Morning Musings

Rigozo

Today, like most days I find myself awake even before the sun is up. The sky is inky black and I look out my window as if anticipating a lover. The hours before sunrise is one of my favorite times of the day. I like to wake up early in the morning so that I can spend time with myself.

I like to imagine that every morning is like a painter painting over an old canvas. I like to tell myself that I’ve gotten another day to love and be loved. I like to think about all the things I would like to do and the process I’ll have to follow to get there. Another chance to give meaning to my existence and going after the things that I want. I like to watch the window like I’m waiting for my lover to jump in and carry me off farfarfaraway.

When I hear someone say that they are not a morning person, I just cannot relate. For me, I just love to be up early, to breathe deeply, and listen to my heart thud in my chest in a quiet rhythm. Also, it makes sense to revisit yesterday with fresh eyes, accepting that the past is in the past – I’m in the present. Those things that hurt me before are all behind me, and I do not have to be shackled by them. Morning comes with its uncertainties yet I would rather run into the future than dwell in the past.

I hope today stays fresh and wonderful to you too.❤️ Have a wonderful day and a happy weekend.

Photo credit: Rigozo


I love city lights. I took this picture in the early hours of the morning after it rained.

Thursday Talk Series on Tobe’s Life and Work As a Photographer

Rigozo

I saw a Bollywood movie yesterday and as always their storyline is intriguing, and the acting was superb and hilarious. The name is A Magical Love Story, and it’s about love, family, fate, curses, deceit, and magic. We know real-life is not the same as a screenplay but we do all we can each day to find happiness. There is no substitute for trying again and again. Sometimes life is to be enjoyed and other times it picks you up, does a little spin, and sets you down. You can be sure that it will take a while before you will be able to find your balance – you will eventually find it. Let have this in mind, “Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLaren. Whether you believe that love/life is magical, it’s up to you to write your own story.

Today I’m introducing Tobe and I’ve found him to be one of those people (rare) who are completely honest with themselves. This makes him able to interpret his feelings without trying to convince himself otherwise. He pays attention to details, especially in his work, and always tries to find a balance between business and personal life – to the best of his ability. In his relationship with people, he is understanding and reliable, makes amazing connections (he always knows a guy). I can’t remember our first meeting but we’ve had several easy and open-minded conversations. That said, he’s the first to start conversations with people – he still hasn’t realized that he has an amazing gift of relating with people – even strangers. He is a goal-getter and an exceptional manager, and when it comes to having fun he gets into the mood 100%.

Trivia on Tobe

- A foodie

- Loves to dance

- An Arsenal fan

Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. My name is Tobenna Afamefuna Nnamdi Amechi. Yes, I do not have an English name and for a while, I didn’t like it. However, today I am proud of my Igbo names because each of them has specific meanings which are relevant to life and living. I am a photographer and I run a photography business in Lagos, Nigeria.

Tobenna Amechi

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

I started the business because it was a skill I had and I needed to make money while waiting to get full-time employment. I wasn’t also so bombed with the idea of working for someone except for having the idea of ‘corporate work’ at the time and being responsible. Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service. There are days in the cause of running this business that I felt I would rather be doing an actual 9-5, step out every day and do actual work, and then come back. I have gone ahead to even apply for jobs on some days. In the end, I am still here going through the motions and believing. I am a corporate guy. I have an affinity for emails, suits, ties, warm regards, etc. It excites me, and I sincerely want to experience it, if I get the opportunity, either by building it into my own business or getting that actual job and maybe just doing it for 6 months. For me, the travails of being a business owner are always looming. There are busy days, lazy days, and days I question my existence and relevance to both myself and the universe. I like activity – purposeful activity – hence I feel very uncomfortable when I am not doing anything. Why do I currently do what I do? I am not sure I know anymore. I believe many entrepreneurs have gone through this phase too. However, I am at the point where I want to prove my relevance to myself. I want to be sure I am not just existing, and inconsequential to the happenings of life.

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

  • Growth – I am really scared of not measuring up to my mates, of poverty and stagnant.
  • Relevance – I want to make a mark in peoples lives I don’t want to have just existed, I want to have touched lives so when I die in the next 80 years, people can have good testimonies about me.
  • Money – to make more and never lack while giving to people in need.
  • Love – I feel alone most times, I need a girlfriend in my life.
  • Sex – How I am not having it and wish to get married quickly so I can indulge without guilt
  • Family – current and future.
  • Heaven – How I try not to do the many different things I could be doing that seem normal but will cost me eternity, I can’t go to hell Biko.

