The wound is the place where the light enters you – Rumi

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dark - stars with treesThere can be no light without darkness, no morning without night, no up without down, no full without empty, we can’t see the stars unless it’s dark …..

During adversity and our toughest moments we get to make a choice.  What am I going to do with this?  How am I going to make it work?  How am I going to make things better?  Am I going to let the darkness fully descend on me and let myself fall apart?

Rumi says the wound is the place where the light enters you but I think we need to allow the light in.  We can close the shutters and stay in the dark or we can open them and be momentarily blinded by the light until we adjust to the circumstances.

If we allow the light (the solutions, other people, G-d, hope, laughter) into our lives, we can begin to heal.

In my own life when I am going through a challenge if I let the light in, people I am with seem more important than ever and together we look for solutions and become closer in the process.

Thriving instead of just surviving can be accomplished even in tough situations.  I’ve seen it with people I know, seemingly insurmountable problems are overcome and even though it’s not easy for them, they learn to accept what is and learn to include it in their lives and find a way to manage.  I’m inspired by those people.

None of us are immune to life’s complications.  If you find it hard to figure it out yourself look for a counsellor, a coach or a trusted friend to help you step into hope.  Sometimes all we need is a hand or kind wise words to pull us into the direction of being able to save ourselves.

If we are open to it, seemingly “coincidental” things occur – people that we need suddenly arrive into our lives, a song is played on the radio with the words we need to hear, we come across a quote on Pinterest that exactly hits the spot.  These things are not coincidences, they are moments of Light to help us along the way.

It can get worse before it gets better, however being honest with ourselves and facing the wounds will help to manifest the light in and around us, expanding us and bringing us to a whole new conscious way of being.

May you be blessed with finding easy ways out of your challenges.

Eve


To find out what type of coaching I do please visit my Facebook page @evemarkshealing by clicking here.

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Only 90 times!

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purpose - 90 years and call it life When I saw this quote I had a moment of shock.  If we have the opportunity to live to 90 or above, let’s use 90 as an example… then we only have 90 times to do a year.  It may seem obvious to you but to me it was one of those aha moments that Oprah talks about.  Only 90 times to try it over.  Only 90 times to do whatever it is I’m trying to do. That’s so little!  If I only have 90 times I want to make those times count.  Keeping in mind we don’t all get 90 times.

This post is not meant to be morbid, it’s meant to wake us.

What do I want to be doing?

Some people have a bucket list, I prefer to call mine “exciting things to do in my life at some stage” list but those things might take years to achieve.  So I have a “meaningful priority list” which is for everyday use (it’s not necessarily written down).  I feel frustrated with myself if a day ends and I haven’t done at least one thing in my “meaningful priority” list.

What have I done today to be proud of?

I think the key for me is to look at what is important in my life and to make sure I do one or some of those. I learned some skills on the Power of Purpose in this regard (click for more info).

Yes, our days are often filled with seemingly meaningless or routine tasks like sitting in traffic, cleaning up, standing in queues.  That’s the way it is.  However, if we see them as meaningless they will be.  But if we can somehow figure how to put them into our “meaningful priorities” list we can change them and the way we feel about them.

purpose - elderly couple eating ice creamHow can we do this?

We can gripe and groan about standing in the queue or we can make conversation with a fellow queue member or use the time to text a friend who is in need of some love.  We can hate the traffic or we can use it as a time to listen to a really good podcast or some favourite music or greet the people along the way with a smile making their days – and by the way, making someone else’s day often makes yours.

We can sit watching movies or series to switch off from our restlessness (which is really our soul saying “hey, let’s do something”) or we can make watching a movie a real treat now and then.  We can include our children while cooking even though the cleaning up afterwards will take much longer.

Let’s make the most of each year we have because it’s not just a year, it’s an opportunity, a chance.

Let’s start with today…. We don’t have to wait until the 1st of January.

With love
Eve

Babe, you got this xx

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When you are trying to do something challenging in your life for example sticking to an exercise routine or a new way of eating (or any other habit) and you keep slipping back into old habits then this one is for you.

