by Thishiwe Ziqubu
New moon. New cycle. Another opportunity to grow.
Fierce August. My goal is to much more meaningfully and practically choose love, love of self, kindness to the self, stillness, awareness, discipline as well as movement and practices that attend to the needs of body, mind and soul. Even when it’s scary AF.
August is my birth month but for the past few years it has not profoundly been a month of celebration but pain as it is the month wherein I lost my mother. Also, as some sort of sick trend, I generally find myself suffering a similar type of work overload and burnout around this time of year. Even when I think I’m working on managing myself, my habits and my time better, I still find this time of year to be highly stressful. I tend to deplete my energy resources to an unhealthy point.
Not this Fierce August.
In the words of a popular musician, not sure who, ‘let’s just be real, let’s just be honest’ … It’s been a rough time due to health issues and career burnout. It has been a dark week where I also found myself losing out on a much-desired career opportunity that I was heavily invested in because I was physically and emotionally not well enough. Henceforth, I have not been able to move through life as fluidly as I would like to while dealing with these untimely demons.
But sure as rain, the three principles always bring me back to a greater sense of grounding, peace and assertion towards the goals. By the three principles, I mean the main strongholds not just for Fierce August but for Ngonyama Force as an initiative. And these are: eat clean, train mean and self-reflect. Works every time.
I have had to accept a sour truth: that sometimes things fall apart. That’s life, isn’t it? But what matters most is our response to this. I am quite sure that most if not all of us share this dilemma. The concept of falling and getting up is not unique. We are all traveling one journey, one that very often includes unsavory trials.
I take an active decision to not surrender. Figuring out what the lesson is in something undesirable can be a terrible task. Especially for escapist types like me who don’t really want to face the storm, and I think that makes most of us.
But here’s what really counts – the strength to grow. To challenge yourself while acting with gentleness to oneself. Doesn’t sound easy right? It isn’t.
My commitment is to continue committing not only to the three principles but to the holistic concept of wellness. My commitment is to not allow myself to drown in the mire.
I stand by the truth that physical activity can and does do wonders for our healing and inner strength. Training serves as much-needed therapy.
So, my objective this Fierce August is to allow healing with a fierceness that is kind and gentle, and to also give myself permission to have the process. It is the journey and not the destination that counts. Getting stronger with every cycle. Self-punishment only makes us weaker.
The paths of disciplined action in eating and training play such a huge part in reinforcing that stronger, higher self.
Sometimes we get so indulgent in our pain and problems that we don’t even see the amazing things happening in our lives, right now, in this very moment. We are glowing, sentient beings clouded by the momentary appearance of darkness that we can and must transcend. So often, we choose not to acknowledge just how far we’ve traveled.
My commitment is to start each day with conscious observation of the blessings and beauties present in my life, no matter how seemingly small or apparently profound. My commitment is to sit in and send out the energy of gratitude each and every day.
But just as this is necessary, another one of my goals is also to be brave enough to take a cold look at myself regularly. This without negative, self-deprecating or self-destructive judgment, but to be able to observe myself for all my flaws and weaknesses and give myself a fighting chance to overcome these, bit by bit, one step at a time, with small successes each and every day.
To make better choices, to be more in tune, to slow down to really listen to my Higher Voice and do the inner work. I have learnt that truly meaningful momentum cannot be gained while senselessly running the rat race without giving yourself space to be still, to be full.
That’s my desire this Fierce August – to explore my fierceness with greater stillness while also challenging myself.
Each change, each new beginning may seem harsh and unwanted at first, but soon we discover why that was necessary for our self-improvement.