Giving without expecting anything in return

I used to feel uncomfortable of the idea of giving and not receiving anything in return. I used to not appreciate giving in the ways I do now. I used to give to a few who I knew would return the favor. I used to not feel as good about giving, I thought people would take advantage of me if I gave more than I received, therefore, I guarded myself. I used to see giving as a way of reaching those who I knew would do the same for me.

Forward a few years later, and my whole idea changed about giving. I love giving now. It makes me feel good. I give to give myself a sense of peace. I give to feel good. This whole “give without expecting anything in return” phenomena happened because of a certain situation. I remember I was so down and angry once, and I didn’t know what to do. I remember thinking maybe I should turn this whole situation around and be there for my loved ones, give without any expectations, and that was exactly what I did.

I started being there for my family more, I started being there for my friends more. I stopped holding grudges. I quickly forgave and loved. I started living in the present and appreciating time for what it was. More importantly, I started to give without the expectation of receiving anything in return. The more I gave, the more I felt good about myself. The more I gave, the more connections and peace I started to regain. The more I gave without holding anything, the more optimistic I felt about my life. The more I gave, the more I started appreciating others, and no matter what was going on in my life, I always felt a sense of accomplishment. The more I gave, I started to receive all of the great things that were happening in my life. This definitely made me feel I was in control and quickly able to move on from certain situations.

This made me realize what an improvement I made from the days I was so calculated about my giving. I used to be so careful with my giving. I was always worried that I would get hurt because of my giving ways. Now I realize that I don’t have to necessarily live life the way I used to.

Although it’s great to give, it’s still good to know that you aren’t being taken advantage of. There are plenty of people who love to take advantage of generous souls since they aren’t generous themselves. They are hurt to see how others can be so giving and loving when it’s hard for them to do so. It’s good to understand these types of people exist, and not be broken down when you cross paths with them.

I’m still my loving and generous self when I’m met with folks who may not be the same. I don’t change just because others are hateful. I try to understand their journeys and try to see why they are behaving the way they are. Although these kinds of situations can affect us, we shouldn’t try to let it affect us for a long time. It’s good to acknowledge and try not to be affected as much as possible. Remember people are trying to do the best they can from their own perspectives.

Despite all of the people I’ve been met with, I still continue to give. Remember you are in control of your emotions and actions, and it’s important to not have others dictate your actions and ways.

I will always continue to love, contribute, build, heal and more importantly, give without expecting anything in return. May you always do the same.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Letting go of those that aren’t serving us any longer

Lately, there have been many instances where I felt I was holding on for too long. I know I should just let things go, but I can’t. To be quite honest, I don’t know where all of this is coming from, but its been hard for me lately to let certain things go, especially things that aren’t meant for me. I’ve always believed in surrounding myself with the best people to bring out the best in me, thus creating better situations, but these past few months have shown otherwise. I have found certain situations draining and exhausting. I’ve found myself hard to let go, and when I say hard, extremely hard.

This process taught me what its like when people say they can’t let go of certain situations. It truly isn’t easy. When people say they can’t let go, I used to wonder how they can’t let go. I used to think it was easy to remove myself from situations that were no longer serving me, but recently I’ve been proven otherwise.

It’s always good to know what steps you need to take to let go of situations that aren’t meant for you. The first step is to always figure out what is causing the chaos in your life. The next step is to make yourself ready to let go and the final step is to be patient with yourself because the journey may not be that easy, and it can possibly take a bit of time, too.

Life definitely gives us some great lessons in doses. We have to be grateful for the lessons and make the best decisions we need to make along the way. Life throws all kinds of people in our lives, and although it’s important to be careful who we let in, we’ll occasionally find ourselves in situations where we don’t mean to find ourselves in. When this happens, we shouldn’t get overly anxious, but try to take the necessary steps needed to create peace in our life again. It’s all apart of the journey to take us to the destination.

I learned that it is okay to be in these situations. The best way to deal with these kinds of circumstances is to understand we’re in these situations that hinder us to begin with. It’s important to understand that we’re in situations where we aren’t happy, peaceful and successful. We see these situations as hindering and crippling. We’re in these moments because they help us from realizing we’re not by ourselves, they create chatters and loud noises in our lives, they create these moments where we no longer feel lonely.

