Am I really headed in the right direction?

Recently I keep finding myself wondering if I’m where I should be. I question my position in life and wonder if I should have gone about things differently. I find myself doubting the choices that I have made and begin to convince myself that I’ve made too many mistakes to be living right.

I add further insult to injury by focusing too much on how much I’ve lost instead of how much I’ve gained. How far I still have to go instead of how far I’ve actually come.

The irrational thoughts begin to spiral out of control as the nonsense begins to suddenly make sense. I become trapped in my own web of deceit.

It’s so easy to look down on yourself. It’s much harder to shift your perspective and look up to the power and strength that you truly are.

I find myself feeling angry at times without even really knowing why. But it is common knowledge that anger is a symptom of fear.

I realised that my fear stems from the ability to keep comparing myself to others and the inability to recognise the uniqueness that makes me the wonderful, motivated and aspirational woman that I am now.

I believe that the many questions and doubts are signposts towards an uncertainty as a result of straying away from where God needs us to be.

We have to learn to listen to the questions and let the answers that are revealed guide us back to centre.

Often it’s not obvious that we have strayed because where we end up can feel comfortable. But it’s only when we make ourselves uncomfortable that we truly experience real growth and change for the better. We were not built to stay the same forever. We have to let go in order to grow. We have to accept change in order to gain. We have to remain determined and strong in order to hold onto what we need and believe.

Everything that I have done, everything that I have seen, everywhere that I have been is rooted into my journey because it’s the only way that I could learn one of my life’s very important lessons.

I’ve never done anything that God didn’t need me to do. I’ve never seen anything that God didn’t need me to see. I’ve never been anywhere where God didn’t need me to be.

Every joy, every pain, every love, every shame, everything that has chipped away at me has shaped me into the person that I am today.

For this reason I can’t have any regrets. For this reason I have to accept that I am exactly where God needs me to be, seeing exactly what he needs me to see, doing exactly what he needs me to do.

I may not truly understand but it’s not my job to understand. My job is to have faith that in all things, God will bring me through and keep me close to him.

So the next time that you’re questioning why or wondering why not, remember to look within to analyse how much you need to learn about where you are so that you can apply that learning to the next phase. This is not it for you.

You are exactly where you need to be. It will lead you to where you need to go.

Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18 NIV


Is this moment better than the worst?

I often wonder about what is to come.

Is it going to get any better?

Is this is it for me?

Is the pain and suffering that I’m experiencing now worth all of the trouble that it’s causing?

Every time that these thoughts come, I think back to previous battles that I didn’t think were worth fighting for, I think of the times when I didn’t think that I was strong enough to overcome. I look back at the times when I was on my knees, crying out to God for his Mercy and Grace which just seemed to never come. I think of all of the people who gave up on me because my pain was too much for them to bear.

I think of the times when I was calling for the light to brighten the darkness that I was trapped in.

I ponder the moments when the spirit of God seemed to just pass me by, when it seemed as if I wasn’t worth saving, when nothing else mattered other than no longer existing.

I think of all of these moments of brokenness. I wonder how I’m still here, still breathing, basking in the joy that fills my soul; the very soul that until recently felt empty, void of any hope, powerless and lost.

I couldn’t have survived all that I’ve been through without the intervention of a higher power. Without the mercy and patience of a power beyond anything I could ever try to imagine.

It’s not something that I find easy to explain, it’s not something I would even expect many to understand. But for the few that do, be encouraged, it does get better. I can testify that even in this moment, what lies ahead really is worth holding out for.

The extraordinary tends not to make much sense to begin with. Instead of wasting energy trying to comprehend that which is holding us together, use the time instead to deepen the connection to it and as the relationship develops, so too will the understanding of it.

I don’t claim to fully overstand every experience that I have faced, but I try to look within each one for the lesson it was trying to teach me. I aim to grasp the authenticity of every interaction that touches my mind, body and spirit.

My aim is to deepen my connection with my inner self so that my outer being can evoke a strength beyond any barrier that might try to bend or break me.

I am a spirit builder, I won’t stop until the foundation is set and that which is built upon it is strong enough to withhold any storm. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working everyday towards the goal.

The light within must shine bright enough to drown out even the darkest shadow.

I have hope that I will get there. My hope keeps me going everyday, even when the past fights to keep me there, in my brokenness and hopelessness. I keep pushing through and continue to press ahead.

