Kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Grace Oggudah. I am lifestyle coach, speaker, trainer, TV and Radio host. I am also a wife and mother of three beautiful children.
What inspired you to pursue this career path?
After years of going round in circles trying to find my voice, I got tired of getting tired. Tired of trying to be something that was not serving me. I came from a home where father and mother struggled to find balance. Unfortunately, the chaos in our home sent them both to an early grave. There is a massive gap between my siblings and me. The story told is that my mother was told she was not able to have any more children only for me to show up 10 years behind my sister. I heard that once upon a time they were happy but something went wrong somewhere. By the time I arrived it was mayhem. I caught glimpses of my father’s greatness and my mother tried to stay afloat by burying herself in work.
My father struggled with alcohol addiction and systematically declined until he became a shadow of what he used to be. I remember visiting a family and seeing dynamics between a father and mother. It was beautiful to see. I asked God for it in a simple prayer. I was only 9 years old. I am glad to share that today by God’s grace with prayer, intentional living, commitment and determination, my husband and I have turned the story around.
So, how did you get to where you are today in light of the challenges you faced in the past?
21 years on the journey of love and 16 years of marriage with 3 children. it can be done. Lifestyle changes. Identifying the patterns in our family lines and changing them. We must replace negative patterns that do not support our destiny with new empowering patterns. Not knowing is no longer an excuse. We must be determined to change the story for our children. This is how I got into my line of coaching, supporting individuals to live the life they were designed to live and maintain balance. making sure one aspect of their life does not suffer at the expense of their destiny.
What is lifestyle, according to you?
Lifestyle is the way in which a person lives. I will touch on three things; Spirit, Soul and Body.
Spirit – The condition of our heart and how we show up in the world. Sometimes, we hear people say he/she has such a beautiful spirit. Or he/she just doesn’t have a great vibe. This reflects the condition of the heart. An unforgiving, bitter, angry heart poisons the mind.
The mind is part of the soul. As we know, the soul is made up of the mind, our emotions and will. This is where we have sensations, thoughts, desires and beliefs. It’s where we perform intentional actions.
When we get the condition of the heart right and we are at a place where we can make decisions outside of society or people’s opinions, we then have a great foundation to execute effectively. Our bodies do not become overwhelmed with the issues of life. An overwhelmed soul shows up on the body as sickness at different levels. It’s an indicator that something inside is not right. As important as it is to exercise and to eat right, let’s be reminded that the cleanliness of the inside is more important.
It’s worth asking – A I a person who brings peace in chaotic environments? Are people comforted when I’m around them? It’s about intentional living, pursuing things that we are passionate about while not giving up anything that brings us true value.
Another thing worth remembering is that we are not our jobs nor are we what we have in the bank. We are not the cars we drive and definitely not the content in our wallets. There is so much more to us than stuff. There’s a scripture that says, `Make the inside of the cup clean and the outside will follow suit.
What makes a healthy lifestyle, and why is it important?
- Eating food that nourishes your body and making sure you fit in time to exercise regulary. Your weight vs. body composition need to be in balance.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Many people are struggling to sleep and this can cause health problems if not dealt with. Tiredness can cause one to act out of character. Eating well and staying hydrated will help one sleep. Also making sure we shut down phones an hour before bed. Read a book instead of scrolling through your phone.
- Minimise stress- It’s not that serious. Laugh more, love more, play more. Things could be worse. Cultivate a grateful heart of gratitude.
- Set goals and show up. Motivate yourself. Some days it’s going to be tough. Work through it and get things done. If you have a bad day. Tomorrow is another day to get up.
- Get ME time. Meditation and time to fill up your cup. You can not give from an empty cup.
- Avoid talks that do not edify. Don’t talk about other people and don’t judge. Instead, stay in your own lane. Be a light in your environment and let your life inspire others to want to do better and be better.
- Surround yourself with people who nourish you. Sometimes you’ve got to be brutal to stay afloat. You can love from a afar. Preserve your mind.
A healthy lifestyle is important because if you don’t show up authentically, your reason for being here on earth would have been wasted. You would have left a gap for the next generation to try and catch up. We are all here for a purpose and that’s why it’s important that we do what we are built to do. That we don’t look at others and wish we were them because that’s an insult to creation. By focusing on others we miss our true essence.
So, Grace, does social media affect the lifestyle we pursue? How do we resist the urge to lead the `perfect life’ that we see our peers showcase on social media?
Social media is a great tool to help us improve and step up. The truth is nobody wants to air their dirty laundry in the open. We all show those great bits. The fact that we show the great bits does not mean we don’t have challenges. I also think it’s a breath of fresh air when posts are done tastefully, not to brag but to inspire, encourage and show what could be possible. I know people who have built their business, worked on their family life, pursued careers because of what they saw on social media. There is enough bad news in the world as it is.
In saying the above, let’s be careful of the role models we choose to follow on social media. It’s important that our values are intact and that we don’t compromise our essence chasing ‘success’. The perfect life is being content. Striving to be better but being content with where one is. Learning how to navigate the ups and downs of life in a graceful manner. Seeing the lessons and growing. There is not one ‘perfect life’ but when we are content our lives become imperfectly perfect. Let’s not get out of touch with reality. Equally, let’s all make an assessment if social media is becoming a distraction then it may be a good idea to step away for a while to do some personal development work before returning. We are in the digital world. If you are doing business you definitely have to be on social media for leads and visibility. Social media and online is where the money is. If we are wise we would use it to spread our message and probably have a lucrative side hustle.
Phil. 4:11-13 ‘I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’
Kenya was recently ranked top among the most depressed nations. Has this got anything to do with lifestyle?
Yes, we have adopted a western culture that does not suit us. The generation suffering are the 70’s and 80’s babies. Those whose parents experienced the pain of being under an oppressor. The white man left but the wound he left we are only starting to see. Sometimes it takes a generation or two to really start seeing the effects of a people oppressed. There is a lot of pain in our generation. Children who were really not acknowledged for who they are. Our education system also adds to the injury. The children are under so much pressure to perform. The name and shame tactics are distasteful especially for the child who is always at the bottom of the class.
I remember my dad once missed paying my school fees. I was called out of class and made to stand in the assembly in the scorching sun as if I had committed a crime. My father only acknowledged me if I was in the top 5 of my class. My worth became tied to performance. Something the African parent is continuously teaching their child. Unless you meet my standard of perfection, you are not good enough. This is because they don’t believe they are good enough. They, therefore, pass on their insecurities to their kids. It’s only bound to get worse if we do not start making the right choices as a society. The women are drinking par on par with the men.
This will show a rise in Mental Health issues because where alcohol is abused, other forms of abuse arise. The level of promiscuity is alarming. Disease is prevalent, addiction coupled with parenting that has been compromised, we are seeing a time bomb that’s about to expolde. As moral values and ethical values deteriorate, we see a serious crack emerge. Family is the backbone for society and if that falls apart, other things fall apart too. The white man sits across and watches us self distract.
What is your parting shot?
Let us all do our best. It is all possible so let us all make the right choices. It may be challenging but we can learn and do better. Life is not an accident, you make it. So make the right choices.