Sooner or later, we have to realize that we can’t be in these situations any longer because they aren’t serving what we need, we have to realize that they aren’t good for us, we have to realize that they do not challenge us, and they are just there as a mere illusion to give us temporary “happy” feelings.

It’s better to let these kinds of situations and people go early on, especially if we feel it in our hearts, It’s better to deal with the losses and the heartaches and do the work we need to do to feel better, and start making the better connections we need in our lives. If we don’t do this type of work sooner, the moment we realize we should have done this, it’ll be too late, and we’ll start regretting for all of the work we have’t done to create better situations.

The “what if” questions will kill us. The longer we’re in situations that aren’t serving us, the questions we ask keep getting longer and longer. We will start asking ourselves questions such as “What would have happened if I removed myself out of that situation sooner?”, “Would I have found better relationships with others?”, “Would I have lived a better and fulfilling life?”, “Would I have found the one?”, “Would I have travelled to places I haven’t been before?”.

The moment we find ourselves we’re still in situations we don’t want to be in, it’s slowly going to start killing us and reminding us we need to leave, but we have to be brave enough to leave when we need to, get out and start meeting new people and not be afraid to live our lives boldly and happily, because we deserve to live fierce lives.

We can’t be afraid to change things up, hold onto the most precious moments we have created with others, yet let go of what we need to let go of, dream, work, breathe, be better, be around those who challenge us and help us grow. Don’t allow ourselves to feel crippled, no matter how hard things get and no matter how long they may take.

Remember to always acknowledge you need to change things around if they aren’t working out for you, work on it a little each day and have lots of patience! You will eventually be around people who you can’t get enough of, and situations that will make you better each day. Remember also when you feel down, its apart of life. Realize better things are coming very soon.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Girls who are misunderstood

Those of us who have been in the middle of uncomfortable situations or simply moments where we are engaging in a conversation with someone, and when we don’t know whether we should try to explain the way we are or just walk away, know what it feels to be misunderstood. This may happen more often to some than others, and I feel it happens to me most of the time. Many people misunderstand me when they first meet me, but once they get to know me, they understand me better. I feel I always have to explain for the ways I am and for the different traits I have. Being misunderstood can be so hard at times, but the moment I’m misunderstood I know that you are having a hard time putting me in your created boxes. Recently, I’m walking away more than explaining myself. Those who understand me can understand me, and those who don’t can continue to misunderstand me. I’m feeling more and more like I’m not really responsible for the ways you feel about me.

I know this is the case for most girls who do not fit the stereotype of a certain label, most girls who feel misunderstood because they don’t act a certain way, they don’t dress a certain way, they feel so free and act so free making others uncomfortable around them, girls who are misunderstood because they are unwilling to do conventional things, or adhere to people’s standards. Girls who are misunderstood because they stand up and speak up for themselves in a society where we are told girls can’t do that for themselves, but everyone else can be an advocate for us. Girls who are misunderstood because they are honest, and have nothing to hide since they don’t want to live in secrecy. Girls who are misunderstood because they don’t get uncomfortable about their journeys no matter how others feel about it. Girls who are misunderstood because they are loving and caring despite their unloving mothers, fathers, relatives etc. Girls who are misunderstood because they aren’t angry despite their struggles or their circumstances. Girls who are misunderstood because they believe and go after their dreams fearlessly. Girls who are misunderstood because they are immigrants like myself and have different cultures clashing within them.

I’m an immigrant who came to this country at a very tender age, so its really hard for me to be any particular way since I have many different cultures which influenced me growing up. For this reason alone, I feel myself not fitting in any particular culture. I see myself as a blend of cultures coming together and manifesting. I do most times find myself feeling misunderstood when interacting with different groups of people. Since I don’t fit in any particular way, or people aren’t able to put me in a particular space, I get misunderstood a lot. This used to affect me but I’ve learned to ignore it, and still act the way I do despite not being understood.

