3 Important Things

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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.

Creative Boredom :)

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boredom curiosityYesterday I had to go to SARS* to sort out some issue which has been going on for some months now.  I have spent about 9 hours there altogether and believe me they have not been the most exciting 9 hours I have spent.

This time I took a book with and some work but I couldn’t concentrate because they keep calling out numbers and I’m scared I’ll miss mine.

I decided instead of being bored I would do some people watching.  I also wrote down what I experienced as a story on watzapp to my children.  It was a funny story which included the people who work there and had me in stitches laughing at my childrens’ reactions.

Before I knew it I was finished.  The two hours I was there became something that was creative and fun instead of the normal time waster that it had been in the past.

Here is an excerpt from my watzapp story.

“Well I am finally here.  After many weeks of procrastinating.  Surprisingly when I arrived at 12:20ish there was no queue at all, I just walked in.  You can never tell with SARS.  After getting my ticket – number 384 – I sat down with time ahead to do whatever I wanted to do with these empty moments.  I unfortunately ate my snack in the first three minutes of being here so now I am officially snackless……

Getting uncomfortable in these airport seats I shift to the side, lifting my boot clad feet up on the row of empty chairs beside me.  The steel arm of the chair cuts into my back and I have to turn back to my original sitting position.

Just when I thought this place was unusually quiet, a loud drilling noise emanates from somewhere yonder.  Perhaps that is the room they use to force people to pay their taxes.

I regret not bringing more snacks…..

Finally I’m at the counter.  The machine won’t read my finger prints, something I had planned all along.  The lady picks fragments from my memory to be sure I am who I say I am.  She tells me I can’t use the papers I have brought to verify my address even through I received them from SARS at my home address.  This is a mystery to me…….”

Anyway, that’s all for now.

I hope you have some opportunities for fun this week.

With love
Eve

 

*SARS – South African Revenue Services

Terrorism and the Butterfly Effect

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There is a lot of reeling happening throughout the world as terror keeps hitting soft targets.

Feelings of anger, helplessness and fear fill our hearts as we read the news or our Social Media posts, some people even watch video footage of the attacks (something that I can’t do).

Questions come up in our minds….. Why?  When is this going to end?  How can people do this to each other?

We have fearful thoughts about it……. The world is a dangerous place, nowhere is safe, I am not safe.

What is there to do about it?

Actually not much.   You can’t really change everything that is happening in the world especially if it has already happened.

You can only affect your small world.

So make a point of affecting your small world.  Be good to the people around you, give more charity, give of your time, pray for peace, spread kindness.
Butterfly theory
Remember the butterfly effect…..  Change YOUR world and maybe you will change THE world.

With love
Eve

The Puppy and the Plans

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Puppy - LizzyI stayed up on Sunday night carefully planning my week so that I could be very productive and get a lot done.

At about 4:30 on Monday morning I woke up to the puppy crying and scratching on her box to be let out.  This was the second time during the night that she had woken up, the previous time was before midnight when I had been asleep for an hour or so.  She has been with us for only a few days and we are all trying to adjust to having a baby (albeit a dog) in the house.  She went out into the dark and cold to go and do her business all by herself and came straight back. She’s only 8 weeks old!  I put a warm water bottle into her bed and comforted her a bit until she went back to sleep.  My older dog is a late sleeper and doesn’t take too well to being woken up before dawn but he comes to check on her anyway with a soft growl telling her to go back to sleep.  It’s honestly adorable watching these two (although not so much at that time of the morning while trying not to wake up the entire household with the commotion).

I went back to sleep at about 5:15 and my alarm woke me at 6:30 only to find that I had a headache which would last me until the next day.  I walked into the kitchen feeling a bit like a zombie and realised that I had a lot of washing up to do after my children’s party on Sunday and didn’t feel like it at all and hadn’t added it into my diary.

I could see my plans for the day beginning to evaporate like steam off the road after a summer rain.

keep calm and carry onSo what I decided to do was take it one step at a time.  Take pain killers, lie down, do a few dishes, work a bit, and then repeat most of the above steps.

Basically I took it slowly and went according to what the reality was and not what I had hoped it would be.  We can plan to our heart’s content but when things don’t work out we have an opportunity to practise being flexible and letting go of our expectations.

By the end of the day although I hadn’t done everything I had wanted to do my day was still good and I did manage to fit in a few of my diary entries.  I scheduled the rest into other time slots for the week.  Even though I had a headache, I actually landed up having a chilled, enjoyable day.

Wishing you a satisfying week.

With love
Eve

Recovery from Drudgery

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change your own world - barbwire turning into birdsSteve Jobs said:  “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.”

So how do you do great work if you don’t love what you do?

Find a way to love or at least like a part of it. Here are a few ideas.

* Have a purpose for what you are doing.  Decide what it is you are going for – (If you haven’t done the Power of Purpose course you may wish to consider it as an option).
* Write a list of what you like about your work – maybe it’s the people or the coffee or the view out of your window or the organising.
* Write a list of what you dislike about your job.  Now take that list and try and find ways to change a few of them.
* Why are you doing what you are doing?  Your answers may give you clarity.
thoughts - there is always a way* If you are struggling with relationships at work consider getting a coach to help you through.
* Make a difference in someone else’s life at work.  Giving of yourself to others – even if it’s a pleasant smile or a heartfelt ear – builds you up as well as being pleasurable.
* If you have an opportunity to work towards what you really want in your life then set a goal and start working towards it.   The best time to begin was 5 years ago but if you didn’t, then begin now.

Keep in mind that even if you start off doing what you really love, it can still become drudgery and “just a job” if you don’t add purpose to it.

Wishing you well

Eve