist economy, whatever he is
selling someone will buy.

You will open your book and read or if you have some female company, you will stare at her lovely thighs and pretend you aren’t in a real hurry to get her to bed.

You must attempt to be a gentleman.

I don’t even know why I wrote that
whole lengthy introduction to this post.

Hotel room boredom,I suppose.

But here is what I wanted to say in the first place.

When you visit a hotel you spend time in
two places, the restaurant and the
swimming pool…wait, by the way, I think
us, Nairobians, have the worst
swimming shorts in Eastern and Central
Africa!

Have you seen the dreadful fabric
comedy by the swimming pools when
you go on holiday?

The level of chitzy swimwear men rock up with by the pool?

I can write 5,000 words on Kenyan
men’s choice of swimwear. (note to self)
I can understand why you would wear a
swim trunk with a cartoon on it, or of
swan or geese (what’s the difference?) or
a picture of Mount Kenya, I really can,
but I can’t understand why anyone
would wear swimming shorts that go
past their knees!

Or those chaps who wear swimming shorts with side-pockets;

what are you carrying in there, your
laminated driver’s licence?

However, I think it’s the fault of the
women in their lives.

Yes. You can’t lie there in a your hot two-piece while your man frolics in the baby pool with these ghastly shorts, scaring those poor kids and ruining them for life.

It turns out that normally it’s these chaps who can’t swim; grown ass men in their late 30’s, elbowing kids in the baby pool with their Alibaba And The Forty Thieves shorts!

Men who have floaters attached to their
arms, coughing in the pool! Come on,
guy, get out of that pool…and then get
out of them shorts!

Where was I? Yeah, so in your time at a
hotel, in all these places and during the
time you interact with the waiters and
waitresses and the barmen and the front
desk guys and the porters and the towel
guys and the people selling shit in the
curio shops, you practically talk to
everyone.

But have you noticed that nobody ever
talks to the guy who cleans the pool?

Has anyone ever wondered how the pool
guy feels about that?

You see him late in the evening after 6pm, putting up the “pool closed” board (as he patiently waits for the grown men who can’t swim to come out of the shallow end) and he soundlessly pours his chemicals into the pool and stands there until dusk.

The next morning, if you wake up really early to book a pool-bed, you will spot a
shadowy figure, using that long-ass
squeegee to clean the floor of the pool,
and that machine to suck the dirt and
the net to get the leaves floating on the
surface.

But you won’t see this because you will still be sleeping and by the time you finish with your breakfast and slip into your Geese-shorts, he will be gone,
maybe taking on the different task of
pruning the flower gardens.

You will spend five days in a resort and you will never say hello to this guy.

Nobody tips him.

Nobody knows his name.

He’s a shadow.

A ghost.

Next time you are on holiday, walk up to
a pool guy and ask them their name.

Then watch how they beam when you
ask them about their work; How does
this pump work? How long have you
been doing this? Oh you were a
gardener before here? Do you enjoy it?
Do you have kids, Abdalla? That’s a cool
name. How do you Muslims name you
kids? I have a boy too. Does yours climb
everything? Has he hit his head so loudly
you heard it through a closed door? No?

Then your boy is a girl. Hahaha.

Spend five minutes with him. He will
never forget you because people love
talking about what they do and who they
are.

If he sees you the next day he will
say hello with a big smile like you are
buddies for life.

He will reserve the best pool bed for you the next day and everyday after that until your holiday ends. When you meet him the next morning, you will address him by name because people love when you don’t forget their name: Hey Musa, how did you sleep? How is Abdalla, has be bumped his head yet? No? Shameful,
just shameful! The pool looks dirty
today, doesn’t it? By the way, Musa, I
have wondered about this for so long;
who do you think pees most in
swimming pools? Men or ladies?

Haha.

Me: No, really, who?

Abdallah: I don’t know, really. Haha.

Me: I’m sure you know, you just don’t want to tell me.

Abdallah: I don’t know, Sir, that’s a crazy
question.

Me: Is it? I imagine you get asked that a lot by your pals.

I honestly still don’t know what this post that I’ve written today is all about: Maybe it is about Yussuf, or Abdallah, or the Mini bar, or about my treat in Lamu.

I really don’t have an appropriate headline for it,but bear with me and my rambling thoughts!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I hit on a girl last week,but it wasn’t very interesting!

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This story isn’t actually meant to shed light on my now outdated and underwhelming seduction skills.

This story is about a girl and her cherished car.

So last week the devil threw me – not
under a bus – but under a small car-a Toyota Vitz,if you care at all about vehicle models.

But that’s not even the worst part, the worst part is that it was a small car owned by a woman.

Look, I see people complain on twitter”#KOT-about traffic jam or lousy bosses or clients from hell or Kenya Power,which holds the patented rights of a fully paid-for blackout when your dinner has just been placed on your dining table.

I see people whining about something that a politician did.

Or about Monday blues in general. But you haven’t had a lousy day until you have hit a woman’s car in traffic.

It was technically my fault.

No, actually it was the devil’s fault.

So I’m waiting at the head of a traffic queu to turn left from Marcus Garvey Road onto Argwings Kodhek road in downtown Nairobi, right?

In front of me is
a new Toyota Vitz,with the latest issue of car number plate, a KCC something
something H.

We have both indicated left and I’m concentrating at looking at the cars coming from right.

What happens is that I assume that the Vitz has already turned onto the road and left and so I do the natural thing & I turn
onto the road…only to realise, a bit too
late, that she hasn’t moved and bang,
I’m kissing her Toyota Vitz’s back end.

There’ small thud on impact, but a thud all the same.

I turn on my hazard lights, adjust my Deny-hat and step out of my vehicle to inspect the damage.

At the same time this lady steps out holding a phone and I’m like Oh heck,this just the kind of trouble I need today to make my life more interesting!

Just my luck!

I’ve seen before what ladies do to men who have hit their treasured car. It’s ugly.

They don’t take prisoners. It normally
takes a sexist route very quickly if you
say the wrong word. Just one word and
she will be like, Are you saying because
I’m a woman I can’t drive? Then you will
be like, Oh come on, I didn’t say that!

Here is a home truth,if you hit a woman’s
car, especially from behind, don’t say
anything.

Anything you say will be twisted to project a sexist angle.

It’s worse if it’s her first car!

If it’s her first car, you’re safer insulting
her hair than hitting her car.

Anyway, the damage to her car is not
big, no scratch on the paintwork, just a
dent inside, something a mechanic can
just hit once and it pops back into shape.

She’s wearing flat shoes, but going by
her dress her heels are on the floor by
the passenger side.

She’s about 29 or early 30’s.

Probably drinks lots of water at her desk (read; glowing skin inviting a tender touch).

About 5’6” tall. Chocolate. She has these thick braids that curl like serpents on top of her head.

(Lucifer hiding in there,waiting to lay an evil ambush on hapless me
maybe? No? Disappointed is me.)

She wears no lipstick. Large breasts. A big-faced gold dress-watch on a thin wrist. No earrings. Or necklace.

When she comes out of the car she
shoots me this disgusted look as if I’m
the one who has serpents on my head.

Like I’m a scumbag.

She looks at the dent.

The hell? She says.

Not too bad, at least the paint isn’t
scratched.

Are you kidding me? The paint is
scratched!

Uhm, not really.

So she bends and runs her palm over
the dent and then points with a finger
(she has chipped blue nail polish) and
says sarcastically, This, to me, looks like
chipped paint!

I want to point out that that is an old chip, and you would have to use a
microscope to see it.

But I tell her that this is something my mechanic can fix quickly.

I don’t know your mechanic, she
sniggers, to imply that my mech is
incompetent.

He does great body work, this will be
fixed.

No, we have to take it to my mechanic. I
don’t take my car to strange garages.

Then she walks away, shaking her head
while bringing her phone up to her ear.

Look, I don’t know why ladies normally
get all worked up during these small
fender benders.

Why froth at the mouth and act like the world has stopped spinning because you hit their car.

And what’s with the raised voice?

There is never any reason to raise your voice.

I swear if you just speak in a normal tone,
you will be heard.

And then there is always someone she knows in a passing car who rolls down her window and asks, Sheila, kwani what happened?

And she rolls her eyes at me and tells her, HE happened, I’m sooo pissed off I don’t even know! Then her pal shoots you a dirty look and tells her, Call the cops, aki pole! Call me girl,if he misbehaves,I know people who can crank some sense into his head. And she drives off.

Only she doesn’t call the cops or her
mechanic, she calls her man.

Ladies, will you please stop doing that?

Stop calling your men when you are
involved in a small fender bender!

Unless they are also your mechanic.

Your men can’t help you. Everyday, there
are hundreds of men in this city walking
out of important meetings to hear a rant
about a small scratch on their girlfriend’s or spouse’s car.

Well meaning, hard working men are losing 10-mins of their precious time holding the phones to their ears, I say holding because they can’t get a word in
edgewise in that fast nagging tone to beat the daylights out of the traffic offender.

The lady just rants and rants and rants and then before he says anything she says, Let me call you back and you are left wondering, do I wait outside this meeting room until she calls back or do I walk back in and walk back out again when she calls?

Then before you make up your mind you phone starts pinging with about 30 whatsapp pictures of what is supposed to be the most tragic accident in Nairobi.

Life, as you know it, MUST stop to attend to this vehicular emergency!

As the lady paces up and down, spewing
hate into the phone, (I catch words like
“babe”, and “blind” and “some guy” and
“bat”…or maybe it was “butt”) I stand
there like a schoolboy who had been
caught sneaking out of class early.

By this time, traffic has backed-up to Jogoo road & people have started ranting on Twitter about the insane traffic jam.

I really wished she would get off the
phone so that we can sort this out
before the next Christmas especially since I hadn’t even said I was blameless.

Here is what I noticed though.

As other motorists drove around this carnage that could have been easily sorted out with dialogue, I noticed how the male motorists gave me that sympathetic look.

The one that said, they’d hate to be
you in this kind of situation.

That look you give someone who
has gout out of drinking beer liberally and tucking in tonnes of roasted goat ribs.

She finally gets off the phone with “babe” and I’m wondering, Is Babe
coming over to put me across his knees
and spank me with a big stick?

Is Babe going to leave his desk unmanned and come rap me over the knuckles with a ruler?

And, pray, what unprecedented
judgement would mighty Babe pass on
poor me?

Is this how my life ends, at the merciless hands of a lady with chipped nails?

The devil has surely won.

Let’s wait for the cops.

She declares with her hands defiantly across her chest.

Cops? Is that necessary? I ask.

Yes, I think they should come and decide
who is on the wrong.

I am in the wrong, we don’t need a cop
to decide. Look, this is simple take your
car to the mechanic and I will pay for
the damage.

I have meetings you know! How will I
move around? Will you pay for my cab?

I come oh so close to telling her, No, but
I will pay for your manicure. But I try to
recall some verse in the book of
Ecclesiastes 7 or something which says,
Be not quick in your spirit to become
angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of
fools.

She walks away in a huff, leans on her
door and starts going through her old
messages.

Suddenly a skinny cop shows up – I hate skinny cops by the way, they don’t yield, they are stubborn and they don’t negotiate.

The cop comes and asks, Kuna shida(is there a problem)?

And in my head a little voice says, Hakuna shida, officer, tuna relax tu
hapa kwa intersection na huyu mrembo
ana kucha mbaya. (We have no trouble,officer. We just decided to take a brief traffic rest at this particular intersection to allow the lady here to file her nails.)

The skinny cop looks at the damage and
says it’s not bad, that we can sort it out,
so could we remove these cars from the
road immediately?

We drive and park by Chaka Road and, still with hands across her chest, she rolls her eyes all the way to the back of her skull when I tell her I will offer her 1,500 bob. (I know, hehe).

After 30mins or serious pulling and tagging we finally agree on 3K. I pay her
and she gets into her car and drives off
without even giving me a hug. (Nkt).

Her Babe never showed up,even after fifty snaps of this carnage sent to his Whatapp chat.

This is to all female drivers on our roads.

Accidents aside, why don’t most of you
ever see the need to give us way?

Most women drivers will NOT give you way.

A huge ball of fire could be headed your
way but she will not let you get in, she
will stare straight ahead under her huge
shades, chin defiantly thrust forward like
she’s a soldier in a passing parade.

You will burn and die in your lane, my friend.

But you should see them when they
want to join, how they roll down their
windows and flash you those smiles like
you have genes that they might want for
their babies and you know it’s a ruse, but
you always fall for the smile and let
them in.

I know the Bible says do good without expecting anything in return but would it kill you at all to say thanks when we
let you in?

Of course for every mean female driver
there are about five great ones.And may the good Lord keep blessing these five drivers.

May he stop lucifer from standing in the way between you,dear ladies, and reverse parking.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

TRAVEL HORROR: Me a drug peddler? No way,Mr. Officer! I just have a running stomach!

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On a working trip to DRC Congo, my girlfriend and I were characteristically late for the return flight to Nairobi.

We had travelled by bus from a village where I was handling an agribusiness project for my client, which is well known
cannabis producing region, to the
capital, Kinshasha, and it had been a
rather long uncomfortable journey.

It was made a lot worse by the fact
that for the last couple of days i had
had a rather “loose” stomach.

We got to Kinshasha airport with about forty minutes to spare until our flight took off, so we rushed through check in, changed what little money we had left, pushed to the front of the passport queue and then tried to get through
security.

At that point, we were rather flustered and flushed from all the rushing,
and I, pressed by my running stomach more than I previously thought
was possible, urgently needed the toilet.

This caused me to profusely sweat on my face.

Inevitably, the guy in security,taking a cue from my flustered discomfort, pulled
us to one side to take a closer look at
our bags.

And after emptying everything decided he should get another security guard to take a further look.

I then made the mistake of telling him that I very much would like to go to the toilet while we waited because i had quite a bad stomach.

He asked if i had taken any thing to which i replied, i have — some Imodium –a stomach relief medicine, but it hadn’t helped.

He then asked if i needed to have a doctor to check out my stomach, I said that i was OK, I just really needed to toilet.

I then realised that we had very
different understandings of what was
wrong.

Telling me that he knew that I came to the airport from a cannabis growing village- he must have checked my exit visa or guessed – he suggested that my
bad stomach might be something to
do with all the drugs I had taken or
was smuggling in my stomach.

I was looking nervous, he told me.

I tried to explain that I needed the loo.

At that point, out came two armed police
officers with sniffer dogs, and we were dragged to the corner of security and we waited, confident if a little nervous, for them to check out our bags.

I then got taken to an interview
room, where a police officer poked at
my stomach with a thick wooden baton while quizzing me about my drug consumption habits.

I told him that “of course there is cannabis in that village — you get offered it all the time — but “of course i didn’t take any.”

He then said, after a little conferring, that I I would have to wait while they found a doctor to “examine me.”

I tried to explain, once more, that this was a big misunderstanding and I just needed to go to the toilet but the more I
remonstrated the more it seemed
inevitable that i would end up with a
latex gloved hand exploring my most
intimate parts.

We waited, my girlfriend in tears; the
police now were giggling and taking
what seemed to be a remarkable
amount of joy from our misery.

Eventually somebody arrived to examine me: the original security officers.

I asked about their medical credentials but i was told i didn’t have a choice.
Round the corner I went with him.

We stopped outside a disabled designated toilet and he pointed to the door.

Finally! I thought.

And then it became obvious that the disabled toilets were in fact the examining room and he was coming in with me.

He then told me that he was going to check if i was lying or not and told me that if I needed to go i should go now in a
rather threatening tone, although he
might have just been pissed off that
he had drawn the short-straw of
watching me ease the discomfort of my stomach upset just to embarass me.

I was just about to ask if he could
leave me alone while i went in to the loo, but i no longer cared.

Down came my trousers, and while I enjoyed an explosive relief, i looked up at him
and with a smug smile that said “well
i did tell you that there is nothing more to it than just my running stomach.”

After a minute or so, he decided to leave me to it.

And by the time I returned back to security bay, my girlfriend was packing
our bags once more, still a little
shaken and uncertain as to where
they had taken me.

The plane ended up being delayed, so
we even got on our flight back to Nairobi.

But it’s taught me a lot.

There are always bastard cops where ever you are; learning your rights is up there with remembering your passport; and make sure you carry money in case
you need to bribe somebody in a
disabled toilet in an airport in order
to get home safe and clean back from DRC Congo.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A Snapshot of a City; Nairobi,my city,is a beautiful mix of heaven and hell

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“For every person complaining of floods in my Nairobi City, there’s three blighters, not necessarily Kikuyus, thinking of the dough they could make if rice grew on flooded tarmac.”
~B. Wainaina

The other day I thought, “What is unique about my Nairobi?”

Then I asked the same question to a few chaps.

Here is Nairobi as seen by myself and a few different folk.

It’s easy to moan about Nairobi.

Moan about floods.

Moan about traffic-jam and “matafakas” cutting you off in traffic.

Moan about the drainage system
and about solid waste heaps.
(Those two are not related,at least not to our city fathers!.)

It’s easy, in moments of cynicism to think the worst of Nairobi, how hopeless and desperate it has all become.

It’s easy to stare at the iconic KICC building and get angry at the Koreans for putting their SONY logo up there. (Yeah, like Ketepa
will put a banner up there?).

And don’t you just hate this new army of
obnoxious motorbike taxi guys with their
stinky leather jackets in 32 degree heat,
choking life on the roads and literally
begging you to run them over?

It’s so easy to sit and think this city has totally
gone to the hounds.

Well, until you leave the country and you realise that, with all its dysfunctions, this is heaven.

That there is a reason expatriates cling to the
trousers of the immigration ladies when
it’s time for them to go back home.

Best Hotel

You,a bachelor like me, are sitting in the house on a Saturday night, no plan, feeling depressed because you are broke and someone said, I will call you later for drinks and they didn’t call.

And the Baby mama you were hoping to hook up with hasn’t said a word even though the two
ticks have turned blue on your WhatsApps chat.
You feel like you aren’t loved.

That the best part of your life is over.

You have a loose thousand shillings? (Surely you must).

Then wait until 10pm and drive to Best Western
Hotel, take the elevator to 7th floor, use
the stairs to 8th, there is a bar there called Level 8.

It’s overpriced and it’s blue, so don’t go in. (Not yet).

Stand at the edge of the rooftop, turn the collar
of your jacket, thrust your hands in your
pocket and look out at the arresting vista
of the beautiful Nairobi.

There is nowhere in Nairobi with a more spectacular view of Nairobi than that rooftop.

It’s gobsmackingly gorgeous.

Don’t take a picture, because this is one image you need store in your heart.

Later, jump into Level 8 and order a hot
toddy.

Old, meet new at the ancient Kipande House

The bank sits in a building on the corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Muindu Mbingu
Street (I think). It’s an old building,probably built at the start of the century.

Pre-colonial architecture: Arched windows.

Heavy wooden doors in deep brown.

White and gray concrete that refuses to age.

The pillars at the entrance, they stand so tall you HAVE to tilt your head back to see how far up they run.

Working my way up the stairs past those
pillars reels me back to a time where
nothing surrounded this building but
open opportunity.

And time momentarily stands still when I am
stepping into the bank.

When I have one foot in and one foot out, I feel as if I am crossing over the line that separates one century from another.

I overhear conversations of men, from a century ago,planning to build a great city.

Men on the outside speak of building a great city, men on the inside are writing cheques and counting bills to conquer that city.

They don’t speak, their money speaks for them.

The men on the outside built us a city –
our city – and we took it from them.

The energy this building exudes defines
Nairobi for me; an energy that drives men who dream of building and conquering cities.

My words shiver with that energy.

The sun,meanwhile is still shining in Nairobi.

They once called it the “The Green City
in The Sun.”

The only green left,perhaps, are in the golf courses.

But the sun stayed on.

I asked Ayisi Makatiani – Venture Capitalist, CEO Fanisi Capital – what his Nairobi is and he said, “Nairobi for me is a perfect sunny day, and they are more of them in Nairobi than any
other city I have visited or lived in.

Despite the cloudy or dry days that you
might occasionally get, the perfect sunny days in Nairobi more than makes up.”

Uhuru Highway Traffic~beautiful noise!

There is a scene in ‘Training Day’ Movie where
Denzel Washington tells Hawke to roll down his car window and “listen” to the sound of the
street.

We spend time in traffic in our air
conditioned cars, locking out Nairobi.

Crack it open next time as you sit there
immobile.

Let the spirit of Nairobi fill your car.

That sound you hear, that restless sound?

That is the sound of Nairobi’s inertia.

Diamond Plaza Snack Bar~a view of Angels

Go at 9pm.

Ask for this guy called
Jackson. His number is 0725 ¤¤¤ ¤¤¤.

Get that chicken in coconut sauce and
two garlic naans. Eat with your hands.

Then later sit there and have a fresh
pineapple-mint juice and watch the
smorgasbord of Asian families on a
night-out.

It’s a carnival, this place.

There is a family on the next table; they
have this amazingly handsome little boy
whose chin is at the edge of the table, as
he struggles to see the rest of the table,
and his sandaled feet swing gaily from
the edge of the bench.

That boy’s innocence has not been scratched by
the city and it drowns all the hubbub
around you.

Finish your juice and go home.

JOY ~An Angel in the rain

Her name is Joy and she has a face so
beautiful it hurts my eyes.

I meet those eyes the moment I walk into Kaldis
Coffee, wet from the rain.

Joy finds me a place to sit. Kaldis was once this quiet spot where I slid into to get away from
the heavy breathing streets of Nairobi.

These days it is always full and noisy.

Murmurs gather in the air and hold a raucous marketplace sort of din.

I have been meaning to find another spot which chaps from city suburbs have not turned into a spot for informal meetings.

But I still do not know any other place that
serves better milkshakes than Kaldi’s Coffee.

And then there is Joy.

She is the kind of waitress that makes it hard for me to leave after my cup of coffee.

She has a heart I would like to kiss.

I sit facing the door.

Outside, the sky is leaking by buckets.

Joy comes back with a menu.

I look up at her, at those African poetry
eyes and she says to mock my regular order at this joint,“Joy, get me a vanilla shake and…” “…sirloin steak, well done with chips. I
know.”

Meanwhile outside, water rolls down the
glass door like tears from a tired heart.

Nairobi is weeping, but I know she is not
one bit sad. Its joy in the rains!

A city stirs. My city.

Chris Bitti – CEO, the TheDBagency –and my friend, lives on the penthouse suite of International House.

Sometimes at 5am he steps off his balcony with a cup of tea in hand he looks over the city slowly stirring awake.

“It’s still at that time, there are a few people up and about but mostly it’s still. But you can feel the city slowly awaken, like a hungry giant. You
can feel something major coming, like this massive wave that is building somewhere and is headed right to the heart of the city and you know something serious will happen in the
day, you know someone out there is about to take your place. Nairobi is a beautiful mix of heaven and hell.”

The Tunnel~inside the intestines of Nairobi

The only place Daisy,my partner, loves more than a swimming pool is that tunnel that gets
you off Thika Road and into Forest Road.

That tunnel that looks like you are in Nairobi’s large intestine.

She could be asleep at the back of the car but you have to wake her up to experience that
tunnel or she sulk for hours.

“It’s because of the darkness, and the lights,I just love them so!” she explains.

Whenever I drive through there, I tilt the rear view mirror and watch her at the back, the lights slashing her face in rapid succession, and when we finally emerge into the sunlight she always says, “let’s do it again!” And there is an echo in her voice that rings erotic,though it’s just the tunnel she is talking about.

I am not from Nairobi.

I just live in Nairobi. Tried. Tested. Contented.
Being there, done that and did not even
want the T-shirt.

My Nairobi is all about contrasts.

The anguish of bumper to bumper traffic on Langata Road versus the open savannah of the Nairobi National park. Totally English. Karen
Blixen, afternoon tea on greens at Muthaiga. Little India. Maru Bhajias at DP in Parklands. Or standard Central cuisine with Kienyeji boilo, mukimo at Njuguna’s.

Best of Kisumu flavours at Mama Oliech’s in Dago for fresh fish and osuga. Bonding with the boys. Kuku choma, beer baridi(cold beer) and a car wash at Nairobi West. Back uptown for a little bohemian experience.

Cappuccino at Java House.

Chilled Mojitos at Mercury but still keep it real with a White Cup and Rhumba at Carnivore.

Bourgeois herd

Picnic for the expat friends at Blankets n
Wine.

Shake a leg at Choices Baricho Road with the clandestine gal before the Midnight ratchet special at F1 with the usual perverts.

Mdundo, Old school music with
E-Sir and Ogopa DJs. Doing the Lipala
with Sauti Sol or the sophisticated air
guitar with Jonathan Butler at Safaricom
Jazz. This is my Nairobi.

The Post Office,a funplace for masochists in Nairobi

I recently went to the registered mail section of the post office to get my mail from abroad.

It’s down a steep staircase that drops you into the soulless pit of GPO.

There I found a sluggish and uninspired old man who shuffled around in sandals. (It was a Saturday).

He barely looked at me (or my ID) as he
pointed with dark nails at the place I
should sign.

It was this old massive book.

Then he went and sat on this wooden chair with a sigh (or was it the chair that sighed?) and got back to his newspaper and mug of steaming tea and I wondered if he had an email address.

Three wise”sculptor” men? A Sculptor of a foreign war fought by my people

A sculptor is pedestalled majestically alon Kenyatta Avenue.

It tells of heroes of Second World War.

Our men fought in that foreign war.

“There are three men on Kenyatta
Avenue. They have been standing there
for nearly eight decades, watching as the
swampy town became a city right in
front of them. The man on the left is
wearing a shuka and carrying a staff in
one hand, as if he is going to herd goats
and not to kill other men. He has his gun
slung, almost like an afterthought, to his
left arm. You can tell he wants the one
in the middle to think he is staring at
him, but his gaze goes far higher. The
one in the middle is a conformer, in his
ironed shorts and military pose. He is a
man of war, the kind you don’t want to
mess with. He stares at the obelisk on
the other side, the story of another war.
The third man has a rifle strung to his
left shoulder. There isn’t much to him,
not enough character even other than a
seeming discomfort with his new role.
There are three men on Kenyatta
Avenue. They share the same rock, a
symbol of a shared destiny lost in the
sands of time, in the stories of other
thousands of men forced to be the ‘ feet
and hands of the army.’ Under their feet,
Rudyard Kipling promises “Even if you
die, your sons will remember your
name .” But their sons didn’t, and their
stories got lost in the struggles that
followed. Their story is Nairobi’s story,
untold.”

Mama Ngina Street

Stand at the edge of Hilton, facing Mama
Ngina Street at 8pm, when a large throng of people are heading home.

Its thick mass of humanity, worn faces who
are always hopeful about tomorrow.

One entrepreneur told me, “When you see this mass going home you can’t help asking yourself, ‘what product do I have to come up with so that all these people can buy it?’”

The streets!

It is an early Monday morning, the chill
is at its harshest and the roads are flooded.

Flooded by hordes of people and vehicles wading through the water.

Like always, everybody is in a rush.

Navigating through the pavements, I
catch brewery whiffs of the weekend on people’s’ breaths.

Cars pass by, splashing water on us because, well, that’s what floats their boat (read Toyota vitz).

Archives Building looms large,indifferent to everything happening around it.

It has had to endure Gor Mahia Soccer Club fans vandalism for eons, nothing much can surprise it now.

It does not give a whit that for all the lessons they could learn from their past, Nairobians prefer to use it as a beacon in giving directions because it knows that’s how Nairobi people are.

They do not conform.

For every person complaining of floods in my Nairobi City, there’s three blighters, not necessarily Kikuyus, thinking of the dough they could make if rice grew on flooded tarmac.

It is all so fascinating.

As I trot down Tom Mboya street, I walk past the same people daily; the balding newspaper vendor with playboy magazines hidden beneath Parents, the conductors who double up as peddlers and the capped dude who walks around selling dummies to dummies.

The only thing you can be sure of, and that I have learned about Nairobi, is that “it
don’t belong to your mother.” I wouldn’t even try to fine tune that African proverb into sense~it simply warns of lurking dangers in Nairobi,my City.

The great divide in Nairobi

If you stand on the balcony of any of the
residences of the new National Housing
corporation houses in Langata, something powerful is clear.

Immediately below you, the rooftop of
your little 2000cc car is clear.

After that, another block, then the wall, the big
one. The mighty Kibera slum starts immediately after it, and that wall makes all the difference.

You are standing on the middle class side, where the gates create the big difference between you and everyone else.

Rusty tin roofs litter the horizon, with the slum’s streets invisible to your bird’s eye view.

Yet your host’s househelp comes from the other side, because it is the only way the system
works.

The wall separates the lower working class from the lower middle class.

Nairobi is defined by its walls.

Gray and unforgiving, at least on the side you
can see from the balcony, that wall makes all the difference.

Nairobi’s walls are its stories.

Best Music Band in Town

Calabash Band.

Tuesdays and Thursdays,Explorer Tavern, Kilimani. Izzo on keyboard. Mayor on drums. Johnny Bass on guitar. Then, standing before the microphone, is Linda Muthama,
breaking this musical testosterone with a voice that anchors the night (and you) in one spot.

When birds mate in Nairobi

Nairobi is a place of extremes, the litmus
of limits and testing point of resilience.

It shuffles your cards, topples your dominos and rearranges your normal nervous balance.

Take traffic jams,for instance.

They are the melting pot of all pseudo-classes.

We meet here every day from 6am to 9pm.

The poor and the rich: the pragmatic
and the romantic.

Crazy Traffic equalizes us all then neatly encapsulates Nairobi’s two
great exports: radio and patience.

We sit and listen to radio hosts talk about
traffic with the same enthusiasm teenage boys talks about girls.

You try to be patient as you watch two grand
Marabou stocks recklessly mate on top
of a tree branch above your car.

We pray that at least the monstrous Mbukinya trademark bus in front of us will have moved before the birds break the weak branch which will fall smack on your windscreen for the frantic exertions of these gigantic birds in their mating dance.

We pray the guy hawking life saver vests gets to you before the flash floods hit town.

We watch as the sun sits on the horizon like
an old sultan as it eats the skyline like
yams.

Then, the city will turn to a smorgasbord of grace, soft crime, jazzy tranquility and Sabina Joy hookers joint.

And for the rest of us in traffic, radio and patience.

But let me tell you what Nairobians have
managed to do that other cities have not
– they have anaesthetized themselves
against Nairobi.

You’ll know because the next morning, in their true métier, Nairobians will all meet up again in the crazy traffic for a crazy snail dance back into the bowels and intestines of my beautiful city!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Knowing that I have had your friendship will forever be a treasured memory

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Though there is gold up in the belly of
mountains-
Lovely pearls deep in the sea-
Those treasures do not mean as much
As your friendship means to me.

While diamonds may be beautiful,
And worth a lot of money,
They cannot give a warm embrace
Or share jokes that we both think are funny.

I know it’s true some people
Will collect much priceless art,
Yet I have never seen a picture
That showed me a loving heart.

So I don’t need to spend a fortune
To have what means the most to me.

Knowing that I have had your friendship
Will be a treasured memory.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Till death do us apart…….

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I’ve been a massive animal lover since birth,
basically.

When I was a kid, I had a cat named “Trouble”, whom I enjoyed chasing, harassing,
and forcing to snuggle with me; she enjoyed
routinely scratching my face when she wasn’t
purring and being a lovebug.

She lived to be 16,well into my early twenties!

Animals are furry,and they feel soft to touch(though I’d be more careful touching a porcupine!).

Plus they make us feel less alone(I do feel lonely in presence of some of my acquaintances!).

Here are five reasons why I’ve always
been head-over-heels for them.

Anyway, here are my five reasons why animals
are better than people.

1. THEY’RE COVERED IN FUR!
They’re like living, breathing stuffed animals.

How could anyone NOT go instantly mush-gush and start involuntarily emitting squeaky high- pitched noises when confronted with fuzzy
critters? (I’m equal opportunity — my strongest
passion is for cats, but clean dogs and
donkeys and ferrets and all kinds of other small
furry animals are great, too).

How could anyone NOT want to take an adoptable fur-face home for their very own?

There’s nothing I like more than watching a movie like “Gone with the wind” with a purring cat sprawled across my chest.

2. THEY CAN’T TALK

This means they can’t yell at you, or fight with
you, or belittle you, or try to make you jealous,
or insult your intelligence, or catcall at you
(heh), or ask you for things you aren’t prepared
to give, or tell you how to live your life.

This also means they (sadly) can’t propose marriage, or thank you for dinner, or give you life advice, or ask you to change their cat litter.

But who cares!

Sitting in silence with an animal is just awesome.

And they communicate effectively with meows, barks, glances, glares, and odd body language (my personal favourite: “the good roll”, when a cat rolls on the ground right on my feet to indicate that he wants you to tickle his tummy).

3. THEY’RE HONEST: IT’S ALL ABOUT
INSTINCT, MAN.

They have no ulterior motives.

They don’t plot to
steal your boyfriend/girlfriend, or make insipid comments about your roots starting to go grey, or answer important questions with frustrated sighs.

They’re all heart and gut.

They do what they feel, and they can tell if you’re sad.

When they love you, it’s clear;their love is just so sincere to hide.

If they aren’t that into you, it’s also clear.

There are no guessing games with animals,
no human-scale subtleties, nuances or shades of grey.

Sure, there can be some mixed signals when you first meet ’em — when they’re not sure
about you, when you’re first starting to build a
bond.

But once they’ve learned to trust you, they tend to become wholeheartedly obsessed with you — and they have zero interest in “playing it cool,” feigning indifference, or not calling you back.

4. THEY MAKE US FEEL IMPORTANT.

Humans like to be needed.

I’d even go so far as to say that we NEED to be needed by animals to realise what unconditional love is all about.

It makes us feel valuable, like our existence matters, like it would be a concrete loss — to them — if we died.

Our animals need us.

They rely on us for food, and shelter, and
bathroom supplies, and luxuries like toys and
treats. (And love, of course!)

And because they can’t ask for what they need,or nag when feeling ignored, this kind of
dependence feels even weightier — not only do
they need us, but we’re expected to KNOW what
they need without them asking or telling us.

They’re like babies, but … forever!

This is a real responsibility, one that obviously shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Thankfully, for many animal lovers, I don’t think it is.

Plenty of us actually enjoy feeling responsible for keeping our creatures healthy and happy.

They pay us back a zillionfold with cuddles, purrs.

5. THEY LOVE US ANYWAY.
Animals give us the kind of acceptance we
should be giving our own selves, but don’t.

They don’t give a whit about our hair, or our outfit, or our adorable new platform shoes, or how bad we stink when we’ve somehow managed to forget to take a shower for 3 days. (Actually, who knows — maybe they DO give a whit, but they can’t verbalize it, so we’d never know! Dooooh!)

Regardless, our pets’ love for us is untainted and unconditional.

They accept us whole; they don’t mind kissing us when we have morning breath, and they certainly don’t mind snuggling up with our sweaty gym clothes or dirty socks from the
hamper (they actually kind-of like it — ew).

They’re cool with whatever we do, however we
look, however we feel.

They’re just SO INCREDIBLY OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD GLAD that we’re there at all.

Did I forget anything?!

I’m sure that I’ve given less reasons for kind of love I feel for animals,but feel free to add on this list!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Tessa; an instrument of perfect feminine mystique. Mother’s day 2015

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It takes a very feminine woman to bring out the full masculinity in a man, and massage to peaceful repose, the insecurities of his fragile ego.

Tessa is probably the only woman in the world who can manage a man’s ego; she will respect his whims without taking them very seriously.

She will not require her man to behave “correctly”,according to a woman’s handbook on good male behaviour.

And if a man annoys her,she will reprove him without malice,and in strong terms that he deserves and understands.

But any man would melt in Tessa’s feminine ways; she is every man’s dream of what a homely woman should be-feminine,but resolute,and no man can ever resist such guile in a submissive woman who treats her man like a king,but excites his intense passion in private.

In the feminine mystique, there is a sure way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future.

There is a way she can even dream about herself,as her children’s mother, her husband’s wife.

But Tessa doesn’t need to do any of those feminine things that define most women to be a woman;her feminine mystique stands on its own feet.

When a woman,like Tessa, rises up in feminine glory, her energy is magnetic to men and her
sense of possibility contagious.

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences as a monument of polar attraction, then love has a chance to blossom.

Most women,unlike Tessa, often have little awareness of how truly healing feminine
energy is to men.

Let your radiance touch everyone, because you are beautiful in spirit of what it is to be truly feminine,Tessa,my girl.

You are truly, an instrument of perfect feminine mystique!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Blessed are the broken hearts, for they shall let in the light

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In 2008, after sixteen years of marriage,
I decided to divorce.

Though my ex and I got along well most of the time, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt romantic connection.

Loneliness and longing for my freedom grew with each
passing year of my dull marriage until I could no longer ignore them.

I knew the kind of intimacy for which I yearned was not possible in my marriage, so I opted for a divorce.

Because my ex- and I actually led mostly
separate lives under the same roof, I assumed the transition through divorce would be fairly smooth.

Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!

Divorce, like most significant losses, takes
the safe and familiar contour of our lives
and blows it to smithereens, leaving us
vulnerable and unprotected until the new
shape forms.

It is easy to underestimate the comfort we draw from what is known,though it is sometimes the very source of our unhappiness.

Shortly after the separation, much like a
Ficus tree seems to all but die when
moved from its familiar spot, I went into a
state of self recrimination.

I reminded myself that,right from the beginning,this marriage was mismatched; it was more as a result of transient bodily lusts than love.

I was a fool to follow my bodily lusts into a sham marriage that was incompatible at all levels.

Much of my suffering was not even related to losing my ex,but cursing my unwise decision in being trapped into a loveless marriage in a moment of weakness.

The pain and hurt I was suffering was directed more inwards to myself,than at the loss of this marriage.

It felt like I was doing penance for my foolish decision that imprisoned me into a very skewed relationship,both at the emotional and intellectual level.

I flogged myself for it.

It was as if my nerve endings were relocated outside my skin, perturbed at even the slightest agitation.

Once- routine tasks, like getting out of bed or
going to the grocery store, seemed barely doable.

I told myself it was not okay to feel the
pain because it was a consequence of my
own choices.

But what about those lost sixteen years of my life?

My emotional suitcases were so heavy with fear, shame, and self-doubt, I thought these feelings defined me.