The more I’m growing up, the more I’m getting accustomed to embracing the many cultures I have within myself and being more than okay with being myself. The more I’m growing, I’m realizing that it’s okay for others to misunderstand me, and for them to continue to misunderstand me. It’s okay that I am an Immigrant, Black, African, Ethiopian girl who has so many identities fusing together, is finding her ways to navigate and be who is she meant to be. I’ve learned to embrace myself, my difference and my weirdness and if you are one of us who find yourself always questioning and feeling lost, you should also try to embrace and love the many ways that you are. It may not be that easy to just start embracing it all, but it can definitely be done. Just take it one day at a time.

This has shown me to hold onto the traits that make me who I am. I can’t be scared of it any longer or run away from it. After all, its there to be embraced and loved, and its there to be loved by me and it shouldn’t matter whether others love it or understand it. Those who are meant to understand it, will, and these are the type of people I need to surround myself with anyway. The true essence of me is there to protect me, and to help me figure out who I need to put close in my life, so its actually great that I am the way I am because it makes it easier to filter out all of the mess and find the right people I need in my life. I hope you hold onto all the unique traits that make you who you are and not scared of being misunderstood.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

 

Successful people–who are they?

I’ve been feeling many things lately. It’s like when I think I got it together, everything falls apart. The word success laments on my mind lately. I keep asking myself, “Hermela, are you successful” and then I answer “Hmm I don’t know”. After hours later, I realized how dumb my answer sounded, and then I corrected myself and said “Of course, I am successful, but with lots of work still to done”. I thought to myself saying I’m a successful person shouldn’t have to mean I’m going to stop growing or progressing. It just means I’m okay with where I am in my life and I’ve seen the long road I’ve traveled to get to this point, and I’m simply acknowledging the process. It’s saying although certain people may turn a blind eye to my success, I’m not going to do the same. Instead, I am going to be fully aware of my story and deem it successful with more work to be done.

It’s funny because I’ve always thought of success as me having a 9-5 job, having a significant other to spend my lifetime with, owning a house in the next 2-3 years, settling down and probably having a family (I was never too sure of the whole having children thing, but setting down was always apart of my success plan). It always seemed to me that success was having these components, and I wanted these aspects to happen in my life, more and more each day, and at specific times too. I used to have everything planned out and the age I wanted them accomplished. The more I’ve gained certain experiences and the more I’ve matured, I’ve realized that certain things may take longer than expected, and some other things may not happen the way we want them to happen.

There are so many people with so many life’s experiences, and for whatever reason, feel that success should be one-dimensional and they only like to look at certain stories as successful, but like I said, that is their choice and not yours. Your only responsibility in this world is how you look to yourself, and not to others. When I say this, I’m in no way saying that your image isn’t important. It is important. After all, its your image and how you present yourself to others that gets you all the connections you need and to meet the right people that you will get to where you need to be. I’m simply stating that you shouldn’t try to aim to have the kind of success story many people dream of.

Feel free to have alternative success stories that look and feel like you. Don’t be shy to go out there and be yourself without having to feel pressured to fit and adhere to a certain life style. I always have to keep reminding myself that successful people are the types of people who do things because it feels right from within. I have to keep reminding myself that success follows people who are unafraid to fail. Successful people are those who are unafraid to create their own way if they don’t see a path created for them. Successful people are those who dare and those who dream, and do unconventional things despite of failing. Successful people fail, and fail many times, but they keep trying anyway.

Successful people aren’t discouraged despite their circumstances, they are encouraged and empowered individuals. They are those that you speak with for a couple minutes or hours, and see that they are boldly and fearlessly living life despite your ideas of success. They aren’t trying to please or appease you or make you comfortable. They always hold on to great things, but know how to let go when its time to let go. They try when they have the chance to try to make something happen, but if it doesn’t they know how to navigate those unknown circumstances and don’t let their circumstances overpower them. They know they have a short life to live, and aren’t afraid to live it. They walk among us, live among us and we look up to them as if they have something special when its simply just them living in the ways that feels natural.

