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

 

 

Please Like my Facebook page @evemarkshealing

 

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Oh my gosh that sky!

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clouds 1

I love lists and I found an amazing site called “Things we like” where people write a list of 10 things they like and then post it on the site.  The 10 things have to be very detailed for example it can’t just be “I like my cat” it must be more like “I love the comforting feeling I get when my cat purrs when I hold her”.  Have a look at the site, it’s a treat.  https://listsofthingswelike.com/

This site of lists got me thinking (of course).  It’s really about being present with our gratitude.

If we are present at least a few times a day and really observe the things that are happening we can experience so much more joy.
Here’s my list of 10 things:

  1. The feeling of my cat lying under the blankets with me and resting her head on my arm.  It’s a bonus if she’s purring.
  2. A boiling hot shower in winter just before bed or a cool refreshing one in summer – basically a shower before bed.
  3. Lying on the grass under the trees in my garden, my dog at my side – no noise just the birds and the leaves rustling.
  4. Clouds, especially white whispy ones that look as though the sky was painted just for me.
  5. When my family are sitting together talking or playing a game and I’m suddenly present, looking at them and seeing each person with their unique qualities.
  6. The look on someone’s face when I have made a difference to their day.
  7. The sweet smell of jasmine flowers which signify that spring is coming soon.
  8. As I arrive in Braamfontein from Jan Smuts avenue and see the colourful buildings and the Nelson Mandela bridge in the distance – I just don’t get sick of it and I see it twice a week!Braamfontein
  9. When I get feedback on my blog it’s a real thrill to know that people are reading it and getting something out of it (no pressure).
  10. The way I feel so refreshed after an afternoon thunderstorm in summer

I’ve decided I’m going to start 30 days of gratitude challenge.  Each day I’ll post it on Facebook – have a look at my facebook page and I hope you’ll join in.  It will be fun to bring us home to what we have and to even notice that we have it.

Today’s gratitude challenge:
What smell are you grateful for today?

I’ll be happy to share some of your replies on next week’s blog if you like.  Remember to like my Facebook page (it’s called @evemarkshealing) in order to get the daily gratitude prompts.

With love

Eve

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

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…….

 

Friction happens

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stormConflicts happen when we act or speak without thinking.  If we had to stop for a moment and consider what we are about to do or say or take a few deep breaths and cool down first there would probably be a lot more peace in our lives and in the world.

Some things you can do

  • Stop.
  • Breathe.
  • Take some time to cool off.
  • Think about what’s really going on for you.
  • Ask yourself: how important is it that I pursue this? Will I remember it in five years time?
  • Look at the part you are playing in the whole scenario because it takes two to tango.
  • What are you looking for in this relationship?
  • Ask yourself if you could handle this in a different way?
  • Then, act – with purpose and coming from a position of creating a peaceful environment.relationships - peace

 Often it’s simply about saying too much too soon.

So… Next time (because there will be a next time)

  • Make some space to listen and hear the other person out.
  • Ask yourself: What is the purpose that I want for this relationship? If you look at that, you will probably want it to be different, most likely better.
  • Think “peace”.
  • Then Act.

When you think before you act or speak you will most likely stand in your own power and be more satisfied with the results.

Try it next time, I know I’m going to.

With love

Eve

 


Just a reminder that the
early bird special for the
Power of Purpose
ends on Tuesday 19 July
(that’s next week) – click here


If you are interested I have included this
5 minute video clip from Oprah Winfrey,
“Whatever follows I am will come looking for you”.
Click here to watch.

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Financial Stress

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Gratitude - happy life
Living in South Africa at the moment is a bit of a challenge financially for the average Joe and for the underprivileged it must be horrendous! With the rand/dollar the worst it’s ever been, food, education, transport and everyday amenities just keep going up and it’s hard to keep up.

If food is this expensive for people living in the middle class suburbs, I pale to think of what it must be like living below the bread line.

There are two ways of coping with the challenge, one is to come closer together as a family and one is to split further apart.

How to not let your financial situation split you and your loved ones apart.

Oma and Opa

My grandparents at their wedding before hell broke loose

About 75 years ago, my people (and I mean literally, my grandparents’ family and friends) were living or dying in the throes of the Holocaust.  Hitler was at his prime and was succeeding at quite an alarming and efficient rate in attempting to wipe out the Jewish people (and of course anyone else he didn’t like or who didn’t follow his ideals).

