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!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Weigh to Go

If there is one thing that amazes me about humans, then it is how quick we are to judge other people.  We call ourselves tolerant, yet, as soon as somebody does something different from the way we like to do things, or say something that differs from our way of thinking, we judge them by our own standards and rules. Judgement comes easily to us.  We observe the world and the people of the world carefully.  We place them like specimens under the microscope and judge their every word and action by our own expectations and pre-conceived ideas.  Then, when the verdict is delivered, we disregard or despise them and summarily dismiss them from our lives.  The sad fact about this is that when we judge people in this way, they seldom stand a chance.  We lose all objectivity and we miss out on the opportunity to get to know somebody for the special person he or she is.  When we sit in judgement of others, of the world or situations, we only see what we want to see, from the perspective of judgement.  We are oblivious to the beauty locked up in others, we are blind to the gifts and opportunities presented to us.
We gain very little by being judgemental.  When we are critical of everyone and everything, even ourselves, we go through life with tunnel vision and we miss out on the panoramic view that can be ours.  We miss out on joy and abundance.  We miss out on the beauty of diversity.
Maybe it is time that we choose a different route.  Maybe we must pack away our scales of justice, and start practising tolerance and acceptance.  We should change our point of view and look at life from a whole new perspective.  It is amazing what happens when we stop judging the world and the people in it.  Suddenly our eyes are wide-open and we start to see clearly all the different facets in the people around us.  We discover the treasures they have to offer, the love and friendship which our own judgements prevented us from experiencing before.  When we can look at the world free from discrimination and pre-conceived ideas we discover a whole new world which we have never seen before.  We expand our horizons and we expand our knowledge.  We discover new territories and we even discover new truths about ourselves.
Being open-minded and tolerant brings its own reward.  We become at peace with ourselves and others, a sense of serenity settles on us.  When we stop weighing everybody, including ourselves, on our often warped scales of justice, we will find that our relationships grow deeper and more meaningful, we will experience joy in the company of others and we will delight in discovering people's hidden attributes.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Unlock the Cage

Forgiveness.  A three syllable word that sits quite easily on the tongue.  Easy to say, even easy to understand.  We hear about it Sunday after Sunday.  We read articles about it in magazines and see talk shows covering it, on television.  There are even "10 Steps to Forgiveness" programs.  Forgiveness is easy to talk about, but doing it is usually extremely difficult.  I, myself battle with this concept.  One of the main reasons we find it so difficult to do, is a belief that it is something which will benefit the offender.  We feel that by forgiving we actually condone the act perpetrated against us, and, that by giving our pardon, we also give them permission to hurt us again.  Yet, that is EXACTLY what forgiveness is NOT!  Those are just the excuses we use to stay locked up in the Cage of Grudges.
In the Cage of Grudges we drink the vial of poison day after day and then wait for the offender to die.
As prisoners in this cage we constantly remind ourselves of what crimes were committed against us and we relive the pain and anguish we suffered.
Daily we eat the dish of bitterness, yet, instead of finishing it, we make sure we replenish it, in order to eat of it again tomorrow.
We keep ourselves trapped in this cage, and wear the victim's uniform.
We stay stuck in this cage, forever in limbo.
Forgiveness has very little to do with the other person, but has everything to do with ourselves.  It is a gift we give ourselves.  Forgiveness is the key which opens the Cage of Grudges.
Once we practise forgiveness, a few surprising things happen:
1. Our spirits are set free, as the shackles of resentment fall away.
2. We experience feelings of elation, and our energy levels improve.
3. Our heart rate and blood pressure improve, and our stress levels drop.
4. We are more receptive to love, and more capable to give love.
5. We are filled with feelings of peace and compassion.
6.  Our relationships with others improve, as well.

Forgiveness means "Letting Go".

On the other side of the coin.  Most of us have the need to be forgiven at some or other point in our lives.  Yet we very seldom experience real forgiveness.  It is a very scarce commodity, therefore it is important to learn to forgive ourselves.  Remember, we are all human, we all make mistakes, therefore, learn from your mistakes.  Admit that you were responsible for the mistake or offense, and be remorseful.  Try to make amends.  Then, forgive yourself.  I have recently experienced the wonder of being forgiven.  I felt humbled by the experience, and I am in awe of the forgiver.  To be truly forgiven by somebody, felt as if a weight lifted off me, as if the rainbow settled on my shoulders for a brief moment.  It made me realize that if it felt so wonderful to be forgiven by a mortal being, how truly amazing is the Lord's forgiveness!

