God ALWAYS Has a Word

Three weeks ago when I wrote my last blog. God had reminded me about the constancy of His goodness. Two days later my second mom, mentor, counselor, ardent supporter of all my dreams, and the pastor of my church died…suddenly. Ever since, I have been in a thick fog. I have not felt pain this excruciating in decades. Grieving for me has manifested in physical pain. I can pray for and encourage others, but my soul is stubborn in its refusal to be comforted.

I have been trying my best to process this enormous weight of grief as best as I can. Immediately before that I had been intentional in my pursuit of intimacy with God. Consequently, I was soaking in worship, prayer and the word. It had been some time since I had tuned in to some T. D. Jakes’ messages. Nevertheless each day I would go to YouTube and there would be a message that was the word I needed that day. Since mom’s passing, I haven’t listened to any sermons really. I have been trying to worship and pray but honestly it has been much of a struggle. Irritability and depression knock persistently on my mind’s door. Yes, I am not grieving as one without hope, but I am still grieving. The good thing about grieving is that it forces you to look within yourself. We start to clean house and during the immediacy of it, we think of all the things we must do to ensure that when that moment comes for us, everything is in order. The bad thing about grieving is that it forces you to look within. We begin to overthink, overanalyze, isolate and we are on edge because nothing makes sense.

This morning I posted a snippet about discerning your season. I reminded myself and you Cerebrites, that if there is a season that means there is an end. After I encouraged everyone, I was still struggling with a particular thing. I decided it was in my best interest to stop thinking about it, talking about it and praying about it. Thankfully God has a word. And yes sometimes my mind is bordered by an impermeable membrane and as such nothing can enter by passive diffusion or osmosis. Active transport doesn’t work either (Yes I am a nerd and I am proud of my nerdiness). However, God has a word. He always has the right word and the right mechanism by which to get the word inside of us.

So here I am about to cook and I decided to go to YouTube and lift my spirit with some worship. God had other plans, He positioned the word that He wanted me to hear, right at the top. And yes, it was another T. D. Jakes message. He was talking about discerning your season and reminded me that no matter how long the season seems or is, there is an end. In fact he titled the sermon “God Knows When!” It was almost as if God was saying, since the video you saw earlier this week on instagram about right timing, the very snippet I inspired you to write, nor the conversations you had this morning haven’t gone through. Let me open up this impermeable membrane and place a channel in it, then get the word in. Upon the completion of the message my only reaction was, you know, God, You always have a word. When I finished cooking and got ready to do this blog, I got it in my heart that not only does God always have a word…He always has the right word. In my fog I had forgotten all the seeds of encouragement He had been planting in my soul, day after day after day for almost two weeks. Pain will cause you to forget a lot of things. All you keep focusing on is how much it hurts. There is pain and then there is pain. The kind that eradicates your focus and drive. The kind that sends you spiralling regardless of how strong your faith is. The kind of pain that no amount of the most potent analgesic can anaesthetise. But, as God reminded me today, let me remind you, He has a word for your pain. The right word!

Will you allow Him to speak that right word over your mind, soul, body and life?


P.S. Our second blogi-versary is only a few days away. The competition is still on. However, there will be no live on instagram. Instead I will post a video announcing the winner, if there is one, along with some other things I can hardly wait to tell you.

The Constancy of God’s Goodness

Hey everyone. Yes, I know it has been a long while since you all have heard from me. So many things have been happening but I am still here. Life has been such where I’ve not really been feeling too inspired to blog and if it’s not authentic I am not going to write. I do not believe in writing just to say I have posted something. I have to connect to what I write. So here we are today…24 days from the second anniversary of this blog!

This year one of my aims has been to intentionally pray more, praise more and read the Bible more. So yes I have my morning quiet time and yes we have Sunday school and other church related services. However, outside of those prescribed, predictable, prescheduled moments, I wanted to meet up with God spontaneously. So maybe give up something else, or rearrange my very busy to-do-list to have some more one-on-one time with God. That my friends is the source of today’s inspiration to blog.

Before I pray, I like to worship. I use that time to remind myself, and my problems, about the God to Whom I am about to pray. And yes, sometimes I have a list of things, sometimes there is warfare, sometimes persons have asked me to pray and the list could go on ad infinitum in describing the myriad of requests that we all take to God. Nonetheless today was different. Something shifted today. As I was listening to this group to which I had never listened before, they were singing a well known song about God’s goodness.

I sat frozen at my desk…suddenly nothing else mattered, because in that moment, I became increasingly aware that God is good. I know you might be saying “really Gaye-Leon? Really!!” But indulge me for a moment. It is so cliche for us to talk about God’s goodness. If I should say to you now, “God is good”? You would respond with “all the time”. And then I could say “all the time” and you would say “God is good”. But have we ever really sat down and pondered upon the fact that God is good? Have we thought about how constant His goodness is? People change. Circumstances change. But God? He doesn’t. Neither does His goodness. It doesn’t get more goodness-y or less goodness-y.

When was the last time that you really reflected upon the constancy of His goodness? Yes we have problems. We have good, joyous, bliss-filled moments and we have really heart-rending, gut-wrenchingly, devasting moments. But in those two situations God is good! Nothing changes His character. Our sin doesn’t. Our genealogy doesn’t. Our careers don’t. Nothing at all changes the fact that God continues to always be good. He cannot but be good. Even when He allows things that are not good, He is still good.

I was moved to tears! I cried because sometimes in the heat of the battles we face in life, we forget that God is good. And that His goodness endures to all generations. That His faithfulness is great and that His mercies are new every morning. So you might be enduring a tough time right now, and you are hurt, confused, uncertain and a plethora of other things. But I came to remind you that God is good! He will always be good. I pray that this reminder will comfort your heart today and strengthen you to continue enduring. Or, maybe you are not “enduring” per se. Maybe you are in a good season. A season of abundance. Remember still, that God is good!

I tell you, it is not that I have been having inner turmoil and I am deeply depressed per se. Today was just different. I didn’t end up praying today. I ended up crying and thanking God as I repeated over and over, God You are good. God You are good. God You are good! God You are ALWAYS good!

May we never forget that.

So, will you pause and think about [the constancy of] God’s goodness?


P.S. Don’t forget to enter our second blog-iversary competition on instagram! We have some great prizes that we really want to give away to you all. Competition ends April 29, 2022 and the winner will be announced during our live on April 30, 2022!

Factory Reset

Whenever we are having a technological issue, after trying a myriad of problem solving techniques, as a last resort, we are often told, “well, back up your information and do a factory reset”. Why? A factory reset renders the device as basically new. It wipes everything as though you had not installed the zillion aps, downloaded a plethora of documents and so on. At the end of last year, I was beyond burnt out and exhausted but, you know me, I kept on going. However, I decided that in addition to the routine tests I normally get done for my annual physical exam, I would do some specialized tests just to see if there was anything more to the extreme exhaustion. When my EKG (ECG) came back abnormal, it was a bit jarring. I was not expecting that. Blood work was fairly normal as nothing pointed to anything cardiovascular or endocrine. An echocardiogram was done out of an abundance of caution and that too came back normal. So I asked the Lord to help me rest. To take some time away and rest. In verity, one of my focus words for this year is REST.

Unknown to most persons, I started the new year in a bit of depression. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I spent most of the day crying and sleeping. To my family, they probably thought I was tired…and I was. I don’t normally sleep in nor for extremely long hours, so when I do, I am usually resting and they usually leave me be. So, they did what they would normally do thinking I was okay. I had even decided to cancel doing our Snippets! But God! Encouragement came from a coworker who is also a friend. She reminded me that I wasn’t a failure and that there was nothing to worry about…I often think I am failing at life in spite of all the things that are going well and whatever success has found me. However, I said to the Lord, I need a factory reset. I am going to “back up” all that You’ve downloaded into me during the last two years, and trust me, it has been a lot. If you know me well, you know the growth that has happened. I told Him, Lord, I need a factory reset as only You can fix the intangible things in me that not even I truly know need fixing. I asked Him to choose what and who needed to be removed from my life and when. I asked Him to permanently fix some things that I have been struggling with. I decided I was going to go silent as I allow God to work in His own timing…to go silent and refocus. I did not put a timeline on it…so I did not know how long it would take.

So here is what has been happening thus far:

  1. I have been more focused on building myself and my brand QUIETLY. I realise that I have been speaking way less to everyone. So stay tuned for all the things that will come this year (I don’t even know some of them as yet! But I am expectant).
  2. I have been taking better care of myself, even if that means I am posting less regularly on all my social media pages. I know that a part of my calling involves encouraging persons but God gives wisdom. Sometimes I am tired because I am giving too much to others and not enough to myself. This contributes to my negative thoughts and feelings of failure.
  3. I have been accepting that I cannot be all things to all people. It is an important acknowledgement to make. As such this year has been designated as my “selfish year”. A year to prioritize some things that I have long wanted to do. A year to take calculated risks and reap the rewards. A year to be bold and do what needs to be done. A year where I am venting less and declaring the results I am anticipating even when it seems like it will never manifest. Waiting on God is never easy. Knowing the promise is never enough. Yes it is hard to see people who didn’t even have the desire for certain things be granted the very things you have been desiring for what seems like all eternity. It is only by God’s grace, living by His Word and a steadfast focus on Him that will allow anyone to endure waiting…to keep serving as you wait…to keep living as you wait…to remain encouraged as you wait.
  4. I have been coming to terms with my ever growing to do list which seems like something is always running over to the next day, or week, or month. Life happens! And it happens to all of us! We won’t always get to smash the goals in the timeline we want to. We won’t always manage to check everything off. However, were you productive? Did you eat well? Sleep well? Have me time? Was your day balanced? Did you stop to check in on loved ones? Did you go outside, away from your screen and just breathe? Even if it was for a second?
  5. I have accepted who I am and I have accepted that not everyone will treat me as I have treated them. I have also accepted that I am a fallible human being who will inevitably hurt people and be in need of their forgiveness. And the same alacrity with which I want to be forgiven, I must forgive. I have decided to just remove the walls and love people. I cannot love God and not love people. However, it does not mean that I don’t have boundaries. And yes, proverbially, I have been given some baskets in which to carry water, and I have decided to carry the water. I will not patch the baskets, I will not try to make it waterproof, and I will certainly not spend time trying to convince you that it isn’t worth it. Whatever water you get when I arrive, that is what you get. Simple.
  6. I am learning that sometimes people rejecting you can be a blessing. Especially if you struggle with codependency. God will make situations uncomfortable for you to leave. Leave! Walk away! He wants you to realise that you truly don’t need anyone and He doesn’t need any assistance. He will get the glory out of it and you will be better for it. Your relationship will be much better and you will learn to hear, see and feel Him more.
  7. I have decided to declare that this year has already been successful. There are people who will walk out of my life and I will walk out of some persons’ lives. There are doors that used to be open that will close and vice versa. My best friend today (I have none) might become my biggest enemy in a month or two. The person I thought I would marry ( I am not dating anyone) might turn out to be”the best thing I never had”. What was good in last season might become disastrously dangerous in this season. And so on and so forth. However, regardless of what has happened, is happening, will happen, I will live by God’s Word therefore my success is guaranteed and it is well with and for me (thanks Pastor…as much as I dislike preaching, you always assign me the message I need to hear…well not you but…you get the point).
  8. Lastly and possibly most importantly, I have decided to be intentional about my speech and my thoughts. I was always a realistic person. Always believed that things will find a way to work themselves out. I always believed that God had a way out and I was always determined. There is nothing I could not do once I put my mind to it. Life happened and I gave up hope…not on God but everything started being coloured negatively. I could no longer see the good in people or the things around me. I have decided to let that perspective go. Who I am is exactly that…I am the same realistically optimistic, driven, determined, person God created me to be. Life cannot takeaway the innate purpose related characteristics that God has firmly planted in me. I might not always see what everyone sees in me but even when I can’t I refuse to believe otherwise now. It is time to really walk in that which I am called. Time to let go of the things from my past that I allowed to define me for years. Time to free up myself to receive all that God is waiting to give me. Time to become all that He says I am.

So, are you in need of a factory reset? You don’t have to wait until the year is starting over. You don’t have to try many things first. God longs to have us see ourselves as He sees us. He longs for us to be free from the opinion and validation of others and to be satisfied knowing that He will not fail us. It will not be easy but we just have to be willing to try. Will you try today? What are some of the things that you need Him to fix? What do you need to “back up” before He starts the reset? What have you been learning so far during your reset?


It is Almost the End of Another Year, so What?

It is almost the end of another calendar year. It has gone by so quickly and so slowly. There is much flowing through my mind as quite a bit has changed. I am certain that we all can agree that one way or another, we have changed this year. For example this year I officially became a business owner, check out the website here. I also had the most number of students ever for a semester of tutoring. I could go on listing a lot of things; but not all the changes were positive or easy. Persons have died, yes people die every year, but it seemed to hit home more for me this year. In verity, it would seem to me that I felt things more viscerally this year. I am not quite sure why. Ultimately, what I can say is that the person who started January 2021 is not quite the same in December 2021.

As the holiday season draws ever so near, some of us will be with loved ones and others of us will not. Some of us will dread spending time with family as we will be reminded of all that we are not and others of us will enjoy being in the company of persons who love and cherish us the way we are. We are awash with a plethora of differing emotions, good, bad and in between during the holiday season. However, I want you to really take some time away from the hustle and the bustle and assess yourself. How did you do with your goals this year? Did you look at them after you set them? Did you overshoot? Why did you miss? How did you meet them and at what cost?

Every new year we plan and we make resolutions; some of us will be doing vision boards. Have you consulted the Lord as yet as to what to include? Or, will you like every other year just make the plans based on whatever whimsical thought crosses your mind? What do you want to do differently? And how will the changes that have happened to you, or that you’ve created, affect those plans?

I know I am asking more questions than I am writing to inspire. I guess it is because these are the things that are on my mind. I have grown increasingly quieter this year. I have spoken a lot less about everything to just about everyone. I don’t know if it is either good or bad. I really don’t know and it doesn’t matter. We know that as we grow older the things that are important to us will change . Some things that we used to do, we just stop doing and sometimes we don’t even know why. This year I have questioned a lot of my previously held beliefs, modus operandi and so much more. I believe we have all been pressure tested in many ways. As we hope to live to see the end of this year and the beginning of another; as we plan, dream and envision; as we continue to grow and learn more about ourselves; let us not forget some things:

  1. If God is for you, no one can be against you. However, a big however, being in the wil of God is not always easy nor is it always pleasant.
  2. Don’t give up! Sometimes it is hard to continuously wait on things for which you have been working so hard and so long. Nonetheless, the next piece of the puzzle could be the one that unleashes everything for which you’ve been waiting. I know it sounds cliche and I wish that I could tell that I have supporting empirical evidence but I don’t. I just know that we have to keep pushing, and we cannot give up, as long as we are certain that this is what we should be doing in this season. Also remember to wait on God, not on the things you are anticipating nor the people around you. Misplaced expectations are our greatest source of disappointments.
  3. Rest and live. Take time to breathe. Find a way to just ease your mind. It doesn’t fix the circumstances but it gives you an opportunity to refuel, regroup and move forward. I liken these types of respite to a neurosurgeon cutting a small square out of the skull to ease the pressure on a swollen brain by giving it more space. We all need a breather every so often; and these don’t have to be expensive.
  4. Love people from a distance when necessary. We cannot force anyone to love us with the same intensity with which we love them. We should also understand that people can only love based on how they were loved until they learn otherwise. Some people have been so crushed in life that even when good friends and true love find them, they cannot recognize it because they only know hurt. However when you do decide to love, don’t just love when it is convenient. Don’t just buy expensive, meaningless things to cover up your wrongdoings. Really love! Really love the persons and not just at Christmastime but all year round. Love knowing that you will be hurt through miiscommunication and misunderstandings and sometimes down right spitefulness. Love knowing that there is no loving without being prepared to forgive.
  5. Plan knowing you cannot anticipate nor plan for every single thing. And that is a good thing! Be patient with yourself, you are human. There will always be someone who knows more than you, can do that thing better than you, and so on. If everyone was exactly like you, the world would be a boring place and many things would go unaccomplished, regardless of how talented you are.

