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There are 12 zodiac signs. And they are grouped into four zodiac elements: Water, Air, Fire, and Earth. While anyone can be who they want to be, these astrology elements reflect the innate personalities of the zodiac signs under them. They affect our personality and behavior, for example, ways to reset when we need to. Constant rejuvenation too is important. In fact, the most ideal way is to regularly restore oneself and not necessarily wait for the cup to run empty.

So, how can you rejuvenate based on your element?

Water signs

Many people undoubtedly love the ocean. For a Water sign, going to the ocean is instinctive. As a Pisces, Cancer, and a Scorpio, you are likely to crave the waters when you want to press pause.

You feel the most refreshed when you around water bodies. Dipping in the sea, watching the waves hit your feet, or have an intimate picnic can leave you restored. If the thought of visiting a lake, sea, ocean, or a river as a weekend getaway crossed your mind, then this is an affirmation. Aside from being around water bodies, you also feel the most alive when you engage in deep emotional connections. Reconnecting with loved ones is that antidote.

Fire signs

Photo by @gwethphotography on IG/ courtesy

Adventure and spontaneity is the name of the fame for Fire signs. These are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

As a Fire sign, you are led by fiery passion, energy, and thrill. You are enthusiastic about hopping onto vibrant parties (well, small and safe) or go on a road trip to an unfamiliar place for the kick of it. Your aggressive and competitive nature makes extreme sports like bungee jumping, zip lining, paintball and mountain biking very much ideal for you. You would need to break monotony to recharge your soul. For a light activity over the weekend, you can also try out a new hobby. This can still surge adrenaline that would rejuvenate you.

Air signs

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Air signs are birds of the zodiac. These are Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.

You are a free thinker and thrive in nonconformity. For an Air sign, you enjoy a walk in the forest or a hike in the mountains to breathe the fresh air. While you can also bask in the morning sun at the ocean and go on road trips, these activities are driven by the need for some air. You will wonder at the blue waters and especially the vast, space above it that represents freedom. You are likely to enjoy opening the car windows when driving on road trips for airflow. Feeling the light breeze can be the best thing about that long drive for you. Apart from this, you can explore activities centered on creative freedom and mental stimulation. You love to go to see places that are rich in art like architectural sites, museums, and art galleries, or excite your mind by reading about things that are of interest to you.

Earth signs

Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash

We think that the Earth whispers its secrets to these signs. If there is anything about the Earth that the world is yet to know, we can ask a Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorns. These signs rejuvenate their best then they are close to the Earth. They are grounded, composed, and stable signs. For you who is one, familiarity and security are a big deal for you. These probably guide you when making choices, such as how to refill your cup. Self-care to you looks like going on a nature trail, a walk in the park, yoga at the beach, or sitting quietly by the falls. And if you would like to do a simpler activity, gardening at home is one of the things to consider.

It has been a long time since our last post and we missed you. We hope that you are living a blissful life full of ease and you are constantly restored. See you here. Happy Saturday!

Kamaliza Reads Library collects books by Black Women writers for people to read. Meet Rwanda’s first all-black women library.

You are going to find all kinds of books by Black women authors at the Kamaliza Reads Libray in Kigali, Rwanda. Named after a great female Rwandan female writer, some of the collections include books by Helen Oyeyemi, Toni Morrison and Nnedi Okorafor.

Sistah Circle Collective, a group of passionate women running it, describes the library as “radical, love and revolution.” They speak more about it, boldly.

What is the story behind the name, Kamaliza Reads?

SCC The library is named after an iconic Rwandan woman artist, the late Annonciata Mutamuriza (stage name Kamaliza).

Kamaliza is vital to the story of Rwanda, Rwandan women, and Rwandan art. As a woman who has helped us memorialize, materialize Rwanda’s liberation history through oral history, I think she challenges what we portray today as “theory”, which oftentimes silences or erases the important ways we document lives as Africans.

A number of things: what the library stands for, the choice of name, the books, and having this as a women-managed space are all correlated. There is some thought put into this.   

We wanted the name to match the politics of the library and be rooted in communal understandings of liberation. 

