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In the heart of Zomba, one of the most beautiful towns in Malawi (the warm heart of Africa), a group gathers for a Zumba class every Wednesday evening. Most of the class is made up of expats, and few of us are locals. Well, usually I love doing things alone; Zumba in my house, dining alone in my house, jogging alone, etc. 99.9% of the times I want to say no when I’m offered to joined social events or activities. I would rather do small group (2-3 people) or personal stuff than big groupies, that’s just me. I do socialize, but events, functions, etc, are not second to nature for me.

Last Wednesday my friends invited me to Zumba class, and of course my initial thought was to decline the offer. But, decided to accept as a way of beginning to be receptive of opportunities that life present to me that who knows may lead to great outcomes.

Wednesday didn’t turn out to be great; my bank annoyed me, men made offensive insults at me in town, I got agitated and all I wanted to do was go home, make myself a hot cup of coffee and watch a funny movie. I however decided to stick with my commitment and go for the class. But getting home to change into comfortable clothes, I found that some person or some monkey (there are monkeys that come into my yard) had uprooted my herbs that I had just planted the previous evening!! That was it for me. I had enough for the day and just wanted the comfort of my bed! But well, I told myself ‘I will keep my commitment’.

Zumba wouldn’t have felt any better, surprise! People smiled at me when introducing themselves; that meant a lot, my two friends made me feel welcome with their gestures and smiles they gave me, I danced all the anger out and felt myself relax in the process, I laughed at myself from failing to coordinate on some of the moves…it was relieving and fun!! And the day wouldn’t have ended any better than my friends and I being offered a ride home by the only two guys at the class.

Moral of the story; sometimes it’s very easy to get comfortable with our own way of doing things and not wanting to change them. But life presents to us opportunities to expand, to spread our wings, to relive life, to sooth our souls…they won’t just happen, we’ve got to respond to these opportunities and take advantage of them. Zumba was my soothing moment, something that a movie wouldn’t have done to my soul; it was my cool off moment…I vented out my anger and frustration not by yelling at anyone or breaking anything, but by burning calories…DOUBLE SCORE!! And I met new people too, expanding my network!

Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated, learn to open up to life and allow nature to do the rest!!! So if you are in Zomba, let Zumba take care of you one of the Wednesdays, or where ever you may be, say yes to something even outside your normal routine and allow it to make a difference in your life!

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