Lastly, thank you. Thank you for spending another year of your lives reading whatever I write. Thank you for supporting me through buying branded merchandise. Thank you for trusting me to tutor you or your loved ones and with your academic papers. Thank you for letting me into your minds and for sharing my writings. We don’t know what the next year will bring. Maybe I will write more, maybe I will write less. Who knows? We plan but we are never fully certain if the next year will be the year when everything falls into place. However, we are people of realistic optimism. We are hopeful and so we plan with that knowledge. Speaking of planning…

Have you bought our 2022 Cerebral GW Planner as yet?


Constantly Evaluate Your Inner Circle

I did not wake up this morning with the intention to do a blog or podcast; however, when the inspiration comes you have to move with it. By the way, did you catch the big announcement? Everything that I do can now be found on my personal website. Yes! This has been a huge step outside of my comfort zone but when whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram all went down yesterday, I was comforted in knowing you all can still reach out to me. So yes, learn more about me and what I do by visiting my website.

This morning’s snippet said “Those in the innermost part of your circle can be your greatest source of attack during spiritual warfare if you all aren’t careful.” Please do not read into this what I am not saying. I am not saying that all of the people in our inner circle are out to get us. We also have to realise that the people in our inner circle are exactly that – people. They are flawed human beings who were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. They are people who are undergoing their own personal development processes with their own baggages and hurts. This is not an excuse for their behaviours but a context within which to view and understand their actions. We’ve all been on the receiving end of betrayal and hurt from people closest to us. However, we are equally guilty of allowing ourselves to be the agents of hurt to those closest to us. There is absolutely no room for self righteousness here and that also has to be balanced out by righteous indignation for wrongdoing.

When you think about your inner circle there are often layers to even that small subsection of friends and family. You will discuss the more intimate details of your life with the closest of the close. Jesus had many followers, but then He called unto Himself a set of disciples and within that set of close followers there was the group of three. We could even say that of the three, there was the “one whom Jesus loved” – just ask John. It was one of the close disciples who betrayed Jesus and one of the inner circle members who denied Him, not once but three times. I am running ahead of myself and that is because the thoughts are coming faster than I am able to process and type.

Your inner circle has the most information about you: they know you! They know where you are coming from, they know where you are currrently and they know enough about your future plans. We have to have confidantes and accountability partners but these people to whom we are vulnerable, are susceptible to being used by the enemy of our souls to derail us. We have to constantly evaluate them. We have to keep each other in check. We have to remember that we are all humans and we all need to live at the feet of Jesus being constant in prayer and the Word. And even then sometimes we still mess up. We speak something too soon or we say something hurtful or we, singlehandedly, derail each other’s plans. We [un]wittingly sow seeds of discord and cultivate ill repute even amongst siblings, friends and coworkers. I think we severely underestimate the power of our words to kill or to create, to hurt or to heal.

No one wants to think of their famly and best friends as their enemy. I am not necessarily saying that you should either. Discernment is a very important spiritual skill to hone because when the attacks happen, we need to understand what is going on. Sometimes people are used and they don’t even know they are being used! However, at other times they are deliberately leaving themselves susceptible to being used. They delight in seeing you hurt because there is just a smidgen of jealousy or hatred there. Sometimes they are aware of their hatred and other times they are not. Remember they are carrying their own unresolved issues – although it is no excuse for their behaviour.

When the hurt comes from within our inner circle, the pain is so great that we forget that we have done the same thing before and are liable to doing so again. We forget that it could really be unintentional. All we see and feel is hurt that, if we are not careful will spring up into a root of bitternes. We say like David “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company” (Psalm 55:-12-14 KJV). In those moments rifed with pain we forget that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood and that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (Ephesians 6:12 & 2 Corinthians 10:4 respectively). We can only think of praying imprecatory prayers, and do not get me wrong, there is a place for that but our first response should be a prayer of mercy and forgiveness. We forget that the spirit of offense is always lurking with its confederate the spirit of rejection. Together they set out to destroy meaningful relationships. Truthfully, all relationships require a measure of vulnerablity, the more intimate the association the greater the vulnerabilty required. This will cause you to be more susceptible to hurt and in turn requires you to work more diligently to avoid same and to quickly, and with emotional intelligence, make the requisite amends when that is the most appropriate thing to do.

When the relationship must come to an end, it can be difficult. And sometimes it is not that we have to completely cut off the person(s), maybe we just have to gradually distance ourselves, whether for a time or permanently. As my good friend D says, when people show you who they are you can either continue in the same manner, or adjust to the new information you have received. This same friend also seems immune to offense. Nothing bothers this person. Absolutely nothing. We have to get to that place where the spirit of offense cannot take root in our lives…it really does eliminate a lot of the emotional stress. This doesn’t mean that you should resort to being cold and narcissistic. Everything in balance!

Whatever happens, let love be the key factor. Take the time to process your emotions in a safe space before making whichever decision is necessary. Sometimes reconciliation can happen after a period of separation. Do not be ignorant of satan’s devices nor his schemes. Know who the real enemy is and most importantly stay connected to the Source.

So, will you periodically evaluate your innercircle? Will you work towards eliminating the spirits of offense and rejection out of your lives? When the attacks come will you try to view them objectively? Lastly, what are you waiting for to go and visit our website and let me know what you’d like to see added over there?


Focus more on the Promise Giver and less on His Promises

Hi lovelies! It has been a while since I have written a blog but I have not forsaken you all. In fact, I have been working on something that will be announced on Whatsapp, Instagram and Linkedin, in a few days! I am sooo excited for this big announcement! Anyhoos that is not what I am here to write about today.

Oftentimes, we receive a promise from God and we begin to obsess about the promise to the point of idolizing it and, forgetting all about the One Who made the promise in the first place. I am so guilty of this! We obsess and obsess and then when it doesn’t manifest how we perceive in it in our obsession, we are disappointed because God “failed us”. Oh, I must not have heard correctly we lament. God, why are You moving so slowly? Or God, You are late we cry in despair! And sometimes when we pester God, He goes silent on us! And then we bemoan how far away from us He is. But is it really Him or us? I reckon it is us!

When God gives us a promise, occasionally He will also confirm that promise to us. What do we do? Yes we are human and it is only natural to want to know the details, especially if you are detail oriented. However, some of us, self included, need to know the minutia within the details…we are frankly overbearing! Thankfully God is not like man. We want to know when exactly will this promise be fulfilled and how we are to prepare ourselves to receive it. We want to know what signs we should be looking for as we wait for it. We want to know who our destiny helpers are to help us manifest this promise and we want to know who God will use to bring it to pass. We want to know the timing of every aspect of it down to the second! We want to know so badly that we convince ourselves that we need to know and that God needs to tell us what we need to know, right now. Who do we really think are we?

The audacity of us!

God is Omniscient and He wants and only gives His best for and to us! We say we trust God yet we try every which way to make things work. Don’t get me wrong, we must marry to our faith, works but there is an equation. There is a certain amount of work that must go with the faith for manifesation to happen. In our working we must rest, especially when God is gracious to us and gives us multiple confirmations. We must be sensitive to know and understand when it is that He is giving us a confirmation. We must hold those dear to our hearts yet not put them above Him. Our expectations must be of the Promise Giver and not the promise. When He reminds you of His promise, smile knowing that He hasn’t forgotten because He does not have the ability to forget. Smile instead of focusing on the frustation of having to wait a little longer. God created time and therefore He is not not confined to it. He doesn’t see time the way we do. So when He whispers to us “soon”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be later today or tomorrow. Instead. let us wait well. Let us continue believing. Let us continue rejoicing and echoing those advanced praises. Let us continue to be mindful and sensitive. Let us continue to allow Him to prepare us to receive that which He has promised us.

I would be unrealistic to say oh, just be happy all the time and it will be fine. We are humans! It is okay to get frustrated. It is okay to get discouraged. However, in those moments we need to assess why we are having those emotions then refocus our attention, where it ought to be. So, tell me something:

Do you promise to focus more on the Promise Giver and less on the promises given? Will you be checking our social media pages for the big announcement?


Covid-19 times – Profit or Complain! (Part 2)

As promised, the second major source of information for me on this leg of my investment journey is from the Brick Boss himself Randy Rowe! Ummm, I am honestly not sure where to start! In a previous post I mentioned telegram groups which discuss investments. When I joined Devrhoid Davis‘ group, I had a lot of questions. From there on out, two persons mentioned Randy’s class. They were so convinced of the difference it would make that one person referred me to Randy resulting in him giving me a discount, and the other person paid the balance of the cost for the class. Now, this a paid thing that is worth every penny! The classes are called GRWR and there are both beginner and advanced versions. What exactly does GRWR (pronounced grower) mean? Get Rich With Research! Yaassss! We are all happy with the ‘get rich’ part but not so keen on the ‘with research’ part right? Well this is work that gets your money to work for you. Once you get it it is pretty simple. And would you look at that, I am already getting ahead of myself!!

So, where can you find all these things and what are some of the available perks? Everything is on his website – EveryMickle! The Earnings Season Podcast that he does with Danhai Hall, Blog posts, GRWR registration and GRWR Grads subscription. And I can hardly wait to tell you about My Money Ja and the Every Mickle Calendar!!

If you only have a few minutes, then that won’t cut it for the hours long, information packed, tangential podcast. I am still trying to catch up! This is not a podcast that you can listen to in the background. Nope! This podcast demands your full attention, your beverage of choice, note taking capacity and the time to pause and replay. No hyperbole was used in describing the podcast. In addition to finding it on the website, you can find the podcast on major podcasting apps and YouTube. The blogs are written by various contributors who are all investment and finance savvy (David Rose aka the Data Dacta big up yourself!!) and are available for viewing directly from the website.

The beginner GRWR class teaches you the basics needed to properly research any company on any stock exchange. The methodology taught is simple yet profoundly effective. It is applicable whether you are holding for the long haul or looking to make a quick flip. It is relevant whether this is your first stock purchase or your zillionth. Many of us continue to use this and win big time. Yes sometimes you don’t quite get the result you are looking for, but isn’t that the nature of any genre of research? People literally use this method and make the equivalent of their monthly salaries each month and outperform the stock market! Knowledge is one thing, applying the knowledge and making the investment (monies paid for the class) work for you is another. Once you’ve completed the beginner course you are a GRWR Grad. Yaaaaaay! What next? Well, you have 2 choices. You can do advanced GRWR courses as you’d like or become a GRWR Grad subscriber. Either way the courses all happen monthly and are often in the latter half of the month. The beginner course can be done in 2 parts or the marathon session…and yes Randy never ends class on time but you usually don’t want to leave either. He has an uncanny ability to hold your attention. And no, he is not a financial advisor (and neither is this blog financial advice) but his methods have been tested numerous times and proven effective, even by people who wouldn’t dare to confirm same.

How much better can it get right? Well, becoming a GRWR Grad subscriber is the next level. This gives you automatic registration for the advanced classes, the telegram group where we have weekly calls to check in, early access to all podcasts and special features, discounts for GRWR related things, My Money Ja (MMJA) discount, discounts for financial advisory sessions with Danhai and first dibs on whatever else Papa Bricks conceives. The GRWR Grad family is keen on helping each other do what the name says…get rich with research. No one is a guru, we have our own inside jokes and jargon, and you cannot be thin skinned either! The point is to ensure that you are using the tools and getting better. No one is going to be your enabler. No one is going to tell you which stock to buy. And if you ask a question, be prepared to formulate an answer along with your rationale. The point is to always grow. Did I mention that there is a monthly GRWR Grad Chill session? Yes man! Grab your beverage…or your late night cooking (GRWR Grad you know yourself) and come with your questions. This is a more informal online get together where we deep dive a bit into the individual portfolios…are we still doing the right research the right way to get rich? And yes, if you stay on for the after chill session (and advanced GRWR) session, you might hear some snoring or catch the sunrise! Yes they go longer than the energizer bunny!!

Now, MMJA is the biggest thing right now in terms of all the perks and features. This could literally be a blog post on its own! My Money Ja gives you the ability to create and monitor your portfolios, your gains/losses realized and unrealized, the market in general and the individual companies. EVERYTHING that you need for the research is right there! It is a one stop shop for all things investment research as it pulls information from multiple sources. Please, just visit the site and see for yourself…the buy/sell queue, the charts, company description, news articles for the company as well as their financial reports. You can find the dividend yield, EPS, P/E ratio, the number of outstanding shares, you name it, it is pretty much there! The only thing you cannot do is trade on the site! No exaggeration! You can create alerts for last traded price or closing price and watchlists et cetera. There are levels to it. You can be free, pro or premium and the paid versions (pro and premium) have the added perks mentioned above. Right now, you can sign up for the introductory offer especially as a GRWR Grad. And, what if you don’t have money one month or two, no problem! Just pause or downgrade your subscription! Randy has been doing this for about a decade now, so of course it is more developed. Even so, I am sure he has a lot of further developments up his sleeves and I am certainly hoping for an app version of MMJA!

If you don’t have the EveryMickle local stock calendar then are you serious about investing? Every dividend ex-date, report due date, AGM, Stock split…EVERYTHING is on that calendar (GRWR classes too)!! And you can download it and integrate it with your personal calendar! And yes this is free!

Whew! I really could go on and on but the full will never be told (yes I am paraphrasing Buju Banton’s Untold Storie). The only way to really get what I am saying is to experience it for yourself. A special shout out to our in house licensed financial advisor Danhai aka LID (GRWR lingo lol). Check out his advisory page and sign up for a session…only good things have been said thus far!

As is customary…the questions.

Are you a GRWR Grad subscriber yet? Are you complaining or profiting? Where are you getting your investment information?