We also wanted the name to be a continuation of what we hope the library is doing- highlighting Black women and their work and lastly a name that challenges Western ways of knowing and producing knowledge.

Photo courtesy: Kamaliza Reads

Kamaliza’s voice echoes in the library in what ways?

SCC She reminds us that there are multiple ways of organizing, knowing, and creating knowledge. She reminds us how important African ways of knowing, rooted in Oral histories are valid and necessary.

That work produced through art- song, dance, painting, proverbs, stories, etc. are theory and deserve a space that doesn’t analyze them through the lens of whiteness.

She reminds us that when we go back to this (or works produced by us), we will always hear from our ancestors that we have always been here. And that’s the main take away from the name and this space- that we, Black women; cis, trans, queer folks, non-binary and GNC- we have always been here. 

What gap does Kamaliza Reads meant to fill?

SCC When growing up, some of us were avid readers, picking up any book, a comic, a novel, instructions on a box, anything. However, one thing we all have in common is that we didn’t relate too much to the stories we were reading. 

It’s only years later that picking up Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s or Yaa Gyasi’s book showed us we have always been reading other people’s stories. 

Photo courtesy: Kamaliza Reads

It is highly significant to read stories written for us, to see ourselves in book characters.

SCC Yes. There is a strong sense of confidence, love, peace, and relief that one feels when represented. Up until now, there are a few libraries in Rwanda, some of them not being easily accessible to all. 

These libraries do not have enough black women authored books. That was our motivation. For black girls to grow up reading about people that look like them, that talk like them, that feel like them and that live like them. For black women experiences to be documented and not left in translation like our ancestors’.

For black women’s works and stories to never be forgotten and/or erased. This is what primarily motivated us to set up an All Black Women Library and essentially make it easily accessible to all.

We just knew for the revolution to happen and be sustained, we had to have more people educated or politically aware. And there is no point at all in gatekeeping these resources.

Part of this work is to make sure we all understand the various issues at hand, how they are created, that is their histories, how they are maintained, and so on.

This is a powerful vision, how was that experience of bringing it to life?

SCC The initiative was dreamed of during the summer of 2019. 

Dreaming of a labor of love like this is work in itself. Putting it into words and then the action is another. It took time to fund-raise, we made a whole campaign for that via gofundme to get the first books we ever used. We fund-raised on socials and also during our free awareness events. 

Everything we do is community given. We made sure to communicate the vision of the library and encouraged folks to donate if they felt this was a project, they felt was necessary. We opened Kamaliza Reads in January actually—it’s funny a lot of people think it was launched in October. We just had to close down because of COVID-19 and then re-opened in a new location after spaces were allowed to reopen. 

Photo courtesy: Kamaliza Reads

How does the library operate, for instance in the collection of the books?

SCC The library operates on a community grassroots fund-raising way. Everything we have is donated by the community and those who support our community. 

The library space is donated by a Black woman and the books are donated or the money is. The time of the curators and volunteers is also donated. We wanted to make sure we could expand so we developed a way that borrowing would be accessible to most/ if not all. 

There is a sliding scale fee for borrowing a book (students and working folk friendly) and an option for a monthly subscription. You can also pay for (donate) someone else’s subscription to help flatten the curve. We recognize that even though the fee is low, it doesn’t mean everyone can afford it so we still want to be vigilant about that. 

The most someone can borrow a book for is a month (renewals are upon agreement). Again, we want to recognize that the library is run by young Black girls donating their time and are passionate and learning about feminist politics and all this is made possible through them.

What was the process like in collecting books?

SCC We made our book wish list available and made a book suggestion drive too so the books we planned to buy were displayed and if you wanted to donate some, you could. The money we got, we bought the books and shipped them to Rwanda with the help of friends and comrades of the collective. 

Another way we were able to get funds to buy books is through other community organizations fundraising for us. That support, to this day, melts our hearts. We also had collective members across the globe who were able to receive donations via shipment also easily. 

One thing for sure we wish was different and would make everything easier was if shipping wasn’t such a struggle. Sometimes, shipping a book costs 10 times the amount you buy it. So, when you think about it, it becomes such a loss. It’s for this reason we usually just do two shipments throughout the year. It helps us save on shipment and buy more books. 

