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

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Raw South Africa – Joburgers Conversations

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judgement skin tonesLast week, a guy who calls himself Joburger on Facebook started a magnificent thread which brought light and laughter to many people in South Africa.  He asked black people to ask white people any question they have ever wanted to know and then he did the same with white people asking black people and everyone asking Indian people, Coloured and Asian people.  The thread went on for a few days and it was both hilarious and eye opening.  I really learned a lot and have already started to change my behaviour in certain ways.

Then on Sunday Joburger asked people of different races to say what they loved about a particular race.  I tell you it was addictive sitting there looking at the love pouring out.  People had to put their differences aside and look with eyes of love and focus on what is special about each particular race in our beautiful country.  It was heartwarming, educational and love building.  Just seeing what other people love about us is eye opening in itself, we often take those things for granted and don’t even realise that people notice it as a positive thing.

What I have to say about it is this…. As South Africans, we have so much potential for a cohesive society.  There are always hitches and difficulties in every relationship and the relationship we have now is the New South Africa.  Things haven’t turned out as planned for many and our government has disappointed most of us. However, I think that we as South Africans with all our diversity can become united.

I wish that there was no violence in this country, no crime, no poverty.  I wish that we could all live together in harmony and be happy.  I wish that for the entire world actually.  My wishes aren’t going to make it happen though.

judgingLet’s start off small by just loving and accepting the person you see.  What I realised from reading the posts is that we have so many misunderstandings between each other.  We judge indiscriminately and have tons of stereotypes.  I recommend having a look at the thread by Joburger if you have access to Facebook because it is honestly heartwarming.  It doesn’t take away the real problems that people are facing in their every day lives but it’s a start to see how much we actually do appreciate each other and how much we are all living together under the same roof.

With love
Eve

(p.s. I warn you in advance, if you have a look at Joburger, there is swearing etc. which might offend sensitive readers but the overall thread is one of love and unity).

Who to thank?

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sunflowrThere are people who do things for us all the time but do we always notice it?

I wrote a letter to my coach this morning, she is an amazing woman who has helped me grow tremendously this year.  Yes, even a coach needs a coach. I am so grateful to her for all she has done, her generous spirit, her love, humour and acceptance.  I am also grateful to G-d for the syncronisity in putting us together.  It has really been a wonderful (and sometimes daunting) experience and so worthwhile.   My coach is taking an extended break and so our time together is over for now and I wanted her to know how valuable she has been to me.

There is someone in your life who you may want to express your thanks to.  It may be someone who quietly changes your life for the better.  It may be someone who makes you happy just by being in their presence.  It may be someone who loves you exactly as you are.  It may be someone who brightens up your day.  It may be someone who you can confide in, someone who you feel safe with.  It may be someone who does the same thing every day without you asking.

Let them know.

With love
Eve

The Power of a Hug

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Hugs are amazing things, really.  They melt away tension and can help heal a person who is ill or depressed.  Hugs release stress which help a person’s heart to beat slower which is good for longevity.

Hugs boost the chemical oxytocin in your brain.  Oxytocin has many functions, one of them being anti anxiety.  Hugs relax your muscles.

Holding a hug for an extended period of time lifts serotonin levels, elevating your mood and even helps your digestive system.  Hugging your older child or teenager for six seconds reminds them of being held as a baby (unless they explicitly say they hate it when you hug them, then don’t force it).

Hugging is one way to strengthen the immune system.  When you are happy your body stays healthier, when you are stressed, angry or depressed your immune system is weakened.  Another way is laughter so if you don’t have anyone to hug find a way to laugh more.

A hug Boosts self esteem – we feel special when receiving a hug which we associate with our early childhood when we were given hugs by our parents.  It also makes us feel safe like it did then.  This has been seen when children hug a teddy or a blanket.  We continue to carry the feeling of being hugged in our cell memory.

Hugs teach us about giving and receiving.  Giving a hug without expecting anything in return is very generous.    It is however important to receive hugs as well, you deserve good stuff too.

Hugs teach us to let go and be in the moment.  When you step into a hug time stands still.  If you are uncomfortable with hugs time might stand too still 😉.   Use your intuition about when to let go. Swaying fast from side to side while hugging can take away from being in the present moment.  Personally I prefer sill hugs.

When we hug the people we love we are investing in the relationship.  If you feel empathy for someone you feel their pain, so you may need a hug just as much as they do.

When hugging, make sure that it is platonic and nurturing.  Just be there for the other person and let them be there for you.  This builds trust and allows the person to just be.

Many people don’t get touched often especially the elderly or those that live alone.  If you know someone like that give them the gift of a hug.

To respect someone’s boundaries I usually ask the person permission.  Not everyone likes hugs or is used to them.  If someone didn’t get much trustworthy touch in childhood they may feel fearful when hugged.

Timing is important.  Hugging someone who is in a bad mood with you may be counterproductive.

Don’t squeeze too tight unless you know for a fact the other person likes that.  A sore hug is not that enjoyable.

At the end of a hug, make eye contact which will make you both smile.

If you are not a natural hugger then practise it slowly with people you love and trust.

I asked my children what it feels like to be hugged and they said: beautiful, safe, warm, cared for and caring for (exchange of care).

I hope you give and get those things this week.

With love
Eve

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

Impressive or not?

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Transformation - who would you impress

Interesting question……
o
The truth (to me) is that it’s not about impressing people, it’s about being the best you can be in this world.  It can be completely anonymous and very quiet.  No-one needs to know.  Just be yourself, use your gifts, and be a good person.  Forgive yourself when you make mistakes.  Don’t try too hard to be noticed or to impress people.  Impress yourself.
People will love the real you.

That’s all.

With love
Eve

Seeing yourself with Loving Eyes

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self-love-what-you-see“They” say – Love is in the eyes of the beholder.  To me this means it doesn’t matter what you are like because if somebody loves you they will not notice your flaws or at the very least they will ignore them because they love you so much it won’t matter.

What about you?  Can you look at yourself and see someone beautiful?  Someone kind, loving, loveable, capable, strong, courageous?

It’s easier to love someone else and ignore their flaws than your own.

However, don’t despair, loving yourself is a skill that can be developed and it’s to your advantage to work at it.

When you live each day like the one before and don’t grow yourself you will most likely notice that you are unhappy or uneasy.  Those uncomfortable feelings are a sign to you that it’s time to do some inner work.

How to start

Look at yourself and what you say and do with loving eyes – the way you would do if you were looking at someone else that you love.  If you are able to do this, you will start to be less hard on yourself, be more forgiving towards yourself, get up after you fall down, not worry about others’ opinions, be more free.

eyes-grapefruitsMay you have a week where you remember how amazing you really are.

Eve