GMW aka aspiring Brick Princess

Covid-19 times – Profit or Complain! (Part 1)

It has been a while since I have written anything remotely financial and a lot of changes have come with Covid-19. If you listened to most of the experts then most of what you would hear is that the market is crashing and it is a horrible time to invest. Some persons who were new to the market, especially here in Jamaica, ran out of the market more quickly than they entered. Yes it is a difficult time and many companies lost billions in profits. However, many persons made gains and continue to outperform the market. In this two part post, I want to highlight the two “groups” that I have become apart of which have been tremendously helpful in my navigating this time and keeping gains (realized and unrealized). Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial advisor and I am not rich….yet! Information can be pretty overwhelming at times and so I had to eventually narrow it down to a few groups. These two are now my primary sources for investment discussions (I still check out other sources but…).

In part 1 I want to talk about Learn Grow Invest. This group is just over a year old and was founded by Renate and Jermaine McDonald. They can be found on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. There is also a WhatsApp group. As a Christian, my most favourite thing about this community is the biblical foundation. Everything done stems from a Scriptural perspective! There are weekly meetings that are broadcasted via their YouTube channel. Each week a topic related to investment is discussed either by the founder(s) or local and international experts. These meetings are not investment advisory sessions. They are meant to provide the investor with information that can aid his/her research. Of course each session starts with a prayer. Please like and share the content you find useful as well as subscribe to the channel. In addition to our weekly meetings, there are mini series featuring short but information filled videos on investing basics.

On Instagram, there are financial quotes which often present the key points from the meetings in a very succinct and unforgettable way. Upcoming meetings are also announced here and the followers are often engaged through Instagram live. These lives are either conducted by one of the founders alone or feature someone else to discuss finances in general or investment specifically. On Twitter, the tweets usually provide a great option for asking or answering questions in addition to the polls that are sometimes done. Occasionally, a twitter spaces might be set up as another means of having a lively discourse about all things financial.

The Facebook community facilitates question and answer as well but it is a bit slower in pace and more manageable than the WhatsApp group. In the WhatsApp group we share pertinent financial results, news articles as well as discuss our investment strategies. There is no competition there, it is not a space for that. Instead, we share with the intention to help each other make decisions that are in our best interests. Who is in the WhatsApp group? Well, I won’t call names but a plethora of expertise exists amongst the members. There are persons versed on budgeting, excel, IT, and of course banking, finance and investments. They really live out the motto of Learn then Grow then Invest and then repeat. To a degree it is holistic even with a primary focus on finance and investing. It is a great space to check out if you want to learn how to invest. The videos are not jargon filled and where jargon is used it is defined. Whichever platform suits your fancy, there is a Learn Grow Invest Club community there for you. So why not check them out and tell me what you think? And grab merch while you are at it! Stay tuned for part 2 when we look at another group.

What have you been doing during Covid? Taking profits or complaining? Which groups help you with investment or other self development?


Online Teaching And Learning – Personal Observations

Although I am a researcher, this piece is not a “peer reviewed journal article”. I am simply stating my observations and my experience with online education. I have attended online classes in two different countries and I have been teaching online for over a year now. I will start with my experience as an online student.

My first time attending school online was with a reputable and accredited university in the United States of America in 2007/2008. This was obviously long before the current situation and I only needed to take one class for a grad school pre-requisite. The course was Human Anatomy and Physiology and it was quite a pleasant experience…much to my surprise! Survival in this course required being an independent learner. We never had a live lecture, it was all asynchronous learning. Assignments were posted, labs were completed via simulation , there were discussion posts set up for those who needed assistance and if all else failed, you could email the course lecturer. Again, this was some 13 years ago! I was most amused by the accuracy of the simulations but I did miss being in the laboratory. It required tremendous discipline and honesty. There was a lot of reading assigned every week and the tests were not open book but there was not invigilator. Cheating never crossed my mind as I love learning and considering my original field of interest, cheating wouldn’t have been in my best interest.

Fast forward to the year 2020. I was a student again (while teaching) at a local bible institute. I was very disappointed with my experience, so much so that I took a leave of absence with no intention to return! Yes, it was that bad. There was no committed staff. The lecturers were not very versed about the platform and as such there was a heavy reliance on administrative staff (two persons who were employed full-time elsewhere) which often led to numerous delays…much to my annoyance. Lectures were recorded but the delivery didn’t really make it worthwhile listening to the recordings again. Often times the lecturers would read from their poweressays…yes I am being facetious on purpose! Other times they would read word for word from the textbook. The returning students outnumbered the new students and often had their way with rearranging the schedules often negatively impacting others. Don’t mention trying to get the teacher’s attention! They didn’t pay attention to the chat. And sometimes if you just opened your microphone to speak, someone else was yelling over you so your contribution was drowned out. I don’t even know if they knew about the raise hand feature! They tell you participation is mandatory but my efforts often felt futile so I stopped trying. The worst issue was the sitting of exams. That is the night when the platform would always act up and we couldn’t get on. We would have to use an alternative site and sometimes that was a problematic alternative. I couldn’t understand why as we use the same platform for my job and I didn’t have and still don’t have an issue. Sometimes the questions asked, and the responses they later told us were correct were as opposite as North and South Korea! The good thing was I did learn, I did pass and I “met” some great people along the way.

Teaching online is much more difficult than in person! I love teaching from home and I have grown accustomed to staring at my presentation while teaching as the students’ cameras are off and they are not always participatory. Some of the issues that present in this scenario locally is the access to both steady high speed internet and a working device. When I enrolled in college overseas many moons ago, a laptop was mandatory and could be purchased through the school. That is not a hard and fast rule here in Jamaica. Most students and their families don’t necessarily have the wherewithal to acquire same. Most persons don’t see a laptop as necessary since a smartphone or tablet can perform most of the same functions. If you can only afford one, the obvious choice is the smartphone. If one lives in a rural area, you might have cell towers which give you some amount of internet connectivity but to go to class would require copious amounts of data and that is costly. Most of our students don’t pay attention in face to face classes and now in the [dis]comfort of their own homes, it is even more difficult. Some students have challenges at home that further prohibit them from being fully attentive in class. Parents are constantly asking them to run errands or do chores. Maybe their community is noisy and or violent. Perhaps they have a young child or children who require supervision for their schooling. Maybe, as the eldest sibling, when the parent(s) goes to work, they have to supervise their short attention span siblings plus cook, et cetera. Some students are not from stable loving homes. Sometimes there are unplanned outages and other force majeure events that preclude them from learning. Other times students are just down right lazy and know that some of their excuses cannot be proved nor disproved so they take advantage of same.

All of those present as problems to treat with as a lecturer. It now forces us to find new and engaging ways to reach our students with the understanding that we, yes students and teachers alike, are “zoomed and google meets out”. It is draining when just talking to oneself and the students are not responding. However, the first thing that helped was to take the emotions out of it. Their response, or lack thereof, is not on me it is on them. I cannot take it personally, even if the students have expressed hatred for or disrespect towards me. I have to take the higher road even while establishing boundaries. I stopped asking students to turn on their cameras, except for when the assignment required same. I only turn on my camera for the first few weeks so that they know who is lecturing. Afterwards, I join them in not being visible. I don’t know where they are and if its feasible for them to turn on their cameras as such, I don’t force them to do so. One may argue that they can blur the background but again, not everyone is technologically savvy and using the background feature slows down the device. I record the classes and post the link. Anything can happen that causes a student to miss a session in its entirety or partially. Also, if a student were to lodge a complaint to say something wasn’t taught, I have the evidence in the recording. Or, if a student wanted to dispute a graded assignment that was presented in class, I also have that recording. I create synchronous and asynchronous activities to help reinforce the material. It also gives the students with connectivity issues an opportunity to participate in the course. I make myself available within regular hours and try to facilitate their questions as best as possible. Sometimes I just have to work with whomsoever is participating. I try to give breaks during long sessions. It is hard on both the teacher and the students to sit for the 3 hours. Lastly I try to post materials in a timely manner along with descriptions that are helpful, in addition to finding new and creative ways to present old material. Yes it sounds tiring and that is because it is!

It is sometimes difficult to be excited to teach the same thing you’ve taught for the last five years, especially if there is nothing new to add because that subject matter is not dynamic. However, it is possible. As lecturers so much more is required of us. How do we set online assessments that are fair to the students but safeguard against cheating? That is almost impossible! If you cut the time, students complain that they didn’t have enough time. If you use a safe exam browser, it won’t work on some of their devices. If you require them to turn on their cameras, they will tell you it doesn’t work. How do you invigilate that? Is it worth calling around to verify that their area, which cannot be found via GPS, was really without electricity and that the student isn’t just buying time? There are so many variables over which we have no control and it is frustrating. Even more frustrating is watching these high level passes that you know are not true representations of the students’ academic performance. But what to do? Do you stop teaching? Do you stop being creative or going above and beyond for those who need it? No! You have to balance. You have to show up and you have to keep trying. You have to be the encourager who reassures them that the pandemic will end and we will return to a better normalcy. You have to be smart and find the cheating but not let it cause bitterness. You have to know where your responsibility for their learning ends, and the students’ responsibility starts. And you have to take care of our own mental health. If that means giving more asynchronous assignments or tasks, by all means do so! Pre-record materials where applicable and establish and maintain a cut off point for responding to student queries. Take time for yourself and least once every two weeks, have a no teaching/work related tasks day!

This business of online teaching is going to continue regardless of when the pandemic ends. Whereas most schools in Jamaica might return to traditional classroom teaching, there will undoubtedly be a hybrid that involves some online aspects. Studies should be conducted to rigorously assess the weaknesses and strengths of our current systems. How is that we need to improve so that no student will be left behind? I think it is obvious that there is no panacea and that it will take a joint effort from several sectors and government ministries. If we are to remain competitive, I believe that we need to, as a country, figure this out. We need to improve our technological infrastructure, equip our teachers with the right training and tools to create a low affective filter classroom, and provide the support needed for both the teachers and students. It is hard to teach a large classroom. It will take trial and error but that can easily be minimized by looking at best practices across the globe and make the adjustments for our system. Let us not overlook the many positives this transition has engendered through being stymied by the frustrating challenges that coexist.

So enough of my rambling…I am sure a plethora of experiences and opinions exist. Do you care to share yours in the comments? What else did I forget to mention about online teaching and learning?


Waiting – A Changed Perspective

Just over a month ago I wrote about struggling to wait and it is amazing all that the Lord has done since my last blog post. Some changes happen more quickly than others and I firmly believe that our disposition has a lot to do with it. After writing that post I was honest with God about my struggle with waiting. I was honest and told Him that I didn’t want to throw anymore tantrums either. I was tired of those. I promised to stay out of the way and allow Him to work. In response He has sent me into a season of silence.

Now, if you knew me a few years ago you’d know that I dreaded silence. It was D who first told me that he drove often in complete silence so He could converse with God. Of course there is a time and place for everything but I tried it. It was hard at first. All the negative thoughts would come. All the things that I had to do would flood my mind; but I persevered. I kept doing it for as much as I could tolerate until now, when I drive alone I automatically turn the radio off and enjoy the silence. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I pray, sometimes I think about my process and sometimes I SMILE as I reflect – smiling was not something I did when I thought about myself so I know my counselor will rejoice when she reads this. Now, silence has become a solace – I suppose as we get older the things that we cherish change.

So this silence that God has plunged me into isn’t a scary silence. I would tell my close friends that I have nothing to say, I feel nothing, I couldn’t sing, I had no unction to pray, NOTHING! All I would do was sit in silence and search. I kept searching, I was yearning for more of God on a level that I had never encountered before. This silence is different – I cannot quite detail it for anyone to understand. I just know that somehow I am finally at a place where I am just like whatever God wants. I literally don’t know how I got there but I am there. God would wake me up every morning with a song about waiting – and yes I turned it into a playlist! Furthermore, He placed people in my life who are waiting. He has been using them to encourage me on my own journey. I literally told Him that I didn’t know how to #waitwell and that He needed to teach me.

The last part that He recently fixed was my giving up hope of getting some of what I am waiting for. As in, while waiting I stopped hoping all together. Nonetheless, God reminded me through lovingtothemacks that I need not give up. His promises are yea and amen and #waitingwell didn’t mean giving up on the things for which I am still waiting. So, waiting has gotten easier. It feels more peaceful and it is a lot less stressful to just rely on God (I know I know, that should be commonsensical but you know). And regardless of how profound the silence is, there is not a day that He doesn’t speak – the most beautiful part is the plethora of revelations that I have been receiving. I am finally understanding some things, finally receiving answers for some things and more often than not, in the most unexpected moments and ways. It is almost like Jesus and I have become best friends, we are taking time to get to know each other and I am learning to cherish the time with Him. Now we know He is all knowing but the limitations of the human vernacular regardless of language stymies my ability to fully explain how I have grown over the last six weeks. Not even hyperbolic parlance would do justice to what God has been and is doing in my life at this moment.

It is a beautiful season that I am in. I am finally embracing my process instead of running from it. I have a joy that no one can shake. Yes sometimes I get frustrated, I get tired, I still experience disappointment and sadness; but none of those things wear me down like they used to. My life is hid in Christ and whatever He does is perfectly done. He knows best and His plans are not to hurt me. He is love and out of that love flows great intentions toward me. I am resting assured that whatever happens, good, bad and in between, His will must prevail in my life and it can only be good eventually and overall.

So, how has your perspective on waiting changed? Are you getting better at waiting? Have you given up hope as you continue to wait?


Waiting: The Hardest Thing We Have To Do

Siiiiiggggghhhhhhhhhhhssssssss is the most appropriate way to start this blog. I really DESPISE waiting! And in this season it is hard for me to #waitwell (check out Renate & Jermaine McDonald they created the hashtag). If you’re close to me you know the struggle. A lot of tears, tantrums, disappointment, moments of difficulty praying and God’s deafening silence have characterized this season.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of great things are happening in this same season. I’ve grown closer to the Lord yet I still struggle to have faith and #waitwell in some areas. In these areas sometimes I look on my life and lament how far it is from what I envisioned. Yet, even through the tears sometimes I still have to proclaim the truth of God’s Words and promises. Sometimes we are not ready to receive the very thing we are longing for. Our motives are not right. God knows how we will react if we get it too early. Or maybe we are not aligned to receive it. Three things I know to be true about my God: He is never early; He is never late; HE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ON TIME. Even as I’m writing I’m swallowing the lump in my throat.

Sometimes I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand. My day can start off with an awesome time in His presence. Then in the middle it turns to depression, grief, anger, disappointment and so much more. I desperately need to get off the rollercoaster and just BELIEVE FOR IT. That is the key. I have times when I am off that rollercoaster and I can breathe and I have perfect peace and all is well. I achieve acceptance. Then out of nowhere, just as I think I am making progress, it just hits me and I spiral deeply and quickly. Thankfully, I have grown and so I don’t stay in the spiral for too long. But I am tired. I am so very tired of the spiral. I desperately want off the rollercoaster and out of the spiral. I want to just land on belief where in faith I can stop questioning. I can just say whatever Lord, because I know it is for Your glory and my good. I want to be able to say Yes, You are enough God and mean it. I want to say that and live there. Not Yes when it is going good and No, when it seems like it isn’t working out.