Photo courtesy: Kamaliza Reads

What many more books do you have on the shelves? 

SCC Some books include Bell Hooks, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Chimamanda Ngozi, Buchi Emecheta, Ifi Amadiume and Oyeronke Oyewumi collections. 

We have poetry books ranging from Nayirrah Waheed to Upile Chisala, from June Jordan and Ntozake Shange to Sonia Sanchez, from Ijeoma Umebinyuo to Koleka Putuma, and so forth. 

We are also particularly keen on providing space for Rwandan women writers like Sylvie and Yvonne Mukasonga as well as Celine Uwineza. We are also thrilled to be able to offer Ni Nyampinga magazines for folks to read through as they are written for young Black Rwandan girls sharing a lot about the culture and the life they go through.

We have classics like “Sister Killjoy”, “I know why the Caged Bird Sings” and “So Long a Letter” by pioneering Black African women who we consider having paved the way for us today and work by Sylvia Tamale that continues to guide us in Black African feminism.

Why are these collections crucial at this time?

SCC They offer theory in various ways and offer us a way to start things about intersections between race, gender, class, colonialism, and sexuality among other things. We hope by doing this we can communicate that Black women everywhere have been theorizing- the songs, the books, the art- all of it is how we make sense of and name our experiences and that is important because it reminds us that we have always been here and we still are. 

We also want to start the conversation about global Black solidarity that is rooted in understanding first the political experiences of other Black women and then moving towards tangible support. Blackness and womanhood are plurals and we must construct and discuss it as such.

How has the community’s experience been when interacting with the library?

SCC When we opened in January, we were joined by so many wonderful people and we put on a panel discussion and an art performance.

We were amazingly surprised by how the community received it, wanted to be part of this moment and the love they intentionally poured onto the library. Not only did they support us when we launched but the community continues to show up. With our re-opening, we are thrilled that still and even more people are happy about it. Offering to donate books as well as stopping by the library to borrow some. It’s been a tremendous experience so far. And we’re hoping it only gets better from here as well.

What more books specifically do you wish to have at the library?

SCC We want to add more books about LGBTQIA folks in Africa by Black women and on disability. We want to add books that offer tools to start thinking critically on socio-economic class and class struggle.

We want to add more books in French and Swahili written by Black women through the feminist lens. Not everyone in Rwanda speaks English, you know. 

We would love to add more books about Haiti, Brazil, and Colombia as spaces that offer a lot of knowledge on race and gender and the history of the African. We want to be able to have developed genres; a section for young Black children (3-12 years).

It is important and we want books speaking to music as a space for knowledge production- speaking to Gakondo, reggaetón, jazz, blues, and so on, and locating women in them. We were only able to start with about 130-150 books, so we have so much room to expand. We want all the books.

What is your vision for Kamaliza Reads?

SCC We hope that we can grow Kamaliza Reads to where it becomes an integral part of our community. We hope schools in Kigali can use it as a resource for their students both high school and university students. Where students can use the books in the library to inform their projects and research. We are especially hoping that the library can grow and have at least branches outside of Kigali. 

Taking this project outside Kigali and maybe into schools in other provinces can allow for us to start having these discussions in spaces that are different and most in need and even train each other to grow this fire.

We hope we’ll continue to bridge the gap between Black women in Rwanda and the diaspora- that we will continue to bring the authors of these books to life and here in Rwanda. We, as Rwandan Black feminists and scholars and organizers have a lot to offer and we want to hear from Black women elsewhere too. 

Lastly, we hope it will also inspire Black Rwandan women to write because best believe it, we will always have a place for you on the shelf and will encourage the community to read what you have to say. And maybe expand to other countries like Kenya and Uganda, why not.

Thinking about what your next read is going to be? Author and editor Peter Ngila Njeri shares five reads worth considering. 

Peter Ngila Njeri takes daily evening walks. Sometimes long aimless strolls are all he needs to refresh his mind and see around the world. Other times he does with a book in his hand.

