If there is one basic thing most people desire then it is to be happy. Many many books have been written about it, songs have been composed about it and people are searching for it. Happiness has been likened to a butterfly, the more we chase after it, the more elusive it becomes, yet when we sit quietly it will come and settle on your shoulders. During March I would like to take you step by step closer to happiness, and invite you to take the journey with me. It is not a journey or a path that will lead you to happiness, but it is a journey to show you that happiness is the path. I hope you will join me.
Monday, 26 February 2018
This week-end I had the privilege to attend an art retreat. It was wonderful to get together with a group of like-minded women and paint to one's heart content. Artists are wonderful people, we understand one another and we support and cheer one another on. We understand the struggle the other artists are going through. As is the case with such retreats, wonderful things are revealed to us about ourselves, and in the process we grow and at the end we all leave there enriched and inspired. One such a revelation was shared with the group by Emily. Although Emily had been very excited to join the retreat, she experienced a blockage. We all could sympathize with her as most of us have experienced such blockages in the past. We all tried to encourage her and shared some of our own journeys with her, all the while trying not to put any pressure on her. We understood that she has to find her own path to her creativity. On Sunday morning we could see that Emily was feeling excited and upon inquiry she shared her aha moment with us. It was during her early morning quiet time that the Lord revealed to her that she was blocked because of her fear. To this she readily admitted. She was indeed feeling afraid, but she did not understand why. It was then that the Lord showed her that it was because of her unbelief. Unbelief, she first cried out. Surely not! She absolutely believed in the Lord and His guidance and help. Yet, that was not the complete truth, the Lord pointed out. There was still a sliver of unbelief and it was that unbelief which lead to fear and that in turn gave rise to her creativity being blocked. What a revelation. Emily had to admit this weakness. Surrounded by all the resources, the time and the encouragement of friends, Emily had no other excuse but to admit that she did not have complete faith.
Once she faced the root of her fear, she could step forward into trust and safety. The happy ending to this was that Emily set herself free from the blockage and spent the rest of the day painting.
How often do we not sabotage our own creativity and dreams by our unbelief? We have a vision for our lives, but we fear taking action because we do not trust our abilities, we do not belief in our talents and we have no faith in our Creator who had given us these gifts. Instead we languish on the side while we watch others living the lives we long to be living.
Maybe it is time to face those obstacles blocking our path and take action against them instead of believing that their is no way past them.
Come on, go for it. Fear not.
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Today is Valentine's Day and all over the world this day is celebrated by teenagers, lovers and married couples. Love has its own universal language. The concept of love is basically the same in all cultures although the living out of it could differ. There are also many different types of love. There is romantic love and the love between family members. There is the love that is more duty bound, with a similar goal in mind and a playful love, which is a more casual love. There is also self-love and the love between friends and then the love we should all strive for, Agape, a selfless love. One thing that is universal of all people is our need for love. It is part of our DNA. Our Creator wove it into our souls. After the creation, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. Relationships are a God given gift. Even the most reticent of us have a longing for the companionship of another human being.Very early in childhood children instinctively start reaching out to other children. Just last week I watched in amazement how the face of an eight months old baby lit up as a little two year old girl walked into the room. His eyes followed her everywhere and when she came close he tried to reach out to her. Although very young children do not really start interacting actively with each other during play until they are a bit older, they enjoy the company of other children. All through our lives we come into contact with people and with some of these we forge friendships. Some of these friendships are very short lived, but some are for life. Others are "seasonal", lasting only through a phase or a similar situation which threw or drew us together.However long the lifespan of a friendship is, they all have something in common, we learn from them and grow through them, even the worst of friendships have an enriching effect on us, as we are taught valuable lessons through them about life, people and ourselves.Every friendship has something about them to celebrate, even if it is just to rejoice that you are now free from that friendship!!! The sad thing is that we very often start to take friendships for granted, we forget to treasure them, and value them. Each friendship is very unique, with their own unique challenges and joys. Every friend we make reveals something new about ourselves. Anais Nin said this about friendship: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." So true and worth pondering about. I have had many wonderful friends in my lifetime and each one of them was so incredibly special, and everyone I have presently in my life I value and treasure. They have helped form me, they've taught/ still teaching me, they've broadened my horizons, loved me, listened to me, comforted me and made me laugh.My most valued friendships I have are those within my family. The saying goes that friends are the family we choose for ourselves, but if they weren't family I would have chosen them as my friends. Nothing can ever take the place of my family, their friendship is indeed far above all the riches of the world.Each one of my friends is a flower in my bouquet. There is the bright yellow daisy - my lifetime childhood friend, the delicate purple beauty of the violet - the one who has known me before I even knew myself, and named me, the cosmos , the rose, the fairy bluebell, the carnation, the forget-me-not's, the sturdy geraniums, lilies, poppies, tulips, honeysuckle and lavender. The iris, marigold and pansies. Each one adding their unique fragrance and beauty to my life. Thank you, dear friends, for your gift of friendship!!!If you flutter by here, please share your thoughts on friendship with the readers here, and pay tribute to them. I would love to hear from you.
