Saturday, 21 September 2019

Time to See...

This morning I woke up with this thought: we look, but do not see.  Where the thought came from, I do not know.  Maybe it was something I dreamed, or as my daughter used to say when she was small, "Mommy, I saw it in my eyes".
We look at our lives and we think about all the things we would like to have, the things we would like to do and be.  We have bucket lists for adventures, a 100 places we would like to see before we are sixty, five year and ten year goal plans and expectations to be met.  All of that is great.  It is awesome to have plans and goals to strive for.  It is often exactly this which gives us hope and a reason to carry on.  However, sometimes we are so busy looking forward to what we want that we fail to see what it is we already have.
We dream of having a better job, but in the process forget to value the job we do have.  We take it for granted, yet the fact is that just having a job in the present economic climate is very close to a miracle!  It is a huge blessing.  Ask anybody who wonders where the next meal for his family will come from.  If only we realized what a privilege it is to be employed we would go to work everyday with a song of joy in our hearts.
Do you look at other people's beautiful houses or cars and dream of having a similar house or a grander car?  Yet, you fail to see the heartache which they may be carrying with them?  Do you notice the many homeless taking shelter wherever they can find it?  If you did, you would see your humble home for the palace it is, you would give thanks for your feet that can walk and take you where you need to go.
We look at our friends and neighbours jet setting all over the world and we wish we too could go off to exotic places, eating extravagant dishes and sipping martini's on a cruise ship, yet we do not see the beauty of the sunset from our own little stoep, and we are oblivious to the early morning breeze at the break of dawn and the happy song of the birds in our own backyard.  We hardly notice the wholesome home-cooked meal we enjoy at dinner time.
Maybe it is time to remove the "I Want" glasses and rather shout out exuberantly "Thank You! I have!"
Let us take a good look and see, really see, all that we have to be grateful for.  Blessings to you.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Time to Let Go!

What a beautiful Spring day!
Blue skies and birds happily flying from branch to branch.  The trees are filled with fresh green leaves.  The warmer weather is inspiring and the air is filled with joie de vivre !

With this in mind I have thought that it is the perfect week to tackle a little project in the spirit of Spring.  Choose a room or closet this week to de-clutter or revamp.  The size of the project is up to you.  Spend an hour each day to work on it, or even just half an hour a day if time is too tight.  Chances are that before the week is out you will have a tidy, Spring-fresh room or cupboard.  Even just arranging a tired room can spruce it up without having spent a cent on it.  Sort your stuff out into three piles: donate, re-cycle and re-purpose.  Remember that your junk might very well be somebody else's treasure!

While you are busy ordering your room or closet, or even just the corner of a room or your desk do a little bit of mind de-cluttering too.  Think about all the junk thoughts you are holding onto and stuffed into all the little corners of your mind.  Thoughts and toxic ideas, past hurts and grudges we treasure serve only one purpose and that is to stifle our growth and rob us of happiness.  Now is the time to pack them into boxes too and send them off to the rubbish dump.  Let them go.

It is very interesting to note that the clutter we have in our physical surroundings often is a symptom of emotional clutter.  As you organize your space, ask yourself if you really need that box with old make-up, the stash of single earrings or that favourite pair of shoes you absolutely can no longer use?  Does it serve any purpose?  The same goes for the emotional baggage you are lugging around.  Does remembering those unkind words help you to feel better?  That wrong you suffered; does it really make you stronger by reminding yourself of it?  You have learned the lesson, now let it go.

Worries, fears, grudges and bad memories are all emotional clutter that takes up space in our minds.  They drown out the good memories and they steal the happiness that is in the moment.  Clutter gathers dust and makes our daily tasks more difficult.  Go on, grab a few empty boxes, put your favourite music on its loudest and start chucking out the old with gusto!  Have fun!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Time for Planting

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring is the most beautiful time of the year, the very air is alive with promise.  It is a time of new beginnings.  How about joining me on a journey of  ten little projects to celebrate the arrival of Spring?

First of all, I want you to treat yourself to flowers, but rather than buying a bunch, rather buy yourself a houseplant or a shrub for the garden.  Maybe even start a herb garden or learn about cultivating roses.  Whatever it is you decide to do, just make time to get outside and surround yourself with nature. 

Walking outside, surrounded by plants and flowers has a direct influence on our well-being.  It helps to reduce stress and anxiety.  This in turn helps to lower blood-pressure and decreases tension.  A walk outside helps to replenish out Vitamin D stores which plays an important role for a healthy immune system and the regulation of insulin levels.  Being surrounded by nature restores a feeling of calmness and gives our mood a major boost.  It can even help to counter-act the effects of depression.

So, go to your local nursery today and get yourself a plant to celebrate Spring.  Short on cash?  How about getting to know your neighbours and in the process exchange a plant or two?  That way nature can even help to cultivate a spirit of community!

Happy Spring!!!

Oh, how about sharing with us what plant or flower you have decided to get and in what climate it would flourish.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Beautiful Day!

Today is a beautiful day! It is the first week of Spring. It is the perfect Spring day with blue skies and bright sunshine and just a gentle breeze stirring the fresh green leaves and tender blossoms.  What a blessing, what joy!
I love mornings.  Everything is new, fresh and delightful.  I love waking up to the chatter of the birds just outside our bedroom window. 
Every morning to me is like receiving a gift.  It is all beautifully wrapped up in blue skies,tied up with early morning sunlight and decorated with butterflies. Very soppy and sentimental, I know, but that is really how I feel about early mornings and especially about the early mornings of Spring. Some days the wrapping is a bit gloomy, but still I look forward to unwrapping this mysterious, enticing and gracious gift.
This gift, however, is very different from all other gifts.  Usually the gift we receive is just what it is - a pretty little soap, exquisite jewelry or maybe a beautiful book.  Sometimes it is something we always wanted, but at other times it might be something we already have.  This early morning gift though is a very unique gift.  It is what I decide to make out of it.  If I look for beauty in my day, that is what I will find in my gift, but if I look for the ugly in today, the angry and hateful, that, too, is what I will get from the gift.  What I decide to do with this gift of today is determined by what happens in my heart and in my thoughts, it gives shape to my day and ultimately my life.
We all receive this gift, but what we do with it, what we make out of it, remains a personal choice.  Yes, sometimes we wake up, and we realize that our gift will never be entirely the same again, as life and circumstances have maybe attached a label or two to my gift.  Maybe it is a label of sadness, or regret.  Maybe the gift tag reads "Change", yet I still have a choice about what I am going to do with this brand new day.  Will I celebrate it or waste it, will I use it for good or squander it on insignificant things, because there seems to be an endless supply of it?
Something else about this gift that is different from normal gifts is that where most gifts we can keep and enjoy still for a long time to come, this gift just belongs to today, to now.  I cannot save it for tomorrow, and I if I drag yesterday into it, I spoil it with bitterness, blame or regret.  It has an expiry time.
Graciously God grants us each day another opportunity, another wonderful gift.  It is so sad that in our youth we have little value for this gift, and so easily trade it for nonsense, filling the hours with unnecessary baggage. Fortunately, as we grow "wiser ", so our appreciation also increases and we start to treasure this gift of now and we cram it with everything that is worthwhile and good.
My wish for you is that  you will every morning unwrap this gift with joy and embrace your new today with wide open arms and live it!!

Have a joyful Spring!