In this moment I start afresh

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Start anewEvery breath is a new beginning.

Breathe.

There….now is a new beginning.

Breathe.

Now is a new beginning.

Breathe.

Repeat.

Every moment is an opportunity to renew ourselves

It’s liberating to know that we can make mistakes and carry on.  We can say the wrong things and apologise, make amends.  We can eat food that we know gives us physical pain and start again in the next moment – we don’t have to wait until tomorrow or Monday.  We can start a new project even if we think we would fail at it.  We can speak to someone beautifully now even if yesterday we spoke to them in a less than becoming way.  We can try again to drop our old habits that we find difficult to release.  We can forgive ourselves for being impulsive and let go to start afresh.  Each moment is a time to start anew and recommit.

What have you done that you would like to renew or restart?

Breathe.

What would you like to do in the future?  What is it you really want in the different facets of your life?  How do you think you will go about doing it?  What keeps stopping you?

Breathe.

Those crisps I ate the other night, kept me up with indigestion.  The smoke you inhaled reminded you of why you wanted to quit.  When you said something embarrassing and exposed yourself in a way that you regretted, how long did it take you to get over it?  When I was late for an appointment again I criticised myself and felt tense in my urgency.

Be breathing wolfhonest with yourself.

Breathe.

Each moment is new.  You can recommit and start again with every breath.

With love
Eve

 


targetThe Power of Purpose

Six session course in Personal Effectiveness

 

  • More to Life Mentors: Eve Marks and Leslie Shapiro
  • How many: Small group of no more than 15 people so book soon to avoid disappointment.  Deposit of R550 confirms your place.
  • Dates: Tuesday evenings 16 August to 20 September
  • Venue: TBA but either in or close to Glenhazel, Johannesburg.
  • Time: 18h15 to 21h30
  • Who can attend: Anyone over the age of 18
  • Fee: Only R2600! includes a manual and refreshments – it works out to only R145 per hour! Payment plan available.
  • Early bird special price: is R2200 if you book with a deposit before 19 July!  That works out to only R122 per hour and saves you R400!  Payment plan available.
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The Car Guard who studied Medicine

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Victor Frankl 1I met a man recently in the parking lot when I popped into the shop to buy a few things.  He has lived in this country for 7 years.  He comes from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and was studying medicine at University there.   After his father died, he came to South Africa, possibly to try and make a living to help his family (I didn’t want to pry) and had to become a car guard.  There’s nothing wrong with being a car guard, it’s just that they don’t earn much.  Finally after 7 years of being in the country, one or more kind benefactor(s) helped him out and now he is studying IT at Boston City Campus part time.  In March next year he will be finished and he’s very excited about it.

He has an engaging, positive and friendly personality and is always willing to help come rain or shine.  Once when it was pouring with rain he walked beside me with his red umbrella making sure I didn’t get wet while walking to my car.  He seems to make the most of his day by working hard and being of service.

This is a story about never giving up and about living with purpose.  Even though his circumstances were probably dire and at the beginning healthy food and a place to stay might have been hard to come by, he persevered.

We are often quick to give up on our dreams, visions or ideas because they seem so hard to turn into reality.  Even every day life can seem too difficult to bear.  For some, getting out of bed in the morning is a battle.

Victor Frankl, who wrote Man’s search for Meaning wrote about how when he was in a concentration camp during the 2nd world war, he noticed that the people who survived were the ones who had a purpose to go home to at the end of the war.  Nobody knew who they would find after the war and many knew they had lost everything and everyone, but some people, Dr Frankl included, found something to live for and that was a purpose that they had affirmed for themselves.

Today, if we recognise that we have something to live for, something meaningful and worthwhile, it helps us to get out of bed in the morning and go about the seemingly repetitive type of life that many tend to live.

When I was in my late 20’s, I was working in an office and my toddler was being looked after by my mom (for which I am grateful*).  However, I wanted to look after her myself.  I wanted to hear her first word or see her take her first step.  One day while typing out some correspondence, I gazed out the window and thought to myself – “What am I doing here?”.  I don’t mean on earth, I mean in the office.  The work I was doing seemed meaningless, as if by doing it, I was making no difference in anybody’s life.  It was soon after that, that I cashed in my pension money, paid off some debts and quit my job so that I could get a half day position and be with my daughter.**

For me it was about believing I had a purpose.  Originally we didn’t have the money for me to leave my job as we had accumulated debts, but we found a way and my husband supported me in this***.  It was important to me and we made a plan.

When it seems there’s too much hopelessness or meaninglessness in your life, perhaps you are missing or ignoring your purpose.  I say ignoring because our body actually gives out signals.  Those signals for me felt like boredom, dissatisfaction, frustration and sadness. You might  have others.

If you find yourself binging on food, drugs, alcohol, internet, gambling, television, etc. it could be that you are avoiding your soul’s calling to you.

Making the decision to follow my destiny has changed my life in so many ways and led me on interesting and adventurous paths.  Some good, some not as good – but always going forward.

I wish you a purposeful day, year, life.

Eve


I appreciate you

Financial Stress

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Gratitude - happy life
Living in South Africa at the moment is a bit of a challenge financially for the average Joe and for the underprivileged it must be horrendous! With the rand/dollar the worst it’s ever been, food, education, transport and everyday amenities just keep going up and it’s hard to keep up.

