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Yoga has worked for me because at the time I was open minded. I literally emptied my plate and was ready for a fresh serving. I was willing to try a new approach to life and to harness my true power as I came to realize later. I also understand that it might not work for everybody and that is okay. We are all different and I respect the differences and uniqueness that we all represent. Yoga offers far beyond the physical and spiritual which sometimes tends to confuse a lot of people. This is the reason why I choose to stay out of any spiritual discussion in this book.
However, I will tell you more of what I have found out and discovered a long my path as a yogi looking for meaning and results in my life. I want to take you back to how yoga impacted my life. As an artiste my primarily focus was to keep fit and ready with my product which was our performances. We did this with no trouble at all, even when we had to work on empty stomachs on some days. Our focus and our goal kept us going. Our goal which remains the goal for many artistes is to get a contract outside the country. Outside jobs paid more than local gigs for acrobats and dancers mostly at that point time. Art in Kenya was seen as a lowly way of making money or making a living. Most people, the stereotypes mostly still believe its work for the poor. Slum dwellers who have nothing else to do, which was true to some extent and especially when you look at the resources and options available to the people who have not gone beyond a certain level of education. Talent, except for sports was looked down upon for some reason.
Back to my point; when we trained hard, our concentration was maximum and within a few years of turmoil, we made it. We showcased our shows everywhere to whomever cared to see us, including people on streets. This earned us our very first gig outside the country as a group and we were very happy. When I look back I see that we succeeded in this aspect because we put it all the effort necessary and it paid back. Now we moved to the next phase; having come from a background of scarcity and now suddenly into some cash flow. It threw us off guard for a while. Our expenditures were all over the place. We purchased lots of non-essential stuff. This dug into our pockets and left us dry and waiting for the next contract to come through. Clearly, we were not equipped to handle this new space. It might be hard to imagine this, but it took me close to 10 years in the industry to realize the cyclic motion and to start looking for a way out. Some life lessons come to us in different ways, sometimes early and sometimes late. At times after hitting rock bottom and or after having near death experience with a loved one or ourselves.
Mine happened when our second baby was born. That is when I realized, how useless I was as a father and a husband. Slowly, like a wounded animal I started looking for ways to earn money at home and not to rely on contracts which had now decided to stay away for some reason, maybe after noticing that I was not learning. God, the powers that be decided it was about time and so he took all the jobs away from us so I could learn. Anyway, when my daughter was 2 years, we had our second born child. This is the time when I was just learning about yoga. I spend a lot of time reflecting trying to see how and where I went wrong. Incidentally this was the one time when my wife expected results. Meaning she expected money on the table not a lot of thinking and reflecting. This became the most difficult pregnancy for her, as nothing was working. We quarreled almost every day, and even when we didn’t, it was the same. There was “cold war” in the house all the time. House rent was a problem and wife’s wages could not suffice. I could not afford to but the pampers for my little and hard to use towels and second-hand napkins from Gikomba or Gikosh as we call it in slung, the largest second-hand market in Nairobi. As a father I had to sacrifice lunch and eat very little at dinner time to reduce the daily portions and leave enough for my wife and two babies. Every time I saw them, l couldn’t help thinking why? Why? Why? I saw no way out and was growing more and more depressed as time went by.
The world of art in Kenya did not pay well but we still had some few places which wanted entertainment. This provided a small fee especially after putting a couple of them gigs together it worked to support to some extent.
December is always a high season for the artistes. This month like no other I would make some good money to push for some days but somehow not this year. Things were terrible and I felt the world was collapsing around me. I once read somewhere that misfortunes don’t come singly. It has never been so true than this in this period. Once they start, they come in a series. It’s the 10th and we have managed only a handful of gigs landing each with ksh5000 or 50 USD each in a group of 6 people. This was cumulative from 2 different gigs. On the 11th I received a call and we got ourselves a gig outside town towards the central part of Kenya on the 25th of Dec 2012.
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