I’m soooo very grateful for those who’ve been praying me through this season. I’m grateful for those to whom I can vent in confidence. They take even my offensive statements and love me through those moments. They demonstrate God’s unconditional love during my darkest moments. So even as I’m struggling to #waitwell, what have I learnt?

1. Be honest with how you feel. This is more for you than for God Who is Omniscient. God loves us and He can only operate from that place of perfect love. For those of us who have been abused and manipulated we treat God with the same paranoia and skepticism that we do everyone else. God is not a manipulator! He is perfect love and He wants what is best for us, more than we could ever desire the same for ourselves. We have to trust Him, His Word and His love.

2. Don’t dwell in or on how you feel. Processing is important. Get it out of your system through journaling or telling a confidant. If you sit with it, the enemy will drill the negative emotions into your mind and they will become a stronghold.

3. Replace the negative thoughts with affirmations of His promises. Even when you don’t believe it confess it, out loud. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word says the Bible.

4. Worship like your life depends on it because it does. If the words won’t come from your spirit play it from your favourite streaming service. Even when it feels like it’s not working, play it in the background. Fall asleep to it.

5. If you falter, repeat steps 1 to 4. God’s unseen hands are doing deep invisible healing work inside you. It is your destiny to be well. It is God’s will for you to experience Him. He is jealous over you and sometimes this waiting part of the process is Him allowing you to seek Him out more. Focus on the Promise Giver aka the Promise Keeper and not so much the promises made.

So, what are you waiting for? Will you join me as we learn to #waitwell?



Cue the Tony Toni Tone because April 30, 2021 will make exactly one year since I made this site public! Yassss, it’s our anniversary!!! I had no idea it would get this big. I am grateful to God for allowing me into your minds to impact you in a positive way. The blog couldn’t have gotten this big without all of you who read, share, like, re-read, repost, comment and follow. Thank you all for the support over our first year of existence. This is the 30th blog post can you believe it? Although I have been blogging less and less, so much has happened and continues to happen. For those who don’t follow me otherwise, here are my social media handles so that you never miss a beat: twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

I know some of you would love to see me blog more often. I really wish I could. However, I am committed to doing at least one full length blog each month. In the meantime, you can still get a mini dose of inspiration Mondays to Fridays via our Cerebral Massage snippets. This is shared as a photo via WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I am very behind on the translations but several of the blogs have been translated into Spanish. We also launched our merchandise! We have a yearly planner, water bottle, polo shirts, t-shirts and acrylic signs. The shirts and acrylic signs can be personalized with your favourite quotes either from a blog or from a snippet. We have some other things in the making for the second year but you will just have to wait and see.

What about our anniversary month celebrations? I thought you’d never ask! LOL. Well, for starters we have a sale ongoing for this month on all our large planners that remain. So for the price of a small planner you can get a large one. That is a discount of $5000 Jamaican dollars. We also have a video competition! Yes! We want to hear from you! Post a video (on Instagram) of about one minute explaining how Cerebral Massage has impacted you over the past months. Tag me in the caption, I will repost and the video with the most likes will win. Last day to post is April 26. Each Friday we have a Cerebral Massage Fact Friday which shares interesting statistics about the blog. Did you know this blog has been read in 39 countries?! Amazing, right?! Yeah! I am excited too (did you see your country’s flag in the photo?). Lastly, on Thursday, April 29, 2021 we will have our first live on Instagram. Yes! You have seen my photo, and you have read my writings but on this live, you will get to hear and see me at the same time. You can ask lots of interesting questions about the blog or get the chance to join the live and share what Cerebral Massage means to you. Exciting and fun times in our anniversary month! In this live we will also announce our winner from the video competition…the prizes are a large planner and a $5000 stock certificate to start (or continue) investing on the Jamaican Stock Exchange.

So today’s blog was probably not “inspirational” to you all; but it gives me great pleasure to write and tell you thank you! Without the readership the blog cannot continue. So as we embark on another year of wonderful writing, reading and whatever else the Lord has in store for us, I have a question or few.

Will you continue to read Cerebral Massage? What is your favourite quote or blog? What would you like to see us do differently, or in addition, during our second year?


Quid Pro Quo

Can I be real with you guys? Last weekend was a rough one for me! I hit a low that I have not experienced since the early days of my current journey. I literally no longer wanted to exist. I wasn’t suicidal but I was just exhausted and no longer wanted to exist. I verbally shellacked the Lord…I mean even tears avoided me and it was as if God was just not having it (He is the perfect parent and knows when to give in and when to stand His ground). You see, I am a very strong-willed person and I love having my own way. Sigh.

I am a work in progress don’t you dare judge me! I have been “working on” giving God full control of my life. Circumstances and past experiences have taught me that in order to protect myself I need to control every variable. I’ve gotten better at delegating tasks and not micromanaging. I have lessened my expectation of nothing but perfection from everyone, myself included. I have been less paranoid and in general more pleasant to be around (ask my siblings and close friends, they will tell you!). However, this is an area that is really difficult for me. And so on Saturday night into Sunday I started sinking. I cannot even begin to tell you what really started or continued it. I reached out to some of my prayer partners but I could not shake it. I mean on Sunday I did not even want to go to church! There I was bawling and my mom hugging me saying that I needed to go deep and pull through this.

However, the emotions got worse after I got this message from a new found dear spiritual mother. She doesn’t even realise that God has been steadily using her “spiritual tidbits” to work on this area of my life. I didn’t even realise it either until this weekend when the proverbial excrement hit the fence and God got really real with me. What? I said what I said…it hit the fence and it was ginormous! In response to the many things I said on Sunday she responded: “I was here praying for you and I see the Lord saying what He wants for you He cannot afford to have you (your current status) impede it. The pouring out has to come till there is no more Gaye-Leon . Your very attitude now shows you are still very much alive and well. It’s almost like you are throwing a spiritual tantrum because you can’t [have] what you want when you want it. Like any good parent He is waiting you out then He will calmly say, ready now to have your veggies? You won’t bypass the process.” The moment I read it, I knew she was right. Sigh. I sank guys. It is almost like I would rather die than allow God to process me because process means time!

I mean, I just don’t like to wait. So we’ve been dating 3 months, how is it that you haven’t proposed yet? Man, I did 2 pushups and 1 squat, how comes I don’t have a 6 pack yet? I asked you to wash the dishes, why aren’t they done 5 minutes before I asked you? Yes guys…I admit to the whole world today that I have a serious issue with waiting. I want what I want and I want it yesterday…not even right now…yesterday. I mean I have made progress and I am really growing but this is the biggest crux of every battle with God these days. It’s almost as if I say to Him, Daddy I have done everything You’ve asked of me, why can I not have what You’ve promised me?

It is not that in seeking first the Kingdom and His righteousness that all things won’t be added. Nor is it that He won’t grant me the desires of my heart because I really love the Lord. I do. I really do. It is just that my concept of time and His are very different. So the grief of Sunday was because I was in verity throwing a tantrum and God was not having it. I felt so ashamed too because I realise that my biggest hindrance is me! That is tough to endure because God doesn’t want to “undo” old habits, He wants to annihilate them. He wants to sanctify the personality He created us with. It is my very Type A nature that allows me to juggle everything that I juggle, but I need to know when and how to let go and allow God to be God. So I am better now because I was honest with God.

My motives weren’t filthy but they weren’t holy either. Somewhere deep down I was expecting reciprocity, a quid pro quo. Jesus I did this therefore You need to do this. However, that is not how it works. God knows best, as cliché as it sounds. He has our very best interest at heart. More than we could ever love ourselves and want the best for ourselves, His love and intentions towards us immeasurably supersedes what we could want or do for ourselves. And so we must trust Him. We must trust Him even when we are pouring out and nobody pours back into us. We must trust Him to tell us when to move on from some friendships and which ones to mend. We must trust Him even in the face of unfulfilled promises, prophecies and dreams. We must trust Him to bring everything to pass. He is God and He cannot fail. We must trust Him to lovingly and firmly deal with our shortcomings. He loves us! He is not pointing out our issues to make us feel badly. Neither will He put a band aid on a wound that needs debridement!

So what happened? I confessed to Him that I was failing miserably in this area of my life. That although I had made strides I realise that there was still so much more work to do. I honestly didn’t intentionally set out for this to be a quid pro quo and I expressed how ashamed I felt. I asked Him to help me realise when I am operating in that mindset and to help me to fully let go. I am not there yet, but, I am more aware of it. And as GI Joe says “now you know, and knowing is half the battle”. No, I am not beating up myself, I have kicked that toxic trait. I am grateful for the people in my life who will not allow me to wallow in self pity. I am grateful for the truth and encouragement they give. And yes, I nervously wrote this one because I am very leery of being too transparent but hey…I am not the only one who needs to review really what is in our heart. If God has brought it to the surface, it means that He is ready to deal with it. One last thing before our questions, in this life, we will constantly have to bring these things before God. We will continually have to confess our weakness and our inabilities to do what He commissions. In so doing, we remind ourselves that it is indeed through Him Who strengthens us that we can do all things.

What is your true mindset and motive behind serving God? Is it quid pro quo?


Keep Changing

Changing is difficult but necessary. I am intentionally using the present continuous tense to indicate that we never fully arrive. The moment we “arrive” we cease to exist. Instead, more often we go through a metamorphosis process akin to that of a butterfly. What do I mean? We change then we plateau for a moment but then we start changing again. Sometimes the change is occurring in an area where you’ve already grown, just at a deeper level. However, we are all familiar with that aspect of changing. I am here to encourage you all today because of some thing that I have heard many times and have been encountering on my own journey.

When you start to change, those around you will not understand you, even you might not understand you! You are not who you used to be but neither are you where you need to. In other words, you have this new vision of who you will become but you are not there yet; neither are you where you were. Most times it is very uncomfortable. People think that you are acting differently and in verity you are! So what to do, if you no longer want to spend as much as you used to but those around you are not there yet? What to do if your list of needs have shrunk drastically because you realise that you can actually exist without those things? What to do, when they don’t seem to get it? You are struggling to fully embrace your new lifestyle, making sacrifices, adjusting your boundaries but the changes are so minute that they seem invisible to those around you. Yeah, you have been cutting back but you are still in debt. You have been working out but the weight isn’t coming off as quickly as you’d like because you cannot afford to eat the way you need to in order to enhance that. You are studying more and applying yourself more but the grade has only increased by a measly 2%. What do you do? You know that you are changing. You have a small amount of savings now. You lost 1 pound but your body feels so much differently. You still struggle to exert yourself more but you know for a fact that your energy level has increased. Last week you could only run for 5 minutes and this week you can run for 5.5. You know you are understanding the material more and you are better able to articulate yourself. However, no one seems to see that. All they see is that you are acting “brand new”.

You are! That is the truth. Although it is meant to insult you and discourage you…You are new! You are not where you were when the journey started. You have struggled, slipped up, stopped altogether and have thought about quitting numerous times. But hey [and we should never start sentences with the word but]…but hey…look at you! Embrace your process [I don’t like process…it means time and I am type A and everything is an emergency and don’t even bother with the things that come out of sequence]…You are on an individual journey that is unique to you and your destiny. Yes you need to be accountable and not be indolent. However, if you are doing all that you need to do then keep changing! Keep growing! Eventually the results will come. Do not despise your small beginnings. So what you only started your investment with $500 and it has only grown to $650, who cares? It has grown! Keep growing! Keep learning! Keep moving…mostly in silence of course and keep changing!

What about the persons around you who don’t get it? They don’t understand your new vision? Some, in fact most, are really NOT out to get you. Remember just a few days, weeks, months, years ago, you were exactly like them! You used to turn up your noses at the very people you are emulating now! It took some time for you to come around. So keep working the plan, they will get it eventually. And for those who don’t? Maybe it is time to change your circle. Over time, it will be very clear what you need to do. Regardless of where you are on this journey today…just starting, or well on your way and adjusted to the process, or maybe somewhere in the middle, whatever you do, Keep changing!

So, what are some of the means that you will use to keep changing? In what areas are you going to change this year?


Mistakes: A Different Perspective

Mistakes tell you what you know and what you don’t know. Simple. Yes mistakes can be costly but let us examine the topic more objectively and then I’ll talk, or rather write, about a few that I have made as it relates to investing.

The word “mistake” often has a negative connotation. And yes, it is not good nor healthy to make the same mistakes repeatedly. However, much can be learned from mistakes if we change our mindset and remove the [negative] emotions we normally attach to them. When we “mess up” or make a mistake, our first response, especially as females, is to react negatively. And note, responding is different from reacting…that’s a different blog. Reacting, is not necessarily, totally bad or incorrect. When we realise that we are reacting we need to stop, vent and process the emotions in a healthy and safe manner and space. Afterwards we need to objectively assess what went wrong in order to not repeat the mistake.

I often tell my students this. When you get back an assessment in my Spanish class, where did you go wrong? Was it the question type that you didn’t understand? Was it that you understood the question but lacked the vocabulary? Is it that your understanding of the instructions was more perfunctory than plenary? Is it that you thought you knew how to conjugate the verb but it turns out that you really don’t know? The issue cannot be corrected unless an objective analysis is completed. It is commonsensical really; you can’t fix what you don’t know. Or as they say, knowing is half the battle. The reason you have to talk in a counseling session is that in speaking, the trained counsellor will be able to identify the issue(s) based on your verbal and nonverbal communication.

The same is true with life. Yes we ought to be careful who we tell our mistakes and our faults; but that aside, sometimes it is only after much introspection and objective deliberation with a confidante, that we are able to analyse the issue. Is it an issue of knowledge (information and know how)? Is it an issue of strategy? Is it an issue of timing? Is it an issue of execution? Is it an issue of poor planning? Miscommunication? Funding? Support? Whatever the issue is, no solution can be proffered if the problem remains unidentifiable. So process the situation, process the emotions associated with the mistake. Don’t discount them! It is actually helpful to acknowledge how you feel. In processing the emotions you heal and you clear your mental space to begin creating again. With that said, I am human and I have made a plethora of mistakes during my lifetime. However, I want to briefly enumerate some of the mistakes I have made while investing…

  1. Lack of knowledge – yes it is good to get started but I’d advise you to get some knowledge before starting. Guys, I did not even know Jamaica had it’s own stock exchange when I started. Yes, it was that bad! I did not know the difference between trading and investing. In my mind the only way to make money was to buy stocks and hold them ad aeternum. Your investing or trading strategy must align with your goals! As such a great stock for me might be a horrible stock for you.
  2. Over-diversification of my portfolio – A word I heard a lot was diversify. Don’t put all of your money into one stock or product, they said. Well, that is true but to a point. If you only have $5000, instead of spending $1000 on 5 different stocks, it is better to find one stock that can turn your $5000 into more than $5000. Then once you have more money, you can buy into different products and stocks and appropriately balance your portfolio. I am in the process of rebalancing my portfolio as we speak…I mean write.
  3. Researching the market – As Gerald always tells our group…guys research the COMPANY, not the market! It is overwhelming to figure out everything about the market all at once. Start by looking at one company each time. Yes, you need to have an idea as to how the market is doing and how that company looks within the market. However, in order to maximize your gains in any one stock, you need to know all the details about that company. You also need to research the timing of reports. This helps you to know when to buy and when to sell.
  4. I need a lot of time to research – Yes if you are looking to make gains in the short term, it can feel like a full time job. Studying the queue, reading the candlestick (I still can’t as yet), knowing every overt and covert detail, subscribe to every group and YouTube channel, and on and on and on and on. It can be stressful and overwhelming but you have to do the research. It is hard to narrow down your resource list but you must. Set aside small blocks of time each day to do the requisite research. The more you work at it the more adept you become. And then the same research that used to take you forever and a day to complete, is now something you can almost do in your sleep. Just as everything else, it takes practice and practice takes time.

