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Hello <<First Name>>

How have you been? No really, how have you been?

I feel like I have been through the full spectrum of emotions since I last wrote you. Currently I am feeling a lot of things I can't put to words yet... Before we get into it,  grab your drink of choice. I am having rooibos tea (with honey and lemon), the perfect drink for London's moody weather - when it's gloomy I have it hot and when it's summery I have it iced 🥰

The past two months have been a lesson in embracing all of life's different seasons including the difficult ones. I turned 26 in March and spent it with loved ones by the beach, it was amazing! I also enjoyed being back home with my family. Spent time with my baby bro who had started talking - he's adorable! Also got to bond with my Kogoo (mum's mum) over kina Les Wanyika and Tshala Muana. 

As March ended my aunty Mamu passed away. It was a day after I visited her, one of those long overdue  visits, and my heart was ripped apart. Then Gogo Fam joined her as April ended💔💔. It still feels odd saying they are no longer here (well at least in flesh form) and it hurts like hell. I am angry at all this pandemic is taking. At the same time, I am trying to make peace and find meaning. All I have so far is that I should find ways to keep honouring them...I'll take a moment.
Aunty Mamu and Gogo Fam, I doubt They've got you reading newsletters in the afterlife but just in case, rest in power. We've got it from here 🖤🖤.  I love you.
In light of this, the lessons some of y'all Chai Geng-ians shared are so timely. Thank you for your generosity! Enjoy.
Awww! See this twenty six year old 🤩🥰

1. Love consistently ~Kangai

"A valuable lesson I’ve been practicing and still in the process of is “love consistently”. Learning to love myself, my dog, my family and friends consistently has been a game changer. It comes down to choosing love even when disappointed or irritated or when I’m just not feeling it. Just the statement in itself did wonders for my brain. As I was someone who was quite volatile in the way I feel and express love or adoration. I’d have days of “oh my God I love this person soooo much” and many others of “ugh, I’d rather not see you right now”. It’s been helpful and it’s been easier than I thought it would be. Consistency is healthier and I chose to pick that struggle." Thank you Kangai! I couldn't resonate more especially against the next lesson's fact. 

2. Life is temporary ~ Aida

"Always show love to everyone because life is very temporary. I've just lost a dear dear friend, and I think it's hitting all of us that we've been taking a lot for granted."  Thank you for sharing Aida, I feel this to my very core. 

3. Everything happens in cycles ~ Unathi

"Everything happens in cycles, it helps to recognise the changes fast and adapt to growth."
I've had the privilege of learning so much from Unathi's career and this lesson is only one of her many strengths. She's unafraid of change and adapts to it so well. Goals! 🤩

4. Take a break ~ Kelly

"At times we tend not to take a break, or appreciate the little breaks we get in between our busy lives. We always want to push ourselves to become better, and that's okay! Especially now when we are starting our careers, continuing with school or doing small projects in between hoping they become big names in future. So when we are tired, we either don't acknowledge that we are tired or we do but still continue doing what needs to be done. However, realising we need to take a break impacts us positively as individuals and also to those around us. It doesn't mean that your life would stop, or pushing things aside forever, but just for a little while. It's okay to be tired. It's okay to take a break or rest. That's just you loving yourself, and when you love yourself it reflects on to your life." Kelly took us to church! Amen!

5. Pay attention to silence ~ Nteranya

"Pay attention to silence, this is in line with having missed some crucial challenges, events and successes of people close to me who had gone silent for a period of time. It's also in regards to people who remain silent and withdrawn from supporting your work, it just helps readjust expectations. Next time I have an event, project or challenge I know not to depend on that person, there is no bad blood but it redirects the efforts without having to cut them out or carry the burden of asking why." Deep stuff, Nteranya! Here's to listening to silence. 

6. Contextualise and understand ~ Wendy

"Context and experience is a huge part of everyone’s story, especially the ones you don’t know about. So everyone deserves some of your understanding, and yes some more than others." This lessons reminded me of the iceberg outlook I was taught in a coaching class some time ago. That what you often see of others is literally the tip of the ice berg with the experiences, backgrounds below. It really does help to have this in mind in our interactions. Thank you Wendy!

7. Introspect ~ Olympia

"Take time to audit yourself and introspect about where you are at." I took a whole year off to do exactly this so I might be biased but I fully endorse this message 😊. I also feel that the pandemic has forced most of us to do this. Most recently I am learning that this is a process of mindfulness which I should try to integrate into my daily practices so journalling, meditative walks, goal-setting, "board" meetings with my people etc.

8. East or West home is best ~ Jepkemboi

I believe in this saying and love it even more in Swahili (the boat reference😍): Mwenda tezi na omo marejeo ni ngamani. However, I am finding that the definition of home may not be as straightforward as I think so I asked Jepkemboi what home means for her; here's her beautiful answer: " Home is where my family, loved ones and the people I cherish the most are. When I moved back from abroad it was a big risk financially and career wise. But the laughter, love and growth I’ve experienced in Kenya are more tenfold. Home is love."

8. Always apply sunscreen ~ Ratinoi

I used to be one of those people who didn't think I needed sunscreen because "black don't crack" theology and other stories. Ratinoi set me straight by relaying all the dangers of not wearing sunscreen like premature skin ageing, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer risk. Word in the skincare streets is that this is the single most important step. I am still working on doing it more regularly and Ratinoi is giving me all the inspiration and reminders I need! So here's your reminder - wear sunscreen!

10. Things don't have to be perfect ~ Angie

"Things don't have to be perfect, start with what you can and  the rest will fall in place." This lesson has always rang true in my life from starting this blogging journey to my Master's to relationships with people. It's definitely easier said than done but every time I have found the courage to start where i can the rest has fallen into place. I need to do more of this, I hope you do too! 

And that's it for April and March!  Thank you for reading! Feel free to write back✨
May is 🔥🔥🔥 but giving it time and looking forward to sharing the lessons it will teach me! 

Song of the month
Of course when I went back to Nairobi I had to catch up on all the genge I missed  in December. 'Sota' and 'Shamra Shamra' were close contenders but 'Cheza Kama Wewe' won so here goes...
This song takes me to a very happy place -  dancing barefoot on sandy Diani with my girls,  under palm trees and without a single care in the world 🥰
Sending Light & Goodness,
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