Q. What is the best thing about what you do?

A. Sincerely, the best thing about it right now is delivering to the clients’ satisfaction and the consequent balance that comes. Of course, making great images satisfy me, and this was the best thing at some point but not now making great images also means the client would be satisfied.

Q. What do you appreciate about yourself and what would you like to change?

A. I appreciate my soft nature which makes me want to do good for people all the time. I also would like to change it, to be a little more strong-willed, not caring what people will say and a lot of other things.

Q. What have you accomplished so far that has made you proud?

A. A little while ago, I was in a virtual meeting with my staff. I looked at my computer screen and saw their names registered and I realized how blessed I was to have two individuals on my team. I am proud to have been able to build Wise Visuals by God’s grace from a one-person team to where it is now. I am proud and grateful for it.

Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?

A. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. There is no successful person who didn’t have opportunities handed to them, in most cases they didn’t realize they were opportunities that would make them world-famous. However, they still made the best out of the opportunities that were presented to them, putting in the time and work needed to be great at what they did, clocking their 10,000 hours of work to be excellent. In light of this, I figure that everyone is presented with a series of opportunities in their lifetime, we are tasked to view each season as an opportunity and make the best of it. Achieving expertise at something requires you to have put in much time work approximately 10,000 hours, which the successful people we know put in both voluntarily and involuntarily as a result of the opportunities they were presented with. If this is true which does make sense, then intentional practice over time helps the mastery of and success at one’s craft.

Q. What do you feel is the difference between living and existing?

A. The major difference is impact and self-satisfaction. When you live, you affect lives, small and big and you are happy and self-satisfied doing that.

Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service

Amechi Tobenna on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle which can stop you from having success?

A. Inconsistency. I find that I can start things and most times I don’t know how to finish or sustain them. Knowing this is a challenge, has also posed an inhibition to start for me, because I don’t want to start and not finish.

Q. If like a movie your life up to this point is played for you to watch, describe how you’d feel about it?

A. I’d feel how I am feeling now, unsatisfied and some level of regret. Grateful for the wins and optimism and faith for a better ending.


Thank you so much Tobenna for the interview and I hope you find what gives you satisfaction. And thank you everyone for sticking around. Have a blissful Thursday.

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“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs

Currently Reading

Frank Herbert’s sixth book - Heretics of Dune
I am so proud of myself for getting to book 6

On Getting Better For Myself

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great time and are looking forward to the rest of the month. Well, I have been busy, and it seems like it will be the same until the end of the year – no breaks for me.

It’s has been a bit crazy, and I’m surprised that I haven’t lost my head completely. Hands down I get the best support from the awesome people around me who genuinely care about my physical and mental health. They are the reason I’m able to stay sane and keep pushing. Also, I’m doing the things I care about and it helps me go to work with a lot of positive energy and produce better results.

I should mention that I often think about becoming a better version of myself, lot, and all the ways that it can be achieved. Also, how I struggle to understand and appreciate myself every day and try to do the right things that are right for me. This has helped me to push away people and habits that are toxic and irrelevant to my growth.

Now, it hasn’t been easy, and I would like to share with you those things I have been struggling with the past couple of months and have acknowledged.

Having Anxiety and Stress

I won’t call myself a perfectionist – that’s too high a bar to set for myself. When I start something, I set my mind to do my best. Nonetheless, I’ll say that I struggle to manage situations when they get out of my control because I like to have a firm grasp of things, and do my best to avoid surprises. If things don’t go as planned I start to freak out, get anxious and overwhelmed, and shocks will go through my body. Always, as long as I have to get work done and something messes with my schedule unexpectedly, I just have to breathe to stabilize. Stress gives me legit headaches. My brain, my heart, they just can’t deal with all of that. People’s intentions are great but I prefer to be far away from whatever affects me negatively.

Lack of Organizational Skills

A big shout-out to people who are organized and can work with daily planners to stay productive. The only reason why I’m so inconsistent with blogging I have several things I have to do but I just can’t manage my time well. If I’m being honest I let myself get distracted by a lot of things when I should be productive. I set tasks in my calendar to do for the week and I barely meet up. I feel like my life would be a lot better if I were more organized.

