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We might be in the dark, literally (for us South Africans) and figuratively (for the rest of us) but it’s upon is - the silly season that is. I’m one of those who relishes this time of the year - decking our house with Christmas decorations (much to the chagrin of the grinch I live with!) and generally donning a jolly attitude about life.

 

That said you’d have to be plank not to realise what’s going on. I read in our local papers this weekend how so many have been drastically affected by the insanity that is the power(less) situation - businesses halted, homes brought to a standstill and the lack of any obvious action by the people who should be responsible.

 

This isn’t really news to me though because I live in an the area forgotten by City Power (Or Eskom or any municipality in South Africa for that matter). The glorious open spaces around us have sprung complexes and now we hide in obscurity and relative peace (well a LOT of peace nowadays). Increasingly our power has diminished - what were monthly outages became weekly then daily and over this time we all became increasingly voiceless. I’ve been raised to take action - don’t talk about it, do something. So I’ve done something … well mostly just logged complaints in any forum possible (Twitter rules!)

 

The collective rebuff seems to fall on stoney ground and it’s that which riles us. We get that there are problems, we understand that everything takes time but don’t treat us like idiots. As a stalwart for and with South Africa I refuse to be defeated by stupidity or idle frivolity and, as Jodi Foster said in her 2013 Cecil DeMille award speech, "we need to be heard, we need to be understood - deeply - and to be not so very lonely...

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This week hasn’t been good when you count up the tally of the fallen. Sadness engulfs and words, songs, platitudes do nothing but fill the space where the person we’re grieving for should be. Losing another family friend did nothing more than reinforce the fact that we’re just not present. I was shocked to hear of her passing and it rang way too close to home to clock it in as ‘just one of those things’.

In standing, again, listening to the life of one person been spoken about by another, made me think that I guess that’s what it all comes down to - our legacy - what we stand and stood for.

We’re remembered for what we did, who we were and how we’re remembered.

Our friend sure did leave a legacy - her family, love, beauty, talent, commitment, laughter, concern, care, love, generosity, integrity, authenticity, boldness and individuality. We stood in her bountiful garden listening to the words and the wood and the birds who live there because she gave that to them. We creaked and cried and wished we’d be more of ourselves whilst she left us her flowers, love and the slight breeze of her smile. 

One of the speakers mentioned how she would welcome us ‘Hello my dear, how are you?’ and I heard her voice echoed in that breeze. I looked up, I could feel her, the speaker continued. 

We gathered, drank water or wine, mingled and smiled at each other when all we wanted to do was withdraw and lick our wounds for what we really know to be true. We miss so much and our fallen friends remind us of that. 

I would try and remind us all to wake up but we know that. I’d remind us to be present but we know that. I’d remind us to take the picture but we know that. I guess that all that is left is to remember to smell the flowers. 

I got home today, after this blessing and, after busying myself with nothingness, I sat down at my desk and dropped my head, a small flower dropped out and I realised that, from her garden, a small flower had carried its way to me. It didn’t seem much but it was everything. Call me sentimental but what I felt was she had wrapped her arms around me, in her selfless way, and sent me home, safely with the love and care of a mother, friend, companion, confident that will be missed and loved, forever.
 
"We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable." Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening
 

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in Thoughts 3694

My sister moved house today and in a way we all moved on. It was a melting pot of people all armed with much love, good intentions, manic mayhem and sporadic bursts of ‘what now’. But I think that’s life, well I guess it is.

In the quiet moments I looked around with sincere appreciation for who and what my family is - a complicated bunch of people who are just doing the best we can and loving each other along the way.

My sister and I sat, whilst the men went off and did more chest beating (I think they would like it referred to as work), and put the world right over wine (is there any other way) and what we figured out today (perhaps we’re slow learners) is that actually none of us have this life figured out. We’re all just making it up along the way, but we are making it up together.

And that’s what matters, I think,  is that we’re together. Life might be a mess (guaranteed) and we'll get it wrong (probably) but we will learn (hopefully) to do it better tomorrow. Here’s to tomorrow.

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in Thoughts 1775

Get out of your own head and ego.

You have gifts, talents, skills and abilities that are unique and specific to you. Stop questioning the Divine.

It’s like a bird with powerful wings walking in circles wondering if it deserves to fly - nonsense!

It’s not about deserving, it’s about fulfilling your purpose and honouring the Divine showing up as you. Get out of the way.

It’s not about you! It’s about life expressing through you.

Cynthia Ocelli

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in Thoughts 4173

The smell swept through my house and into my room, I was avoiding the day with a cup of tea and a cuddling cat ... The smell pulled me out of my funk and into the gratitude that is my life.

I am all too often wracked with the hamlet questions. Am I on the right path? Should I be doing more? Knowing more? Achieving more. The enormous questions that my conscious mind refuses to let up on but it's that voice, that constant evaluation that keeps me moving, keeps me pushing for more. The question I'm currently tripping up on again and again is 'what exactly has my life proved so far'? Where is the legacy? What am I leaving in my wake? How am I improving this world and when I'm gone what will I be remembered for?

I don't know and this morning I was wandering around in those thoughts until the grass came calling.

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