An author of “Changing the World While Changing Diapers” (co-written with Isabell Kempf) and an editor, Peter has been reading all his life. His primary goal of reading is to interact with different cultures. 

How does he pick a book?

“It depends on many things,” he said. “I am yet to read books I got in 2013. I still buy more. It is a bookish thing.”

While feeling stuck in the process of editing manuscripts of other writers, he reads a book. He reads diversely: books by African writers, classical to translated novels. 

Translations are his medium of reading around the world.

“I believe the world is bigger than English. There are many great books first written in other languages. Translations allow me to read those kinds of books,” he said. 

For all book lovers looking for the next read, Peter offers some of his best choices.

“House of Stone” by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma 

Describing it as one of the great books by a young writer, it centers on identity and history.

“It is one of those books which hooks you with its first sentence,” he states.” The plot goes back in time and back to the present moment. It was very multi-layered and gripping.”

After finishing reading the book, it had to take Peter two weeks before he could get to another one.

You can get it here- shorturl.at/iUZ36

“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves

It is a historical novel with multiple settings in the middle of a Spanish civil war. The book is set in Barcelona. It was while reading it that I discovered the city is also a character in the novel.

From its story, it shows the impact books can have on one’s life. This book has different points of view. 

It is like a book in a book, a book about books. Here- http://shorturl.at/dqRSV

“Kafta on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel

Peter read a borrowed copy of the book two years ago. One of the longest books he has ever read (615 pages), he did so in a week. The book has lots of dialogue and has elements of surreal. 

“It is a good choice to read in your lifetime. It is one of the books that has had people convinced that Haruki should win a Nobel Prize in Literature,” he says. 

Shop here- http://shorturl.at/pruxQ

“Under the Udala Trees” by Chinelo Okparanta

Terming it as a modern classic, Peter enjoyed its theme around sexuality because “sexuality is part of our identity as human beings.” 

He also loved the novel’s backdrop set during the Biafra War that took place in Nigeria in the 60s.

He also loved how Chinelo has employed the theme of tribal boundaries in the story.

You can get the novel here shorturl.at/tDSXY

“The Shadow District” by Arnaldur Indridason translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb

It is a historical crime novel set in “one of the most wondrous places in Iceland. The writer manages to move from the past to the present day. The characters of the present day affect the ones in the past.”

He looks forward to re-reading it.

Shop here: shorturl.at/xIVX0

Have you ever read translated books? Which ones were they?

The Nairobi art scene has become vibrant again. Sculptors, pencil artists, painters and photographers are back to creating and displaying pieces in galleries.

This was not the case in March. The pandemic affected the culture and arts industry. Galleries closed. Concerts and exhibitions were put on hold. Creatives then took up spaces digitally.

Picha Images presented the first virtual photo and art exhibition titled “Africa Covid Exhibition”. Installation artist Wambui Kamiru Collymore hosted #ArtistConversations on her Instagram page. Several art competitions were held.

Presently, physical exhibitions are now opening.

Recent exhibitions were Camille Wekesa’s “Lattice” at Red Hill Art Gallery. Michael Musyoka’s “Time and Other Constructs” at One Off Contemporary Gallery. Michael Soi and Thom Ogonga’s “Sex and the City IV” at Alliance Francaise. A pop -up exhibition at Village Market.

There are more this weekend. Here are some of the shows we can catch up on this weekend.

Boniface Maina: ‘Waiting, Watching, Wishing’

  • Where: Circle Art Gallery
  • When: October 28 to November 18, 2020

Boniface’s body of work explores changes to everyday life. For instance, the paintings portray his characters in bondage, desolate and helpless situations. Some move about while others sit on the floor with ropes tied around their bodies.

Paul Kariuki Munene: ’10|20|30′

  • Where: Alliance Francaise
  • When: October 8 to October 31, 2020

Paul has been documenting the live music scene in the past decade. Here, he presents a collection of 30 black and white photos of performances.

Some of the musicians captured are Achieng’ Abura, Juma Tutu, Makadem, Sauti Sol and Karun.

Then and Now

  • Where: One Off Contemporary Gallery
  • When: October 31 to Novermber 22, 2020

This group exhibition features 18 artists and it opens this Saturday.

