Reflections

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reflections alhambra eveStanding here, reflecting about my year, worrying, was I good enough? Did I do enough? Was I kind? Was I gentle?  Did I reach my expectations of myself?  Did I fail?  Thinking about the times I messed up.

Where to from here?

It’s important to also look at where I did go right.  Where I was kind, where I was gentle, where I helped out, where I reached a goal, where I looked after myself or others, where I gave, where I brought a smile to someone’s face, where I went out of my way.

It helps with self forgiveness and being real about who I am as a human.

Now to grow.

With love
Eve

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Siri, remove my make up

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movement stretchingThese days so much happens without effort that it takes effort to move.

Movement…..

  • Lifts our mood and can be as effective as medication for depression (says Harvard medical research).
  • Improves circulation and thereby increases energy – go figure.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • If you are struggling to concentrate or your body is sore from sitting too long, moving around does wonders and can get you back on track.
  • Helps with digestion because it keeps the muscles in our digestive system working well and releases toxins through perspiration.
  • Moving with someone (e.g. walking) improves relationships and increases the happy chemicals in your brain, leaving you on a high even if you have only walked for a short time.

There are so many different ways to move – dancing, cycling, nia, ballet, climbing stairs, martial art, walking, running, housework, boxing, gym, yoga plus many more.  If you don’t have a huge budget then walking or running are great because all you need is a pair of shoes.

I read somewhere that Social Scientists have found that as more people take to the streets, neighbourhood crime rates fall and the local economy improves.  If that is true then we have a responsibility here people! (Lol)

Walking with your children promotes better communication, reduces behaviour issues and improves academic performance (that’s also from Harvard medical research).

Moving helps us to live more comfortably in our bodies and minds.

It’s self care.

With love

Eve

 

Pretty Smart

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“The Difference between pretty and beautiful is that pretty is temporal whereas beautiful is eternal” – from the book Sefirot by Rabbi Y Haber.

pretty with lights

The world is so obsessed with physical beauty that it becomes a lifelong struggle for many people to meet those expectations.  Magazines, movies, the Internet and books espouse a certain standard of physical beauty and if you don’t meet that standard there is something sub-standard about you.  This is so wrong.

Aging is also an adjustment because our looks deteriorate out of our control which can be especially hard for people who have natural physical beauty unless they learn to love themselves with the stuff that comes with aging.

We all have our different genes and everybody was created uniquely.  To be happy within ourselves we need to appreciate and approve of ourselves (and others).

We are all beautiful and the more we do to make the world a better place the more our beauty shines out.  If you spend time with someone even for a short period of time you can notice their beauty so brightly that you can be filled with love or joy just looking into their eyes.

Let’s worry less about being pretty and more about being ourselves, bringing out our essence into the world and touching others with that.

Here’s hoping you will experience the beauty in yourself and others this week.

With love

Eve

Help Offered

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3 weeks ago I was happily walking the dogs when I stepped into a hole and twisted my ankle.  I tore a ligament and have since been on crutches and in a moon boot.  Firstly I want to praise the inventor of the moon boot because it allowed me to be reasonably mobile at home.

Last week I was finally able to go shopping.  First I went to Moishes butchery (while my hubby who had dropped me there went to buy dogfood) and I was standing in the queue when I saw that the teller looked at my foot and was frowning.  When I got to her till she said to me that I shouldn’t have waited in the queue, next time I should just come to the front of the queue.  She then called the security officer to take my packets to the car for me which he duly did.

My hubby then dropped me at Woolies in Norwood and I was quite sure I would manage on my own and would catch an Uber back home.  While looking at the fresh produce a tall, gentle looking staff member named Bafana offered to push my trolley for me while I shopped.  I was so taken aback and felt very grateful for his offer but decided to do it myself as I knew that I would probably take quite long and didn’t want to use up his time.  It was actually quite challenging as I had to push the trolley with my tummy and it’s quite awkward reaching for items and then putting them in the trolley while walking with both crutches.  Bafana came to check on me halfway through my shopping and told me he really wanted to help me and suggested that I ask him next time.  My hubby fetched me as he had already finished all he had to do while I was in Woolies!  I told you I would take long.

Even though I could have relied on those people and it probably would have been wiser to do so, I was tired yet elated when I got home.  I was so amazed by the kindness of these strangers.  They had genuine care in their eyes.  It did not seem to be just a matter of being a good employee, they sincerely wanted to be of help.

I had to take a backseat these three weeks and let other people do things for me which is harder than you would think.  Sitting back and letting others do the work is not my default setting.  I would like to thank my family for making me feel comfortable and allowing me the time I needed to heal.  I have written to the shops to praise their staff members and hope that they get recognised in some way.

The kindness of strangers happens more than we think.  Let’s spread stories of kindness as much as possible.  I think we all need a little bit of sun.

Wishing you well
Eve

Angry People are Angry

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If you believe something about yourself, it’s bound to eventually come true.  For example, from a young age I would look at the other girls in the class and believe that I was so much bigger than them and therefore fat and therefore unattractive.  Before we go on let’s get this out the way now…. I don’t believe that being fat equals unattractive.  But I used to.  And it applied to me.  When I look back on the memory of when I made this decision about myself I can actually see in front of me the girl that I compared myself to.  She was one of the thinnest girls in the class!  When I look back on photos of that time – I was 11 years old – I had an average size figure and a sweet face.