I will not surrender. I will not forget how much I have already overcome.

I will breath, I will survive, I will be ok.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God’. (John 14:1)

#SpiritOfTheFittest #LightOverDark

#Yes #IAmInAwe #Love #Power #Might #Spirit #KeepGoing #ItsJustATest #YouWillWin #GodsSpirit


What’s in a name anyway

Am I gonna make it?

A question that I just asked myself and became quite emotional over.
I suddenly realised that I’m afraid of failing but also afraid of succeeding. Why?
Because failing means that I’ll never make it, but I’m also scared that I won’t have what it takes to succeed which will mean that I’ll keep failing at every attempt.
This fear often puts me off attempting to succeed because I can’t stand the thought of failing.

So the result?

I remain where I am, out of alignment, far removed from my true purpose and on a road to nowhere.

So how do I overcome my fear?

I have a self affirmation that I constantly tell myself;

Do it afraid‘.

I’m a singer, or at least that’s what other people tell me I am.

But I’ve never really found my true voice – or in other words, never really found true confidence in my voice.
I enjoy singing, I know that my voice is ok as other people tell me that it is. But every time I sing I’m afraid because it might not sound that good.

I realised a long time ago that singing actually helped people to accept me as a person.

But I wasn’t accepting myself.

Even down to my name, I hated telling people what my name was. I felt that my name ‘Irene Kush’ was just weird and old fashioned and down right embarrassing.

I got teased a lot when I was at school because of my names. Eventually I began to hate my name and then who I was.
I lost my sense of identity.

When I got married and my surname changed to Aserie, I became a little more comfortable giving my name to people but still not truly happy because I hated my first name.

I could easily just change my name, but I didn’t think I was good enough to fit any other name either. So I became stuck with the name that I was given.

I’ve been ‘doing it afraid’ ever since I was a child. Just telling people my name was an internal battle that I had to overcome. Before I even started a conversation with someone new, I was afraid because I had to get past telling them my name first.

I tried to avoid conversations with people and so became a bit of a recluse.
I spent a lot of time on my own, talked to myself, read lots of books, wrote my own fictitious stories and eventually my own fictitious songs.

I guess that’s one of the reasons why I drink alcohol. It’s amazing how much false confidence a glass of wine or three can give you.

Writing became my way of communicating with people, I could only really open up about issues through my written word as oppose to my spoken word.

But I wanted to write from a more honest and purposeful place. However, I became afraid of revealing the real me through song because I was afraid of being rejected.
Singing was a way of getting people to like me but what if they didn’t like my music or what I had to say?

So what did I do?

I stopped singing and writing.

As a result I became depressed, unhappy and way out of alignment with who I really was. Suddenly I had no way at all of expressing my thoughts and feelings. Now I was internalising everything and too afraid to own my true self worth.

I was unable to cultivate my self worth and keep reminding myself of my self affirmation to just ‘do it afraid’.

But then I asked myself ‘what exactly is it that I want to do and who am I doing it for?’
I didn’t want to be on my death bed before I figured it out. I needed to make a change now.

I first had to learn to accept my name.
What’s in a name anyway?
I realised that I was much more than my name. I was so much more than I had ever imagined myself to be.

I then started writing again. Not for other people but just for me. Not fictitious songs and stories, but I actually started to write out my real story. I knew that I had to write from a place that had the potential to inspire and change lives just like I had managed to do with myself.

I finally realised I was on my way to becoming the woman I was meant to be.

But had I realised all of this too late?

I remember recently when a music producer I had worked with in my teens looked at me during a studio session. He always thought that I had what it takes to be a musical superstar. He looked at me and was shaking his head. He felt that that I should never have stopped the music because by now I would have been a successful artist.

I often wrestle with the notion that it’s too little too late.

But I know that my time will come for me to be exactly who I was sent here to be.

I wasn’t ready then but I’m ready now. It may not be as a musical superstar but whatever plans God has for me, I know I will be the best that I can be.

I will be exactly where I need to be.

In the meantime, I will continue to work on improving me and stepping out in faith towards my destiny.

I am learning everyday not to value what other people say more than what I say.

I am learning to do what I want to do instead of what other people want me to do.

I am working towards having what I want for me instead of having what other people want for me.

I am learning not to let a glass of wine bring out the more confident me.

