In this episode of Wellspringwords: The Podcast, Nkem speaks with friend, fellow dancer, and fellow modern-day philosopher Tchewa on what it means to embrace life. As this season of the podcast touches on the theme of returning to wholeness, Nkem and Tchewa share their experiences and insights on cultivating a relationship with yourself, thus returning to yourself. This means cultivating discipline as it leads to your purpose and learning to forgive yourself so you can open your heart to the love all around you. One of the age-old insights the two leave listeners with is to live fully in the present moment. That one will never get old. Enjoy this spirited conversation and let us know if it brought anything to mind or heart for you in a podcast review, on Instagram, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be well!
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The chance to live is given, but the choice to live is ours. In a world where we are bombarded with information by the second, where we overconsume to the point of internal confusion, to choose life — real and true life — takes deep intention and loving devotion. But what does it mean to choose life? And how will you know when the life you choose is really for you? This conversation hopes to bring some unique insight to that discussion. Scroll below for the topic timestamps.
In this episode of Wellspringwords: The Podcast, Nkem speaks with friend, fellow dancer, and fellow modern-day philosopher, Tchewa, on what it means to embrace life. As this season of the podcast touches on the theme of returning to wholeness, Nkem and Tchewa share their lived experiences and insights on cultivating a relationship with yourself, thus returning to yourself. As they see it, part of returning to yourself is cultivating discipline as it leads to your purpose. It is also learning to forgive yourself so you can open your heart to the love all around you. Something to keep mind as you move through the episode is this age-old teaching: live fully in the present moment. All we have is now, anyway.
Nkem and Tchewa start their conversation bonding over something so fundamental to both of their lives: loving the experience of being alive and sharing that sentiment with the world. While we all may know, theoretically, how valuable that is, it can be difficult to put into practice. Coming to the point of fully embracing life often results from experiencing hardships and, thereafter, doing the inner work necessary to come out on the other side with renewed and sustainable energy to live a life that is true to yourself. In this light, Tchewa shares his own past struggles that taught him that pain can shake you in a way that forces you to choose between settling into your misery or finding a new path, but the latter option takes emotional development. Rather than listening to your ego, you must come from a genuine place of desiring to learn who you are; that means going inward even if that looks like not having something to show for it immediately. This is a further step away from the false-self ego and toward the eternal higher self — the higher self doesn’t need awards, accolades, or certificates to feel valid.
Speaking of validation — specifically of the external variety — the constant distractions from media (social and mass) and influence away from our individual lives highlight the universal need to be focused and present. For Tchewa this means caring about things like conversations with loved ones, time spent reading a book, and even the simple act of making the bed before starting the day. Being in the present moment is always an opportunity to reevaluate and realign with your priorities. Paying attention to what love, relaxation, comfort, and peace feel like in your body requires being in the moment to feel and listen to the corresponding energy. Being in tune with yourself in this way requires focusing on one thing at a time — something that contradicts the constant influx of information the world feeds us. Not to self-castigate, though! Nkem shares how it’s okay to live in the future for a moment and indulge in a fantasy or two as long as you return to the present, because that is ultimately all you have control over, no matter how small an individual moment may feel.
At the center of all of this is practice and discipline. Negative feelings will always arise, and the key is to listen to them and feel them without living or wallowing in them. Here are some questions to ponder: Is there an opportunity to follow the discomfort to a deeper part of yourself? A more truthful part of yourself that desires your attention and love? Devotion to the present moment allows us to feel and know ourselves better in this way. And when we know ourselves well, we understand what energy within us is ours and what energy is not. For example, we are constantly told we have to fulfill all of our wants and needs, and that anything less than full fulfillment means that we are lacking, but that is completely false. In returning to wholeness, we return to ourselves and all of the possibilities that come from within rather than everything we don’t have — especially those “things” dictated by an external authority. As Nkem and Tchewa explain, getting to know yourself is essential because every journey is unique; what someone else is getting out of life is only meant for them, and the same goes for life’s challenges. Real growth requires using your personal gifts and listening to your gut instead of distracting yourself with easier but less-fulfilling options that have no connection to your personal purpose.
A lot is discussed in this episode, and the subject of vulnerability certainly made the cut! It’s a crucial part of self that is unavoidable on the path to wholeness. However scary it may be, it is 100x more rewarding than living with the heart encased in a shell. We all want people to be open and caring with us but it goes both ways, and that often means it has to start with you. Nkem shares how in her daily life she expects people she walks by on the street to make eye contact, smile, and maybe even engage so far as saying “Good Morning”. But she quickly realized that while carrying a pure and open energy will often bring the same energy back, you can’t expect other people to give it to you first. This also means cultivating a circle of people around you that are loving, caring, and nurturing instead of seeking surface-level, instant validation. In the same respect, Tchewa has learned through his own experiences and through counseling friends in the realm of dating that beauty fades so one shouldn’t only look at the vessel for an indication of worthiness, but rather, look at the content of the vessel! Something to think about…
Tchewa is also setting up a conference for business networking in May 2022 in Yaounde, Cameroon for people from all walks of life who are searching for resources and insight. If you’re interested in attending or have any questions for Tchewa, his email is email@example.com.
Watering your inner garden and cultivating purpose is rooted in the holistic act of embracing yourself. This is, treating yourself with a tenderness but also a grip, like when you give all of yourself to a loved one in a truly meaningful embrace. We must try to soften our hearts to be open to whatever life gives us, even when it feels bad, because it all waters our inner garden and makes way for what is meant to grow.