Taking Care Of Myself

I think y’all are beginning to understand how much of a mess I can be and believe me when I say day-to-day. So, I love to take care of myself, but I only do the basics (read the part about anxiety and stress above). Anything that requires me to do extra beyond washing and moisturizing my body, I see as a lot of work. My skin however has been surviving despite my negligence. But for how long? A few days back, I realized that my hair was damaged and my hair loss scared me. I realized after checking for help that stress and too much tension while manipulating myself were the culprits. Now hair breakage is normal, but when you shed hair a lot, that’s scary. So yeah, my hair is unhealthy and I have to fix it or lose it. Of course, I freaked out, but that’s nothing new.

Presently, I’m not entirely happy with myself, but neither am going to throw myself out in the trash. I know I’m getting no worksheet that helps me magically work this out because getting better takes a lot of hard work and commitment. My friend told me that there would always be things that are out of our control, but some things we can control, like reading books, eating well, taking care of our body and hair, making a work schedule, and sticking with it, exercise, or do yoga, and so on. To become better is therefore personal decision to do all that I can take that’s within my capability. Do my best and leave the rest they say.

This reminds me, I’m aware that I haven’t written a story or a poem in a very long time, instead, all the writings I do these days are work-related and I haven’t done photography as much. That is why I will like to take another route from here on out, starting from this post. I’ll be coming in here to dump my thoughts. I don’t mean to pour out every impression or try to bemoan my existence. Lol. I’ll just be sharing snippets of the things I do, books I’ve read, songs I’m jamming to, and how I get through life. Like doing reality checks now and again.

I hope you have a beautiful day. Try to be better for yourself, not for anybody – although people can inspire you. Make sure the conviction comes from you.

Sending love and light,

Until next time.

PS. I’ve started taking care of my hair. It would be a while before it gets better, and I’m looking forward to it.


Phone photography of a gas station
Shot with my phone and edited on snapseed
  • Left Behind
    The abandoned church stood like a man awaiting trial.
  • How To Live Like A Hero
    And the pressure keeps growing and growing and growing until you feel like you are moments away from exploding.
  • The Story of How I Met Mo-Isu
    The apparition introduced himself as Mo.
  • Saturdays Are For Weddings
    It is an unspoken rule that Saturdays are for weddings in Nigeria.
  • On How To Tell Stories Of Hope
    I didn’t think it was possible after all the time I spent wandering and searching for anybody who could understand me, or even see me.

Thursday Talk Series| Why I Love The Things I Do By Muyiwa

Rigozo

Yesterday I met two old friends and I really can’t describe the feeling. The first person I met gave me the feel warm like I get when I’m wearing my favorite hoody. The second person felt a lot like coming home after a very long trip. I rushed down the road for a hug and almost knocked down both of us in my excitement. I can truly say with my full chest that yesterday was a lovely day. They both made me realize that I’ve not just been existing. Over the years I’ve lived my life experiencing a myriad of wonderful and amazing people. Quite a number of them were featured on Thursday Talk Series, and it has been a pleasure. Even when the world presents itself as a terrible place, and the struggle is unending, just having good people in your life can make the difference between living and existing.

Glad to have Muyiwa here today🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 and I need to let y’all know that he’s got the personality to make you want to never part with him. You’ll probably be daunted by his 6ft + height when you first meet (I’m 5.9 but I feel like a troll beside him) but he’s the proper gentleman and soon he’ll have you putty in his palms. Plus he gives the best hugs (like a human-size teddy bear). And his mind is a beautiful place, with a unique style of storytelling. What’s striking about Muyi is that he doesn’t put up appearances, and he takes you as you come and impresses on you that you are more than enough. He’s eager to learn as well as teach, talk and listen, laugh and cry, whatever it takes to make you feel appreciated – Mr Nice Guy has nothing on him.


Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. My name is Are Victor Olumuyiwa, a perfect description of Christ’s love to man (I didn’t even have to cook this up sef) but that’s it sha. I’m a Nigerian, lol😄 I feel like I should stress that I’m proudly Nigerian. I love my country although her matter dey tire me sometimes, but I really love her. What do I do? I serve God for a living! Like that’s the most important thing that I do, and I get paid for it (you want to know how? You’re welcome to find out, it’s not that deep but it is😁). I’m also a freelance content writer, give me any topic Nwanne’m and I will serve you hot-hot. I’m also just starting to build a life from photography, so yeah I think we’re fine here.

Are Muyiwa wearing Traditional attire
Are Victor Olumuyiwa

Q. Why do you do your job? And would you rather do something else?

A. Mehn, I’ve tried a lot of stuff, I’ve done things but I’ve not felt this measure of peace, joy, and fulfillment that comes from these (the things I do). The fact that it has an impact on men is humbling and a joy to behold( KJV things). I’ve had people read my stuff and just love me, pure love please 😊 it’s beautiful. Would I rather do something else? I don’t know, something like what abeg?

