What to do in December

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relax mountainsCan you believe it’s that time of year again when we have an opportunity to slow down.  This year seems to have come and gone and I hope that I can drag out the holidays for as long as possible.

Some tips for making the most of your holidays whether you are going away or not:

Do nothing
Make sure you spend some time each day doing absolutely nothing.  Nothing important.  Nothing technological.  Nothing that HAS to be done.

Do nature
Spend some time in nature.  There are beautiful parks just around the corner or a short drive away.  The other day my mom and I spent an hour in a park in our neighbourhood and I’m telling you it was relaxing and uplifting.  I noticed the details, colours and smells of trees I usually just drive by.

Do noticing
When you are out and about take special notice of how beautiful the world is that we live in.  Notice the trees, the flowers, the beaches, the mountains, the sky, the people, your family.  Be present in the moment.

Do spending
Spend quality time with your partner, children or pets, spend more time with people you love, make special dates like movie night picnic in your garden.  Spend time cooking together, going for walks, holding hands and hugging.  Spend less on material goods and shopping malls.

Do sharing
Share chores with those in your family, don’t do it all yourself.  Find a way to inspire the others to help you.  Get the family involved when deciding what fun things to do.  Share with people less privileged, take a sandwhich in the car on trips to give to the hungry man or woman begging at the traffic light.  Everyone needs a break.

Do decluttering
Getting rid of stuff while you have a bit of extra time on your hands is liberating.  It opens up the energy in your home which will be a great start to next year.

Do time out
Make sure you do things just for yourself.  This is your holiday too.  Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door while you read your book for an hour and drink a cup of hot milo or cold iced tea (the weather is so weird it could be either one).  Find someone to babysit now and then if you have small kids.

Do tolerance
Everyone being home at the same time for a month or more can sometimes get overwhelming.  Look at your home mates from a soul level and open your heart with compassion.  Let this be a month of peace, understanding and love.  That sounds cliched but I’m serious.

Do laughing
On a serious note, stop being so serious.  Have some fun and enjoy yourself.  Put music on while doing chores, dress up as a prince or princess and prance around the house letting everyone think you are a bit crazy.  Laughter spreads and makes us happy (watch this hilarious clip).  Be happy.  Do funny.

I will be taking a break from writing until the middle of January but will still consult a couple of times a week so don’t be a stranger.  Have a wonderful holiday.  I’ll miss you.

With love
Eve

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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

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

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

Closing the Gap

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What is the word that actually describes your life?  What is the word you wish described your life?  How are you going to get closer to the life you wish for?

In order to write this for you I had to make it personal so that you would glean from my example.  So  here goes….

The word that describes my life right now is swamped.  How would I like it to be?  Flowing.

Funny that both those words have reference to water.  Swamped feels exactly as it sounds, bogged down, difficult to get out of, overwhelming, too much to do.  Flowing is peaceful, things going according to plan, doing what feels right, not taking on too much, dancing movements, glittering beauty (okay, I’m getting carried away because I really want to be on holiday right now).

Firstly it’s important to note that the words that I have used to describe my current state are all beliefs.   Are they true?  Well not really.   They are just thoughts, a state of mind.  If I believe my life is overwhelming then it really seems overwhelming and then that’s what it is.  Overwhelming.  Too much to do?  How do I know how much is too much to do?  This may be hard to comprehend right now but believe me, it is very freeing when you are able to differentiate between the truth and what you think is the truth.  I had a look at some pictures of swamps and believe me that is not what my life looks like (thank G-d) – but I have been thinking it is!

How am I going to close the gap?

I will look in my diary when something comes up and  I will ask myself if it is necessary, if it is doable, if it is something I really want or if I am doing it for other reasons such as people pleasing or fame and fortune.

I will make extra time for traveling in my diary.  Sometimes I forget to do this and then find myself rushing from place to place because I haven’t added the traveling time into my day.  It is so much more peaceful when I can drive to place and sing at the same time instead of sweating from the stress of trying not to be too late.

I will forgive myself for being human.  If I set a certain amount of goals and can only reach a few of them, I will remind myself that I am human and can only do so much.  If I overburden myself with negative criticism it’s no wonder I believe I’m overwhelmed because not only am I rushing and not managing to fulfill my expectations of myself but I am also adding harsh words to the mix.

I will make time for the things that are a priority in my life.  Sometimes we forget what we are aiming for.  We lose sight of our purpose.  If I refocus I will be able to say no to invitations that come up and only choose the ones that talk to my higher purposes.

I will make time for myself to relax.  How can I even do any of the above if I don’t make time to relax and nurture myself?  That means making proper food and not eating on the run, spending time lying or walking on the grass, having naps, going out on a date with myself (now and then), treating myself like I would treat anybody else, with courtesy and kindness.

Wishing you a beautiful week of seeing what’s really happening in your life and making steps to close the gap.

I would love to hear the words you chose and some of your ideas on how you are going to close your gap.

With love
Eve

 

 

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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