Thursday, 5 May 2022

Break free

We have recently celebrated Freedom day.  This started some thoughts tumbling through my mind.  Thoughts are very powerful. This is why we read in Proverbs 23:7 "As someone thinks within himself, so he is."  Often we are held captive by our very own thoughts.  Thoughts can propel us in new directions, but they can also hold us back and rob us of our own future.  They can hold us captive and keep us from reaching our goals.

I made a list of some of the recurring thoughts I have noticed in my own life and I wonder if you can identify with them too?
One thought in particular that I have noticed, is the idea that everything must be perfectly in place before I can tackle a new venture or go after my dream.  I believe that only once everything is ready, I have all the possible knowledge, I have refined my technique, I have all the tools and infrastructure in place and every preparation has been made can I move forward in following my dream.  This is such a lie.  This is an excellent way to set oneself up for failure and to procrastinate.  The reason is that nothing will ever be that perfect.  It is only by starting that perfection will eventually follow.  Practice is what makes perfect.  The answer lies in the DOING!  So, scrap this thought of "only once everything is in place..." and start painting, singing, writing, dancing, studying, living, or whatever it is you are dreaming about.

Another thought which seems to always get in the way of pursuing my dreams is the belief that I need a lot of available, idle time to get it done.  I am sure the thoughts "not, now, I am too busy at work", "the children need me ", " I have too many other commitments" and "once I have cleared my in-box" sound quite familiar to you.  The truth is, your in-box is never going to be empty, your children will always need you and there will always be commitments to attend to.  So what to do?  It is okay to fit it in between the bits and pieces of living,  ten minutes here, and half an hour there will all add up.  They are all slots of time, if well used, that will get us closer to our dream.  It is okay to set aside an hour early in the morning to work towards our goal, it's fine to delegate a chore to one of the others in our household in order to finish an assignment.  The world will survive for those ten minutes.  But without you making the time to pursue your dream, your dream will not.

And then, the most deadly thought of all.  The nail in the coffin of many dreams.  The belief that we are not capable or good enough.  The fear that we are destined to fail.  The idea that I am not confident, and not worthy enough.  We believe success is for others.  This thought holds us captive and paralyzes us.  These thoughts, more than anything else, steal our future and our joy from us.

Can you identify with any of these thoughts?  Maybe it is time the break free from these bonds, this toxic mindset.  I hope you can change your thought and fly free in pursuit of your dreams.


Monday, 27 September 2021

Sweet Success

 We all would like to be successful.  We dream of achieving great heights in our careers, we strive to be faster or stronger in the sporting arena, we want to be great writers, dancers, or singers.  Success also does not mean the same thing to all people.  Some people consider success to be how much money they have in the bank, while others feel that being successful is how famous they are, and some view success as something more spiritual.  Whatever your idea of success might be, there is one thing to be aware of.  Success does not just happen.  We look at people who we consider to be successful and often we think that they seem to have it so easy.  We consider them lucky or unusually blessed.
Success is within everybody's reach.  However, success does not come from occasionally pursuing our dreams.  Success comes from consistently doing the things which will take us toward success.  It is showing up for the daily grind, doing the thousand mundane little things which will add up to the big successful accomplishment we desire.  Success is not fireworks and applause, it is every tiresome and tedious step along the way.  It is often a slow process, but perseverance is needed.  It means saying no to quitting.  It means sticking to it.  And remember, while you are pursuing success make every effort to be happy.  Happiness makes the daily grind worthwhile.

Monday, 20 September 2021


 "What an odd girl", "What a strange person", maybe you have heard somebody say these words about someone or even heard these said about yourself.  Maybe you, yourself, have uttered these phrases?  We all know somebody that seems radically different from the norm.  You may even feel that you are seen by others as not fitting into the box they have prepared for you.  I certainly am a person that has often found myself not conveniently fitting into anybody's preconceived idea of me.  As a child I have often found myself not being one of the "in-crowd", yet despite pressure to conform, I have decided to walk my own path.  I am proud to say that my children made the same choice.  Rather than giving up their own unique identity just to fit in, they chose to stay true to who they are.  Not always an easy choice, but the only real authentic one.  Have you found yourself in similar circumstances?  Not fitting in because you chose the road less traveled,  feeling isolated, weird, or different?  I have great news for you!!!!  It is perfectly okay not to be one of the faceless crowd.  In fact, you were born to be different and unique!  It is time to celebrate the wonderful you who you were destined to be!

