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Comfort is OVERRATED & Will Stunt Your GROWTH!!!

I have been thinking a lot lately about success and growth. I think many of us aspire to success and there are different versions of how that may manifest in our lives. For some, success shows up in the accumulation of wealth, degrees, notoriety or accomplishing simple life goals. Personally, I believe that each of us deposited into this realm of existence came with a specific assignment to benefit the earth and that success will be measured by how well I have lived out my specific assignment.

(My Photo: Community Workshop facilitation)

Whatever success looks like to you, you will have to agree that success does not happen by osmosis or luck. Success begins with a paradigm shift. I call it the cultivation of the growth mindset. One ways of thinking that we have to cultivate in this growth mindset towards success is that we must become comfortable with being uncomfortable. We underestimate and undervalue the profitability of challenge, opposition and discomfort in developing intellectu…
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10 Steps to Healing After Hurt and Betrayal.

There is no magic wand for dealing with hurt and betrayal. It is a process. That means it takes time. And it means that the only way to get through the hurt and pain and anger of betrayal is to go THROUGH it. For some, it is a longer time than others. Still, we must know that no matter how long it takes, we must heal ourselves.

I wrote a book recently called, "Grab You Some Lemons", which really is about lessons that life teaches you from the difficult moments. I have taken some of those lessons to include in this 10 step plan towards healing after hurt and betrayal. For some of you, you may have to take one step several time. Take your time and trust your process.

1. Acknowledgement: You need to acknowledge that you have been hurt. Listen to me. STOP making excuses for people's actions or trying to rationalize what they did. They did wrong by you. Acknowledge that!! I do not care who it is. We give people permission to abuse us too often.

2.Feel: Give yourself permiss…

SUPERHEROES & SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media, and in particular twitter, has become a space for spewing caustic and vitriolic effluent at people with whom we disagree. I am sometimes amazed at how people feel so empowered and emboldened sitting behind a screen to descend into the bowels of utter nastiness to express dissent to something that someone else posted. It is worse now that we have 280 characters instead of 140. It means that the nastiness is times two. But social media can be and has been used as a source of good. I have been the beneficiary of deep friendships and formed a formidable network of people who have supported and pushed me along in my professional and personal life.Yet, we do not hear many stories about the power and reach of social media. In this post, I want to speak about a quiet Superhero that I encountered on social media.

I had been working in three vulnerable communities in the last couple of years on a urban disaster risk reduction project being implemented by Habitat for Humanity Jamai…

SANITATION SHOULD BE AN URGENT DEVELOPMENT CONCERN IN JAMAICA

This is one of the most important pieces of research that I have done,on behalf of the USAID/OFDA & Habitat for Humanity implemented urban disaster risk reduction project BRACED (Building Resilience And Capacities against emerging Disasters). It is part of the project that never came to fruition partly because of the shame associated with admitting that you do not have a toilet so that you can access the assistance and then the persons contracted to handle this aspect messed up. So, it all fell on ME. I had to do the community education around sanitation with all prospective beneficiaries. The process led me to lay hold of the training from international experts in sanitation, SARAR Transformacion. The training was SUPER INTENSE and brought together development practitioners, working around water and sanitation from Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana. Little did I know that it would be a training that would change my life and work forever (but that is for another blog).

When we think s…

Why I Do Not Look Like The Picture At The Back Cover Of My Book

So, I wrote a book!

It feels weird but absolutely exhilarating to finally say that "I AM AN AUTHOR!"

I say this with absolute humility but with a profound sense of pride and accomplishment. This has been long in waiting and those who are closest to me know that this has been a labour of love and a journey of fear.

Though this book is just being published, it has been LONG completed. So what prevented me from publishing?

FEAR!!!!

My fear was not about my competence. I have been blogging for almost a decade now and had even won a Jamaica Blog Award in the category of Best Lifestyle Blog. So, what was this fear that completely paralyzed me and kept me sitting on this dream that I had to turn my lemons into something that is sweet and adds value to others? The truth is I feared telling my truth. Truth can be daunting. And, sometimes offensive. Truth makes you vulnerable. I feared baring the not so glamorous side of my life - being naked and vulnerable. I feared that people may u…

Development Work Takes HEART: My Reflection on Transforming a Community

BACKGROUND

When I just went into Naggo Head to work, I was the community’s 4th mobilisation officer. I was being offered a salary of JMD$60,000.00 BEFORE TAX. This could not even meet my monthly expenses. However, I saw an opportunity to not only make a difference but to learn and grow. The less than competitive salary package and the perception that Naggo Head was a difficult community were perhaps determining factors in the high attrition rate of mobilisers.

Naggo Head, St. Catherine (See figure 1 above)is a flat peri-urban, coastal community vulnerable to flooding; storm surges, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts etc. It is located in the municipality of Portmore, in the parish of St. Catherine. The data collected by MGI also cited poor drainage, poorly constructed dwellings, use of sub-standard materials, limited (and in some instances no) sanitary conveniences and improper solid waste disposal. These conditions make Naggo Head among the most vulnerable districts with…

NIDS - A Community Development Perspective.

In August this year, I completed an enumeration of the entire Naggo Head, in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica. I had been working in the community for about two years, implementing an urban disaster risk reduction project on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and funded by USAID. The Building Resilience And Capacities against Emerging Disasters(BRACED) project focused on behaviour changes at the community and policy level. We embraced a participatory methodology of learning and teaching and involvement. 470+ of the 500 households participated in the recently concluded enumeration. Some were unable to participate because work schedule didn't allow. Few refused to participate. We collected biographic, demographic data on the household, and data on medical history, health seeking behaviours, sources of income; income brackets; sanitation etc. There was very personal information that people were prepared to give because they understood the WHY!!!!
Two Community Enumerators Collecting Data …

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