Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I See You

Our world is in dire need of one thing.  Yes, we need rain.  We need peace.  We need a strong and stable economy.  Yet, there is one crucial thing we really need.  We need compassion.  However, in the busy,  performance driven world we live in there is very little place or time for compassion. We all rush from appointment to appointment, deadline to deadline. We have very little time for small talk.  In the work environment our focus is on achievement, productivity and profits and very little on real human connection.  This mindset spills over into our daily lives as well.  We have very little time for people outside of our immediate family circle.  We are more and more becoming strangers to the people around us.  We see people mostly as potential clients or customers, we evaluate them according to their potential usefulness in our lives.  We seldom see the person for who he or she really is.  We see their outward appearance and according to that we judge them, and then we either utilize them or discard them.
The result of this is that although we are becoming more productive and efficient, we in reality become poorer.  We are losing the human element in our lives.  More and more we are closing ourselves up in a cocoon, unconnected to the outside world, and to other humans.  With all the problems we face in our societies, the crime statistics we read about or even experience, we are welcoming our little cocoon.  We have become fearful of not only strangers, but even people moving outside of our little circle.  We shy away from making contact with others in fear of becoming involved, fearing for the demands they may make on our time, our resources or emotions.  We look at people, but we avoid connecting with them.  We avoid really seeing them, because seeing them opens the way for our hearts to start connecting with them.
When I start to see, I begin to realize that the person standing in front of me also have dreams and fears just like me.  He has worries and hopes just like me.  She is a mother just like me.  He or she is old just like I might be one day.  She is sad or happy, excited or anxious just like I am sometimes.  They bleed just like me. There is no difference.  We are alike in every way that matters.  When we really see into the hearts of people, we become compassionate and we start to care.  Our beings connect across the chasm of social differences and the barriers of race.  It is in that moment that all of life's trivial issues become moot.  It is in that moment that my soul reaches out to the person in front of me and our hearts really touch, we become one.  As one we are so much stronger.  Mothers that are united can unite their children, can unite a nation.  If we can see and connect with the plight we see in other people we can build bridges across any divide be it cultural, social or racial.  
It all starts with me.  I have to open my eyes and really really see you, connect with you and feel the beat of your heart.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

You Are Wonderful

How wonderful it is: the blessing of a brand new day, a brand new week.  I want to start off today's blog to wish each and every one of you a wonderful week filled with an abundance of blessings!

We have had a wonderful week-end with my younger daughter being home, the first time in quite a while.  She and her dad sat singing together till late in the evening.  During this session we were sharing what were some of our favourite songs.  She mentioned that she loved the song "Just As I Am".  This of course got me thinking about "Acceptance".  Acceptance is something most of us crave.  We need it.  In fact it is very high on our Basic Needs list.  We all want to feel that we are accepted for who we are.  We want to be loved and liked for who we are without any pretense or frills and accessories added.  We need to be loved unconditionally, warts and all.  Being accepted gives us a feeling of security and a sense of belonging.  We look for this acceptance wherever we go, from people we encounter and especially from those people we share our lives with. 

 However, the one person we really need acceptance from is the one that stubbornly withholds it from us.  That person is my own self, my inner critic, my worst enemy.  Instead of acceptance we constantly badger ourselves with disapproval and we criticize ourselves.  We reproach ourselves for who we are and constantly set ourselves up for failure by our own self-doubt.  We continuously sit in judgement of ourselves.  We claim that we accept others, but the reality is that as long as we do not accept ourselves we can hardly begin to accept others.

Everything begins firstly with ourselves.  To be kind to others we have to first learn to be kind to ourselves.  Kindness leads to acceptance and acceptance leads to love and tolerance.  I owe it to myself to accept myself for who I am and to value my uniqueness.  I have to give myself credit for my talents and abilities and I must learn to celebrate the person I am.  Acceptance is the key to self-love and self-worth.  When I accept myself just for who I am it leads me finally to the most elusive and most sought after gift of all - peace.

 Once I accept myself I will live in peace with myself and also with others.