If food is this expensive for people living in the middle class suburbs, I pale to think of what it must be like living below the bread line.

There are two ways of coping with the challenge, one is to come closer together as a family and one is to split further apart.

How to not let your financial situation split you and your loved ones apart.

Oma and Opa

My grandparents at their wedding before hell broke loose

About 75 years ago, my people (and I mean literally, my grandparents’ family and friends) were living or dying in the throes of the Holocaust.  Hitler was at his prime and was succeeding at quite an alarming and efficient rate in attempting to wipe out the Jewish people (and of course anyone else he didn’t like or who didn’t follow his ideals).

The Jewish people have always had an uncertain place in history wherever they have lived and to be honest that has given me fear and strength at the same time.  Fear because I never feel completely secure.  Strength because if they could live through that (those that did), then we can live through financial insecurity and challenge.  In a way I kind of use the suffering of my ancestors as a way of moving forward in life.  I do it a lot.  I do it when I hesitate to give someone a lift or when I hesitate to offer food to someone hungry or a blanket to someone cold.  I think of my grandparents and how it must have felt for them to be freezing and hungry with nobody to help them.  Then I get out of my comfort zone and go and help someone.

Almost every time I help someone, I realise how blessed I am with what I have.  Yes, for some of us money is tight but most of us (reading this) still have decent reasonably healthy food to eat every day.  While I am passing food or some change out the window to the barefoot beggar on the street, I have my car heater blowing on my feet.  I take notice of those things because otherwise I might be more complacent and not appreciate what I have.

If we look at what is most important to us in our lives, we can gain better perspective of what is happening and act accordingly.  Here’s a creative example:  If people have to cut down on electricity usage to save money, perhaps they can have supper by candlelight because eating together and spending time together talking is more important than having the lights on.

Yes it is a challenge and I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t.  Talking to each other about what is happening and trying to find ways to make things work is what will help people to get closer during tough financial times.  Being creative with what you’ve got goes a long way to making it more pleasant.

Appreciating the little things in life and the free things (like parks and sipping a cup of tea in bed) and most important appreciating each other.  This is what makes life easier.  Savouring and really experiencing the cup of tea and and time spent with each other is what makes life happier.

tea 2

Reflections in my tea

Understanding and support is what is needed when having to find the money to make ends meet.  Fighting and ignoring the situation can never bring happiness into a home.  That’s what families are for, being there for each other.  Well that’s what I think anyway.

If people can find something to be happy about, something to be grateful for, something to share together, it can take a little of the sting away.

If it feels like things are unmanageable and falling apart, a hug to one’s spouse or children and some comforting words to each other will go a long way to making things more tolerable.

Look I am an idealist and an optimist but I really believe that if people can look to what is important and try and build that up, we can find happiness in what we have.

How has the current financial climate been affecting you?  Is there anything you would like to contribute to this discussion?  If so, please comment.

With love
Eve


Here’s a 3 minute TED talk video about saying and receiving thanks, if you are interested.


The Power of Purpose – a six session course about living with purpose and fulfillment will be taking place from 16 August to 20 September.  (Tuesday nights).  Click to book your place or to find out more.

Choking to conform

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harry potter drawing.jpgMy husband didn’t want to wear a tie to work because he’s had a cough for a few weeks and fastening a tie around his throat was making him gag.  He had to be in court yesterday so a tie it had to be.  He tried everything in his power to avoid it.  Even wearing his scarf like a tie so that his neck would be warm without feeling choked.  In the end he took a tie with him in his briefcase in case the Magistrate insisted on it.

Being a lawyer, he has to conform to the dress code when appearing in court.  A tie and a long Harry Potter style cloak is what he has to wear or the court won’t “recognise” him as being present in Court.

So in rebellion, the tie he packed into his bag was his Garfield tie 🙂

tie 1

In real life though (not in court) there are times when we don’t want to conform but do anyway because we are too scared of the consequences which could be – being ostracised, ridiculed or rejected.

We see it with children, wanting a phone because everyone else has one, or wanting to wear brand names for fear of not fitting in.  But the truth is we don’t necessarily grow out of it – depending on how we feel about ourselves as human beings.

You are freer than you think you are.

My husband has to fit in (by wearing a tie and cloak) when he’s in court or he won’t be recognised as actually being present, it’s that simple.  But we (who don’t have to do such things) often put ourselves into situations where we limit ourselves based on what we think others think about us.  We don’t realise that we are freer than we think we are.  (Wow that’s a lot of thinking!) Learning to accept ourselves as we are and with what we’ve got (even if it comes from a supermarket and not from an exclusive boutique) is something to aim for.  It’s not only about what we are wearing, it’s about our educational qualifications, our home, our furniture, our car, our looks, our outward achievements.

Get out of jail free

get out of jail free.jpg

You are the only one who can free yourself from your own self-unacceptance.  Perhaps you need some help or guidance but only you can make the decision to move forward.

When you do, you will be much more at ease when you are around others.  You will feel more comfortable in social situations.  You will be able to stand up for yourself more often.  You will find it easier to set **boundaries.

Stop choking on the tie….

With love

Eve


**Brene Brown’s talk on You Tube about Boundaries, Empathy and Compassion (5:53 min), a worthwhile watch.

Gratitude of the day – I want to thank Makeitultrapsychology blog who helped increase my followers by allowing me to promote my blog. Thanks! (click here if you want to see their helpful blog).