One of the crucial elements of sticking to any sort of new habit is support.  You’ve probably tried this before and yet you find yourself sleeping in instead of going for a walk or hitting the gym.

I remember when I was on an intensive art course for a few years (a while back) and we had to hand in hundreds of sketches, numerous completed drawings and a fair amount of large drawings with board frames.  I was working full day and studying part time and it was quite difficult to come home after work, cook, clean and complete my art work and still find time to relax.  What helped me get through at the time was having support partners.  My husband and my close friend.  My husband would help me keep accountable by sometimes watching tv or reading where I was drawing or he would remind me about my goal to finish what I had started.  My friend supported me by loving my art and encouraging me even if I didn’t love it.  We would sometimes lug my art equipment to her house and I would draw while we all spent time together.  Good times.

Does it make sense to you that sometimes we just need someone who will be on our side, someone who will remind us about why we started, someone we can phone or text when we “just don’t feel like it” and want to give up?

When choosing a support partner, let it be someone who would be kind yet firm.  Discuss what  you want from them beforehand.  If you want them to push you, explain how you would like it to be done.  For me a Seargent Major type would push me into rebellion rather than motivate me.  Set boundaries from the beginning.  For both of you – maybe your support partner doesn’t want to be woken at 3 a.m. because you are dying for ice cream in the fridge and don’t want to ruin your hard work.

Don’t think you have to do it all yourself.  We are social creatures.  Sometimes the person who is always there for someone else needs someone to be there for them.  Are you feeling guilty for receiving support?  Your support partner may need your help one day too.  You are worthy of support.

Choose someone who gets you.  There’s no point choosing support that doesn’t agree with what you are doing and will constantly criticise you along the way.

Hang in there.  Goals take perseverance to achieve – ask anyone who reached theirs.

I wish you the best with your goal.  Let us know how this advice helped you reach it.

Eve
 


If you live in Johannesburg, don’t forget to register for the Power of Purpose which starts on the 16th of August

7 mistakes people make at work and how to change that

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Do you drive yourself to prove that you are a good person because you want to gain the approval of others?

So many of us do so don’t feel alone…..

Here are 7 mistakes people make at work:

  • Trying so hard
  • Working after hours
  • Taking work home
  • Saying yes to every request even if you know a fellow colleague who could do the assignment
  • Taking the blame for others’ mistakes
  • Being a “good girl” or “good boy”
  • Feeling hurt when you get moaned at and then berating yourself on top of that

Let’s look at how to rectify these situations:

Trying so hard to please
Yes of course you must work hard otherwise your boss may not value your contribution to the firm but do you have to try so hard to please his or her every whim?  Do you find yourself doing more than is necessary and then feeling resentful afterwards?  Do your best within the boundaries of your job.  Be the best that you can be which doesn’t mean bending over backwards if gymnastics is not your forte.  If you find yourself ironing your boss’s shirts when your job description doesn’t call for it, then maybe this area is a problem for you.

Working after hours
Every so often when pressure mounts it is in good form to work after hours.  But are you working late every day to prove how loyal and dedicated you are?  What you are really doing is building up piles of resentment when your boss starts taking advantage of your benevolence.  You probably ask yourself why you keep doing it and thinking it would “look bad” to stop now when you’ve been doing it for so long.  Work after hours when it is needed, the rest of the time go and do what you need to do in your own life.  If you are always the last to leave, ask yourself why?

Taking work home
Same as above.  You are not a superhero although you may wish to appear like one, so take work home when there’s hectic pressure at work but don’t make a habit of it.  Nobody ever said on their deathbed (although I don’t have proof for this) “I wish I had worked more”.  No!  They wish they had spent more time with the people they love.

Saying yes to every request
You know how you really want your boss to be happy with you so you keep saying yes and the piles of work keep adding up?  You find you can’t actually get to everything no matter how hard you try.  You fear he or she is going to think you are useless at your job.  If the work is too much for one person to handle, think of a colleague who would be able to do that task just as well as you can.  Stop worrying that he or she may do it better than you for fear that this will show you up.  If they do it better than you, that’s one more task you can tick off your list because they will be asked next time as well.  Your boss will thank you for it when you get your other work done and your colleague also gets their work done.  It’s a win-win situation really.