Successful people who deem their lives successful despite of society’s conventional ways are here and are here to stay. We are Dreaming. Living. Working. Connecting. Loving. Encouraging. Never Hating. Always Congratulating. Building. Healing, and not giving a damn about how you view us and our success stories. We don’t care that we fit in your conventional ways. We are living in the ways we know how to live. We don’t know how to exist without living in these ways, so we speak them and we express them. I wish you success in all that you do.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

How Shonda Rhimes Rocked my World

This past week I’ve been reading a book by Shonda Rhimes called “Year of Yes”. When I first saw this book on Amazon, I didn’t know if I should get it or not. Part of it was because I thought it was one of those cliche books that I’ve read enough of. I, then decided to get it because I love Shonda and the way she writes and tells stories. I’m one of her biggest fans. I love all of her Thursday night shows, although I stopped watching Scandal because it lost its essence that it had in the beginning for me. TGIT is lit! LOL. Anyways, I love Shonda so I decided to give the book a try, and it was amazing, super amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it. She hit everything on the nail and she talked about reality and the world she lived in. I was saying YES, YES and YES the whole way through the book, and obviously that was the whole point of the book. It was titled “Year of Yes” for a reason.

After reading this book, I came to the conclusion that Shonda speaks the truth about many aspects of life. She specifically talks about balancing motherhood and work. One of my favorite lines from the book is when she says motherhood is not a job. She said that she would have quit her job if it equates to being a mother. The emotions and feelings that are involved with being a mother doesn’t equate to having a job, and rightfully so, even if I’m not a mother, I can agree with her sentiments. I can see that motherhood is the one of the most challenging, yet rewarding facets for women, and definitely harder than having any regular 9-5 job.

Another aspect I love about her book is when she says women who are mothers and who also have successful jobs do not “do it all”. I repeat DO NOT DO IT ALL. Seriously, there is this false perception that women who are successful in the homes and at their jobs are like superwomen, and they do it all. She is actually tired of the question she gets asked a lot which is “Shonda, how do you do it all?” and her answer to that is “I don’t”.

I agree with her sentiments because as she describes it, when she is writing and filming one of her scripts at Shondaland, she is missing her daughter’s recital. When she is at one her daughter’s recital, she’s missing an important event at work. I love the fact that she breaks down this perception and tells her readers that she gets help when it comes to raising her three daughters, help from her family members and most importantly help from her nanny. She even dedicates one whole chapter of her book to her nanny because she says without her, she doesn’t think it would be possible to be a successful mother and raise her children. She also points out that she doesn’t need to be married in order to raise her children and marriage isn’t quite frankly one of those important aspects that needs to take a lot of space in her life.

She was also surprised by the attention she got when she had a guy that was interested in marrying her and they were dating. She said many people’s reaction to her anticipated marriage was shocking. People made it seem like the marriage that was about to happen was more important than her children, Shondaland and her accomplishments thus far.

Another aspect that I love about the book is the fact that Shonda points out that it’s important to have difficult conversations with people. I used to be one of those people who is scared to get into anything controversial and I live by the rule if anything is uncomfortable, I won’t do it. I used to be one of those people who seek comfort all of the time. Don’t get me wrong being comfortable is a great thing, but sometimes we have to explore those areas that make us uncomfortable. We have to have those difficult conversations we’ve been avoiding with those that are important to us. We have to go that extra mile in order to make sense of our lives.

All in all, this book was fantastic. It was a book that explored one’s true journey, especially of being a woman and living a successful and happy life. The book started out with Shonda saying “yes” to everything since she was always saying no and missing out on events/ opportunities and felt she had to overcompensate for working too much, but towards the end of the book, she made the “yes” to mean not saying yes to necessarily everything everyone asked of you, but saying yes to the things that fulfilled you and were good for you. People can easily take advantage of those they can manipulate, so don’t be manipulated, but live an easy going life doing what you can to help yourself and others around you. As always, live your best life.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Highlighted Artist: Wangechi Mutu

Today I’m highlighting an important artist on my blog. I recently came across her art works on the internet and decided to highlight her incredible work on here. Not only is her art work marvelous but she’s also a fellow African woman. Wangechi Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya and exhibited her art work all across Europe and the United States. She is also an activist and recently launched her campaign, Africa’s out, which is an initiative that fights for Africa’s LGBTQ population. She is simply a brilliant and passionate woman, and I plan to check out her art studio when I go to Brooklyn, New York in a few weeks. Check out her website here: http://wangechimutu.com/. If you are also interested in her recent work Africa’s out, check it out here: http://africasout.com/.