The artists are Peter Ngugi, James Mbuthia, Simon Muriithi, Sophie Walbeoffe, Richard Kimathi, Bertiers, Camille Wekesa, Anthony Okello, Kyalo Justus, Mary Collis, Beatrice Wanjiku, Thom Ogonga, Peterson Kamwathi, Xavier Verhoest, Mandy Bonnell, Timothy Brooke, Syowia Kyambi and Patrick Mukabi.

Affordable Art Show

  • Where: Nairobi National Museum
  • When: October 30 to November 1, 2020

More than 125 pieces are on sale at this annual art display. You would be required to make an appointment for today’s visit or walk in any time without one during the weekend.

The Kenya Museum Society organized the event and the proceeds will go towards supporting the National Museums of Kenya.

Michael Soi: ‘No Country for Black Folk’

  • Where: Montague Contemporary, New York
  • When: October 16 to November 6, 2020

He explores different subjects such as racial injustices, xenophobia, economic disparity and corruption.

While this exhibition is physically displayed in another part of the world, you can see it online here https://www.artsy.net/show/montague-contemporary-michael-soi-no-country-for-black-folk

We wish you a fulfilling weekend!

Join us for our parent-child book club!

It is a place for young readers, parents and caregivers, and book lovers of all ages to meet, explore and discuss more children’s books.

Every month, one child will pick a book to be our Read of the Month. The rest of the children will also be invited to share their favourite reads too. Every child will have the chance to choose the reads for every month.

We will meet authors whenever possible, hopefully cultivate a deeper culture of reading in the children around us, and talk about their experiences.

Please sign up by using the subscription box on our homepage to receive updates.

Ideas are welcome as we find ways on how we can all converge and get to know one another, presently, online.

Happy reading!

Happy International Literacy Day!

It is such an exciting day for the world of books. This celebration is marked every September 8 across the globe to help spread awareness on the valuable impact of literacy. It also aims to pay attention to the issues that contribute to low literacy levels in communities.

Declared by UNESCO, the first celebration took place in 1967. And many decades later, this year’s theme is one of a kind, “literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

We can all play a part in promoting literacy in one way or another. Here are some of the ways to do so.

Review a book. You probably have opinions about a book you have read. How about sharing them?

Read to a child. Instilling a reading culture while they are young is impactful. 

Explore a genre that is new to you. Be curious about different genres. Try out science fiction, fantasy, autobiographical, political thrillers, satires, any genre you would not normally pick.

Promote a book. Sing praises about some of the books you truly loved reading. Give a shout-out to your favourite authors. 

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Read a book. Devour a chapter of a new book, re-read one of your favourite books, finish a book you love.

Recommend a book. Informing other readers about a book is likely to get some of them develop an interest in them. There are times that people do not know which other book to get next. Shared recommendations come in handy.

Donate a book to a library. Mukuru Library and Book Bunk which is restoring the three McMillan Memorial Libraries are accepting books. Look around to also see many other community libraries and individuals who are in need of books. 

Photo by @qu.lit / courtesy

Gift a book to your loved ones, to a stranger, to anyone. 

Buy a book

Start a book club. Virtual book clubs are becoming a thing now, it can still be successful whether you meet on Zoom or on social media. 

Begin collecting books. If this has been a dream hobby of yours, pursue it. Collect books for charity or for your own home library. Collect.

Photo by Alireza Kazemi on Unsplash

Reorganize your stack of books. Dust off your bookcase, rearrange the books in size, colour or any other form as you wish. Give it a facelift.

Support your local bookstore. You can do this by telling other people about the store, buying books and stationeries from the store, pre-ordering books and partaking in their activities such as hosted book clubs.

Amplify organizations that are centered on building literacy in our communities.

Build more awareness around books. Share about your experiences as a reader, benefits of reading, steps that need to be taken to promote literacy, and so on.

We would like to know, how are you going to celebrate the day? 

Ready to unwind? 

Get a cozy blanket. A book or a movie or your favourite playlist. Pour yourself a refreshingly spicy beverage. Not one in sight? Don’t worry, there is a menu that was prepared with you in mind.