I’m in my mid thirties and I am in the process of finishing an album that sounds exactly the way I want it to sound. I’ve written a book about the journey to discovering my self worth and I’m getting much closer to being in alignment with who God intended me to be.

I have God given talents and I’m not afraid to use them.

But I also understand that it’s not your gift that guarantees your success it’s how hard you’re willing to work at it.

I’ve worked hard to overcome the challenges that I’ve faced. I’m still working hard to master my worth and skills.

When I look at myself I don’t see what other people see, I’m learning to see myself through my own eyes and to accept and be comfortable with what is revealed.

So am I gonna make it?

I truly believe that I will.


I used to love her; I still do


I’ve had a few days to digest the recent concert in Birmingham of Ms Lauryn Hill.

The lady that helped to deliver two Fugees albums, produced what is in my opinion the best album of all time – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which she won 5 grammy’s for and also not forgetting her last offering – MTV unplugged album.

Negative press seems to follow Ms Hill, in an attempt, in line with some of the biggest conspiracies of all time, to bring this unique artist down and out.

I on the other hand have never been too phased by the backlash that follows her. I am aware that this unconventional artist is most likely berated because she refuses to conform to pressures from the media and entertainment industry to be more puppet like and to do what the other black female music artists do.

We’ve become so used to expecting an award winning spectacle from singers, with half dressed women gyrating in front of children, fornication being the sole message and the product being packaged in a way that could be deemed harmful to a whole generation and beyond.

What I like about Lauryn Hill is her daring to be different and non conformist. Her passion for what she does and her organic and laid back approach to her artistry. Her music does all the talking. It doesn’t need to be dressed up in any way to cover up any shortcomings.

Her concert in Birmingham was everything I had expected from a performer who really is all about the music.

Her eclectic and diverse mix of indie, rock, hip hop, reggae and rnb infused songs constantly kept me on my toes.
I didn’t go to her concert to hear exactly what she did on her last album, I went there to hear what this amazing artist had to offer her audience. What she offered up was a clever and mind blowing remix of her classic hits with a few of the best covers of Bob Marley tracks I’ve ever heard.

The way that Lauryn commanded the band during her performance was a clear indication that this is a woman in control of her own destiny.

Many have slated the concerts in both London and Birmingham and had no respect for what this gifted songstress wanted to express on the day.
I for one will always respect the God given talent of Ms Lauryn Hill. I don’t feel that she owes me anything and would never feel that I am entitled to dictate to her what she should and should not sing at her concert.

For those who complained at what time Ms Hill came on stage or the choice of songs Ms Hill chose to do, I would say that you must remember that you don’t own her on account of the fact that you paid for a ticket to her concert. You are there to hear her do what she wants to do to express her musicality in Her own special way. Her concert is an experience that should be respected for what it is rather than what you feel it should have been.

This is the woman who gave us the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Arguably one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 90’s if not ever. This is the lady who made history becoming the first ever woman to be nominated in 10 different categories for the Grammy awards and eventually walking away with 5. This is the woman who chose to put her children first and step away from the spotlight in order to dedicate her time to them.

She has and always will be an inspiration to me. Our eldest sons both share the same name so I always knew that one day our paths would cross.
Never did I imagine it would be in the back seat of her car!
I spotted Ms Hill following the concert as she was about to leave the venue. Her car was surrounded by around 100 fans desperate to get a photo with her. I was amazed at how Ms Hill reacted to the crowd, she did not once display any diva, arrogant type behaviour. In fact, on the contrary, she was very calm and willing to take a photo and have a chat with every individual around the car.

When my turn came I was able to fulfil a life time ambition in sharing with her my respect for her as a music artist. I was humbled by her friendly and caring nature as she put her arm around my shoulder to pose for yet another photo.

This is a woman who deserves our respect not our condemnation. We must shy away from thinking about her in the way that the media and the music industry wants us to view her. The picture they paint of her is not a true reflection of the character I met on the back seat of her car, if only for a few brief minutes.

As the great Lauryn Hill said “Everything is everything, what is meant to be will be.”

I pray that for Ms Hill, what God has meant for her will include love, unity and freedom just as she sings and raps about in her songs.

I also hope that one of the most talented lyricists ever to grace this planet will never conform to sell more tickets, will never stop expressing how she feels on that given day and will one day be able to introduce her son Zion to my son Zion!