One night, the struggle reached a crescendo.

Sadness and dread filled my entire body, from the inside out, until I was heaving with sobs and howling like a trapped animal.

I cried for having made a wrong choice that led to loss of my precious youth,time and material investment in this sham that I called marriage.

I was convinced the pain would either not stop or that it would kill me. I secretly wished for the latter.

It was in this moment I realised that some
pain is, quite literally, unsoothable: there
is no one, no place, and nothing in that
moment that can make it better.

The only way out of unsoothable pain is
to go straight through it.

Even with this awareness, however, I still wanted to run.

I realised that at the material time of my sham marriage,what I needed was love,not necessarily marriage.

But I thought then,that love was found in marriage.

How wrong I was!

When we tell ourselves that we need
something, we inadvertently look for it in
places we are guaranteed not find it.

This is life’s clever way of showing us,
again and again,that faking a relationship will always fail.

Through breakups and divorce.

At the base of every true heart connection is acceptance.

We cannot offer acceptance to others until we can accept ourselves, wrenched heart and all.

Three years and two failed relationships
later, I decided to face grief, and to build a solid life on my own.

I have eschewed all romantic relationships,devoting that time to friendships and long-neglected passions, and music. I felt alone,but not lonely and frequently got scared that I no longer held any feelings for women, but fear was outmatched by a deeply held conviction that I was finally free of chains that limited my life to chronic unhappiness.

Though I once hoped it would, I am happy
to report that, unsoothable pain did not kill me.

In fact, the willingness to push through its
contractions has increased my confidence
to handle my other subsequent life’s losses and uncertainties.

The same can be true for anyone willing to
face his/her own darkness.

If you are experiencing unsoothable pain,
you may be tempted to reach for
something or someone to numb yourself.

Avoidance is a way of inviting into your life more of the very thing you are attempting to banish; resistance is futile.

Your feelings are intense because something important is happening, so keep going!

Sometimes unsoothable pain presents itself as fear, telling us the struggle won’t end.

Sometimes it assumes the voice of self-doubt, convincing us we can’t do it.

Sometimes pain is accompanied by shame, which cajoles us into believing there is something fundamentally wrong with us because we are hurting.

Fear, self-doubt, and shame are the
normal, temporary emotional byproducts
of any significant life-change.

Unsoothable pain is the threshold over which we must cross to access more self love and more light within ourselves.

While masking its symptoms won’t cure the disease, taking good emotional, spiritual, and physical care of yourself goes a long way.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Slow down and breathe.

It may feel like you are dying when you
pause for a bit, but I encourage you to do
it anyway.

When we slow down and sit with hard feelings, we are taking a brave step toward showing ourselves that we are stronger than pain.

2. Create small goals.

During the darkest times, the idea of getting through an entire day felt like a lot, so I broke the day into small chunks to make it more manageable.

My goal list looked like “Shower and groom”
or “Make it to lunch time.”

3. Celebrate achievements.

When I reached each small milestone, I would
sometimes say, out loud and in my goofiest cheerleader voice, “Heck! You made it to bedtime! Another day has turned to
history!”

It may feel silly to celebrate events that
seem otherwise unremarkable but, when
your nerves are inside out, even the
simplest of tasks can feel like a big deal.

4. Trust more and confide often.

Make a short list of the people in your life
you feel safe falling apart with and let
yourself fall apart with them.

There is nothing shameful about unsoothable pain—it is our vulnerability that allows us to create meaningful bonds with other humans.

Sometimes a supportive comment or gesture from a trusted friend can be the encouragement
you need to keep going.

5. Move around.

Please do move your body at least once per day.
Whether your preferred movement is
yoga, walking, running, dancing, hiking, or
biking, remember that emotions are
physical events—we can literally move
through them sometimes.

6. Do something that scares you.

Keeping health and safety in mind, figure
out two or three small things you can do
that are outside of your comfort zone.

I wanted to reconnect with my academic studies
side, so I joined college for further studies.

7. Speak kindly to yourself.

We are more likely to advocate for people
we like; so, when you are in pain, speak to
yourself as if you are your own valued friend.

It is when we are hurting that we are most
deserving of our own tenderness.

Gently remind yourself that you are doing your best to take care of yourself,free of burden of taking care of others.

8. Be patient.

Building a new life shape takes time, so
give it the time it deserves.

Acting hastily merely increases your chances of having to start hurting all over later.

Building a friendlier relationship with
discomfort can eventually diminish its
strength and frequency.

In the meantime, it may help to remember that unsoothable pain is often the sign of a well-lived life—it proves you were courageous enough to risk, to fail, and to be affected by loss.

After all, it is when the shapes of our lives are wide open that the most light can get in.

Broken hearts allow in more light into our lives that helps us reorganise our priorities.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A stress management lesson from the wild; live your life like forgetful warthogs

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Not very long ago at Mara Game Reserve, I was watching a lioness bent over a hole on the side of an ant hill and digging vigorously.

I stopped to capture the shots when and if the lioness found what she was digging for.

It was not my first time to see something like this.

That is why I knew for sure, the lioness is after something buried within the ant hill.

Aardvarks and anteaters dig holes on the side of anthills to eat the ants inside.

Then the holes are modified and enlarged by a myriad of species of animals including hyenas, warthogs, mongooses and even pythons as their homes.

They make their homes in the holes and even give birth in there.

It is not even strange to find a lioness giving birth inside an anthill hole dug by the aardvarks, if the anthill is well placed in an enclosed area with bushy outcrops around it.

We could term the aardvark in the category of the Keystone species, the species that modify the environment for the benefit of other species who would not survive otherwise.

Among those who benefit from the holes dug by
the aardvarks, warthogs are the most vulnerable.

The rest have a more secure way of keeping off
attackers.

They either put up a sentry at the entry to look out for trouble and alert those inside, as is
the case with the little mongooses, or attack any
intruder bravely using brutal force, as is the case with hyenas.

But for the warthogs, their only means of escape is to dash off from the hole with as much noise as is possible and throwing dust with their snouts on the faces of the intruders in order to confuse them momentarily.

Sometimes they succeed but other times, the intruder is not overly concerned with the noise and the dust.

In the case of a lion or a leopard, they will stay put at the entrance and grab the warthogs for a snack.

That was what I was hoping to happen with this
particular lioness.

She looked hungry and there seemed to be ready food in the hole.

I waited for a while, camera trained on the
hole.

Then it happened so quickly that there was
hardly time to press the record button for the
videos.

Normally in holes that are already occupied by the warthogs, the male sits close to the entrance while the female and the babies settle at the very end of the burrows.

This male came out with his head lowered to the ground ready to use its tusks at the lioness.

Close to the entry point, he scooped up loose soil on the snout and threw it straight into the eyes of the lioness.

A cloud of dust covered the whole anthill
and for a moment, I could hardly see what was happening.

The accompanying noise was so loud that the lioness retreated a few metres from the hole.

By the time she recovered, the last of the babies was galloping away behind the parents at a
speed that surprised all,especially the lioness and I.

The lioness did not even bother to follow.

The warthogs family had made such a lead that it was impossible for her to catch up.

She looked inside the hole with a hope that a baby was late in getting out.

Bad luck.

All had made the escape.

The next course of action for the warthogs family was to find another hole as quickly as possible and hide inside.

When they find a hole, the babies go in first, in reverse, while the parents bring up the rear also the rear end first so that their heads face the entrance.

In this case, the babies saw a culvert drain and went in.

Before the last one disappeared into the culvert, there was another loud squeaks and the whole group was out again in a greater hurry.

But they were minus one baby.

In their customary rear end entry into the hole,
they did not see a hyena already inside the culvert resting away from the scotching sun.

The hyena came out with a baby warthog dangling from his jaws.

The rest of the group was running in the
direction of the first hole, where they had had a
narrow escape from the lioness!!

In such a short period of time, they had forgotten and were not stressed by the episode
with the lioness!!

Lucky for them,the lion had ambled away in defeat.

With only a small loss of one baby,the warthogs were comfortably resettled in their former home within a few minutes that would have meant death for most of the family.

But in the mind of warthogs,that episode seemed to have happened long way back,and it was already mummified in the cobwebs of warthogs short memory.

It no longer stressed them.

They were a happy family again,just a few minutes from the brink of very cruel deaths.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live our life stressfree,like warthogs!

Blame it on our solid memories that sometimes haunt us for life.

And isn’t it puzzling too,that our happy memories only seem to be remembered for a few minutes.

Selective memory too,is our bane,as rational beings!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Bees always deflate my ego,and dampen my chivalry

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I hate to admit that I fear bees,yes,those tiny insects that others brush off ever so casually off their faces.

My paranoia around bees is informed by past undignified trauma.

I stopped denying that I suffer from an irrational fear of bees long time ago,and that took away a big chip off my bloated male ego..

Sample this recent encounter with a full colony of bees;

A female work colleague has a turned her guest wing into a private office where we spend long hours editing content for content blogging for our online clients on weekends.

On this particular day, I heard bees buzzing on her roof and immediately raised my concerns.

She explained that bees had set up a colony in her ceiling but an ‘expert’ was coming to sort it out.

Her casualness in this awaiting catastrophe was remarkable.

How could she be so calm with danger lurking above, up in her ceiling?

I should have listened to my instincts after all, but instead I listened to my big male ego.

I did not want appear overly paranoid,although I’ve seen a lion scampering into safety of thick bushes in face of these dangerous insects.

An hour into our peaceful afternoon, I heard
footsteps on the roof and a familiar sense
of uneasiness set in.

” Maybe we should step out and let the man on the roof finish his task”. I was dismissed with a wave of hand. “He is an expert. All the way from ICIPE.” ( International Centre of Insect
Physiology and Ecology).

I started to panic and true enough, moments later, an entire hive fell right through the ceiling into the room.

There was no time to think.

In a surge of adrenaline that propelled my flight response, I threw my jacket over the lady
and rushed her out of the door through a
hailstorm of bees.

Not a single bee stung her.

I got hit 9 times! and lived to tell the story,my best try at chivalry in presence of bees,so far.

I generally display a composed manner of a true gentleman, even where noisy banter is approved.

But that calm demeanour is blown to smithereens the moment I hear the distinct buzz of a bee.

The change of reaction surprises people.

Bees scare the daylights out of me.

A single bee drifting towards my coffee mug is
bound to set off all my panic buttons.

In female company, the panic attack is
heightened because at the back of my mind
is the inevitable and sheer embarrassment
of getting my ego stung as well.

Once in the company of an attractive young lady at a business meeting, a bee hovered in front of my face as if taking aim.

I lost track of conversation and was preoccupied with how to get away from the source of threat without breaking into a run.

The lady noticed my obvious discomfort and said reassuringly, “It is only a bee”. Of course, She wouldn’t understand. And her short well meaning observation made a big dent on my male ego.

How can I even pretend to be a “protector” of a lass who doesn’t fear bees?

In certain instances,bees have trampled on my hope for successful dating when they enter the scene.

I become flustered,incoherent,sweaty and stammering all at a low buzz of a single bee,ruining my date!

I can produce a very clear and detailed history of completely unprovoked attack from bees.

I have gotten stung so many times, I reasoned that this level of profiling bees as heartless insects can only be penance for my sins committed in a past life.

I have even been stung while getting interviewed for an agribusiness documentary.

The venue was a tropical garden.

On this one sunny day, a bee decided to crawl up my leg heading up to goodness knows where, and stung me just when I was getting into my groove for this exciting interview.

I took the sting like a man and did not utter
a word. the host was impressed when I told
him about it afterwards and he promptly
roasted me off air afterwards for being stoic.

The Tv man thought it would increased the ratings of the documentary if I had spontaneously hollered in horror in live camera at the sting of that single bee.

My friends told me later that I looked like a
man suffering from a constipation
throughout the remainder of the interview.

In another incident, during an important
fundraiser at a friend’s house, a bee landed on
the edge of my cup of water, placed on the
ground, next to my seat.

When I reached under the seat to take a cool gulp, I got stung on my upper lip.

Of all the cups in a gathering of about 50 people, I became the chosen one for this dishonour.

The commotion that followed was ugly.

I cursed the bee so ferociously in front of little children who started crying in horror of my swear words.

I spilled water over an elderly man, lost my
sense of bearing,charging like a wounded fighter bull for a few seconds as I
stumbled through chairs trying to suppress
the raw panic and the pain of the sting.

People panicked, some started running and if it
was not for a calm MC who laughed off my paranoia to the panicked crowd, I would have set off a stampede.

I was not very happy with my swollen face afterwards that looked like a freak deformed monster pumpkin.

Of course,I love the bees for their honey,but,Oouch! They do sting.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

You could be living through your best moments in life,but you don’t know it,as yet….

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In the ever busy rat-race that we call “a successful life”,you probably have everything that makes your life a ‘true success’ already,but you have not had the insight to realise that you are already a success.

My Buddhist teacher illustrated this paradox to me in the following story when I queried him on how to draw out a plan that will help me achieve my life-goals;

A “successful” cold storage & meat businessman was on vacation in a small lakeside village, when a small boat came ashore and he saw the fisherman pull out several large fish.

Impressed, he asked how long it had taken to catch them, to which the fisherman replied, “Just a little while.”

“Then why didn’t you stay longer and catch more?”

The fisherman replied, “This is enough to feed my whole family.”

“Then what do you do the rest of the day?”

The fisherman smiled and replied, “Well, I have a late breakfast and then I play with my kids. In
the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and come evening, I join my buddies in the village for a drink— we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the evening.”

The businessman felt sorry for the fisherman and wanted to help. “I have an MBA in business and I can help you succeed. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and catch as many fish as possible. When you’ve saved enough money, buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford our own fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you’ll sell directly to the
processor, eventually opening your own plant. You’ll control the product, processing, and distribution. By then, you’ll have moved out of this village to the big city, where you can set up your HQ and manage your operations.”

The fisherman seemed intrigued; “and then what?”

The businessman laughed heartily, “after about
15-20 years, you’ll go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange. You’ll be rich!”

The fisherman,still listening keenly asked, “and then what?”

The businessman continued; “Afterwards, you can finally retire, move to a small coastal village.
Life will be sweet because you’ll be able to enjoy
fishing, play with your kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and in the evening, you would join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, and sing and dance throughout the evening!”

The hapless fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am already doing now?”

Our little apocryphal story teaches us that as Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Wealth is not an end of life but an instrument of life”.

The words of an old song put it well, “It can
buy you roses, but money can’t buy you love.” It can buy you a beautiful mattress but money can’t buy you sleep. It can buy you a vacation but money can’t buy you rest. It can help you afford the best education for your kids but money can’t make them succeed in life.”

Now, I’ve nothing against making loads of money.

That’s not my point.

Just a caution this Buddhist meditation week though that as you chase it, you don’t neglect and end up destroying the very things that you are chasing it for.

And guess what,you may already be living through the best days of your life,without knowing it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place,alone.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who run a string of agribusinesses in high end residential zone of Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My thoughts on Easter 2015; I have seen the Lord

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Many years ago, when I was in college,
the arguments were more prominent and
more intense than they are today about
whether Jesus rose historically and bodily
from the dead.

There was widespread consensus among believers and non- believers generally in Africa that deciding about that claim really mattered.

You took a stand—you believed in the resurrection, or you didn’t—and if you did,
you generally believed the rest of the Bible
and called yourself a Christian.

And if you didn’t, then you were intentionally not a Christian,a heathen probably,inspite of being indoctrined in African Religion and spirituality .

Today that question, that debate—Did
Jesus really rise from the dead historically,
bodily?—is not as prominent or as intense
because, at one level, people feel that it
doesn’t matter to them, because different
people believe in different things, and
maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t; and if
it did, or didn’t, and that helps you get
along in life, fine; but it doesn’t make
much difference to me.

I may or may not call myself a Christian, and if the resurrection seems helpful to me, I may
believe it; and if it doesn’t, then I won’t,
and I don’t think any body should tell me
that I have to.

Behind those two different kinds of unbelief—the kind from many years ago and the kind from the present day—is a different set of assumptions.

For example, in my college days the assumption pretty much still held sway, though it was starting to give way with the rise of existentialism, that there are fixed, closed natural laws, that make the world understandable and scientifically manageable, and these laws do not allow the truth of the claim that someone has risen from the dead to live forever.

That was a commonly held assumption: The modern world with its scientific understanding of natural laws does not allow for resurrections.
So unbelief was often rooted in that kind of
assumption.

But today, that’s not the most common
working assumption.

Today the assumption is not that there are natural laws outside of me forbidding the resurrection of Jesus, but there is a personal law inside of me that says: I don’t have to adapt my life to anything I don’t find helpful.

Or you could state it another way: Truth for me is what I find acceptable and helpful.

Now with that assumption in place, and that inner law in place, it doesn’t matter whether Jesus rose from the dead, because, whether he did or didn’t, my issue is: Do I care? Do I find that idea helpful? Do I feel that it helps me flourish as a human being?

And if it seems like it doesn’t, then I will
just view it the way I view UFOs and
possible life in some distant galaxy—I just
don’t need to bother with it.

If it helps you, that’s fine; but don’t press it on me.

Some of us think that way without even
knowing that’s the way you think.

You have simply absorbed it from the culture,
since that way of thinking is woven into
most television shows and advertising and
movies and modern educational curricula.

So what I am attempting to do is raise the
level of everyone’s awareness of how we sift through the realities that are coming at
us every day.

And my hope is that when I put the resurrection of Jesus before you, with heightened self-awareness you will not so easily be carried along by modern assumptions from 40 years ago or post- modern assumptions today, but may, with God’s help have a true concern for what really matters to you—not just what nature
or your own heart says matters to you.

I am going to come to John 20 in a
moment, but let me begin with a sermon
that the apostle Paul preached to
philosophy-lovers on Mars Hill in Athens
about 20 years after the death of Jesus.

It’s found in Acts 17 and ends like this:
The times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has
given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. ( Acts 17:30–31)

At that point in the sermon, his listeners cut
him off and mocked him because of the
claim that Jesus was raised from the dead
—which in itself is very significant because it means the amazing spread of Christianity in the early years did not happen in a gullible world that thought resurrections were normal.

But notice what Paul said: God calls the
whole world to repent, because we have all
sinned against him—that is, we have not
treasured him above all things.

We are de facto idolaters.

This repentance is urgent because God is going to judge the world in perfect righteousness.

And he is going to do it by a man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus will be the judge of every human someday.

Every human will stand before the living God-
man, Jesus.

None of our excuses will work in that court.

We will all be guilty unless we have trusted Christ as our Saviour and Authority and Treasure.

This word from the apostle Paul is flying
full force, with love, into the face of the
contemporary assumption that even if
Christ rose from the dead, it doesn’t matter
to me because I don’t find it helpful.

Paul is saying: It will matter to you whether you
find it helpful or not. God’s judgment of the world by Jesus Christ is not like possible life in another galaxy; it’s like death—it is coming, and saying it doesn’t concern you, is like closing your eyes and saying there is no such thing as light because it’s dark behind your eyelids.

The last thing Paul says in his sermon in
Athens is: “Of this God has given assurance (or warrant, or evidence, or proof) to all by raising Jesus from the dead.” To all! In other words, the resurrection of Jesus is designed by God to
be a global warrant or assurance that
repentance is necessary.

How does it do that when 20 years have
gone by, or 20 centuries have gone by?

The answer is that God always intended for the
resurrection to be known and believed through human witnesses.

This doesn’t rule out the work of his Spirit in opening our eyes.

But it is always through witnesses.

There were no tape recordings, no video
cameras, no photographs.

When it happened, God saw to it that there were
witnesses, and that Jesus appeared to witnesses in enough settings that they were fully convinced of his reality and could tell others and then write it down for us to read.

When Paul says, “God has fixed a day on
which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” what he meant was that the
testimony of those who saw him will spread through the whole world and be a valid warrant for faith, a valid assurance that this really happened.

Here’s the way another eyewitness besides
Paul puts it.

The apostle Peter in a sermon preached about 8 or 10 years after the resurrection of Jesus said,
God raised [Jesus] on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.( Acts 10:40–41)

In other words, it was God’s intentional design not for the risen Christ to be seen by everyone—not even in the day when it happened.

And not today, as much as we might wish we could!

His intentional design is: He appeared repeatedly and with many proofs (Acts 1:3) to a limited group of people whose job it was to bear witness in what they said and what they wrote so
that everyone who hears or reads this witness will be able know the assurance that God provides for the world about the resurrection of his Son.

That’s the way God designed for us to know.

That’s what we have in John 20—John’s
eyewitness account of the resurrection
appearances of Jesus.

That’s what we have in Matthew 28—Matthew’s eyewitness account; Luke 24—Luke was not an
eyewitness but lived and travelled with Paul
who was, and he talked to many others
( Luke 1:2); Mark 16—as we hear Mark’s
echo of Peter’s eyewitness testimony, as well as his own as a young man living in Jerusalem; and other writings in the New Testament.

On either side of John 20, we have this claim.

Look at John 19:35. In the middle of
Jesus’ crucifixion, John breaks off and
says, “He who saw it has borne witness—
his testimony is true, and he knows that he
is telling the truth—that you also may
believe.”

This is what Paul meant: The world can know what happened in those last hours because there were witnesses, and they give testimony and there are ways to test the testimony of witnesses.

Or look at John 21:24: “This is the disciple
who is bearing witness about these things,
and who has written these things, and we
know that his testimony is true.”

The point of this verse is that an eyewitness is telling this story. This is not hearsay. And his
testimony can be checked out with others
in the New Testament.

So let’s let him have his witness to us. And
you judge for yourselves ( Luke 12:57) if
these things are so.

“They Have Taken the Lord” (Verses 1–2)
Look at John 20:1–2.

Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they
have laid him.”

Mary did not believe the resurrection had happened.

She assumed the body was moved.

This is another evidence how slow the disciples, including the women, were to believe Jesus had been raised.

These were not easily excitable, gullible people.
Peter and John at the Tomb (Verses 3–11)

Then Peter and the other disciple— probably John, the writer of this book—ran to the tomb.

John outran Peter and stood looking in. Verse 5 says, “Stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there.”

This is what Jesus’ body had been wrapped
in when they buried him (John 19:40).

Then Peter comes and goes right into the
tomb. Verses 6–7: “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

What does John want us to learn about the
resurrection from this?

Two things, at least.

1. Risen Bodily, Not Just Spiritually

First, Jesus has risen from the dead bodily,
not just spiritually. Some are willing to talk
about the resurrection as a symbol of Jesus’
ongoing influence or his spirit alive in the
world or his soul returning to God. That is
not John’s point. The body was not there.
He had risen bodily. In fact, one of the
most striking and stubborn historical facts
is that the enemies of Jesus and of
Christianity in those first days and weeks
and months in Jerusalem could not produce
the body. That would have ended the whole
thing.

There was no dead body, because Jesus was raised bodily.

2. Like the Body That Died—But Not Exactly

Second, this body was not exactly like the body that died, and yet it was like the body that died. There is continuity and discontinuity. This is important because the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament is viewed as the firstfruits of the harvest of the resurrection of all Christians.

As Paul put it: “Christ the firstfruits, then at his
coming those who belong to Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 15:23).

The point of saying the linen cloths were
there, and even mentioning the cloth that
was bound around his face, is probably to
show how this resurrection was different
from Lazarus’ resurrection.

Recall from chapter 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus after he had been dead four days. And John 11:44 it says, “The man who had died
came out, his hands and feet bound with
linen strips, and his face wrapped with a
cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him,
and let him go.”

Different from Lazarus

People had to help Lazarus out of the linen
strips and face covering. That’s because he
had a mortal body. He would die again.
After the resurrection, Jesus did not have
mortal body. He would never die again.

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Romans6:9).

Jesus’ body is different.

He simply passed through those grave cloths the way he passed through doors in John 20:19 and 26. “Although the doors were locked, Jesus
came and stood among them” ( John 20:26).
But at that very moment of entering the room like no ordinary body can, he says to doubting Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” ( John 20:27).

This was a physical body that you could recognise, and touch. And Luke tells us he ate fish after he had risen ( Luke 24:43).

If you think this does not matter to you,
remember, those who are in Christ—that
is, who believe on him, and belong to him,
and receive forgiveness and reconciliation
from him—will be raised with him.

And Paul says in Philippians 3:21 that Jesus
“will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

This is not a UFO, or irrelevant life on another galaxy. This is what will happen when God judges the world by a man, Jesus Christ.

If you belong to him by faith in him, you
will receive a body like his, which will be
suited to see him and enjoy him and enter
finally into the new heavens and the new
earth where you will spend eternity admiring God in all that he has made.

And this world that we love so much, compared
to that one, will be like a candle compared
to the sun.

Here’s the issue: Do you see? In verse 8 it
says, “Then the other disciple [John], who
had reached the tomb first, also went in,
and he saw and believed” ( John 20:8).
What did he see? What did he believe?
Jesus wasn’t there—just some cloths that
he left behind.

Compare this to Mary in verse 18: She has
met Jesus in the garden and spoken to him.
She returns to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord” ( John 20:18).

We don’t have Mary’s direct evidence. We are
more like John in the tomb—there is evidence, and either we see through it or we don’t. The issue is: Do you see?

Let me close with an analogy; Your
doorbell rings this afternoon and one of
your friends asks to talk to you.

He comes and says, “I have some really bad news.
Your brother Jim is dead.”

And you say, shaking your head, “I don’t
believe it. I just saw him this morning. He
was fine. I don’t believe it. It can’t be.”

And your friend says, “We went to the game together, and as we were leaving, this car went out of control and jumped the curb, and hit Jim. I knelt over him. I waited for the medical examiner. I saw it. He’s gone.”

And you say, softly, “I see.”

What do you mean, “I see”? You mean that
the witness of your friend has become a window. And the reality in the window has
become plain.

You were not there. You did not see (the way Mary saw), but still you say—and it is right to say—with all your heart, “I see.”

“I Have Seen the Lord”

God has brought you here in my blog for this message and for this Scripture and for this story of the resurrection of Jesus and this witness.

And my prayer for you, as we close is that
you will now or very soon, by God’s grace,
say, “I see.”

There is one main difference between Jesus
and my illustration: He’s alive. It is as
though another messenger crashes through
the door while you are crying and says,
“Jim’s alive. I talked to him.” That’s what
Mary said, “I have seen the Lord.”

And in my own life too,”I have seen the Lord”.

That’s why my heart rings with joy of knowing that my Lord is alive.

And through him,my soul will live through eternity.

All of my genes may all die with my body here on earth,but my soul will live through the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour,Jesus Christ!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Chutzpah; learning from a cat

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Jaffa,my cat, has been real company for the solitude that I’ve chosen as my lifestyle.

The fact that I live alone means that Jaffa only comes into contact with only one human being most of the times,and that has its own implications;I sometimes neglect him since I also got my own things to do!

I came to learn about the word chutzpah from an Indian movie.

Chutzpah, in simple terms,means that there is nothing out there stopping you from doing whatever you want to do,irrespective of the consequences.

Let me illustrate: there is this solo bank robber who holds up a bank by passing a little note to the teller which demands that he empties his till into a provided paper bag. This is done pronto as he is armed. Having done that,he then carries his paper bag full of bank notes into a cashier’s window in the same bank and demands that the whole loot is deposited into his bank account! He then walks out of the bank door just as the cops who have been alerted by the robbed teller are coming in to arrest him. But he doesn’t have any money on him. It is both hilarious and complicated to the bank staff and the sceptical cops! That’s what I call Chutzpah,and Jaffa has it all,and more.

There were thousands of things I was certain would be impossible for me to ever do again after leading a complicated life that drained all my energy and enthusiasm for trying new things(that’s a story for another day!)

Jaffa’s attitude was what I needed to get on my feet again.

But that required believing I could actually learn from a cat.

I learned that the word “impossible” was nothing other than a word, which only carried meaning if I allowed it to.

Jaffa believed nothing was impossible.

And by watching him, nothing was.

At the beginning of my life after my ‘big failure’, I saw obstacles as just that – obstacles.

And therefore put them on my “can’t do” list.

But Jaffa never accepted obstacles as anything
other than challenges.

He opened cabinets by putting his paws around
the knobs and pulling.

My after-shave bottles made great rattling noises in the bathroom on crash landings.

I bought child-proof magnets at the hardware
store.

Jaffa simply tugged a little harder.

Back to the hardware store for hook and eye locks.

Jaffa flipped the hooks open with one paw.

Back to the hardware store for deadbolt locks.

He easily slid those bolts to the side.

The guy at the hardware store already had
combination locks on the counter in anticipation of my next visit “for something slightly different” in way of effective locks. He always looked amused about the stories of my “strange cat”,his words,not mine! They at least helped a little.

I was in awe of Jaffa’s tenacity.

By watching him, I learned that words like “can’t” and “hopeless” were just not in his feline vocabulary.

When I’d see a barrier that would prevent me from getting to where I wanted to go, I’d instantly turn around.

This happened recently when I decided to
surprise Daisy,my regular partner, with her favourite bacon, egg and toast breakfast sandwich.

She has a way of scrambling great breakfasts for me,I just wanted to repay back her kindness one fine Saturday morning.

The first lot got the toast burnt up into charcool texture,I’m not a very good chef when I multitask such simple things like whistling my favourite song as well as watching over the grilling toast!

I helped myself to the first lot as a way of ‘destroying’ the evidence before Daisy woke up from her blissful morning slumber to ‘witness’ my horrible breakfast for her!

I was lucky on the second one.

She was really taken in,not knowing I had knots twisting in my protesting gut after helping myself to the first horrible lot,and feigning to enjoy my second helping when sitting at the breakfast table with her that lovely Saturday morning.

I credit Jaffa for my newly found Chutzpah!

He never gives up.

Yet when barriers thwarted Jaffa, he’d never quit trying.

He’d never give up and turn around like I’ve done so many times after encountering barriers.

Every morning, I’d wake to the blaring sound of
Nairobi traffic reports.

That’s because Jaffa learned to push the button on my bedside clock radio.

He wants to wake me so he’d get fed.

Yes, of course I’ve tried moving the radio.

He would simply hunt for two seconds and find it.

Yes, of course ive tried covering it with books on my bedside reading table carefully
placed perfect angles.

Jaffa simply shoves all the books off at once.

There was no way to stop him.
So I did the only sensible thing and locked it in, in one of bedside drawers.

I got rid of the clock radio recently by gifting it to a friend after I lost Jaffa.

It was too much of a memory to keep around my bed.

What else could I do with a cat like
Jaffa? (I heard that similar despair from a close friend of mine!)

To him, anything could fall into the toy category.

He’d unravel entire rolls of toilet paper and play around with the shards whenever he gets bored. I then had to keep it in an empty Nescafe coffee can.

One day years ago, he found something else that will surely go down in the “History of the Best Cat Toys” book.

I was on the phone with a friend, Eddie.

I had barely said “hello”.

That’s when Jaffa came running in with something in his mouth. He had opened the new box of tampons that Daisy bought that morning.

He was flinging the tampon in the air like it was a toy mouse,the stringed end excited him most.

My friend asked if I was all right because not only had I stopped talking barely after greeting in astonishment of this vulgar play, I was
having an earsplitting laughing fit that I just could not control!

He assumed I was having a traumatic stress reaction for living alone and said, “When you live one, you’re often not in control of your emotions and that’s okay. It’s fine to
laugh.”

Living alone with Daisy in my house for a weekend sleepover?

That cracked me up even more.

I managed to blurt out, ” Shh! Daisy is here!!” before seeing the tampon go flying across the room.

Then I hung up — on my friend to let out pearls of laughter.

For the past two years, Jaffa has been sick after a violent encounter with a neighbour’s that almost amputated his tail and disfigured a side of his face.

Ive spent lots of time massaging him on either side of his face.

He always loved that.

On one afternoon, I used my fingers to comb through his lovely full set of whiskers he had eventually grown.

That’s when I saw the one side effect from the medicine he was taking.

As I gently rubbed along his face, all of his whiskers came off in my hands, except for one.

I placed them in a tiny needlepoint purse my partner made for me.

He came into my life with one whisker.

And,presumably that is how he would leave.

Three months ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I kissed his forehead and whispered, “I love you.” He looked up at me.

His face showed the love he was never successful at hiding.

As Daisy softly sang, “Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard ,” Jaffa took his last
breath
.
While his body was still warm, I cradled him in my arms and rocked him. I held his head so he was nestled against my neck. I said, “You came into my life when I needed you the most.”

Daisy was crying as She stood next to us, watched me rocking my little soul mate. “Jaffa,” I could barely speak. “You will
always be a part of me.”

I didn’t want to let him go from my arms.

But Daisy, so lovingly and slowly, gently took him away.

And so, I honor the life and the lessons of my
wonderful cat who, from the beginning, stood apart from all the others.

My beautiful cat, my Jaffa, just a plain gray tabby, as common as a housefly,but always so special to me.

There will never be another “Jaffa”,though Daisy hastily got me another kitten and named him Jaffa to console me for my loss.

That’s Chutzpah,but I learnt the true meaning of Chutzpah from my departed soulmate,Jaffa.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

We love best when we do not love out of desperation

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If it is possible to live with a purpose, what should that purpose be?

A purpose might be a guiding principle, a philosophy, or a value of sovereign importance that informs and directs our activities and thoughts.

To have one is to live seriously —though not necessarily wisely — following some track, believing in a hub to the wheeling universe or a
sea toward which we flow or an end before which all the hubbub of civilisation subsides.

What is your purpose, friend, or what should it be?

Now,when I honestly answered this question to my buddhist teacher by telling him that I live for the true love of my soul,he chuckled and said that I’m a naturally born narcissist,then wisely added that,while is narcissim is not entirely wrong,a narcissist like me needs to be taught compassion for others as it is difficult for him to love others;his true love is only for himself.

I couldn’t agree with him more on his honest observation about me.

Perhaps most of us do not come to a clear
conclusion in the matter, but this does not mean we have no other purpose but to love ourselves, only that we do not recognise it or admit it or even choose it for ourselves.

In the unhappiest case nature simply takes its course, which is a turbid meandering through the swamps of desire,not love.

If love means nothing to us, then only pleasure is worthwhile; or if love has meaning and we cannot get at it then still only enjoyment matters — such is the view of narcissists and some sophisticated philosophers.

It slips into the unconscious by default when we hold no other, but we are reluctant to entertain it and will rather, if we think about it, take as our purpose support of family, search for beauty, improvement of society, fame, self-expression, development of talent, and so on.

But it might be fair to say that apart from
these or beneath these the fundamental purpose of many of us is the search for love, particularly
romantic love.

The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams.

It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability.

No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book.

Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first,
last, and sometimes the only refuge of
uncomprehending humanity.

What else makes our hearts beat so fast?

What else makes us swoon with feeling?

What else renders us so intensely alive and
aching?

The search for love — the sublime, the
nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred.

When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love.

With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us,
we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love.

We have nothing higher to live for.

Narcissists guarantee themselves true and unfailing love by loving ONLY themselves.

Others have to work hard to secure love from outside of themselves.

Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for.

Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all.

Such love obliterates reason, as poets have long sweetly lamented, and this is part of its charm and power, because we want to be swept up and spirited out of our calculating selves.

“Want” is the key word, for in the spiritual void of modern life the wanting of love becomes increasingly indistinguishable from love itself.

So powerful, so insistent is it that we seldom notice that the gratification is rare and the craving relentless.

Love from outside oneself is mostly in anticipation; it is an agony of anticipation; it is an ache for a completion not found in the dreary round of mundane routine.

That we never seem to possess it in its imagined fullness does not deter most us who are not narcissists.

It hurts so bad,and that way, it must be good.

Practically nobody questions the supremacy of
romantic love, which is good enough reason to do a little poking around the foundations of its pedestal.

Who is entirely satisfied with the romance in his or her life?

Who has found the sublime rapture previously imagined?

And if one has actually found such a thing, does it last, or does it not rather change and decline from the peak of ecstasy?

And if it declines what becomes of one’s purpose in life?

If a purpose is achieved it is no longer a purpose; it can no longer guide or sustain us.

Does one taste of nectar satisfy us forever?

When we tire of crass, material goals we may go
searching for love instead of, say, religious insight, because love seems both more accessible and more urgent, and because so much of institutional religion in our time has degenerated into insipid humanism.

Some claim refuge here but many more, longing for authentic and moving experience, turn to the vision of the “lover,” that source of wonder, joy, and transcendence, who, it is thought, must be pursued and if captured perfected and if perfected then enjoyed forever — or until some other lover lights up the horizon.

Love is its own justification, especially for the young who have no other inspiration or no
career or responsibilities to dull themselves with as their plodding elders do.

Longing bursts through this one channel that seems open, dizzily insisting that the life of unreflecting passion is the highest they can
aspire to.

They do not reason, but fall.

Their elders do reason — obsessively — but fall all the same, thereby admitting that, with all their thought and experience, they find, when driven to extremity, they have nothing but love to live for.

This is not to say that such a surrender must be bad, only that it happens out of instinct and uninformed passion.

Love is sweet and it is our nature to give
way.

But why do we worship it so ardently and why
do we break off our search for fulfillment here?

Perhaps because we see no other earthly “gods”.

Yet if love is the highest thing to live for then this is a hopeless universe, because we should see in a calm hour that Cupid’s arrows not only thrill us but make us bleed.

“Man Kills Estranged Lover, Then Self.” “Wife Stabs Husband in Domestic Quarrel.” “Love Triangle Leads To Shooting.” So read the headlines with depressing regularity.

The stories behind these are only the most
shocking of countless tales of passion, but they do forcefully suggest that romantic love is not always a blessing.

One might object that hate, not love, spawns such tragedies, but where has such hate
come from if not from a prior attachment now
broken?

We should know from experience how easily
what we call love can turn to bitterness, jealousy, and malice, and though we protest that this is not the fault of love, we ought to notice that where one passion arises another is likely to follow.

Passions are unreliable, volatile, dangerous, and a poor foundation for happiness.

Divorces, suicides, dissipation, violence, depravity,fanaticism, and other miseries great and small follow from passion, and yet passion is still, in the public mind, considered commendable, a mark of vigor and liveliness.

Though everybody will admit that passion
gone awry is dangerous, few realize that passion is by its nature likely to go awry.

Romantic love is a chancy passion that may result in the opposite of what is desired.

