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).

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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

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