But in my MIND I was fat.  Because I had made up my mind that I was fat I started (without realising it) becoming what people call fat.  I say that because I am not fat, I have fat on my body.  That’s two different things.  Do you get it? We believe that we are the label.  The label could be rich, poor, unwell, frail, weak, sad, angry, anxious, helpless, failure, unemployed, old, (add yours …………………………).  Once we decide that we are the label we become the label.

Other people also give us labels or they see our labels and just verbalise them.  For example:  John is an angry person.  Why do we hold on to these labels?  Why don’t we change them to what we want them to be?  Well… we believe them for one.  There are also payoff’s to keeping the label – if John is angry people are scared of him and he keeps on being angry because that’s how he gets to stay in control because when he was growing up he felt weak or helpless in his situation and so being angry helps him stay strong.  Once we are comfortable with our label (and by the way we don’t realise we are until we work with it) it’s hard to let go of it.  It also takes some strength looking at yourself and asking what you are getting out of it.

What is the solution?  It’s not a quick fix really….. it takes looking at what is really happening for you and working through it.  Healing the wounds from the past and changing the labels. Making new ones.

You can have any label you want actually.  Why not choose it?

With love
Eve

Constantly Craving

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Food spagettiWhen it comes to food, cravings can be your body telling you what you really need.  So why does my body keep craving chocolate you may ask?

Is it that I’m craving the deeply nutritious cocoa bean?  Maybe and maybe not.  There are also psychological cravings associated with food (and any other thing we crave).

Perhaps ask yourself “What is it I really want (or need) right now?”.  You may find when you are walking around like a zombie looking for chocolate that what you are really looking for is a hug or maybe you are exhausted and looking for some quick energy.  Take notice of what is happening in your life at that moment and with practise you will be able to gauge what it is you are really looking for.  Then try and satisfy the real need.

If you are looking for energy, water or a nap usually helps with that.  If you are looking for a hug, get one or phone someone who will lift your spirits.  If you have just had an argument you may crave the crunchiness of chips to assuage your anger but what you really need is some resolution of the issue or someone to talk to.

By the way I’m not telling you not to eat chocolate or whatever it is you are wanting to eat, that’s not my job and anyway I don’t believe in forbidden foods.  What I am saying is look at what the emotional trigger is behind your cravings and work with that.  If you have many unresolved issues and food is your vice you will most likely find yourself running towards the fridge or corner café several times a day even if you are not hungry.

Another reason why cravings can be so hard to deal with is that they are also aggravated by the chemical response.  For example:  carbohydrates and cheese together reacts with the pleasure centre of the brain.  Therefore if you don’t enjoy your job or school, you will find yourself craving toasted cheese sandwiches, pizza or pasta every afternoon when you get home*.   This becomes something that your body starts to crave whenever you need a boost of pleasure.  There are other ways to get a similar boost for example exercise or a warm bath also reacts with pleasure chemicals in the brain.

Whatever your craving is, it’s never a simple thing to just ignore it.  After all we are designed that way.  I think cravings aren’t meant to be ignored but addressed instead.  If you work at resolving the underlying issue, maybe you’ll only crave the particular food now and then instead of every day.

With love
Eve

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*Doreen Virtue wrote a book called Constant Cravings which gives more details about this if you are interested.

Note: I have only discussed food cravings here but all cravings such as smoking or alcohol can be addressed.  Obviously the chemical hold of nicotine, alcohol and other drugs are very strong and need a lot of intervention.

Valentines Perspective – Love or Chocolates

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Valentines day background with champagne and roses

Once a year Valentine’s day comes around and there’s huge pressure for those who celebrate it.  Singles feel sad or desperate, boyfriends and husbands are expected to make sure that they remember their significant other with expensive gifts and large gestures, flowers cost the earth, even children at school who don’t receive a valentine’s card feel lost and alone.  People have expectations about how romantic the day is going to be and then are often disappointed by the displays received and are sometimes even devastated when their partner forgets.  Fights ensue.

Yes of course people should celebrate the love they have for each other and if you love Valentine’s day you are going to hate this article.  Historically it doesn’t have very savoury or romantic beginnings (google it) but has been marketed to become a money making bonanza.

One of my pet peeves is the way Valentine’s Day is marketed.  Everything is Red and Black.  I mean what is that?  If you walk past any shop there is bound to be a display of red or black lingerie or red chocolates or red mugs with “be my Valentine” printed on them.  Yes, red is traditionally the colour of love or hearts but is it not possible to have cutsie pajamas with a lovey-dovey message in a pretty blue?  It’s not advertised as love, it’s actually advertised as sex.

If you love your significant other then neither of you should be waiting for the 14th of February to display your love for one another.  Relationships need to be constantly nurtured.  Almost every day couples need to respect each other, think of how the other one feels before they speak or act, give their partner a treat (like rub their shoulders or bring them a cup of coffee), say words of love, give positive touch, appreciate one another, look into each other’s eyes, talk.

People get caught up in the busyness of every day life and these days technology adds to the problem.  People are on their phones a lot and so extra effort needs to be made to bring each other together, to put those phones down, to switch off the tv or close the laptop and talk to each other.

Valentine’s day is just a day on a calendar.  Buy your partner some chocolates or flowers this week.  Shake it up a little.  Both men and women need to be treated and feel appreciated.  Try and have a date every week – it doesn’t have to be expensive and can even be at home.  If you are single do something fabulous for yourself… often, not just once a year.

You are worthy of receiving (and giving) love the whole year round.

With love
Eve