It may have happy consequences,
too — else it would not have so many adherents — but it raises the stakes in the gamble of life and makes us more vulnerable both to our own weaknesses and to unpredictable fortune.

As most of us count the joys of successful love (however we define it) worth the pain involved in its pursuit, we must learn to step lightly and with intelligence.

We believe, with some reason, that love can ennoble and redeem us, and call forth our purest energies, but we are slower to see that when the lamp of love flickers out, as it
tragically tends to do, we might lose our way in a fearful labyrinth of suffering.

Granted that few will shun the pursuit of romance out of fear of unhappy consequences, what can be done to ameliorate those consequences?

If we really have nothing higher to live for, nothing to fall back on, the lugubrious truth is that nothing much can be done to ameliorate them, given the volatile nature of human affections, so it would be wise to make sure
there really is no superior, sustaining ideal before committing ourselves exclusively to the chase.

Buddhism, of course, teaches such an ideal, which is nothing less than deliverance from all sorrow, called Nibbana.

While worldly joys are mutable and fleeting,
Nibbana is established, sorrowless, stainless, and secure.

While worldly pains are piercing,unpredictable, and unavoidable, Nibbana is altogether free from pain. It is the end of suffering, the supreme refuge, the ultimate emancipation.

The Buddha himself applied many terms of praise to it while recognising their essential inadequacy.

Nibbana cannot be grasped by language or concept, but it can be known and realised by one who makes the right efforts.

This is a critical point.

Nibbana is not something that happens to us through an external agency; rather it is something that we ourselves may achieve.

The Buddha certainly never would have troubled himself to teach had he not understood that his own realisation was not fortuitous but rightly won and that those who followed his instructions could win realisation for
themselves.

That understanding, passed down, has
sustained the Buddhist religion to the present day.

The diligent are not powerless.

Suffering can be overcome.

Still, knowing ourselves to be sunk in confusion and beset by myriad defilements, we might regard Nibbana as too remote to do us much good here and now.

We persist in seeing an unbridgeable chasm
between saints and ordinary people like ourselves.

We think practically everybody is like us (or worse) while maybe there are one or two genuine saints in the world, they presumably having just been born in that condition or with the exceptional good luck to get themselves elevated — who knows how?

Yet the human condition is not, according to Buddhism, a fixed sentence to this or that level of wisdom and virtue.

Beings are living at all stages of attainment,
and they do not stay in the same place.

They rise through their own good efforts, and
decline through their own negligence in the endless action and reaction of intentional deeds (kamma) and results of deeds (kamma-vipaka).

The Buddha did not teach the Dhamma for the
entertainment of those already perfected; he taught it for the benefit of fallible people like us who were struggling to avoid pain and make sense of the world.

Even to those who came to him with no intention to scale high spiritual summits he imparted the progressive training of giving, morality and mental development.

Why?

Because there is always scope for improvement and because the human alternatives are not limited to holy wisdom or cloddish ignorance.

Suffering lessens and happiness increases when we make an effort to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, whatever our present condition.

In the classic formula, the Dhamma is “directly
visible, timeless, calling one to come and see, leading onwards, to be personally realized by the wise.”

Perhaps we cannot see Nibbana resplendent on the horizon, but we can certainly make out the ground beneath our feet; we can know when we draw a joyful breath or put behind us an old sorrow or refrain from a vicious act or compose an agitated mind.

The Dhamma confers benefits here and now as well as in the future.

Is there not satisfaction in performing a good deed with a clear mind?

Is there not uplift in a moment of quiet contemplation saved from the tumult of the day?

The Dhamma lightens our burdens in the present and gives us grounds for hope.

What then does this have to do with the problems of love?

Simply this. The Dhamma puts the delights and
torments of love into perspective, so that we can
break the illusion of love as the highest of aspirations and most essential of desires.

Henry Thoreau wrote (when young): “The only remedy for love is to love more.”

We might amend this to say: The only remedy
for love is to love better.

The understanding and the practice of the Dhamma do not destroy our capacity
to love or enjoy love — far from it.

The Dhamma purges the grasping, selfish qualities from our love and makes it purer and nobler.

As we come to understand through personal
experience the rightness and goodness of the path of Dhamma, we may discover — slowly or suddenly — that the consuming passions we previously thought to be the only reasons for our existence are really not so, and that something of wondrous value overarches them — indistinct as yet but flashing out now and again from the clouds of possibility.

What do our heaving emotions matter compared with that?

When we lean hard, out of passion, we will fall hard— such is the nature of attachment. But when we do not lean, when instead we stand upright with an eye to the heights, then the love we bestow flows out of us without weakening us, like a superabundance of vigor.

This is metta — loving-kindness devoid of
selfishness.

It becomes purer to the extent we realize
it is not the purest; it becomes happier to the extent we realise it is not the happiest.

Nibbana surpasses
all.

If, through our own ripening knowledge, we
appreciate that our ultimate and highest purpose should be Nibbana, the absolute end of sorrow, then all goals beneath that are cast in a new light.

When we have something to live for that is higher than fame, honor, friendship, or health — higher even than love — we can never be utterly impoverished or ruined.

We are in fact in a much better position to
enjoy whatever may be achieved in worldly life,
because we no longer depend solely on changeable circumstances for our happiness.

Love cools, friendships wane, calamities carry off the good and the beautiful. Who can deny it? If we are to overcome despair and grief we must not invest ourselves obsessively in what is perishable.

We need to keep our minds, and consequently our actions, as free as possible from craving and attendant defilements like covetousness and possessiveness: Our actions are all led by the mind;
mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a defiled state of mind,then suffering follows like the cart-wheel
that follows the foot of the ox.

Our actions are all led by the mind; mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a pure state of mind,
then happiness follows like a shadow that remains behind without departing.

While nobody can cut off craving simply by an act of will, we can certainly loosen its frightful grip on us by following the path and paying attention to the ultimate deliverance that shines at its end.

Love is never the poorer for being accompanied by wisdom.

It is not harmed by being deprived of a crown.

The agonies we endure and inflict in the name
of love come from making love bear too heavy a
weight.

While we are in the world and engaged in the
life of a householder we will naturally form
attachments to family, job, friends, and lovers, but the suffering produced from these attachments will vary according to our wisdom and maturity.

If we see nothing higher at all and abandon ourselves to the lottery of gaining and losing, we will surely suffer great pain, but if we keep the ideals of the Dhamma before us we will gain a measure of insulation against worldly inclemencies.

According to Buddhism, everything that has the
nature of arising has the nature of ceasing, so it is well to place our greatest faith in Nibbana, which, being beyond all concepts and limits, does not “arise,” and thus does not fluctuate with the teetering universe.

An independent mind, intent on deliverance, is not a cold, unfeeling mind, but a mind whose love is uncalculated, beneficent, free — and
empty of the furious I want of ego.

If we don’t live for love we won’t die for it either.
If the windows of our mind are open to the streaming light of Dhamma then that light will bathe our thoughts and actions and distinguish the skillful from the foolish.

Even without understanding of the Dhamma most of us will distinguish in theory between love and infatuation.

We think of infatuation as capricious,
irresponsible, and shallow, and true love as mature, serious, and steady — though in practice it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

At least we recognise some advantage to clear sight and reflection, and this recognition grows sharper with actual experience of the Dhamma.

We become less likely to throw ourselves at the feet of the adored object and more likely to stand erect, honest, and mindful, ready to meet our fortune with bravery.

To a world that knows nothing loftier than the convulsions of craving, this may seem a loss, but to one who truly experiences the refreshment of wisdom there comes no narrowness but rather a loosening of the bonds of fear and selfishness.

One can love without compulsion, out of free will.

How gratifying when affection is given, or received, without a bill for services rendered!

Even under promising circumstances there is no
guarantee that love will be returned in equal
measure, or that it will last long, or that it will provide unalloyed joy.

When we depend on it entirely for our
happiness we must dwell in the shadow of pain,
however bright our amorous interludes.

What if we should lose our heart’s support tomorrow?

We’re okay as long as we have each other, we assure ourselves dreamily.

But we will not have each other long.

Quarrels, time, distance, changes, or finally
death dissolve all unions of friends, lovers, and
relatives, plunging the unwary into despair and
meaninglessness; and if we have no wisdom we too may go creeping about the lonely streets with our eyes staring hungrily into other eyes and seeing the same hunger there.

But in the way of the Buddha there is relief from distress and exile.

In wisdom there is security.

Because love is fragile and temporary it cannot
protect us forever, but if we relax our grip it may bloom even better, allowing us to give and receive without encumbrance, frenzy, or fear, offering to each other our strength instead of our weakness.

In a sense the practice of Dhamma is like gradually filling the abyss of ignorance with knowledge until that terrible vacuum is appeased and neutralized and the heart no more cries for unknown succor.

The perfected one, clinging to nothing here or hereafter, asks nothing and requires nothing, so he is wholly free.

His loving-kindness is just the over-measure,
the overflowing of his goodness quite purified of the need, the visceral wanting and the vacillation of ordinary attachment.

While we cannot all at once purify our sentiments of their dross, we can raise the aim of our thought and conduct, and reflect on — indeed, contemplate — the virtues of the Buddha and the noble ones who are free from taint.

Their achievement is an image to set before our inner eye, something higher to live for,
within and beyond the motions of our conventional life.

No good thing prospers in ignorance.

The more we understand this flawed universe the more skillfully we can live, and the happier we will be.

We love best when we do not love out of desperation.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Grievous humour; He attended the wrong funeral

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Sometimes,grief stiffens our sense of humour,but it doesn’t actually kill it.

In my life,and in the customs of the community I come from, death is a solemn affair.

So,when my associate colleague died,I had to travel to Rwanda for funeral.

That was not so long ago,and there is still a lot of grief clouding my heart for her. R.I.P.

But something funny happened during her funeral service that I find worth sharing with my readers.

We were all sitting solemnly inside a church when I heard the church door open with a hideous creak.

Quick footsteps hurried along the wooden tiled floor.

An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me.

He folded his hands and placed them on his lap.

His eyes were brimming with tears.

He began to sniffle.

“I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies from her close friends and family, he leaned over and
commented, “Why do they keep calling
Mary by the name of Margaret?”

“Because, that was her name, Margaret.
Never Mary, no one called her Mary,'” I
whispered.

I wondered why this person couldn’t have
sat on the other side of the church.

He interrupted my grieving with his tears and
fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the
street.”

“Oh.”

“I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, Sir.” I volunteered,if only to shut him up.

Then something very strange happened to me;
The solemness of the occasion mixed with
the realisation of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter.

I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs.

The creaking pew gave me away.

Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.

Was I becoming neurotic or what?

I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me.

He was laughing too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.

I imagined everybody laughing,and that made it even more hilarious.

Grief can sometimes bring out the worst of us.

At the final ‘Amen,’ we both darted out a door
and into the parking lot.

“I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and, since he had
missed his aunt’s funeral, asked me out for
a cup of coffee.

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, he invited me to his wedding and they were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor.

This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time.

Later,after the ceremony,he sidled up to me with his new bride and was laughing even before he grabbed my hand for an enthusiastic handshake.

“I want you to meet my new bride before the ink settles on our marriage certificate so that you can do this one thing for me…..”

“Anything you ask,I’ll do it for you”,I replied,not really sure what he was going to ask of me.

“Do you think I attended the “right wedding”? He ventured sheepishly as his new bride dropped her eyes in surprise and shame,not knowing what this was all about.

“Let me see”,I said as I lifted the bride’s veil feigning close scrutiny of her face. “I’m afraid you attended the wrong wedding again,but I guess the bride is the right one!”

“Come on!”,he cried out as he grabbed me by the shoulders wrestling me to the ground in mirth of uproarious laughter.

In my time of sorrow, God gave me
laughter.

In place of loneliness and grief, God gave
me laughter again and new love for a stunning young family for friends .

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stereotypes; “A lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting!”

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Whenever I travel outside my country,Kenya,I’m always surprised by how the rest of the world sees us.

In other words,the Kenyan stereotype.

Recently,when I visited DR Congo on a tour of duty,a lady serving at a local food stall sidled up to my table after serving my lunch and asked me without any preamble; “How many miles do you run each morning?”

I was shocked by her brave intrusiveness.

When I recovered,I meekly told her that the last time I ran was during my high school cross country races which I hated very much,but they were compulsory,all the same.

She didn’t look very satisfied with my answer.

“But you look thin and athletic”.She egged me on.

I honestly didn’t know what to tell her after that.

You see,Kenya is known for successive generations of marathon champions in world races.

The rest of the world seems to think that every other Kenyan is an athlete!

And that was not enough; a white lady colleague during the duration of my stay offered me a package in a recycled carton of biscuits,and told me to take it to “my wife”.

“What is in the box? I was curious.

“Oh-some undies that I don’t want to fly out of here with”. She replied.

Now,at my age,she assumed I had wife,and a big family that was probably in need of clothes.

Kenya,according to WHO statistics has been topping the list of “high fertility and unsustainable population growth”.

I presume this is what informed her decision to donate clothes for “my exploding family”.

All over the world,people have formed stereotypes about other people,and most international interactions are usually based on this stereotypes.

Listen to my taxi driver in Kinshasha literally driving home this stereotype point;

“I can get you a girl to warm your bed tonight;I know Kenyan men like ‘Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and young girls. Do you want a good girl?”

Me; “No. I already have a young girl who is only 22 years old,very loving,very beautiful; she is my daughter!”

Driver; “I mean one that you can take back to your hotel room”.

Me; “Would you mind if I first consulted someone about this?”

Driver; “Not at all. Let me know about this arrangement after you have consulted”.

He was just not going to give up so easily.

He was probably a pimp,and his cut meant more to him than my screaming morals.

Anyway,I did consult,after all.

I whatsapped my daughter back in Nairobi,breaking the ice first about this uncomfortable topic with a “Hi”.

One hour later,only one tick still displayed in my sent message.

Four hours later,two blue ticks and a reply;

“Hi dad,how was your day?”

Me; “very fine,very interesting!”

Daughter; “Interesting like how,Dad?”

Me; ” I don’t know how I should tell you this,but do you remember the many conversations we’ve had about how you should relate with men,taking care of yourself,I mean?”

Daughter; “Yes Dad,but pliz,let’s not go over that again tonight,pliz.”

Me; “I’m afraid we will have to,Liza,but this time,it is about me”.

Daughter;” What has happened Dad? Shoot!”

Me; “It is like this, Liza, this afternoon,when I was being driven back to my hotel room,my Taxi driver offered to get me a young girl for the night”.

Long pause.

One hour later; “did you take up that offer,Dad?”

Me; “No”.

Daughter; “Thank you Dad,and please take care of yourself!”

Conversation muted from her end.

This conversation must have been nerve-racking for my daughter.

We have talked many times with my daughter about morals,her morals,but never my morals.

She also doesn’t seem to buy the idea of stereotype of “Kenyan men” always wanting “young nubile escort girls,at least,not about her dad.

But who I’m I to argue about the Kenyan stereotype.

I googled “Kenyan stereotype” after this disconcerting episode,and here is what I got from ‘QUORA’;

»Question”How is the stereotype of people from Kenya?
Doesn’t have to be right, it’s just a stereotype. Also;
-include stereotypical physical appearance if exist.
-Factual information is easy to get, but cultural info
e.g. stereotypes are hard to analyse.
Cultural stereotype gives insight not only about the stereotyped society, but also the society who
stereotypes.-
and remember, it’s just a stereotype, doesn’t have to be right, and please don’t get emotional over stereotype”.

Best Answer;”Best Answer: They are very friendly, welcoming, and family oriented.
The women work very hard all day long, washing, cooking, pretty much doing everything. The guys have a lot more free time.
They are proud of Obama – he’s Kenyan!
The kids are very good students and get excited
about learning even though the resources aren’t
always there.
A lot of Kenyans will have multiple boyfriends or girlfriends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sleeping together, often they don’t even live in the same city but someone will say “yeah, I have three
girlfriends!”
The food is pretty basic but the Kenyans love their ‘ugali'(Maize meal Cake). It’s the national food. Most foreigners aren’t huge fans of ‘ugali’, chapatti’s more palatable.
They love sugary things like children – chocolate, soda, especially Fanta. A
lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting.
Kenyans are crazy drivers. They also prefer to drive over walking. I’ve never seen a Kenyan out for a jog.
Kenya is very multicultural so everyone has
stereotypes about other groups. For example, the Kikuyu are business people and the Kikuyu women are the hardest to handle! Luhya women are loyal and if their husbands are difficult they will stand by them anyway. The Maasai are the most trustworthy, you can feel very safe in Maasailand. Maasai women
have crazy earrings and jewellery and the men are quite noticeable. People from the coast are really relaxed and friendly. Anyone not from Nairobi will tell you that the city is full of thieves, someone could steal from you and no one will care. Kenyans don’t always trust Somalis.
Kenyans also stereotype white people, believing that we are all rich and well-educated. As for rich, well, most foreigners in Kenya are, so they’re right on target there.
Source(s):
A mix of my own generalizations and stereotypes I
heard while in Kenya by Ryemtl ·

Answer two;”A Kenyan is a party animal who loves beer and nyama choma for a general kenyan, when you go to tribes the luos are
known to be proud and gives ladies a treat of their life, Obama is a luo. The luhyas are known for their love of Ugali and Kuku (maize meal taken with chicken) Kikuyus for their love of money. If you are in kenya just drop a shilling and those who will turn to look at it are kikuyus. kambas for their love for witchcraft.”
Source(s):
for more about kenya http://
http://www.ugandalastminute.com/safaris/…;
ugandalastminute ·

Answer three; “They run fast in Track and Field events because back at home, they have to run from cheetahs and avoid getting trampled by zebras”.
Source(s):
Stereotypes. Not Facts.
Bleh ·

Answer four “They get elected President of the USA”
Wrenchman57 ·

I bet stereotype is the way the rest of the world sees us,no matter the factual truth.

I’m glad that my daughter does not share this view about me as a “Kenyan man” with the rest of the world!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Drunk!

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I’m drunk with deep joy that life has
thrown at my heart;I won’t touch any other kind of
wine tonight.

OR;

Maybe I’m too old to keep a good love
going, but tonight you’re on my mind, though
you’ll never know.

But it makes me happy,all the same!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Cruised round Kampala in 90 minutes,but I never moved an inch!

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Last week,on an ecological study at Mapira forest, I took the chance to revolve in Kampala.

Not in a head-spinning way,as you’ll understand when I explain.

Gently, it was.

It took a full 90 minutes to turn through 360 degrees.

I’m talking about the revolving restaurant at the top of the Golf Course Hotel.

They call it the Seven Hills Revolving
Restaurant.

That’s because Kampala is said to have been built on seven hills: Kasubi Hill, site of the Kasubi Tombs, the tombs of the Kabakas; Mengo Hill, site of the present Kabaka’s palace and the headquarters of the Buganda Court of Justice; Kibuli Hill, with its Kibuli Mosque; Namirembe Hill, topped by the Namirembe Protestant Cathedral; Rubaga Hill, topped by the rival Rubaga Catholic Cathedral; Nsambya, site of the Nsambya Hospital; and finally, the little hill of Impala, once the hunting ground for the Ugandan kings.

I was at the restaurant for dinner,courtesy of my clients.

So it was after dark, and I couldn’t distinguish the seven hills.

But from the way the lights of the city spread out into the visible distance, they showed that Kampala now covers many more hills than the
original seven.

The Seven Hills on the tower of the Golf Course Hotel is one of only six revolving restaurants in Africa.

Nairobi,my city, once had one, didn’t it? At the top of the KICC.

Sadly, it no longer revolves — it doesn’t even exist.

I don’t know why. But it’s a pity. Because the view was magnificent.

It showed that Nairobi is still very much a green city — and usually in the sun.

Mind you, it is still possible to take in the view by riding the lift to the top of the building — but not to linger over it with a juicy steak and a glass of red wine at the now stalled restaurant.

At night, from the Seven Hill Restaurant, one of the most striking features of the view were the unbroken streams of red or yellow lights of the cars moving along the main Yusuf Lule
Road.

My mind went back to a conversation I had with a consultant colleague about late 1990s when we were staying at the Sheraton Hotel in the middle of Kampala.

“Have you seen the hotel’s car park?” I asked him. “It’s crammed with cars — Uganda is recovering.”

“But have you looked at what they are?” he asked back.

“Mainly white Land Cruisers or other four-wheel drives.

Mainly cars of foreign aid agencies.

When the car park is full of city saloons like Mercedes and BMWs and owned by Ugandans, only then can we say Uganda has moved on!”

Anyway, back to Kampala … Yes, Uganda has really moved on.

Except that there are now so many cars of all shapes and sizes that it is difficult to move at all in the city. Not to mention the pesky hordes of motorcycle taxis that run over your feet on pavements!

Another indicator of development that evening as I looked out of the slowly moving windows were the lights down below of the adjacent and huge Garden City shopping complex, with its supermarket, cinema, bowling alley, casino,
banks, forex bureaux, big bookshop and many trendy clothes shops.

The other side of the hotel was the black hole in the undulating carpet of lights that was the city’s central golf course.

In the morning, at breakfast in the attractive ground floor restaurant by the bright blue of the serpentine pool, through the screen of trees you could see a few golfers already engaging in what my old mentor called a “good walk spoilt”.

So, with golf on one side and a shopping complex on the other, the Golf Course Hotel must be attractive for those who like an easy — even a spoilt — walk to many things they
might want to do in Kampala.

For me, I chose it because the meeting I was attending was being held there — not even a walk away but a short lift ride.

The hotel is a bit cheaper than the nearby Sheraton and Serena, and a bit more expensive than the also nearby Speke or the Grand Imperial.

But that was for my clients to sort out.

I like it. The conference room was airy; the view from my room over the golf course was refreshing; the breakfast was as varied as you could wish — and dinner in the revolving
restaurant was unforgettable.

And I miss the one atop KICC back in Nairobi,patriotic pride certainly draws envy.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Mr. Independent

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Sometimes I hate you,Jaffa!
Just because you are my cat,
doesn’t mean that I’m your slave!

Why do you carry yourself around
With so much airs,until lunchtime?

You scratch the door,as if you want to come in,
But when I open the door for you,you just put your paws on the door frame;
You haven’t yet made up your mind whether to get in or not.

And I have to hold the door for you;
I’m your butler.
I’m your slave!

Do I own you,
Or do you own me?

What about that fight you picked with my neighbour’s dog?
That was really foolish of you.
You lost the fight to the dog,right?
And your tail was almost amputated by that bite.

But that was not all;
You jumped through my kitchen window howling,
And broke my china set!

That’s you mr. Independent,
Always coming off clean in your innocent cute face,
Feigning innocence after playing the devil!

But guess what,Jaffa?

That’s the very reason I love you,Jaffa,
Because you are independent like me.

But do you have to put on the display for me?

Your cat personality,so aloof,gives me goose pimples!

And did you have to scratch at my girlfriend when she got close?

Are you jealous?

Do you have to show it?

I’m madly in love with you,Jaffa,
But please don’t mess with my human relationships!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Singing under the shower of ‘gods’ in Samburu

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It is so hot over the day in Samburu.
If you try to take a shower,water dries off your shoulders before you scrub.
I take my showers at night,under the open starry skies.
Around here,we have baptised this practice as “shower of gods”.

I like to do weird things in the
shower, like drink my coffee,
brush my teeth and drink a
smoothie. It’s good time
management,I suppose.
This is all possible now,under the shower of ‘gods’.

But my favourite way to blow off
steam after a busy day is to sing
loud in the shower.(Pity that my friends tell me I sing so off key,it kills all the love they have for good songs!)

Listen to what others tell you
about your voice. If you’re only
singing to please yourself, you
might as well just sing under the
shower. But if you’re singing for
others, you are reliant on them
to ask you to sing.

I have the soul of a singer and
do splendidly in the shower but
the world will never hear it.
Basically, I’m the only Kenyan Soul(sole,I think!) singer
person who can’t carry a tune.

I always sing Adele in the
shower. But everyone should
know you never sing an Adele
song in public because no one’s
better than Adele.

I’d love to sing it proud and sing loud.
But I’m embarrassed I might draw a rude crowd.
So in public I’m dour,
Though I sing in the shower.
It’s the only time singing loud is allowed.

There’s no half-singing in the
shower, you’re either a rock star
or an opera diva.

Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get soap bubbles in your mouth, then it just becomes a soap opera.

I really enjoyed staying at an
encampment at the top of a hill
in the Samburu Reserve.

You reach it through hard climbing; there is no electricity, no city noises and you sleep and
shower under the Milky Way, with moths fluttering around a kerosene lamp, knowing that there are elephants and lions
roaming free in the valley.

This is all a good experience for the budding-sorry-bathing musician in me.

So I wrote this poem; Shower of ‘gods’ in the shower;

Walking down the crooked street,
Throwaway culture around his feet,
Not one eye dares to meet
The man who sings real loud.
He is of the reactionary kind
The one they label “out of mind!”
One they’ve always tried to bind.
The man who sings real loud.
He swings his bags without a care
Trots around on an invisible mare
You can’t hurt what doesn’t care
The man who sings real loud.
You will hear him before you see
His voice and mind are loud and free
A man you wish that you could be:
The man who sings real loud.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Poisoned in Samburu; I could die now, and very peacefully….

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“Do you know what plant this is?” I asked Lolyang,my point-man for my Ethno-botany study excursion in Samburu National Reserve.

“That’s not a good plant. It’s not indigenous to here, and you shouldn’t touch it. You need to wash your hands thoroughly.”

“But, I put it in my mouth.”

Blank stare, followed by Lolyang’s eyes growing wider.

“I took a bite of it and now my mouth is burning. Really burning.”

Anthony my research assistant who is a native of Samburu County,and acts as our other guide, heard me describe my symptoms, and told me that the locals use milk to cut down on the burning, and ran off to get my first of
what would turn out to be several litres of Camel milk for the day.

You see, moments before, while walking to breakfast with my colleague Tessa, I was enjoying breathing in the honey-like smell of a white flowering tree, fresh with the morning’s dew.

Surrounded by the flora and fauna of a new county, I was eager to taste its sweet smells.

I couldn’t help myself from breaking off a
stem of plant I thought I recognised and clamped down on it between my teeth.

I expected to taste the salty flavour of a
drought-resistant plant I had tried days before when learning about the cultural habits of the indigenous Samburu tribe in northern Kenya, who taught us all about the plants and herbs they used for cooking and medicine,both for livestock and man.

Nope. Wrong plant.

Tessa, my fellow colleague from Australia, who is a medicine man there, took one look at the plant I was holding, and named it immediately.

“That’s euphorbia.”

“I put it in my mouth.”

Tessa’s face went white, and the tears starting
flowing down my face.

I have always imagined myself dying a dignified death out of very old age,sorrounded by people who mean something in my life,as well as my catholic priest carrying on with my own final rites of passage.

Now,I’m going to die of such a silly mistake.

I could see my friends laughing me down in an open casket saying,”poor Ben,he was always so childish,and that’s what really did him in in the end!”

It is such disturbing thoughts that made my eyes water,not the impeding death,really.

“Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m scared. “

“Of what?”

“Of dying.”

“Well, I’m scared for you, too.
However, I think you would be writhing
on the floor right now if you
ingested too much,so let’s just
closely monitor what happens next.

I’m here to look out for you.”

And that was it.

I calmed down,reassured.

My guardian angel Tessa, was going to be with me, whether I got better or not.

Far from family and friends, and on a work trip in the middle ever expanding Sahara Desert, it was comforting to know that someone I trusted would be there regardless.

I went to the bathroom to compose myself,and steel myself for a dignified death while they called for a doctor.

I took my clean handkerchief and scraped
my tongue, my inner cheeks, and the back of my throat.

I spit profusely, like a worked-up coach on the
sidelines.

But I couldn’t get rid of the taste of what I
did. I had poisoned myself.

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

A local herbalist, the closest thing to a doctor in that area, came over to take a look at me.

Like Tessa, he wanted to know HOW LONG the euphorbia had been in my mouth.

“Not long” I replied. “I bit down on it and it was only in my mouth for a couple of seconds.”

“Well, there really is no antidote for the neurotoxins that are in your body right now. What we CAN do is get you to the nearest doctor for a shot to help alleviate the pain. I don’t think you took enough for it to be lethal. The doctor is a three-hour drive away, two and a half if we leave right now and drive
quickly.”

Wait a minute. Did he just use the word LETHAL? This is really the end of my short stint as a living human being!

What’s the use of all of our vanities?

Wait a minute-who is going to drive my car back to Nairobi? He had better be a good driver who will take good care of “my car” when I’m dead.

What about my cat,Jaffa? How will he manage all by himself?

More tears.

“More than likely, you are just going to have to wait four to five days for the poison to course its way through your system.”

Great! I can bear all the suffering,but death!-there is some finality in that name that may spell chaos in terms of all “my unfinished business”.

At this point in the waiting game, my body had
entered a defensive phase, and was in total “fight” mode.

The surge of adrenaline was impressive.

I felt like a Superman! I think the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is completely true.

“Anybody need any cars lifted, or heavy loads
carried?” I asked.

“Wow! Your humorous demeanour during this time is astounding,” said Tessa, in disbelief that I could be so jovial despite the circumstances.

“Well, I’m either going to live, or I’m going to die.

Might as well make the most of it now with my soon-to-be useless lump of flesh.”

After my initial adrenaline panic, my mind and body slowed down and I thought, “Could this really be the end? Am I really going to be sent home in a box because I ate a wrong bush in Samburu?”

I then succumbed to a certain calmness I have never known before.

I felt a profound sense of peace.

My life held no regrets.

I had a great family, good friends.

I had seen a lot of the world and met some
incredible people.

I could die now here, and peacefully.

During this time I also had visions.

I imagined how my friends and colleagues at the Ethno-botany Summit that was taking place
the following day would be affected by my loss,
knowing that my death would put a damper on the whole event. I envisioned my fellow colleagues back at the office getting word
that I had passed away while on my trip, and could see our tea girl shaking her head, saying “Oh, Ben,” partly disappointed that I had been so silly in contributing to my own death, and yet on the other hand, not at all surprised.

She above anybody else knew that I had the curiosity of a three-year-old child when it comes to sweet smelling food.

It made me love my colleagues more for
understanding me so well.

Everyone else, I saw, would miss me, but would
remember fondly my curiosity of the world, and my courage in making it a large part of my life.

I saw that I had even inspired a few people to make positive changes, and that made me proud. I could go now…

But, I didn’t go. And soon after these visions, my Samburu tour group (who were more like my family now) and I needed to continue on our journey.

After driving for over three hours
through vast landscapes, they asked if I wanted to stop in at the doctor of the nearby town, but I opted not to go for the pain shot.

The Camel milk was doing wonders for the
burning sensation, even though I couldn’t go more than about seven seconds without the burning returning.

My biggest challenge at that point was not
vomiting, as a stomach full of milk and acid,
combined with driving on remote, bumpy roads in a Land Rover were not really compatible.

I learned more about the plant from our local guides as we drove.

Locals use this euphorbia as a barrier, protecting their crops or homesteads, as most
animals steer clear of the plant, so it’s used quite a bit in hedges.

Apparently, the only wild animal that can eat the euphorbia plant and get away with it is
the rhino.

Last time I checked, I weighed much less
than a rhino.

The name of Rhino Charge stuck for the
duration of the trip.

Later I learned that this euphorbia plant was also used to put on the ends of arrowheads, in order to paralyse and/or kill the targeted prey.

As for me, I dealt with horrible symptoms as the
poison made its way down my body, including
massive heart-burn and excruciating pain as it
coursed through my liver and kidneys, so much that I thought something was bursting.

But, with Tessa’s guidance and reassurance, and with another higher spiritual protector, I made it to our destination alive, perhaps a bit more humbled,but not dead, not as yet.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Love has no heroes

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My heart has been shot full of arrows,
I’ve had terrible heartbreaks,
But in-between heart aches,
I’ve been a great defender of love;
I’m just a soldier of love.

Am I the only one who care?
Who else cares about the faith of love?
I know there’s many others just like me
I know they too ain’t have had enough of love
‘cos this heart of mine has been doin’ battle on the front line;
But love’s got no heroes in these modern times,
what love needs is a defender,
Who’s not looking forward to being a hero;
I am just a soldier of love.

I see it in your eyes my friend,
That you once felt the heat of love too,
There was a time when you believed,
Love is the only way to make it thro’ the night,
Or just be another casualty,
Of a broken heart,
From that heart that’s doin’ battle on the front line,
But Love’s got no heroes in these modern times
What love needs is a defender;
I am just a soldier of love.

I’ve lost the use of my heart,
But I’m still alive,
Still looking for the light,
At the endless pool on the other side of love,
It’s jus a wild dream,
But I’m doing my best,
Though I’m at the borderline of my faith
I’m at the hinterland of my devotion
I’m in the front line of this battle of
mine,
But i’m still alive,
I’m just a soldier of love.

Every day and night,
I’m a soldier of love,
All the days of my life,
I will always be a soldier of love,
Though I’ve been torn up inside,
I’ve been left behind
Still I ride tall
I have the will to survive.

Trying my hardest,
Doing my best to stay alive,
I am love’s soldier,
I wait for the sound of trumpet,
That declares victory in this battle,
I know that love will come.

Time will turn it all around,
I am lost but i don’t doubt,
That I will ride tall,
I have the will to survive,
Trying my hardest,
Doing my best to stay alive,
I am just a soldier of love.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Life is awesome!

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Oftentimes, we call Life bitter names, but
only when we ourselves are bitter and
dark.

And we deem it empty and unprofitable, but only when the soul goes wandering in desolate places, and the heart is drunken with overmindfulness of self.

But the world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper so that we can perceive and be awed by their beauty.

There are in life a few moments so
beautiful,that even words are a sort of
profanity.

The most beautiful thing we can
experience is the power of mystery.

It is the source of all true art and all science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it.

We must abandon arrogance and stand
in awe. We must recover the sense of the
majesty of creation, and the ability to be
worshipful in its presence.

For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a
sedative of ordinariness which dulls the
senses and hides the wonder of existence.

For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worth while from time to time
making an effort to shake off the
anaesthetic.

What is the best way of countering the sluggish habitutation brought about by our gradual crawl from babyhood?

We can’t actually fly to live on another planet.

But we can recapture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on
a new world by looking at our own world
in unfamiliar ways.

The feeling of awed wonder that science
can give us is one of the highest
experiences of which the human psyche is capable.

It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver.

It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.

Two things fill my mind with ever-
increasing wonder and awe, the more
often and the more intensely the mind of
thought is drawn to them: the starry
heavens above me and the love for life
within my heart.

Life is just awesome!

I see these two things before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.

Life is deep and high and distant; and
though only your vast vision can reach
even her feet, yet she is near; and though only the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast.

And life is veiled and hidden, even as
your greater self is hidden and veiled.

Yet when Life speaks, all the winds become words; and when she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words.

When she sings, the deaf hear and are held in awe of her beautiful voice; and
when she comes walking, the blind
behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and astonishment.

You just have to open your eyes and see how awesome life is!

You just have to open your ears and hear her beautiful voice singing in the wind.

Rise to the top of the mountain and watch life’s splendid view.

Stand in the bottom of the valley and be awed by the size of the mountain.

Feel the caressing touch of the wind on your skin and you will know just how gentle life is.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Your life is a priceless masterpiece!

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“You are special!
Created by the hands of God himself!
Awaken by His breath!
Filled with His spirit!
Redeemed by His blood!
Live by His love!
For none on this earth could be measured
equal to you!
So live as what you are supposed to be!
The masterpiece of GOD!”

I once lived with a poor old man who,in my young untainted mind,was a masterpiece of God.

I remember him best,my old room mate and my best friend,
in those early hours rising with the sun,
as if disturbed from his slumber,
abruptly rooted from his place of rest
while the house slept.

All but me alone in my single bed,
listening to the first sounds of day,
and he, ever persistent, a clockwork man, rising just before the neighbour’s cock crow.

How he rumbled urgently down the thirteen steps of the stairs with a cough and a grunt he started reaching for his razor.

Into the wash basin, he searched
busily through the soap suds with his badger hair brush,
his mouth held in an awkward hush,
In readyness of shaving his scruff of of a beard.

His frozen stern face unflinching
as he scraped away the memory
the burden, of yesterday with skill and grace, his concentrated frown
lost in the silence.

Rising with a cold flush having bargained with the mirror for a confident clean-shaven face,
an old confident man was now looking back with a new day laid out before him.

To me,his whole image of this morning shaving ritual was a God’s masterpiece!

How could such a poor old man be so hopeful about a new day,always ready ready to face it with the confidence of a clean shaven face?

I read too, a story one time about a man who lived in a tiny apartment and died in
extreme poverty.

At one point in his life, he had even been homeless, living on the streets.

This man never had any successes
to speak of, nor any noted victories.

He lived and died as just another face in the crowd.

After the funeral, some family members
went to his little run-down apartment to
clear out his belongings.

They found a painting hanging on the wall, so they decided to sell it at a garage sale.

The woman who bought the it from the garage sale took it to a local art gallery for an appraisal and was shocked to discover that the painting was extremely valuable.

The piece of art that hung for so many years in a little run-down apartment was painted by a famous artist who lived in the early 1800s.

The woman decided to auction off that
painting and ended up selling it for several million dollars!

Just think how that poor man’s life might
have changed if he had known the value of what he possessed.

He was a multimillionaire and didn’t even know it!

So many people today are living with priceless treasure inside, and they don’t even know it.

Sometimes we have to explore what’s on
the inside of us to really understand what
we have.

Don’t settle for living a mediocre existence.

You are a masterpiece, created by the most famous Artist of all, but if you
don’t understand your value, you’ll go on
thinking, I’m just average; I’m not that
talented; I’ve made so many mistakes.

Don’t allow those negative thoughts to play in your memory box.

Instead, every morning when you get out of bed, remind yourself, I am important.

I am handpicked by God, and I am a person of extreme value and significance.

Remember, You are God’s special treasure, selected by Him and for Him.

You are created in the image of Almighty God.

He made you exactly the way He intended, and He equipped you with everything you need.

You have the strength to stand strong in the midst of difficult situations, and the wisdom it takes to make good decisions.

Understanding exactly whose you are, and how you fit-in God’s plan, creates such purpose, confidence and such identity.

You are a person of destiny.

You have an assignment and you are full of gifts, talents, encouragement and love.