Ruth Nzau is a mixologist from Nairobi Serena Hotel and founder of Raising the Bar.

She crafts drinks and delivers them to your doorstep. Herbs and spices are a fave in her mocktails and cocktails. Some of the crafted beverages are Sparkling Lemonade, Lime Lite and Zabibu Elizir.

If you would like to get any of the mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks) or cocktails, you can reach Ruth through 0790057001. The orders can be placed between 7am-7pm and delivered to you on the same day.

Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke
Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke
Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke
Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke
Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke
Photo courtesy: @raisingthebar_ke

Happy weekend!

Many bookworms believe that they need to own more books.

One who has a fully-stocked library at home and another who has just began to purposely collect reads that they love will both enthusiastically tell you that there are a lot more books they wish to hold.

And in the world that we are living in right now, a lot of people all over are picking up books from stores and getting lost in them.

If you are hoping to read or collect more books, how can you achieve that within budget?

Best deals on books

For the one who loves reading inspirational books, there is something for you. A good number of supermarkets in Kenya have special offers on self-help books which you can take advantage of.

Bookstores, too, have some of the great classics like Jane Austen’s, Charles Dicken’s, Niccolo Machiavelli’s that go for as much as KES 250-500.

Thrifted bookstores, anyone?

Photo courtesy of @halfpriced_books

We can tell that most readers love new books. The soft covers, the smells, the neat pages… it all makes sense. But there is also a fascination of the scent of ‘old’ books plus actually getting your favourite books on a good deal.

If this speaks to you, then you can visit Half-priced Books Store in Nairobi’s CBD for, really, half the price of a book! We can attest to the fact that most of their books look like they have never been read before. 

You can hardly find recently published books in thrifted bookstores, though.

Pick-of -the-month discounts

Several bookstores select a book of the month which also happens to be their book club read to promote a buying culture while building a community of readers. For instance, Text Book Centre.

This can be a time to get newly-published books at slightly lower prices.

Book exchanges

Photo courtesy of @gissellereads

For the one who is OK with lending out or borrowing books, you could start a book swapping agreement with the readers in your life.

This works well if your ultimate goal is to read books without necessarily owning them. What can help with this kind of arrangement is to discuss openly about the timelines everyone needs to return books, what books you all enjoy so that this benefits everyone involved, and so on.

Look out for book giveaways

Photo courtesy of @diversespines

Digital content creators occasionally partner with bookstores to give out books or even decide on their own to gift their online community. This can be another way to add to your collection.

You might be in luck!

Explore free eBooks

We can only encourage reading legally-downloaded free eBooks since writing books is an investment and piracy denies writers the opportunity to benefit from it.

It is difficult too to know which eBooks are pirated and which ones are not. One of the legitimized sites is Gutenberg.com. 

Go for low-priced versions

A lot of books have several print versions with different price tags. The first edition of a book can cost higher than its second or third or fourth edition. Paperbacks, hardcovers, e-Books and audiobooks differ in prices as well. Research on what is most convenient to you before making a purchase.

We would love to know, what tips do you use to get more books?

Have you ever heard of forest bathing?

Well, we first came across this concept several months ago. Yet when we think about it now, we may have been practicing forest bathing without identifying it as so.

With its origin in Japan, forest bathing or you can also call it Shrinkin Yoku, nature therapy or eco-therapy, simply means immersing oneself in nature. This self-care practice involves letting your senses guide you in your walk in the woods. And as you do this, pay attention to your physical and mental needs. What do you hope to achieve?

Photo courtesy of Caroline Abok

Some of the forest bathing activities can include jogging, reading, walking a dog, bike riding, walking barefoot (also known as grounding), skipping a rope, doing yoga, meditating, journaling, touching the trees and even doing nothing.

Just being surrounded by nature has many benefits. Plants and trees release phyntocides. When inhale the forest’s fresh air, we breathe in these chemicals which end up increasing a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells that prevent diseases and help speed up recovery of illnesses.