2015: The Year of Blogging

As the year is beginning to end and we are about to embrace the new year, I can’t help but reminisce about the year 2015.

2015 was so many highs, a year with so many highs indeed. The year started off with the best New Year celebration at one of my friend’s house, which turned into a sleepover. I met so many great friends and people this year. I was trying to heal in so many ways and become a better person this year, and that is exactly what happened to me. The most important aspect of my life also happened in 2015, and that was the birth of Activism Fusion.

The birth of Activism Fusion was an idea that was always bouncing in my mind. I’ve always wanted to create a blog because I liked to tell stories. I, especially loved telling my own story instead of having others do it for me, or reading it somewhere else. I always knew no one can tell my story quite like the way that I can. I wanted my stories and my ideas to be organic, and to be told the way I tell them, with all my foreign ways, accent included and all. This passion and fire inside of me definitely led me to create a blog.

Initially, the name of my blog was going to be Love Fusion. I loved LOVE and I wanted a blog that embodied that purpose, and that domain wasn’t available, so I went with Activism Fusion instead. I loved activism. Sometimes I think I was born to be a voice and to fight for myself and for others who can’t do it for themselves. Since activism was a deeply rooted passion of mine, I ended up naming the blog Activism Fusion.

Throughout the year 2015, I wrote, connected, healed, established a platform and lived peacefully. I made peace with all the troubling aspects of my life. I made peace with everyone and everything around me. When I hurt, I wrote. When I was happy, I wrote. When I wanted to connect, I wrote. 2015 was a year of deep connection and love, from the places I went to, to the people I met, to the lives that touched me, as well as the lives I touched. It’s not an exaggeration when I say it was the best year I’ve had in a while. I’ve always tried to have the best years in my life, but sometimes, things don’t happen quite the way I imagined them to be, but every moment that happened in 2015 was like a moment I imagined and more. It was a year of bravery, love, compassion, family love, friendship love and so many other things.

In 2015, I used my blog to heal, I want to continue to use my blog to heal in the coming years as well. I wrote poetry, talked about my spiritual journey, life’s many processes and injustices that happened from police brutality to supporting trans lives in our communities. I’m planning to continue this journey, and thank you to all of you that’s been traveling this enlightening journey with me. In 2015, I can say that writing healed me, and served me a purpose.

I wish you a great end of 2015, and may the coming 2016 be just as loving, full of deep connections with self, be filled with kindness and loving one another. Expect more wisdom and greatness from my blog 🙂

Peace and Love,

Hermela

The Better Person

It maybe hard to love others the way they are. It maybe difficult to see the good in someone’s personality when you’ve just been betrayed. It maybe trying to always be the one who is “the better person” and look at each circumstance from every direction. It maybe easier to say your peace, and get it off your chest. You may feel like throwing unwarranted responses in the heat of the moment, but always know that it takes patience, practice and bravery to be the “better person” and hold off from making statements you may regret, being loving to those who maybe hard to love, and always finding an open-minded way to look at situations.

In my experiences, I’ve had many moments where the things I was doing or saying weren’t received in the ways I thought they would be. Handling these types of situations maybe difficult because the ways you intended them to be, and the way they happened/received by others can be quite the opposite. Wouldn’t life be great if everything you intended happened just the way you imagined?

I’ve learned how to be mature and handle situations when they don’t turn out how I’ve imagined them to be. I’ve had to deal with situations where friends judged my good morals and values, where some family members weren’t able to take in the good I’ve done and always pointed in the bad, and people I don’t know judged me from my appearance without any substance. This is to say that maturity is definitely important in being equipped to dealing with situations that require us to be the “better person”.