You have rich treasure inside you that people need.

You have more in you that you realize, and you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Dare to be bold and believe that
you are a person of destiny because you can leave your mark on this generation.

Understand you are important, and out of
your importance, know that you are called to add value to the world around you.

No matter where you are in life today, you have potential to increase, grow, to be strengthened, and to move forward.

God created you for His good purpose, and know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are His masterpiece!

You are God’s own masterpiece.

That means, you are not ordinary or average; you are one-of-a-kind original!

When God created you, He went to great length to make you exactly the way He wanted you.

You’re not meant to be like everyone else; God designed you the way you are for a purpose.

Everything about you is unique and everything about you matters.

You may feel like your life looks ordinary today, but when you understand your value-not only who you are, but also, whose you are-then you will love yourself more, and you will also love those people around you in a greater way.

Realize that because you belong to Him, you are extremely valuable.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

When the family Isn’t forever

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I just love the following lines from a song

‘Bless the Broken Road’;

“I set out on a narrow highway many years ago/
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road that was my life/
But I got lost a time or two/
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through/
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you/
Every long lost dream led me to where you are/
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars/
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms/
This much I know is true/
That God blessed the broken road/
That led me straight to you” .

Those from seemingly happy families
cannot imagine losing ties…of course
not, you have the love and support you
deserve.

It is completely different for those who have suffered pain, hurt, neglect from their nearest and dearest.

Family harmony is a dream we all
share.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could function, day to day, like our favorite television families?

Sure, life would come along with a one-two punch,but because we are so connected, in sync, funny, and resilient, by the end of the day we would land on our feet, together.

Whether you relate more to the family of
The Cosby Show, Malcolm in the Middle,
or Family Guy, those families always come out wiser and still united in the end.

Real families aren’t so predictable,though.

Marriage, child rearing, going to work,
moving across the country, cleaning the
house, going to school, loaning or
borrowing money, having medical
problems, dealing with one another’s
moods; this is family life.

It’s a messy marathon, and some of us find the experience more painful than others.

Into some families comes divorce, or
alcoholism, or mental illness, perhaps
poverty or abuse.

These families struggle to be connected and have positive relationships.

And with enough pain, some of us walk away from our families and never look back.

There are times when it is wise to create
some emotional distance from our
relatives.

We don’t need to be intensely involved with every member of our family
all the time.

Our family systems have their own sense of rhythm.

Varying closeness and distance is a natural process that brings balance in the dance of maintaining manageable emotional energy.

We all do it, and it is a function of
every close relationship we have.

Some of us have the experience of
deliberately cutting off connection,
particularly with one or both of our
parents, for an extended period of time.

We have another argument, the phone
gets slammed down, and something inside us closes our hearts to them forever.

We have run out of energy to explain, defend, and extend ourselves and
we just need a rest from that intensity.

Such periods of distance and recovery are common in families.

You may be in one of those periods right now.

It may feel like a burden has lifted, and you vow you’ll never go through that, whatever that was,again.

When we cut out a key family relationship from our life, it takes quite a bit of energy to keep that emotional door closed.

And, any positive emotional energy that that relationship could provide us with is gone.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you trust a person, or even like that person, or want to have anything to do with them.

Forgiveness,in such cases, is about
letting the offender(s) and yourself know
that the situation doesn’t bother you
anymore and now you are able to move
on by yourself without them,henceforth.

I cut off my family completely,and these days,I feel much better and grateful to myself for that brave decision I made many years ago.

They don’t take too well the fact that I no longer want them in my life, but all they do is create drama and they just don’t understand that I don’t want that type of mess in my life.

Overall, the people who I thought I needed the most in my life, turned out to be those that I want absolutely NOTHING to do with.

I’ve read many stories online where a lot
of people (who were supposedly brought
up in good families) try to talk down to
and condemn those who’ve decided to
cut ties with their family members, but
what they don’t understand is that
sometimes your own family can be your
worst enemy.

There is no use in keeping people like that in your life. And if it is of any use,I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.

I know that sometimes no matter how difficult it may be you need to shut people out in your life.

Yes, you may not want to,
(change is scary) but sometimes you
need to get rid of the people in your
life that give you too much stress and
not enough happiness.

Who cares if it’s your “family” if they treat you wrong.

People who treat you decent are
family,even if they are not blood relatives.

Just because someone grew up with you, raised, and knows you well you does NOT mean you should keep him/her in your life.

Just like the verses of the song at the beginning of this post,some broken roads lead you to better things in life that you would never have had,if you got stuck trying to fix relationships that had deteriorated beyond any rational repair.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I just love the power of the written word

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I’m an introvert.

I hardly value conversations that go beyond polite greetings.

But I just love power of the written word.

Words that have been thoughtfully crafted to express our innermost joys and pains.

Words that inspire us to be poets,to philosophise on our every day life,giving colour to ordinary events.

Because it is occasionally possible, just
for brief moments, to find the words that
will unlock the doors of all those many
mansions inside the head and express
something – perhaps not much, just
something – of the crush of information
that presses in on us from the way a crow
flies over our heads, and the way a man walks and
the look of a street and from what we did
one day a dozen years ago.

Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer to the force that created men distinct from trees.

Something of the inaudible music that moves us along in our bodies from moment to moment like water in a river.

Something of the spirit of a floating single leaf in the water of the river.

Something of the duplicity and the
relativity and the merely fleeting quality
of all this.

Something of the almighty importance of it all, and something of the utter
meaninglessness sometimes.

And when words can manage something of this complex nature of our thoughts, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being – not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses – but a human being, and sometimes,that’s what we call it poetry.

But the paradox of this whole matter is : the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world.

That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember.

And these awesome experiences are best recorded in the written word for our very own rememberances,and for posterity of generations to come who are beyond the reach of our own imagination.

But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster.

And for this monster to express itself and rejoin the world of the living,it chronicles its experiences in the written word,freeing itself from its own suffering, and finding carthasis and its own healing in this very self-expression power of the written word.

The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain – and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world.

It is like visiting a Riviera and listening to the sounds of the sea and walking barefoot on the sandy beach: The sea fills my ear with sand and with fear.

You may wash out the sand,
but never the sound of the ghost of the sea that is haunting me.

And that’s exactly the same way the written word records our experiences for rememberance and for memories of captured moments,that enrapture our souls in a way that a spoken word can never imprint in our minds.

And that is the kind of power that the written word spells over my psyche!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

What a girl! What a morning! What a date with my destiny!

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I will never forget the day I got my first job.

I was roused from sleep by the ringing of
my phone.

I groped about my bedding trying
to locate it, while cursing whoever it was who had interrupted my dream.

“Get a hold of yourself, man!” I muttered to myself.

The phone was not on the bed.

I swept my hand across the earthen floor in the slum shack that I used to call my home, and there it was.

I picked it up, peered at the screen and sat up straight.

“Hallo?” I said to the caller

“Hallo? Am I speaking to Ben W.?”
“Yes.”

“This is Susan from Profarms Consultancy.”

My mouth went dry.

“Well Ben, you have been shortlisted for the position of Associate Consultant.
The interview is tomorrow morning at eight. Will you make it?”

I could barely find my voice but I managed to let out a faint “Yes”.

“The interview will be conducted at our head office on Mombasa Road. Please bring your original documents and national ID.”

“I will. Thank you.”

I sat on the edge of the bed long after the phone call ended.

Silence punctuated by the occasional roar of motorcycles passing by filled
the one-roomed house.

It had been three years since I graduated.

No job had come my way.

At least no job worthy of the degree I earned at the university.

I had sent applications via post and online… nothing.

I had resorted to knocking at office doors randomly.

I never went beyond the receptionist.

Over time, i did odd jobs here and there.

I went less to the post office and seldom stepped into the local cyber cafe to check my mails.

I mingled less with the friends I went to school with and more with the boys at the car wash and garage.

At least the latter did not ask questions such as “Where are you these days?”

I spent the rest of the day in a daze,daydreaming about my improving prospects in life.

How time flew in that sweet day!

The sun was now setting.

I needed to get ready for work.

I got out my Janitor uniform from under the beddings.

I did not own a flat iron.

And I was not fond of borrowing from
my neighbour — a ravishing beautiful married woman who resided in my dream every night.

Doing this kind of thing,and seeing her beautiful smile and smooth-skin hands handing over the ironing box everyday,and with my boiling hormones, the mere act of borrowing the box was likely to drive my head to have funny ideas about her,and this would be a good recipe for disaster with a bachelor like me.

To straighten my clothes and give them a semblance of having been ironed, I
folded and placed them between my mattress and the bed before I slept.

I poured water from the 20-litre jerrycan into a basin, taking care to leave enough to make tea with.

Dashed to the common bathroom with bath water.

Shortly thereafter,I was on way to Classic
Apartments, where. I worked as a janitor,, opening the gate for well-to-do tenants returning home from work, with the small radio playing my vernacular music on full blast, occasionally stealing a snooze.

The next morning, I left for home early in order to prepare for the interview.

However, I was not early enough for some reason.

A long queue had formed at the
estate’s communal water tap even though it was only 4:30 am.

I quickly joined the queue holding a
container.

It was chilly, but in my white vest and towel, could not feel it.

Several months spent as a watchman had hardened my body to the chills of the night,and my soul too.

The queue moved slowly.

I hummed a tune to while away the time.

A girl who was a few steps ahead joined in.

She turned around just in time to catch my eye and winked.

Blood rushed south as I smiled sheepishly, much to her amusement.

In a short while, the girl reached at the head of the head of the queue to the tap.

She filled her jerrycan just in time for at that very moment, the tap went dry.

The people behind her cursed.

The more emboldened pelted the landlord’s roof with stones.

He never experienced water shortages.

All the roof guttering in the estate fed water
into a 10,000-litre tank at the back of his house.

I was devastated.

I did not have a single drop of water in the house.

The thought of asking, nay begging, for water from the girl saddened my soul.
I knew her willy ways.

Nothing from her was for free.

Nonetheless, she was the only neighbour who was friendly to me.

She greeted me when I moved into the neighbourhood.

She even helped carry my meagre belongings into the house.

The rest did not lift a finger to assist..

They sat in front of their houses staring.

There was pity in the eyes of a few but disgust in most.

Perhaps they saw me as the girl’s next victim.

Perhaps they saw the girl’s next abuser.

Either way, they just stared.

I had no choice.

As the disappointed tenants walked away, I made my way to the girl.

Unlike the ravishing beautiful married woman, who I always had in my dreams every night,this girl,Stella was her name-she was the kind of of the girl I clearly didn’t need in my life: a gold digger to be exact and the resident estate call girl who was always yours for the asking.

“Hi Stella. A moment please”.

“For you I can give a lifetime,” she replied.

“I don’t have any water in my house and I need to be ready to go to town today. Could you give me a litre or two? I swear I’ll fetch you some water tomorrow morning”.

Stella advanced in my direction and gently laid her right hand on my left shoulder. She drew closer
and whispered into my ear.

“I’ll give you more than two litres but you have to pass by my house before you go to work tonight. I want to cook for you.”

I felt the hair at the back of my head stand on end.

For the first time that morning, I felt the
cold chill in the air rush to my bones.

I tried to worming my way out of Stella’s
schemes but she was the stronger one.

In the end,I yielded.

I promised I would pass by an hour
before going to work.

“Better make it two. We might be inside for a while,” she riposted as
her hand slid down my shoulder.

She then poured more than enough
water into my jerrycan and went into her house, all the while giggling with delight.

I was rooted to the spot for a while with a stupefied look on my face.

Nonetheless, I shrugged off the whole incident and prepared for the trip to town.

I gingerly shared the water according to the morning preparations; bathing, brewing tea, wiping the shoes and brushing the teeth.

I put on the only suit I owned.

I did not own a mirror but felt that I looked good.

Stepping out with the confidence of a man who thought good things were in store for him, I ventured into the narrow slum streets.

There was an extra spring in my walk.

After all, I was going for a job interview.

I cast a glance at the shacks around me and unconsciously bade them
goodbye.

I even smiled at the bus conductor.

Indeed, I was in my best element.

The charm that had been chipped
away by years of toil and anguish was slowly being restored.

The almost permanent smile I had during my campus days was now making its way back to my lips.

I looked around the bus.

Several people were engrossed in some communication or other on their smartphones.

Others were browsing the dailies.

Soon I would also be typing and browsing in a smartphone too.

I was going to be important.

I was having a date with my destiny!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Cultivating resilience to retell your story after trauma and failure

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When faced with trauma or total failure, some people manage to emerge stronger than ever.

How do they manage it?

While some people understandably
crumble after extraordinarily harrowing
events, others, have an extraordinary capacity to rebound and survive.

Their successes challenge many of our
common notions about the resilience of the human mind.

Tales of extreme resilience are very rare in the media; after every tragedy, we are more often reminded of the permanent scars an event can leave on the mind.

Such extreme differences in the way people cope are striking, and puzzling.

What makes some people more resilient, so they require less help and can pull through quicker than others?

And why do a minority even manage what psychologists call “post-traumatic growth”, living deeper, more meaningful lives than before?

These survivors do not appear
to possess any remarkable innate attributes.

Instead, what set them apart is the way
they frame the story of their illness,failure,trauma,bankruptcy,divorce and how they integrate it into their personal narratives.

This suggests that resilience and recovery do not require extraordinary resources or an innate toughness, but rather a willingness to adapt to circumstances.

Re-framing your life after a deep upset –
getting your story right – can require
considerable energy and imagination.

In theory, these resources are open to
anyone. But that doesn’t mean they are
easy to apply.

All traumatised people have
lost something.

Usually the thing they have lost is the safe, predictable world that they
knew; it can touch a person at the deepest existential level.

Trauma creates a rupture in a person’s life story,

More often than not,it diminishes the belief you have in yourself to tackle everyday problems.

In the other lot that is resilient,It teaches them about the shortness of life, the preciousness of life, the closeness of mortality, the possibility that their loved ones may be gone tomorrow through death ,estangement,divorce,separation etc.

Their strength seemed to come from
an ability to reappraise and reform their
lives, to think about their lives anew, form closer links to their immediate support group, and to change
behaviours and habits.

Living through a catastrophic
event may mean you face death.

You have the sense you can die any time.

This changes your life.

The idea that becoming acutely aware of
your own mortality can trigger dramatic
changes in attitudes has a long history in
psychology.

Survivors of traumatic events are brought nose-to-nose with this reality, and they must find ways to temper it, to assure themselves that their lives count for something and that they will not merely end up as “food for worms”.

The task,is to create narratives that are “of lasting worth and meaning”, that “outlive or outshine death and decay”.

It seems the ones who respond best are
able to re-imagine their lives in the most
positive ways.

Still, bouncing back from trauma does not
always require us to build an ambitious
existential vision for our place in the world.
It is stressed that the key was to find
meaning in life, rather than the meaning of life.

Live as if you were living already for
the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now,but with new resource of resilience to counter future failures!

Successful adapters tell lucid, forward-looking stories about themselves that join their past to their future.

Retelling your life-story is not the only way to recover from trauma, however – there are many other behaviours that can help you rebuild your mental fortress. Who you mix with may also be crucial.

Knowing that you have buddies who are rooting for you instead of a your divorced family,for example, is gladdening and reassuring.

Identifying with others and confiding in them is also critical to recovery from trauma.

Because you know you are not alone, that there are people behind you.

Social resilience, as well as being culturally dependent, cannot account for all the nuances of a community’s response to your tragedy.

It is puzzling, for example, that women, despite being better than men at
building ties and sharing emotions, almost always report higher rates of PTSD after a traumatic event.

The critical recovery process is
exposure to your main fears and self belief in confronting these fears.

You confront fear and you learn to deal with it.

You learn to exercise control over it, instead of letting it control you.

The potential to recover is in our genes.
The question is how to mobilise it.

For most people, trauma represents an
existential crisis.

It wakes us up to the deep questions of
life.

Once awake to those questions,
anything positive is possible.

But when you have inadvertently become so strongly invested and embedded in a diminished belief about who you are, it can feel like an internal battle when you consider the possibility that there might actually be another, more aligned and easy way.

As painful as your old story is, it is all you
know, so it is important to recognise that
in spite of it not serving who you ARE, it
has become a comfort zone which feels
safe and which very effectively protects
you from the unknown.

Over time, as you become more and more associated into your comfort zone, you inadvertently adopt its corresponding (and often limited) range of experiences
as the underlying fabric and truth of the
entire spectrum of your awareness and
understanding of yourself.

When this happens, it isn’t difficult to see why the mere suggestion of there possibly being another way of being, doing, and living might send you reeling from sheer uncertainty and fright!

Built into the consideration of letting
go of all that you know, no matter how
dysfunctional or toxic it might be, is a
fundamental understanding that you
might feel naked, overwhelmed, and
exposed by what is nothing short of an
emotional homecoming to your REAL
Self.

It is not uncommon at this place for you
to experience grief over the sense of time that has been ‘lost,’ or as you begin to see that there might have been another way of doing, being, and responding to the people and situations around you all along.

Showering yourself with self-love and
forgiveness here is the key, realising that
your journey as a Spirit in this physical
lifetime has its own inherent wisdom,
timing, and pace.

You simply couldn’t have come into this awareness and understanding before everything in both the seen and unseen realms collided to bring you to this precise place of retelling the story of your life.

Also built into the consideration of letting
go of all that you know is the realisation of your essential nature in this lifetime as
alone.

No matter how many people or how much activity you surround yourself with, you are the person that is most aware of and connected to the REAL You –your passions and strengths as well as
your fears and soul-level needs.

Being able to truly know and embrace
your real Self requires a soul-level
acceptance of absolutely ALL of who
you are.

And even if you don’t know exactly what that means, as a first step it requires a definite willingness and commitment to see, have, and behold the possibility that you are actually more intuitive, capable, and wise than you know.

The idea of deliberately choosing to put
yourself in a position of having to
actually feel your essential nature as alone is one that requires deep personal courage and bravery to face.

If you are at this place of contemplating just that, it is imperative you recognise that you are receiving a deep inner call – no matter the story and confines of your past – to step into your power in this present moment of NOW.

There is no getting around the fact that
stepping into what can feel like the
‘abyss of the unknown’ is one and the
same as honouring and allowing yourself to arrive more fully to who you really ARE.

And what I know beyond a shadow of a
doubt through my own personal experience and that of many of my friends in similar situations I am privileged to work with, is that as
much as this call towards greater
happiness, alignment, and peace is an
inner one, it is an outer call too.

This means that you have not only the inner resources necessary to create the
complete shift you want and need, but
because the universe wants this for you, it will bring to you precisely the outer
support and resources to help you do just
that as well.

What Are The Secret Ingredients That Will Enable You To Harness Your Desired Life- change?

•Intuition and self-trust.

These are the qualities that energetically and emotionally enable you to expand and move into a whole new realm of possibilities for yourself.

Together, following your intuition,
honouring your TRUTH, and trusting
yourself to take decisive action create
both the vehicle and the path that will
move you away from where you
currently are to where you would like
to be.

•The power lies within you.

If you are at this place, realize you are
being called to feel into and ultimately
step into your real Self NOW.

This is a pivotal place in your journey.

Seeing there is a certain dynamic at play
that keeps you stuck presents you with an opportunity to consciously choose a new way of being and a new story for your life from now onwards.

Even if you don’t know HOW you can possibly be a new person to yourself and to others, do, or act any differently from who you presently are, at this stage it is your TRUST in that deep inner call for healing, growth, and change that will unlock these very same things for
you.

It is important to be aware that this is also the place at which you can
inadvertently end up turning your back on your inner voice and relegate yourself to a pre-determined future of ‘sameness’ –more ‘stuck to your past’, frustration, and pain.

Willingness to open yourself to an
expanded range of inner and outer
possibilities combined with a resilience,
determination, and courage that
surpasses your humanity and comes
directly from your soul enables you to
accept your fundamental nature as alone.

You must be willing to let go of the
shadow life or ‘crutch’ that has been
limiting your experiences and thereby the extent to which you have been able to truly see, know, and enjoy your real
Self and fashion the life you truly deserve.

There is no one else but yourself to rely on in this moment but as you get ready to step into the unknown, you will also likely begin to sense with every fibre of your being that when you make this
commitment once and for all, your Spirit
will finally be FREE.

Go ahead and retell the story of your life in a new positive way!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

When things go wrong, don’t follow them!

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When was the last time you celebrated failure?

This can be a discomfiting question to people who have not cultivated resilience in their mindsets.

Failure stops non-resilient people right on their tracks. End of story,so they tell themselves!

How many times have you encountered a
disappointing situation?

Everyone goes through some form of disappointment from time to time
in their lives.

The difference lies in how we discipline
ourselves to get up and move on.

Some of the disappointments are major.

A failed relationship or being sacked has major implications on your life, but more importantly, on your self-esteem.

But it all depends on your perspective.

It also depends on how well you can
see the end of your story.

Non-resilient people see the story of their
life stopping when they reach a certain difficult point in their life or business; maybe their business failed or they
are declared bankrupt. Or they have been divorced.

Resilient people,on the other hand,develop a mindset that says;‘OK — that’s a hiccup, but now the story continues.

Finding the bright side of life or business
failure is at the heart of developing
resilience in life as in business.

If we see a failure as a success waiting
to happen that’s generally what happens in the long run,in spite of many failures that we may have to endure.

Most people despair when they encounter despair because they have not seen their story to the end.

They view the temporary setback as the
end, while it was just a turning of the pages of their lives.

People with a success mind-set know that
failures are part of the experiences they will encounter on their journey towards success.

Those with a failure mind-set tend to see failures as the end of everything.

You must have a clear vision of the successful person you were meant
to be in the future, so that any setback comes as a temporary problem and not the end.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I will still be here for you

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“Time can heal a broken heart, but it is your job to gather the pieces all together in one place.”

When your latest love has had enough of you,
When he no longer cares about you anymore,
When all your calls no longer excite him,
When all your texts go unanswered,
I will still be here for you:
Then one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When you’re crying and you are all alone,
When He doesn’t call you for that date
on that lonely Saturday night anymore,
While he’s left you alone and brokenhearted,
Call me for a shoulder to cry on,
Call at my door for a sanctuary to mourn your newly lost love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When he’s made selfish love to you,
Only caring about his own selfish lust,
Leaving you high and dry,
And wondering what is it in him you saw in the first place,
To draw your love for such a selfish beast,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When his words degrade the loving woman that you are,
With painful insults still stored in your memory,
With him, telling you, why he has to cheat, to be satisfied

When he tells you that if you get pregnant,
that this child will not be his to keep,
That you must get rid of this new wonderful life,
That both of you forged into being,
The fruit of your misplaced love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

When he tells you that you have become fat and ugly,
Or too skinny that his friends doubt your health,
Or too mothering that you douse his libido,
Or too talkative that you’ll soon drive him deaf,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

Because it will be with me,
that you’ll find love that will last,
And it will be forever,You and Me,
Only because I was the one that you didn’t realise,
That will always be there as a friend,
Even when the colour of love has faded, under the toll of years and heartbreaks,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

You and me always belonged together,
But we had to explore the world around us,
Before settling into this lasting friendship,
The ship that sailed you away from me,
Will one day bring you back to your safe harbour,
And whenever it does,my love,
I will still be here for you:
The one you left behind in search of fresh love.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Want to lead an awesome life? Be present in your every day life!

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“There is only one time
that is important –
NOW! It is the most
important time because
it is the only time that we
have any power upon.”
~Leo Tolstoy

As humans we tend to spend a lot of time in the past or the future.

In other words,we are absent from our every day life.

We spend much time thinking about what was and what could have been.

The mind is a noisy place.

We often get lost in thoughts of a remembered past or an anticipated
future.

Whether reminiscing or regretting what has happened, or planning or worrying about what might happen, the past and the future steal our attention away from the present.

We become mentally absent,living on autopilot, forgetting to experience what’s happening right here and now.

And we spend much time projecting into the future and wondering about what may happen.

This way of thinking is indeed a great way to make much of your life a lot more miserable and limited than necessary.

The key to solving this problem is of course to live as much as you can
in the only moment that you ever really live in and control.

This magical moment right now.

The moment that is all there ever was and – probably– will be.

There are more advantages to being in the present moment besides being able to decrease mindmade suffering.

Some of those advantages
are:

•Clarity. When you are living in the present moment, you have a much better focus and things flow naturally out of you.

This is very useful in conversations, at work, while writing or while playing your favourite game on the tennis court.

•Calmness. You feel centred and anchored into the present moment, relaxed in whatever you do you do,and find it more easy to savour this magical moment of your life in calm contemplation.

Since you are not projecting into a possible future or reflecting on previous experiences, there is very little fear holding you back to enjoying your life in the present moment.

If you make it a habit,peace will reign for most part of your life as transient inconveniences are soon swept away from the present moment into your forgotten past in a moment.

•Positivity. Since there is little fear in this present moment, there are few negative emotions when you are in the present.

Instead you move around on the
positive part of the emotional scale.

Now, that sounds nice and useful.

But how can you step away from the thought loops that whirl back and forth through your memories and fantasies?

How do you actually return to the present moment?

More on that later towards the end of this post.

But let’s first look at some challenges of living in the present moment.

You will slip back into involuntarily thinking about the future/ past when you don’t practice to savour the present moment.

But the more time and effort you spend
connecting with the moment, the easier it gets reconnecting with it every time you are dragged into worrying about the past or the future.

And you will find yourself staying there longer with practice.

I have written quite a bit about being present and how it can help you.

Today I’d like to list some of my favourite
benefits of being present.

Many of them relate to or blend into one another.

Now, being present is quite hard to keep up without practising transcendal meditation as well.

In my case,I adopted Buddhist meditation twenty odd years ago,and it has served me well in the practice of savouring the present moment.

As a beginner,you slip back into not being present many times over in the initial stages. And that’s OK.

Don’t beat yourself up for it.

Just accept that you are not present and you’ll feel better and more relaxed for being honest to yourself.

Then it will be easier to slip back into
the present moment again.

Just like with anything else that we pursue in life, going for perfection often just leads to anxiety and beating yourself up.

Going for consistency and improving your consistency gradually – slipping back into old habits less and less – is more useful.

Also, being present isn’t a magic pill that will solve all your problems or “fix you” into an extraordinary happy human being.

But like regular exercise, it can be helpful in several ways such as following:

• Improved social skills.

This may be one of the first things you discover when you start experimenting with being present.

It was for me.

If you have the problem that you get nervous/shy and “don’t know what to say” in a conversation then presence is one solution.

When you are present your head is no longer filled with past scenarios (“what did she mean when she said that?”) or future scenarios (“what will they think if say this?”).

You let go off self- consciousness.
You are just here. That’s all that matters. No anxiety about your being present or being who you are.

All your attention is focused outward towards the person(s) you are interacting with.

You just let things flow out of you.

And in a way of a helpful tip, assuming positive rapport is a way to tap into your presence in conversations.

Assuming rapport means that you pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends,even when that person is a stranger.

Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

When you’re with your best friends you are probably not thinking ahead that much.

You are just enjoying the interaction, the present moment and all of you just let things flow naturally.

Presence can also help you with listening.
It helps you to decrease the bad habit of thinking about the future and what you should say next while trying to listen. If you are present and really there while listening then that will also come through in your body language, which gives the person talking a vibe and feeling that
you are really listening to what s/he has to say.

Being present also improves your focus and allows you to better tune out possible interruptions or distractions in your surroundings.

•Improved creativity.
I have especially found this one helpful in improving my writing skills,cultivating the spontaneity of my thought-flow and coherence.

If you write or do some other creative work you may have found that your best work flows out of you when you are not thinking that much.

You just write, paint, or act in a play.

You enter a state where things just come to you.

Then later you can come back and edit your work.

This one is similar to the first reason.

Writing is for instance similar to a conversation.

When you are present in a conversation or while writing things it’s often best to not think to far ahead or you start to get self-conscious and second- guessing yourself.

You create mental blocks that stop your creativity from flowing unhindered.

• You appreciate your world more.

One of big advantages of becoming more present in your everyday life is that you decrease the amount of analysing and labelling you do to the things/people in your surroundings.

You don’t judge as much.

This might sound strange but in the moments when you are present the ordinary world becomes more interesting and wonderful.

Colours can seem brighter.

You see more aliveness in trees, nature and in people.

You see the wonder of all your man-made gadgets and stuff.

Things that most often seem common, routine and boring become fascinating and something you can appreciate.

It’s like you are observing your world with more clarity and curiousness.

Like a little kid again,discovering things while they still feel fresh.

Before they have just become walking, talking and growing labels with years of associations and thoughts attached.

Before you actually use this tip though – if you Just think about it in your mind – it may not make that much sense.

• Stress release.

When you are present there is a certain stillness and centeredness inside and around you.

You calm down.

If you are feeling stressed during your normal day then one of my favourite ways to let that go is to take belly breaths and just focus on them for a minute or two.

This pretty much always calms me down.

The breathing with belly seems to calm one down in a physical way.

And by focusing just on the in and out-breaths you connect to the present
moment instead of the past or future scenarios that are making you feel stressed.

•Less worrying and overthinking.

If you are a chronic overthinker that goes round and round in circles in your mind before you ever get anything done then being present is a great release from that. Imprisoning habit that mostly leads to procrastination and delays decision making.

I’m not saying that you won’t slip back into overthinking.

But being present just for a while can help you.

It can allow you to stop worrying about what may happen and just take some action to get started.

It helps you to actually see what happens.

If you’re an overthinker you may find 3 Good Reasons to Stop Thinking So Much, And How to Do It helpful.

•Openness.

This is perhaps the best benefit.

Being present removes the labels you put on people and things– temporarily – and opens you up to see and experience things without your preconceived
notions.

I think this is a big part in how being
present helps you in conversations and with your creativity.

You are open to new things as you are
without many of your barriers within your mind.

Things can flow easier through you without all that stuff in the way.

You make things easy on yourself in way.

And you often get better results at the same time.

•Playfulness.

As you are present you may feel a playfulness arise.

This makes it easier to just do things,especially when you are in company of other people .

When you see things from a playful point of view things become less of a struggle created from within.

You let go of that heavy,overthinking frame of mind.

Everything won’t become super easy to do.

But many things become more enjoyable and easier to do.

They become lighter. Less of a burden.

Kids are often more present and playful.

You can return to that playfulness by connecting with the present.

There are quite a number of ways to return to the present.

You can try a bunch of them out and see
which one(s) that works best for you.

My. favourites at the moment are:

•Focus on your breath.(This one comes from Buddhist meditation practice).

I mentioned this one above as belly-breaths.

You can find a quick guide to belly breathing in my other articles.

•Focus on what’s right in front of you.
Or around you. Or on you. Use your senses. Just look at what’s right in front of you right now.

•Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the fabric of your clothes rustling and focus on how they feel. You can for instance use the heat of the sun or rain or wind and how it feels on your skin to connect with the present.

•Pick up the vibe from present people.

If you know someone that is more present than most people then you can pick his/her vibe of presence (just like you can pick up positivity or enthusiasm from people).

If you don’t know someone like that I recommend listening to/ watching cds/dvds by Eckhart Tolle like ‘Stillness
Speaks’ or ‘The Flowering of Consciousness’.

His books work too. But cds/dvds are better than books for picking up someone’s vibe since the biggest part of communication is voice tonality and body language.

•Through awareness.

It’s hard to stay present because when you aren’t present, you’re not there
to notice your absence.

But with practice you can awaken to the richness of the present moment and
appreciate your role in it.

Thinking about being present is not a method of being present, so turn off your analytical mind and turn on your observing mind.

Focus on your body, which is always in the present no matter where your mind is.

Or your breath, or your senses, or your surroundings.

Anything that can anchor you in the current moment.

•Through positive acceptance.

In other words,don’t resist the present; embrace it.

As each moment reveals itself to you,
greet it with unhurried appreciation.

Surrender to whatever the moment brings, and be open to the present as it opens into the future.

Love what is, and what is becoming in this present moment of your life.

•Through involvement.

Inhabit the present more fully by sensing the immediacy of whatever present experience there is, free of yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s expectations.

Get out of the there-and-then of
thinking and into the here-and-now of
experiencing.

Welcome each new moment, and dance with it to the rhythm of your present life.

•Through authenticity.

Stop worrying about what others will think of you at this present moment.

See every new moment as an opportunity to embrace your passions, to live in alignment with your values, to fill the present with what matters.

Some people focus on the present, but in the wrong way.

They place too much weight on what
they’re doing today.

But this is future-focus in disguise:by valuing today merely for its perceived
impact on tomorrow.

The results are worry, fear,anxiety
and stress.

It also makes them focus on only those
aspects of the present that are useful for the future, to the neglect of everything else.

Being present is not overweighting certain aspects of what’s happening now, but connecting more fully with all of it at this present moment.

Treat today as an end, not just a means to some longed-for tomorrow.

Right now, this thing that’s happening is your life.

You have been blessed with this instant, and this one, and this one.

These moments will only
happen once in “NOW”,and not ever again.

Be present for them.

Go ahead and cultivate and awesome life for yourself by living in the present moment!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stung by criticism? Here is your raincoat to weather all sorts of criticism

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“If you keep the feathers of your heart well oiled, the water of criticism will run off as from a duck’s back.”

I recently received a very disturbing email from a collegue who had won a joint project coordination job with me for technical consultancy.

He had hoped to muscle me out of the project during our application.

When we were awarded equal participation for the same project,he drafted a nasty email to our principal client and copied it to many other staff participating in the project discrediting my suitability for participation now that we would have to share the professional fee.

Does this sort of envious criticism sound familiar in your general life?

Let’s look at my nasty email as a case study on how to truthfully ward off criticism which is unhelpful and not constructive.

How often do we receive criticism and it
doesn’t touch us, sometimes we don’t even notice it?

When there are no self-beliefs for the insult to hook into, it rolls off like a
raindrops on our raincoat.

But when deep down we hold limiting beliefs, the criticism arouses them.

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

If we do something we will be criticised, and we cannot do anything about it.

Thinking “he shouldn’t criticise me” will not stop the other person. It is hopeless.

All it does is it harms us.

Instead of blaming the one who is criticising us, it is better to focus on the one person we do have control over: ourselves.

Look inside, discover the beliefs that
caused the criticism to stick, and begin
to undo them.

So that the next time when we
receive similar criticism it rolls right off,
like the raindrops on our raincoat.

Not sure how to discover your own limiting beliefs? Here’s how:

Finish the following statement: “Someone
has criticised me, and that means…”

What comes up for me whenever I’m stung by criticism is:

•I am inadequate
• I do not fit in
•I am not fit for this kind of power games.

I was quite surprised the first time I was confronted with these self-limiting beliefs.

What is it for you?

What beliefs rubs in the sting of criticism?

The next step is to question those thoughts with the help of these four questions and turnarounds, which are the opposite of the initial thought.

1. Is the criticism I’m receiving true?
2. Can I be absolutely sure that it is true?
3. How do I react and what happens, when I believe that it is true?
4. Who would I be without these thoughts?

Let’s question the thought “I am
inadequate.”

It is important to do this inquiry having a
concrete situation in mind.

So my situation is: I’m reading the email, which states that I will cause problems in the line of my professional duty by doing ABCD and it would be better for me to put my talents into better use elsewhere.

If you like you can question the belief about yourself that you just discovered.

Answer these questions along with me, keeping in mind your situation on this honest journey to self discovery.

1. I am inadequate. Is it true?
Yes. In the eyes of others.

2. Can I absolutely know that it is true?
No. I hold myself adequate truthfully and up to the task.

Just notice how it feels to express an honest “yes” or a “no” as an answer to these two questions.

There are no right or wrong answers here; it’s about discovering what is
true for us.

And just notice how your mind
wanders: “Yes, because…“ or “No, but…“

3. How do you react, what happens,
when you believe that thought?

There I am reading the email that states
that I caused problems and I would better
use my talents and help in other projects.

How do I react, what happens when I
believe the reinforcing thought of criticism that I am inadequate?

I make myself small. I hit reply and I
answer, “Sorry. Okay, then I will not do the coordination of this project.”

I feel crushed and incredibly hurt.

I am afraid what others who read that
email will say.

I picture a catastrophe,loss of professional pride,personal dignity etc.

4. Who would you be without these reinforcing thought?

Who would I be without the thought that I
am inadequate?

What would I do, feel, or say if I could not think the thought that I
am inadequate?

I would be curious what makes my
colleague think that I am causing his
problems.

I would ask him to meet me and explain his perspective on the issue so that I could understand.

I would entertain the possibility that there was just a misunderstanding on his part about my aptitude for the task.

I would not disregard the supportive emails I received from others within the same project.

In fact, I would give much more credit to them.

I would be much calmer.

I would be genuinely curious about what
went wrong without blaming myself.

The turnaround would be: I am very
capable at my job.

The turnaround opens us up to the
possibility that the opposite of our thought feels as true or even truer than the initial one.

Examples to the turnaround statement
broaden our vision and help us see reality in its complexity.

So how can that it be true that I am very
capable at my job?

– The three supportive emails I received
from colleagues confirm that I am very
capable at my job.

– My work has always been appreciated in the previous years.

So what was the problem in the first place?

The criticism, or my deeply rooted belief
that I am inadequate?

It was the belief, wasn’t it?

“If you keep your feathers well oiled the
water of criticism will run off as from a
duck’s back.” ~Ellen Swallow Richards

The next time you feel hurt by criticism,
look for the underlying limiting belief and
question it with the help of the help of the above illustrated self-belief analysis.

This is how we keep our feathers well oiled.

One day you might even find yourself
grateful for criticism and the opportunity it presents to look inside, and better yourself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Savour life to the last moment of your dying breath!

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The older I get, the more I realise that there’s no slowing down time and everyday, even boring old Monday blues is a gift.

I realise now that clichés are so irritating because they hold uncomfortable truths. Clichés like ‘every moment gone, is gone forever.’

I understand that everything I do, should become sacred ,cherished at that moment and savoured.

When I’m in this mindset, preparing a
meal is not a chore, or listening to my play list music is not just pleasing,but a blessing.

When I’m in that mindset, everyday is special, and I don’t have to wait for one day in the year to celebrate.

If we reserve our joy only for the
experiences of a lifetime, we may miss the life in the experience.

Something is lost when we get so busy and consumed with productivity that we find ourselves speeding through our days
instead of savouring them.

