Blue Lotus Brews and Reflections

Hi Elpha fam,

It is storming here in Nairobi, Kenya. It's been a super rainy two weeks and my aura is clensed and my soul nourished! I don't know if it's just me... but chilly mornings, grey skies, layered dressing for the cold and playing in the rain really sparks my creativity and inspires me. I have been making the most of and been super grateful for this season that we are in.

As I sip on my blue lotus steeped tea before I have my quality recharge time, I thought I'd fill you all in and give some updates from my last post which you can read here (sadly no fit pics today :( )

Today officially marks the end of three weeks at my not-so-new job as a brand and marketing intern at a Fintech company. My first week was great, my second week was... challenging. Truth be told, I had some things going on in my personal life that took a serious toll on my mental and overall well-being. I was low, unmotivated, heartbroken and just emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. Showing up for work was quite honestly difficult, but I never missed a day. This made me realise 2 things:

  1. A lot of companies in Kenya have little to no accomodation of personnel with mental health struggles. I am aware that abrod there's things such as "mental health day" and what not, but that isn't so popular here.
  2. I have a problem being openly vulnerable and expressing that I am going through a difficult time (blocked throat chakra). This stems from a lot of things in my upbrining, and is something that I am actively working on.

Despite all of this, I was keen on self-regulating while at work. When I'm not in a good headspace, I tend to be easily triggered and highly overstimulated i.e. sensory overload. I took some 7 - 8 minutes multiple times in the day just to breathe consciously and regulate my thoughts. "I am safe, I am accepted and loved as I am, I allow my feelings to be, but acknowledge that they will pass as all things do, I am aware that my thoughts are what I choose them to be, I am capable, I can't give 100% right now, but I can give a good 60% and that's okay" these are words I'd scribble on my notepad to ground myself and remind myself that I have good days, and I embrace them fully, hence I can accept and make it through the bad days too, they are a part of life. A bad day doesn't make a bad life!

A highlight of week 2 was winning two movie vouchers at work for being a culture champion, went on a movie date with my boo and had some really nice quality time.

That was my week two, and I made it through :) I am grateful ❤❤

Week 3 started off so much better. I spent the weekend with the girlies, so my cup was full, and I had a lot to give. I had a mental and spiritual reset so I was ready to tackle whatever life had to throw at me. I led the team meeting on Monday, started a team synergy tracker and introduced accountability check ins on Fridays just to make sure everyone on the team is achieving their OKRs and getting the support they need.

The company also featured on a sustainability docu-series and this was BIG for marketing and socials, I had to make the most of that content! For this, our co-founders were interviewed and we also went around the city with the docu-series crew to interview some key partners and stakeholders so that they could share how we empower them to do what they do. This was such a great experience, being the youngest in the company, at first I felt so small being around such big fish - CEOs, CTOs, executive directors... but I snapped out of that thought process so fast! Big fish started out little too, and the fact that I am surrounded by them means that there's so many places to draw inspiration, to find mentorship, to learn from, I am truly fortunate and abundantly blessed. 🤲🏽

Now I'm just rambling. What's the key take away from all this?

Bad days are a part of life, you won't always be at 100. Love yourself, encourage yourself, uplift yourself even when you're at 50, or at 20.

We put so much pressure on ourselves, and we receive so much pressure from our employers to always deliver and do a good job... but give yourself some grace. Getting out of bed and showing up even when you don't want to is a good job, trying your best when all you want to do is give up is a good job.

You are a person of great value, and you deserve to be appreciated in every phase, every stage, every circumstance in your life.

Thanks for reading!

May ease, grace and rest be abundant in your life this weekend. 🌻

Hi Joy! First of all, thank you! I want to thank you so much for being openly vulnerable with all of us on here. I cannot speak for 100,000+ people BUT I am sure I can speak for a portion of people that we see you and are here for you! 🤗 Now that I've said it, I have some comments to the things you've written. I am so happy week 1 was great but really sorry week 2 was not so good. How do you feel now? You're absolutely right re: a lack of culture of taking care of mental health... it's not a thing in Africa, and it's certainly not a thing in our parents' generations, but I think ours / GenZ will create that change! "I have a problem being openly vulnerable and expressing that I am going through a difficult time (blocked throat chakra). This stems from a lot of things in my upbringing, and is something that I am actively working on." Tell me you were raised in an African household without telling me hahaha I feel this very much! Growing up , the name of the game was to figure it out. And I am so grateful for this to be honest! I'd not have it any other way because look what it has taught us: I remember from your previous post telling you that I loved your "rolling up your sleeves" attitude and I believe this hunger and grit is what will make you stand out from the pack (imo it's what distinguishes good vs great) However it does come at a cost: one that you feel like you have to carry that entire load on your back, without ever feeling like you can open to others and ask for help. Look the reality is you cannot just ask anyone and everyone for support, there are people who absolutely will not have your back and it's just as important to figure out who these people are. However the only way to figure this out, is to (at first) going through the exercise of identifying your tier 1 people (the ones who see all the layers of Joy), and then who the tier 2, 3, 4 people are. Identifying the tier 1 vs tier 2 or 3 is not easy, it's effectively trial and error. And I encourage you to go through it because when you do find these people, it's a beautiful feeling!And of course bad days are part of life! Acknowledging that is half the battle :) "Getting out of bed and showing up even when you don't want to is a good job, trying your best when all you want to do is give up is a good job." AMEN - i remember seeing this quote "don't be consistently good but be good at being consistent" and I couldn't agree more! It is pretty much impossible to be good all the time, but what you can do is to stay the course, all the work you are putting today will compound! So remember all the mini actions you take everyday will yield beautiful dividends. :)Lastly as @sarahing said before, you have an incredible writing voice, I hope you continue do more writing!
Wow! Thank you so much Iynna, your support is highly valued and appreciated.I am much better now, I appreciate you asking 😊 I released all the emotions and thoughts that do not serve me and that weigh me down, I decided to focus on what I actually have control over, and do my best on that part.I definitely want to be the one to create that change at the office, just pitched Mental Health Workshops to the CEO this Thursday so let's see what comes out of that!That actually some solid advice right there, Tier 1 people... I had never heard of that. Thank you for enlightening me! I believe this will be quite useful to me moving forward and in every aspect of my life too.I appreciate you for engaging Iynna, and for sharing some encouragement. 🌻Have a great weekend! 😊
Of course! let me know how you get on with tiering your relationships and who ends up making it in the tier 1 group ;)