Yes, you can.

Dancing in the rain

Confession time! Hi, my name is Diana and I am a pluviophile. I love rain so much that l get so hyped up at the first drops of rain. The rainy season usually follows the same pattern, after a couple of sun-scorching days, dark clouds start gathering and the air is filled with the refreshing scent of rain. As the first showers start dropping, the hot weather is replaced by a refreshing cool breeze.

 As it started raining a few days ago, l began reminiscing on how much l love to dance in the rain. Sounds childish right? I vividly recall years ago when l was in high school, it started raining when l was on my way home from school. Instead of running or trying to hide from the rain l took my shoes off and started walking slowly as l enjoyed the rain pouring on me. As the rain fell on me l felt refreshed, it felt like l was being washed and it signaled new beginnings for me, and that brought me so much joy. In addition, rain marks the end of an old season and the start of a new one, a time to plant and anticipate a harvest and most importantly it reminds us of the unconditional love and presence of God in our lives.

Psalms 68:8-9 says, “The earth shook; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance when it was weary.” This scripture is one of the reasons why l love the rain. It reminds us of the presence of God and that He sends rain when we are weary. This reminds us that God is with us, not only is He with us but He loves us unconditionally and we are reassured that when we are weary, He will send us rain. The Bible says he brings rain on both the good and the bad, therefore we are reminded of the grace of God in our love, not that we deserve it but because He is good. Even after a rather strenuous a year, the coming of the rains is a reminder of the presence of God.

One of my favourite scriptures in the bible is Zechariah 10:1 which says, “Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.”  Rains also signify answered prayer for me, showers of blessing, or healing rain. So, as it rains, recall every prayer that you have made and be expectant of answers to your prayers.

The coming of the rains is also a reminder that even as there is a shift from winter to summer to the start of the rainy season, so it is in our lives. No season is permanent, seasons come and go…  Rains indicate the end of a season and the start of a new one. I don’t know about you, but l always look forward to a new season, new opportunities, a new chapter or even a clean slate.  There is something that stands out in this season, hope is renewed and there is an anticipation of good in the future.

I observed something the other day after it rained, all the plants looked greener and livelier. The rain washes away all the dust and dirt from the plants. When there are heavy rains, dead leaves and branches fall off.  Similarly in our lives, we need a form of rain to cleanse us and wash away all the filth spiritually, mentally and in other areas of our lives and all the dead things that might be keeping us in the same place.

Finally, for farmers, rains signify a season of planting and anticipating a harvest. In the same way, the rainy season is a season for us to sow a seed for the future and anticipate a bumper harvest. Therefore, instead of running from the rain, dance in it!

Yes, you can.

Don’t settle!  Be Realistic & Take Action

Reality is more than meets the eye

We all have goals for every area of our lives, what we want to achieve in our career, relationships, finances and so on. Periodically, we find ourselves in a dilemma wondering whether we have settled in that relationship, job or are slacking towards a certain goal. Usually, when we settle, we constantly feel weighed down, frustrated and short-changed.

Settling and being realistic are two words that are often confused and used interchangeably yet they mean different things.

One of the reasons why we choose to settle is because we want to remain in our comfort zone or safe place.  “We often settle for what’s available and what’s available isn’t always great. You are destined to achieve greatness!”― Farshad Asl.

According to the Oxford dictionary, settling is when you accept or agree to something that you consider to be less satisfactory. When we decide to settle it means although we are unsatisfied or frustrated by a relationship, job or career, for one reason or another we will still decide to stay or continue because maybe we are scared to move on or explore other avenues that might actually bring us the fulfillment, we so earnestly desire. The fear of the unknown is another obstacle that keeps us stagnant times as we opt to stay with what’s familiar instead of exploring what’s out there and discovering limitless possibilities out there. The challenge with settling is you will always have a void inside of you that will only go away when you are true to yourself.

As we come towards the year, my advice is it feels like settling then its time to say goodbye, be realistic and search for what will bring us fulfilment and wholeness.

The picture above shows different zones in our lives. With reference to this article, if you are settling you remain in the comfort zone and if you are being realistic you accept your challenges, shortfalls and frustrations and make a decision to move towards the growth zone.

The definition of realistic is someone who has a good grip on the reality of a situation and understands what can and cannot be done, something that is a practical, an achievable idea, or something that resembles the actual truth about life.