Taking the blame for others’ mistakes
Why?  Let people take responsibility for their own mistakes.  On the odd occasion if your department’s “life depends on it” then fine, but otherwise…. NO!

Being a “good girl” or “good boy”
The need to be “good” is derived from our childhood.  Getting into trouble when we were kids was probably normal for most of us.  But the fear of that still drives many of us to be “good” all the time – don’t step out of line.  However, it’s not good for your health if you never speak up.  If something is unreasonable at work and you don’t speak up about it, notice how your throat area feels?  (tight / like there’s a lump in it / blocked / coughing / thyroid).  If keeping quiet is your default behaviour it could affect your health in the long term.  If you need to speak up but aren’t sure how to go about it, get advice.

Beating yourself up
So, you made a mistake.  Hopefully it didn’t incur a loss of millions.  Seriously, I hope it didn’t.  If it didn’t and you accidentally did something wrong, then sitting there calling yourself names (stupid / idiot / useless / incapable / unworthy / not good enough) is not going to fix the problem.  All it is going to do is mess with your self confidence which makes making more mistakes a possibility.  Forgive yourself – after all, you didn’t do it on purpose!  Then find a way to sort out the problem, possibly own up to it or get some intra-office support to sort it out.  You are human and most likely a good one at that.

Working on these seven tips will hopefully improve your time at work and outside of work.

What other areas do you struggle with at work or out of work?  I would love to hear from you.

I wish you well.

Eve

 


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Nothing happened!

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writerQuestion 1:  If you didn’t have to worry about money what type of work would you do?

I know a great person with creative ideas who loves books and knows he has an amazing book inside him just waiting to come out but he hasn’t written one page!

I would like to win a million rand in the lottery but I hardly ever buy a ticket.

When we think and think and think about doing something but don’t act on it – NOTHING HAPPENS.

Question 2 … Is it something you could actually do?

What is stopping you?  Are you thinking that you could never do it?  Are you thinking that you are not good enough?  Not worthy?  Incapable of ever being a success?

Now that I’m in my late 40’s I’m finding more and more that I want to do things that I haven’t ever acted on.  I’m saving up for those singing lessons.  But let me tell you that when I do start to take those  lessons I have actually no care about if I will ever “succeed” in the eyes of others.  I’m not trying to be a famous singer, I just want to learn the skill and breathe well and have fun.  I want to sing for me.

I do hope that great man writes his first page of his novel, and then the next and then the next.  He doesn’t have to make millions out of it, that’s not the point.  The point is to say to himself “I did what I always dreamed I would do”.

Don’t think, think, think and think that you can’t do it or it couldn’t happen for you.  What’s life for if not to experience?

Live as if money isn’t an object when it comes to starting to realise your dreams.  If money is tight right now and you’ve always wanted to be an artist, buy a pencil and a drawing pad and start.  Or paint with one or two colours of ink using a cotton bud.  Don’t let your inhibitions and self judgement stop you.   If you want to be a tennis player but can only afford one lesson a month, find a teacher who will accommodate you and practise against your garden wall.

So what if you don’t become the next world champion….. just be a champion to yourself for starting.

With love

Eve


 

Click here for a step up towards your dream…….

 

Empowered Difference

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self esteem - individualityIt’s seems tough to be different.  Different means standing out.  It means taking a stand on what you believe in and it can hurt.  Some people think that their difference is not worthy to be out-standing.  They hide in the background or try to blend in, hiding their inner selves, their essence, their values, their beauty.

But did you know that even though you are a human like the rest of the humans milling about, you are useful, capable, beautiful, amazing in your own way and if you let that inner light shine outwards, you will be able to light up others who need it too.  Not only that but when you start to use your difference for something worthwhile, you will feel empowered and strong.  You will forget why you ever thought that hiding your inner beauty was a good idea in the first place.

By the way, you are different but so is every single person in this world.  There is no one who is the same as another.  Even identical twins are different.

So in essence we are all the same.

There’s no sense in hiding now is there?

With love

Eve


The Power of Purpose Aug Sept 2016

 

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