I am not quite there yet. Much more for me to learn and understand. However, I am working assiduously towards mitigating against the mistakes made. So, what are you going to do differently this year? How are you going to learn from your mistakes? What are some of the mistakes that you have learned from?


Personal Musings

I wasn’t sure how to title this piece. This is actually going to be verbatim of a message I sent on whatsapp to my accountability partners. However, let me preface it by saying that yesterday was a rough day emotionally for me. Suffice it to say, it is hard loving a person that you are not sure will ever love you back. God has commissioned me to pray for someone who is near and dear to my heart. Someone for whom I have tremendous affection. In my eyes, I am never sure if this person is even capable of loving me in the way I perceive I would want them to. So yesterday I was just extremely crushed, to the point of depression. I questioned God repeatedly about what I heard. I asked Him again, why do I love this person this much and I asked again for clarity. I wanted to know, if what I heard two years ago was God speaking or me hearing what I wanted to hear and attributing it to God. The silence is always resounding. This one area of my life has been the hardest to sacrifice. So this morning I wrote…

God is after sorting out my motive and my heart…maybe I have a lot of Isaacs and Jireh has a ram in the thicket, He just wants me to see how much I trust Him because He already knows. I’m learning to really process my thoughts…today feels like a different day in comparison to yesterday. I really questioned myself a lot. I’ve come to one conclusion, whatever I want or desire is irrelevant. When I surrendered to God, I walked away from all of that. It doesn’t mean I will not get what I originally wanted, it means I trust God to give it back to me should He see fit. God is transforming my mind. But in order to do so, I need to see what my thoughts are then align those with His word. In my quiet time when I listen to Him and I offer my praise in spite of how I’m feeling He’s going to honour that. Yesterday I played Jireh, You are Enough no less than 20x. At first it seemed like it wasn’t working. It seemed like the song wasn’t getting anywhere. But by the end of the night it was evident that my spirit had received it. I can’t fix what I don’t know. I can’t obey what I don’t know. And that was a part of my conversation with God…if You don’t tell me Your will, how can I do it Abba?

The depression has lifted. I’m not exceedingly happy but I have a peace and quiet in my soul. Whatever happens it is well. I told Him this morning that I will not settle for less than His best and that is in every aspect of my life. At times it will be hard but it is not impossible because I serve the possible God.

So I am in a quiet mood…really pensive mood and while I’m waiting for God to really speak, I’ll worship as I wait…my whole being is open.

I find that this wrestling happens when my focus shifts from the spiritual to the natural (thanks Aunty Milli – you didn’t even realise you were being used…neither did I). It is the natural that is governed by deadlines. I guess I’m struggling to fully sacrifice the natural but whatever it takes this morning that’s what I will do…it’s not an easy statement because God is not necessarily obligated to me and meeting my desires but He did say to seek first His kingdom and righteousness.

The very way He made me and my ability to organize a task, start it and execute with perfection is the same thing that is the most problematic in my ability to trust HIm.

But He is fixing me…processing me so that I can have the right balance…

Will you let Him do the same for you?


Manifestation: God Only Requires Our Obedience And Faith

When I started this blog I had no idea where I would go with it. I had no clue so many persons would’ve been so positively affected by my writing. It has been an awesome 7 months journey and I’m grateful for everyone that read and shared, liked and commented and gently prodded me to keep going.

Apart of you all believing in me and pushing me involved the development of branded merchandise. I wanted it to be something that would give value to my readers and allow you to push on in your own purpose. Thanks to Davia Mantock who suggested a yearly planner.

I tell you, you guys are hilarious. You all wanted a planner with everything and then some. So I tried my best to deliver. As such in this planner you get the following:

  1. A vision board
  2. A space to write a letter to yourself. You will then remove that letter and place it in an envelope affixed to the back of the planner.
  3. Space for goal writing and gratitude journaling every month.
  4. A  monthly budget with investment and savings written as your first “expense”.
  5. Motivational excerpts from the blog for each month.
  6. Possibly my favourite…the QR code at the back of the planner! When scanned it takes you straight to the blog page. A big shout out to the planner designer Janelle Waugh.

I wanted to wait for the official photos as the planners are still being tweaked for printing. However, when God says share I just obey…and this is the thing. Sometimes we are waiting for the perfect timing, for everything to be just right but God is saying to move with the plan. God often tests our faith and obedience to what we perceive as incomplete instructions. However, if He should tell us the entire instruction where would be the space for faith? If you’re like me then you’d try to make it happen or pester God about bringing it to fruition now. Everything we do is about trusting God. Trusting Him wholeheartedly with everything that concerns us because truthfully He wants it for us more than we could want it for ourselves.

If you are an international reader who would love to have one of these planners, feel free to contact me about it using the contact page. This inaugural planner comes in two sizes: the small is half of a letter size sheet of printing paper and it costs $6,500. The large is a full letter size and it costs $11,500. Please note that the prices are quoted in Jamaican Dollars and does not include shipping.

When the new year comes, will you allow Cerebral Massage to keep you organized?


Debt Free Journey: Late Night Encouragement

If you are like me, you think a lot. And sometimes this battle to destination debt free can be so arduous and frustrating. The more you try to save, the more unexpected expenses pop up. Covid-19 has depleted some of our savings. Some persons might have had to liquidate assets to make ends meet in the face of reduced work hours or temporary layoffs. In the midst of it all, you get discouraged because it seems like you will never get out of debt.

This morning I was thinking about how much money I have had to spend because I am working from home. I live in a rural community where our national internet providers don’t provide us with wifi. We are at times subjected to unannounced power outages and the list is really unending. In my conversation with God this morning I was recounting how many bills came up that were unexpected. Funds that had been allocated to pay down debt had to be used to pay for vehicle issues that manifested amongst other things. I recall saying how it had suddenly become difficult again and I felt like every time I was digging myself out someone was dumping the dirt back into the hole.

Then God spoke one word…well a sentence: “At least you had the money to pay for it”. I was silenced. I never thought about that! Based on the nature of some of these expenditures, it would have been really horrible if I could not have paid for them. They would have negatively impacted my ability to earn. The Lord further reminded me of a conversation we had a week or two ago. There was a mistake in my work schedule and in correcting the mistake, it was possible that I could earn less money. I remember being so tired and saying to God that I was going to trust Him as Jehovah Jireh and choose to let go of the extra funds so that I could get some more rest.

Of course, I brought that up today as well. But God, I lamented. The means of paying down on debt has been reduced. Remember my work schedule has been reduced. And He again silenced me! Yes twice in one morning. He reminded me that I promised to trust Him to give me rest and provide for my needs. So I say all of this to say what exactly?

Don’t give up! Keep working on the debt repayment. Keep pushing that new business. Keep reinventing yourself and trying to increase your income streams. Keep at it! Look at where your debts stood a year ago, a month ago even a week ago. I am certain there has been some progress no matter how slight. Yes your savings has been depleted but at least you had it as an alternative. It will come back up again. Yes you had to liquidate your portfolio but you will be able to buy again. So they stopped buying this product because it is not essential during covid, find something else to sell in the meantime. Cut yourself some slack if you know that you are really working as hard as you can to pay off those debts. IT WILL HAPPEN!

As is customary I will end with a question. Maybe two…

Are you going to throw in the towel? Or are you going to keep working no matter how hard it gets?


In Transition…

Lately I have been thinking a lot (well, when am I never?). I’ve been thinking about how my old coping mechanisms no longer fit in with where I am now.

I’ve experienced significant trauma in life. I really should have been dead or in a mental asylum with no hope of ever regaining sanity. Most of my adult years have been spent burying my head in the proverbial sand of work. I have just worked and worked and worked. I am wired to work they say. What most did not realise was that I worked so that at the end of my days I would be so tired that I wouldn’t have to face my issues. I worked on everyone else while I remained broken. I tried to help everyone else get their healing because I didn’t deserve it, or it would never happen for me. Persons saw a hardworking, well organized, intelligent, successful and influential woman. I saw a dead little girl who was ready to quit life any moment. I was never suicidal but I might as well have been. My self esteem did not exist. My insecurities were higher than the highest mountain. In my mind, I was beyond redemption. No one would ever love me, not even God. And in all this I somehow had so much love to give. So I pressed on…I worked….

Then God decided it was time. I remember driving, crying and shaking. No appetite and this was it. I had hit bottom…that was October 2019. I called my counselor and I said, I cannot do this anymore. My sisters said to me you cannot go on living like this. You need to get help. I listened…whew child…I am writing through tears this morning…

Fast forward a year later…here I am…in transition. I have started to heal. I think I still underestimate all that I have been through…but now I have a new dilemma. The crutch called busyness is no longer attractive. Don’t get me wrong. I am still wired to work [un]fortunately. However, these days I am just tired of the quotidian drudgery. I can envision a different type of life but I have not yet attained that. So…my question as I am thinking out loud is…

What do I do now? How do I wait when the coping skills that used to keep me “sane”, no longer work because I don’t need them?


Morning Musings: When God Speaks

Lately, I have been experiencing a lot of frustration and feeling close to burnt out. Now I can handle a lot of things (or so I’ve been told); and, it has been a while since frustration has been able to block out or superimpose itself on my new found peace. Well meaning friends and family keep reminding me that I am “graced for this”. I’m really starting to strongly detest that statement…I digress…

It is the start of another academic year. As a lecturer and a student that can bring with it a myriad of stressful things. I juggle a lot of things and I am trying to balance it all: exercise, eat healthily, work well, be an excellent student, oh and ministry…maybe that should have been at the front of the list…meetings, meetings, meetings, did I say meetings? And every single, solitary thing is online…yes I am being redundant on purpose! It is all so exhausting! And sometimes I just want to move to the farthest planet in the universe. I am human (not superwoman like some of my friends think….especially JTW!). So in these moments, what do I do? I force myself to be still.

As a part of my morning walk (too exhausted to jog let alone run), I have decided to do half in silence and half listening to something motivational. I usually listen first then walk in silence. This week’s motivational podcast is called Godfidence by Matthew Williams. This morning’s episode “Daily Blocks of Confidence II” was somehow very moving for me. It reminded me that I had to really stand firm in my faith regardless of what is happening around me. During the silent part of the walk I was searching you know…trying to ascertain what is really happening. Was my frustration legitimate? Was it spiritual? Was I missing something? And God in His infinite wisdom and mercy gave me an image of a fortified city. The enemy’s army was at the wall trying but they could not get in. The wall was impenetrable. God reminded me of a word He gave me earlier this year “Access Denied”. I had leveled up and the code had been changed. The enemy would enter the old code but it would not work. And immediately I felt renewed; so much so that I posted some things on my whatsapp status. I’ll close the blog with those words…

You know sometimes we get a word from God and the challenge we face is to stand on that word when it seems like it’s not going to be fulfilled. When dams are built properly, and you know that the architect and engineer used were the world’s best, do you think for one minute that the dam will be breached? You look at the water in glorious force and you calmly go back into your house and sleep because the dam won’t break! You live in a fortified city. You see the enemy coming but you know the walls are impenetrable. Yes you will stand guard but you are not worried that they will get in. The city is sealed. The Lord built the seas and He said to them hither you shall come and no more. Do we have gates on the oceans? Do we have to man the sea to prevent it from overflowing and flooding the entire island we live in? Not really. Not if you don’t choose to go and live where the sea naturally belongs. What is my point? What is the last word God gave to you? Stand on it, behind it, inside, underneath it! Do not yield! Do not surrender! Do not give up! God’s word is more sure than even the invisible barrier He placed around the ocean and the sea. It must come to pass…

So, what will your response be?


Peace and Uncertainty: Mutually Exclusive?

Not always! Today is my birthday and so much has changed over this last year. Even as I am writing now there is quite a bit happening in my life. I have changed drastically over the course of this year. I have been reflecting for some days now…God has been so gracious to me! The two things I wanted the most I have not accomplished. In fact earlier this year I completely gave up on ever being married and having children. I started to “prepare” myself mentally because I honestly felt like God had given me a no in this area. It plunged me into such a deep depressive and oppressive state that God Himself had to dig me out of the funk.

However, I was not ready for marriage nor to become a mother. Oftentimes we feel like when we start our recovery process that it automatically qualifies us for some things. God knew that although He had begun the good work of emotional healing and restoration, I still had so much more to learn. And in the process He gifted me with some awesome accomplishments. This blog is one of them. Probably the only one I’ll mention…

So yes, I am still in transition. I have been reading a lot, learning a lot, slowing down some, and really working on myself. I have been absent from posting because I have not “received” any inspiration to write. Those close to me know that if it is not authentic I won’t write. I have been given added ministerial responsibilities at church, and a lot of days I do feel quite overwhelmed to be honest. Even as I am writing now, there is this overwhelming sense of inexplicable uncertainty but I have such a deep level of peace. It is absolutely mystifying.

I normally have a back up plan for my back up plan. My planning and organizational skills are both a gift and the bane of my existence. I plan A through Z then do the additional planning in roman numerals. Yes! That is me! But I am changing. Normally when things go wrong, I cannot stop until I find a fix. It is like I am stuck. When things don’t go according to plan I get extremely frustrated and snappy and I can’t seem to move forward. But, I am changing. I hardly recognize myself anymore.

As I am sitting here writing this, my phone isn’t working. Of all the days Lord? When I would really like to be able to access whatsapp. I have so many upcoming events all being planned and the primary means of communication has been whatsapp. Am I freaking out? Surprisingly no. It is not that I have a fix for this moisture error that won’t seem to go away so that I can charge my phone. I have tried the rice thing et cetera and yet the error persists. I don’t necessarily have the wherewithal to purchase a new one either. Am I sad? Yeah a little. I know a couple friends who would be calling today. The fact is I cannot do anything about it right now so why mope? And it is not that I have adopted some laissez faire approach to living. I think God is up to something and that He is indeed testing me. He has been mostly silent these days. And so most of my days I spend sitting in silence earnestly listening and searching. I have grown to really love silence….

I feel like I am rambling on pointlessly…I mean my computer is acting drunk and I had to restart it in the middle of this post. Then again I did spill half a glass of merlot into it on Saturday…and I did not lose my mind!! So I guess the point I am trying to make is that God has done a great work. Trusting Him in this season looks like uncertainty mixed with peace. I don’t have most of the answers I am seeking. A lot of things are quite haywire at the moment. I have retreated to privacy concerning the happenings in my life and I am quietly celebrating my wins while quietly reflecting on the “losses”.