It maybe difficult to respond in a kind and generous way when others behaviors doesn’t warrant it, it maybe hard to remain calm and positive in situations where we want to go absolutely insane, it may take a lot of our patience to be kind, loving and giving to those who don’t show those types of behaviors towards us, but it shows integrity, humility and character when we exhibit our kindness during difficult times. It does show the world the kind of human beings we are when we learn to distance ourselves without speaking ill of others, it shows character and strength when we are in control of our emotions and it definitely shows maturity when we are the “better person”.

I hope you find the strength, love, compassion, wisdom and freedom to act in many loving, kind and giving ways including to those who may not deserve your loving attitude and I hope you are always in control of your emotions when circumstances occur the way you haven’t imagined them to be.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Attracting the Right Kind of Attention

As one grows older, one has to learn how to be an adult and juggle the different kind of responsibilities there are. This world’s responsibilities starts becoming bigger instead of smaller. While learning how to juggle and keep up with life’s uniqueness, it’s also important to learn how to attract the right kind of attention we deserve and need.

You see, life moves with or without you and wouldn’t it be great to have the kind of “easy going” life while you are existing with all your problems? Many people might believe that this can only be accomplished by having control. Yes, having control with your daily routine is important, but it’s also just as important to attract the right kind of attention. It’s a waste of time to work hard and spend all of your great energy to the wrong kind of people.

When you’re in the company of those who are not supporting you or your vision, life can become hard to keep up with. Having the right kind of attention and people in your life can change your life drastically. Even with all of your problems, you feel you can work to alleviate them with the right people around you. These people make your problems smaller and help you figure out what you need to do when you seem too down to do anything about any of it.

These are people that will be there by your side when you need someone to talk to and people you can potentially share many of your secrets with. These aspects can make it easier without you even realizing it. You suddenly start feeling at ease, and in control with yourself. The feelings you used to have about trying to control everything start diminishing and you eventually start living and becoming at peace with all your many ways. You are suddenly not miserable. You start noticing that life has a greater plan for you and where you are heading is the right place.

People should definitely strive to have the right kind of company that are aligned with their life’s goals. After all, we are all social beings and need others to help us grow and feel alive. The question is who are we going to attract to be right by our side going through our life with us? Be very wise in your choosing. I wish you the right company.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

 

Self pity- an ugly feeling

There comes a time when you’ve had it all, done it all and feel like you’re ready to embark on new journeys. There also comes a time when you feel like you haven’t done much of anything at all, you just simply want to survive and then there is a time where you feel like you want to be stuck right where you are because it feels unbelievably great. These are all moments we’re all going to have at some point in our lives. When these moments sift through within us, we feel many emotions that we hate to feel.

I’ve realized that almost all of us have a feeling that we absolutely hate, mine happens to be self pity. I don’t like when I start feeling self pity because it feels like I’m not able to control my life. When I’m doing something, or in the middle of a conversation, I sometimes simply realize that I still have a long way to go in terms of many aspects of my life, and this alone makes me feel a lot of pity for myself, I then have to remember to stop this feeling because feeling pity for myself is a waste of time and energy. I, also sometimes can’t help but feel pity when I don’t receive reciprocal love from friends and family members. It hurts so much when you’re good to people and the same people do not give these same feelings to you, it hurts even more when it’s coming from those you love.

All in all, this is to say that I, sometimes can’t help but feel pity when these types of circumstances occur. I can’t help but think that I deserve better and that I shouldn’t be treated in ways I don’t treat others. I guess it’s a human expectation to want to receive the same things you are putting out to the universe, but life has a quiet way of reminding us that it doesn’t play fair all of the time, and sometimes the people who really deserve it, don’t have much of a chance in it and the people who don’t deserve it at all receive it in abundance. All I can do is hope the universe gives me all of the things I put out in great multitude and a chance to stop feeling pity for myself.

I’ve learned feeling self pity makes one more stuck and at loss in life than anything else. I’ve learned that it’s okay to want more and very natural to compare one’s journey to others, but feeling self pity has to be one of the most miserable feelings and I wish to never feel that feeling. I wish you a life of love, and a life where self-pity doesn’t have much of a space in your life. As always strive to be great, wonderful and loving.

Peace and Love,

Hermela