The heavy load and the dog that didn’t fit

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dog2On one of the public holidays last week, my hubby and I took our dog for a walk.  The previous night he had gotten stuck trying to get outside.  He just couldn’t fit through the bars.  He is a bit of a lover of human food and especially sweet sugary food or dustbin food.  If we forget to turn the bin towards the wall when we leave the house, we come home to find that he has helped himself to what’s inside.

(This picture of him is after he’s had a bath, he doesn’t always look like that especially after digging in the bin).

Anyway, it was the festival of Purim, the day when lots of sweet goodies arrived at our house in the form of gifts and my dog managed to get hold of two chocolate muffins and half a loaf of bread (he can just reach the counter).  We came home from our Purim dinner to find him smiling with the tell tale signs of his shenanigans.  It was soon after that we noticed he couldn’t fit through the bars to get outside.

That long story was just to tell you that we went for a walk.  And that’s not what this story is about.

While we were walking we saw a man carrying a pile of wooden window blinds along the main road near where we live and he was struggling to manage the heavy pile.  He had to keep putting it down and resting. heavy load

It struck me how privileged we are if we have our own transport.  I do think about it regularly and thank G-d for all we have including our own transport.  We can just put heavy things like shopping into our boot or fetch the kids from school and even that we complain about doing!  I remember as a teenager when we didn’t have a car and we had to trudge up this massive hill to get to our flat, someone stopped and gave us a lift the one time and I was so happy that I didn’t have to walk any further.

No matter what position we are in financially (because it’s not only about finances) we can be grateful for what we have.  Let’s face it, many people are struggling at the moment no matter what it looks like on the outside.  When I say it’s not only about finances, just look at your eyes in the mirror and be thankful for that.  You have eyes and you can see.  We have sooo much, let’s not take it for granted.

A Rabbi once told a group of us “if you are blessed with material goods then use it for good”.  Use your car to visit someone who is sick or to deliver food to someone who can’t go shopping.  Use your house to invite someone for a meal.  You know… that kind of thing.

I really do appreciate what I have and being grateful definitely helps to put things in perspective especially when things are a little bit tougher.

Even if I’m feeling sad or frustrated about something, reminding myself about how much I have in the form of blessings easily brightens me up.

I wish you a week of gratitude and appreciation for your blessings.

With love

Eve

happy life (2)

  1. Doggie photo taken by me
  2. Heavy load photo found on the web
  3. Happy life quote by Thomas S Manson but changed slightly by me.
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Make them count

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drive inMy hubby and I had a date night the other night.  I didn’t feel like sitting in a noisy restaurant or spending lots of money so instead we ate dinner outside on the patio, switched off all the lights and watched a video on my laptop and pretended we were at a drive in movie.  It was really fun.

Often we find ourselves working very hard or procrastinating and putting important things aside.  I do it myself, working late into the night.  Sometimes it can’t be helped but now and then I have to stop myself and ask “What is most important to me?”.

What is important to you?

I look at my children growing up so fast and I know time won’t stand still for me.  I don’t want to regret that I wasted precious time with them.

I ask myself… One day when I am old and looking back on my life, will I say “I wish I had spent more time working or browsing the web?” No.  I wouldn’t.  Sometimes I wonder, if I only had a short time to live, what would I do with that time?  I certainly wouldn’t sit at the computer working.  No, I would want to spend the last months of my life with the people I love.  I would probably write letters saying how I feel about them or important things I want them to know.  I would want to spend time in nature, having fun and laughing.  Relaxing together, looking into their eyes.  That’s what I would do if I had a choice.  But life doesn’t necessarily work that way, does it.  So why wait?

Yes, sometimes I will work late into the night, but most times I can scat loadingtop in the middle of what I’m doing and go and lie down with my child and watch a short funny cat video with him before he goes to sleep and we’ll cuddle for a few minutes.  Sometimes I let him fall asleep while stroking his hair.  These are the moment that count for me.

With teenagers it’s a bit different  They don’t always want the cuddling or to spend time with oldies.  If they want to talk, I stop what I’m doing and listen.  I hope they remember the good times, one day.

Life happens just like that (click your fingers) …. One minute it’s morning and then it’s night.  We don’t remember much about what happened in between if we don’t make time for what’s important to us.

Make your life happen for you, make the days count.

dont count the days

Build a life you don’t need a vacation from

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happy children horsing aroundIn the frenetic times we live in we tend to keep filling up our days with more and more busyness.  We tend to be so on the go that we are often exhausted.  Stress fills our lives as we try and keep up with all the activities and time deadlines and on Sunday night we wonder where the weekend disappeared to.

If you write a list of what you had hoped to do and then find you didn’t do much of that but spent a lot of time on Social Media or watching TV and have an empty or restless feeling somewhere in your body, you probably are not balancing your life well.

