Friday, 30 October 2015

Once Upon a Thought

Once upon a time there was a woman named Suzie and a man named Tom................
My husband and I have a funny thing we do.  We have a television in our bedroom.  It is always on, but the sound is on mute.  We would wake-up in the mornings, usually on Saturday mornings, and watch whatever is on the channel at that moment, but neither of us will turn up the sound.  We have great fun watching it and making up dialogue for the actors.  In the background the radio would be playing and it is so funny how the actions would go perfectly with the music of the moment, and that in turn would influence the mood of the dialogue. 
This set me thinking about life.  How important the script is that we write for our own lives, and it all begins with our thoughts.  Events are set in motion by thoughts.  Thoughts can steer our lives on a completely different track, it can alter the daily dialogue of our existence.  Thoughts almost always result in us taking some or other action.  How we think is ultimately what affects our destiny.
The actors in the movie convey certain actions according to the script they have, but with the sound turned off, Suzie, who storms away from Tom, could mean that she hates Tom and wants nothing further to do with him, or it can mean she left the stove on and the pasta is about to burn, or accompanied by Beethoven's 5th it could mean that she is rushing back to pack and bade her family farewell as she leaves with Tom to live happily (because she is with him) and sadly (because she has to leave her family behind) forever after.  The choice is in the beholder's hands / thoughts.
My question to you is:  by what dialogue do you live your life?  What theme music plays in the background of your life story?  Your thoughts set the mood of the scene, your thoughts write the script of your life.  Is the theme of your life kindness or judgement, is it love or bitterness, are you a victor or a victim?  Is your stage set for drama or comedy, is the plot fear and negativity or is it filled with hope and expectation?  You are the writer of your own story.  Will your character be defeated by its circumstances or will it conquer the obstacles with a steadfast spirit and perseverance? 
Yes, life don't always have happily ever after stories, but it tells YOUR story, and it is a story worth telling, because it is so unique, because you are unique.  It is worth living it fully, with all its sad, happy, comic and dramatic moments.  Have fun writing it, but remember to give careful thought to the actions and the dialogue of your character for it will determine the ending....

If you flutter by here and would like to share the plot of your life story with us, just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Always Worth It

We are all aware of the fact that we are living in a very fast moving world.  Most of us have very little patience.  We hate waiting and we dislike to spend at lot of time to pursue something.  We prefer instant and fast.  Even relationships suffer from this.  We meet somebody, but instead of letting the relationship develop and grow, we quickly want to move it from step A to step B and then wonder why it fizzles out into nothing.  In this world with its break-neck pace, finding someone who truly loves us, is nothing short of a miracle. To really have a meaningful and long-term relationship it takes quite a bit of effort, and the logical question to ask is if it is at all worth it.  After all, falling in love is a risk.  It is a minefield of potential heartache and pain.  Yet, few things are as magical as the excitement, joy and sharing of love.

Falling in love is easy.  Even eight year olds can do it, but the feeling of "falling-in-love" is fickle, and the candle soon burns out.  To be worth anything, that first infatuation needs to grow and mature into something lasting.  It has to be build on mutual understanding and respect.  You have to find some common ground in your values, perspectives, and likes and dislikes.

Communication is vital in a relationship.  It is the arteries that keep the blood circulation open.  Talk about the things that make you happy as well as those things that irritate or frustrate you.  It is better to talk about it before it builds up and then burst the dam wall.  It is important to be truthful and open with each other from the beginning.  It helps to build trust in a relationship.Being open in a relationship helps to avoid doubts and insecurities from finding their way into a relationship.They are like little vermin chewing away at the foundation of a relationship.

When we are in a relationship, we are in it as a couple and our mindset should be to include our partner in our plans and dreams, we should also share in our partner's interests and encourage their plans and ideas.It is important to be tuned in to your partner's moods and feelings.  If you feel that there is something bothering him/her it is important to talk to your partner about it, and to listen to him/her.

Dreaming and making plans together for your future is an important part of a long term relationship.

We all enter into a relationship with our own unique traits, strengths, abilities and short-comings.  We have to respect and value these differences in each other, and accept each others weaknesses.  This is a great opportunity to learn from each other.  My weakness is balanced out by my partner's strengths and vice versa.  We must celebrate the areas that provide us with common ground, but we have to learn to accommodate each other's differences. Trying to change the other person will only lead to frustration, resentment and heartache.  It is our differences that have the potential to make our relationship stronger and interesting.

In a long term relationship our common values, our spiritual belief system and mental development are of great importance.  These issues cannot be avoided or ignored, it is also very difficult to make compromises about these key issues.  While falling in love and our mutual attraction to each other have brought us together, it is our values that will create a strong foundation.  It is quite rare to find somebody with similar beliefs and values to our own, but when we do, it is worth treasuring that person, and it makes any compromise in other areas easier.