Today, before you go out into the world, look at yourself, reach out to yourself and accept yourself, you have been wonderfully and beautifully created.

Be Blessed!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Things - A Poem

 Today I would like to share a poem I have written for my husband:


We all have things.
Beautiful things, big things.
Things that have meaning,
some that gather nothing but dust.
My house is filled with them.
I need them not.
Their value is found only
in their connection to you.

Some crave gold,
but just leave me your pillow,
privy to all your dreams,
Many work for luxury,
but I want your shirt, holding
the scent of your heartbeat.
Give me the guitar, the heat of your
fingertips imprinted on the strings,
that spoon, the one you chose, carefully.

I want to weave your voice
into my hair, etch your laughter
onto my face,into every wrinkle,
I want to stitch the warmth
of your touch to my clothes,
tattoo every breath of you
all over my hands, my lips.

These things will be enough,
I want to travel light,
so I can quickly follow were you
to journey beyond here first,
so do not labour to fill our house
with stuff and many things,
just teach me the melody
you'll whistle guiding me to you.

© Charmaine Fourie   

Monday, 3 October 2016

Clearly Visible

We are in the 10th month of the year!  Unbelievable.  It really feels like the beginning of the year was just last week!!!  I was shocked to see that in some shops the sales assistants were busy unpacking the tinsel in preparation for the Christmas season.  It is as if the year is on a downward roller-coaster!  I want to shout at the ride-operator to stop, I want to get off and catch my breath.

 Over the week-end I took an overview of the past year and with a shock I realized that I had better get a move on, there are many things I still have to do this year, some goals I have not gotten around to.  I am sure many of you are in this same situation.  At the beginning of the year we are all fired up and ready to get going.  We make To-Do lists, Goals-For-The-Year lists, Wish Lists and many more lists and we are eager to make this the year of change.  Yet when we get to the end of the year, or in this case, the tenth month, we wonder how it happened that the year passed without us achieving our goals.  I believe the answer is probably as easy a little five-letter word: FOCUS.
At the beginning of the year, with 365(6) days stretched out in front of us like a blank canvas, it is easy to focus on what we would like to achieve, and to close in on some goals for the year.  There are little or few distractions, and our mind are clear and focused, but as the year progresses with all its pressures and distractions it is easy to lose our vision and we get pulled into a dozen directions all at once.  

With all the demands which daily life makes on our time and energy it is important that we keep our eyes on our goals and maintain our focus.  In order to do this, keep the following in mind:

F : First 3 important goals or tasks you want to accomplish for the year, and do the same for each day/ week.  It is often a good idea to select these things from different areas of your life for example Work, Personal, Chores or Studies, Health and Spiritual.
O : Only You 
...can set these goals.  They have to be important to YOU, not somebody else.  You are the only one who can keep yourself motivated.  Do not set these goals to impress or please anybody else.  That would be a sure way to set yourself up for failure.
C : Commit to Completing 
...the tasks/ goals you have set for yourself.  Write them down where they will be visible to you, and will serve as a daily reminder.  Make a pact with yourself that you will not give up on these goals until you have completed them.  Set yourself a time frame within which you must complete the task or goal.
U : Use your time wisely.  
Chain the procrastination monkey up where he cannot interfere with your time.  Stick religiously to your schedule, and get your goals for the day done at the very start of your day.  Do not get side-tracked by anything else until you have completed your 3 selected tasks/ goals for the day.  When they are done, reward yourself with something you like, a cup of coffee, a ten-minute chat to a friend or a quick dive in the pool.
S : Stick-to-It-Ness.  
Develop a mindset of single-mindedness.  Keep your attention on your goals and set clear, realistic and achievable goals with clear directions of how to achieve them. Stick to them and don't ever give up on your goals or your dreams.

It is so easy to get distracted, but maybe if we constantly remind ourselves what "focus" stands for it may help us to achieve our goals one day at a time.  Now I am going to put my money where my mouth is and follow my own advice!

If you have any thoughts on the matter why not share them with us in the comment box, I would LOVE to hear from you!