If you scrutinise your week you will most likely notice a lot of wasted time.  I’m not saying you mustn’t relax – on the contrary – but if you add up all the time you spend on unimportant activities, you will probably be shocked.  Social Media and TV are recreational activities but can land up taking over the day without you noticing and they aren’t as relaxing as you think.

In November last year I made a decision to cut down on my Facebook usage.  I would wake up in the morning, browse Facebook while still in my bed and then realise two hours later that I was really hungry and still in my bed in my pajamas!  I hadn’t started work and I had a huge to-do list.  It was a really horrible feeling!  I had to spend the rest of the day rushing.

I made a decision to take Facebook off my phone.  No more reading about everyone else’s’ lives while procrastinating in bed, having breakfast, lunch or lying in bed at night.  I only check my Facebook on my computer now and it’s not as comfortable at the desk so I don’t spend that much time.  I have a good book downloaded on my phone and a journal in my handbag for when I’m in a queue or waiting in the car for my kids.

It was Facebook for me, it could be something else for you.  If you find that you are not fulfilled at the end of the week, then chances are you are not using your time well.  Take notice of signals in your body of restlessness, boredom, cravings for refined carbs or other stimulants, irritation for no real reason (or whatever yours are – you will know when you take notice).

What are the things you love to do but never do?

For me, spending time in nature is one of those things.  This past Sunday, I lay on the grass at Emmarentia dam looking at the birds, the sky and the trees, had a picnic by myself (because I love picnics more than the rest of my family does) and enjoyed the down time.  When I got home, I had energy to do the other things that needed to get done.

Relaxation time is important.  You are not really relaxing though when you are busy with technological devices all the time.  Every time you hear a beep coming from your phone, you check your phone.  That is not relaxing.  Is it?

So think about something you would like to do and make a point of doing it.  Take a paintbrush and paint, lie under a tree and read, do some gardening, choreograph your own dance, write some poetry, pray, visit someone lonely, window-shop (if that’s your thing).

We all need time to do what we love, it’s not fulfilling to run on the treadmill of life all the time.  Add fun, pleasure and maybe even a bit of silliness to your week and see things happen differently.

Of course, there’s more to balancing your life than relaxation but that’s for another day….

 

A problem for every solution

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negativity of others (2)

Over ten years ago I took part in a painting class with a well-known artist whom I admire and respect very much (to this day). During one lesson she was discussing how she would not critique our work in a harsh manner but rather in a gentle manner and I – thinking I was dauntless – said “well I would like to know the truth about the painting I’m working on”. So she looked at my painting and said to me “Well what would you do if I said I hated it?”.

I didn’t realise how much I would take that to heart. I didn’t have the courage to ask her if she really did hate it or if she was just saying that to make her point but in my mind she hated it. After the class I placed that painting in the trunk of my car and didn’t look at it for months. After many shopping bags and school bags crushed the painting to death, I threw it away. The sad things is, I really loved that painting.

Years later after doing work on self trust and also learning a bit about art, I came to realise that what I had done was silly. Not only did I throw the painting away but I lost my confidence in my art for a while – and the thing is the teacher was just trying to illustrate a valid point.

You may have a dream to do something or start something new and there will always be people who tell you it won’t work or that it’s a bad idea or that it won’t be lucrative or that it’s not the safe option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a success of it.

If people do keep telling you it’s not a good idea, hear them out and take notes. Their criticism can help you. See if you can change things a bit so that your idea will work a little better. Ask them for ideas of how you could tweak your idea to make it happen. If they are generally negative people who like to find the fault in everything then it’s best not to listen.

negative people (2)

Ask people to be honest with you but also ask for constructive advice. Criticism is not constructive, it’s destructive. Get help from people who know more about what you are trying to do. Do research.

Look forwards toward your result and work hard. You can do it.

 

Click for change

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changeWe hardly ever think we are the ones that need to change in order to make changes happen in our lives.

Have you ever attended a lecture or seminar where it seems as though this is going to be the answer to your problems?  Then you realise it’s up to you to make things happen?

What can we do to create change?

In order to make real change we must want things to be different.  Next, take an action step towards it because we can hope things will fall into our laps but chances are we will be disappointed by the result if we don’t put in the effort. A dream or a goal doesn’t manifest by doing nothing so take a first step.

Is it a quick fix?

People often turn to medication (not to mention addictive substances) in order to feel better.  The problem with this is that while these things can help in the short term the underlying problem is still there and will most likely come back at some stage.

For real change to happen, we need to look inside of ourselves.

The next step

Everything you do towards your goal, no matter how small, is a step in the direction of achieving it.

What is your next step?

I would love to hear from you.

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The exciting course Free to be Me – the Power of Self Esteem has been extended for one week. Starting Tuesday night 8th March in Johannesburg. This course is an opportunity for you to realise and live in your true power. Contact me urgently to book or for any questions you may have. Bookings close on Sunday the 6th March at 4 p.m.