How?  You may ask.  Maybe you have been hiding away for so long that you have lost track of who you are.  Then it is time to go in search of yourself.  I want you to find yourself and get to know yourself.  The true, real, unabridged, unconformed version of YOU!

I want you to go back to when you were a young child.  What was it you really liked to do?   What did you dream of being, what were your childhood dreams and desires?  Chances are that child of long ago was closest to the true version of you.  The version before you felt pressured to change.  Before you adapted to the world.  Before hurt, fear, and disillusionment changed you. Write it down then stick it up next to your mirror where you can see it every time you brush your teeth or comb your hair.  It is a reminder of the true you.  I want you to introduce yourself to that child.  Embrace that child and welcome her/him back.

Often the biggest reason people are afraid to be themselves is fear.  We are afraid that people will not like us for who we are.  We are afraid that we would be ridiculed and excluded.  We fear that people will not accept us.  News flash, they do not need to accept you, YOU have to accept yourself. Accept that no two people, including you, are the same.  We are each different in our own way.  Maybe you are weird, so what, you are also amazingly you-nique!

Stop wasting time trying to fit in, rather spend the time pursuing the things that make you happy.  Forget labels such as "normal", "fitting in" or "part of the crowd", these are all limiting beliefs.  Chuck that box away.  People generally like to put people into a box, neatly tagged with understandable and safe words.  It scares people when they cannot place you in a neatly characterized container.  Well, that is THEIR problem, and they have to deal with it.  Let them put you under a microscope and try to dissect every secret part of you.  Don't worry about it, just be you.  Truth be told, they are secretly admiring you and wishing that had the boldness just to be themselves.

Not fitting in, and not being part of the popular crowd can oftentimes be very isolating and lonely, especially during a person's childhood years.  However, it is usually these individuals that form deeper and more long-lasting relationships, and over the course of time, you will find that you have gathered your own tribe.  People, who like you, are true to themselves, and not threatened by your authenticity.
So, keep walking with confidence, blaze the way, and love every minute of your life.  Why blend in when you were born to stand out?

Monday, 6 September 2021

Rise Above

September is one of my favourite months.  It is proof that hope is never in vain.  Sprigs of green are appearing everywhere.  The morning air vibrates with anticipation.  Beautiful.  Many people, however, look at Spring with quite different eyes.  They talk about the dreaded heat of the summer, they complain about the dust storms sure to come and bemoan the onslaught of bugs and mosquitos.  Often it is a symptom of humankind to see the downside rather than the blessings.  We are quick to complain and rather slow to see the grace.  The simple picture of a flower blooming in the harsh environment of asphalt holds quite a few lessons for us.  Despite the little seed finding itself in difficult circumstances, isolated and separated, it still germinated and rose above the desolation.  There, against the bleak backdrop of the asphalt, it shares its beauty with those passing by.  It brings a message of hope and perseverance.  It shares its nectar and nourishes a butterfly, providing a place of respite to a weary traveler.  If it were planted in a flower bed amongst the abundance of other reds and yellows, its beauty would have indeed added to the spectacular show of the masses.  Yet, here, where perhaps the wind had scattered it, it adds value to an otherwise unforgiving environment.  So, we too might think life is too harsh, too unwelcoming.  We might wonder what value we could possibly have where we are now.  We might dream of being in the lush garden of life, surrounded by extravagant beauty and riches.  We might be yearning for fame, but the winds of misfortune blew us every which way.  We might be feeling the despair of unfulfilled dreams.  The message of this little flower is this:  bloom there where you are, and spread your fragrance.  A light shining amongst a sea of other lights is hardly noticed, but when a tiny flame is lit in a cave of darkness, its value is clearly seen.
Rise above it all, because you were born to bloom.


Monday, 30 August 2021

Hold on to Hope


It is true.  We are living in interesting and difficult times.  Looking around us we cannot deny that the world seems to be in chaos.  With everything we hear on the news and social media it is quite understandable that we could think that it is all hopeless.  However, the good news is that hope is not a word for the good times.  Hope is at its most powerful when life seems murky and dark.  That is when hope is a beam of light, a whisper amid the noise and hope is what makes the impossible possible.

Yet, holding onto hope can be difficult.  When we look at the situation we find ourselves in, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  It can paralyze us.  The trick is to take it one step at a time. Focus on the step right in front of you.  Take it with confidence and faith.  Do not weary yourself by think of all that could go wrong, just take this one step and do it the best you can.