It is quite evident that God wants me all to Himself today…so as I get ready to end this post, I’ll say a few things more. I am extremely grateful that I finally have true friendships. I am grateful that some things, places, and people I thought that I could not live without I am indeed thriving without. Don’t get me wrong, they were not all bad, but codependency is not God’s perfect will for anyone. I am grateful that I can actually enjoy silence. I am grateful for my emotional healing and wellness. I posted some photos today and what you see on the outside is a reflection of what God has done on the insides. I am grateful for the tremendous opportunities this blog has created for me. Thank you all for reading, praying and waiting [im]patiently for the next post…

What does your transition look like currently? Do you have God’s peace in the midst of your uncertainty?


It’s Building Season: Even the Small Steps Count!

D was the first person I heard say he was in the building stage of his life. He exuded so much confidence about being able to make life here in Jamaica. He is not inclined to leave his beloved island to “go make life and return”. Why? I couldn’t quite understand.

So often we come into people’s lives at various stages of their stories and we see them now with millions or looking all chiseled. We are aware that it hadn’t always been that way because they might have shared their process with us. Yet, we still get so discouraged on our own journey. This morning I had to stop myself and realise that I have so much to be grateful for.

I have lost some weight, and it could have been more if I could get the dieting under control. However, it is not that I am overeating but sometimes you just have to eat what you have available. I want to invest more, but I can only put aside so much funds and no more. I want to pay off my debts more but I only have so much salary coming in, even with extra streams accounted for. I want to do this and I want to do that and the list goes on. But today, when I look back at where I was last year, even two years ago, am I where I want to be? No! Am I in a better place? Yes! Could I have done better? Yes in some cases and no in others.

For those of you who know me personally, you know I can be pretty hard on myself (and sadly everyone else). I work really hard and my proverbial plate is always full! But today, I had a moment when I just told myself I am proud of you! 11 pounds lighter in 4 months, one debt cut in half over the course of the year (even with the current USD rate), and the list goes on and on. I had to remind myself that even small steps in the right direction are exactly that! Small steps in the right direction.

I wrote all of this to say, didn’t quite meet your weight loss goal as yet? Keep at it! Didn’t pay off all the debt as yet? Keep at it! Not seeing the financial future you want? Keep at it! Don’t have the money to invest? Keep at it! You are still not over your ex? Keep at it! Your emotional recovery is not going as fast as you’d like it? Keep at it! In this building season, whatever you are working towards, keep at it! Read, watch the documentaries, do the free courses, change the people you are hanging with, and change your mindset! Five years from now when you look back, you will be so amazed to see how far you’ve truly come! Haven’t started the journey yet? D would encourage you that “it is never too late for a shower of rain!”

What do you need to keep building on?


From Pit to Palace Means Work!

Many of us are very familiar with the story of Joseph in the Bible. His story can be found in Genesis 37-50. Very briefly, Joseph was his father’s favourite son from his favourite wife. He was hated by his brothers, had crazy dreams that said he would rule over his family. The brothers had had enough of Joseph and his dreams and planned to kill him so they threw him into a pit. They then sold him to the Midianites who took him to Egypt and sold him as a slave. Rough transition, from favourite child to unknown slave! Egypt wasn’t exactly nice to him either. A young man of integrity was thrown into prison for something he did not do. He interpreted dreams in prison, the person he thought was his way out, forgot about him until an appointed time when Pharoah needed a dream interpreted. That interpretation took him from a physical dungeon/pit to a physical palace. Cue the church music and the pentecostal/baptist hand clapping, feet stomping, shout a glory and a hallelujah music.

But do we miss the point? Yay Joseph! You are free and you are ruler over all of Egypt! Wait! What? Yes! You gave the interpretation Joseph and so we don’t see anyone else with the wisdom to make these decisions. We often rejoice with people when they are delivered as we should. However, you are delivered to work! You don’t get to wear the title of delivered to sit and be cute!

This hit me hard this morning. Almost knocked the Rûaħ/ruach of God out of me! If you know my story, you know I have been through a lot! Some elements of it are too close to the story of Joseph. Uncomfortably close! Can I tell you though that the pit is training for the palace? Joseph as a slave made his master’s house prosperous! God gave Him favour even in the pit. The skills he learned in the pit and in the prison were skills he would need in the palace. I mean think of it, one wrong decision and all of Egypt (and by extension the rest of the world) would have “starved to death”. The delays he encountered while in the pit and the prison were delays in the natural but was right on time in the spiritual. You see, God being Omniscient knew the famine was coming at a certain time. Favourite son Joseph pre pit and prison could not have ruled Egypt. He would not even have been in Egypt! God also knew how much training Joseph would need. Could God have done it another way? Absolutely! Why did He do it that way? We might never know! However He chose that way to train Joseph.

So, back to the palace. That shout moment! That moment that we all look for when we are in our spiritual pits and prisons. We live for the palace moment to say yes I have been set free. I am whole! To testify how God gave us a testimony from the test! Glory Hallelujah but in the palace Joseph was second in command only to Pharoah. Terrifying! Absolutely terrifying!

I have recently begun to walk in emotional wholeness and man, I am tired! Why? Opportunities keep coming! Opportunities to encourage in private and in public. More ministry appointments in church. More proddings from God that I cannot resist because I promised I would stop running. Like Joseph, I am called to rule, not from behind the scenes but up front. I can no longer run away from the call of God on my life, especially not now that I am “in the palace”. That is how this blog came to be! So, yes when we think of ruling, we think of kings and queens, of prime ministers, premiers and presidents. But every believer is a ruler!

Read it again, we all are rulers here on earth! Not in the traditional sense of ruling but we rule nonetheless. So, think about your pit. Think about what you learned in your prison. Think about what characteristics of God came to the fore. Think about how you came out. Think about the opportunities that are now presenting. Think about the skills that you can use now. Think about your role in the palace.

What is the work that you have been called to do?


So, I have Started Investing! Yay! What’s next?

In my previous investment blog, I’m New to Investing: Help!, I looked at how to get started. Today I want to build on that by sharing what I have been learning. It has been overwhelming at times but, I am sure that when I start increasing my capital earnings, this teething pain will be a very faint memory. So what are the other great resources that I have discovered thus far?

  1. Kalilah Reynolds created a YouTube playlist on her channel for beginners. It includes basic information such as What is a stock, How to invest on the JSE, What is an IPO, et cetera. She has made it her personal mission to educate everyone so that together we can do as her mantra says “Let’s get this money!” You won’t regret binge watching this! She has made it very easy, you don’t have to search through her various shows, just start with the playlist. And, don’t forget to like, subscribe and share.
  2. There are several accounts that you can follow on instagram. In their own way they share their investment philosophies and analyses. Your own philosophy and whether or not you are interested in trading or long term investments, will determine who you subscribe to. Personally, I am still trying to find a balance as I learn more about the earnings that can be made from trading. The accounts that I currently follow include Beyond the Stock Price, Taking stock Ja, 876 invest, and Learn grow invest. Don’t forget to turn on post notifications!
  3. Learning some general and basic finance principles can make a world of difference. Some of the courses are available free on the Corporate Finance Institute. You can link your courses to your LinkedIn account and publish your certificates there. Also, follow CarltongStew on Instagram for general financial education tidbits including the importance of your credit rating. Did you know we have a credit bureau from which you can get your credit score, right here in Jamaica?
  4. For technical analysis on how to value a company check out Every Mickle. This website has several aspects to it. You will want to subscribe to their mailing list so that you don’t miss out on anything. There are blog posts from persons like David Rose, the Earnings Season podcast and the GRWR classes. There is basic GRWR and its advanced component. The classes are priced in USD but I hear it is worth the investment. I will be participating in their upcoming session this Sunday.
  5. Get involved in groups that have like minded people. What do I mean? Surround yourself with persons who are also interested in learning. Together you can research the companies and compare analyses. Several of these groups exist on Telegram. You can also download the Jamaica Stock Exchanges’ application along with the Jamaica Stocks Watch to track these companies. Once you start analysing companies, the business and regular news items will never seem ordinary again.

So, what have you been up to? What other great resources have your discovered on your investment journey?


Your Gifts Will Make Room For You!!!

In Proverbs 18:16 KJV the wise King Solomon tells us that “A man’s gifts maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men”. Or, as my financial advisor always says, opportunity [and success] favours the prepared mind.

Let us rewind to two months ago, I almost aborted this baby! Yes! I was so nervous that I almost deleted the page before I even went public with it. I mean, no one would know. Right? One month later, I had the opportunity to publish a blog with Crystal Daye and then as the two month anniversary is upon us, I was afforded the opportunity yet again!

Monica Vimbiso of Future Females, an organization that I did not know exists, reached out to me using the contact page of this blog. And voila, in less than 24 hours I am published on their page where their reach is 85,000 strong! She asked permission to repost my Money Management Basics post, giving me full credit and linking the post on their page, to my blog here.

When I said yes, I also said to her that if there is anything else they’d like to me to write about, that I would be happy to do so. What I did not know is that they host themed events every month to help their female entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Well, what do you know? This month’s theme is money and mindset. And if you’ve read earlier blogs, you’d know that I only changed my money mindset last year! Well, in response to my offer to write more for them should they desire same, guess what happened? I have been added to their blogging community! Yes, my jaw hit the floor too! All of this happened within 24 hours! Just like that, South Africa became the 25th country in which my blog is being read.

So, what am I saying exactly?

  1. Hone your craft. Work on it silently, diligently, get all the help you need and be consistent .
  2. When opportunity comes, say yes then figure out how to do it! Challenges are meant to grow us! Do the required research that will teach you how.
  3. Always display excellence. Let excellence be your brand, first, middle, surname and married name! Yes it is that serious. People want authenticity, honesty and for you to bring your best to the table.
  4. It is not only about the money. In the beginning, you will do it for free. Get your name out there and then once people recognize your value, they will pay you.

No, I am not there yet. My skills have not all been monetized, but I know they will. I mean, I have only been blogging for two months!

Whew! Finally a short blog!

Anyhoos, what are your gifts? Will you stop being shy and allow them to make room for you? If opportunity comes knocking right now, are you ready to grab it? What excuses are you allowing to hold you back?


Why Does Everyone Blog About Gratitude?

Because it works! Period! It is a not so secret but deadly weapon that we don’t wield often enough. It is a fragrance that we don’t inhale often enough. It is that suave, refreshing ocean breeze that we definitely don’t allow to soothe us… often enough.

The mind is a powerful place. It is the battlefield of all battlefields. If you can control what enters and exits, you will have better control over your life. Gratitude is not ignoring the real issues that you are facing. However, gratitude keeps you at peace as you go through.

Does it have to be a journal? No! Do you have to make a status on WhatsApp or a post to Twitter, or Facebook about it? Do you have to put in your Instagram story? No. In whatever way you choose to express your gratitude, just do it. Do it authentically and do it often.

I find that the more I continue to walk in healing is the easier it becomes for me to be grateful. The more I see myself the way God sees me, the easier it is for me to remain grateful. The more I enjoy peace in God, the peace of God and peace with God, the easier it is for me to live gratefully.

Gratitude for me is more often a quiet exercise. I have done the gratitude posts and I have journalled about it. Nevertheless, I find that in a quiet moment driving or walking or just being alone with my thoughts (that I have finally learned how to shut off, and not overthink all the time), that, that is when spontaneous gratitude flows.

The longer I live and the more I experience, the more I have to be grateful for. I am grateful that I am no longer as miserable as I used to be. I am not broken anymore. I am so grateful for how God really does beautify the meek with salvation. I am grateful for my process and the spirit of influence that operates on my life. I am grateful that I get to share my thoughts with all of you who read. I am grateful that I have readers who enjoy what I write. I am grateful I took the risks I have taken in spite of being so afraid. I am grateful I am not who I was last year, last month, last week, yesterday, two minutes ago when I started writing this blog…

Not that I am ungrateful or don’t deem my accomplishments as important and things to be grateful for…but the longer you live, the more that list of important things and people changes…I am grateful for that as well…for maturity and for knowing where my true identity lies…

Of course I am grateful for my family, friends, mentors, advisors…they know it too, as I tell it to them often…

Even as I end what I thought was going to be a very short blog, I can’t help but smile. I don’t have all that I want, or even need, but I have learned to obey God’s command that says in everything, give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

So, what are you grateful for? No, I don’t want the trite cliche of an answer…think about it…breathe in and breathe out…then, answer me…

How do you express gratitude? What are you grateful for?


Money Management- Budgeting

In my previous post about Money Management Basics, I mentioned budgeting. Today, I get to make good on that promise to bring you more information. So what is a budget anyways? A budget may be defined as an estimate of both one’s income and expenses over a specific time period. That time frame can range from one month to one year; however, for personal finances, most people use one month. It can also include your cash flow, the assets you own and any savings that you may have.

Now that we know what a budget is, let us break it down a bit further. What are some of the expenditures included? Mortgage, student loan, car note, utilities, phone (whether prepaid or postpaid), credit card, personal hygiene, entertainment, et. cetera. Anything at all that you spend money on is an expense. The other part of your budget is your income. How much money do you actually take home?

Regarding income, how many persons know the difference between their gross and net income? Your gross income refers to the total sum of money earned before your deductions are withdrawn and expenses paid. More often than not the deductions are taxes. The taxes withdrawn vary by country however; here in Jamaica those include Income Tax, NHT, Education and NIS. Some of your bills might be covered via salary deductions but those are still expenses. Salary deductions might include insurance, car note and loan payments. Salary deductions can also be a positive thing, as they can be used for mandatory saving. In this regard, you put a portion of your money into savings before you even get a hold of your pay cheque! On the other hand, your net income is what is left, after your deductions have been withdrawn and your expenses have been covered. I know, I know that for some persons that is literally $0. There is hope…I will return to this point.

Why is it important to create a budget anyway? Well, if you don’t know how much you are spending, and on what, how can you become financial free? The vehicles to financial freedom include reducing your expenses, increasing your income through earnings from multiple streams, or a combination of both. The only way to know whether your problem is income only, expenditure only or both, is to do a budget. You can’t know that without doing a budget. Simple.

Well, what happens if you do your budget and at the end your balance is $0? Or, worst, what if you have a deficit? There is no need to feel as though there is no hope. I was there. Yes, in my very first conversation with my financial advisor I was dragging over $30,000 Jamaican Dollars in deficit, every single month. Fast forward three years later, I am not fully out of the woods but I am on my way. The choices one will have to make are as individual as each person and their situation. The sacrifices are hard and sometimes you will second guess yourself. I have increased my streams of income by monetising skills and taking on extra workload. Some of my debts have been reduced but, I still have a lot more to pay off. Some of my debt is in USD currency, and we’ve all seen the Jamaican Dollar’s instability against same. I have also drastically cut back on spending. A lot of things I once thought absolutely necessary to my life and well being, I have been surviving without. Nonetheless, I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I had and still have a plan to pay off all of my debts within a particular time frame.