The smell of the forest and paying to attention to its surrounding reduces fatigue, blood pressure and production of the stress hormone, cortisol. It improves clarity, focus and sleep. Who wouldn’t want any of these?

Here are some of the places you can visit for a forest bathing experience.

Forests

Karura Forest /photo by Nafsi

The density of trees creates a calming effect. The good thing about forests such as Karura Forest is that it gives us a chance to explore different paths, spots and activities when visiting due to its expansiveness. Therefore if you decide to make this as part of your routine, and studies do show that regular forest bathing has a longer term effect.

Parks

Parks are quiet. You will only hear natural sounds like birds chirping or leaves rustling.

We are therefore excited that parks in Nairobi are being restored. Kenya Forest Service renovated Michuki Park which is going to be opened to the public soon while City Park is currently renovated.

Animal parks are ideal places too.

At home

Photo by GRÆS Magazine on Unsplash

Definitely in our homes too.

You can invite the forest into your home by growing indoor plants. Hanging paintings or photos of trees on your walls can also create that same effect. You can watch videos about forests too.

Discover groves in your neighbourhood too. This makes the natural form of forest bathing more accessible. It can support your visits to the forest or parks.

Have you ever tried forest bathing? Where do you go? Do let us know in the comments below.

If you are waiting for a perfect time to live abundantly, what if we tell you that this very moment is ideal?

We have been conditioned to think that we need to attain something great to be worthy of abundance. What if you are told that you can start doing so right away? As it has been made to look, abundance is not a destination but an endless journey. It is a conscious choice to recognize that you have everything that you need at all times, and in plenty.

Author of “The Secret” Rhonda Byrne puts emphasis on the need to foster a culture of gratitude and giving to create abundance. By practicing the two, you are instantly tuned into the flow of abundance and thus you attract more of what you want in life.

This belief system was reaffirmed by Centonomy founder Waceke Nduati and Africa Uncensored CEO & co-founder John Allan Namu at Centonomy’s open day held this past Saturday in Nairobi. The event, focusing on financial abundance, set off reflections about money. The two speakers described it as a conviction that there are opportunities of wealth creation and that what you have right now is sufficient even as you make steps to improve your finances.

Hold positive thoughts about money

John-Allan recollected how painful it was to him to see his widowed mother struggle to pay for his high school education. It changed how he viewed money. As an adult, John-Allan recently enrolled into Centonomy’s personal financial management course. As much as he followed everything he learned in class, he was unable to live abundantly.

“I grew up being scared of debt. I would do anything to get out of debt including taking more debt,” he disclosed.

Accepting that it was a difficult process, the award-winning investigative journalist told the audience that he has conquered his fear just the other day by shifting his mindset. There were five other speakers who shared their journeys at the event. They offered these tips to financial abundance.

Write down your vision and goals in BIG LETTERS

Having your financial goals in capital letters and setting clear deadlines can give you optimum focus. You can then break them down into small daily goals. You can also establish prudent money habits such as accounting for the money you spend using money management apps, having a meal plan, cutting down on expenses, avoiding impulse buying, digging through the most profitable investment and saving options available, and so on.

Maximize on opportunities

If you intently look around, you will see that there are opportunities around you that can help you grow your income. Focus on your strengths, talents and gifts. Seeing what you have right now is empowering. See the opportunities within your reach and stretch your hand even further.

Author and founder of Living Effectively Mentorship Program, Douglas Waudo, encouraged the audience to also implement new ideas of wealth creation.

Be willing to make sacrifices

Media personality and author of “My First Time” Janet Mbugua narrated her story of how she had to make several sacrifices years ago so that she could own a piece of land within a period of six months. One of the decisions were saying no to engagements that needed her to reach for her wallet.

“Sacrifice. Something has got to give to reach any goal. Make peace with those who will not understand the season you are in. I have had to cut back on attending events and cut off some friendships for me to be able to save,” she said.

Other sacrifices mentioned at the event were carrying your own food to work, sticking to a budget, cutting back on unnecessary expenses and grooming yourself at home. The other speakers included s creenwriter, content creator and singer Wanjiru Thiong’o, influencer manager Vanessa Ndinda, and Elsie Akoo, a nutritionist.