Busy-ness robs us of the gift right in front of us in a way of a savoured moment that will be swept to oblivion in probably just a second.

Take your time with food today.

If you’re the one who cooks in your home, spend more than the minimum amount of time preparing the meal.

Slowly cut and cook each ingredient, imagining what they will taste like when blended.

When you eat, chew slowly.

Make each bite intentional and deliberate, counting to at least 20 before swallowing.

As you do, remember to appreciate and enjoy all the flavours in the food.

And above all, remember to smile between bites.

And if you are like me,blend the taste of your food with the sweet music playing in background.

Enjoy the beautiful view coming through the window of your dining room,the sounds of nature in the chirping birds.

Sometimes, our biggest frustrations too turn into our most beautiful
moments of our lives.

Just this morning, my cat decided to wake
up an hour before the sunrise and scratched at my face to let him out to do his ablutions outside the house.

This didn’t work well for my Sunday schedule as I like waking up late.

Frustrated and offended that my cat couldn’t understand my Sunday schedule, I had to decide: Would I find a
way to be okay with this moment right
now, to savour it and see the beauty in it; or would I just be mad?

Watching my cat crawl like a circus prop across the floor to
tug at the green plastic ball in the trunk of his sleeping Basket, I catch him
Looking lovingly at my dishevelled morning face with love that he can’t hide.
Having been awakened already,I look through my bedroom window and I’m washed in the most beautiful half-dawn and half sunrise that I could have missed as the beginning of my beautiful Sunday.

I sit on my bed suffused in the most exquisite scenery; misty sunrise is already washing over this charming valley that is festooned with the beautiful Ngong Hills and the ground is full of thousand tropical blossoms of every colour.

Around me,the hills rise through the mist
their blunt tips trying to touch the bright
blue of the sky as it hovers cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighbouring houses.

They too seemed full of joy, as if they have special plans, and had put on their
finest Sunday clothes for the occasion.

And I realize that as much as I’d like an extra hour of sleep or to get ahead with my well deserved rest, there aren’t many
moments better than this one.

As we are busy waiting for the highlights,
children are growing up too fast, precious
moments with loved ones are slipping away, and our life’s countdown is continuing.

And perhaps one of the saddest realisations when we lose a loved one is knowing that we spent so many ordinary days together, so many un heralded moments when we did not understand just how special and brief that moment was.

As we are busy waiting for a grander day than today, life is teaching us that it values process, that becoming is just as important as being.

That one day, when you are all you are meant to be, you could very well be dead.

Life reminds us that it counts special days, and grand days in much the same way.

Hence, if you are going to spend the bulk of your days in process, shouldn’t it matter almost as much, if not more than the event?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Buddhism & Detachment: The new road to personal freedom

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I have had to deal with many questions
about my Buddhist meditation in relation to my Christian spirituality.

For most of my friends who have heavily invested into their Christianity and to them, the concepts of any other faith
are considered false,my dual spirituality sounds like a contradiction.

Buddhism is just my base philosophy,not a religion in the sense of my Christian spirituality.

My spirituality is firmly rooted in my Christian faith.

My approach to life’s philosophy is anchored on my Buddhist meditation practice.

When it comes to choosing a meditation
path, I’m not talking about choosing one
religion over another, more like one
practice over another.

This is akin to saying that just because
you’re married, you don’t have to give up
all friendships with other people and only stick to the friendship of your partner.

You could have as many friends as you like,both single and married,and still enjoy the bliss of a good marriage.

Good friends do not interfere in your
primary relationship and can serve as a
fantastic support when you need some
perspective.

Ask your yourself; can an infantry man in the army still be a Christian?

Buddhism,at least from my perspective, is a faith in the practice of here and now.

Christianity is a practice for the
afterlife.

Trying to be a good Buddhist in the modern world is not easy; there is much that conspires against one on every side.

Out of all the various concepts of the Buddhist faith, only two or three really stand out as central and dominant.

In this respect, I suppose impermanence, bliss and compassion stand out to me as being really central ideas, about which much else revolves peripherally. Karma and rebirth are both concepts Buddhism has taken from Hinduism.

It is hard to find one axiom within Buddhism that illustrates this fact so well,
as that of non-attachment.

It sums up the whole concept of all world’s religions in so many ways and serves to illustrate the theme of how hard it is to be a good Buddhist.

In recent days I have found myself increasingly contemplating how central and important non-attachment is, and have therefore chosen to write about
it quite spontaneously as an abiding theme, which acts much like a key to many other aspects of Buddhist philosophy and its application to life.

‘Attachment is the origin, the root of
suffering; hence it is the cause of
suffering.’

The starting point can be how difficult it is to be a good Buddhist.

It is difficult for many reasons, but chief among them is the way most people view this world.

To me, it is a fleeting thing, ever-changing and I am aware every day of its transient nature.

Every day I think of death in general, danger and uncertainty, like that very day I could die, it could be my last.

These are not idle dreams; they occur as serious thoughts all the time. I check my life for danger as I wake up; check myself over for symptoms of impending illness; check my mind for bad thoughts and review critically all my recent interests and activities to see if everything is OK.

I check my motives for doing or saying things.

I correct my wrongs and right any errors if I can.

In this way I have become deeply habituated over many years now in following a certain inner path,a certain practice, if you like.

It is a certain way of engaging with the world.

This daily practice of mine is entirely rooted in Buddhist principles.

I would have it no other way. It is what passes for my personal religion and has been for over twenty years now.

I have no problem with it, have resolved myself to it and commit myself to it wholeheartedly. It has given me great pleasure and I have learned all I know about life, people and the world from its teachings.

I feel as though I am firmly embedded in it, enveloped comfortably in it as a world view and would hate to adopt any other set of ideas to live by.

It is difficult to be a Buddhist, chiefly
because the rest of humanity does not
approach life like this.

Two overwhelming internal forces largely drive the rest of humanity: desire and hatred.

Everything people do – virtually – can be reduced to these two strong impulses.

Almost everything they say and do, most of the interests they pursue and most of their speech and activity are motivated by and absorbed into whom they like, what they like, and what they hate.

Thus, they are strongly pulled towards what they like and repelled from what they hate.

For me though,I have chosen to be completely detached from motives of love and hate as the sole drivers in my life.

Call this choice detachment,for that is what it really is.

While we are all like
this,naturally,without tutorship of Buddhism, I have chosen the path of complete emotional drtachment as my road to complete personal freedom.

I still include myself in this stream of
people I am talking about who are driven by hate and desire,but I’ve deliberately detached myself from practicing them as my life’s philosophy.

I do not exclude myself or raise myself up onto some morally superior holier-than-thou dais.

I am much of the time just as absorbed by this as anyone else.

Nevertheless, it is useful to know this and to carry this idea around with one inside every day.

It leads to many insights almost on a daily basis and can lead one to moderate the excesses of one’s attractions and repulsions.

It allows one to understand what one is looking at in the world.

We look at people and lament their
selfishness, without realising that we are
just the same.

We lament their hating this and wanting that, without realising that we are just the same.

Therefore, compassion and love arise from this awareness, as it pulls us all together as human beings.

We are all selfish and hate this and want that; this is our nature.

Knowing this gives us a great basis for forgiveness, love and compassion for just about anyone without favouring anyone with undue attention at the expense of all others.

Any ‘wrong’ people do is based upon desire or hate, and thus knowing that we all share these passions, make it easier to accept and forgive such ‘wrongs’.

They can be distinguished only in their degree of wrongness, but they all share the same basis; thus no-one is more deserving of forgiveness, than anyone else.

No ‘sin’ is worse than any other is: they all derive from the same desire and hate.

‘…it is said that as long as one is in cyclic
existence, one is in the grip of some form of suffering.’

To know that we are all based in desire and hatred is to know humanity in all its
strengths and weaknesses.

It is true to say that you do not know someone very well until you know what they really like, what they most earnestly desire or hate.

Moreover, it is true.

For the most part, people are simple beings, driven mostly by these two forces of desire and hate.

We want this and we don’t want that.

That is how we move through life drifting towards one desire after another and away from one hatred to another.

In this way, our life evolves [or stands still] and then we die.

We experience pleasure and pain continuously in varying degrees and in
varying forms, some coarse and some
subtle, but that is the pattern of our lives, of everyone’s life. I

t is observably so, and how things actually are.

Buddhism is a philosophy based upon a profound view of how people actually are.

‘Non-attachment…views desire as faulty,
thereby deliberately restraining desire…’

Yet to be a Buddhist is to cultivate
detachment, a separation from all this, to
view the world as less enticing and less
permanent, to be detached from its pains as much as its pleasures.

This is the fundamental essence of how a Buddhist lives, tasting the pleasures and pains infrequently, cultivating a sort of
detachment as if you are holding the world at arms length slightly and looking askance at it.

Buddhists can apprehend the general
dissatisfaction of life.

We can see that much work needs to be done on ourselves.

The nature of the world cannot be changed, but the nature of ourselves can.

That is where the real work sits.

Like so many aspects of Buddhism, the view of non-attachment arises to some extent from the core experience of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Like impermanence and bliss, non-attachment is a basic aspect of his experience.

It can be seen as a part either of the fruit or a part of the path to personal freedom; or indeed, both.

It is an aspect of both.

It is an aspect of the Buddhist path to gaining enlightenment, and it is at the same time an aspect of the behaviour of a Buddha.

It arises from the enlightenment experience, primarily as a reaction towards the nature of impermanence.

Because things are impermanent, so it behoves one to deal with this fact. It is the way things are.

Inescapably, this is how life is: nothing is
permanent, everything changes and will
disappear.

Knowing this changes our perception of the world and the priorities we find in being here.

One reaction, therefore, is to view the world somewhat sceptically, in a nonchalant and detached manner.

Knowing that someone you love is
going to die or leave you sometime, changes your love for them
somewhat.

Knowing you will pass from this world, and never be seen again, inevitably
changes your love for it; your attachment to it is correspondingly diminished by this
knowledge.

This forms one basis for non-
attachment.

‘…when you have attachment to, for
instance, material things, it is best to
desist from that activity. It is taught that
one should have few desires and have
satisfaction – detachment – with respect
to material things…’

Every day we see things we like, people we like, foods we like, and attractive things we would like to buy or share our lives with.

To fill our lives with these things we love seems natural, but in truth, it is path to pain, and not to peace.

If given complete freedom, we would most certainly get rid of certain
things in our lives that we dislike, certain
objects and certain people.

We would shove them all out of our lives, if we could, if we had the choice, because we do not like them.

In addition, we would fill our lives
with pleasant things, nice people, beautiful persons who we enjoy and who we like the look and feel of.

This is what we would all do if only we could, if we had the chance and freedom.
Instead, we suppress some of our great desires to remain socially acceptable and decent, and suppress also some of our aversions.

In this way, we manage to remain in a socially acceptable bandwidth of normality and accepted conduct.

Those who do not accept these norms
become deviants and criminals and come to occupy a subculture that has rejected the norms of society.

From a purely Buddhist perspective, that is a painful and unhappy path to follow, as it leads to misery and friction with others almost daily.

If the aim of life is to become content and happy, then there are certain rules we must follow, one of them being to acknowledge the fundamental social nature of all human beings.

Therefore, to turn your back on society inevitably leads to great pain and
loneliness.

This increases one’s suffering and that cannot be a good path to follow.

One attitude towards life is therefore to
keep active desires and hatreds dampened down like fires, which could at any moment, and with only a few puffs, be suddenly set blazing up again.

That is the nature of mind.

This is how we are.

It is how we behave.

The Buddhist view is slightly different, as it is to work through this manifestly unsatisfactory way of living – of being little more than a slave to these impulses – and to try and become more detached, more neutral, less engaged with those alluring things we want, and less averse and enraged by the things we dislike.

‘…the sense of an object as being attractive, unattractive, or neutral…feelings of pleasure, pain, or
neutrality arise. Due to such feelings,
attachment develops, this being the
attachment of not wanting to separate
from pleasure and the attachment of
wanting to separate from suffering…’

Non-attachment gives us the much-needed space to contemplate what we want and what we hate so as to more fully reflect upon whether these things we love or loathe will truly bring us the pain or pleasure we believe they contain.
By reflecting in this way we can choose what to do and what not to do – it puts the brakes on to some degree.

It is a path of abstention most of the time because it recognises the fundamental unattractiveness of most things.

Excess pleasure leads to pain and thus on reflection there is little that is worth
enjoying to excess.

This is the dominant theme.

Non-attachment can therefore be
seen as the general antidote for all excesses and indulgences.

It attempts to wake us up to the actual state of things and provides us with a kind of barrier to place between
ourselves and the world we engage with.

It dampens our drives and cools our passions in order to reflect on what is or is not a good path to follow.

It forces us to contemplate the probable consequences inherent in every action we are considering.

Overall, Buddhists wish to choose actions
that will increase happiness for all and
reduce suffering for all.

Actions, words and thoughts can therefore be graded into those that increase happiness and those that do not.

Those that do not are either neutral or they are harmful to self or others.

‘…the mental factor of desire…accompanies the perception of
an attractive object…’

The Buddhist view is to try to dampen and work through our innate urges.

It is to build a more peaceful inner world, that does not indulge these selfish impulses, but which constructs a more compassionate viewpoint, a still centre.

Over the last ten or 15 years I have become accustomed to this approach and it amazes me some days how successful I have become in cultivating this
detachment and I have set up sort of
internal alarm systems to stop me going
beyond certain limits with food, drink,romance and all the other alluring things of the world.

It is hard work and boring work, but it is a task I have set myself, which has now become entrenched.

What alternative is there?

There is no other method of restraining
these impulses and restrained they must
be, if we wish to achieve some modicum of spirituality.

It is useful work and hard work, but one
must be ever watchful in the hope that one dies a better person, that one can look back at ones life and remind oneself how there have been certain improvements and that one has become a better person, a more detached, more controlled and more compassionate person.

My aim is to die peacefully and to truly regard my life in its entire vicissitudes, and see it as successful in this sense of it being better than it was and that I die a more rested and more contented person than I was before.

I hope that is the case and wish it to be so.

I take daily action to build that type of future for myself.

I call that a Buddhist path and so I
would call myself a Buddhist, one who tries constantly to be kind and happy, to be restful and contented as far as is possible, and also to look back at the many positive things I have done and to truly know that I have improved and become a better person.

A better person with fewer desires, with less hatred and filled with more compassion, more peace, more love and more contentment than I had before.

If I can measure my life at all, this is how I
would choose to measure it.

Moreover, what progress there has been, if any, I would measure precisely in those terms.

If I am less desirous, more contented, less hateful, more loving, more peaceful, more contented, then I can die happy.

That is the nature of non-attachment, a path worth cultivating.

In terms of being selfish or being kind, I would say I am kinder to my own spirit and soul,and more or less indifferent to others.

In terms of being more loving, I would say I have moved a long way to love myself and not require my own validation through craving the love of other people.

I am much more compassionate than I ever was to myself.

In terms of anger, I have done much work, and can truthfully say that I rarely get angry and try to remove the poison of anger from my mind and my life.

I’m not angry at myself,and I need not be angry at others.

In terms of hatred, I have worked hard to purge it from my life.

For when you don’t yourself,there is no need to hate others.

I feel lucky to never have been a very hateful person to myself; unforgiving at times, but not hateful.

In terms of desire, I have made some limited progress, though I would be a
liar if I said I desire nothing. I desire comfort and peace in my life,and I have realised that this is a situation I can cultivate for myself without input from other people.

Much work still needs to be done on this, but some discernible progress has been made.

Thus, in all these ways, I do consider myself to be a good Buddhist, and to have successfully cultivated a form of non-attachment in my life, which works for me.

In all these ways, I therefore do view this
world with little real interest.

I am detached much of the time.

I do know that I will one day die, and though I do not wish it, I have come to accept it.

I try to see every day as my last.

Every day I try to be kinder and more compassionate to myself and to play down the negative forces within me.

Every day I try to be a better person and to be less desiring, less hating, less judging of myself and to feel myself closer to humanity as a whole,and all living things.

This is the way I have chosen to live.

I do consider it to be a Spiritual life, a good life and a life worth living.

In small ways, I do believe it has been
successful.

And I have made peace with myself.

I’m only in control of things that impact directly on my life.

I’m not bothered with any other life except mine.

This has freed me from the guilt of trying to figure out how I’m perceived by others.

This has been the sweet road to my personal and it is not hitched on any other life except mine.

Only peace flows in my mind as I contemplate only one life to deal with;and that is my life,independent of all others.

B.W~5th August,2015

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Prostate Cancer: the good, the bad and the ugly all rolled into one

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That ability to accept one’s insecurities and admit helplessness is something men never learn.

Unless, one admits suffering, one has no chance of getting over it.

It takes courage to keep the faith even when all hope seems extinguished.

Courage is accepting that you are afraid and are still facing your fears.

That is what being a real man, is about.

This is something I learnt the hard way on my 50th birthday.

Here is the story around it.

On my 50th birthday, I decided to give myself a rather strange gift: getting tested for prostate cancer,and Oh my! I really got the gift pack that was not in mind,though it was always probable at that age; I was told that my PSA was off the chart, an almost sure sign that I had advanced prostate cancer.

What a gift pack to celebrate my life that has clocked half a century!

I’ve handled many other challenges in my life,but this one takes the first prize,no doubt.

But before you start pouring in some sympathy,get yourself tested first,that will be the best thing you can do for me!-more on this toward the last part of this post,please.

Despite the relatively asymptomatic nature of prostate cancer, I was not greatly surprised considering my age.

However, a definitive diagnosis of advanced, incurable prostate cancer is at best a wakeup call, at worst a life threatening judgment.

My life would never be the same again.

I am convinced that an unequivocal positive attitude and a confident reliance on the healing powers of the body through our God-given immune system are essential to dealing with cancer.

I do not expect my cancer to be cured.

I will be satisfied with coming to terms with it – perhaps a standoff-Like North and South Korea, a 50- year truce,so to say.

I guess the medical term might be “remission.”

It has been more than three years since
my diagnosis.

My initial treatments seem to have been successful.

I feel as though I have walked. (Or should I say stumbled?) through the valley of darkness and am emerging, a bit weakened and chastened, into the light of a normal existence.

One of my personal therapies is increased physical activity.

At age 53, I am determined to continue
playing best love songs on a playlist I didn’t know I would cherish during the september of my years.

I also try to eat right and sleep adequately.

But most of all, I maintain a positive attitude.

I find that I pray more, I drive less aggressively(that’s good for my car and other road users too!), and I move more
slowly and deliberately.

The world of cancer, which I have entered, has changed the way I look at everything: my life, my relationships, the trees, the sky.

I hope I am more gentle, more caring, more sensitive to others, more open, and more flexible.

I find that my priorities have changed.

I still feel passionately about certain issues, but I realize that they do not
depend solely on my efforts now.

In many ways, my life is richer.

I have learned that cancer can be treated as a chronic illness.

There will be highs and lows, peaks and valleys.

I have gone through the first “valley of tears” and am now on a high plateau, perhaps moving toward a peak.

My prayer and hope is that I will have the courage, strength, and grace to again face the darkness of the next valley, whenever it comes.

It took a while for me to learn how to face
the challenge ahead.

I realized I needed to get on with life.

What else could I do?

I’ve always been a bit of a high-strung person, but this just brought out the anxiety in droves. I realized I needed to stay positive.

I had to keep busy and let my partner
encourage and help me,though I’ve never been good at taking help.

I learned about my particular form of cancer and what kind of treatment was available for me.

I learned to brace myself to face the challenge ahead.

Keep busy and stay positive

During treatment, I tried to stay busy to
keep my mind from going negative.

My partner helped with that.

Suddenly, the neighbour’s children needed babysitting and things needed fixing around the house.

Sometimes I think my partner broke things on purpose so I would have to
fix them. I presume that in her beautiful mind,she intends to validate my worthiness around the house by “cooking up” situations that are meant to remind me that I’m still the “man” in my home and I should man-up and take charge!

She is a clever one,my Daisy!

And you are reading this journal,thanks to my cancer; I would never have thought of it if I knew I had long to live!

Clichés

Scattered among the hundreds of thoughtful and caring responses I
received to my prostate cancer diagnosis from my, friends, and colleagues, there were a few reactions that were
difficult to handle.

After listening to several people attempt to say the right thing while assiduously avoiding the idea of cancer itself, I sorted their deflective responses to my bad news into one of three categories:
soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers.

Soothsayers

A soothsayer’s favorite expression is “Don’t worry. Everything will turn out fine.”

Variations include, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” and “God gives you only what you can handle. I know you’ll be able to handle this.”

While responses like these were
meant to be encouraging, in the end they felt like clichés that moved immediately to a happy ending – and jumped right over my need to process, and eventually to accept,the fact that aggressive cancer had become
a reality in my life.

From my point of view, it was a fairly long time before I would be able to say,
“Yes, everything will indeed turn out just fine”,without sounding both cynical and sarcastic.

By focusing only on the happy ending,
the soothsayers inadvertently excluded the intermediate struggles that lay between then and now.

Eventually, I decided that the soothsayers, by automatically presuming an optimistic outcome, did so because they were simply emotionally unable to entertain a bad ending.

My standard reply to their presumed sunny outcome became, “Well, I certainly hope so.”

Minimizers

At least the soothsayers always assumed a positive ending to my illness.

I was less sure about the minimizers.

To be sure, prostate cancer has one of the highest cure rates of any cancer.

But as I was looking down the long dark
corridor of tests, procedures, and
eventually, treatment, all these positive
statistics missed the point of my individual experience with aggressive cancer.

Rather than encouraging me, the minimizers only tended to deepen my gloom when they made comments like, “Oh, my husband had prostate cancer. They took it out and he’s fine now.” Or, “Prostate cancer has a high cure rate, you know.”

Yes, I already knew.

Or, “My brother-in-law came through the
surgery with flying colors. You’d never know he had cancer.”

Despite their undeniable good intentions,
the minimizers’ focus on what had
happened to other people conspired to
diminish my own experience, possibly even implying that I was just a whiner at heart.

In the end, my response to the minimizers was simply to say, “I’m really glad things worked out well for him.”

Fixers

Many married men have probably heard
their wives accuse them of trying to “fix” a problem rather than taking the time to
listen sympathetically to their feelings.

I certainly count myself among that oblivious multitude.

But it was only after hearing several men tell me what I should do in order to cure my cancer did I really get what my partner, Daisy, had been telling me
all these years about prescribing a quick fix without actually listening to her.

Fixer statements I heard included “You should have the proton beam treatment,” “Make sure you insist on robotic surgery,” and “I know a great urologist.”

All these solutions were offered before I
even had a definitive staging of my cancer, much less even knew what treatment options would be feasible for me.

As with the sooths and minimizers, these
statements were made with a sincere
intention to be helpful.

But every fixer definitely hitches to the cliché “fire, ready, aim.” They focus more on outcome,than the due process of getting to the outcome gradually-that is,they start from the top/down approach as you can from this convoluted cliché.

Once again, all I could do was smile
appreciatively and say, “That might be an
option. We’ll have to see how things go.”

Within a few weeks of my diagnosis, I had
pretty much gotten used to the soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers.

I always wanted to keep in mind that their intentions were harmless.

Their messages were just clumsy.

I had certainly responded in a similar
manner to other people’s problems at one time or another without realizing I might be doing harm.

By focusing on the caring intentions that lay behind their words, I could see they meant only the best for me.

As time went on and they recovered from the initial shock, most of the soothsayers, minimizers, and fixers eventually became sympathetic – even empathetic – listeners.

Had I made the sarcastic responses that so greatly tempted me when I heard their comments, I would have hurt both them and me.

In this instance, I was glad that I had chosen to be patient.

Through all this, I have learnt that the best cliché as far as cancer is concerned is “get yourself tested,if you haven’t already”. That’s more helpful to any one than any other cliché or remark you will ever make!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stay calm. Don’t lash out,and this world will be yours to conquer,to hold,and to behold

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I would like to share something personal
with you,a story from my youth.

It’s the story of how I first glimpsed at what true strength and power is and where they come from.

I hope this story helps to further illuminate your journey through life.

I remember one day when I was in the back seat of my parents’ car.

I was probably about thirteen or fifteen years old.

We were parked in a hospital driveway, waiting after I had been attended to for wound dressing, though I can’t recall why or what my father was waiting for.

After a few minutes, another car pulled up behind ours and the driver began to
impatiently honk at us.

Soon he began to scream and curse as well.

I think it was a taxi delivering a sick patient to the hospital.

I turned and saw a man whose face was contorted in anger, scarred deeply by furrows of rage and bitterness.

The driver had obviously lost control of
his emotions, as it was impossible for us
to go anywhere with his car blocking us
in at the rear end.

It was as clear as day that we were
stuck in the driveway until he moved.

What on earth did he want us to do?

My father sat in the driver’s seat, gazing into the rearview mirror.

His face was strained with confusion, trying to figure out how to process what was happening,but he held a calm demeanour as well amidst all this confusion.

My father was a great man, always striving to do what is right, strictly honest and keen to help others,especially those in distress.

Finally, somewhat frustrated, my father opened the door so he could go and speak with the impatient man in the
car behind us.

I remember feeling afraid when he stood up because I knew that the other person was really angry.

I watched my father begin to walk toward
the other car.

As the car horn continued to blow, my father abruptly stopped and paused.

He seemed to be contemplating something, and it appeared as if his entire being was softening.

Without saying a word to this angy driver , he slowly returned to the car and sat back down.

My father’s expression was one that I
had never seen before on him: a look of
straining and struggle with a hint of shame.

Eventually, the other man drove off and
that was the end of the incident.

The image of my father’s face profoundly
affected me and was forever tattooed in my memory.

I was just a young boy and, in my
mind, my father was perfect.

He was my hero and my role model; I idolised him.

He was not a large man and I never
knew him to fight; yet I felt a tinge of
disappointment that he hadn’t stood his
ground and confronted the other man.

I felt that he had retreated in what could have been one moment where he proved his heroship to me by fighting this cad of an arrogant driver.

And my impression was that he felt the same way.

I became full of anger.

I imagined myself beating him up again and again yelling,“This is for my father!”

I was angry, partly because he had hurt my father, but mostly because he had hurt my view of my father as my hero.

He revealed to me a flaw in my father’s
character: he was afraid and perhaps not
strong enough to fight back.

It left me bewildered and, for the first time, I realised that my hero wasn’t perfect.

Something deep inside me was forever
changed.

Years later, as a college student, a friend
and I went out for a meal.

While eating, an acquaintance of ours lost his temper and began yelling at my friend.

My friend listened silently, showing no change in his demeanour.

Eventually, the man finished yelling and my friend quietly stood up and walked away without saying a word. I was so impressed by how calm he was.

Later, I asked him how he managed to
keep his cool.

He smiled and told me, “A strong person is not one who knocks other people down; it is one who does not let his anger get the better of him.”

I was stunned.

Now,just like my father,I’m a very small man,and ussually,I compensate for my lack of stature with threats of violence and menance,and this has always been the curse of “small men”!

I knew that my friend was completely right.

Who demonstrated more strength?: the person who had lost control of his temper or my friend who had kept his?

These words touched my soul and aroused in me an understanding of where true power comes from: it comes from within.

And inner strength dwarfs physical
strength.

That night, this realization lingered in my
mind.

As I was digesting this lesson, suddenly I remembered the incident with my father and the horn-honker, many years before.

A voice within me asked, “Who was the
stronger man,my father or the crazy taxi driver?” and chills slowly crept up
my spine as I realised that it was, in fact, my father.

While the other man had allowed his
rage to overcome him, my father had
controlled himself.

The other man had lost; he lost to himself when he allowed his emotions to take over.

My father, on the other hand, had stood victorious over himself,conquering his own emotions, commanding them down.

The other man was a slave to his passions; my father was the master of his.

It was then that I saw my father for the
truly strong and courageous man that he was.

The weak and easy path would have been to return anger with anger, yelling with yelling.

But my father had the strength to resist
this; he had the power to calm his mind
while a tempest raged about him.

It was in this moment, that my own path
became a bit clearer.

I realized that I must embark on a journey of conquering myself,because I now knew that I did not want to
be a slave to my passions.

The only other option was to master myself, to command the hidden forces within.

When you feel negative emotions rising,
threatening to overcome you and make you into their puppet, remember that the
strength and power needed to maintain
calmness lie forever within you.

And that’s a lesson I learnt from my father,though at that time,and encumbered with the rashness of youth,I had considered my father to be the weaker man in that silly encounter with the taximan.

If you can master your own anger and passions at the moment of weakness,you will have conquered the weaker part of yourself,and in so doing,this world will be yours to conquer,to hold,and behold!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

To Daisy:my best friend forever,my soulmate

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There are some people,
who we hold in our arms,
for just a little moment,
But our heart chooses,
to hold them forever.

And that’s you,Daisy,
my best friend forever,
my soulmate.

You’ve brightened up my life
With colours bold and bright.
Before you knocked at my door,
Black and white and grey,
graced my every day.

The colours were so cold,
But now they’re bright and bold.
Of my life, I felt so weary,
Surrounded by colours dim and dreary.
My life, it was bleak before,
But now there are colours galore.

You’ve brightened up my world –
New colours you’ve unfurled.
New colours came to play
And brightened up my day.
By bright colours, I am wooed:
They brighten up my mood.

Blacks and greys and whites,
Can make a striking sight,
But they’re colours of the night –
For me, they are too polite.
You’ve turned my world around:
New colours I have found.

Bright colours, I can see,
And all those in-between.
You’ve shown me different shades –
Added colour to my days.
My old life, I so hated,
But, a new world, you’ve created.

I know that without you,
I’d have a different view of this world.

To my life, you’ve added spice,
And it’s really rather nice.
You’ve shown me brand new paths;
You’ve made me smile and laugh.
I’m no longer feeling blue,
And it is all because of you.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Come celebrate my life with me

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Won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life?

I had no model.

Born and brought up in Africa,
My dreams about future were just that;
Mere dreams.

But I made up a bouquet of tree leaves,
Placed it over my head,
And declared myself a black prince,
Amidst poverty and disease,
Famine and droughts,
Coups and civil wars.

I chose to cling on to my dark skin,
Without skin bleaches and foreign cultures,
Deprived of pride and dignity,
Among other great people of the world,
Who called ours, a “Dark continent”.

But standing here on this bridge of hope, between total decimation and optimism,
For a future that looks bleak,
I declare myself a true son of Africa,
Though despised and famished,
I want to live as Africa’s true native son,
Running free and wild,
In this new dawn for Africa.

My one hand holding tight to the ancestry of my forefathers,
my other hand holding out,
To capture the dreams that come with new dawn,
that wil will bathe the conciousness of the black man,
And secure his place at the table of the celebrated people of the world,
As an equal among equals!

That dawn is already here my friend; come celebrate with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me as a black man, and has failed!

By Bernard Wainaina,
Nairobi,1st August,2015.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Write it in your heart everyday that today is going to be the best day in your life

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We’ve inherited a desire to strive, to pursue success, to improve our external conditions, because this striving helped our ancestors survive and reproduce.

To find food, guard against threats,both real and imaginary impress potential mates.

It seems to me that contentment doesn’t
motivate us to be happy or even compel us to take action towards a lasting happiness; anxiety does.

Our vigilant ancestors had more anxious offspring than blissful ones, and so we are the children of restlessness.

Our emotional circuit was designed to induce behavior beneficial to survival and reproduction,not to create happiness.

We are hardwired to be effective in our futile game of survival, not satisfied.

This hardwiring of our psyche has at least six interrelated consequences on our emotions which misguide our pursuit of happiness.

• It’s preset: By default you have a baseline happiness level that you
spend most of your time at.

• It’s situational: Deviations from the baseline level are determined largely by whatever just happened to you.

• It’s relative: Your happiness depends not on your overall condition but on your current situation relative to your recent past or your expectations.

• It’s transient: successes and improvements generally don’t provide the expected lasting satisfaction.

•It’s acclimating: you get used to
what you have, it ceases to be enough, and you want more.

•It’s recurring: although the last
success led only to fleeting happiness, you don’t learn the lesson and still expect lasting satisfaction with the next success.

Let’s examine these consequences and their impact on our emotions and behaviour.
~ Preset: We each have baseline levels of happiness, contentment and satisfaction where most of our lives are spent.

These levels are remarkably persistent and largely hereditary.

A person’s future happiness is much more highly correlated with their past and present happiness than with their age, marital status, income or net worth.

Lottery winners are surprised to return to
their prior happiness levels once the initial high of winning wears off.

For most people, there’s minimal correlation between how well their
lives are going and how happy they are in the moment.

~Situational: The idea that one’s emotional state should be determined by events is pervasive; it’s no coincidence that the words happen and happy share a common root in their construction.

Almost every action life performs is designed to improve its external conditions: every amoeba wriggling up
a chemical gradient, every car on the road driven by someone to somewhere they’d rather be.

But letting today’s events determine today’s mood is problematic because circumstances are transient and so the happiness dissolves when the circumstances change, as they inevitably do.

Seeking refuge in the impermanent and the unreliable lets minute-by-minute events hijack your emotions, your mind, your self.

To the extent that your emotions drive your behavior, situational happiness reduces your authenticity, by expressing a conditional, contingent version
of you, not the absolute, essential you.

~ Relative: By default our happiness is
determined relatively-today in relation to yesterday-actual reality relative to desired.

Outcome is deemed to have relation to our expecations.

This is unfortunate because if you’re happy only when things are improving, or when things turn out better than expected, then no matter what you do, your life will be spent on a seesaw, above your baseline emotional state half the time and below it the other half.

~Transient: We behave as if we’ll get permanent happiness from our own achievements, but we usually get only fleeting happiness, even from
unchanging good circumstances.

One blessing, one smile rule applies here.
We are happy about the money we just
found in the street, not the pile we already had.

The sweetness of any good outcome swiftly fades as other concerns vie for our attention, and our emotional state returns to its default level.

After we accomplish a goal or realize a
dream, our attention is normally redirected elsewhere.

After silencing one inner voice of discontent, we hear the others more clearly.

This is good for survival, but bad for happiness.

~Acclimatising: Because our emotions were designed for circumstantial living, we have an impoverished ability to feel emotions that didn’t serve our ancestors’ day-to-day survival and reproduction.

Gratitude, compassion, and awe don’t come naturally.

Everyday miracles seem to go
unnoticed.

We quickly get jaded, and return to
our baseline happiness level.

We exaggerate the difference between our current circumstances and the next level up and down: up so that we’re motivated to improve, and down so that
we’re motivated to not lose the progress we’ve made.

Most people carry the feeling that they’re one step above poor and one step below wealthy.

When people are asked what the good life is, what would make them happy, their requirements tend to increaseover time as their circumstances improve.

If we already have more,we need more to stay happy.

Bliss remains just out of reach, tantalizingly close but elusive, always on
the receding horizon.

~ Recurring: When you get what you wanted, you find to your surprise that it leads only to temporary happiness.

Then you immediately forget the lesson and believe the next thing you get will lead to permanent happiness.

That promotion you got didn’t bring you lasting satisfaction?

That can be explained away this way; “I believe the next one will”,you say to yourself,and then lay down the present happiness to go for the next one.

You’re earning more now than you were before, but it’s still not quite enough;
with the next raise you’ll be able to buy the stuff you really want.

This mentality traps people in a cycle of hope, pleasure, disappointment,forever chasing the more.

So what can we do to about this predicament?

Bring mindful awareness to your emotional biases.

Notice when your emotions are influenced, or even controlled, by minute-to- minute circumstances.

Have an internal locus of happiness, not an external one that can be fostered everyday.

Resolve to make every day the best day of your life,in spite of the changing circumnstances

This enables a more authentic expression of the self, and it’s empowering to realize that your happiness is under your
control.

Base your happiness on absolute conditions, not relative conditions.

I’m not suggesting unconditional happiness here,that is only a fool’s paradise;all I’m saying is that one’s emotional state should be rooted in reality.

I’m saying that you have reasons to be happy, and they are fundamental and ongoing, not situational.

You are alive.

You are conscious.

You can contribute one happy sentence to humanity’s great story.

Cultivate a deep gratitude for these and
other persistent goodnesses.

Continue to improve your life.

As your happiness becomes based more on your absolute conditions, your progress will serve as a refuge, letting you handle the inevitable setbacks with equanimity.

Increase your baseline happiness level.

There are sources of happiness within your power: self-esteem, self-efficacy, extroversion, optimism, and gratitude.

All are accessible with the right frame of mind.

Be more present,both in your life and in larger environment.

Since we’re bad at knowing what will make us happy, focus more on today’s happiness than tomorrow’s happiness.

Don’t sacrifice the journey for the destination; a life should be lived, not optimised or perfected in order to realise happiness.

Being present doesn’t mean letting today’s events dictate today’s mood; it means living each moment with an awareness of persistent blessings and a savouring of temporary ones.

Your genes use happiness as a goal state to serve their ends; repurpose happiness to improve the present and not just the future.

Don’t deprive yourself of pleasure, or the things that give you momentary happiness.

Don’t turn away from the happiness right in front of you just because it won’t last, but accept its impermanence without longing for unendless roller coaster of see-saw happiness.

As you become more successful in life, don’t ratchet up your requirements for contentment.

Learn to differentiate between conditions and events that are renewable sources of happiness and ones that lead to adaptation and put you on a happiness treadmill.

Most people discover too late that achievements and material possessions
bring only fleeting happiness, while cultivating close friendships and pursuing self-selected passions bring lasting happiness.

But everyone is unique, so examine what works for you.

Don’t pursue happiness singlemindedly to the exclusion of other goods, like joy and meaning.

Don’t stop striving, but choose for yourself what’s worth striving for, what’s worth moving toward.

Achieve not just for the temporary
happiness it might give you, but also for the lasting impact the achievement has on the world.

Strive positively, not negatively.

Be motivated not by a desire to flee the present but a desire for an even better future.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I face my own mortality with positive acceptance

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In the big scheme of things, our mortal body is on loan from the universe.

And that is the reason why I do not fear death.

I presume I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and I never suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

Otherwise,where was I before I was born?

Along with the gift of self-awareness comes awareness of our own mortality.

Our battery is running down and can’t be recharged.

We prefer not to think about that, we wish wasn’t so, but the tragedy is that we are mortal, not just that we know we are mortal.

Knowledge yields power, and by
accepting that our time is limited, we can use this information to live better.