Every person in the world, no matter what age they are, is constantly in a process of growing and maturing.  We are changing all the time.  Therefore, it is important for people who are in a long term relationship to stay connected to each other.  We have to talk about our ideas, share our thoughts and thus grow together.  It is important to take part in each others interests and activities.  Spend time together and take turns to do what makes the other person happy.  

Do not ever take your partner for granted and pay attention to the little things.  Make time for each other.  Take off your watch, switch off your phone.  Spend quality time together.   Every now and then ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to make your partner happy?  Everything in life that is worthwhile takes a bit of effort, but in the end it is always worth it.

 Remember:Relationships last long because two people make a choice: To KEEP it, FIGHT for it and WORK for it. (author Unknown)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Better than Butterflies

We all know the saying, "A Dog is a Man's Best Friend", but not only are they our best friends, they are also our mentors, as there are so much we can learn from them.  Here are 12 canine wisdoms we would be wise to remember, who knows, maybe if we apply some of these "doggy" principles in our own lives we might have happier relationships.

1.  Dogs are loyal.  It does not matter who we are, whether we feed them or not, whether we allow them to sleep inside our cozy homes or outside on the steps, they remain loyal.
2.  Dogs do not hold grudges.  They forgive instantly, again and again.
3.  Dogs do not hate anybody.  They are fiercely protective of their humans.
4.  Dogs do not judge us.  They accept us just the way we are.
5.  Dogs do not discriminate.  They do not care whether we live in a mansion or a shack, whether we are Caucasian, Chinese or Martian, as long as we love them.
6. Their love is unconditional.  They attach no conditions to their love.  They simply love with all their hearts.  Always ready to give a lick or a cuddle.
7.  They are patient.  They spend most of their time waiting for their humans to return home.  They don't sulk or scold us when we eventually return.
8.  Dogs are always excited to see us.  They tell us so with their whole bodies.
9. They always expect the best.  They are excited about the new day, believing it's going to be good.  They wag their tales when we bring their food, expecting it to be absolutely delicious.  They are always ready to go for a walk, believing it's going to be a splendid adventure.
10.  Dogs believe their humans are the very best in all the world.  They will follow us to the end of the world, they will search for us far and wide.  No matter how we treat them, their belief in us cannot be shaken.
11.  They do not care about money or material things.  It cannot make them love us more or less.
12.  Dog are always grateful.  Every morsel, every tiny bit of our attention, every pat on the head fill them with gratitude and they never forget to show it.

We take these amazing animals so for granted, yet it is a privilege to have the company of a dog.  Have you hugged your best friend today?

Feel free to tell me a bit about your special friend, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Today is a Good Day to be a Butterfly!!!

Image by C.Fourie from "A year of Butterflies" Collection

Fantastic!  The start of another new week!  New opportunities and possibilities await.  Yet, I woke up exhausted this morning.  We had a very busy week and weekend. Running around, organizing, and meeting everyone's needs has left me feeling drained.  So, taking a good look at my state of mind this morning, I decided that today will be a good day to be a butterfly!
How blessed they are!  Those little flighty creatures, 'hanging' around all day, just being butterflies!
Nothing is expected of them.  Just by being what they are, they fill the world with beauty, their presence gives us such delight.  They do not feel compelled to live up to anybody's expectations of them.  They do not pressure themselves to perform.  They do not worry about tomorrow or mope about the past, they revel in the beauty of the moment and enjoy the wind beneath their wings.  They delight in all the scents of the garden and their wings sparkle in the sunlight.  They embrace the joy of simply being alive.

How different we are from butterflies.  From morning till night time we rush around, believing the more busy we are, the more successful we are.  We think that by filling every hour of the day with activities, we have something to be proud of, and we call ourselves "Achievers".  We even look down at people who have mastered the art of being quiet as if they are of an inferior species.  If somebody were to tell how they managed to fit thirty minutes, or heaven forbid, an hour of stillness/ reflection /meditation or creativity into their day, the retort would often be "Oh, I am far too busy for THAT!"  We often equate being busy as being worthy.   We fall into the trap of thinking that being busy means that I am important, we trade time for the mistaken belief that it adds value to our worth.  In the process, we are pushed to our limits, and not only do our strength and energy levels get depleted, our relationships and families end up suffering too.  We just simply have no time for anything else, we are caught up in a vicious cycle of being busy.  We also have no time for ourselves.
In fact, most people, and especially women, believe that to allocate any meaningful amount of time to themselves, is the height of selfishness.  It is expected of us to put ourselves last on the "to do" list.  The result is that we start running on empty!  We end up having nothing more to give.  Our emotional, spiritual and physical banks are bankrupt.  Disaster is looming.
WE have to take charge of our lives and our time, and rethink about how we use the time we have.  We have to replenish our bank accounts.  There is no overdraft facility.  We have to prioritize ourselves.  No, this is not a selfish act, it is a very essential need.  I can only give to others if I have something to give.  We have to allocate some time to ourselves in order to re-fill and re-energize ourselves.  We have to celebrate who we are and what we need to live more fulfilled lives.  We have to find our butterfly wings and put them on.
So, how should we do it?  I could devote a whole post to it, but in short:

