The Magic of Beginnings

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change - butterflies“And suddenly you know…. it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”

Today I realised something about myself that I hadn’t realised before.  I’ve been acting in a certain way that bothers me if others do it.  A remarkable woman I know revealed this to me and with an uncomfortable giggle I admitted she was right.

I’m grateful she showed me where I’m going wrong because it’s not how I want to be.  I could continue in my old ways of course (which is the easier option) and enable others to do the same or I could leap into the unknown which is a bit scary but has exciting possibilities and that’s the route I’d rather take.

I’m trusting the magic of beginnings, I’m trusting that the path I’m taking will lead me closer to where I want to be as a person.  It most likely won’t be all clear sailing because when I change myself there are adjustments to be made by everyone involved and people – generally speaking – don’t like change.

It’s hard to look at ourselves sometimes but if we take the challenge there’s so much to look forward to.

I’m excited about this!

With love
Eve

12 Ways to cope when you’re not coping

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lemons 2Do you have those days when you feel like you are not coping with your life?  Your shoulders and neck feel tense?  You find yourself getting more tummy aches than usual?

When it feels like you are not coping maybe it’s because you are focusing on the stress.  Your body goes into fight or flight (keep thinking you need a holiday right now! Or sit there procrastinating?)

When you are in the thick of things you may forget that there are ways to bring joy into your life.  Here are 12 suggestions to help you do just that:

Have a cup of tea
But make its special. Use a teapot or your favourite mug.  Remind yourself that you also deserve some peace and quiet and that you are important too.

Commune with nature
Sit on the grass.  Walk barefoot.  Lie under or hug a tree (you have no idea how comforting that can be if you’ve never tried it).  Feed the birds.  Work in the garden.

Look up
Spend time looking at the clouds, the shapes, shades, contrast of colours. Watch a sunset or a sunrise for some peace and pleasure.

Do some exercise
Get those endorphins going.  Often we don’t do anything when we are feeling low but that is the time to work it because you will feel so much better.  What I do is jump on my mini trampoline while watching reruns of my favourite comedies. And talking about that…..

Do funny
Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.  Laughter changes the chemicals in your body so make it happen.  Children laugh 200 to 300 x a day and adults laugh about 15 x a day.  That’s just sad.  Don’t be a statistic.  Even forcing a smile onto your face changes what happens in your brain.

Throw a tantrum
Not in front of everybody else, just by yourself.  You didn’t want things to be happening this way did you?  So say so and stomp it out.  Try not to scare anybody while doing it though, it doesn’t have to be loud.  And then accept that this is part of life and you actually can cope if push comes to shove.

lemons 1That’s what Friends are for
Contact a friend. You’ll be amazed at how many people are going through or have gone through something similar.  If there’s no-one you can think of then contact a coach, a psychologist, a social worker or go and have your hair done and chat to your hairdresser.

Meditate or Pray
I find that when I meditate before I pray I’m much more focused and connected.  These two activities alone have volumes of positives written about them – just ask google.   Slow conscious breathing also works to calm a person down especially when you feel as though you are panicking.

Find a hug
Often a few moments of loving touch will do wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Dance or sing it out
Listen to your favourite music, it will get those dance moves happening.  Even if you don’t feel like it just dance anyway for one song.  Or Sing.  Sing out loud.  Who cares what you sound like?  If your voice is really bad then close the door.

Pets
I can’t stress the value of a pet.  I don’t know what I would do without my dog and cat.  They are an endless source of healing.

Be grateful
Be grateful for what’s right in your life.  Not every single thing is going wrong.

Turn your life around.

With love
Eve

Finding Cape Town in Joburg

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scarborough-beachI had the privilege of a four day holiday in Cape Town with my husband.  I really needed this holiday and loved and made the most of almost every minute of it.  My husband had a milestone birthday and between the two of us we decided to explore Cape Town and do some things we hadn’t ever done before.  So we found quaint little places to have tea, had a scrumptious picnic on Chapman’s peak drive and found the most beautiful beach ever in Scarborough.   We even went to a museum (something we hardly ever do).  When it was time to come back to Joburg I had tears in my eyes and really wasn’t ready to leave magnificent Cape Town.   How can one compare the beauty?

When I was back in Joburg I decided that instead of lamenting the “loss”, I would make a concerted effort to find what I had in Cape Town back here in Joburg.

What did I have there?  Scenic walks and drives, fresh air, quality time, picnics, touching horses, being a foot away from a big crab, soft sand, watching dogs play……  I can find those things here too (except for the crab of course).  Obviously I won’t have the sea and the mountains and those specific types of clouds but we also have mountains nearby, lakes and dams and big parks and potential picnics.  I’ve decided that this year I’m going to make time for these things.

It’s not just a new year’s resolution, it’s a conscious decision to bring more quality into the leisure area of my life and not just let it whittle away and disappear.*

Wishing you a fantastic 2017!

With love
Eve

*Last chance to book for the Power of Purpose which starts on 7 February 2017.  Find your purpose in different areas of your life and make it happen.

Making Memories

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playing-hide-and-seek-fingers-on-lipsI read a post this morning by a woman whose son had been very ill for a long time and who had to receive an organ transplant.  This woman wrote about her experiences as the mother of her child and how stressful, scary and sickening (she writes that she became sick from worry – yes it’s a real thing) the whole experience was and how grateful she is now that her son who finally received the organ that he so desperately needed is able to start living his life again.