How?-you may ask.

By being grateful for the time we have.

We can lament that our time is finite, or we can rejoice that we have any time at all to be alive.

We didn’t do anything to deserve a life.

The sequence of events necessary for us to have arisen out of nothing were so unimaginably improbable that we should
be stunned that we are here at all.

Out of all of the people who could have existed, we are among the small percentage who actually do.

We can complain that we don’t have much time, or we can celebrate that we have a lot of time-think about someone who complains of boredom;this is someone who has a lot of idle time on his hands with nothing to put in it,but still wants more time to live!

At the cosmic scale,our life is an infinitesimal dot between two infinite spans that encompass eternity.

But at the human scale, a lifetime is long enough to do amazing things.

To pursue and master a dozen passions.

To build a hundred friendships.

To love and lose and love again, and again many times over.

To chase our dreams and,if we care enough to work hard, to reach them.

To have an exciting, fulfilling, meaningful,
awesome life.

Each one of us is also hanging from a branch that we call life,which will eventually break.

We must foster the commonality of our plight, foster. empathy and kinship while we still have time to live.

Help others to cope with their mortality and to get the most out of the time they
do have.

Resolve to live as long as you can, and stay as healthy as you can. Grasp the branch firmly; don’t let go and fall before
it actually breaks by killing your soul with worries and fears about the certainity of mortality.

And help others to live healthier, longer
lives as well.

Did you know that we are dying all the time,even as we live?

The child we once were no longer exists; as we change we are continually dying and being reborn into new phases of our life.

With this frame of mind, what we call death affects only the last of a long series of many versions of our own selves, all of whose predecessor phases having already passed on.

We are an incredibly fortunate collection
of atoms forged in stellar furnaces and pulled together by gravity or some deeper, hidden force to create us, as existing live beings,say as opposed to the very same carbon atoms that form rock granite,or diamond.

When we are finished with our body, its atoms will be recycled to further use to serve spirit along its upward journey toward ever more complex and useful forms.

Let’s Celebrate that we can get to participate in such a beautiful process of renewal into new forms that will serve this universe right after our demise!

Maybe,our body atoms will be recycled into trees that will enhace the living environment for those who come after us.

Accepting our own mortality as opposed to resigning to its impotent fate makes us savour life in a very positive way without fearing to take risks .

Let’s take more risks and make life more adventurous.

Each of us descended from an incredibly long and unbroken series of creatures
who survived long enough to reproduce, and so we’re instinctively wired for survival.

This makes us fearful of death but not fearful of living wrong or false to our own convictions.

Ignoring mortality encourages the belief that we have something to lose.

We have nothing to lose in death:it has always been a certainity since the moment we were born.

It is incredible that with the infant mortality that prevailed at the time of my birth,I have had the opportunity to live this long!

And in between,I’ve lost most of my agemates too!

Mortality therefore,is merely a question of when, not if.

We are not risking our life: we are only risking the time we have left, and what we could have experienced and accomplished in that time.

It’s possible to carry this too far and
take too many risks, but most people take too few, and as a result they live unnecessarily dull and mundane lives.

Life shouldn’t be safe;it is death that will be safe. I mean,we can’t be more dead if we are already dead-isnt that safe enough?

It is important that we pursue meaning instead of just being alive for the sake of it.

Some people don’t like to think about mortality because they fear that it renders life meaningless.

What’s the use of struggling so hard if we are to die,they ask.

But the very transient nature of life renders the search for meaning not absurd, but urgent.

This fear results from a focus on the self as a source of meaning.

We,as individuals,cannot encompass all the meaning there is to life.

But we can create meaning that death can’t destroy by looking outside
our self and making a small difference each day by increasing the happiness and reducing the suffering of those around us.

Let’s make a big difference over the course of our life by changing the world a little at a time, doing something to let the future know we were here.

It is important to treat life as an urgent business that must be attended to at THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Trying to prepare for death is largely futile.

Once we are living our ideal life, we will love every day and won’t want it to end.

Closure in death is impossible.

The best we can do to prepare is to do everything we want to do, as often as we can by valuing our time highly and
making the most of every day.

Also, not only is our time finite, but we
probably won’t know in advance when our branch will break.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Let’s sing and dance while we can.

Let’s tell people who mean anything to us how we feel about them, repair our own regrets, and forgive ourselves for having taken life so seriously that we are not able to embrace our own mortality as a part it.

And let’s not say anything that we wouldn’t want to stand as the last thing we ever say to them.

When not sure about what to say to our dear ones,then silence is preferred,even on our death bed.

Let’s not make a practice of ruminating on our mortality as a loss, it’s depressing and counterproductive.

Let’s factor it in to our behaviour towards ourselves and others,and then get on with the main business of living for the time that is left.

Let’s only think about it to the extent that it improves our life, by cultivating gratitude, compassion, selflessness, health, boldness, urgency, and meaning.

B.W~30th July,2015.

Take my hand,and I will lead you away from negativity-trust me,I’ve been there!

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By all standard definitions, I used to be an positive energy vampire.

I lived in my own self-created drama world, prone to rages, complaints,
and self-pity.

I exhausted the people around me and played games of control, superiority, and victimhood.

A positive energy vampire, by my own
experience of that definition, is someone
lacking in self-love and trying to pull that
love out of others,much like a dentist would pull out a rotten tooth.

Such a person is simply hungry for self-love, not inherently flawed.

I know. I’ve been there.

When I decided to change, I realized just
how much I hated myself, how much I
judged myself, how many impossible
standards I set for my own acceptance.

I began to work on accepting and loving
myself just as I was.

Bit by bit, I opened up to the beauty of my face, the beauty of nature, the beauty of the human smile.

I began to fall deeply in love with everything and everyone.

After years of hunger, years of being a love vampire, biting others to get it, I realised that I could feed myself.

I didn’t have to hurt myself or anyone else to get the love I wanted.

In that awareness, I remembered the
people who had accepted me when I was
“toxic.”

These people became my teachers and mentors.

Their kindness and love, which was invisible to me in a state of desperate love hunger, suddenly became crystal clear in my newfound self-awareness.

It hurts me to confess that some of these
people never got to see me get better.

They gave up on me and left.

All they knew was my darkness and they gave as much as they could before they left.

And they are still,my greatest teachers.

After I healed my mind and replenished my self-love tank, I began to reach out to others on the same dark journey.

I’ve met so many people who have been
abandoned by everyone around them,
because they’re “positive energy vampires.”

I find these people in my family.

I find them in my old circles of friends.

It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve really tried to give back what was given to me in form of self-love after healing.

I’ve tried my best to be loving and supportive to people who only know how to take (at least, right now).

And it’s been worth it.

A few years ago, I lived with one person that everyone around me told me was toxic.

I was always exhausted after hanging around her and I knew that, deep
down, she resented me.

She treated me just like I used to treat people.

I didn’t “cut ties” or “protect myself”
from her as all the advice articles say.

I gave her some of my time—not all of it, but some of it.

I took care of myself enough that I
could heal from any emotional pain I got
in our meetings.

Eventually, she stopped talking to me.

We didn’t speak for close to five years and, the other day, she suddenly called me to ask if we could meet up.

When I saw her, her eyes were sparkling
and her smile shone for miles.

She couldn’t stop talking about all the epiphanies she’d had and all the ways she’d healed.

She had stumbled across some powerful lessons in a program she enrolled in and it changed her life.

She kept saying, “Now, I understand.”

Everything I would talk about that she eyed suspiciously—now, she understood.

After a long conversation about her new,
joyful life, she paused, looked away, and
said, “I hated you, you know. I couldn’t
believe anything you said and I just didn’t
understand that happiness like this was
possible. I thought you were lying. I was
such a jerk to you. Why did you keep talking to me?”

I smiled and said the words that I’d used to defend her behind her back when others would interrogate me with the same question: “You deserve it. I saw myself in you. You weren’t a jerk. You were hungry. I knew you’d wake up one day and, when you did, you’d remember this, remember me.
And, one day, you’d be that person for
someone else.”

And, now, she is.

I’m not saying we should all surround
ourselves with people who make us feel
bad.

I’m not saying that we should spend all
our time giving compassion to others at our own demise.

What I am saying is this—oftentimes the
“toxic” people are the ones that need
compassion the most.

And although you probably won’t get a
“Thank You” from them in that moment,
being kind, seeing them from a
compassionate perspective, and refusing to resort to negative adjectives—that could really change a person’s life.

Your acts of kindness, though they may not be immediately rewarded, are never wasted.

They will sit inside the recipient’s mind,
outside the walls of their self-imposed
limiting beliefs, awaiting their awakening.

And, if they do awaken, they will remember you and they will learn from you.

And your acts will have contributed to a more loving world with fewer “positive energy vampires” and more people who love themselves and love others.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Shame on me… I still love you!

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Everyone of my friends is furious with me for going back to you, but they don’t understand us.

Daisy! I am so lonely I can hardly bear
it.

Once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.

You still fascinate and inspire me.

You influence me for the better.

As one needs happiness so have I
needed your love; that is the deepest need of my human spirit.

And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit.
It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love— to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know.

How long these hours are,just here alone by myself!

Yet,it is good for me to know the measure
of my love and need, that I may at least
be brought realise who and what you are to me,never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.

Dear Daisy, let us make and keep our
love more beautiful than any love has
ever been before.

I can only live, either altogether
with you or not at all.

Yes, I’m. determined to wander about for so long far away, until I can fly into your arms and call myself quite at home with you, can send my soul enveloped by yours into the realm of my earthly paradise….

You will get over it all the more as you know my faithfulness to you; never another one can own my heart, never — never! O God, why must one go away from what one loves so much?

Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time.

At my age, I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances?

My Angel, I just hear that this blog post goes out every day — and must close therefore, so that you get to read it at once.

Be calm— love me — today — like yesterday,and if tomorrow ever comes,love me again too.

My trust for your love is sometimes mingled with fear, because I feel myself unworthy of your love.

But if I am worthy of it, you will
always love me; and if there be
anything good and pure in me for you, it will be proved by my always loving you.

I feel that it is only with you that I can do
anything good at all.

I can’t say how every time I ever put my
arms around you I felt that I was home.

Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world.

I wish that when we met at home last, we had not parted at all.

There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us.

But we love each other.

My little girl…happiness is within you….

So unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow like the sweet flower
you are…

I know the answer to all your worries — Just spread your wings and set yourself FREE.

The important thing is, I don’t want to be
without you for the next 20 years, or 40, or however many there are left in my life.
I’ve gotten very used to being happy around you and I love you very much indeed.

Should I ever draw you the picture of my
Heart, it would be what I hope you
would Love; though it contains nothing
new; the early possession you obtained
there; and the absolute power you have
ever maintained over it; leaves not the
smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our love;
and Friendship, as the days of Love
and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near
a score of years roll over our Heads,
with an affection heightened and
improved by time — nor have the
dreary years of absence in the smallest
degree effaced from my mind the
Image of the dear untitled but beautiful woman to
whom I gave my Heart.

We will get old and get used to each other,but never take each other for granted.

We think alike.

We read each other’s minds.

We know what the other one wants without asking.

Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit.

Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

I love you,precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life.

How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day!

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to
you….walk with you,till you come back to my arms again.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Hope is a pocket of possibility

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“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die
alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

~Orson Welles

“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself.
Life’s cruellest irony.”

~Douglas Coupland

I’ve been screaming in my heart for years and no one has ever heard me.

I am nothing but a nobody.

I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.
Because loneliness has been my loyal companion.

And I’ve fallen.

Fallen so hard.

I’ve hit the ground.

Gone right through it.

Never in my life have I felt like this.

Nothing like this.

I’ve felt shame and cowardice,
weakness and strength.

I’ve known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust.

I’ve seen things that cannot be
unseen.

And yet I’ve known nothing like this
terrible, horrible, paralysing feeling of dying alone.

I feel crippled.

Desperate and out of control.

And it keeps getting worse.

Every day I feel more sick.

Empty and somehow aching.

Life is a heartless bastard.

Loneliness in these last moments is a strange sort of thing.

It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by
your side in the dark, strokes by your hair
as you sleep.

It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t
breathe.

It lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner.

It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you’re struggling to stand up.

You wake up in the morning and wonder
who you are.

You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin.

You doubt you doubt you doubt.

-do I

-don’t I

-should I

-why won’t I

And even when you’re ready to let go of life,you doubt whether there is really no one out there who has any use for your poor life.

When you’re ready to break free from agonies of life,you hesitate.

-Maybe someone out there still needs me-you lie to yourself.

When you’re ready to be re-brand-new-you hesitate.

Loneliness is an old friend standing beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye,
challenging you to live your life without
it.

You can’t find the words to fight
yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough never enough never ever enough.

Loneliness is a bitter, wretched
companion.

Sometimes it just won’t let go.

Makes me wonder about the falling raindrops outside my window:

I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling
down, tripping over their own feet,
breaking their legs and forgetting their
parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end.

It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me
and left me to evaporate on a concrete
slab-a lonely life.

In these last days of my life,hope,empty hope, is hugging me, holding me in its
arms, wiping away my tears and telling
me that today and tomorrow and two days from now I will be just fine and I’m so delirious I actually dare to believe it.

Hope is a pocket of possibility.

I’m holding it in my hand.

Hope.

It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips
blooming in the springtime.

It’s a fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.

And it’s the only thing in the world keeping me afloat.

I have absolutely no pleasure in the
stimulants in which I sometimes so madly
indulge.

It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason.

It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.

Raindrops are my only reminder that
this lonely world has another heartbeat besides mine.

That I have one,too.

But soon,and soon enough,I will lie down in eternal rest and silence.

But my soul died out of loneliness,many years ago.

I never had a friend.

But I wanted to be somebody’s friend.

I wanted to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with.

The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world I keep trapped in my head.

I wanted to be that kind of friend.

The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them.

I wanted to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body.

I wanted to know where to touch you, I wanted to know how to touch you.

I wanted to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me.

Yes, I did want to be your friend.

I wanted to be your best friend in the entire world.

That’s now water under the bridge.

I’m leaving this world without a friend.

I’m just a blot in the dust that the wind will soon blow out of place.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Create a brave new world in Stoicism; Indifference is power

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“I’m always ready to die. If now, I am ready to die. If, after a short time, I
now dine because it is the
dinner-hour; after this I will
then die. How? Like a man
who gives up what belongs to
another,without regret,without resistance,without bitterness.” From Discourses,by Epictetus

The above passage shows us how Epictetus treated death from his stoic perspective.

The bitter truth is, indifference,which the core-value of STOICISM, really is a power.

When selectively applied, and living in such a way is not only eminently possible, with a conscious adoption
of certain attitudes, it facilitates a freer, more expansive, more adventurous mode of living.

Joy and grief are still there, along with all the other emotions, but they are tempered – and, in their temperance, they are less tyrannical.

If we can’t always go to our philosophers for an understanding of Stoicism, then where can we go?

One place to start is the Urban Dictionary.

Check out what this crowdsourced online
reference to slang gives as the definition of a ‘stoic’:
~stoic~Someone who does not care about the stupid things in this world that most people care so much about.

Stoics do have emotions, but only for the
things in this world that really matter.

They are the most real people alive.

Picture this scene with a stoic; A group of kids are sitting on a porch. Stoic walks
by.

Kid – ‘Hey man, you are an old faggot an you suck!’

Stoic – ‘Good for you.’

Stoic keeps going,unperturbed.~

You’ve got to love the way the author manages to make mention of a porch in there, because Stoicism has its root in the word stoa, which is the Greek name for what today we would call a porch.

Actually, we’re more likely to call it a portico, but the ancient Stoics used it as a kind of porch, where they would hang out and talk about enlightenment
and stuff.

The Greek scholar Zeno is the founder,
and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius the most famous practitioner, while the Roman statesman Seneca is probably the most eloquent and entertaining.

But the real hero of Stoicism, most
Stoics agree, is the Greek philosopher Epictetus.

He’d been a slave, which gives his words a credibility that the other Stoics, for all the hardships they endured, can’t quite match.

He spoke to his pupils, who later wrote down his words.

These are the only words we know today
as Epictetus’, consisting of two short works, the Enchiridion and the Discourses, along with some fragments.

Among those whom Epictetus taught
directly is Marcus Aurelius (another Stoic
philosopher who did not necessarily expect to be read; his Meditations were written expressly for private benefit, as a kind of self-instruction).

Among those Epictetus has taught indirectly is a whole cast of the distinguished, in all fields of endeavour.

One of these is the late US Navy Admiral James Stockdale.

A prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years during that conflict, he endured broken bones, starvation, solitary
confinement, and all other manner of torture.

His psychological companion through it all were the teachings of Epictetus, with which he had familiarised himself after graduating from college and joining the Navy, studying philosophy at Stanford University on the side.

He kept those teachings close by in Vietnam, never letting them leave his mind even when things were at their
most dire. Especially then.

He knew what they were about, those lessons, and he came to know their application much better than anyone should have to.

Stockdale wrote a lot about Epictetus, in speeches and memoirs and essays, but if you want to travel light (and, really, what Stoic doesn’t?), the best thing you could take with you is a speech he gave
at King’s College London in 1993, published as Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus’s Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior (1993).

That subtitle is important. Epictetus once
compared the philosopher’s lecture room to a hospital, from which the student should walk out in a little bit of pain.

‘If Epictetus’s lecture room was a hospital,’ Stockdale writes, ‘my prison was a laboratory – a laboratory of human behaviour.

I chose to test his postulates against the demanding real-life challenges of my laboratory.

And as you can tell, I think he passed with flying colours.’

~‘You are unfortunate in my judgment, for you have never been unfortunate’~

Stockdale rejected the false optimism proffered by mainstream religions, because he knew, from direct observation, that false hope is how you went insane in that prison.

The Stoics themselves believed in gods, but ultimately those resistant to religious belief can take their Stoicism the way
they take their Buddhism, even if they can’t buy into such concepts as karma or reincarnation.

What the whole thing comes down to, distilled to its briefest essence, is making the choice that choice is really all we have, and that all else is not worth considering. ‘Who […] is the invincible
human being?’ Epictetus once asked, before answering the question himself: ‘One who can be disconcerted by nothing that lies outside the sphere of his own choice.’

Any misfortune ‘that lies outside the sphere of choice’ should be considered an opportunity to strengthen our resolve, not an excuse to weaken it.

This is one of the truly great mind-hacks ever devised, this willingness to convert adversity to opportunity, and it’s part of what Seneca was extolling when he wrote what he would say to one whose spirit has never been tempered or tested by hardship: ‘You are unfortunate in my judgment, for you have never been unfortunate. You have passed through life with no antagonist to face you; no one will know what you were capable of, not
even you yourself.’

We do ourselves an immense favour when we consider adversity an opportunity to make this discovery – and, in the discovery, to enhance what we find there.

Another shrewdly resourceful Stoic mind-hack is what William B Irvine – in his book A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (2009)– has given the name ‘negative visualisation’.

By keeping the very worst that can
happen in our heads constantly, the Stoics tell us, we immunise ourselves from the dangers of too much so-called ‘positive thinking’, a product of the
mind that believes a realistic accounting of the world can lead only to despair.

Only by envisioning the bad can we truly appreciate the good; gratitude does not arrive when we take things for granted.

It’s precisely this gratitude that leaves us content to cede control of what the world
has already removed from our control anyway.

How did we let something so eminently
understandable become so grotesquely
misunderstood?

How did we forget that that dark passage is really the portal to transcendence?

Many will recognise in these principles the general shape and texture of cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT).

Indeed, Stoicism has been identified as a kind of proto-CBT. Albert Ellis, the US psychologist who founded an early
form of CBT known as Rational Emotive
Behaviour Therapy (REBT) in 1955, had read the Stoics in his youth and used to prescribe to his patients Epictetus’s maxim that ‘People are disturbed not by things but by their view of things.’

‘That’s actually the “cognitive model of
emotion” in a nutshell,’ Donald Robertson tells us, and he should certainly know, as a therapist who in 2010 wrote a book on CBT with the subtitle ‘Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy’.

This simplicity and accessibility ensure that Stoicism will never be properly embraced by those who prefer the abstracted and esoteric in their
philosophies.

In the novel A Man in Full (1998),
Tom Wolfe gives Stoicism, with perfect
plausibility, to a semi-literate prison inmate.

This monologue of Conrad Hensley’s may be stilted, but there’s nothing at all suspect about the sentiment behind it.

When asked if he is a Stoic, Conrad replies: ‘I’m just reading about it, but I
wish there was somebody around today, somebody you could go to, the way students went to Epictetus.

Today people think of Stoics – like, you
know, like they’re people who grit their teeth and tolerate pain and suffering.

What they are is, they’re serene and confident in the face of anything you can throw at them.’

Marcus Aurelius started each day telling himself: ‘I shall meet with meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable people’

Which leads us naturally to ask just what it was that was thrown at them.

We’ve already noted that Epictetus had the whole slavery thing going on, so
he checks out.

So does Seneca, in spite of what many have asserted – most recently the UK
classicist Mary Beard in an essay for the New York Review of Books that asks: ‘How Stoical Was Seneca?’ before providing a none-too- approving answer. What Beard’s well-informed and otherwise cogent essay fails to allow for is
just how tough it must have been for Seneca – tubercular, exiled, and under the control of a sadistically murderous dictator – no matter what access he sometimes had to life’s luxuries.

It was Seneca himself who said that ‘no one has condemned wisdom to poverty’, and only an Ancient Greek Cynic would try to deny this.

Besides, Seneca would have been the first to tell you, as he told a correspondent in one of his letters: ‘I am not so shameless as to undertake to
cure my fellow-men when I am ill myself. I am, however, discussing with you troubles which concern us both, and sharing the remedy with you,just as if we were lying ill in the same hospital.’

Marcus Aurelius lay ill in that hospital, too.

As beneficiary of the privileges of emperor, he also endured the struggles and stresses of that very same position, plus a few more besides.

I know better than to try to improve on the following accounting, provided in Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life:

~He was sick, possibly with an ulcer. His family life was a source of distress: his wife appears to have been unfaithful to him, and of the at least 14 children she bore him, only six survived. Added to
this were the stresses that came with ruling an empire. During his reign, there were numerous frontier uprisings, and Marcus often went personally to oversee campaigns against upstart tribes. His own officials – most notably, Avidius Cassius, the governor of Syria – rebelled against
him. His subordinates were insolent to him, which insolence he bore with ‘an unruffled temper’.
Citizens told jokes at his expense and were not punished for doing so. During his reign, the empire also experienced plague, famine, and natural disasters such as the earthquake at Smyrna.
Ever the strategist, Marcus employed a trusty technique in confronting the days that comprised such a life, making a point to tell himself at the start of each one of them: ‘I shall meet with
meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable people.’ He could have been different about it – he could have pretended
things were just hunky-dory, especially on those days when they really were, or seemed to be. But how, then, would he have been prepared to angle both into the wind and away from it – adapting,
always, to fate’s violently vexing vicissitudes?~

Where would that have left him when the weather changed?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Meditation by the seaside-cultivate a sea of tranquillity in your life

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The theme of tranquillity oriented meditation is based on letting go.

{Insight; Letting go: not fighting or going after something that comes into your life,which you have already formed some attachment to.}

The most important aspect of this type of meditation is your attitude.

There are seven attitudes that
form the foundation of mindfulness
practice: “nonjudging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, nonstriving, acceptance and letting go.”

Nature acts as tonic to our stressful lives.

As you practice this kind of buddhist meditation, you may notice your
mind is busy with thoughts.

That is okay.

Thoughts are not the enemy.

You do not have to fight them and you do not have to follow them, either.

Treat thoughts like anything else that draws your attention.

Notice them, allow them to be as they are, and gently let your attention open back to, and settle on, the breath sensations.

Create a mental beach and an ocean as the baseline of your meditation frame.

Let all of your conscious experience — sounds, sensations, thoughts, emotions, everything — become the wind,the breeze coming over the sea.

Feel all of it moving and changing, arriving, moving around and over you, and then going.

Notice how the wind takes on different qualities — soft, strong, harsh, gusty, gentle.

Relax as the wind blows around you.

Let it come and go in all its forms.

You remain here, in
calmness, abiding by the enveloping tranquility that this mental breeze creates in your mind.

Close your eyes and visualize yourself
at the beach, sitting on the warm sands,
with a refreshing sea breeze sprinkling
your whole body.

You are safe and secure.

You are watching the waves drift in and out, over and over again.

Each wave is like your breath, rising up inside from deep within and then releasing and returning out to sea.

What do you notice about the surface
of the ocean?

It’s much like your life — some parts are rough, choppy, with impending waves of uncertainty pounding away.

Breathe in these moments that are challenging and upsetting.

Remember that you have the stability and strength to weather the storm.

Breathe out your fears and doubts
about the outcome.

What will be will be?

Only the waves can carry all your secrets
and anxieties out to sea.

What’s happening below the surface
of the ocean?

It is a calm, serene, quiet and contemplative underwater experience.

Schools of fish are swimming to and fro.

Sea plants are sashaying to a mysterious, musical current.

Starfish cling to rocks in colorful display.

Luminescent shards of sunlight splice through the water, transmitting
warmth and radiance downward.

Depending on what life tosses your way, you may be bodysurfing the big one
or floating along a sea of serenity.

Be mindful of the journey, the highs and
lows, the good times and the bad, the joy
and the pain.

Move gently with each wave.

Remember: you are not your anxiety.

People who struggle with anxiety tend to think it’s permanent and part of their identity.

When you’re in the midst of angst, it’s understandable to think
this way.

But these reactions, in reality,are
temporary.

Worrisome thoughts are a sign or signal;
they contain a message for you to decipher that will help guide you to a place of well-being.

They suggest asking yourself the
following three questions to help you
better understand yourself and figure out
the changes you can make toward your
well-being.

Go on and create tranquillity in your mind,and the whole world will bow to your rhythm of peace and tranquility.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

To all girls: You’re beautiful!

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First and foremost,this is to all the girls who at one time or the other,have come into my life.

This too,is to all the girls who left,and those who have stayed in my life.

In effect,this is to all girls!

This is for girls who have the tendency to
stay up at night listening to music that
reminds them of their current situation.

Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears
under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a
daily basis.

The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve.

The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they’ll be satisfied in this life.

The girls who scream and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen.

The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul.

The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral.

The girls that never win,both in life,and in love.

The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he’ll notice her one day.

The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it’ll get better somewhere down the road.

For the girls who love with all their heart
although it always gets broken.

To girls who think it’s all over.

This is to real girls, to all girls: You’re beautiful,and you know it! Don’t ever let any one take this away from you;you are beautiful!

And don’t ever let a guy make you feel ugly because no matter what, you are beautiful, with or without him

Remember: Just because you don’t have a prince yet in your life, does not mean you are not a princess!

And life,my dear girls, isn’t a music player where you get to choose what’s being played, it is a radio where you have to enjoy what’s being played.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Call-to-action; “Don’t sabotage your own happiness!”

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Most people don’t want to be happy, which is why they aren’t.

Give me a few moments of your time to allow me to explain this disheartening fact in an objective way:

People are programmed to achieve their foremost desire at almost any cost (imagine the adrenaline-fuelled superhuman powers people develop in life-or-death emergencies.)

It’s just a matter of what that foremost desire is.

People don’t want to be happy because they think it means giving up on achieving more through suffering.

They believe happiness is a reward for their stoic suffering.

More people don’t want to believe it’s a choice because that puts responsibility in their hands,and not the circumstances.

It’s for the same reason people do self-pity: to delay action, to make an outcry to the universe, as though the more they
state how bad things are in their life, the more likely it is that someone else other than themselves will change them.

Happiness is not a rush of positive emotion elicited by random events that affirm the way you think something should go.

Not sustainable happiness, anyway.

The real stuff is the product of an intentional, mindful, daily practice, and it
begins with choosing to commit to it.

Everybody has a happiness tolerance – an upper limit – as it is.

It is the capacity for which we allow ourselves to feel good.

Other psychologists call it the “baseline,” the amount of happiness we “naturally” feel, and eventually revert back to, even if certain events or circumstances shift us temporarily either to immense sadness or rapture.

The reason we don’t allow those shifts to become baselines is because of the upper limit – as soon as our circumstances extend beyond the amount of happiness we’re accustomed, and comfortable, feeling, we unconsciously begin to self-sabotage.

We are programmed to seek what we’ve known.

So even though we think we’re after happiness, we’re actually trying to find whatever we’re most accustomed to,our modus operandi,so to say, and we project that on whatever actually exists, over and over again.

These are just a few of many psychological impediments that hold us back from the emotional lives we claim to
want.

Here are a few others:

•Everybody has a limited tolerance for feeling good

When things go beyond that limit, we sabotage ourselves so we can return to our so called comfort zones.

The tired cliché of stepping outside the comfort zone then serves a crucial purpose: it makes people comfortable with discomfort, which is the gateway to expanding their tolerance for happiness.

•There is a “likability limit” that people like to remain under: everybody has a level of ‘success’ that they perceive to be admirable – and un-threatening
to others.

Most things people do are in an effort to ‘earn’ love or approval.

Many desires, dreams and ambitious are
build out of a space of severe lack of our self-love.

It’s for this reason that some of the most emotionally dense people are also the most successful: they use their desire for acceptance, love, wholeness, as fuel –
(for better and for worse.)

The point is: once people surpass the point at which they think people will judge and ridicule them for their success (as opposed to praise them for it) they promptly cut themselves off, or at
minimum severely downplay/minimize it so as to keep themselves in good standing with those they desire approval from.
(It’s ultimately not that people value ego and material over love, but that they think those things will earn them love.)

Most prefer the comfort of what
they’ve known to the vulnerability of what they don’t.

… Even when “what they don’t know” is, objectively, much better.

If we redefine “happiness,” in terms
of what human beings innately desire (comfort, inclusiveness, a sense of purpose, etc.) we can then make the choice to seek comfort from things
that are ultimately aligned with what we want to achieve.

•Many people are afraid that
‘being happy’ equals to giving up on achieving more.

Happiness is, in essence,a form, acceptance.

It’s arriving at the end-goal, passing the finish line, letting the wave of accomplishment wash over you.

Deciding to be that way every day can make it seem as though the race is already over, so we subconsciously associate ‘happiness’ and acceptance’ with ‘giving up.’

But the opposite is true: the path to a greater life is not ‘suffering until
you achieve something’ but letting bits and pieces of joy and gratitude and meaning and purpose gradually build, bit by bit.

•People delay action once they know truth – and the interim between knowing and doing is the space where suffering
thrives.

Most of the time, it’s not about not knowing what to do (or not knowing who you are).

It’s about the resistance between what’s right and what’s easy, what’s best in the long vs. short term.

We hear our instincts, we just don’t listen.

This is the single most common root of discomfort: the space between knowing and doing.

•We’re culturally addicted to procrastination, but we’re also just as
enamored by deflection.

By not acting immediately, we think we’re creating space for the truth to shift itself from riff-raff of life, when really, we’re only creating discomfort so that we can sense it more completely (though we’re suffering needlessly in the process.)

•People believe that apathy is
safety.

We’re all afraid of losing the pieces and people that make up our lives.

Some people try to cut ahead of the pain-curve and don’t let themselves feel as though they wanted or liked those things in the first place.

The undercurrent here is the sense
that everything ends and all its impermanent and while those things are more or less true, there is something just slightly truer, and it is that death gives life meaning.

It’s the fact that we can lose what we have that makes it sacred and precious
and wonderful.

It’s not about what pain you suffer,
it’s about what you suffer for.

You can choose to cut yourself off from feeling good so as to buffer the sense of loss and suffer from numbness, or you
can have an incredible life and have to mourn wildly when it’s over, but at least there was a means to that end.

•Few know how to practice
feeling good (or why it’s necessary).

It is almost essential to raising your upper limit, augmenting your baseline, and ultimately assimilating to the new chapter(s) of your life without destroying them out of unfamiliarity.

Practicing feeling good is simply taking a moment to, literally, let yourself feel.

Extend that rush just a few seconds longer, meditate on some things
you’re grateful for and let it wash over you as much as possible.

Seek what’s positive, and you’ll find that your threshold for feeling it expands as
you decide it can.

•People think happiness its an
emotional response facilitated
by a set of circumstances, as
opposed to a choice and shift of
perception/awareness.

It seems that the people who are steadfast in their belief that circumstances create happiness are not
to be swayed – and that makes sense.

It’s for the same reason that we buy into it so much: it’s easier. It’s the way to cut-corners on your emotional life.

It’s seemingly logical and fairly easy to attain, so why not stand by it fiercely?

Because it’s ultimately false.

It maintains that you must wait to feel happy, and as we know, unless you are cultivating your baseline to be all-around
higher, you’ll spend the rest of your life hopping from one perceived high to another.

Some of the statistically happiest countries in the world are nearly-impoverished, some of the most
notable and peaceful individuals to grace the Earth died with only a few cents to their name.

•The commonality is a sense of purpose, belonging and love: things you can choose to feel and cultivate,
regardless of physical/material circumstance.

Most people don’t know that it’s
possible to shift their baseline,
since it’s always framed in a way
of being “how one naturally is.”
If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times: the woman with anxiety who says “it’s just the way I am.” The man with a dozen irrational fears
who attributes them to “his personality.”

The thing is that nothing has to be an essential part of you unless you decide it is – least of all anxiety and fear.

In fact, those things are never essentially part of who someone is, they are learned behaviors.

They are ego-reactions that go unchecked.

They are flashing lights and waving flags from our innermost selves that something is not right, but we’re avoiding making the shift (mostly by deflecting on the circumstance being out of our control.)

•People believe that suffering
makes them worthy.

To have wonderful things in our lives without having suffered for them somehow translates to us feeling as though we haven’t truly “earned” them,
and therefore, they are not completely ours.

On the flip side: the idea that beautiful, joyous things could simply be ours without any conscious creation of them on our part is terrifying, because
the opposite could just as well be true.

•Many people believe they can beat fear to the finish line.

Worry is a cultural past time of most people, and it’s ultimately a deflection from the fact that we buoy between extremes: not caring about anything or
caring so much about one thing it could break us altogether.

Worrying conditions us to the worst possible outcomes so they don’t cause as much pain if they come to pass.

We’re thinking through every irrational possibility so we can account for it,
prepare for it, before it surprises us. We try to imagine every “bad” thing a person could say about us so they’re not the first to do it.

But this does not change anything.

You still won’t expect difficult things to arise.

You will never know what people are really thinking, or how often.

You will not be able to prepare to cope with your irrational fears, because there’s no basis in a reality you could possibly get ready to deal with.

You cannot beat fear to the finish line.

You are not cheating your way around pain.

You’re actively pursuing more and more of it.

•Happy people are often
perceived as being naive and
vulnerable.

If nothing else, happy people are stigmatized as being clueless and ill-informed and delusionally positive and disconnected from reality, but the
only people who perceive them that way are people who do everything in their power to justify the negativity in their lives they feel they cannot control.

It is people who don’t choose a better life
that are naive and truly vulnerable, as “happy people” may lose everything they have, but people who never choose to fully step out of their comfort-zone- lives never have anything at all.

I’m compelled to believe that just like love,happiness finds its home in the lives and hearts of those who allow themselves to be most vulnerable!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Memories of Phone Conversations with my father~Father’s Day 2015

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There was no need to check the caller ID.
I always knew it was him. I could tell by the ring—it grabbed you by the shoulders and spun you. around.

Even the phone seemed to panic, sprouting arms and legs and scurrying down the counter.

“Pick it up! Pick it up!” it implored. “He hates to wait!”

“Hello?”

“Ben?”

“Hey, Dad.”

“OK, listen very carefully. Your mother bought a new cereal that’s the best organic cereal I’ve ever had in my life. It fortifies your whole body. You’ll never
eat another cereal again as long as you live.”

“Wow. What’s the name of it?”

“The name of what?”

“The cereal. What’s it called?”

Brief pause. Obscure questions like this annoyed my father.

Muttering to himself: “Uh … What’s the thing called?”

Then to me: “It’s got a helluva box. You should see all the literature on the back. It’s very educational. I’m just trying to remember the name of the thing … Hold on.”

Muffled crushing sound. His massive hands were slaughtering the mouthpiece.

“Joyce?”

Beat.

“Joyce?”

Another beat.

“JOYCE!”

My mother, responding from a cave in Pharaohs pyramid,issued an unintelligible squawk.
“Ben’s on the phone! He called me. He wants to know the name of that cereal!”
“Arrayrrrkkkk?” It was impossible to understand her. She was in the other room, and the TV was blaring.

“The name of that cereal you bought!”

We were getting close to launch.

“Warrakkaa?”

“THE CEREAL! WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE
CEREAL YOU BOUGHT TODAY?”

Liftoff.

“DO I HAVE TO BUY A BULLHORN TO
HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOU? OR
SHOULD I SEND UP SMOKE SIGNALS?” To
me: “She won’t be happy till she blows my voice box out. If you want to know the truth, she’d love to kill me. Then she can eat all the cereal she wants with her next husband. Hold on. Let me get the box.”

He dropped the phone on the counter. It slid off and bounced on the floor a few times. I heard the sound of slamming cabinet doors and a snatch of conversation as my mother entered the room.

Joyce: “Calm down. It’s over there—two feet in. front of your face.”

Some more rustling as the receiver made its bumpy pilgrimage back to his hand.

“Ben?”

“Yeah?”

“I got it right here. Just hold on …”

Beat.

“OK, you there?”

“I am.”

“You listening?”

“Completely.”

“It’s called … Frosted Mini-Wheats.”

~

Six weeks later,another new conversation, the telltale ring sounded again.

I’m having my favourite dinner; chicken sauce and honey pasted pancakes.

My startled telephone, frantic and disoriented,jumped up and hurled a pepper grinder through the kitchen window. I ran in and lunged for the
receiver.

“Ben?”

“Hey, Dad. How’s it going?”

“Do you have a minute?”

“Yeah. What’s up?”

“OK, well, your mother and I have decided we want to die together. I don’t want to get morbid or anything, I’m just—did I interrupt your dinner?”

“No, no, I’m fine.” I lie,but I’m kicking myself for allowing him to frighten my healthy appetite for this good dinner begging me to maul it!

“Listen, we’ve been together a long time. I could never live without this woman-your mother, that is. And if I go first, I
can promise you, she won’t last long. She’ll will herself to die. Are you sure you’re not eating?”

