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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Impressive or not?

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Transformation - who would you impress

Interesting question……
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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

The Magic of Beginnings

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change - butterflies“And suddenly you know…. it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”

Today I realised something about myself that I hadn’t realised before.  I’ve been acting in a certain way that bothers me if others do it.  A remarkable woman I know revealed this to me and with an uncomfortable giggle I admitted she was right.

I’m grateful she showed me where I’m going wrong because it’s not how I want to be.  I could continue in my old ways of course (which is the easier option) and enable others to do the same or I could leap into the unknown which is a bit scary but has exciting possibilities and that’s the route I’d rather take.

I’m trusting the magic of beginnings, I’m trusting that the path I’m taking will lead me closer to where I want to be as a person.  It most likely won’t be all clear sailing because when I change myself there are adjustments to be made by everyone involved and people – generally speaking – don’t like change.

It’s hard to look at ourselves sometimes but if we take the challenge there’s so much to look forward to.

I’m excited about this!

With love
Eve

Rummaging through the Jumble

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clutter minimalismDo you ever feel like you have nothing to wear yet you have plenty of clothes?  It’s probably because you have too many clothes and a lot of them you don’t really like or don’t wear for various reasons.  Why keep these things?

Have you noticed that when your home is cluttered, your world feels a bit overwhelming too?  I think it’s because our home, cupboards, car, handbags etc. often mirror part of our lives.

It’s no surprise then that when we declutter we feel lighter.

Have you heard yourself saying “I will need it someday” – but do you ever get to use it?  I’ve found that when I need that “thing” I’ve been saving for all these years, I can’t find where I put it anyway and then land up buying a new one.

How does clutter make you feel?  When I look at my clutter I feel uncomfortable and restless.

When you introduce new items into your life, you immediately associate value with these items, making it harder for you to give them up in the future. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.*

When you see various parts of your home that are cluttered, ask yourself why you are keeping these things.  What are you holding on to?  It can be very difficult to let go of our possessions.  There’s apparently a place in our brain that lights up when we experience the pain of letting go of the things we own.*

Give the clutter a name.  When you look at the pile of stuff or the wardrobe that is too congested, give a name to it.  e.g. Chaotic, busy, overloaded, stuck, ugly, messy etc.  Do those words conjure up parallels in your own life?

What am I getting to here?  Perhaps just to be aware that our clutter is more than just a pile of stuff, it has emotional connections too.  You may even be holding on to old emotional baggage.  An idea would be to look at what you can let go of and see if you feel lighter and more free when you do.

With love
Eve

*Mikael Cho, How clutter affects your brain and what you can do about it.

 

 

#stressmustfall

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burnout-you-can-do-anything-but-not-everythingYou don’t have to do everything yourself.  There may be tons to done but you don’t have to be a martyr or a hero and do it all.  Ask for the support you need.

At work delegate a task to someone else.  At home ask your family to get involved.  It’s excellent to teach your children these skills anyway.  You may have to let go of the need to control the situation because it might not turn out exactly as you had anticipated but you could find a lot of satisfaction, camaraderie and connection by letting others get involved.

Why do you choose to take on most (if not all) of the work?  Could you be trying to please people?  Do you think you are the only one who can do a proper job?  Do you want to receive all the praise?  Do you get too many arguments when you ask for help and so it’s just easier to get it done yourself?  Is there more mess afterwards if others do it?

If you take on too much it becomes exhausting and stressful.  Let go of high expectations, give good instructions and check how they are managing from time to time.  The letting go will involve some trust.  They may not do it exactly your way but it might come out perfectly well.  In fact you could be pleasantly surprised.

helpful-kids-2If others don’t want to co-operate (for example your children) you may need to make it more fun.  Turn the task into a game or a race.

If you do everything by yourself, you become depleted, tired and moody.  It’s not pleasant for you or anyone around you.  Do yourself a favour and give some of it up to someone else.  Put your feet up a bit and relax (and don’t feel guilty about it) or just slow down somewhat.

Remember to say thank you (even if the job turns out less than perfect).

Warmest regards

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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The Oxygen of Relationships

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communication-oxygen-to-lifeTwo people (no matter what their relationship is) can walk around holding resentments towards each other for all the wrong reasons.  Not that there’s a right reason to be resentful but what I mean is this…

Here’s a scenario:  Bob and Sam are friends.  Once Sam mentioned something judgemental to Bob about people who buy expensive cars.  Bob, who has an expensive car, thought that Sam was talking about him.  Bob has been walking around holding this resentment for about a year and Sam is oblivious to it.  Often when Bob gets into his car and thinks about Sam, part of his driving enjoyment is lost.  Whenever he sees Sam these days he looks down on him a little bit and makes snide remarks about things that Sam does.  They are drifting apart and both of them think that maybe their friendship is past it’s sell-by date.

What is missing here is communication.  If Bob had spoken to Sam about this, he would have realised that Sam wasn’t even talking about him.

communication-resentmentThis can happen in subtle and secret ways too.  I read about a person who found out that her husband resented her for becoming overweight during their marriage.  This had come as a total surprise to her as he had never said anything to her about it.  If they had spoken about this issue they could have found a solution together.  Not only that but they could have grown closer by communicating with and supporting each other.  He had been holding on to this resentment in secret and had been taking his revenge in subtle and silent ways.

If I could give you something important to take away with you it would be this.  When communicating….

Seek first to understand

Listen to what the other person has to say.  Don’t just wait quietly until he or she is finished speaking so that you can speak.  Listening is the key to communicating effectively.  We often forget this and think that speaking is the most important part.

Speak from your own point of view

Talk from your own experience and feelings (For example…  “I feel hurt by what you just said” – rather than “you are always hurting me”).

Listen and try not to interrupt.  Then have your say.

Here’s wishing you strength to create peace in your relationships.

Eve