Q. What is the best thing about what you do?

A. Its influence on people, a writer’s pen is such a powerful tool..look at famous writers from Chimamanda Adichie to John Grisham, Francine Rivers to Peter Abrahams, Myles Munroe to Brian Tracy.

Are Victor Olumuyiwa

Q. What do you feel you take for granted and how does it affect you?

A. In the past it used to be good health. I almost lost my life in 2019, and that experience shaped a lot of things for me. If you have noticed with men, na when you escape death once, you go just wise anyhow😄. You start to see things differently. Now it has to be rest. I think a lot of people take this for granted. When I don’t have enough rest, some part of my face starts to twitch, like my eyes, nose, and lips start to move involuntarily. It’s important to rest when you need to, if you don’t have enough rest when you should, one day you’ll be lying down on a hospital bed.

Q. Can you describe the person that knows you best?

A. I know myself best abeg😄😄. My family (it’s a large family), I think everyone is pretty much on the same level.

Are Victor Olumuyiwa

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

A. Easy something 😋 Number 1 (in Ghanian English), God’s love for me. I really like to dwell there for many reasons, one of which is that it fills me with so much love and grace to extend to the next person. Number two is God’s word. I love to meditate on the scriptures a lot. They get me excited, they have me saying ‘Glory to God’ one minute and ‘Woosh, praise God’ the next minute. They keep my mind sane, healthy, and with the right vibes. I’m very loud about my faith (with my full chest), as I am not a secret service agent for Christ.

Q. What do you appreciate about yourself and what would you like to change?

A. Well…I appreciate that there’s no end to what I’m capable of, lol. It’s hard to see me finish, laye. You think this is it, something new pops up. What would I like to change? My shoe size😭😍😭😭. I have a pair of black shoes, size 50. I’ve started wearing 49/48 though, but I get to pull it off sometimes so that blood can flow through the veins in my leg or else I’d have to go to the toilet to stretch my legs (no jokes) People with big legs don’t usually have fine shoes😓. Please join me in prayers – size 45 is the prayer request.

Are Victor Olumuyiwa

Q. Do you consider that people are basically bad or basically good?

A. I came into a world filled with complexes. I’d have loved to have the world in a monochrome filter though, because it’s peaceful, and life would have been easier to live I think. You are either white or black.

Q. Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert and why?

A. I’m a mix of both really, but more introverted. Okay, let’s just pick one. I love my space, and I enjoy it. I love my room a lot! And my room loves me too. I know how to have fun alone. Bored? How? But if the occasion demands that I be an extrovert, why not? I will play the role well. My brothers; Chyke and Sojay have done an exceptional job in getting that part of me out.

Mehn, I’ve tried alot of stuff, I’ve done things but I’ve not felt this measure of peace, joy and fulfillment that come from these (the things I do). The fact that it has impact on men is humbling and a joy to behold (KJV things). I’ve had people read my stuff and just love me, pure love please 😊 it’s beautiful.

Are Victor Olumuyiwa on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What would top your list as the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

A. Mehn..craziest…hmm (thinking). Well, would you call writing an original poem – never before seen, not on the internet – every Saturday of the year, and 30 extra poems (originals too) on her birth month, crazy? If it is, then that has to be my craziest😁


Thank you so much Muyi for being here. You have been amazing all through the years and I wish you more grace❤️ And thanks to everyone for reading.

A picture I took last week
Burke Uzzle, ”Photography is a love affair with life.”
Love this quote

Read More Thursday Talk Series

  • Left Behind
    The abandoned church stood like a man awaiting trial.
  • How To Live Like A Hero
    And the pressure keeps growing and growing and growing until you feel like you are moments away from exploding.
  • The Story of How I Met Mo-Isu
    The apparition introduced himself as Mo.
  • Saturdays Are For Weddings
    It is an unspoken rule that Saturdays are for weddings in Nigeria.
  • On How To Tell Stories Of Hope
    I didn’t think it was possible after all the time I spent wandering and searching for anybody who could understand me, or even see me.

The Hype About Self Reflection and Why It Is Important

Rigozo

Disclaimer: Self reflection is a good thing and necessary to elevate our lives, it can also be challenging and requires discipline.

