Happy New Year!
I know what you're thinking....Sunnee, it's 2 weeks into 2021...where have you been?! I know, I know! I think I'm still recovering from 2020 and absolutely celebrating with everyone else that 2020 is over!
Here at Sew Mukwano, we are so excited for 2021! We have open arms, open minds and a big ole open heart for what this year has in store & especially for what we are working on accomplishing. Hard work makes the dream work! Our focus this year is to get 1,000 Empowered! Kits to 1,000 girls in Uganda, empowering these girls with proper tools for menstruation management and reproductive health education- a huge feat we believe together we can make it happen.
Another project we are working on is getting our Mukwano Leadership training program virtual! Yes, we are launching soon our online course that will train reproductive health leaders who will be able to facilitate our Mukwano Talks seminars so that conversations on reproductive health education can still happen in local schools and communities in Uganda continuously. We are so excited about this and cannot wait to get this going! WOO-HOOO!
While this is all so exciting, we realize we are still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, making it difficult to travel. Sew Mukwano leadership are working on getting back to Uganda as soon as possible while still using wisdom. I know that the doors will open at the right time and it will be coordinated perfectly. For now, much like last year, we work from afar and do what we can with where we are (we are still planning a 2021 trip, all welcome).
Even though last year had its challenges (this year will have them, too), I wanted to encourage you to keep going. Be creative and shift your perspective. If you feel stuck or frustrated that things aren't going 'your way' (uggh I know), remember, you are always in control of how you react in any situation, yes even in the middle of a year-long pandemic. Sometimes the best, most pivotal and meaningful growth spurts happen when we least expect it or when we simply start looking at things in a new way.
Here are a few ways that have helped me shift my focus and keep things in perspective, even when I feel out of control:
1. Get Really Uncomfortable.
Go do something that makes you rethink things, something that takes you out of your routine daily activities and makes you uncomfortable. Long walks/runs, going out to eat alone, volunteering, writing about something difficult, explore a new place or town. Just doing something you normally wouldn't do can really give you anew perspective on things, clear your mind and help create a new slate.
Can I tell you something? There are a lot of things around your house that you do not need and figuring out things to keep around or what to get rid of can help you keep focused on what's important. Pick a room/closet/cupboard/drawer/etc, and part ways with that you don't use! Need inspiration? Go watch a few episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. I promise you'll want to give everything you own away, in the best way possible of course. Caution...JOY will spark ; )
3. Give Back.
Just be a giver! One of my favorite quotes is "Find a need and fill it." This has inspired me in any leadership role I've been in and has helped me to keep focused on the bigger picture: it's not about me. It's about others. Open your eyes to what's going on around you and be available to just give what you have to fill needs around you. Give your time and volunteer at a local charity. Give up your daily/weekly cup of coffee and donate to an organization close to your heart instead. Make up 'blessing bags' that are kept in your car and hand them out when you see people in need in your community. Buy someone lunch who maybe just needs a friend and spend time listening. Ask someone how you can show up for them. Send a card (yes a handwritten card) to a friend. Pick up your phone and CALL a friend/family member you haven't spoken to in a while (no texts). You never ever know who you are touching or what need you are filling why just saying yes and giving of yourself. I can promise there are so many needs around you to fill!
Out of all of the ways you can shift your perspective, this is by far my favorite. Prayer shifts our focus on selfish matters onto what ultimately matters-Jesus Christ. It offers us the opportunity to cast our cares in Him who cares for us, and rest knowing that He's taking care of everything while bringing glory to Him. I know it's very hard for me to pray without coming from a place of thanksgiving, even if I am upset or facing difficulties. That alone is enough to change my whole perspective and get me looking at the right thing!
I hope you feel encouraged this new year. I hope you grow as you are challenged and welcome with a big smile everything that comes your way!
founder, sew mukwano
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just for fun! Me (sunnee) in 2010, landing in Entebbe, Uganda for my first time!