The Jewish people have always had an uncertain place in history wherever they have lived and to be honest that has given me fear and strength at the same time.  Fear because I never feel completely secure.  Strength because if they could live through that (those that did), then we can live through financial insecurity and challenge.  In a way I kind of use the suffering of my ancestors as a way of moving forward in life.  I do it a lot.  I do it when I hesitate to give someone a lift or when I hesitate to offer food to someone hungry or a blanket to someone cold.  I think of my grandparents and how it must have felt for them to be freezing and hungry with nobody to help them.  Then I get out of my comfort zone and go and help someone.

Almost every time I help someone, I realise how blessed I am with what I have.  Yes, for some of us money is tight but most of us (reading this) still have decent reasonably healthy food to eat every day.  While I am passing food or some change out the window to the barefoot beggar on the street, I have my car heater blowing on my feet.  I take notice of those things because otherwise I might be more complacent and not appreciate what I have.

If we look at what is most important to us in our lives, we can gain better perspective of what is happening and act accordingly.  Here’s a creative example:  If people have to cut down on electricity usage to save money, perhaps they can have supper by candlelight because eating together and spending time together talking is more important than having the lights on.

Yes it is a challenge and I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t.  Talking to each other about what is happening and trying to find ways to make things work is what will help people to get closer during tough financial times.  Being creative with what you’ve got goes a long way to making it more pleasant.

Appreciating the little things in life and the free things (like parks and sipping a cup of tea in bed) and most important appreciating each other.  This is what makes life easier.  Savouring and really experiencing the cup of tea and and time spent with each other is what makes life happier.

tea 2

Reflections in my tea

Understanding and support is what is needed when having to find the money to make ends meet.  Fighting and ignoring the situation can never bring happiness into a home.  That’s what families are for, being there for each other.  Well that’s what I think anyway.

If people can find something to be happy about, something to be grateful for, something to share together, it can take a little of the sting away.

If it feels like things are unmanageable and falling apart, a hug to one’s spouse or children and some comforting words to each other will go a long way to making things more tolerable.

Look I am an idealist and an optimist but I really believe that if people can look to what is important and try and build that up, we can find happiness in what we have.

How has the current financial climate been affecting you?  Is there anything you would like to contribute to this discussion?  If so, please comment.

With love
Eve


Here’s a 3 minute TED talk video about saying and receiving thanks, if you are interested.


The Power of Purpose – a six session course about living with purpose and fulfillment will be taking place from 16 August to 20 September.  (Tuesday nights).  Click to book your place or to find out more.

Choking to conform

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harry potter drawing.jpgMy husband didn’t want to wear a tie to work because he’s had a cough for a few weeks and fastening a tie around his throat was making him gag.  He had to be in court yesterday so a tie it had to be.  He tried everything in his power to avoid it.  Even wearing his scarf like a tie so that his neck would be warm without feeling choked.  In the end he took a tie with him in his briefcase in case the Magistrate insisted on it.

Being a lawyer, he has to conform to the dress code when appearing in court.  A tie and a long Harry Potter style cloak is what he has to wear or the court won’t “recognise” him as being present in Court.

So in rebellion, the tie he packed into his bag was his Garfield tie 🙂

tie 1

In real life though (not in court) there are times when we don’t want to conform but do anyway because we are too scared of the consequences which could be – being ostracised, ridiculed or rejected.

We see it with children, wanting a phone because everyone else has one, or wanting to wear brand names for fear of not fitting in.  But the truth is we don’t necessarily grow out of it – depending on how we feel about ourselves as human beings.

You are freer than you think you are.

My husband has to fit in (by wearing a tie and cloak) when he’s in court or he won’t be recognised as actually being present, it’s that simple.  But we (who don’t have to do such things) often put ourselves into situations where we limit ourselves based on what we think others think about us.  We don’t realise that we are freer than we think we are.  (Wow that’s a lot of thinking!) Learning to accept ourselves as we are and with what we’ve got (even if it comes from a supermarket and not from an exclusive boutique) is something to aim for.  It’s not only about what we are wearing, it’s about our educational qualifications, our home, our furniture, our car, our looks, our outward achievements.

Get out of jail free

get out of jail free.jpg

You are the only one who can free yourself from your own self-unacceptance.  Perhaps you need some help or guidance but only you can make the decision to move forward.

When you do, you will be much more at ease when you are around others.  You will feel more comfortable in social situations.  You will be able to stand up for yourself more often.  You will find it easier to set **boundaries.

Stop choking on the tie….

With love

Eve


**Brene Brown’s talk on You Tube about Boundaries, Empathy and Compassion (5:53 min), a worthwhile watch.

Gratitude of the day – I want to thank Makeitultrapsychology blog who helped increase my followers by allowing me to promote my blog. Thanks! (click here if you want to see their helpful blog).