This week I’m on a high after yet another successful international golf tournament in Mombasa. We had eight countries represented. The game was played on the lush, manicured fairways and greens of Nyali Golf and Country Club. Mombasa has become more alluring to me especially now on the fourth floor. Life moves slower than here in Nairobi. Conversations last longer. What I enjoyed most was the warm weather. We would stay out till late in the night with pals having drinks in shorts and t-shirts enjoying the cool ocean breeze. Even the palm trees swayed as if to say ‘cheers’ every time I lifted my drink to toast to new found friendships.
I wished I’d put time on pause and stayed at the coast a while longer. I’m even having visions of mummy shark and I dressed in shorts, t-shirts, sandals and bucket hats at the back of a Tuktuk going to buy milk at the shops just because we can. Oh and I forget to add she’s wearing some expensive Ray Ban shades hehe… girl got class. The only other place that has stolen our hearts is Nyanyuki.
The other highlight of this coast trip was that I took my entire family of sharks with me for this assignment. It’s been a while since we went on holiday. Achieving that was a big deal because it validated me as a man especially in this period of being tight on chums. The fact that I could make it happen and all my family had to do is show up made me feel that I’m accomplishing what a man should for his family – provide. They had a blast and seeing them now running around the house all looking darker due to the tan from the coast joto warms my heart.
I’m reading a book by Haemin Sunim, ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down.’ There’s one part that says: Before your children are all grown, travel as frequently as you can as a family. Although we see our family every day, we don’t really get to be with one another. A change in environment can do wonders and can bring families closer. A good family trip can prevent divorce.
That quote was spot on and my coast trip confirmed that. Though I’m not about to divorce my wife, it did refresh our union I must admit. I was reminded that by having her I’m the lucky one here. Conversations that seem harder to have in Nairobi flowed easily at the coast. I was less defensive hehe. Maybe it’s the calming effect of the sea waves.
The mind is a powerful thing. I was completely in the present last week and that is how I managed to have so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I was in that state of mind. Worries and anxieties of life have a way of creeping in and stealing our joy without us realising it. I had a higher level of appreciation for every conversation and was present with everyone I interacted with. This was against a backdrop of severe cash flow issues in my business and pending bills waiting for me in Nairobi. Previously that kind of pressure blinded me to the blessings around and painted life as gloomy and unfair. But not this time. Slowing down and deciding to live in the present was very gratifying to say the least. My shidas diminished and my faith grew an inch.
Sunim also says; when we are joyful our heart opens up to new things. When we are in a bad mood we can’t be open to new things, no matter how wonderful they are. Without joy in our heart, our progress in life is slow and uninteresting.
Folks, the mind is a powerful thing. It provides the lenses through which we view and interact with our world. If the mind is unsettled then our world, and consequently our lives, will be unsettled too. If our mind is at peace and positive, so will our world be. Our surroundings and the situations we find ourselves in seem to be heavily determined by our state of mind.
The continuous challenge for me is to keep my mental fence worry-proof so that the small rodents of fear and anxiety don’t make holes and creep into my mind. I have heard a quote that says ‘You can’t prevent a bird from flying over your head but you can prevent it from building a nest on your head’ (and laying eggs there – my addition). Let us continually work on being fully present at every stage in the journey of life. As a result, our faith will grow and we shall enjoy the journey much more. Things do actually take care of themselves somehow, especially after we’ve done all we can about the situation. I worry mostly because I want to be in control. It’s a guy thing. Trying to be in control all the time is a role I want to resign from since I perform poorly at it.
Here’s to a present and healthy mind-set. Cheers (with a madafu and straw in hand)