My husband Jeremy always used to say to me – “Shal, stop, breathe and see how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved. Celebrate your successes before you jump to the next project on your list.”
But I never listened to him because there was an innate fear in me that if I stopped I would miss out on opportunities, that I wouldn’t achieve enough and that I would waste time celebrating instead of working to achieve the next success in my professional life.
I’d like to think I’ve changed. I am definitely more mindful of jumping from project to project – and I don’t work until I am completely burnt out. I do take time to enjoy life a lot more. But I still don’t always stop and celebrate my successes.
This was really evident this lunch time when my business manager and close friend here in Kenya were discussing just how much I had done since coming to Kenya. It stopped me in my tracks.
To put it in perspective – I only came back to Kenya on 2 December 2019. I was supposed to be here for 4 months – leaving on 2 April to travel the world. And then corona happened! And I found myself stuck here… And, I really didn’t start looking at opportunities for work here – temporary as they might have been – until the beginning of February – that’s only 7 months ago.
So, to celebrate my successes – here’s what’s been keeping me busy since the beginning of February.
- Pathways – Conservation convention in Limuru where I taught Mindfulness, Just Jhoom! and performed in front of Kenya’s First Lady
- Interviewed on a national TV station here in Kenya about relationships (KTN)
- Filmed the pilot for my own TV show (The Art of Wellbeing) on KTN
- Interviewed again on KTN for Books and Blogs
- Launched my third book Happiness! Is It Simply A Mindset Shift on Amazon worldwide
- Started writing a weekly column in Kenyan national newspaper The Star
- Taught my first Zoom Jhoom! class to 70 people across the world and continued weekly classes
- Spoke to 21 people from across the globe in my daily Insta Live series Corona & Me
- Started free daily 20-minute Zoom mindfulness sessions open to everyone struggling with their mental health
- Took part in a music video with dancers from around the world for The Kind
- Launched a new series 5-Minute Mindfulness on KTN every weekday morning
- Started appearing as a regular guest on Capital FM’s morning show every Thursday to discuss mental health issues
- Spoke to 6 men from Kenya and the UK in my second Insta Live series raising awareness of mental health in men in My Mind & Me
- Celebrated 10 years of Just Jhoom! with a virtual flash mob with instructors from the UK
- Conducted Widowhood & Me for the UK charity WAY – a series of interviews with widows from Kenya and the UK to mark International Widows Day
- Delivered mindfulness webinars to people all over the world through organisations such as WAY and Entrepreneurs’ Organisation
- Was a “human book” on the Human Book Club.
- Started a new Facebook Live series with KTN Home – Living a Mindful Life!
- Launched my new show on Capital FM Kenya – Mindfulness, Music & More
- Interview on KTN Conversations with Susan Njoroge
- Delivered my new Mindfulness for Men online course
- Appointed as an Ambassador for the UK charity Widowed & Young
- Appeared as a speaker on Engage – with my talk Death, Dating & Destiny which will be released on YouTube in September
- Appeared on a panel of guests for South Asian Heritage week in the UK
In between all the work I’ve managed to fit in some travelling around Kenya. In January I visited my sister and her lion conservation project in Samburu. In March I spent a week soaking up the sunshine on the south coast in Tiwi with my sister and mum. In July I stayed at my beautiful cabin in Nanyuki as I marked 4 years since Jeremy died; and watched elephants, buffaloes and rhinos in Ol Pejeta. And in August I visited the Maasai Mara for the first time in nearly 30 years. And in a couple of weeks I will be travelling to beautiful Watamu – a first for me. And as travel opens up again for me – I will be resurrecting The Jhooming Nomad blog. So do subscribe to hear all about these amazing places.
As some of the projects described above come to an end, I am opening the door and making space for new projects and opportunities to come my way. But first, I will be celebrating my 45th birthday next week – yes 45 – and I will also be taking some time out for some self-development.
And, as I take time out and keep space for new opportunities to arise, I will allow the universe to do its magic – because that is what it has been doing for the last 7-8 months. And let’s face it – it is doing a fabulous job!