Akosua Dardaine Edwards

Let's Share Lessons on The Journey

Akosua Dardaine Edwards - author, writer, coach, gender specialist, speaker


[What did I learn today? Lessons on the Journey to Unconditional Self Love] Show up

Remember the vision always. It will get you through the tough days. The
dark moments. The worry. The fear. The questioning. The resignation. And
the wonder. And make sure that vision is rooted deeply in your why. It will
add wings to your rise. Maxie Mccoy

I attended a focus group on Wednesday night at the University, I walked in
and sat quietly- being late and all- and was listening to the plenary
speaker talk about poverty alleviation and playing our part in serving our
country, as she ended and I was thinking about what role can I play in this
exercise, someone on the table said to me

"I quote you all the time, up to today I used one of your quotes"


"Yes, aren't you the author of the book What Did I Learn Today? I
recognised the name"

I smiled and she went on to ask me what am I doing now and how did I manage
to be so brave to write this book- as I was about to jump into the
sanitized version of events I thought about how much I give the clean
version of events when people ask me about the journey. I thought about why
I give this version

I'm passionate about sharing my lessons with struggles and about talking
about my own journey, warts and all. All of you know this because I write
about my big questions, my own wondering, and my discomfort. Typically,
only after I've figured it out for myself do I feel comfortable enough to
share it. As Maya says "As you learn you teach"

Getting to where I'm at right this second shouldn't be any different. This
amazingly fortunate stage in my life feels like a gift every day. And from
the outside I can see how fabulous it all looks...however, it has come with
some majorly dark moments, some seriously anxious mornings, and plentyyyyy
of self doubt and questioning.

When I ditched it all and peaced out for Africa it was because it was the
only option I could see for myself in order to get there. I had spent years
giving my life to a situation that I believed would make me happy, content,
financially secure and worldly. However, this was shrouded in fear and not
enoughness, in dishonour and secrets. The only option I could see was
finding space – from my day-to-day, and from my comfort zone – to do
something I wasn't sure if I could do. Basically, I knew I needed to shock
my system if I was ever going to feel like I alone was enough.

Oh, and let's not forget that I didn't exactly have the most amazing
savings account to go a say screw it all let's do this. Nottttt the case. I
had nothing, nada. It was more about survival than anything at that point.

And here's where grace comes in: I landed in Manchester first and was asked
to teach the University in the meantime while someone was on maternity
leave so I was able to get cash

So I did. But I cannot tell you how many mornings I looked at myself in the
mirror while brushing my teeth and said to myself “What the EFF are you
doing here Yak.” Fear creeped in hard. None of the conversations were easy.
I was so anxious to make this life change that I had to put pep talk sticky
notes everywhere in order to get through each day and remind myself of what
I was doing and why I was doing it.

I took it day by day. Change by change. In order to make this “giant leap”
that everyone sees as something so amazing and bold. 90% of the time to me
it just felt scary. Down to the first few nights in Kampala where I
questioned over and over again, “What have I done!?”. My gut knew it was
right, my head crept into fear.

I went through most of any money I saved once I moved back to T&T. I won't
soon forget the time I was down to my last 20 bucks and the electricity was
cut off. I started looking for opportunities to work at a full time job. Oh
universe, because shortly after that call...magic began to happen with all
the seeds I'd spent months planting. Opportunities I didn't even know were
in the works presented themselves. I knew things would work deep down, but
there have been so many mornings it was a little hard to breathe because I
was so sacred it wouldn't.

And that's more like the honest story. Am I proud of the bold moves I made?
Absolutely. But was I scared out of my mind to do any of it? 100%. For
every mind-blowing Instagram picture there's probably been a thousand
freaking out thoughts. I'd do it all over again to get to where I am.

And here's why it's important: because you cannot take your own panicky
days and worried thoughts as a sign that you shouldn't do something new and
scary. You cannot compare your journey to the glossy one of someone else's
and then decide you're not fit for this path. If you're just as excited and
energized as you are worried, it's a sign. None of the big moments that get
us to where we are today are ever comfortable. They may look huge from the
outside, but on the inside in the moment they usually feel like some of the
scariest things we've ever done.

Show up. The Universe got ya! trust that


-- Posted By Blogger to What did I learn today? Lessons on the Journey to
Unconditional Self Love on 6/10/2016 12:41:00 pm

Your story is inspiring, your delivery is real
— Barbara Ince, President - Maloney Women's Group
The students who attended the function were so inspired by you they want all their friends to be exposed to your story.
— Cherisse Rawlins - Teacher Moruga Secondary
I must thank you for your presentation, many people were blown away by it.
— Sharon Christopher, Dep CEO First Citizens Bank Limited
It was a pleasure hosting you. Your reading from Nyabo (Madam) Why Are You Here? - was both thought provoking and insightful, thank you.
— Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago - New York
You are an inspiration to us all
— Marlene Charles, YWCA President
I can’t stop telling people about your presentation. You changed my life forever!
— Michele Celestine, Executive Director Heroes Foundation
What an honour and priveledge it was for me and my wife to host you during your stay in Washington DC
— Anthony WJ Phillips-Spencer, Ambassador Extraordinary Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Unveiling was exactly what I needed, thank you.
— Participant at 2017's Unveiling- Looking into the Mirror of Self
Akosua, congratulations and thank you for that fabulous and thoughtful sharing from your book. I did NOTHING for the weekend but read your books. Madam, I found your story telling light and entertaining, true Trini style but DEEP.
— Sandra Ferguson, Agency for Rural Transformation, Grenada W.I
After hearing Ms. Akosua speak, I now know that I am everything and that I have everything to become who I want to be.
— Jenna Marie Bharat, Student- San Juan South Secondary School
Madam Akosua was awe inspiring. Excellent motivational skills. For me as a new retiree her words encourage me to “give back to the village”
— Anthea Doyle
Inspirational for both year groups. Forms 3 and 5. They were at the edge of their seats. prodding them to plan and even when things do not go as planned... to never give up when faced with life’s challenges
— San Juan South Secondary School
She is complete, sincere and true to herself. Akosua relates to you on what is common in all of us, our humanity.
— Odella Jowaheer