1. Schedule it.
 Just like we schedule a time to go see the bank manager, or the school principal or the PTA meeting, we have to write our appointments with ourselves into our diaries.  If we do not do this, we will simply put it off until another more convenient time (which of course never materializes!)
You owe yourself at least 10 minutes a day, 1 hour a week and a whole day every month.
2. PLAN it.
Great!  You have diarised your me-time.  You have looked forward to it for the whole week, but now, faced with all this free time, you are totally at a loss of what to do. If you do not plan what it is that you want to do with your free time, you will end up wasting it, and feeling frustrated in the process.  Therefor it is important to have an idea what you want to do with your ten minutes or hour or day.  It is not necessary for elaborate plans or a minute by minute schedule.  A basic outline should suffice.
3. Disconnect.
Yes, you heard me.  We are addicted to our electronic devices.  The average person checks his phone roughly about 150 times a day!!!  Most people will interrupt whatever they are doing to take a phone call.  As long as we stay connected we are not focused on being in the moment, and our me-time becomes somebody else's time, again.
4. Say NO!
Do not be tempted by people or events to re-schedule.  Say no to distractions.  Say no to going on a guilt-trip.
5. Spend the time doing what makes YOU smile.
Maybe it is reading that soppy romance or watching "Friends" for the umpteenth time.  Maybe it is ordering a sushi platter for ten and gobbling it all up by yourself while lounging around in your PJ's.  Maybe it is wandering through all the little shops in China Town.  Whatever it is, do it.  Do not worry about being judged by others.  It is your time.  Cherish it.

Remember, no one else is going to come up to you and say, "Here, is an hour, take it and go have fun."  The world is always ready and willing to demand our time.  You are the only one who can take charge of your life and give yourself time.  Take time and be a butterfly.  Delight in the beauty of the moment, breathe in deeply and smile as you take flight.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a pair of wings...

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Beautiful October!


Dit is die maand Oktober! Die mooiste, mooiste maand!
Dan is die dag so helder, so groen is elke aand,
so blou en sonder wolke die hemel heerlik bo,
so blomtuin vol van kleure die asvaal ou Karoo,
so blomtuin vol van kleure die asvaal ou Karoo.

Dit is die maand Oktober! Die varkblom is in bloei;
oor al die seekoeigate is kafferskuil gegroei;
die koppies, kort gelede nog as 'n klip so kaal,
het nou vir welkomsgroetnis hul mooiste voor gehaal;
het nou vir welkomsgroetnis hul mooiste voor gehaal.

Dit is die maand Oktober! Die akkerboom is groen;
die bloekoms langs die paaie is almal nuut geboen;
en orals in die tuin rond ruik jy sering en roos,
jasmyn en katjiepiering, lemoen en appelkoos,
jasmyn en katjiepiering, lemoen en appelkoos.

Dit is die maand Oktober! Ek dink die mense vier
vir ewig in die hemel Oktobermaand soos hier!
Wat wens jy meer as blomme, as helder dag en nag?
Wat kan jy beter, mooier of heerliker verwag?
Wat kan jy beter, mooier of heerliker verwag?

Wat gee ek om die winter? Wat praat jy nou van Mei?
Wat skeel dit as ons later weer donker dae kry?
Ek is nou in Oktober, die mooiste, mooiste maand,
met elke dag so helder, so pragtig elke aand!
Met elke dag so helder, so pragtig elke aand!

For our English speaking readers:

It is the month October! The most beautiful month!
The days are so clear, the evenings so green,
blue and cloudless the heavens above,
now a garden of colours - our once bleak Karoo,
now a garden of colours - our once bleak Karoo.

It is the month October! The arum lily in bloom;
all the hippo holes are covered with October lilies;
the hills, shortly still rock bare,
now, with a hearty greeting, display their splendour;
now, with a hearty greeting, display their splendour.

It is the month October! The oak tree is green;
the bluegums along the roads are all newly dressed;
everywhere you smell syringa berrytree and roses,
jasmin and gardenias, orange and apricot,
jasmin and gardenias, orange and apricot.

It is the month October! I think the people celebrate
the month of October eternally in heaven, just like here!
What more do you wish than flowers, beautiful day and night?
What can you expect that's better, more beautiful and joyous?
What can you expect that's better, more beautiful and joyous?

What do I care for winter? Why do you speak of May?
What do we care if dark days were to come?
I am now in October, the most beautiful month,
each day so clear, with the evenings so beautiful!
Each day so clear, with the evenings so beautiful!