Remember, with every mistake we make we gain knowledge, and very often getting hurt is a life lesson in disguise.

Monday, 21 September 2015

My Hero

This morning started out cool and overcast, but soon the sun peaked through and coloured the day with fresh gaiety. Today is a special day for me.  It is on this day that Spring actually starts for me, because today is my dad's birthday. 
My dad was such a special person.  I can honestly say that he truly loved his children.  Everything he did, and worked for, he did with us foremost in his mind.  My dad was the most important man in my life.
I idolized him.  I believed I would grow up to be just like him one day.  I had no use for Superman or Batman, because my dad was my hero.  With my hand in his I could stand against the world.
The wonderful thing about my mom was that she always built that image of him in our eyes.  She boosted him, and never spoke negatively about him, even at the cost of her relationship with me at times, she would sing his praises.  It was only later that I realized that he, too, was human, but by then my estimate of him was firmly set in stone.
As a mother, I followed the example my mom set, and made sure that my daughters were always aware of how much their daddy loves them, and what a special man he is.  Girls need their daddies.  Their own identity, their own self-esteem, is closely connected to the relationship they have with their fathers.  It is the first relationship they form with the opposite gender, and it impacts all the future relationships they will have with men.  A father imparts a sense of security to his daughter, they feel protected and cherished in their father's love.  Girls believe their daddies can do anything, dads can slay monsters.  The safety net of a father emboldens them to fly off confidently into the world.  The relationship a girl has with her father teaches her how a woman should be treated.  It is from him that she learns how to trust other men.  Very often girls tend to marry men who are very similar to their fathers (I know I did).   The bond between a father and a daughter forms an essential part of her self-image and her happiness.  This relationship needs to be encouraged by both parents, and cherished.  It is a very unique bond, and as important as the bond between mother and daughter.
I will always remember my dad for his selfless love, the way that he made me feel special.  I remember all his little eccentricities and the way he made us laugh.  His wisdom runs through my life like a golden thread, and I can still hear his voice as he sang "O, Lord, my God".  I am so grateful that he was my daddy!  He is still my hero!  My own daughters never got to know him, but I speak of him often, sharing all the little bits of wisdom he taught me.  They are both proud to be his granddaughters.

Today I wish I could put my arms around his neck once more, and say, "Happy Birthday, Papa".
Maybe you can give YOUR dad a hug today.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Free to Fly

I love looking at kites flying high in the sky.  I remember the first kite I ever had was a butterfly kite my dad bought for me one beach holiday.  I loved it, although it was not a good flier.  I could not wait to hold the string all by myself, and begged my dad to let me try it on my own.  In my young mind I thought it would fly better if I were to let go of the string, but although it took off with a great "whoosh", it soon tumbled from the sky and got tangled in the undergrowth.  Painstakingly my dad untangled it and we tried again.

From a very young age we have been raised to do things for ourselves.  Almost from the moment our children are born we encourage them to become independent,  we are ecstatic when they start sitting up by themselves,  we applaud them when they can hold onto their own bottle and we are ready with the camera to record their first unaided, wobbly steps.  Day by day we marvel at how their independence grows.  Of course there is nothing wrong with that, it is the natural way of life.  However, the problem comes in when we become so independent, so self-sufficient, that we start believing  we need nobody else, we can do it all, we are an island.
This type of thinking will lead you on a bitter and lonely road.  "Needing people" is seen by fiercely independent people as a weakness.  They believe that they have to be a Superhero, strong, undefeatable, self-sufficient, powerful.  They never ask for help, never admit defeat and never open up to anybody.  They even experience God as an entity outside of their lives, remote from their lives. To accept and receive anything is foreign to their whole being.  Very often they not only distance themselves from other people, but they even distance themselves from their own feelings.
People need people.  We have to connect with others, learn from others, inspire others and in turn be inspired by them. Independence that is out of control is actually just a mask to hide behind.  Behind the mask often lurks fear, pride and low self-esteem.  It is a way to protect ourselves from disappointment, hurt or rejection.

Looking up at the sky, watching the kites ducking and diving in the breeze, I relate it to the way life is.  Although the kite is tethered by the string, it sails through the air and rides the wind with such freedom, such abandon that it leaves me breathless with excitement.  As my dad explained that day on the beach, it is the very fact that it is held by the string that it can fly so high and so gracefully.  The minute my little hands let go of the string, my kite's future was lost and all it could do was to tumble down and crash.  It needs that connection, that guiding hand to fly.  The same way we need to be connected to God, to interact with others as it is in that connection and that interaction that we find our true strength, new inspiration and freedom.  