“Positive.”

“OK, now point two: no funeral. We want to be cremated, and we want to go in the lake. You know, the lake behind the neighborhood here.”

“Right. I know.”

“So here’s how it works: Whoever dies first, they get incinerated and put in the closet. When the second one goes, mix us together and put us in the lake.”

“We won’t have to deal with this for a long time …”

“And I want the cat in there too.”

“You want the cat in where?”

“I want the cat cremated and mixed in with us.”

“Oh. So Mom’s OK with that?”

“Hey, she knows what that cat means to me. Here, ask her yourself.”

He called for my mother.

“Joyce!”

A hush.

“Joyce!”

Total Radio silence.

“JOYCE!”

She hollered back from the laundry room:
“What?”

“Ben’s on the phone! He called me(a lie!) Tell him about the cat!”

“What about the cat?”

“The ashes! When we’re dead! Never mind!” To me: “I told you she lost her hearing aid again, didn’t I? They have a shrine to her at the hearing aid factory.

Listen, once we’re all dead, mix me,
your mother, and the cat together. Then put us in the lake. Just dump us in by the bird feeders.”

My mother entered the room.

“Here comes the Queen. They built the Suez Canal Canal in the time it takes her to move from one room to the other.”

“Why are you yelling? You know I can’t hear you from back there.”

“You couldn’t hear me if we were Siamese twins locked in a trunk.”

“Don’t give me nightmares,” she said, picking up the other phone.

Me: “So you’re OK with the cat, Mom?”

Mom: “If it makes him happy.”

Dad: “Listen, Ben. We’ve only been married 60 years. If that’s not love, everyone can go screw themselves. I mean, next to us, Romeo and Juliet
were a couple of morons.”

Me: “It’s quite a love story,you have,Dad.”

Dad: “I almost had a heart attack the first time I. laid eyes on your mother, she was so beautiful.
She’s gotta be the kindest human being who ever lived.”

Me: “I agree.”

Beat.

Dad: “I told you she bought me those Mini- Wheats cereals, right?”

Me: Yep!

Dad: No. I mean,she used to wear mini-skirts then,and I tell you,Ben,she was a thing….

Me: stop it Dad….I gottta go,see you later!

Total Radio Silence.

Happy Fathers’ day Dad,you were a real eccentric!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Fathers’ Day,2015: The thankless role of an under-appreciated dad

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By Daisy Mburu-Guest Author

Before I became Madam Daisy to my dad, I was his little girl, who went everywhere with him.

He a little ahead, while I trailed him wearing him down with incessant questions and chatter, which he bore with patience and fortitude.

I had a habit of going through his pockets
because I would always find sweets and coins, which I would gleefully keep. (He recently told me that he left them there for me to find).

As the last of four children, his third daughter, I should not have been special, but I think I was, if my childhood memories are anything to go by.

My earliest memories are of me and dad making burnt omelettes, reading newspapers instead of storybooks and traipsing across the hills of his
childhood.

Most memorable however, are the pretty new dresses he picked out and bought for us, his girls.

My mother’s choices never quite
compared.

LUCKY GIRL

As I grew older, as a tween going on teen, it was dad who took me shopping as I prepared to join secondary school.

Those days there were no malls, and supermarkets had just a few aisles
with even fewer shelves and a poor selection of anything a teen would like.

We stopped at a rural shop, and from the look on her face, the woman behind the counter could not believe that a Meru man had brought his daughter to shop.

Her mouth was agape when I started ordering everything, from mudboots, garish blue nail polish to the most personal items a teenage girl would need in boarding school.

My dad bowed to my every whim, paying for everything I asked for.

“You are one lucky girl,” she told me, as dad stood aside, smiling indulgently as I took hours to pick the many items I wanted, items I knew my mother would not approve.

I never thought much of the woman’s remarks, as I soon thereafter transformed into a nasty teenager with a bad case of attitude.

Dad patiently bore my frequent tantrums and door slamming, and through it all, he found it difficult to say no to me.

The only time he did was to refuse me a pair of secondhand shoes because he insisted on buying a new pair!

Many years later, shopping late at night in a 24-hour supermarket with numerous aisles and countless shelves, a distressed middle-aged man stopped next to me, apologised and thrust his phone at me and asked for my help picking items
appearing on his screen. “Teenagers…” he offered in way of explanation.

From the list, I couldn’t help but notice how sophisticated teenagers have become.

The man was relieved when I finally tossed the last item into his shopping cart.

On a whim, I asked if his daughter appreciated his efforts.

MOMENT OF TRUTH

“I’m afraid I don’t hear thank you enough,” he said.

My heart stopped.

Right there, in my mind, I saw my dad following me in trepidation, gingerly
treading on the egg shells around the demanding force my teenage self had become: a heavy sulking cloud of moods threatening to rain constantly, demanding my dad’s wallet.

Then, it hit me that not once did I ever say thank you. Even once.

I had walked around entitled, while my beloved bewildered dad followed in my wake picking the tab of a spoilt brat, probably wondering where his little girl had gone.

I now realise it was a choice he made to labour in love and sacrifice by taking on the thankless role of an underappreciated dad.

Mr Mburu, thank you. You are the best dad a girl could ask for, and I appreciate you everyday most especially on this Fathers’ Day.

Today, many years later, I want to apologise for all I put you through.

Thank you for suffering me.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

All of my temptations are held inside the hotel’s mini bar fridge,please don’t leave it open!

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I’m on a two week treat at Lamu Island,courtesy of one of my generous clients.

When I’m the one footing the hotel accommodation bill,I’m normally very fussy about the mini bar in th the hotel room.

Picture this,dear friends;

You check into a hotel for a short
holiday, right?

If you are checking into a
Grand hotel like the ‘Nyumba Gereza’ guesthouse wonderfully situated in the center of Lamu Town, just behind the
market (incredible place!), a pleasant porter called Yusuf or Hussein, will grab your bags and lead you to your room while asking where you are from, (Malawi, you respond without blinking), and if it’s your first time in Lamu and he will tell you how to differentiate between a Lamu door inspired by the Arabs and
one inspired by Indians. (One is square
the other is dome-shaped….now you
know).

He will slip a key attached to a wooden
holder into your lock and step aside for
you to walk in first (just in case there is a
boobytrap).

Then he will place your luggage on a low side table and show you around: This lights come on from this switch.
(I can never find what switch
lights what bulb normally, by the way).

This is an AC just in case it gets too hot,
just press this red button to switch it off
and on.

This is the bathroom and amenities. (Oh brilliant, what’s the hotel’s policy on standing on toilet seat?); and that is your hairdryer if…wait,I don’t think you will be needing that Mister. Yusuf, stop!

He will continue: Here we have a bowl of
fruits courtesy of the hotel: (Are the
fruits real or plastic?).

This is the mini bar, you can have your soft drinks and alcohol from it, and this here is the price-list of the items. (Note to self: Do.Not.Touch. Minibar.)

Me: Do you mind removing the minibar
from the room, please?

Porter: Excuse me?

Me: Yes, like remove it, take it away.

Porter: You mean like the whole fridge?

Me: Yes, like the whole fridge.

Porter: I’m sorry, but we can’t.

Me: Why, is it too heavy? It’s only a mini-
fridge, I can help you carry it out if your
back is bad.

Porter: Haha. My back is fine. It’s not the weight, it’s just that we are not allowed.

Me: By who, hoteliers association?

Porter: Hehe. No, it’s… why don’t you want the mini-fridge in your room?

Me: Because I will be tempted to drink all the wine and Vodka in there.
No I’m serious. I will wake up at 2-am
and feel miserable and drink
everything.Don’t give me those eyes…
you know that feeling; when you wake
up in panic and all you want to do is sit
in front of the mini-bar in your
underwear and drink all the booze in
those small pretty bottles?

Porter: (with a self-concious supercilious laugh)Haha. No, Mister. That has never
happened to me.

Me: Not even once?!

Porter: No. I’m sorry.

Me: Oh, don’t be. I just thought we had a
connection there.

Porter: Haha. Look, I don’t know, maybe I can remove all the drinks in there instead?

Me: Then you take them where? To
someone’s minibar and increase his
temptation threefold?

Me: No, the store….maybe. I don’t know. I
will ask housekeeping.

Me: Um, Look, on second thoughts, don’t
bother, leave the drinks there I need to
practice some self control. Do you have
a key?

Porter: A key?

Me: To the mini-bar!

Porter: Oh, no. Sorry, the minibars don’t come with keys.

Me: That’s odd, don’t you think?

Porter: That minibars don’t come with keys?

Me: No, that elephants can’t hiccup, yes, that minibars don’t have keys.

Porter: Uhm, yes, it’s…it’s a bit odd, yes. (Odd look).

Me: Next time you go shopping for a mini
bar please get one with a key.

Porter: Uhm, why, sir?

Me: So that you can lock all the drinks and all of my temptations in there.

Porter: (Offers a very concerned look) Certainly Mister.
.
Me: Did I tell you I’m SDA?

Porter: No. No. I don’t remember you
mentioning that part. So you don’t eat
meat?

Me: Why not?

Porter: Because SDAs don’t eat meat.

Me: Oh, I eat meat all right. I’m not that kind of SDA. I’m the kind of SDA that gets
tempted by the minibar.

Porter: Haha.

Me: Haha.

Porter: Anyway, Uhm, so here is our safe. You can keep all your valuables here.

Now, I have a thing about safes.

I have always wondered about this safe
biashara by the way. I have used the
hotel safe about zero times in all my
travels. Who uses the safe? Are there
guys who travel with shitloads of cash,
like 2 meter – and stuff it in the safe
because where they come from they
haven’t heard of VIsa?

Or those very old wealthy women
from some unknown oligarchy in
Eastern Europe who come with
expensive jewellery which they place
there as one just doesn’t wear expensive
baubles while one snorkels.

Or maybe you travelled with your title deed for that newly bought plot in Kitengela. You figured you have worked so hard to buy that plot of land
the title deed deserves a holiday too, so
you bring it to Lamu and as you sip your
cognac with ice (horror!), you get it out
of the safe and you stare at it as you sit
on your balcony because it makes life so
much better. (By the way I predict that
should the madness on social media
hold for much longer, people will start
Instagramming their title deeds very
soon.)

The lovely porter,Yussuf, is saying: And this complimentary bottle of wine is from
the manager to welcome you to our fine
establishment.

You pick the bottle of wine and weigh it in your hands and pretend to read the label, nodding appreciatively.

You know nothing about wine
but you pretend to know by taking ages
reading the label as he looks outside at
the sea and thinks how he will not miss
this part of his job when he retires.

Talking of wine, don’t you hate those
people who take 20 hours reading the
label when the waiter brings a bottle of
wine swathed in a white napkin at
dinner.

The poor waiter stands there holding the bottle tilted with one hand behind his back as they nod and then comes the pretentious question to try and prove how much they know about wine: So was this a late harvest? Like you
lived in France for 12-years.

You reluctantly place your complimentary wine back on the table as the the porter says, Breakfast is from 7.30am to 10.30am, dinner is from 7.30pm to 10pm, please enjoy your stay with us, Mister and don’t hesitate to call us in case you need any assistance.

Caution!; Dear Nairobian middle-class, the decent thing to do at this point is to tip the guy. Give him 500 bob, I’m sure it
won’t create a crater in your budget. And
it will mean a lot to him.

After he is gone, you will remove your
shirt and pants and pick the envelope
with the letter from the manager and
you will instantly know the lazy hotels
from the real deals.

Lazy hotels will always address you as, “Dear Guest” and then print out this template letter that they have used since the hotel opened.

The real hotels who actually care about
you will take time off their very busy
schedules to write your full names and
even have the manager sign the letter at
the bottom using a pen. Nyumba Gereza Guest house always writes my name.

Then the manager will sign it at the bottom in ink, and basically what that says is that this guy sat down and signed a few dozen of those letters because it matters to the hotel, because it’s important!

The details are indeed where the devil lives.

Read that letter. It introduces you to the
product.

It tells you what you might want to do if you are at a beach or a bush property.

The letter might say, Dear Sir, after dark please don’t leave your room to go to the restaurant without an escort because there are buffaloes roaming around .

If you don’t read the darned letter you won’t know about the buffaloes and when you leave your room after dark and you pass by a thicket and hear something cough and you assume it’s a Maasai and you tell it, “ero, sasa?” and the buffalo takes offense for being mistaken for Maasai and it charges, you will wish you read the letter. So read the damn letter, it’s like 200 words maximum,after all.

After reading the letter you will walk to
your balcony in your underwear and
look out at sea. (I love beach properties,
safaris are too ‘mzungu'(Snobbish) for me.)

There, you will think of something deep and unworldly which might unlock a nirvana of sorts.

You will go back in, pass by the mini-fridge without making eye contact,
and grab a bottle of water which you will
open and take to your chair, back on the
balcony, and watch saggy tourists amble
by the beach, followed by dark ribbed
chaps with darker nipples trying to sell
them beads or a glass-boat excursion
(oh wow, look, I can see the corals!) or
sex or maybe if they’re lucky, weed.

It’s a capitalist economy, whatever he is
selling someone will buy.

You will open your book and read or if you have some female company, you will stare at her lovely thighs and pretend you aren’t in a real hurry to get her to bed.

You must attempt to be a gentleman.

I don’t even know why I wrote that
whole lengthy introduction to this post.

Hotel room boredom,I suppose.

But here is what I wanted to say in the first place.

When you visit a hotel you spend time in
two places, the restaurant and the
swimming pool…wait, by the way, I think
us, Nairobians, have the worst
swimming shorts in Eastern and Central
Africa!

Have you seen the dreadful fabric
comedy by the swimming pools when
you go on holiday?

The level of chitzy swimwear men rock up with by the pool?

I can write 5,000 words on Kenyan
men’s choice of swimwear. (note to self)
I can understand why you would wear a
swim trunk with a cartoon on it, or of
swan or geese (what’s the difference?) or
a picture of Mount Kenya, I really can,
but I can’t understand why anyone
would wear swimming shorts that go
past their knees!

Or those chaps who wear swimming shorts with side-pockets;

what are you carrying in there, your
laminated driver’s licence?

However, I think it’s the fault of the
women in their lives.

Yes. You can’t lie there in a your hot two-piece while your man frolics in the baby pool with these ghastly shorts, scaring those poor kids and ruining them for life.

It turns out that normally it’s these chaps who can’t swim; grown ass men in their late 30’s, elbowing kids in the baby pool with their Alibaba And The Forty Thieves shorts!

Men who have floaters attached to their
arms, coughing in the pool! Come on,
guy, get out of that pool…and then get
out of them shorts!

Where was I? Yeah, so in your time at a
hotel, in all these places and during the
time you interact with the waiters and
waitresses and the barmen and the front
desk guys and the porters and the towel
guys and the people selling shit in the
curio shops, you practically talk to
everyone.

But have you noticed that nobody ever
talks to the guy who cleans the pool?

Has anyone ever wondered how the pool
guy feels about that?

You see him late in the evening after 6pm, putting up the “pool closed” board (as he patiently waits for the grown men who can’t swim to come out of the shallow end) and he soundlessly pours his chemicals into the pool and stands there until dusk.

The next morning, if you wake up really early to book a pool-bed, you will spot a
shadowy figure, using that long-ass
squeegee to clean the floor of the pool,
and that machine to suck the dirt and
the net to get the leaves floating on the
surface.

But you won’t see this because you will still be sleeping and by the time you finish with your breakfast and slip into your Geese-shorts, he will be gone,
maybe taking on the different task of
pruning the flower gardens.

You will spend five days in a resort and you will never say hello to this guy.

Nobody tips him.

Nobody knows his name.

He’s a shadow.

A ghost.

Next time you are on holiday, walk up to
a pool guy and ask them their name.

Then watch how they beam when you
ask them about their work; How does
this pump work? How long have you
been doing this? Oh you were a
gardener before here? Do you enjoy it?
Do you have kids, Abdalla? That’s a cool
name. How do you Muslims name you
kids? I have a boy too. Does yours climb
everything? Has he hit his head so loudly
you heard it through a closed door? No?

Then your boy is a girl. Hahaha.

Spend five minutes with him. He will
never forget you because people love
talking about what they do and who they
are.

If he sees you the next day he will
say hello with a big smile like you are
buddies for life.

He will reserve the best pool bed for you the next day and everyday after that until your holiday ends. When you meet him the next morning, you will address him by name because people love when you don’t forget their name: Hey Musa, how did you sleep? How is Abdalla, has be bumped his head yet? No? Shameful,
just shameful! The pool looks dirty
today, doesn’t it? By the way, Musa, I
have wondered about this for so long;
who do you think pees most in
swimming pools? Men or ladies?

Haha.

Me: No, really, who?

Abdallah: I don’t know, really. Haha.

Me: I’m sure you know, you just don’t want to tell me.

Abdallah: I don’t know, Sir, that’s a crazy
question.

Me: Is it? I imagine you get asked that a lot by your pals.

I honestly still don’t know what this post that I’ve written today is all about: Maybe it is about Yussuf, or Abdallah, or the Mini bar, or about my treat in Lamu.

I really don’t have an appropriate headline for it,but bear with me and my rambling thoughts!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I hit on a girl last week,but it wasn’t very interesting!

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This story isn’t actually meant to shed light on my now outdated and underwhelming seduction skills.

This story is about a girl and her cherished car.

So last week the devil threw me – not
under a bus – but under a small car-a Toyota Vitz,if you care at all about vehicle models.

But that’s not even the worst part, the worst part is that it was a small car owned by a woman.

Look, I see people complain on twitter”#KOT-about traffic jam or lousy bosses or clients from hell or Kenya Power,which holds the patented rights of a fully paid-for blackout when your dinner has just been placed on your dining table.

I see people whining about something that a politician did.

Or about Monday blues in general. But you haven’t had a lousy day until you have hit a woman’s car in traffic.

It was technically my fault.

No, actually it was the devil’s fault.

So I’m waiting at the head of a traffic queu to turn left from Marcus Garvey Road onto Argwings Kodhek road in downtown Nairobi, right?

In front of me is
a new Toyota Vitz,with the latest issue of car number plate, a KCC something
something H.

We have both indicated left and I’m concentrating at looking at the cars coming from right.

What happens is that I assume that the Vitz has already turned onto the road and left and so I do the natural thing & I turn
onto the road…only to realise, a bit too
late, that she hasn’t moved and bang,
I’m kissing her Toyota Vitz’s back end.

There’ small thud on impact, but a thud all the same.

I turn on my hazard lights, adjust my Deny-hat and step out of my vehicle to inspect the damage.

At the same time this lady steps out holding a phone and I’m like Oh heck,this just the kind of trouble I need today to make my life more interesting!

Just my luck!

I’ve seen before what ladies do to men who have hit their treasured car. It’s ugly.

They don’t take prisoners. It normally
takes a sexist route very quickly if you
say the wrong word. Just one word and
she will be like, Are you saying because
I’m a woman I can’t drive? Then you will
be like, Oh come on, I didn’t say that!

Here is a home truth,if you hit a woman’s
car, especially from behind, don’t say
anything.

Anything you say will be twisted to project a sexist angle.

It’s worse if it’s her first car!

If it’s her first car, you’re safer insulting
her hair than hitting her car.

Anyway, the damage to her car is not
big, no scratch on the paintwork, just a
dent inside, something a mechanic can
just hit once and it pops back into shape.

She’s wearing flat shoes, but going by
her dress her heels are on the floor by
the passenger side.

She’s about 29 or early 30’s.

Probably drinks lots of water at her desk (read; glowing skin inviting a tender touch).

About 5’6” tall. Chocolate. She has these thick braids that curl like serpents on top of her head.

(Lucifer hiding in there,waiting to lay an evil ambush on hapless me
maybe? No? Disappointed is me.)

She wears no lipstick. Large breasts. A big-faced gold dress-watch on a thin wrist. No earrings. Or necklace.

When she comes out of the car she
shoots me this disgusted look as if I’m
the one who has serpents on my head.

Like I’m a scumbag.

She looks at the dent.

The hell? She says.

Not too bad, at least the paint isn’t
scratched.

Are you kidding me? The paint is
scratched!

Uhm, not really.

So she bends and runs her palm over
the dent and then points with a finger
(she has chipped blue nail polish) and
says sarcastically, This, to me, looks like
chipped paint!

I want to point out that that is an old chip, and you would have to use a
microscope to see it.

But I tell her that this is something my mechanic can fix quickly.

I don’t know your mechanic, she
sniggers, to imply that my mech is
incompetent.

He does great body work, this will be
fixed.

No, we have to take it to my mechanic. I
don’t take my car to strange garages.

Then she walks away, shaking her head
while bringing her phone up to her ear.

Look, I don’t know why ladies normally
get all worked up during these small
fender benders.

Why froth at the mouth and act like the world has stopped spinning because you hit their car.

And what’s with the raised voice?

There is never any reason to raise your voice.

I swear if you just speak in a normal tone,
you will be heard.

And then there is always someone she knows in a passing car who rolls down her window and asks, Sheila, kwani what happened?

And she rolls her eyes at me and tells her, HE happened, I’m sooo pissed off I don’t even know! Then her pal shoots you a dirty look and tells her, Call the cops, aki pole! Call me girl,if he misbehaves,I know people who can crank some sense into his head. And she drives off.

Only she doesn’t call the cops or her
mechanic, she calls her man.

Ladies, will you please stop doing that?

Stop calling your men when you are
involved in a small fender bender!

Unless they are also your mechanic.

Your men can’t help you. Everyday, there
are hundreds of men in this city walking
out of important meetings to hear a rant
about a small scratch on their girlfriend’s or spouse’s car.

Well meaning, hard working men are losing 10-mins of their precious time holding the phones to their ears, I say holding because they can’t get a word in
edgewise in that fast nagging tone to beat the daylights out of the traffic offender.

The lady just rants and rants and rants and then before he says anything she says, Let me call you back and you are left wondering, do I wait outside this meeting room until she calls back or do I walk back in and walk back out again when she calls?

Then before you make up your mind you phone starts pinging with about 30 whatsapp pictures of what is supposed to be the most tragic accident in Nairobi.

Life, as you know it, MUST stop to attend to this vehicular emergency!

As the lady paces up and down, spewing
hate into the phone, (I catch words like
“babe”, and “blind” and “some guy” and
“bat”…or maybe it was “butt”) I stand
there like a schoolboy who had been
caught sneaking out of class early.

By this time, traffic has backed-up to Jogoo road & people have started ranting on Twitter about the insane traffic jam.

I really wished she would get off the
phone so that we can sort this out
before the next Christmas especially since I hadn’t even said I was blameless.

Here is what I noticed though.

As other motorists drove around this carnage that could have been easily sorted out with dialogue, I noticed how the male motorists gave me that sympathetic look.

The one that said, they’d hate to be
you in this kind of situation.

That look you give someone who
has gout out of drinking beer liberally and tucking in tonnes of roasted goat ribs.

She finally gets off the phone with “babe” and I’m wondering, Is Babe
coming over to put me across his knees
and spank me with a big stick?

Is Babe going to leave his desk unmanned and come rap me over the knuckles with a ruler?

And, pray, what unprecedented
judgement would mighty Babe pass on
poor me?

Is this how my life ends, at the merciless hands of a lady with chipped nails?

The devil has surely won.

Let’s wait for the cops.

She declares with her hands defiantly across her chest.

Cops? Is that necessary? I ask.

Yes, I think they should come and decide
who is on the wrong.

I am in the wrong, we don’t need a cop
to decide. Look, this is simple take your
car to the mechanic and I will pay for
the damage.

I have meetings you know! How will I
move around? Will you pay for my cab?

I come oh so close to telling her, No, but
I will pay for your manicure. But I try to
recall some verse in the book of
Ecclesiastes 7 or something which says,
Be not quick in your spirit to become
angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of
fools.

She walks away in a huff, leans on her
door and starts going through her old
messages.

Suddenly a skinny cop shows up – I hate skinny cops by the way, they don’t yield, they are stubborn and they don’t negotiate.

The cop comes and asks, Kuna shida(is there a problem)?

And in my head a little voice says, Hakuna shida, officer, tuna relax tu
hapa kwa intersection na huyu mrembo
ana kucha mbaya. (We have no trouble,officer. We just decided to take a brief traffic rest at this particular intersection to allow the lady here to file her nails.)

The skinny cop looks at the damage and
says it’s not bad, that we can sort it out,
so could we remove these cars from the
road immediately?

We drive and park by Chaka Road and, still with hands across her chest, she rolls her eyes all the way to the back of her skull when I tell her I will offer her 1,500 bob. (I know, hehe).

After 30mins or serious pulling and tagging we finally agree on 3K. I pay her
and she gets into her car and drives off
without even giving me a hug. (Nkt).

Her Babe never showed up,even after fifty snaps of this carnage sent to his Whatapp chat.

This is to all female drivers on our roads.

Accidents aside, why don’t most of you
ever see the need to give us way?

Most women drivers will NOT give you way.

A huge ball of fire could be headed your
way but she will not let you get in, she
will stare straight ahead under her huge
shades, chin defiantly thrust forward like
she’s a soldier in a passing parade.

You will burn and die in your lane, my friend.

But you should see them when they
want to join, how they roll down their
windows and flash you those smiles like
you have genes that they might want for
their babies and you know it’s a ruse, but
you always fall for the smile and let
them in.

I know the Bible says do good without expecting anything in return but would it kill you at all to say thanks when we
let you in?

Of course for every mean female driver
there are about five great ones.And may the good Lord keep blessing these five drivers.

May he stop lucifer from standing in the way between you,dear ladies, and reverse parking.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

TRAVEL HORROR: Me a drug peddler? No way,Mr. Officer! I just have a running stomach!

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On a working trip to DRC Congo, my girlfriend and I were characteristically late for the return flight to Nairobi.

We had travelled by bus from a village where I was handling an agribusiness project for my client, which is well known
cannabis producing region, to the
capital, Kinshasha, and it had been a
rather long uncomfortable journey.

It was made a lot worse by the fact
that for the last couple of days i had
had a rather “loose” stomach.

We got to Kinshasha airport with about forty minutes to spare until our flight took off, so we rushed through check in, changed what little money we had left, pushed to the front of the passport queue and then tried to get through
security.

At that point, we were rather flustered and flushed from all the rushing,
and I, pressed by my running stomach more than I previously thought
was possible, urgently needed the toilet.

This caused me to profusely sweat on my face.

Inevitably, the guy in security,taking a cue from my flustered discomfort, pulled
us to one side to take a closer look at
our bags.

And after emptying everything decided he should get another security guard to take a further look.

I then made the mistake of telling him that I very much would like to go to the toilet while we waited because i had quite a bad stomach.

He asked if i had taken any thing to which i replied, i have — some Imodium –a stomach relief medicine, but it hadn’t helped.

He then asked if i needed to have a doctor to check out my stomach, I said that i was OK, I just really needed to toilet.

I then realised that we had very
different understandings of what was
wrong.

Telling me that he knew that I came to the airport from a cannabis growing village- he must have checked my exit visa or guessed – he suggested that my
bad stomach might be something to
do with all the drugs I had taken or
was smuggling in my stomach.

I was looking nervous, he told me.

I tried to explain that I needed the loo.

At that point, out came two armed police
officers with sniffer dogs, and we were dragged to the corner of security and we waited, confident if a little nervous, for them to check out our bags.

I then got taken to an interview
room, where a police officer poked at
my stomach with a thick wooden baton while quizzing me about my drug consumption habits.

I told him that “of course there is cannabis in that village — you get offered it all the time — but “of course i didn’t take any.”

He then said, after a little conferring, that I I would have to wait while they found a doctor to “examine me.”

I tried to explain, once more, that this was a big misunderstanding and I just needed to go to the toilet but the more I
remonstrated the more it seemed
inevitable that i would end up with a
latex gloved hand exploring my most
intimate parts.

We waited, my girlfriend in tears; the
police now were giggling and taking
what seemed to be a remarkable
amount of joy from our misery.

Eventually somebody arrived to examine me: the original security officers.

I asked about their medical credentials but i was told i didn’t have a choice.
Round the corner I went with him.

We stopped outside a disabled designated toilet and he pointed to the door.

Finally! I thought.

And then it became obvious that the disabled toilets were in fact the examining room and he was coming in with me.

He then told me that he was going to check if i was lying or not and told me that if I needed to go i should go now in a
rather threatening tone, although he
might have just been pissed off that
he had drawn the short-straw of
watching me ease the discomfort of my stomach upset just to embarass me.

I was just about to ask if he could
leave me alone while i went in to the loo, but i no longer cared.

Down came my trousers, and while I enjoyed an explosive relief, i looked up at him
and with a smug smile that said “well
i did tell you that there is nothing more to it than just my running stomach.”

After a minute or so, he decided to leave me to it.

And by the time I returned back to security bay, my girlfriend was packing
our bags once more, still a little
shaken and uncertain as to where
they had taken me.

The plane ended up being delayed, so
we even got on our flight back to Nairobi.

But it’s taught me a lot.

There are always bastard cops where ever you are; learning your rights is up there with remembering your passport; and make sure you carry money in case
you need to bribe somebody in a
disabled toilet in an airport in order
to get home safe and clean back from DRC Congo.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A Snapshot of a City; Nairobi,my city,is a beautiful mix of heaven and hell

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“For every person complaining of floods in my Nairobi City, there’s three blighters, not necessarily Kikuyus, thinking of the dough they could make if rice grew on flooded tarmac.”
~B. Wainaina

The other day I thought, “What is unique about my Nairobi?”

Then I asked the same question to a few chaps.

Here is Nairobi as seen by myself and a few different folk.

It’s easy to moan about Nairobi.

Moan about floods.

Moan about traffic-jam and “matafakas” cutting you off in traffic.

Moan about the drainage system
and about solid waste heaps.
(Those two are not related,at least not to our city fathers!.)

It’s easy, in moments of cynicism to think the worst of Nairobi, how hopeless and desperate it has all become.

It’s easy to stare at the iconic KICC building and get angry at the Koreans for putting their SONY logo up there. (Yeah, like Ketepa
will put a banner up there?).

And don’t you just hate this new army of
obnoxious motorbike taxi guys with their
stinky leather jackets in 32 degree heat,
choking life on the roads and literally
begging you to run them over?

It’s so easy to sit and think this city has totally
gone to the hounds.

Well, until you leave the country and you realise that, with all its dysfunctions, this is heaven.

That there is a reason expatriates cling to the
trousers of the immigration ladies when
it’s time for them to go back home.

Best Hotel

You,a bachelor like me, are sitting in the house on a Saturday night, no plan, feeling depressed because you are broke and someone said, I will call you later for drinks and they didn’t call.

And the Baby mama you were hoping to hook up with hasn’t said a word even though the two
ticks have turned blue on your WhatsApps chat.
You feel like you aren’t loved.

That the best part of your life is over.

You have a loose thousand shillings? (Surely you must).

Then wait until 10pm and drive to Best Western
Hotel, take the elevator to 7th floor, use
the stairs to 8th, there is a bar there called Level 8.

It’s overpriced and it’s blue, so don’t go in. (Not yet).

Stand at the edge of the rooftop, turn the collar
of your jacket, thrust your hands in your
pocket and look out at the arresting vista
of the beautiful Nairobi.

There is nowhere in Nairobi with a more spectacular view of Nairobi than that rooftop.

It’s gobsmackingly gorgeous.

Don’t take a picture, because this is one image you need store in your heart.

Later, jump into Level 8 and order a hot
toddy.

Old, meet new at the ancient Kipande House

The bank sits in a building on the corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Muindu Mbingu
Street (I think). It’s an old building,probably built at the start of the century.

Pre-colonial architecture: Arched windows.

Heavy wooden doors in deep brown.

White and gray concrete that refuses to age.

The pillars at the entrance, they stand so tall you HAVE to tilt your head back to see how far up they run.

Working my way up the stairs past those
pillars reels me back to a time where
nothing surrounded this building but
open opportunity.

And time momentarily stands still when I am
stepping into the bank.

When I have one foot in and one foot out, I feel as if I am crossing over the line that separates one century from another.

I overhear conversations of men, from a century ago,planning to build a great city.

Men on the outside speak of building a great city, men on the inside are writing cheques and counting bills to conquer that city.

They don’t speak, their money speaks for them.

The men on the outside built us a city –
our city – and we took it from them.

The energy this building exudes defines
Nairobi for me; an energy that drives men who dream of building and conquering cities.

My words shiver with that energy.

The sun,meanwhile is still shining in Nairobi.

They once called it the “The Green City
in The Sun.”

The only green left,perhaps, are in the golf courses.

But the sun stayed on.

I asked Ayisi Makatiani – Venture Capitalist, CEO Fanisi Capital – what his Nairobi is and he said, “Nairobi for me is a perfect sunny day, and they are more of them in Nairobi than any
other city I have visited or lived in.

Despite the cloudy or dry days that you
might occasionally get, the perfect sunny days in Nairobi more than makes up.”

Uhuru Highway Traffic~beautiful noise!

There is a scene in ‘Training Day’ Movie where
Denzel Washington tells Hawke to roll down his car window and “listen” to the sound of the
street.

We spend time in traffic in our air
conditioned cars, locking out Nairobi.

Crack it open next time as you sit there
immobile.

Let the spirit of Nairobi fill your car.

That sound you hear, that restless sound?

That is the sound of Nairobi’s inertia.

Diamond Plaza Snack Bar~a view of Angels

Go at 9pm.

Ask for this guy called
Jackson. His number is 0725 ¤¤¤ ¤¤¤.

Get that chicken in coconut sauce and
two garlic naans. Eat with your hands.

Then later sit there and have a fresh
pineapple-mint juice and watch the
smorgasbord of Asian families on a
night-out.

It’s a carnival, this place.

There is a family on the next table; they
have this amazingly handsome little boy
whose chin is at the edge of the table, as
he struggles to see the rest of the table,
and his sandaled feet swing gaily from
the edge of the bench.

That boy’s innocence has not been scratched by
the city and it drowns all the hubbub
around you.

Finish your juice and go home.

JOY ~An Angel in the rain

Her name is Joy and she has a face so
beautiful it hurts my eyes.

I meet those eyes the moment I walk into Kaldis
Coffee, wet from the rain.

Joy finds me a place to sit. Kaldis was once this quiet spot where I slid into to get away from
the heavy breathing streets of Nairobi.

These days it is always full and noisy.

Murmurs gather in the air and hold a raucous marketplace sort of din.

I have been meaning to find another spot which chaps from city suburbs have not turned into a spot for informal meetings.

But I still do not know any other place that
serves better milkshakes than Kaldi’s Coffee.

And then there is Joy.

She is the kind of waitress that makes it hard for me to leave after my cup of coffee.

She has a heart I would like to kiss.

I sit facing the door.

Outside, the sky is leaking by buckets.

Joy comes back with a menu.

I look up at her, at those African poetry
eyes and she says to mock my regular order at this joint,“Joy, get me a vanilla shake and…” “…sirloin steak, well done with chips. I
know.”

Meanwhile outside, water rolls down the
glass door like tears from a tired heart.

Nairobi is weeping, but I know she is not
one bit sad. Its joy in the rains!

A city stirs. My city.

Chris Bitti – CEO, the TheDBagency –and my friend, lives on the penthouse suite of International House.

Sometimes at 5am he steps off his balcony with a cup of tea in hand he looks over the city slowly stirring awake.

“It’s still at that time, there are a few people up and about but mostly it’s still. But you can feel the city slowly awaken, like a hungry giant. You
can feel something major coming, like this massive wave that is building somewhere and is headed right to the heart of the city and you know something serious will happen in the
day, you know someone out there is about to take your place. Nairobi is a beautiful mix of heaven and hell.”

The Tunnel~inside the intestines of Nairobi

The only place Daisy,my partner, loves more than a swimming pool is that tunnel that gets
you off Thika Road and into Forest Road.

That tunnel that looks like you are in Nairobi’s large intestine.

She could be asleep at the back of the car but you have to wake her up to experience that
tunnel or she sulk for hours.

“It’s because of the darkness, and the lights,I just love them so!” she explains.

Whenever I drive through there, I tilt the rear view mirror and watch her at the back, the lights slashing her face in rapid succession, and when we finally emerge into the sunlight she always says, “let’s do it again!” And there is an echo in her voice that rings erotic,though it’s just the tunnel she is talking about.

I am not from Nairobi.

I just live in Nairobi. Tried. Tested. Contented.
Being there, done that and did not even
want the T-shirt.

My Nairobi is all about contrasts.

The anguish of bumper to bumper traffic on Langata Road versus the open savannah of the Nairobi National park. Totally English. Karen
Blixen, afternoon tea on greens at Muthaiga. Little India. Maru Bhajias at DP in Parklands. Or standard Central cuisine with Kienyeji boilo, mukimo at Njuguna’s.

Best of Kisumu flavours at Mama Oliech’s in Dago for fresh fish and osuga. Bonding with the boys. Kuku choma, beer baridi(cold beer) and a car wash at Nairobi West. Back uptown for a little bohemian experience.

Cappuccino at Java House.

Chilled Mojitos at Mercury but still keep it real with a White Cup and Rhumba at Carnivore.

Bourgeois herd

Picnic for the expat friends at Blankets n
Wine.

Shake a leg at Choices Baricho Road with the clandestine gal before the Midnight ratchet special at F1 with the usual perverts.

Mdundo, Old school music with
E-Sir and Ogopa DJs. Doing the Lipala
with Sauti Sol or the sophisticated air
guitar with Jonathan Butler at Safaricom
Jazz. This is my Nairobi.

The Post Office,a funplace for masochists in Nairobi

I recently went to the registered mail section of the post office to get my mail from abroad.

It’s down a steep staircase that drops you into the soulless pit of GPO.

There I found a sluggish and uninspired old man who shuffled around in sandals. (It was a Saturday).

He barely looked at me (or my ID) as he
pointed with dark nails at the place I
should sign.

It was this old massive book.

Then he went and sat on this wooden chair with a sigh (or was it the chair that sighed?) and got back to his newspaper and mug of steaming tea and I wondered if he had an email address.

Three wise”sculptor” men? A Sculptor of a foreign war fought by my people

A sculptor is pedestalled majestically alon Kenyatta Avenue.

It tells of heroes of Second World War.

Our men fought in that foreign war.