When we are being realistic it means we examined our situation in a rational manner and come to a conclusion. When we are being realistic, we have to be honest with ourselves and perceive the situation differently. Sometimes it takes us looking at the bigger picture and looking at the situation as if it was someone else and we were giving advice to them. Taking yourself out of the situation and looking at it from a third party’s perspective will make us see clearly without any filters or emotions. If it was someone else in your situation, what advice would you give them?

When we are being realistic, we accept that our current situation is not ideal and fulfilling and go on to decide based on reaching our goals even if it means quitting or walking away. For instance, one can say, “At the moment this is the job l have and it is bringing some food on the table but l desire more and my plan to achieve my goal is to start my own business and my exit strategy is this…”

At times we compromise. We tell ourselves that this is not perfect, but it will work for me. Compromise usually happens in relationships when we meet someone who makes us happy, supports us and loves us as much as we love them. Even though they might not tick all the boxes, their shortcomings are not deal breakers and we choose to stay because they are the one. In compromising, if it ever feels like you are the only one bending yourself over then you are settling and that’s your cue to leave.

In conclusion, before settling or being realistic. One sees the situation for what it is but the difference is what they chose at the end. When we settle, we opt to stay in our comfort zone or in a place of familiarity. However, when we are realistic, we accept our current position and make a pact to make necessary changes.

Yes, you can.

Schooled by the Jacaranda tree

On my way home one afternoon, l sat in my car, stuck in traffic and my mind was consumed with so many things. Amid my thoughts, the enchanting purple-flowered Jacarandas caught my attention, and in the most unusual ways, educated me.

What comes to your mind at the mention of the Jacaranda tree?

Jacarandas portray diverse things to various people. To some, they mark the commencement of summer, the Jacaranda festival, stinging bees or allergies. Without a doubt, the Jacaranda trees have an aesthetic value and are unique. In this article, l will share the lessons derived from this beautiful tree.




1. Despite the conditions around you, BLOOM in the time of blooming

Isn’t it amazing that regardless of a drought the Jacaranda still blooms? Even more fascinating is that the Jacaranda tree is in full bloom in the driest time of the year, after winter and before the rains come.

Instead of thriving and making the most of our time, we make all sorts of excuses for not doing what we are supposed to do. Regularly, we let the state of affairs surrounding us dictate what we can or cannot do.

However, after being schooled by the Jacaranda, l learnt that regardless of what it looks like, flourish. In the bible, Jacob sowed in a time of famine and reaped a hundredfold. I have heard of so many testimonies of people who got their breakthrough in non-viable conditions, as well as others who have set up companies in ailing economies. Therefore, be encouraged to stand our ground in what seems like impossible situations, being confident that victory is certain.

2.Know the season

For me, the Jacaranda tree is like a siren alerting me of summer. When we see the Jacaranda trees blooming, we know that it is officially summertime. Just the sight of the blooming trees brings joy to so many people after a long winter season.

When the Jacaranda tree starts blooming, it is a wake-up call to change how we dress, speak and act because the seasons have changed.

When summer comes, we put away the fur coats, boots, electric blankets and heaters. Every tree sheds its leaves in winter so that they can make it through to the next season.

In the same way, in our lives, as seasons change, there are certain things, such as friends and habits that we need to put away. One must perceive the season they are in, do away with unnecessary baggage and equip themselves accordingly.


3. Be a bearer of good news

Not only do these trees signal the end of winter, but they also bring about the anticipation for rains. Rains bring an expectation of a favourable season as well as the availability of water and food.

Rather than being a bearer of bad news all the time, be a person that arouses some hope in other people’s lives. When people think of you you, what comes into their minds? Do people take a smile or frown at the thought of you? Aim to be that person who speaks life, love, peace, encouragement and joy.

4. Preparation time is key 

During the rainy season, trees store food for the winter season when they will be in dormancy. People admire the Jacaranda tree adorned with purple or white flowers.

In that admiration remember that there is a price to pay for that beauty and it does not happen overnight. One should have a detailed plan for achieving their goals and what resources it will take to get there. Plan for tomorrow because tomorrow’s success depends on the preparation today. What are you doing today to set yourself up for the future?

5. You can flourish in a foreign land 

Even though Jacarandas are not originally from Zimbabwe, they still flourish, remain significant and add a touch of colour to our nation.

Countless times we limit ourselves and think that our success will only come in common territory. The Jacaranda tree defies the odds by adapting, blooming and flourishing in a foreign land. Likewise, our success is not limited to our homeland or comfort zone. Get out there and flourish in a foreign land.

Do not be discouraged as you go through what seems like an impossible situation. With the right preparation and knowledge of the season, you can conquer even in a foreign land. If it has been done before, then it can be done again!