Good Life or Good Lie

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good lifeWe deceive ourselves by making up stories in our heads.  Here are two examples.

  • Peggy was concerned because a good friend of hers seemed to be ignoring her text messages and not replying to any of them.  She started getting anxious thinking something was wrong.  When we analysed it together we noticed that the thoughts that had been going on Peggy’s mind were along the lines of: she’s purposefully ignoring me; I must have upset her; she doesn’t like me anymore, I’m not loveable. The truth is we don’t know any of those to be true, we make stories up and believe them as though they are real. How can we know if she’s purposefully ignoring her or if she’s upset or doesn’t like her anymore, maybe she’s just busy.
  • Lulu saw someone at the shop and the person looked her up and down in what seemed to be a disapproving manner.  Lulu had already been feeling self conscious that morning having eaten a half a slab of chocolate the night before.The thoughts that she had unconsciously been thinking were: I look terrible today; I’ve put on 3 kilos from the chocolate I ate;this woman knows and she’s thinking that I have no self discipline; I’m a terrible person.  Now all of these thoughts that Lulu thought are unverified and therefore the answer to them is unknown.  How on earth could she know what this random stranger was thinking?  For all she knows the woman saw the colour she was wearing and was thinking of her ex-husband whose current girlfriend had a dress in that colour.We never know what other people are thinking.

I do not mean to undermine Peggy’s or Lulu’s experiences here.  I am trying to demonstrate how we subconsciously think thoughts that seem real to us and we get freaked out.  These thoughts however, are just thoughts.   Often though they relate to experiences we have had previously in our lives which trigger us (almost like flicking a light switch on) and it’s as if we are reliving that same moment from many many years ago.  These experiences can be unravelled and put into perspective with someone who has experience in this area.

We continue to deceive ourselves and make our lives a misery by thinking thoughts and believing everything we think to be true.

If you want help to unpack your thoughts and work through them, to see what is plaguing you, please contact me by clicking here.

All the best
Eve

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Worthy of Receiving

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receiving sarkGiving is super important and gives purpose to one’s life.  However, some people perceive that to receive from others is wrong or they don’t like it.  Have you heard people saying “I would rather give than receive”?

There’s a balance to giving and receiving.  If you constantly give and never allow yourself to receive you are creating an unbalanced relationship with whoever is trying to give to you.  Everyone needs to give in order to feel that they are contributing to society, to friends, relatives and to their intimate relationships and you are giving someone an opportunity to be generous when you are able to accept from others.

Receiving can be scary but hear this….. accepting a gift, a compliment or help, doesn’t mean you are weak or useless, helpless or incapable.  It means you are in a relationship.  You can be strong and still accept from others. Receiving might also bring up feelings of obligation and owing.  i.e. I have to be grateful to this person and now I am indebted or owe them something.  Yes you probably should be grateful, so what?  Someone out there is grateful for what you have done for them too.

You know who else you need to receive from?  Yourself.

The other day I proved it to myself after hearing a talk on this.  After the talk, I gave myself three gifts, one was tasty, one was about cooling down in the boiling heat and the other was taking a few minutes just to enjoy these two things.  When my husband and kids got home later I had so much more energy and willingness to do things for them rather than feeling depleted and put upon with all their needs because I had already given to myself.  I had shown myself that I am worthy of receiving.  It’s weird but I actually wanted to give more because my needs had already been met.  The people around me were naturally happy too.

Did you know you are worthy of love just as you already are with no improvements?  That means that right now you are worthy of love just because you are.

Remember that.

receiving sark 2Next time somebody gives you a compliment, say thank you (instead of not believing them or making excuses or brushing them off).  If somebody offers you help, don’t think “I can do this all on my own”.  Even if you can do it all on your own, it’s okay to share your burdens and your chores.  If somebody gives you a gift, don’t think “oh no, now I have to give them a gift back” just accept it and appreciate that someone cared about you.

Thank you for reading my blog – that is a gift to me.

With love
Eve

Raw South Africa – Joburgers Conversations

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judgement skin tonesLast week, a guy who calls himself Joburger on Facebook started a magnificent thread which brought light and laughter to many people in South Africa.  He asked black people to ask white people any question they have ever wanted to know and then he did the same with white people asking black people and everyone asking Indian people, Coloured and Asian people.  The thread went on for a few days and it was both hilarious and eye opening.  I really learned a lot and have already started to change my behaviour in certain ways.

Then on Sunday Joburger asked people of different races to say what they loved about a particular race.  I tell you it was addictive sitting there looking at the love pouring out.  People had to put their differences aside and look with eyes of love and focus on what is special about each particular race in our beautiful country.  It was heartwarming, educational and love building.  Just seeing what other people love about us is eye opening in itself, we often take those things for granted and don’t even realise that people notice it as a positive thing.

What I have to say about it is this…. As South Africans, we have so much potential for a cohesive society.  There are always hitches and difficulties in every relationship and the relationship we have now is the New South Africa.  Things haven’t turned out as planned for many and our government has disappointed most of us. However, I think that we as South Africans with all our diversity can become united.

I wish that there was no violence in this country, no crime, no poverty.  I wish that we could all live together in harmony and be happy.  I wish that for the entire world actually.  My wishes aren’t going to make it happen though.

judgingLet’s start off small by just loving and accepting the person you see.  What I realised from reading the posts is that we have so many misunderstandings between each other.  We judge indiscriminately and have tons of stereotypes.  I recommend having a look at the thread by Joburger if you have access to Facebook because it is honestly heartwarming.  It doesn’t take away the real problems that people are facing in their every day lives but it’s a start to see how much we actually do appreciate each other and how much we are all living together under the same roof.