I leave you with a quote from a song by Barbra Streisand : "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world!"

If you flutter by here and would like to share your thoughts  please feel free to do so.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Cave of Memories

This morning at 01:00 I woke up to the soft drizzle of rain on the roof.  Beautiful, precious and gentle.  The scent of the rain drifting into our bedroom on the nighttime breeze brought back so many memories.  It reminded me of the smell of rain mingling with the scent of my mom's Nasturtiums. She had planted them in the rockery below my window.  I remember the rain that fell on the dusty footpath in the field next to our house.  The first drops smelled heavy from the warm dust mixing with the rain.  Then it started raining heavier and soon the rain poured down. turning the dust into large puddles of mud.  When the rain stopped later that afternoon, the fields were full of the neighbourhood children slipping and sliding in the mud, laughing with glee while turning into little mud monsters.

Memories.  We all have them.  They are precious.  Memories remind us where we come from, they join the past and the future together.  Memories guide us, and they teach us.  We are indeed fortunate to have memories.  Memories fill us with joy and comfort, yet sometimes memories can hinder us. I love walking through my cave of memories.  In some chambers I tend to linger a little bit longer while others I hasten through.

Usually, most memories are special and worth cherishing.  They lift our spirits and encourage us.  Yet, some memories can keep us captive.  They prevent us from moving on.  These are normally our less pleasant experiences.  I call these memories "parasitic memories".  They attach themselves to our fears and worries.  They hitch a ride on the backs of bad experiences and fuel our insecurities.  These memories drain us of joy, and they strangle the beauty out of all our good memories.  The chambers, where these memories lurk, are filled with doom and gloom.  These memories remind us why we cannot believe or hope for something better,  they remind us of all the horrible lessons we have learned and they convince us that these bad experiences are the absolute and only truth about life.  This knowledge of past experiences keeps us captive.  It is then that we need the dragon slayer to come to our rescue.

The dragon slayer is Wisdom.  Wisdom understands how to use the knowledge gained.  Wisdom knows that everything in Life is a choice.  It understands how important it is to forgive the injustices and forget the pain of past experiences, but realizes how essential it is to remember the lessons learned.  Wisdom distinguishes between what memories to hold onto and what memories to let go of.  Wisdom helps us to make peace with the past.

As you walk through your cave of memories, take stock.  Treasure the good ones and share them with others.  Evaluate the painful ones.  Learn from them, and move on.  Above all, go out and make more memories!!! What a wonderful adventure Life is!!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Create Fearlessly!!!

Image courtesy of

On Thursday mornings a few of us get together to paint, draw, chat and doodle.  All week long we rush around, taxi children, do chores, but come Thursday, it is our time, it is the start of our weekend.  For those few hours we create and recharge our batteries.  No critics are allowed, no negative talk and no self-sabotage!  What we all marvel at is the fact that although sometimes one of us might not feel in the mood, or might feel tired or depressed, by the end of our session, we all feel energized and on top of the world.  In fact, we find it extremely difficult to stop what we are doing, the creative sluices are wide open.

Being creative is one of the best forms of therapy, it brings healing and peace beyond our understanding.  I think the reason for that is that through the creative process  we draw closer to God's heart, because He is the great Creator, our creativity is not from ourselves, but from the Lord.  He bestows the gift of creativity on each and every one of his children, with no favouritism, but somehow we allow the world and its critics to steal that gift away from us.  We fall for the lies we are being told by the world - you are not talented enough, you are not creative, your talent is of little use, etc., etc.  
It is amazing to watch little children drawing, painting or doing anything creative.  They do it with such absolute conviction and confidence.  Not for a second do they question that blob of red paint they've put on the paper, it IS a dog, a cat, a cow.  Of course the sky is green, the river purple and a giraffe has three legs.  They do not doubt their artistic ability or criticise their own efforts, and they are equally enthusiastic about their playmates' artwork.  Unfortunately, too soon the words and ideas of the world creep in and plant the ugly seeds of criticism and self-doubt, and that flamboyant young artist becomes an adult that 'cannot even draw a stick figure'!
Pablo Picasso said that all children are artists, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  It is definitely time for everyone to close the doors to the opinion of the world and reconnect with that artist hiding inside.  Life is a canvas - so come on, throw all the paint you have at it!!!  Do it today!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

* Oops, I did it agian!!!