The next important thing in order to live in hope is to think of one positive thing about your current situation.  Write it down.  Hold onto it.  Remind yourself of it constantly.  In every situation there will be something positive, we may just have to search for it diligently.  Even just the tiniest spark is enough to drive away the darkness.

When we are caught up in a stressful situation, and when we feel as if all is lost, it is very easy to forget to take care of ourselves.  This, however, is the time we should make a point of nurturing ourselves.  Do at least one thing every day which nurtures you.  Even if it is just drinking a cup of coffee under the shade of a tree.  Grant yourself a moment to breathe and to recuperate. Be kind to yourself.  We are always so busy to be everything to everybody that we forget about ourselves.  Remember, that we are only able to give when we have something to give.  That is why it is important to fill our own emotional and physical resevoirs too.  Go outside, get sunlight on your skin and breathe.

It is also important to eat healthy during times of stress.  Our bodies need good nutrition to help us cope during times of stress.  Also make sure you stay hydrated and that you get enough rest.   Don't forget to get some exercise as well.  A brisk walk does wonders for the body.  Exercise releases endorphins, dopamine, as well as seratonin which all help to trigger positive feelings.  It helps to boost our mood and to think clearly. Go outside, get sunlight on your skin and breathe.

When we are going through a crises we often feel alone and isolated from the rest of society.  This can lead to greater feelings of despair and hopelessness.  However, you are not alone.  There are people who genuinely care and would gladly listen to you and help in which ever way they can.  Don't be afraid to reach out to them.  It is important to talk to somebody.  Having a confidant could help you gain perspective as well as support.  If you need help, ask for it.

Never let go of hope.


Hold On, Pray Earnestly.

Monday, 23 August 2021

Treasure the Moment


It's quite a windy and overcast day in August.  There is a promise of rain carried on the breeze. Most of the people I know cannot wait for the winter to pass and I myself long for the warmer days, especially when I walk into my deep-freeze kitchen.  However, it is sad that we do not appreciate the beauty which makes Winter a season to be treasured.
There is a serenity in a winter landscape.  Beautiful, bare trees are etched against crisp pale-blue skies and the sun is twinkling on frost-covered lawns.  The sharp touch of the frosty air on my cheeks, white vapour escaping from my nostrils, and my fingers tingling right to the fingertips invigorate my thoughts.
So often we are so focused on what comes next that the beauty of today, this moment, slips by us unnoticed.  Often we are wrapped up in the past with its pain and failures that we pay little attention to the present.  Even our worries about the future rob us of the simple pleasures to be found in this moment.  Every moment is a capsule of perfection and every breath a miracle.  We are surrounded by beauty.  Petals dancing in the wind, the dust motes floating in a beam of sunlight, the curl of a kitten's tail against your leg, and the smell of freshly turned earth are all precious moments of beauty that pass by unnoticed in our rush to get to the next important thing.
Maybe the beauty of Winter is in the moments we linger just a little longer over a cup of coffee, savouring its heat, and noticing these glimpses of beauty that are best enjoyed at the very moment they are happening.  Maybe we should all take a deep breath, feel how it fills up our lungs and feel the warmth of it as it flows over our lips.  Just for a moment forget where you have to be in the next five minutes or what you have to cook for supper, just be present in the moment and observe, really see, where you are right now.  Do you feel the fabric of the chair you are sitting on, do you hear the hum of the fluorescent light and the heat of the fire warming the room?  Do you hear the laughter of your teenage daughter as she talks on the phone to her best friend?  Do you
feel the warmth of your puppy snuggled against you?  Don't let the moment pass by unnoticed.  Be aware of it and treasure it.  Be alive right now and be blessed. 

Monday, 2 August 2021

Dare to Dream


"...once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return...."
-Leonardo Da Vinci