With love
Eve

(p.s. I warn you in advance, if you have a look at Joburger, there is swearing etc. which might offend sensitive readers but the overall thread is one of love and unity).

When life gives you crumbs

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positive thinking - feed the birds

Sometimes upsetting things happen.  That’s the way things are and we can’t avoid them.  We can however make things better.

The other day I had a confrontation with a person who was quite nasty to me.  I was extremely upset afterwards and sat staring into space, totally focused on the incident.  I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.

After a while my phone alarm went off.  The ringer is an upbeat song.  I decided to stand up and dance, shaking out the negativity that my body was holding from the incident through my fingertips.  At the end of the song, I felt a lot better and I also realised that I was thankful that this is my problem rather than anything else.  In fact I felt blessed.

This thought process completely turned my mood around and I was able to get on with my day.

If it wasn’t for the song breaking into my reverie and choosing to dance it out, I may have dwelled on my problem for the whole day.  By shaking it out, I changed my mood.

I hope that you find a way to feed the birds when you get crumbs.

With love
Eve

3 Important Things

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communication-phones.jpg

I sat working at the coffee shop and watched a father and two boys who I assumed were his sons walk in.  They sat together at a table, the father hunched over his phone, not looking up.  The two young boys had a phone between them and were playing a game on it.  Neither the boys nor the father acknowledged each other.  The manager came over to greet them.  The child holding the phone didn’t even look up.  They were there for about 15 or 20 minutes, collecting takeaways and then they left.  In all that time they didn’t interact.

Most of us are guilty of this to some extent.

If we keep in mind the things that are important to us, we will put our phones down, close our laptops early and switch off the tv.

What 3 things are most important to you?

When you identify what they are remember them when living your day to day life.  There’s a good chance it will feel satisfying and connecting.

With love

Eve

The Singing Staff

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Enjoy the moment

Last week I was shopping at Woolies Norwood.  I walked past the fridges at the back of the store and I heard some people softly singing a beautiful song that I really love.  I thought that maybe I would be lucky and stood there for a few seconds more…..  I was.

Out of the back came 10 to 15 staff members with wonderful voices singing Asimbonanga**I assume in preparation for Madiba’s birthday.  I decided to follow them around and I chose not to video them but instead to just be in the moment and enjoy the singing.

I was astounded to notice though that other shoppers just gave a cursory glance at them and continued on their shopping.  When the staff continued singing at the entrance of the shop, me and two other women were watching them and thoroughly enjoying their performance.  Three people!

I was taken aback at people’s complacency to having free, beautiful, live entertainment while doing a mundane task such as shopping.  Why weren’t other people stopping to watch and listen?  People didn’t even smile at them or clap when they finished (except me and two other ladies).  Why was shopping more important than a one or two minute stop to appreciate other people’s efforts?  Look, at least it gave me something to write about.

We do shopping every week, sometimes even more often.  Here was something out of the ordinary and people didn’t deem it worthy to pause and just breathe and enjoy.

Stop.  You’ve got to enjoy the little things.  One day you are not going to wish you had spent more time shopping, you are going to wish you had stopped to listen to the staff choir or to look up at the sky and the clouds or to smile at a stranger and watch them smile back.

These are the moments of joy.

With love

Eve

** This link is the Soweto Choir singing this song 3 years ago at Woolies I added it just so that you could hear the song. 

 

The Kite on my Roof

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busy 2The word “busy” has powerful connotations.  When we keep saying we are busy it means we have no space left for anything or anyone else.

We fill our lives with so many activities and there’s no time to just chill.

There are things we want to be doing but we are just too busy.  Usually those things are the most meaningful ones.  Like going to see a play, getting some fresh air at the botanical gardens, doing a good deed, taking the family on a really nice outing or having a long relaxing bath.

When we leave out the things which mean something to us It’s because we haven’t really thought too deeply about it and therefore don’t have proper direction.  When we have direction and intention and know why things are important to us we make place for them in our lives.  Filling our time up with rushing leaves a certain emptiness or frustration within us at the end of the day.*

It’s the same for our children.  I hear some of my children’s friends say that they don’t have time for social arrangements because they are too busy.  How can a child be so busy that they don’t have time to play?  If that’s what is happening to the children then certainly for us as adults it must be worse.  These children are also perpetuating a “busy” value system into their lives and when they are adults they will do the same thing and won’t have time for what is important to them.

The consequence is burnout, depression or physical ailments.

What really fulfills us is meaning, fun, laughter, love, giving, sharing, connection.  We won’t find those things in filling up our days to the brim.  Look at your schedule and see if you can take something out.  Leave time to lie on the grass and look at the birds flitting around in the trees.  The other day I had the amazing opportunity of seeing a bird of prey on my roof (I think it was a kite – click here to see what a kite is).  If I had been on my phone or rushing around doing lots and lots of stuff I would have missed it.

Yes of course there is a lot to do but try and take out something and put yourself and the things which mean something to you into your calendar.  If necessary physically write them into your diary and make them as important as any appointment would be.

There’s freedom to be found here……

With love
Eve

*I will be running the Power of Purpose on Sunday mornings in July and August.  Early bird special ends on 30 June.  Book now.