Yesterday I looked in the red, blotchy face of a little girl.  She's been crying because she spilled red cool drink on her brand new party dress.  "I hate making mistakes", she lamented.  Together we tried to clean up the worst of the damage.  She did not realize it, but I identified with her statement, and I am sure so do you.  Mistakes.  We all hate making them, but it happens to all of us.  Making mistakes are really an important part of life. The only way to avoid making them, is to never do anything, and that will be the biggest mistake you will ever make!

In the School of Life, Mr. Mistake is one of  the staff members!  Every mistake we make comes with a lesson to be learned.  Sometimes we are foolish and we ignore the lesson, or we prefer not to pay attention to the lesson.  The result of this is that when the test comes our way once more, we are sure to fail it again.

 It is important to learn to ask the right questions when we have made a mistake.  Why did this happen?  What can I do to prevent this from happening again, and what can I learn from it?  What is the message behind it?  Mistakes usually go hand in hand with pain, unhappiness or discomfort.  We want to avoid facing them, and we want to rather forget them as soon as possible.  However, by denying them or forgetting about them prevents us from learning from them and growing.  It is important to forgive ourselves as well as others when we, or they, make mistakes.  Forgiving does not mean we condone them, but it means we move past them.

The important thing to remember about mistakes is that you are not defined by your mistakes, you are not your mistakes.  We so easily put people into little white or black boxes, little good or bad cubes, and think that only bad people do bad things and good people do good things.  What a fallacy!!! We are all human and therefore we all make mistakes.  Good people sometimes make bad decisions.  Character lies in how we face up to them, how we react to them.
Here is the simple ABC of Mistakes:
Admit that you've made a mistake.
Bear the responsibility for it.
Carry on, try again.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not forgiving others their mistakes, for what forgiveness could there then be for us?
Remember this:
Yesterday's mistakes are tomorrow's experience!

*PS Forgive me the spelling mistake in the title!!! :D

Saturday, 22 August 2015


Did you know that butterflies use their feet to taste? 
Imagine if that were true for humans.  What would we taste when we run through a field of lavender?   Or the taste of warm, rich soil, the saltiness of the beach... Ah, well, just a little bit of whimsy on my part.  Of course, this has gotten me thinking about our feet.  Those very peculiar things at the bottom of our legs.  Strange as they are, our feet are actually extraordinary.  Leonardo da Vinci called them a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.

I always notice people's feet.
Our feet actually say a lot about us. Reflexologists will be able to tell us what a vital role the feet play in our overall health profile.  Reflexology is the application of pressure to certain reflex areas, especially on the feet, but also on the hands and ears.  Some studies have found that reflexology may alleviate pain and help lessen symptoms of anxiety and even depression.  It can help people to relax and sleep better.

We seldom think about our feet, we mostly take them for granted.
Yet they are more than just a way of getting us from point A to point B, and definitely more than a display of the latest footwear trends.  Whether we use them to walk, dance, jump or run, they leave behind footprints.  Our feet usually take us exactly where our hearts desperately want to go.  It is important that we look after our feet, that we cherish them.

Feet are mentioned 262 times in the New International Version of the Bible.
In the Bible, we see that clean feet were very important.  There are many references to the washing of feet.  One of the examples we find in Gen. 18:4 "Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree"

 Our feet have a purpose.  At times our feet are followers  (Job 23:11 "My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept his way without turning aside"), obedient and hard working.  They are long-suffering.  At times they are leaders, showing the way, guiding others to new destinations (Luke 1:79 " to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.")   Sometimes our feet are pioneers,  cutting a path where there has not been one before.  In Romans 10: 15 we see that the feet of those who bring the message of the Gospel, are beautiful.  It is also important that we wear the right footwear; our feet must be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15) .

We must also take care of the feet of others  (John 13: 14 "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.")  Many people will take this literally, in fact, I have friends who do exactly this in their church, but I think that the spiritual meaning behind this is just as important.  We have to help others, especially our children, to keep their daily walk clean and free of blemishes and the best way to do this is to set the example, to make sure we walk in the light  (Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.") 

Look at your feet right now.  What do you see?  Is your one foot bigger than the other one, maybe your toes look a bit like Niknaks, or maybe you have perfectly manicured feet.  No matter what they look like, they are worth to be celebrated.
Your feet are wonderful and they are sending you a message:
Be careful where you go, when you look behind you, you might  just find that somebody has been following in your footsteps.  Now ask yourself this question: Are you happy with the place where you have led them to...?