I know it’s hard to find out something different from the visual and mental representation that we already have of ourselves. From my experience, once you embark on self-reflection, you either feel like a million bucks or like roadkill. You know how it is with having a crush, you get to know them and eventually you get crushed because they don’t look so iconic to you anymore. Yeah, that’s how getting to know yourself better can feel, however, it’s not always the case.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Socrates

What Is Self Reflection

Self reflection is one of the ways in which we can learn certain things about ourselves that would help us change and improve our lives. When we self reflect, we take off the blinders and this allows us to see ourselves for who we truly are. When we are honest with ourselves, we are able to process our thoughts, learn from past mistakes and successes, and it gives us a fighting chance as we tackle the future. Another thing is that we are able to acknowledge our feelings instead of hiding behind them and this is a great way to progress.

Is Self Reflection Good Or Bad?

Self reflection can go both ways like I said earlier. When done in a constructive manner it brings about positive changes but if haphazardly done and focused only the negative aspects, it could cause a person to spiral down.

The brain is a survival mechanism constantly alert to our needs. Simi Rayat mentioned that if the brain receives signal that we feel threatened or out of our comfort zone, it is possible for our mind to deploy hacks and shortcuts to manage such situations. This will cause the brain to tell us lies that can mess with our decisions, thinking and interpretations.

Note: It is also important to try to understand where other people’s opinion of you are coming from in other to shield against the ones that have no benefits to you.

Why Self Reflect?

#For Growth and Understanding

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First by reflection, which is the noblest; second by imitation, which is the easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

Nobody that I know of has cracked the code 100% on how to elevate the way they see themselves, but a lot of positive changes can come through self reflection. This can go a long way to help you get clarity and find your purpose. It also inspires growth and a better understanding of who you are as a person. Always remember it is important that you don’t lose sight of who you are.

#Gets Rid of Insecurities

“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you, pay more attention to what is going on within you.”

Mary-Francis Winters

Perhaps you are in a low place and struggling with general anxiety, one of the best thing you can do for yourself is to self reflect. To fix a problem, it is important that you have to first know where it’s coming from and tackle it at the source unless it will persist.

#Improves Your Relationships

“Before I ask you to sit with me,

I must be able to sit with myself,

Before I ask you to accept my pain,

I have to accept the pain myself,

Before I ask you to love me,

I have to be madly in love with myself.”

C.Thoth

Many times we are the problem in our relationships and we are not aware of it, because how we see ourselves can be skewed and misinterpreted. We are only able to take the necessary steps towards self improvement when we become aware of our faults and flaws. Self reflection leads to self awareness, which leads to better relationships with our families, friends and colleagues.

#Promotes Self Acceptance

“Time spent in self reflection is never wasted, it is an intimate date with yourself.”

Paul TP Wong

When we are able to process our emotions and thoughts, we feel a greater connection to ourselves. It opens up our mind to several possibilities to explore those ideas that we have and channel them in a positive way. For example there are times I would repeat to myself, “I’m beautiful; I’m important; I’m not pathetic,” and so on. This happens a lot when I have intrusive thoughts that target my self confidence – pretty nasty stuff – and the only way for me is to channel positive energy to tackle them. I’m aware it makes all the difference to my physical and my mental health.

Start Reflecting

Ask yourself questions, especially the hard ones – you know those ones that makes you cringe or causes your chest to tighten . Be sure to reflect on your experiences; introspection is important and can help you track the things that you did, felt and thought at certain moments. You are going through your memories like a movie reel without editing parts of it. Don’t forget to take it easy on yourself, things that are not going right can be fixed with discipline and TLC (Tender, Love and Care).

I’m off to go do some self reflection (mehn things are about to get bloody up in here), wish me all the best.

Photo Credit: Rigozo

Articles on Self Reflection

Self Reflection 101: What is Self – Reflection? Why is Reflection Important? And How to Reflect?

Why Self-Reflection is Vital to Your Relationship

87 Self-Reflction Questions for Introspection

Read More

  • Left Behind
    The abandoned church stood like a man awaiting trial.
  • How To Live Like A Hero
    And the pressure keeps growing and growing and growing until you feel like you are moments away from exploding.
  • The Story of How I Met Mo-Isu
    The apparition introduced himself as Mo.
  • Saturdays Are For Weddings
    It is an unspoken rule that Saturdays are for weddings in Nigeria.
  • On How To Tell Stories Of Hope
    I didn’t think it was possible after all the time I spent wandering and searching for anybody who could understand me, or even see me.