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Something old and something new !

I'll start my blog today with the words from a 19th century English rhyme

" Something old, something new,

something borrowed, something blue,

and a sixpence in her shoe."

And I quote from an online resource

"These objects were considered necessary for brides to incorporate into their wedding dresses or carry with them on their wedding day, with the belief that they would bring good and happy marriages."

I don't know about you but I love historical drama, epic trilogies that take me deep into the past of a culture or people, I can sit transfixed just listening to a good story about a place or a people I know little about and so when I was reminded of this rhyme as I wrote this blog...which by the way, I first heard from my African mum, I was curious to dig into the history of how the rhyme came about. I wasn't exactly surprised to find it originated from North west of England, not far from where I currently live. it originated from a county called Lancashire. Lancashire sits on the border of Yorkshire where I live and Yorkshire has many old traditions which are also affixed in their ways of speaking. My 9 year son is developing a Yorkshire accent, not his cutest attribute and with it comes with many strange words and phrases all rooted in the historical lingua of Yorkshire and its really fascinating . This rhyme, I have read was usually recited to the bride as she prepared for her wedding and obviously on the verge of something completely new to her. She was expected to wear an object that reflected each - the old, the new, something blue and something borrowed.

As I am doing a series called NEW YOU, staying in position it makes sense to blog about something new I am learning in this season and if you have followed me on social media you will know it has been a season of great learning, many surprises and changes and I am sure more to come !

I have just published my first book, the painted flawless manual, the art of intimacy. This is the first part of a four part book which I am working on.

It has been an adventure truly and the journey still unfolding... I had a blueprint for what the first quarter of my calendar year would be like and all of that just went swoosh! like I never put it to paper. Well not completely but I will explain in a few ticks.

Like the objects identified in the old English rhyme I consider some of the things we could wear as we enter new seasons, things that are really important in shaping the path before us.

The rhyme mentions something old, well old is not something we think about when we enter the new but when we consider age old principles and truths that remain the same, I would say there are some old things we should still keep handy for the new season we are in.

For example, the age old tradition of connecting with people. In my space as a finance professional, I have done that but this is a new space and what remains old is the principle of associating with like minded people, people who might have same interests as you, people who want to learn similar things to you, people whose vision you can support and vice versa.

Something borrowed maybe the ideas or positivity that others who have gone before us carry.

We can borrow this as we wait for your own convictions to settle about who we really are. We almost make their energy ours but we you can only borrow things for so long and then come the debt collectors. So always have in mind they will need to be returned and what you must do is generate your own true convictions and ideas about the new you have stepped into.

Something blue, the word blue sometimes connotes sadness and perhaps there is a tone of that lurking in every new season. A sadness at leaving the familiar and comfortable behind? Those old, redundant habits that serve no purpose in the new lurk around trying to keep us back and making us feel a lot heavier than we should.

Something new, well this is the part we anticipate, the part that might say, "hey! I am here do you see me" but deep inside there might actually be a fear of being seen as you get to grips with all the new really means. Do I need to wear new clothes, does my hair need to look different, do I move to a new city, get some new friends? The truth is, the real newness happens inside not on the outside. What happens on the outside is simply a manifestation of what has been going on inside all the while preceding to your new season.

So it doesn't matter what you decide to wear or your hairdo or where you even decide to live. Identify with the new that has happened inside. You might want to simply sustain that or keep cultivating that so your conviction grows and you are no longer borrowing ideas but developing your own and those blues are chased away as you become filled up with your new plans and visions and of course stay grounded in the truth of what sometimes might be old.

I am one of those people who likes to have a clear plan of attack, I am quite idealistic by nature but obviously at my age and some sensibility you realise life is not always about smelling So I knew there would be some hiccups or detours in my plan or strategy for the first half of this year but certainly not the whirlwind I experienced. Imagine if I had no plan though. The beauty of it all, is the fact that when I look back on some of the big ticket items I wanted achieved, they have been achieved! Hurray! They just didn't happen in the order or take the exact path I charted out for it to happen, could it have been better though - of course but like I wrote in my book, we can control ourselves , what we do and what we think but the weather out there is completely out of our hands. That is, in the hands of the weather master so if you are in cahoots with him then you will be fine. I had to cling on for dear life and I am still clinging in all the new that is unfolding around me.