I thought about them while I was driving around fetching kids and how now that it is glorious December we have so many opportunities to make happy memories.  With the world being so small and everyone living in everyone’s pockets (with cellphone messages pinging every few minutes or seconds even) we know a lot more that goes on in peoples’ lives than we ever did before and it can be very disturbing to see how many people are suffering.  However, we can take stock and make a decision to live our lives the best way we can.  There is no guarantee for the future for anybody, we don’t know what the future holds so instead of worrying about it – which is easy to do – let’s make memories.  Let’s live every day to the fullest.  Focus on our loves.

Holiday time (whether you are going away on a vacation or staying home) is a time to regroup, reconnect and reinvest yourself in your life.  Don’t let it pass you by.  Don’t waste it.

playing-the-fortcandlelight-dinnerPut on the candles, switch off the electricity, switch off the wifi.  Connect, play games, talk.

Remember the times when you played General Knowledge?  Hangman?  I spy?  Hide and Seek?  Do it again now even if it’s just you and one other person.  “They” say the best things in life are free…. Well they are.  These things are free, you don’t need any money to sit together and be with each other.

Make those memories this holiday and rest.  Relax and have fun.  Soak up the sun (or the snow if you are up North – because that is also beautiful albeit cold).  Just BE together.

If you don’t have anyone to be with, find a place to volunteer.  There are many many people in old aged homes who are lonely and don’t have anyone to talk to this holiday.  Sit and have a cup of coffee with someone there and let them tell you about their life.  You will be enriched.  You can share your wisdom and let them share theirs.  There’s just no telling what can happen, you could even make a new friend.

I am signing my blog off until January when the schools go back so that I can also go and rest my bones and make some memories.

I wish you a wonderful end of year and a brilliant 2017.

You are special to me, beautiful reader.
Warmest regards

Eve

The Blind Spot

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judging-before-you-assume-ask-squareDo you ever wish that you would have just kept quiet and asked questions rather than jump to conclusions?  Whenever I jump to conclusions it doesn’t end well.

I think the reason for this is that we judge a situation by our perception or experience of it from our point of view and how can we know what is really going on unless we are in the other person’s mind?

So many disputes take place because of this blind spot which is basically misunderstanding.  We can think we know why the other person does what they do but it’s not based on reality, it’s based on guessing.

gavel-3I have regretted talking too soon so many times in the past that it has almost become a silent rule to ask first.  I hate making the mistake of judging someone wrongly and then having to apologise afterwards.  Do you ever feel this way?

I can feel the feelings of anger welling up and my tongue about to spit out it’s defamation when suddenly I stop myself because I notice the signs.  The signs are my feelings of anger.  I just know I’m going to make a mistake if I don’t ask first.

Once it’s out.  It’s too late.

So that ‘s what I do (most of the time).  I ask first.  I’ve learned my lesson.  I hope.

With love
Eve

Waiting for Friday

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waiting-for-fridayI remember when I was in my 20’s and I was thinking about having a baby……  My husband and I were worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford all the new expenses and thought we should rather wait until we could afford it.    One of the ladies at my work at the time said to me “You will never be ready…. If you wait until you are ready you will never have children”.  I took her advice to heart and am so glad and blessed that I did.

I have a friend who hardly ever went swimming because she wanted to wait until she was thin.  I thought she looked quite lovely but she didn’t accept herself.  When her kids were young she used to sit on the side of the pool and wouldn’t join them because she was too self conscious.  She missed out on all those cool and fun moments!

On a Monday people complain about it being Monday and can’t wait until Friday.  What about finding a way to make the whole week meaningful or enjoyable?

I’ll start my exercise programme on Monday.  Umm… what about today?  🙂

Waiting for things to be better first is counterproductive.   What happens if things never turn out the way we hope they will?

There are so many challenges that people have in life – be it illness, finances, relationships, etc.so why not take those challenges and find a way to accept them and make them work for us?

happy-lamaI think acceptance is the main building block that we need in order to move forward.  Without acceptance, we can’t move on.

Challenge your inner beliefs.  If you think things have to be a certain way first, ask yourself if that belief will serve you.  Beliefs that we have about ourselves and the world around us are not always true.  For example “I have to be very helpful all the time otherwise people won’t like me”.
How will you know if you haven’t experimented with saying no sometimes?
Perhaps some of your friends will leave you but those are the ones who were using you in the first place.

Try this:

Let go of your expectations of how life is supposed to be.  Accept what is.

  1. Make a choice to thrive despite the challenges.
  2. Look for ways to thrive.  Write down lots of ideas.
  3. Pick one and start doing it.

Sometimes it helps to have a coach who can help you sort through these questions in your life, it’s good to have an objective point of view.

May you have a week in which you are not waiting for Friday.

With love

Eve

The nonsense about going to bed angry

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anger-i-still-careI’ve always heard the advice given to new married couples:  Don’t go to bed angry.

Is this sound advice or just a cliche?

I read this statement from a blog by Gretchen Rubin (10 ways to be happier) the other day…  Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

It reminded me of something I heard a few months ago by Rabbi Doniel Katz which was one of those “aha” moments:  He said something like this:  People say don’t go to bed angry but that is the worst advice ever given.  Who wants to start discussing heavy issues when you are exhausted just before falling asleep?  It can actually make matters worse!

I had to laugh because I used to do just that and my poor husband had to force his eyes angeropen and look mildly interested in what I had to say just before midnight when I suddenly wanted to talk.

Something that works for me is to forgive people (in my mind) before I go to sleep.  If you want to know how I do this, please email me.

If still upset then choose the “right time” to speak to the person when you are not angry or hurt but just want to find a solution and move forward.  “Sleeping on it” sometimes gives new perspective in the morning.

There’s most likely a reason why the other person is acting a certain way so some introspection wouldn’t hurt either.

May you have growth and laughter in your relationships and don’t forget to laugh at yourself too.

Eve