Posted in CocoAbba

To ‘Shema’

There’s a word that fittingly describes 2021 for me—eccentric.

The shoes I wore? Eccentric.
They say it’s been 40 years since CMDA-UCTH last had a female General secretary. We had one this year. Did it stretch me? In many ways, yes, and yet it’s my best experience in this year for how much better I am for it.

The several trips I made? Eccentric.
For the first time in my life I made a motorcycle trip through rural villages alone. I had so much fun.
I made my first boat trip alone too (all others have been with friends/family).

The friendships? Eccentric.
I met the wildest variety of humans this year and somehow I kept finding goodness at every turn. And oh, I walked a few friends to the altar. Lol.

Every eccentricity taught me to ‘Shema’.

The word Shema is a Hebrew word that means to listen and do. However, there’s a peculiarity in this doing— It’s an action predicated on respect for the one who’s speaking.
I first encountered the word in a bible plan on YouVersion (another immeasurable blessing). It’s also the word used for the Israeli household prayer that says “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one God…”

This year I ‘shema’ed.

In my work with (past and present state/national) leaders of the Christian Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria, more than ever I had to Shema. At first I listened grudgingly but patiently till somewhere the lines blurred as understanding came. Every conversation left me better because slowly I was learning to Shema.

In the clinics clerking patients this year and having my chiefs (consultants/registrars) correct my cases, I learnt to Shema.
During my community medicine and laboratory medicine postings I shema’ed. To feel the pulse of medicine you’d have to pause, really pause and be present in every moment. This year I didn’t go through the motions, I felt every emotion- joy, anger, sadness, bitterness, fear, love, and above all, hope. Yes, hope and the quiet confidence it brings, confidence that if I wait out each season my expectation will come and it will be beautiful.

This year as I ‘shema’ed in GodLife Conversation training sessions I grew. I blossomed. I learnt to ask questions and not be afraid of the sound of my voice.

I began the year with intentions to deepen the bond with my family, in retrospect, I’ve made progress because I shema’ed.

Paulo Coelho once said “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”. I found this to be true in more ways than one this year.

My greatest blessing and gift in 2021 is the opportunity to learn by listening (and doing).

I’ve had tutors engage me in long conversations virtually and physically.
Jay Shetty, Makini Smith and Vusi Thembekwayo have shifted gears in my mind via their podcasts.
Maverick City, Tribl, Bethel music, Revere and For King and Country have cushioned my mind by their music.
My roommate, Bree, continually engaged my mind in the most productive conversations.
Every turn showed up with an opportunity to Shema.

On the 30th of November I remember thinking to myself that I wasn’t ready to enter December just yet, not like my thoughts could change a thing, then the lyrics of “Moving forward” flitted through my mind. If God was going to be in December, I would do it gladly.

I braced for impact and shema’ed again.

Do I have fears/questions/doubts as regards 2022? Yes. Absolutely. Nonetheless, over and above those fears is the assurance that if God is in 2022, 2022 was a blessed year.

What will I do differently in 2022? Don’t ask. Everyone is asking that already. I’d rather focus on what I will not do differently in 2022—to Shema.

In 2022 I’m taking the disposition of a lifelong learner. There’s so much beauty in realising that every day life offers vast learning opportunities and that our possibilities as humans are infinite.

And now you’re at the end of this read, you realize that the title of this read is actually my answer to the question “What will you not do differently in 2022?”

Take a moment to reflect on your year. What one thing did you find as a unifying thread of productivity in 2021? Found it? Beautiful.

Now, what will you not do differently in 2022?

Frame it! Affirm it! Manifest it!

May your days be filled with peace and health.



We are alike in more ways than you know, it's why this blog exists. Every entry is my attempt to show you that your body has ability to heal from all forms of trauma and that the sound of your laughter and joy do not have to be visitors to you. Every entry is an attempt to remind you that peace and wholeness are attainable. I hope you find home here, and I hope, like me, that you fancy dodo, bread and brown pages. Subscribe already. ❤️

6 thoughts on “To ‘Shema’

  1. “What will I do differently in 2022? Don’t ask. Everyone is asking that already. I’d rather focus on what I will not do differently in 2022—to Shema.”
    You keep inspiring us, I love you, baby.❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And I love youuuuuu, my love. I love you so much. Thank you for giving me several opportunities to listen to your beautiful voice making music in form of conversations. I love you so much. 🤍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Frame it! Affirm it! Manifest it!
    May your days be filled with peace and health.”
    Me: Isèèè🙇
    There was no better way to end the year than to reflect on principles that made the year hence the need to keep on with them..
    You’re sensational as always dearie..
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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