I am a dreamer.  I often catch myself watching the butterflies in summer, flying effortlessly wherever they will, and as I watch they steal my thoughts and take my imagination along on their flight.  My family will often find me like that and with a jolt, I will return to the here and now.  More often than not this was the very thing that got me into trouble at school.  Physically I was in the classroom, but my thoughts were miles away soaring on gossamer wings.....
Dreams are beautiful, wonderful, and despite what some people believe, very necessary.  Many extraordinary things have been discovered and invented by dreamers.  However, dreams are like Faith.  Faith is a glorious word, and by itself it is wonderful.  Faith is a gift, but Faith truly begins to mean something when we actively start doing what we confess to believe.  The same with dreams, they only begin to mean something when we start following our dreams. 
Yet, very few of us really, truly have the courage to follow our dreams.  Most of us can't even say our dreams out loud, some amongst us might get as far as writing them down, but only a small percentage will actually grab hold of them and make them real.  Why would that be?  Fear.  A little four-letter word.  It should be classified as a swear word.  Fear of failure.  Fear that we will be ridiculed.  Fear that others, who are equally afraid to follow their dreams, will point and laugh.  Fear that we may actually succeed and have to face up to the responsibility.
Whatever the reason for our fears, they are dream-stealers.  They condemn us to a flightless life.  They leave behind the bitter taste of "if only".  The best antidote for fear is Faith.  Faith in God, who is the giver of dreams, but also faith in yourself.  If you can dream it, you CAN do it.  It does not matter what the world says about your dreams, what THEIR expectations are of you or your dreams.  It has nothing to do with the world, it has everything to do with you!
Yes, I am a dreamer, and for many years my own fears have kept my dreams in check, but today, right now I AM living my dream and having the greatest fun while doing it.  It does not matter any longer what the world is saying or even whether the world is taking notice of me and my dreams.  I am soaring on gossamer wings and calling to you to follow me.  If you flutter by here, please feel free to share your dreams with me, I would love to dream them with you and encourage you along your way......

Monday, 26 July 2021

Law of Attraction 4

Today I conclude my short series about the law of attraction for July.  I want to share with you the seven steps you can take daily to manifest the law of attraction in your life.

First of all, it is very important to visualize what you want for your day. Do you want to be more productive today? Then visualize yourself sitting at your desk, focussed and working.  See yourself completing each task for the day and clearing your inbox.
Next, set yourself one specific goal for the day and focus your energy on achieving that goal.  Focussing on one specific goal is often more productive than working randomly on several different ideas.
Together, with your goal, also select an affirmation for the day, e.g. I am meant for great things, or I am capable to handle what comes my way, etc.  Write both your goal and your affirmation down where you can see it.  Repeat it out loud.  
Next, make a choice to have a positive mindset.  This will create a positive vibe, and other people will pick up on this energy.
Find ways to extend kindness, but remember to also be kind to yourself.  People will often forget what you say, but they will always remember how you have made them feel.
Finally, when your day is done, reflect on how your day went.  Did you achieve what you set out to do? What will you do differently tomorrow.  Write your thoughts down in a gratitude journal.

Believe beautiful things are coming your way.  May you be blessed.


Friday, 16 July 2021

A Fragile Hope

I started my blog in 2012.  The reason behind it was, and still is, to talk about things that are beautiful and uplifting.  I am a person with a positive mindset.  I have a firm belief that there is always a way.  All we have to do is to keep looking until we find it.  I try to post every Monday and Thursday.  Yesterday, however, I sat at my computer and I had no words.  I could not think of anything positive or encouraging to share with you.  The outlook seemed so dim, so utterly hopeless.  What was there to say?  Every word I could think of sounded too frivolous to pen down.  There was devastation in every image flashed on television.  People were hurting.  They are overwhelmed and traumatized.  Their situation is dire.  The reality of no supplies, no food, and demolished infrastructure is devastating.

Through the day, however, little rays of light started to break through the dense smoke of near apocalypse.  Little slivers of hope. People were standing up.  They were taking hands and uniting.  They started cleaning up.  People are volunteering their time.  With every piece of debris they are picking up they are rebuilding and healing a broken country.  Communities are mobilizing and forming human barricades against criminals and looters. Images of people of all denominations praying together are taking the place of the footages of looting.  People are donating food, medicine, and other essential supplies.  Convoys are gathering to transport the goods to the affected areas.

I thank everybody who is involved with the clean-up and restoration of our country.  Men and women who don't turn a blind eye, and who don't wait for somebody else to solve the problem.  I thank the Lord for everybody who decides not to run away, but to stay to rebuild and restore hope.  It will not be an easy road ahead, we will all bear the brunt of this week's events, but in the end, it will be worth it.  We shall rise again.

I leave you with this thought: 

Evil will never triumph as long as there are good men and women willing to do whatever it takes to uphold and restore what is good and honourable.

(The inspiration for this thought I have taken from this quote by utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, who delivered an 1867 inaugural address at the University of St. Andrews and stated:
 “Let not anyone pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”)

May the Lord be with you, be blessed.