Until then, would you like a budget template with which to work ? I have one from my financial advisor that you can use. You plug in the values for your expenses and your salary and the budget sheet calculates the rest for you. Click here to access the link for the download. This is a tool that you can use even if you are already financially free.

Now that you know more, will you actually do a budget?


El Estado Civil: Una Inclinación Hacia Jesucristo

Soy Cristiana desde hace 25 años y tengo sólo un arrepentimiento. No era más fiel a Dios.

En verdad, intenté desesperadamente vivir una vida de perfeccionismo y fracasé miserablemente. Esto, mientras exigía a otros que cumplieran con normas que ni yo podía alcanzar…bastante farisaico. ¡Sí! La única cosa que me descalificó de ser miembro del Sanedrín en el Testamento Nuevo era mi sexo… me aparto del tema.

Esta entrada se basó en una conversación reciente con alguien. De repente, las conversaciones habían cambiadas de conversaciones platónicas a más que las quise ser. Más que estaba cómoda oír. Ahora, durante el año pasado, había acogida la atención y los detalles de esa conversación. Tengo que confesar que era posible que yo hubiera reído y que lo alenté también. Y al hacerlo, yo hubiera sabido que era un ejercicio fútil para tentar a la puerta del oído. Estaría alimentándome cosas que disminuirían mi propósito y contaminarían las mismas cosas que Dios me advirtió guardar.

No obstante, cuando las conversaciones cambiaron, mi corazón empezó a gritar ruidosamente: Tengo una inclinación a Dios y a las cosas de Dios y nada la cambiará. Era tan fuerte en mi espíritu y por eso empecé a decirlo en voz alta aun cuando no había nadie a mi alrededor. Pues, ¿Qué había cambiado?

Querido lector mío, el mayo de 2019 era mi momento crítico. ¡Decidí que no más! Nunca más seguiría con una vida inmoral mientras estaba trabajando por Dios sólo porque los ojos humanos no podían verlo. Ya no puedo estar satisfecha con la mediocridad. Supe perfectamente como me sentía cuando estaba caminando muy cerca de Dios, y había caído muy lejos de ese nivel. Así que, le pedí a Dios que me quitara las cosas que no podría ceder por mi cuenta. ¡Y, dios está dando la respuesta a esa oración! La gente, los lugares, las cosas, y las actividades, que, aunque no sean malos inherentemente, ya no eran conveniente. No facilité el proceso porque soy de muy fuerte carácter. Sin embargo, llegué al lugar donde todo lo que quise era y es Jesús. ¡Nada entre Jesús y yo! Llegué a tener más hambre que siempre.

A pesar de estoy, estoy muy lejos de ser ideal. En realidad, estoy perfectamente imperfecta, todavía estoy fracasando de vez en cuando, pero…mi afición es diferente. Y estoy muy contenta con esto. Ahora, mi identidad está solamente en Jesús y no está en mis logros ni en mis debilidades. Aunque, supe que estaba creciendo espiritualmente, y que tendría más enfoque en Dios, Él utilizó esa conversación para mostrarme mi corazón. ¡Que escandaloso! Finalmente, mi corazón está donde fue creada para estar…en comunión dulce con Dios. En un lugar más maduro, un espacio liberal donde, no hay ningún precio demasiado alto que puedo pagar para permanecerme en Su presencia.  

Recuerdo declarar repetidamente a mi misma, a la persona, al silencio ensordecedor durante mis caminos de la madrugada, en mi tiempo devocional, al ducharme, mientras estaba conduciendo: ¡Tengo una inclinación a Dios! ¡He REZADO DEMASIADO, HE LLORADO DEMASIADO, HE CAMBIADO DEMASIADO Y no voy a regresar de donde estoy procediendo!

No, no soy perfecta. Simplemente tengo una inclinación hacia Dios…

¿Cuál es su estado civil?


Worship: When Jesus becomes your YouTube DJ

I try to keep the promises that I make to you my beloved readers!! I originally wrote this blog for a series published on Crystal Daye’s website. This is the post as it was published. Why republish? I have added the link to the song referred along with a list of a few other songs in my playlist at the moment. So if you have read the article already, feel free to skip to the playlist!

As Christians the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. One of these weapons is worship. Personally, the enemy will try to sink me so low that I don’t have the urge to sing. Why? He’s fully aware that singing will lift every heavy darkness and sweep away every cloud of sorrow. YouTube (and all other platforms on which one can stream music) can become an instrumental part of our worship. It is great to create your own playlist and fall asleep to it, or just relax your mind. So how does Jesus become one’s disk jockey? Isn’t there an algorithm that YouTube utilises based on what you watch and your browsing history? Most certainly! But God can use anything!

Although Jesus selecting my music is something that has happened in the past, it has been happening more frequently in recent times. We all, regardless of how spiritual and righteous we are, have moments when we are low, and our souls are desolate and desperate. In those moments, God has strategically, on more than one occasion, placed a song on the home page of my YouTube account. That song always has the message I need. Whether it is a fresh perspective on that old favourite, or one I have not heard before, it is always apropos. Inevitably, that song will pull up another one that I need to hear and so on until maybe several hours have passed. Within that space of time, tears would have now flooded my eyes and soul as the invisible hands of my heavenly Father, massages away every ache. Ultimately, even when the problem is still very much present, I become intensely aware of, and awash with the sweet peace that only Jesus can give.

Notwithstanding, sometimes the songs make me quiver in the natural because He gives me a glimpse of what He is requiring next. In this season where I am experiencing exponential spiritual growth, last week DJ Jesus selected Refiner by Maverick City Music featuring Steffany Gretzinger and Chandler Moore.

It is clear that whatever He is up to next, it requires that I ask Him to “Burn me beautiful,, burn me lovely, burn me righteous, burn me holy”. It is scary; not because I don’t trust God, but because I know He is asking me to level up.

What has DJ Jesus selected for you today? Are you listening?


  1. Communion
  2. The More I Seek You
  3. Good and Loved
  4. More Beautiful/So in Love
  5. King of My Heart
  6. Keep on Getting Better
  7. Never Lost (Halal Band Cover)
  8. Carry Me
  9. Something Has To Break
  10. The Lord’s Prayer

¿Por qué Cerebral Massage?

Como una escritora terca y estimulante, hablo sobre muchos temas diferentes del estilo de vida a las finanzas y los académicos. Sin embargo, el tema más cercano a mi corazón es el tema devocional que discute cosas espirituales. Esas cosas espirituales nos ayudan navegar este mundo con una perspectiva espiritual.

Ya no puedo decir la frecuencia con que publicaré mis blogs. A menudo escribo cuando me siento una inspiración escribir. ¿Para quienes estoy escribiendo? Cualquier persona que le gusta la escritura que haga pensar y que no es siempre no controvertida. De todas formas del tema de que elijo escribir, espero que estuvieren inspirados pensar profundamente del contenido de los blogs. Espero que mis blogs les dan inspiración hacer su propria investigación e inquirir. El objetivo de las entradas de blog es para cuestionan sus creencias: ¿Cómo llegar a esas filosofías? Y ¿Cómo se comparan sus verdades con las de otras personas? Ultimadamente, debe salir de los blogs más convencido de sus perspectivas o, con preguntas que llevan a pensamientos más profundos de esas perspectivas.

No estoy segura para cual tiempo durará este blog, pero prometo traerles lecturas autenticas y estimulantes por todas audiencias independientemente de edad, interés y antecedentes.

¡Bienvenidos a Cerebral Massage!


Liberty: Journey or destination?

Oftentimes as Christians, we have recited the scripture – Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. We declare it, speak it into the atmosphere, we believe it yet we continue to struggle. So, is the Word of God true or not? That is definitely a rhetorical question!

What I have come to realise is that liberty is more of a process than a single finite event. It is more of a journey than a destination at which we arrive. The enemy of our souls, the accuser of the brethren has sown seeds in our lives. Those seeds have germinated and they have become trees with an extensively, intertwined root system. Just think of all the years that you have been struggling with some of the things that have taken root in your life. It might have started as a small thought. But then you focussed on it a lot and it got bigger. You watered it, fertilised it and it is now a robust, strong, thriving, fruit bearing tree. A stronghold is not something puny. In order for it to be a stronghold, it must have a firmly grounded root system. Look at giant trees. for example the redwoods also known as Sequoias. In order for a tree of that size to remain upright it must have a solid base.

If we could really look below a garden’s surface I am sure we would see how root systems are intertwined, even across species. When the root system is so vast, we find that the tree is hard to kill. If you cut off just the top, then there is a great possibility that the tree will spring back because its root system is intact. It is still able to get nutrients.

And so, what God has to do with our deliverance, although we have decreed a thing in the spiritual realm, and once God’s Word says it, it is so, Amen, there is no need to question it, there is a process. God has to, and please forgive the inadequacy of my natural parlance in describing the ethereal, take His time. It is a delicate and tedious job! God has to pull up every single root that has come from that seed. Consequently we find that our deliverance, our process, our freedom, it comes in layers. Until God starts to cut down the trees you will not get a plenary understanding of how deep the root system is. How thick and healthy it is. How rich it is. How well fed it is. God has to go through and uproot every single piece of it, being meticulous to not allow a reseeding to occur either. Reseeding or incomplete removal of the roots will cause the thing to spring anew, and possibly even stronger. God certainly does not want that.

Remember, God created time, so He is not confined to our understanding of it. He loves us too much to do an incomplete botched up removal job. So, if you are still struggling with “stuff”, do not be discouraged. Take heart knowing that the Master Gardener is in the process of weeding out His garden. He has to properly remove the root system, to leave His seed and His roots intact. If you have declared a thing, and you know that you are free. You are seeing the signs of partial freedom in your life, keep going in the process. Do not abort the process! God has all the various tools needed to take out from the smallest to the biggest of roots. His intention is to get rid of all of the roots, piece by piece. Soon you will find that this thing doesn’t have as firm a grip on you anymore.

Will you be encouraged today on your journey to full freedom? Will you allow God to finish what He has started?


I Am New to Investing: Help!!!

As a newbie investor, I have asked many questions of those who have had much more experience with investment. I also believe that each one must teach one, therefore, as I learn I teach. Since I have started investing, I have had many conversations with people about the same topic. As I have had those conversations I keep saying the same things over and over. Disclaimer! I am not a licensed financial advisor…but, this information is brought to you in partnership with the Stock Sage himself Mr. Devrhoid Davis. I wanted to ensure that whatever information I brought to you my beloved readers is factual. So let us all get comfortable and settle in for another massage session.

  1. Decide whether or not you want to do investing or trading or both. Investment is long term and trading is short term. Your financial goals will help you determine which one is right for you. If you decide to engage in trading, know the difference between swing trading and day trading.
  2. Select an investment strategy. Mine is value investing. Value investors look at specific criteria when selecting a particular stock. As a value investor himself, Mr. Davis has written an excellent article that summarises same. Also, select the type of analysis you would like to employ. Would you prefer fundamental analysis or technical analysis?
  3. Next select the brokerage house that best suits your needs. Some brokerage houses offer an online service where you can buy and sell stocks directly from their platforms (JMMB and NCBCM). Others allow you to do fund in requests to the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s Jtraderpro website; and Proven allows you to trade globally in addition to locally. Most brokerage houses have brokers who can, for a percentage of the buy or sell, execute your order. This is especially useful for those who are very new and unsure of how to purchase or sell a particular stock.
  4. So you’ve selected investment vs trading or both, along with your investment strategy, analysis, and brokerage house, what next? You need to make that appointment with the brokerage house and open up your account. The type of account you open will be determined by your goals, strategies, appetite for risk and the portfolio you want to create. You can work along with the broker until you are a bit more comfortable to start making your own choices.

Now I did briefly mention risk. Some persons are very risk averse and others have a healthy appetite. Your appetite for risk will determine which products you buy. Another way to get started in investing is to buy into a mutual or unit fund where your money is pooled with other funds. Most brokerage houses have such a fund that you can buy into for starters. Another way to enter the market is through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) when the company will first be listed on the market. Or, one can purchase shares when the company is making an Additional Public Offer (APO).

Well, that about ends our session for today. But before we go, please check out Devrhoid’s YouTube channel and his website Caribbean Value Investor. Investment is only one part of your financial plan. So don’t forget to get a financial advisor. I highly recommend my own, Mr. Shamar Clarke.

Is there anything that I didn’t tell you about? What else would you like to know to get started?


Spiritual Servicing: What is your mileage?

Whether or not you own a vehicle, everyone knows that you cannot drive a vehicle without periodically servicing it. Well, technically you could but, one day you’d awaken and that vehicle would not move. How much more important it is for us to be spiritually serviced? Never thought about it huh? If you don’t take time to get spiritually serviced, one day you will wake up and you won’t function. But, like the vehicle, there will be many lights that come on, on the dashboard that you or I would have ignored, before we “stop functioning”. Now I am no mechanic but I always read my receipt and I always, ALWAYS, ask questions. Oh and there’s is Google, my dad, my brother in law, ex boyfriend, uncle, or whichever man in my life I, in my own estimation, think is knowledgeable, for the fact checking. The dealer wants my money so they will tell me anything, right?

So what does spiritual servicing entail? How often must you do it? We know that there are different makes and models of vehicles. And, we also know that the year of the vehicle, how often you drive it and the terrain on which it is driven, also factor into the servicing. But how does your mechanic or dealer knows what to service? My service dealer normally does an assessment to find out what needs to be done. So what does our spiritual service dealer do when we pull in to the spiritual garage? Let’s take a look

  1. Assessment: With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is our manual. It is our guide. It is our blueprint. In order to know how we are doing and where we will need servicing, we will need to look at our lives through the lens of the Word. But as the Bible states, and I am paraphrasing, spiritual things cannot be naturally discerned. As such, we need the Holy Spirit to quicken us as we are reading the word. After all, He was given to us to guide us into all truth. And there are levels to the truth ingrained within the Word! Copious amounts I tell you! And the same scripture can take on different meanings at different service appointments. Why? Because we would have travelled to different places, experienced new things and so the understanding with which we return is richer.
  2. Oil change: There is a mileage requirement (or monthly interval) that “triggers” the need for an oil change. What does that mean for us? What does the oil represent? In the Old Testament, oil was used to anoint new kings. I believe that too often we try to operate on a new level, in a new season, with the old anointing. Sometimes we get complacent and try to take the things that were meant to transition us to our present level into the new one. I believe that the outpouring of the Spirit increases in tandem with the profundity of our next level. Therefore, when we pull in for an oil change, God gives us of His anointing, what we will need for the next level. When was your last oil change?
  3. Filter: If a filter is clogged, can it filter? Yes it is a rhetorical, commonsensical question. Sometimes, the filter needs a little cleaning, a lot of cleaning and other times, we just have to throw out the old one and get a new one. Sometimes the filter gets torn. The things we watch and listen to can affect our spiritual filter. What are we allowing to enter and damage our filter? Today, let the Word of God wash out the deception or the things that, although not evil or satanic, are simply not expedient for this level.
  4. Top up: How many of us check the levels of our windscreen washer fluid? Really now, let us be honest. Oftentimes it is when we go to clean the windscreen and the little squirt comes up that we realise we have ran out. But that is not the only fluid that exists for the vehicle. Likewise, spiritually, when we give of ourselves to others and we allow God to use us, we run low. So when we go to our service appointment, God has to refill us. This cannot happen without us laying out before God, prostrate in worship. In so doing we empty out ourselves and allow God to top us up or fill us up with what we need.
  5. Nuts, bolts, screws: Rugged terrain can do a number on the vehicles’ “front end”. Trials, tribulations, testing, sickness, and storms can really wear us down and out. We get to that place where we feel like throwing in the towel. We cry out in anguish and lament how we’ve been obedient and yet we are being lambasted by the enemy. His shellackings are relentless in some seasons and we feel spiritually dizzy. As we are driven along, all types of knocking sounds and creaks can be heard. But I know a Mechanic (almost feel like I’m preaching whew child!)! God can tighten everything that is loose in our spiritual front end.
  6. Major repairs: For the strong willed amongst us, we often keep running long after every single warning light is on, on the dashboard. We literally run ourselves to wreck before limping to our service appointment. The task He has for us requires that we be strong willed. Nonetheless, we have to balance that with a bend towards God. So we are tough when we need to be yet pliable in the Master’s hand. God is so gracious. The awesome thing about God is that even when we destroy the engine or transmission, we are not beyond His reach. It might require several days of work but when He is finished it will be as if we were just created.