Sunday, 4 February 2018
As the day draws to a close, so it is also the end of our four week Restore...Renew Program. It is time to review these past four week and ask ourselves what the program has meant. Is there anything that I might want to take with me into the rest of the year, a new habit I may want to cultivate or something new I want to implement in my life? Most people dream of change, many people plan to make changes but real change only happens when we make a decision and then DO it. Taking action is the only way to turn our hopes and dreams into reality. Through the four weeks we have looked at challenges which have addressed seven key areas of our lives - Nutrition, Physical health, Our Environment, Intellect, Technology, Creativity and Spirituality. It asked of us to make small changes. What small changes have you made? Remember, small changes made continually end with big results. Go through the program tonight and write down which of the challenges spoke directly to you, the vision you have for your life and the dreams you have for yourself for 2018. Now make the decision to take action right now to commit to one of these changes/challenges for the rest of the year. Feel free to share with me what action you have committed yourself too. I wish you all the best for 2018, may this be YOUR year of being AWESOME!
Saturday, 3 February 2018
I am sure, just like me, you have often thought of trying a new hobby. The desire to learn something new, to discover fresh ideas or be creative stirs within most people some or other time in their lives. However, we often believe that we are too old, too busy,too financially disadvantaged or simply not talented enough. These are all excuses we hide behind because we are afraid to try something new and then maybe not get it right. Today I want you to write down a list of five things you have thought of doing or learning, but have used some of these excuses not to do it. Next to these five things I want you to write down the reason why you have not been doing them. Now ask yourself which one of these things you would really like to do, if you did not hide behind this excuse. Good. Now I want you to go and gather as much information about this as you can and armed with this knowledge, I want you to commit to this one thing this year. Maybe you have always wanted to do woodcarving, well now is the time to do it. Crochet? There are hundreds of internet sites that will teach a beginner the basic stitches, and there are usually clubs in most towns that will welcome a new comer with open arms. Maybe you would love to do music, mosaic or learn to ride a horse. Don't put it off any longer, now is THAT time! The present time. This is the time we have.
Friday, 2 February 2018
We are so fortunate to be living in an age of such convenience and technological wonders. How easy it is to flip a switch and we have light or heat. Almost every house in modern civilization has a cellular phone and computers. We can connect to people all over the world. We are so plugged in that it is easy to forget the real world out there. Today's challenge is to take the time and get real. Unplug from the world of technology for today. No cellphones. Do you want to talk to somebody, go visit them, look them in the eye and connect face to face. Switch off the TV. Instead play a board game with your family or talk to them about their week, their friends, or the affairs of the world. Unplug your computer and close your laptop, go outside and breathe in the evening air or walk in the rain. Instead of using the stove, make a fresh salad and have a barbecue. Enjoy a day disconnected from wires, free as a bird.
Thursday, 1 February 2018
We are all creatures of habit. We enjoy life in our own comfort zone. We all have our very specific routines and habits. Most people are quite happy living their lives within certain limits. They enjoy eating the same food, wearing the same style of clothing, going the same places and surrounding themselves with familiar things. In the process we become stuck in a rut and we become dissatisfied with life. We start asking whether this is all life has to offer. However, it is not life that is to blame. We are just too scared to step out of the same-old-same-old routine, and thus we keep on doing the same things while expecting to feel differently.
For today's challenge I want you to be brave. I want you to take a step outside your comfort zone. Instead of ordering your usual cup of coffee, try something with a delightful foreign name. Are you always sleeping on the left side of the bed? How about being totally wild tonight and get in on the right side of the bed, after all, just imagine that surprised look on your spouse's face!
Move beyond your own set up limits, and explore. Watch a documentary on a completely unknown topic, listen to a different genre of music or sign up for a course that will stretch you in a totally different direction. Dare to be brave. Stop worrying what others might say or think. Do not be afraid that you might fail. The only way we ever really fail is when we fail to try something new, when we are too scared to explore or discover new horizons and when we fail to live. Reach beyond your own horizon, the world awaits you.