“There are three men on Kenyatta
Avenue. They have been standing there
for nearly eight decades, watching as the
swampy town became a city right in
front of them. The man on the left is
wearing a shuka and carrying a staff in
one hand, as if he is going to herd goats
and not to kill other men. He has his gun
slung, almost like an afterthought, to his
left arm. You can tell he wants the one
in the middle to think he is staring at
him, but his gaze goes far higher. The
one in the middle is a conformer, in his
ironed shorts and military pose. He is a
man of war, the kind you don’t want to
mess with. He stares at the obelisk on
the other side, the story of another war.
The third man has a rifle strung to his
left shoulder. There isn’t much to him,
not enough character even other than a
seeming discomfort with his new role.
There are three men on Kenyatta
Avenue. They share the same rock, a
symbol of a shared destiny lost in the
sands of time, in the stories of other
thousands of men forced to be the ‘ feet
and hands of the army.’ Under their feet,
Rudyard Kipling promises “Even if you
die, your sons will remember your
name .” But their sons didn’t, and their
stories got lost in the struggles that
followed. Their story is Nairobi’s story,
untold.”

Mama Ngina Street

Stand at the edge of Hilton, facing Mama
Ngina Street at 8pm, when a large throng of people are heading home.

Its thick mass of humanity, worn faces who
are always hopeful about tomorrow.

One entrepreneur told me, “When you see this mass going home you can’t help asking yourself, ‘what product do I have to come up with so that all these people can buy it?’”

The streets!

It is an early Monday morning, the chill
is at its harshest and the roads are flooded.

Flooded by hordes of people and vehicles wading through the water.

Like always, everybody is in a rush.

Navigating through the pavements, I
catch brewery whiffs of the weekend on people’s’ breaths.

Cars pass by, splashing water on us because, well, that’s what floats their boat (read Toyota vitz).

Archives Building looms large,indifferent to everything happening around it.

It has had to endure Gor Mahia Soccer Club fans vandalism for eons, nothing much can surprise it now.

It does not give a whit that for all the lessons they could learn from their past, Nairobians prefer to use it as a beacon in giving directions because it knows that’s how Nairobi people are.

They do not conform.

For every person complaining of floods in my Nairobi City, there’s three blighters, not necessarily Kikuyus, thinking of the dough they could make if rice grew on flooded tarmac.

It is all so fascinating.

As I trot down Tom Mboya street, I walk past the same people daily; the balding newspaper vendor with playboy magazines hidden beneath Parents, the conductors who double up as peddlers and the capped dude who walks around selling dummies to dummies.

The only thing you can be sure of, and that I have learned about Nairobi, is that “it
don’t belong to your mother.” I wouldn’t even try to fine tune that African proverb into sense~it simply warns of lurking dangers in Nairobi,my City.

The great divide in Nairobi

If you stand on the balcony of any of the
residences of the new National Housing
corporation houses in Langata, something powerful is clear.

Immediately below you, the rooftop of
your little 2000cc car is clear.

After that, another block, then the wall, the big
one. The mighty Kibera slum starts immediately after it, and that wall makes all the difference.

You are standing on the middle class side, where the gates create the big difference between you and everyone else.

Rusty tin roofs litter the horizon, with the slum’s streets invisible to your bird’s eye view.

Yet your host’s househelp comes from the other side, because it is the only way the system
works.

The wall separates the lower working class from the lower middle class.

Nairobi is defined by its walls.

Gray and unforgiving, at least on the side you
can see from the balcony, that wall makes all the difference.

Nairobi’s walls are its stories.

Best Music Band in Town

Calabash Band.

Tuesdays and Thursdays,Explorer Tavern, Kilimani. Izzo on keyboard. Mayor on drums. Johnny Bass on guitar. Then, standing before the microphone, is Linda Muthama,
breaking this musical testosterone with a voice that anchors the night (and you) in one spot.

When birds mate in Nairobi

Nairobi is a place of extremes, the litmus
of limits and testing point of resilience.

It shuffles your cards, topples your dominos and rearranges your normal nervous balance.

Take traffic jams,for instance.

They are the melting pot of all pseudo-classes.

We meet here every day from 6am to 9pm.

The poor and the rich: the pragmatic
and the romantic.

Crazy Traffic equalizes us all then neatly encapsulates Nairobi’s two
great exports: radio and patience.

We sit and listen to radio hosts talk about
traffic with the same enthusiasm teenage boys talks about girls.

You try to be patient as you watch two grand
Marabou stocks recklessly mate on top
of a tree branch above your car.

We pray that at least the monstrous Mbukinya trademark bus in front of us will have moved before the birds break the weak branch which will fall smack on your windscreen for the frantic exertions of these gigantic birds in their mating dance.

We pray the guy hawking life saver vests gets to you before the flash floods hit town.

We watch as the sun sits on the horizon like
an old sultan as it eats the skyline like
yams.

Then, the city will turn to a smorgasbord of grace, soft crime, jazzy tranquility and Sabina Joy hookers joint.

And for the rest of us in traffic, radio and patience.

But let me tell you what Nairobians have
managed to do that other cities have not
– they have anaesthetized themselves
against Nairobi.

You’ll know because the next morning, in their true métier, Nairobians will all meet up again in the crazy traffic for a crazy snail dance back into the bowels and intestines of my beautiful city!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Knowing that I have had your friendship will forever be a treasured memory

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Though there is gold up in the belly of
mountains-
Lovely pearls deep in the sea-
Those treasures do not mean as much
As your friendship means to me.

While diamonds may be beautiful,
And worth a lot of money,
They cannot give a warm embrace
Or share jokes that we both think are funny.

I know it’s true some people
Will collect much priceless art,
Yet I have never seen a picture
That showed me a loving heart.

So I don’t need to spend a fortune
To have what means the most to me.

Knowing that I have had your friendship
Will be a treasured memory.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Till death do us apart…….

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I’ve been a massive animal lover since birth,
basically.

When I was a kid, I had a cat named “Trouble”, whom I enjoyed chasing, harassing,
and forcing to snuggle with me; she enjoyed
routinely scratching my face when she wasn’t
purring and being a lovebug.

She lived to be 16,well into my early twenties!

Animals are furry,and they feel soft to touch(though I’d be more careful touching a porcupine!).

Plus they make us feel less alone(I do feel lonely in presence of some of my acquaintances!).

Here are five reasons why I’ve always
been head-over-heels for them.

Anyway, here are my five reasons why animals
are better than people.

1. THEY’RE COVERED IN FUR!
They’re like living, breathing stuffed animals.

How could anyone NOT go instantly mush-gush and start involuntarily emitting squeaky high- pitched noises when confronted with fuzzy
critters? (I’m equal opportunity — my strongest
passion is for cats, but clean dogs and
donkeys and ferrets and all kinds of other small
furry animals are great, too).

How could anyone NOT want to take an adoptable fur-face home for their very own?

There’s nothing I like more than watching a movie like “Gone with the wind” with a purring cat sprawled across my chest.

2. THEY CAN’T TALK

This means they can’t yell at you, or fight with
you, or belittle you, or try to make you jealous,
or insult your intelligence, or catcall at you
(heh), or ask you for things you aren’t prepared
to give, or tell you how to live your life.

This also means they (sadly) can’t propose marriage, or thank you for dinner, or give you life advice, or ask you to change their cat litter.

But who cares!

Sitting in silence with an animal is just awesome.

And they communicate effectively with meows, barks, glances, glares, and odd body language (my personal favourite: “the good roll”, when a cat rolls on the ground right on my feet to indicate that he wants you to tickle his tummy).

3. THEY’RE HONEST: IT’S ALL ABOUT
INSTINCT, MAN.

They have no ulterior motives.

They don’t plot to
steal your boyfriend/girlfriend, or make insipid comments about your roots starting to go grey, or answer important questions with frustrated sighs.

They’re all heart and gut.

They do what they feel, and they can tell if you’re sad.

When they love you, it’s clear;their love is just so sincere to hide.

If they aren’t that into you, it’s also clear.

There are no guessing games with animals,
no human-scale subtleties, nuances or shades of grey.

Sure, there can be some mixed signals when you first meet ’em — when they’re not sure
about you, when you’re first starting to build a
bond.

But once they’ve learned to trust you, they tend to become wholeheartedly obsessed with you — and they have zero interest in “playing it cool,” feigning indifference, or not calling you back.

4. THEY MAKE US FEEL IMPORTANT.

Humans like to be needed.

I’d even go so far as to say that we NEED to be needed by animals to realise what unconditional love is all about.

It makes us feel valuable, like our existence matters, like it would be a concrete loss — to them — if we died.

Our animals need us.

They rely on us for food, and shelter, and
bathroom supplies, and luxuries like toys and
treats. (And love, of course!)

And because they can’t ask for what they need,or nag when feeling ignored, this kind of
dependence feels even weightier — not only do
they need us, but we’re expected to KNOW what
they need without them asking or telling us.

They’re like babies, but … forever!

This is a real responsibility, one that obviously shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Thankfully, for many animal lovers, I don’t think it is.

Plenty of us actually enjoy feeling responsible for keeping our creatures healthy and happy.

They pay us back a zillionfold with cuddles, purrs.

5. THEY LOVE US ANYWAY.
Animals give us the kind of acceptance we
should be giving our own selves, but don’t.

They don’t give a whit about our hair, or our outfit, or our adorable new platform shoes, or how bad we stink when we’ve somehow managed to forget to take a shower for 3 days. (Actually, who knows — maybe they DO give a whit, but they can’t verbalize it, so we’d never know! Dooooh!)

Regardless, our pets’ love for us is untainted and unconditional.

They accept us whole; they don’t mind kissing us when we have morning breath, and they certainly don’t mind snuggling up with our sweaty gym clothes or dirty socks from the
hamper (they actually kind-of like it — ew).

They’re cool with whatever we do, however we
look, however we feel.

They’re just SO INCREDIBLY OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD GLAD that we’re there at all.

Did I forget anything?!

I’m sure that I’ve given less reasons for kind of love I feel for animals,but feel free to add on this list!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Tessa; an instrument of perfect feminine mystique. Mother’s day 2015

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It takes a very feminine woman to bring out the full masculinity in a man, and massage to peaceful repose, the insecurities of his fragile ego.

Tessa is probably the only woman in the world who can manage a man’s ego; she will respect his whims without taking them very seriously.

She will not require her man to behave “correctly”,according to a woman’s handbook on good male behaviour.

And if a man annoys her,she will reprove him without malice,and in strong terms that he deserves and understands.

But any man would melt in Tessa’s feminine ways; she is every man’s dream of what a homely woman should be-feminine,but resolute,and no man can ever resist such guile in a submissive woman who treats her man like a king,but excites his intense passion in private.

In the feminine mystique, there is a sure way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future.

There is a way she can even dream about herself,as her children’s mother, her husband’s wife.

But Tessa doesn’t need to do any of those feminine things that define most women to be a woman;her feminine mystique stands on its own feet.

When a woman,like Tessa, rises up in feminine glory, her energy is magnetic to men and her
sense of possibility contagious.

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences as a monument of polar attraction, then love has a chance to blossom.

Most women,unlike Tessa, often have little awareness of how truly healing feminine
energy is to men.

Let your radiance touch everyone, because you are beautiful in spirit of what it is to be truly feminine,Tessa,my girl.

You are truly, an instrument of perfect feminine mystique!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Blessed are the broken hearts, for they shall let in the light

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In 2008, after sixteen years of marriage,
I decided to divorce.

Though my ex and I got along well most of the time, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt romantic connection.

Loneliness and longing for my freedom grew with each
passing year of my dull marriage until I could no longer ignore them.

I knew the kind of intimacy for which I yearned was not possible in my marriage, so I opted for a divorce.

Because my ex- and I actually led mostly
separate lives under the same roof, I assumed the transition through divorce would be fairly smooth.

Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!

Divorce, like most significant losses, takes
the safe and familiar contour of our lives
and blows it to smithereens, leaving us
vulnerable and unprotected until the new
shape forms.

It is easy to underestimate the comfort we draw from what is known,though it is sometimes the very source of our unhappiness.

Shortly after the separation, much like a
Ficus tree seems to all but die when
moved from its familiar spot, I went into a
state of self recrimination.

I reminded myself that,right from the beginning,this marriage was mismatched; it was more as a result of transient bodily lusts than love.

I was a fool to follow my bodily lusts into a sham marriage that was incompatible at all levels.

Much of my suffering was not even related to losing my ex,but cursing my unwise decision in being trapped into a loveless marriage in a moment of weakness.

The pain and hurt I was suffering was directed more inwards to myself,than at the loss of this marriage.

It felt like I was doing penance for my foolish decision that imprisoned me into a very skewed relationship,both at the emotional and intellectual level.

I flogged myself for it.

It was as if my nerve endings were relocated outside my skin, perturbed at even the slightest agitation.

Once- routine tasks, like getting out of bed or
going to the grocery store, seemed barely doable.

I told myself it was not okay to feel the
pain because it was a consequence of my
own choices.

But what about those lost sixteen years of my life?

My emotional suitcases were so heavy with fear, shame, and self-doubt, I thought these feelings defined me.

One night, the struggle reached a crescendo.

Sadness and dread filled my entire body, from the inside out, until I was heaving with sobs and howling like a trapped animal.

I cried for having made a wrong choice that led to loss of my precious youth,time and material investment in this sham that I called marriage.

I was convinced the pain would either not stop or that it would kill me. I secretly wished for the latter.

It was in this moment I realised that some
pain is, quite literally, unsoothable: there
is no one, no place, and nothing in that
moment that can make it better.

The only way out of unsoothable pain is
to go straight through it.

Even with this awareness, however, I still wanted to run.

I realised that at the material time of my sham marriage,what I needed was love,not necessarily marriage.

But I thought then,that love was found in marriage.

How wrong I was!

When we tell ourselves that we need
something, we inadvertently look for it in
places we are guaranteed not find it.

This is life’s clever way of showing us,
again and again,that faking a relationship will always fail.

Through breakups and divorce.

At the base of every true heart connection is acceptance.

We cannot offer acceptance to others until we can accept ourselves, wrenched heart and all.

Three years and two failed relationships
later, I decided to face grief, and to build a solid life on my own.

I have eschewed all romantic relationships,devoting that time to friendships and long-neglected passions, and music. I felt alone,but not lonely and frequently got scared that I no longer held any feelings for women, but fear was outmatched by a deeply held conviction that I was finally free of chains that limited my life to chronic unhappiness.

Though I once hoped it would, I am happy
to report that, unsoothable pain did not kill me.

In fact, the willingness to push through its
contractions has increased my confidence
to handle my other subsequent life’s losses and uncertainties.

The same can be true for anyone willing to
face his/her own darkness.

If you are experiencing unsoothable pain,
you may be tempted to reach for
something or someone to numb yourself.

Avoidance is a way of inviting into your life more of the very thing you are attempting to banish; resistance is futile.

Your feelings are intense because something important is happening, so keep going!

Sometimes unsoothable pain presents itself as fear, telling us the struggle won’t end.

Sometimes it assumes the voice of self-doubt, convincing us we can’t do it.

Sometimes pain is accompanied by shame, which cajoles us into believing there is something fundamentally wrong with us because we are hurting.

Fear, self-doubt, and shame are the
normal, temporary emotional byproducts
of any significant life-change.

Unsoothable pain is the threshold over which we must cross to access more self love and more light within ourselves.

While masking its symptoms won’t cure the disease, taking good emotional, spiritual, and physical care of yourself goes a long way.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Slow down and breathe.

It may feel like you are dying when you
pause for a bit, but I encourage you to do
it anyway.

When we slow down and sit with hard feelings, we are taking a brave step toward showing ourselves that we are stronger than pain.

2. Create small goals.

During the darkest times, the idea of getting through an entire day felt like a lot, so I broke the day into small chunks to make it more manageable.

My goal list looked like “Shower and groom”
or “Make it to lunch time.”

3. Celebrate achievements.

When I reached each small milestone, I would
sometimes say, out loud and in my goofiest cheerleader voice, “Heck! You made it to bedtime! Another day has turned to
history!”

It may feel silly to celebrate events that
seem otherwise unremarkable but, when
your nerves are inside out, even the
simplest of tasks can feel like a big deal.

4. Trust more and confide often.

Make a short list of the people in your life
you feel safe falling apart with and let
yourself fall apart with them.

There is nothing shameful about unsoothable pain—it is our vulnerability that allows us to create meaningful bonds with other humans.

Sometimes a supportive comment or gesture from a trusted friend can be the encouragement
you need to keep going.

5. Move around.

Please do move your body at least once per day.
Whether your preferred movement is
yoga, walking, running, dancing, hiking, or
biking, remember that emotions are
physical events—we can literally move
through them sometimes.

6. Do something that scares you.

Keeping health and safety in mind, figure
out two or three small things you can do
that are outside of your comfort zone.

I wanted to reconnect with my academic studies
side, so I joined college for further studies.

7. Speak kindly to yourself.

We are more likely to advocate for people
we like; so, when you are in pain, speak to
yourself as if you are your own valued friend.

It is when we are hurting that we are most
deserving of our own tenderness.

Gently remind yourself that you are doing your best to take care of yourself,free of burden of taking care of others.

8. Be patient.

Building a new life shape takes time, so
give it the time it deserves.

Acting hastily merely increases your chances of having to start hurting all over later.

Building a friendlier relationship with
discomfort can eventually diminish its
strength and frequency.

In the meantime, it may help to remember that unsoothable pain is often the sign of a well-lived life—it proves you were courageous enough to risk, to fail, and to be affected by loss.

After all, it is when the shapes of our lives are wide open that the most light can get in.

Broken hearts allow in more light into our lives that helps us reorganise our priorities.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A stress management lesson from the wild; live your life like forgetful warthogs

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Not very long ago at Mara Game Reserve, I was watching a lioness bent over a hole on the side of an ant hill and digging vigorously.

I stopped to capture the shots when and if the lioness found what she was digging for.

It was not my first time to see something like this.

That is why I knew for sure, the lioness is after something buried within the ant hill.

Aardvarks and anteaters dig holes on the side of anthills to eat the ants inside.

Then the holes are modified and enlarged by a myriad of species of animals including hyenas, warthogs, mongooses and even pythons as their homes.

They make their homes in the holes and even give birth in there.

It is not even strange to find a lioness giving birth inside an anthill hole dug by the aardvarks, if the anthill is well placed in an enclosed area with bushy outcrops around it.

We could term the aardvark in the category of the Keystone species, the species that modify the environment for the benefit of other species who would not survive otherwise.

Among those who benefit from the holes dug by
the aardvarks, warthogs are the most vulnerable.

The rest have a more secure way of keeping off
attackers.

They either put up a sentry at the entry to look out for trouble and alert those inside, as is
the case with the little mongooses, or attack any
intruder bravely using brutal force, as is the case with hyenas.

But for the warthogs, their only means of escape is to dash off from the hole with as much noise as is possible and throwing dust with their snouts on the faces of the intruders in order to confuse them momentarily.

Sometimes they succeed but other times, the intruder is not overly concerned with the noise and the dust.

In the case of a lion or a leopard, they will stay put at the entrance and grab the warthogs for a snack.

That was what I was hoping to happen with this
particular lioness.

She looked hungry and there seemed to be ready food in the hole.

I waited for a while, camera trained on the
hole.

Then it happened so quickly that there was
hardly time to press the record button for the
videos.

Normally in holes that are already occupied by the warthogs, the male sits close to the entrance while the female and the babies settle at the very end of the burrows.

This male came out with his head lowered to the ground ready to use its tusks at the lioness.

Close to the entry point, he scooped up loose soil on the snout and threw it straight into the eyes of the lioness.

A cloud of dust covered the whole anthill
and for a moment, I could hardly see what was happening.

The accompanying noise was so loud that the lioness retreated a few metres from the hole.

By the time she recovered, the last of the babies was galloping away behind the parents at a
speed that surprised all,especially the lioness and I.

The lioness did not even bother to follow.

The warthogs family had made such a lead that it was impossible for her to catch up.

She looked inside the hole with a hope that a baby was late in getting out.

Bad luck.

All had made the escape.

The next course of action for the warthogs family was to find another hole as quickly as possible and hide inside.

When they find a hole, the babies go in first, in reverse, while the parents bring up the rear also the rear end first so that their heads face the entrance.

In this case, the babies saw a culvert drain and went in.

Before the last one disappeared into the culvert, there was another loud squeaks and the whole group was out again in a greater hurry.

But they were minus one baby.

In their customary rear end entry into the hole,
they did not see a hyena already inside the culvert resting away from the scotching sun.

The hyena came out with a baby warthog dangling from his jaws.

The rest of the group was running in the
direction of the first hole, where they had had a
narrow escape from the lioness!!

In such a short period of time, they had forgotten and were not stressed by the episode
with the lioness!!

Lucky for them,the lion had ambled away in defeat.

With only a small loss of one baby,the warthogs were comfortably resettled in their former home within a few minutes that would have meant death for most of the family.

But in the mind of warthogs,that episode seemed to have happened long way back,and it was already mummified in the cobwebs of warthogs short memory.

It no longer stressed them.

They were a happy family again,just a few minutes from the brink of very cruel deaths.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live our life stressfree,like warthogs!

Blame it on our solid memories that sometimes haunt us for life.

And isn’t it puzzling too,that our happy memories only seem to be remembered for a few minutes.

Selective memory too,is our bane,as rational beings!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Bees always deflate my ego,and dampen my chivalry

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I hate to admit that I fear bees,yes,those tiny insects that others brush off ever so casually off their faces.

My paranoia around bees is informed by past undignified trauma.

I stopped denying that I suffer from an irrational fear of bees long time ago,and that took away a big chip off my bloated male ego..

Sample this recent encounter with a full colony of bees;

A female work colleague has a turned her guest wing into a private office where we spend long hours editing content for content blogging for our online clients on weekends.

On this particular day, I heard bees buzzing on her roof and immediately raised my concerns.

She explained that bees had set up a colony in her ceiling but an ‘expert’ was coming to sort it out.

Her casualness in this awaiting catastrophe was remarkable.

How could she be so calm with danger lurking above, up in her ceiling?

I should have listened to my instincts after all, but instead I listened to my big male ego.

I did not want appear overly paranoid,although I’ve seen a lion scampering into safety of thick bushes in face of these dangerous insects.

An hour into our peaceful afternoon, I heard
footsteps on the roof and a familiar sense
of uneasiness set in.

” Maybe we should step out and let the man on the roof finish his task”. I was dismissed with a wave of hand. “He is an expert. All the way from ICIPE.” ( International Centre of Insect
Physiology and Ecology).

I started to panic and true enough, moments later, an entire hive fell right through the ceiling into the room.

There was no time to think.

In a surge of adrenaline that propelled my flight response, I threw my jacket over the lady
and rushed her out of the door through a
hailstorm of bees.

Not a single bee stung her.

I got hit 9 times! and lived to tell the story,my best try at chivalry in presence of bees,so far.

I generally display a composed manner of a true gentleman, even where noisy banter is approved.

But that calm demeanour is blown to smithereens the moment I hear the distinct buzz of a bee.

The change of reaction surprises people.

Bees scare the daylights out of me.

A single bee drifting towards my coffee mug is
bound to set off all my panic buttons.

In female company, the panic attack is
heightened because at the back of my mind
is the inevitable and sheer embarrassment
of getting my ego stung as well.

Once in the company of an attractive young lady at a business meeting, a bee hovered in front of my face as if taking aim.

I lost track of conversation and was preoccupied with how to get away from the source of threat without breaking into a run.

The lady noticed my obvious discomfort and said reassuringly, “It is only a bee”. Of course, She wouldn’t understand. And her short well meaning observation made a big dent on my male ego.

How can I even pretend to be a “protector” of a lass who doesn’t fear bees?

In certain instances,bees have trampled on my hope for successful dating when they enter the scene.

I become flustered,incoherent,sweaty and stammering all at a low buzz of a single bee,ruining my date!

I can produce a very clear and detailed history of completely unprovoked attack from bees.

I have gotten stung so many times, I reasoned that this level of profiling bees as heartless insects can only be penance for my sins committed in a past life.

I have even been stung while getting interviewed for an agribusiness documentary.

The venue was a tropical garden.

On this one sunny day, a bee decided to crawl up my leg heading up to goodness knows where, and stung me just when I was getting into my groove for this exciting interview.

I took the sting like a man and did not utter
a word. the host was impressed when I told
him about it afterwards and he promptly
roasted me off air afterwards for being stoic.

The Tv man thought it would increased the ratings of the documentary if I had spontaneously hollered in horror in live camera at the sting of that single bee.

My friends told me later that I looked like a
man suffering from a constipation
throughout the remainder of the interview.

In another incident, during an important
fundraiser at a friend’s house, a bee landed on
the edge of my cup of water, placed on the
ground, next to my seat.

When I reached under the seat to take a cool gulp, I got stung on my upper lip.

Of all the cups in a gathering of about 50 people, I became the chosen one for this dishonour.

The commotion that followed was ugly.

I cursed the bee so ferociously in front of little children who started crying in horror of my swear words.

I spilled water over an elderly man, lost my
sense of bearing,charging like a wounded fighter bull for a few seconds as I
stumbled through chairs trying to suppress
the raw panic and the pain of the sting.

People panicked, some started running and if it
was not for a calm MC who laughed off my paranoia to the panicked crowd, I would have set off a stampede.

I was not very happy with my swollen face afterwards that looked like a freak deformed monster pumpkin.

Of course,I love the bees for their honey,but,Oouch! They do sting.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

You could be living through your best moments in life,but you don’t know it,as yet….

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In the ever busy rat-race that we call “a successful life”,you probably have everything that makes your life a ‘true success’ already,but you have not had the insight to realise that you are already a success.

My Buddhist teacher illustrated this paradox to me in the following story when I queried him on how to draw out a plan that will help me achieve my life-goals;

A “successful” cold storage & meat businessman was on vacation in a small lakeside village, when a small boat came ashore and he saw the fisherman pull out several large fish.

Impressed, he asked how long it had taken to catch them, to which the fisherman replied, “Just a little while.”

“Then why didn’t you stay longer and catch more?”

The fisherman replied, “This is enough to feed my whole family.”

“Then what do you do the rest of the day?”

The fisherman smiled and replied, “Well, I have a late breakfast and then I play with my kids. In
the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and come evening, I join my buddies in the village for a drink— we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the evening.”

The businessman felt sorry for the fisherman and wanted to help. “I have an MBA in business and I can help you succeed. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and catch as many fish as possible. When you’ve saved enough money, buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford our own fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you’ll sell directly to the
processor, eventually opening your own plant. You’ll control the product, processing, and distribution. By then, you’ll have moved out of this village to the big city, where you can set up your HQ and manage your operations.”

The fisherman seemed intrigued; “and then what?”

The businessman laughed heartily, “after about
15-20 years, you’ll go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange. You’ll be rich!”

The fisherman,still listening keenly asked, “and then what?”

The businessman continued; “Afterwards, you can finally retire, move to a small coastal village.
Life will be sweet because you’ll be able to enjoy
fishing, play with your kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and in the evening, you would join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, and sing and dance throughout the evening!”

The hapless fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am already doing now?”

Our little apocryphal story teaches us that as Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Wealth is not an end of life but an instrument of life”.

The words of an old song put it well, “It can
buy you roses, but money can’t buy you love.” It can buy you a beautiful mattress but money can’t buy you sleep. It can buy you a vacation but money can’t buy you rest. It can help you afford the best education for your kids but money can’t make them succeed in life.”

Now, I’ve nothing against making loads of money.

That’s not my point.

Just a caution this Buddhist meditation week though that as you chase it, you don’t neglect and end up destroying the very things that you are chasing it for.

And guess what,you may already be living through the best days of your life,without knowing it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place,alone.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who run a string of agribusinesses in high end residential zone of Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My thoughts on Easter 2015; I have seen the Lord

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Many years ago, when I was in college,
the arguments were more prominent and
more intense than they are today about
whether Jesus rose historically and bodily
from the dead.

There was widespread consensus among believers and non- believers generally in Africa that deciding about that claim really mattered.

You took a stand—you believed in the resurrection, or you didn’t—and if you did,
you generally believed the rest of the Bible
and called yourself a Christian.

And if you didn’t, then you were intentionally not a Christian,a heathen probably,inspite of being indoctrined in African Religion and spirituality .

Today that question, that debate—Did
Jesus really rise from the dead historically,
bodily?—is not as prominent or as intense
because, at one level, people feel that it
doesn’t matter to them, because different
people believe in different things, and
maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t; and if
it did, or didn’t, and that helps you get
along in life, fine; but it doesn’t make
much difference to me.

I may or may not call myself a Christian, and if the resurrection seems helpful to me, I may
believe it; and if it doesn’t, then I won’t,
and I don’t think any body should tell me
that I have to.

Behind those two different kinds of unbelief—the kind from many years ago and the kind from the present day—is a different set of assumptions.

For example, in my college days the assumption pretty much still held sway, though it was starting to give way with the rise of existentialism, that there are fixed, closed natural laws, that make the world understandable and scientifically manageable, and these laws do not allow the truth of the claim that someone has risen from the dead to live forever.

That was a commonly held assumption: The modern world with its scientific understanding of natural laws does not allow for resurrections.
So unbelief was often rooted in that kind of
assumption.

But today, that’s not the most common
working assumption.

Today the assumption is not that there are natural laws outside of me forbidding the resurrection of Jesus, but there is a personal law inside of me that says: I don’t have to adapt my life to anything I don’t find helpful.

Or you could state it another way: Truth for me is what I find acceptable and helpful.

Now with that assumption in place, and that inner law in place, it doesn’t matter whether Jesus rose from the dead, because, whether he did or didn’t, my issue is: Do I care? Do I find that idea helpful? Do I feel that it helps me flourish as a human being?

And if it seems like it doesn’t, then I will
just view it the way I view UFOs and
possible life in some distant galaxy—I just
don’t need to bother with it.

If it helps you, that’s fine; but don’t press it on me.

Some of us think that way without even
knowing that’s the way you think.

You have simply absorbed it from the culture,
since that way of thinking is woven into
most television shows and advertising and
movies and modern educational curricula.

So what I am attempting to do is raise the
level of everyone’s awareness of how we sift through the realities that are coming at
us every day.

And my hope is that when I put the resurrection of Jesus before you, with heightened self-awareness you will not so easily be carried along by modern assumptions from 40 years ago or post- modern assumptions today, but may, with God’s help have a true concern for what really matters to you—not just what nature
or your own heart says matters to you.

I am going to come to John 20 in a
moment, but let me begin with a sermon
that the apostle Paul preached to
philosophy-lovers on Mars Hill in Athens
about 20 years after the death of Jesus.

It’s found in Acts 17 and ends like this:
The times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has
given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. ( Acts 17:30–31)

At that point in the sermon, his listeners cut
him off and mocked him because of the
claim that Jesus was raised from the dead
—which in itself is very significant because it means the amazing spread of Christianity in the early years did not happen in a gullible world that thought resurrections were normal.

But notice what Paul said: God calls the
whole world to repent, because we have all
sinned against him—that is, we have not
treasured him above all things.

We are de facto idolaters.

This repentance is urgent because God is going to judge the world in perfect righteousness.

And he is going to do it by a man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus will be the judge of every human someday.

Every human will stand before the living God-
man, Jesus.

None of our excuses will work in that court.

We will all be guilty unless we have trusted Christ as our Saviour and Authority and Treasure.

This word from the apostle Paul is flying
full force, with love, into the face of the
contemporary assumption that even if
Christ rose from the dead, it doesn’t matter
to me because I don’t find it helpful.

Paul is saying: It will matter to you whether you
find it helpful or not. God’s judgment of the world by Jesus Christ is not like possible life in another galaxy; it’s like death—it is coming, and saying it doesn’t concern you, is like closing your eyes and saying there is no such thing as light because it’s dark behind your eyelids.

The last thing Paul says in his sermon in
Athens is: “Of this God has given assurance (or warrant, or evidence, or proof) to all by raising Jesus from the dead.” To all! In other words, the resurrection of Jesus is designed by God to
be a global warrant or assurance that
repentance is necessary.

How does it do that when 20 years have
gone by, or 20 centuries have gone by?

The answer is that God always intended for the
resurrection to be known and believed through human witnesses.

This doesn’t rule out the work of his Spirit in opening our eyes.

But it is always through witnesses.

There were no tape recordings, no video
cameras, no photographs.

When it happened, God saw to it that there were
witnesses, and that Jesus appeared to witnesses in enough settings that they were fully convinced of his reality and could tell others and then write it down for us to read.

When Paul says, “God has fixed a day on
which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” what he meant was that the
testimony of those who saw him will spread through the whole world and be a valid warrant for faith, a valid assurance that this really happened.

Here’s the way another eyewitness besides
Paul puts it.

The apostle Peter in a sermon preached about 8 or 10 years after the resurrection of Jesus said,
God raised [Jesus] on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.( Acts 10:40–41)

In other words, it was God’s intentional design not for the risen Christ to be seen by everyone—not even in the day when it happened.

And not today, as much as we might wish we could!

His intentional design is: He appeared repeatedly and with many proofs (Acts 1:3) to a limited group of people whose job it was to bear witness in what they said and what they wrote so
that everyone who hears or reads this witness will be able know the assurance that God provides for the world about the resurrection of his Son.

That’s the way God designed for us to know.

That’s what we have in John 20—John’s
eyewitness account of the resurrection
appearances of Jesus.

That’s what we have in Matthew 28—Matthew’s eyewitness account; Luke 24—Luke was not an
eyewitness but lived and travelled with Paul
who was, and he talked to many others
( Luke 1:2); Mark 16—as we hear Mark’s
echo of Peter’s eyewitness testimony, as well as his own as a young man living in Jerusalem; and other writings in the New Testament.

On either side of John 20, we have this claim.

Look at John 19:35. In the middle of
Jesus’ crucifixion, John breaks off and
says, “He who saw it has borne witness—
his testimony is true, and he knows that he
is telling the truth—that you also may
believe.”

This is what Paul meant: The world can know what happened in those last hours because there were witnesses, and they give testimony and there are ways to test the testimony of witnesses.

Or look at John 21:24: “This is the disciple
who is bearing witness about these things,
and who has written these things, and we
know that his testimony is true.”

The point of this verse is that an eyewitness is telling this story. This is not hearsay. And his
testimony can be checked out with others
in the New Testament.

So let’s let him have his witness to us. And
you judge for yourselves ( Luke 12:57) if
these things are so.

“They Have Taken the Lord” (Verses 1–2)
Look at John 20:1–2.

Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they
have laid him.”

Mary did not believe the resurrection had happened.

She assumed the body was moved.

This is another evidence how slow the disciples, including the women, were to believe Jesus had been raised.

These were not easily excitable, gullible people.
Peter and John at the Tomb (Verses 3–11)

Then Peter and the other disciple— probably John, the writer of this book—ran to the tomb.

John outran Peter and stood looking in. Verse 5 says, “Stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there.”

This is what Jesus’ body had been wrapped
in when they buried him (John 19:40).

Then Peter comes and goes right into the
tomb. Verses 6–7: “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

What does John want us to learn about the
resurrection from this?

Two things, at least.

1. Risen Bodily, Not Just Spiritually

First, Jesus has risen from the dead bodily,
not just spiritually. Some are willing to talk
about the resurrection as a symbol of Jesus’
ongoing influence or his spirit alive in the
world or his soul returning to God. That is
not John’s point. The body was not there.
He had risen bodily. In fact, one of the
most striking and stubborn historical facts
is that the enemies of Jesus and of
Christianity in those first days and weeks
and months in Jerusalem could not produce
the body. That would have ended the whole
thing.

There was no dead body, because Jesus was raised bodily.

2. Like the Body That Died—But Not Exactly

Second, this body was not exactly like the body that died, and yet it was like the body that died. There is continuity and discontinuity. This is important because the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament is viewed as the firstfruits of the harvest of the resurrection of all Christians.

As Paul put it: “Christ the firstfruits, then at his
coming those who belong to Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 15:23).

The point of saying the linen cloths were
there, and even mentioning the cloth that
was bound around his face, is probably to
show how this resurrection was different
from Lazarus’ resurrection.

Recall from chapter 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus after he had been dead four days. And John 11:44 it says, “The man who had died
came out, his hands and feet bound with
linen strips, and his face wrapped with a
cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him,
and let him go.”

Different from Lazarus

People had to help Lazarus out of the linen
strips and face covering. That’s because he
had a mortal body. He would die again.
After the resurrection, Jesus did not have
mortal body. He would never die again.

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Romans6:9).

Jesus’ body is different.

He simply passed through those grave cloths the way he passed through doors in John 20:19 and 26. “Although the doors were locked, Jesus
came and stood among them” ( John 20:26).
But at that very moment of entering the room like no ordinary body can, he says to doubting Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” ( John 20:27).

This was a physical body that you could recognise, and touch. And Luke tells us he ate fish after he had risen ( Luke 24:43).

If you think this does not matter to you,
remember, those who are in Christ—that
is, who believe on him, and belong to him,
and receive forgiveness and reconciliation
from him—will be raised with him.

And Paul says in Philippians 3:21 that Jesus
“will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

This is not a UFO, or irrelevant life on another galaxy. This is what will happen when God judges the world by a man, Jesus Christ.

If you belong to him by faith in him, you
will receive a body like his, which will be
suited to see him and enjoy him and enter
finally into the new heavens and the new
earth where you will spend eternity admiring God in all that he has made.

And this world that we love so much, compared
to that one, will be like a candle compared
to the sun.

Here’s the issue: Do you see? In verse 8 it
says, “Then the other disciple [John], who
had reached the tomb first, also went in,
and he saw and believed” ( John 20:8).
What did he see? What did he believe?
Jesus wasn’t there—just some cloths that
he left behind.

Compare this to Mary in verse 18: She has
met Jesus in the garden and spoken to him.
She returns to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord” ( John 20:18).

We don’t have Mary’s direct evidence. We are
more like John in the tomb—there is evidence, and either we see through it or we don’t. The issue is: Do you see?

Let me close with an analogy; Your
doorbell rings this afternoon and one of
your friends asks to talk to you.

He comes and says, “I have some really bad news.
Your brother Jim is dead.”

And you say, shaking your head, “I don’t
believe it. I just saw him this morning. He<