I am now a published author, my first book under my belt and working on my second book. Yet I feel like a novice in some many ways.

1) I know little about networking to promote a book so that a huge learning space for me

2) I know little about social media engagement and marketing another huge learning space

However these are the high functioning areas for success in this new territory I find myself. It is exciting yet daunting especially when you look at some of the stats out there. I am a foetus. A fast growing one I hope !

This blog is really to share with you some things I have learnt and why I consider them really important in this terrain

I think its really important to be clear about what is important to you, what is a priority at every given time else you will fall for anything. In a new terrain you are susceptible to all kinds of desires that seem good or right for what you want to achieve but are you ready to pay the costs they come with? This is a really good question we must ask ourselves all through our journey. "For what man decides to build a house without considering the cost of it?" Wisdom straight from the good book. I have come to understand the purpose of this is to know what is critical to focus on so that when the winds and waves begin to roar you stay grounded in your priorities even when the path before looks different from what you started on.

Have an inner core of friends who have you and your objectives as a priority as well and whom you can call at anytime to talk with about what is really going down because some of it will be ugly and not even make sense to you so you need people who can talk you through it and help you make sense or at least still you, pray with you and give you courage. You are human and these moments will come in the NEW. I remember when I found out I had lost the venue for my book launch only a couple of weeks before the event. It was a close friend who walked me through that unexpected event. I called her because she had my vision as a priority too, she had been praying with me and encouraging me, she had been with me when I went to view the venue I lost. So, with less that a few weeks to launch and no venue she understood my concerns but she remained steadfast in encouraging me on to a new venue, helping me see the benefits and not looking back to what was obviously gone. Fast forward to post launch and I can confidently say losing my first choice venue was probably one of the best things that happened in planning my book launch but I could have never known this putting my blueprint together so carefully.

Have a great mentor that you trust and whom you remain accountable to for actions related to your new. We all need people who have been there and can tell us things before hand or can shield us from some major pitfalls, that's what a good trustworthy mentor does. I cannot tell you the number of times I was in contact with my mentor, I sometimes felt sorry for him dealing with what I considered at the time to be pessimism, yes, you read it right, there where moments when I got pessimistic about the whole thing. My mentor always helped me see the silver lining and remind me of the strengths I had which weren't being utilized fully.

Get a grip of your resources, financial and otherwise. Know exactly what is at your disposal. Know what you can call on and what you can't have, know who can be there and who can't. Having said that, be ready for surprises, good and bad because there will come. Things may cost more than you thought, people will disappoint you. Stay focussed, stay gentle and sweet and allow God show up as your vindicator. One of the things I needed up and running by the first quarter of this year was my website and coming up to the end of the quarter I was so busy I didn't think I would be ready for launch day because I didn't have sufficient resources to have it done by the expert I had earmarked. I had also completely forgot about the site I had started building on my own because I had this grand finish in mind. When my mentor reminded me, it led to one conversation with a friend and that led to another conversation and before I know it my website is being developed by an IT expert for free from what I had started building. This is a typical example of being surprised in a good way even when you run out of resource. The resource showed up in a relationship though not in my bank account. There is an old adage where I come from that says "People are wealth" and of course its a biblical concept too. It is who you have on your side that makes you rich not always about how much money you've got.

Finally, I guess this is where the ultimate gamechanger comes in and that is the health of your personal relationship with God. This really is the test of true intimacy with one's self. When all else fails, I have found He remains constant and can navigate me through any circumstance no matter how dire it is. We cannot afford to enter unknown, untamed, uncharted territory without the one who crafted it out for us to subdue, He holds the ultimate blueprint so whatever you have laid out He has something that supersedes it for the full glory of your dreams to be fulfilled. Trust Him.

As a figurative bride, stepping into our new, it really is a golden season unfolding and there will be some old traditions and principles that remain, there will be the blues and the borrowed but there is the new.....and I would add something bold and something ultimately you.

Be blessed!

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