The Discomfort of Change & New Life

Settling into our new Nairobi home & back with our Ubuntu Life team

There’s a new life bubbling up. When you’ve been hustling towards a certain end and that end slowly becomes realized, there’s a tapering that occurs and with that tapering a bubbling of something new. I think we often ignore these transitions or even more so perhaps we deny them the opportunity because we fear change. Amal and I started to sense this bubbling of new life calling us to move to Kenya back in 2019, but then Covid disrupted all of our lives. We shifted as we all did, refocused our vision, birthed the Ubuntu Life direct to consumer (DTC) e-commerce business and ran as hard as we could these past 3 years with it. The tapering of this lap around the sun started happening last year while we were in Kenya. The bubbling of new life again calling us to relocate. Why relocate? Austin is such an amazing town! Our community and our families are mostly in Austin or at least in Texas. It’s comfortable. As much as we love Kenya and what we do with Ubuntu Life in Kenya, we have never lived here longer than 3 months. And we have never lived in Nairobi as a true home. Lots of fear surrounding this change, because…well, change has a way of pushing against us and causing the waves of fear to crash against our consciousness. If you’ve never read the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I highly recommend it. He speaks powerfully about this push and pull that we experience when we both lean into change and when we pursue our creative endeavors.

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

Resistance comes in many forms, but I think the most pervasive for me when I faced this life change was the gnawing sense that it didn’t make financial sense and that I was being irresponsible. Good thing is that I started creating a habit of leaning into the discomforts of change about 23 years ago when I first came to Kenya. Since that time I started to become aware that the only way to truly grow in life is to somehow become comfortable with being uncomfortable. And so that is exactly what Amal and I are now doing…leaning into the fears that crash against our consciousnesses daily as we live into this change while each day encouraging each other, sometimes painfully through the becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.

One of the ways that I want to process this new life is through a rebirth of my blog. I intentionally paused from my blog about 3 years ago as I kept feeling guilty that when I was blogging I wasn’t giving the new Ubuntu Life DTC business enough energy and attention. And then when I was focusing on the biz I wasn’t giving my writing enough energy and attention. So 3 years ago I had a loving conversation with myself and just said, “For the next 2 or 3+ years as you scale this new business just put blogging/writing on the shelf. It isn’t gone, just paused so that you can put all of your energy and attention into this new business. If you do this well, then you will have plenty of time to write.” By no means is the Ubuntu DTC business in a position where I can neglect it, but making this life change here to Nairobi is giving me some windows in my schedule that I did not have while living in Austin. That plus I want to play around and see how capturing this transition and our new life here in Nairobi can also be a vehicle for Ubuntu Life as a brand. There are so many amazing things happening here in Nairobi and across Kenya that I think it worthwhile to slow down and distill into some lessons learned and overall discoveries both personally and professionally.

So with that said I aim to write more frequently and start incorporating these learnings into a format that I can share more often. Please ping me if there are things that resonate as I write and we’ll learn from each other!

Big love, Z


  1. Zane! you may not remember me but this is Janet McCarty. I went on a trip with Comfort the Children 1 million years ago! Haha! But now call San Diego home. I am feeling a tapering with my current career. I have done amazing financially and it does feel a little irresponsible to leave and go to this other opportunity that has presented itself. So we will see. I am leaning into the fear. But good for you starting your blog again. Hopefully it’s cathartic for you. Look forward to more entries.

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