So, what is your mileage? Have you been putting off your service appointment because you can’t “afford it”? Actually, you cannot not afford it!

How often should you go in? As often as you need it. That depends on where you are on your journey. So, have you made your appointment yet?


Time: How do you manage that thing?

If you know me, you know I am wearing too many hats and my proverbial plate overfloweth! Yet somehow I get it all done…so much so that at times I am very impatient with those who cannot juggle multiple responsibilities. Forgive me, I am only human after all equipped with my own set of pet peeves and idiosyncratic quirks. However, I am learning that not everyone is like me and, thank God! The world would have been a very boring, rigid and stiff place LOL! However, before I share how I manage my time, let me tell you what I do.

I am a part time student who is almost at the end of a four year research based master’s degree. I am a full time lecturer, course coordinator, research supervisor and faculty advisor to a University club. I tutor Spanish and Biology for CSEC and CAPE. In addition, I am a member of two organisations (one research and the other translation and interpretation). Oh and church! I sing, I teach, I moderate. Yeah, my life in a nutshell. Oops! I forgot about the mobile market thing that I do where I link customers (primarily coworkers) wth suppliers of organic, fresh produce (my neighbours). Name it and I will post it on my status and market it for you! I have even done deliveries for my friends’ businesses. I really do believe in supporting others while they are realising their dreams. And Yes! I exercise (thanks to Covid I am back on track), eat healthily, and sleep. Thanks to Covid again my bed, television and I are beautifully reunited and it feels so good 😍!

So how do I do it? Nothing supernatural and unheard of.

  1. I prioritise! I have many things to do every single day, but they are not all due at once. So according to the deadline, I will prioritise what needs to be completed first. That could change on any given day.
  2. I am disciplined! If you commit to a task just do it! Set a time and stick to it. If you are easily distracted remove your distractions. Initially it might require that you write out a detailed timeframe. Meaning, you write down your tasks along with the exact time you plan to dedicate to it. In that to do list be sure to include rests, meals, exercise time and of course the first thing would have been quiet time with God to start the day right.
  3. I am understanding! Life happens! Emergencies arise! At times you might not be able to complete your list. It is okay! Especially if you gave it your best effort. Don’t be too hard on yourself. And in a moment of complete transparency, I must admit that I am still learning this one.
  4. I take breaks! Regardless of how much you have to do, there is no price worth paying for your mental and physical health.
  5. I say no! When persons realise that you are reliable they lean heavily on you. And when you are efficient, you get more work. It is not always clear cut which opportunities to accept and which ones to decline. However, saying no comes with much prayer and practice. The more you say it, the easier it becomes.

Oh did I mention that I am a new blogger? Yes, I forgot to add that to the previous list of things that I now do! Life evolves constantly. God is always switching it up on us. Always requiring us to level up!

So tell me something…when God comes knocking, will you manage your time to include what He wants?

How else do you manage your time that was not suggested above?


Manifestation: How this blog came into existence

As a daughter of God who has decided to stop running away from my purpose and my calling, it should not be strange that in this season, God has been speaking very audibly…and increasingly so. Last week, during my morning devotions, on three different days I heard one word “writer”. So the third time when I heard it, I knew it was time to talk to my Abba about it.

I live in a very rural area where the air is still clean and the morning is still crisp enough to walk (that and I need to loose weight…but that is for another post). Last week Thursday on my 3K walk/run, I decided it was time to talk. What do You mean God? I am not a writer! I am not an author either. Wait! What is the difference between a writer and an author anyway? Yes I did look that up! The protest continued, God I write on my Whatsapp status what you lay on my heart, isn’t that good enough? I am sure I am reaching people! They message me and tell me all the time. And yes I write academically, I am a researcher of sorts. What most people don’t realise is that I am my harshest critic. I used to want to be famous, but now? I want to hide! I am content to be behind the scenes!

So, for those who follow me on Instagram or have my Whatsapp number, that is why I did the poll. Should I start a blog? What should I call it? Where should I publish it? I even had the whole, “not that I take cues from social media” disclaimer, because I knew what was required of me. I was so nervous!! I prayed about it some more, but the more I prayed about it, the more convinced I became that it was time to do it. What I didn’t know was how quickly God would fast forward it.

At some point last week God spoke to me about manifestation; and, if you have me on Whatsapp you’ve already seen what I am about to write here again. In this season a lot of us are declaring manifestation. However, most of us are declaring what God will manifest FOR us and not what He can manifest THROUGH us in this season. As soon as I decided yes I would do the blog, the accuser of the brethren came with two things: why I wasn’t qualified and that I should delay working on it because I am too busy.

It does not matter what your past is, or had in it. Neither does it matter your natural qualifications. If God commissioned you to do something, He has already equipped you to do it. Oftentimes the devil kills our purpose with necessary busyness. Of course you have to work, exercise, eat right, generate multiple streams of income and yes! Sleep, beautiful sleep that seems to evade me more often than I’d like to admit. I am not saying that you should not pursue those things. What I am saying is, start your day off right. Start with a session with your Omniscient Advisor. Trust me it makes all the difference.

So last week Saturday, I did the unthinkable, at least for me. After turning off my computer saying I was done for the day an hour later I went back. I signed up for a WordPress account and I wrote two posts. Just after midnight, I published them. The response has been overwhelming: persons were moved and I, in tears, thanked God that I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed Him to manifest through me.

As is customary, I’ll end with a question. Well, a series of them…What is God trying to manifest through you? Is it a new blog? A new business? A new career choice? A new invention? – one of my spiritual mentors asked God about how she should contribute to the Covid fight and He gave her a new face sanitizer spray (check it out at @california876beauty on instagram)!

The world is depending on you being a conduit of greatness. What are you afraid of? How many people will remain undelivered and for how long, while they await God’s manifestation through you?


Money Management Basics

If you are like me then you weren’t raised in a rich family. And I am sure that you have seen that post on social media that says if you didn’t come from a millionaire family, a millionaire family should come from you…words to that effect. Well, for some of us, the issue is that we have ZERO FINANCIAL LITERACY. We work hard and study hard for everything else, so why not be more conscious in our efforts to become financially literate? In this blog I want to discuss three simple things that anyone can do to get started. Disclaimer I am not a licensed financial advisor but I have a plethora at my disposal if you need one.

Three of the things I think are essential when one is just starting off include: 1. An honest assessment, 2. Learning how to create a budget and 3. Education.

  1. Honest Assessment: You cannot change what you don’t know. It is just that simple. In order to know where you need to go, you need to know where you are. Even malls have a”you are here sign” on the directions map! So, do a proverbial autopsy of your financial state. Write down every debt you owe: credit card, car note, mortgage, EVERYTHING, regardless of how small it is. Also write down the things that are assets. These are things that can generate money. What are your spending habits like? When you go to make your next purchase think about why you are making it. Some of the things you will discover here might not be pleasant. Maybe you really do waste money on trivial things. Knowing is the first half of the battle. Remember, we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. In addition, look at the bills you create. Some are very necessary: we all need light, water and so on. However, is it really necessary to have 4 different wigs and 12 different Malaysian bundles? Is it a must to have those acrylic nails that we have to refill every 2 weeks? I am not saying these things are inherently bad. What I am saying is, honestly, if we sacrifice these things entirely for a season, or cut back a bit, will we die? No we won’t! The real issue is are we willing to do the hard thing now to have it easier later. Honestly, are you?
  2. Budget: I am sure there are a few budgeting tools that exist (for a later post I will research them and let you know my thoughts). In a simple way, a budget informs you of your expenses for a particular time frame, normally one month. When you know your budget, you can anticipate how much of your income will be expended and how much you can retain. Budgeting is another way to keep abreast of all that you are spending. If you don’t know where your money is going, how can you manage it?
  3. Education: I cannot stress it enough. You, I, we have to read. Nurses, lawyers and other professionals have to do “continuing education courses” to keep current of what is happening in their field. It is even more imperative, I think, for us to keep current of this lifelong career called financial freedom. The more we learn, the more our mindset will change. And most of the work has to start there. For some, we need to change how we view money and wealth. You can have a lot of money and still be poor! Or, regardless of how much money you make, you will continue to be poor if you don’t learn to manage it well. I am not saying that you need a degree in Finance. Little by little increase your knowledge about money and how to manage it. Grow your mindset. Increase your discipline. Start small but be consistent. Then watch how your money transforms.

As D would say, It is never too late for a shower of rain!

How are you managing? Not well? Then get started! What are you waiting for?


Debt Free: I am not there yet, but I am well on my way…

When I had my first meeting with my financial advisor, he was baffled. I was running a deficit of over $30,000 Jamaican Dollars (JD) every month yet, somehow I managed to survive. I needed more income and I needed to cut expenses but all of my expenses at that time were necessary. I was a part time student in University who had just bought a second vehicle (the first one was totalled in an accident and the current one had just crashed). There was literally no wiggle room.

About a year later, he introduced me to another client of his who was financially savvy, and had more time on his hands to labour with me on this journey. Let’s call this friend D. D was the most unconventional person I have ever met. I thought he was a lunatic and very extreme. Until little by little, I started to see how what he said made sense. So I tried his advice. He gave me tons! Finance, health, personal development, fitness, you name it, D knew about it! And not to worry, I will share some of his tips with you…I am sure he would oblige. But shhh, don’t tell him!

Another year later (2019), I made my first stock purchase. Was I nervous? Gosh, nervousness was the least of my issues. I had not a single clue about what I was doing! Everyone was talking about Wigton Windfarm and so I jumped in with both feet. I did not know what a stock was. I did not understand the prospectus. Pros-what? What is that? I read it perfunctorily, stood in the long line, signed the paperwork, gave them to my banker and left without even as much as a confirmation (please don’t do that, unless you really trust the person!). I did not know what allocation of shares was. I just kept calling her to find out what had transpired! Where was the money and how would I know when I got whatever shares were?

It is now 2020. I have more financial responsibilities, more or less the same pay yet I have invested more (with a better understanding) and saved more than I did with less financial responsibilities. How did I get here? Here are tips I have gained from my many financial, wealth and investment “advisors”.

  1. Write down everything you spend your money on! It will amaze you how much you actually waste. You’d be surprised at how many things you don’t really need. Yes the $2.00 JD candy is included!
  2. Get rid of every excuse as to why you can’t start now. You don’t need $1M to start. Start with whatever you have and build, little by little. Slowly but steadily.
  3. Pay yourself 10%. If you are a Christian who tithe, your 10% comes right out after God’s. That 10% is what you will use to invest or save. This is a principle adapted from the book The Richest Man in Babylon. It is not a sin to be rich. How else will we fund God’s Kingdom and do the work He has foreordained and predestined for us?
  4. When you are ready to invest, there are several ways to get started: Unit trusts where funds are pooled. You can use the drip strategy where you take one third of what you’ve budgeted for investment to purchase a stock that you have evaluated. If it was a good deal, use another third and so on. You can also look at bonds and alternate types of investments. Did you know that you can invest a portion of your life insurance? Yes!
  5. Once you’ve put the money down, forget about it! What money? You don’t have it! Instead go and create another stream of income. What are you good at? Get paid for it! What do you love and are passionate about? Get paid for that too!
  6. NEVER FORGET THE EMERGENCY FUND! And the situation should be pretty close to lethal for it to be considered an emergency.
  7. Follow websites and persons who are talking about money. These will vary a bit depending on where you currently reside. I follow http://www.icinsider.com, http://www.jamstockex.com and http://www.caribbeanvalueinvestor.com to name a few. I am subscribed to YouTube channels hosted by Devrhoid Davis and Kalilah Reynolds.
  8. Read. Rich people or people who are serious about money are constantly reading. Don’t have any money to purchase a book? No problem! It is not an excuse. I listened to the Richest Man in Babylon freeeeeee on YouTube!!
  9. Read. Books such as Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Next Door…Oh Gosh, this list is too long for this post!
  10. I am not certain I said it before: READ!! Read well. Read often. Read voraciously. Devour everything that you can lay eyes, ears and hands on. [This is applicable to anything that you need to learn.]

So am I fully debt free? Am I rich? Not yet! But I am well on my way. I have changed my mindset, spending habits, literature that I read and I am steadfast. Rome was not built in one day, neither were my faulty ideologies and habits. Likewise, my riches and financial freedom won’t come in one day but they will certainly come ONE DAY! It will take unrelenting discipline and sacrifice. But hey, I am willing to sacrifice some things now, in order to have the life I truly want later!

I am also very much inclined to helping others start their journey. That’s the whole point of the “financial” section of this blog. I am not a financial advisor, I can recommend a few if you’d like. However, we can learn together…I promise, whatever I learn, you’ll read about it too! Get cracking!

Are you on your way yet?


Why Cerebral Massage?

As an opinionated and provocative writer, I comment on many different topics ranging from lifestyle to finance, and academics. However, the topic that is nearest to my heart is devotional or inspirational matters that help us navigate this world with a spiritual perspective.

I cannot yet say how often I will blog, as I often write when I feel inspired to write. Who am I targeting? Anyone who loves writing that is thought provoking and not always uncontroversial. Regardless of the topic that I choose to write about on a given day, it is my hope that you will be inspired to think profoundly about the contents of the blog. It is my hope that it will encourage you to do your own research and delve further. It is meant for you to question your beliefs: how did you arrive at those philosophies and how does your truth match up against other persons’ truths and philosophies. Ultimately, you should walk away more convinced of your views, or have questions that will lead to deeper thought about those views.

I am not sure for how long this will last, but I promise to bring authentic and provocative reads for all audiences regardless of age, interest and background.


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