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. 

 

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

JOY and how to find s0me

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Joy  is hard to find when we focus on what went wrong in the past, what is wrong now or what will possibly go wrong in the future.

past present future

If we focus on what went wrong in our lives and keep that in the forefront of our minds, then we are living in the past and if it wasn’t a good past then why choose to live in it?   If the past was better than the present we can tend to live there too.  We must of course learn from our past mistakes and reminiscing isn’t a problem, as long as we don’t long for those times so much that we can’t live in the now.

If we focus on what is currently wrong in our lives then we are not seeing what is currently right in our lives.  This can cause great unhappiness (that sounds like an ancient proverb).

Seeing and enJOYing what’s right in our lives right now is the trick.

People need meaning in their lives as well.  Depression and addiction (just to name two) are prevalent if there is no meaning in a person’s life.

If you really can’t see much that’s right in your life then you need to create it.

Here are some ways:

  • Volunteer your help somewhere. When you give of yourself life becomes more meaningful.  (If you struggle with your health then volunteer once a month instead of every week).

dad and kid (2)

There are:

 

  • children who need help with reading or homework
  • elderly people or neighbours who are lonely
  • dogs that are left alone all day
  • people who can’t manage to do their shopping
  • sick people who need a visit to cheer them up
  • people who can’t manage to mow their lawn or do their washing
  • young parents you may know who would love a babysitter so that they can go out

Or….. how about a list from your senses to bring you some joy?

Write a list of all the things you like to do relating to your five senses, then choose one of them to do. Here’s my list with 3 examples of each…..

 

Sight Sound Smell Touch Taste
*A cloudy sky

*Nature

*Anything I can photograph

 

*music

*laughter

*inspiring talks

*flowers

*baking

*aromatherapy oils

*soft fluffy blankets

*purring cat

*holding hands

*ice cold water on a hot day

*chocolate

*miraculous juicy fruit (it’s amazing, it comes off a tree!)

 

  • pomelo

These are just a few of mine.  What are yours?

 Gratitude – focus on your blessings

  •  Write down five things every night that you are grateful for. When you notice how many things are good in your life you will start to see things differently.  If you struggle with this then start with the things you may take for granted such as “I have a blanket to cover me with” or “I have fresh water that comes out of a tap” .  Watch your life change when you start to notice what you DO have.  Ophrah Winfrey talks a lot about gratitude journals – here is a link to her short video.

Lastly, if we focus on what is going to go wrong in our lives we spend our time worrying and feeling anxious and how can that be enjoyable?  We can work towards something we want in the future, true, but spending all of our time worrying about it is soul destroying.  And can you really tell the future?  How do you know what’s going to happen?

I know I said “lastly” but this is important…… Loving and accepting ourselves and others is key to creating joy in our lives.  If we judge and hate ourselves, how are we going to love our lives?  If we hate and judge others, how can we have meaningful connection?

If you struggle to do this yourself, find someone who can help you.

Sending love

Eve

p.s. I’ve added a TED talk here called Cloudy With a Chance of Joy. It’s worth the watch.

 (Photos by Author)