Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wise Words

A time comes in your life when you finally get it...

When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on.

And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that she is not Cinderella and you are not Prince Charming and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you, and in the process...a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.)

And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process...a sense of newly found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process... a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers, and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and, in the process... a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you shouldn't weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view.

And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with, and in the process... you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing, and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world, and that you can't teach a pig to sing.
You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable, or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love.... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms... just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely...

And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect, and you will not settle for less.

And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his or her touch...and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body really is your temple. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise.

You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear, so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success, you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself.

You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.

You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers.

It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself...by yourself, and you try to make yourself a promise -- to never betray yourself and to never ever to settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain"

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Changes and Challenges

For months I have been searching for a new challenge, be it in the form of full time employment, an entrepreneurial start up business or a charity. 

After a few twists and desperate turns and going down the odd dead-end street, I have finally arrived at a decision.

My newest adventure combines three things I love.   Scrapbooking.  Children.  Sharing my knowledge and helping others.

It all started with my little 9 year old friend Kerin, taking an interest in my scrapbooking hobby.  When she visits our home, she loves to look at my albums and is in awe of all my tools and what they can create using paper, some glue and a bit of imagination.

For her birthday last year I made up a starter pack for her and she sent me gorgeous photographs of her own layouts that she has created.

A few weeks ago, I had a chat with her Mommy and I realised that no-one is taking an active interest in teaching young people the wonderful art of Scrapbooking.

I set out to put a concept together, sourced the best suppliers and am now ready to start teaching Gruvy Kids how to capture their photographs and memories, to look differently at special occasions, memorising as much as they can, so that later it could all be captured with paper.

Scrapbooking enhances the fine motor skills - co-ordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in co-ordination with the eyes.

Each layout requires a bit of journalling - short written description of the photographs being "scrapped".  With this I hope to re-ignite poetry and short story writing in young minds, remembering everything that made that day, holiday or party great.

I teach small fingers to cut accurately with scissors and craft knives, they experience textures and colours, all of which stimulates the left brain functions.  I teach them to plan and work in an orderly manner and we go as far as planning the photographs and editing before printing.

Once you are a scrapper you can use your craft to make your own special occasion cards, and sometimes the card means more than the gift if it's personalised and made with love.

My classes are based in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, I prefer to have a minimum of 10 students per session and can accommodate up to 40 students.  A session can be customised to the age group, for example shorter classes for the younger groups and less detailed layouts.

Each student is provided with a kit at each lesson, and each lesson we incorporate a new technique.  I also supply the starter kits - basic cutting mats, craft knives, glue - for those students starting from scratch.

For now I am flexible and will travel to schools offering my program as part of their extramural/after care activity.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am hoping to have news of the first classes published here soon.

Watch this space!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Way overdue (",)

Since my last blog entry, spring has changed into the most glorious summer and my little bird has spread his wings and learnt to fly.
This of course has left me in a bit of a tizz.  Can one's identity and purpose be locked up in that one single role in life?
Being a Mom has been the most satisfying journey, and I have had plenty of photographs to "scrap" documenting every step of my son's adventure through school and life. But today, sitting here reflecting on my life, I realise that I need to step back out into the world and grab every opportunity I can, to create new memories of my own.
The last 10 months flew past and finally as he is about to start his studies at University, I have slowly but surely gathered bits and pieces of myself and am ready to start my own new journey.

I read something the other day that has stuck in the back of my mind, and I do believe applies to me today, it read "Every story has to start somewhere" and I believe my new story starts here.

I am 46 years "young" act and feel like a twenty something year old and have far too much to offer than sitting back and watching the world go by.  I have so much that I still want to do, explore, read, make, experience and it starts now today!

I am venturing back into the world, searching for that perfect contract or career option that would lead me to meeting new people, challenging my creative intellect, pondering over budgets and cost proposals, but most of all, the satisfaction one feels upon the successful completion of tasks and meeting happy new people.

Ultimately, make new memories, capture new moments, watch new sunrises and spread my wings and soar as high as I can fly!

Monday, 10 September 2012

My favorite things

"When the dog bites, when the bee stings,
when I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so bad."

 And what better time than the promise of new beginnings and the colours of spring to remind me of my favorite things!

The promise of spring, yet another promise from God that there will always be the a new beginning, filled with the promise of colour, joy and fruitfulness after a dead, grey cold winter!

Spring is most certainly one of my favorite things.  I love the colours of spring - it inspires me to be creative, to look for new challenges.  I love the weather that is clean, fresh and bright.  I love dining el fresco with the aroma of freshly cut grass in the air and the sounds of crickets as they sing their songs of joy after a sunny day.

I love pink, pink champagne, pink and mauve sunsets, pink cup cakes, pink spring blossoms.  I love bright blue skies, and lime green leaves, and white fluffy clouds, and I love how it all inspires me to be creative, inspired by the colours of nature to capture precious moments caught on camera and I love the fact that I am able to reach for my tools and start to create something that will tell the story of me when I am no longer here. 

Hopefully this week ahead will be filled with favorite things, re-births and new beginnings and lots and lots of pink moments!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Scented Breeze

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."

I am trying to find the significance in this quote....  It rings true in many ways, but I wonder how many people have the strength of character to be able to stand up and create a "finest moment" when life has been dealing them a dud hand over and over again.

How does one stand up, when it becomes easier to just stay down, and out of harms way?  What is the deciding moment to step up out of a rut, dust yourself off and embark on fulfilling your finest moment?

Interesting thoughts have been provoked and I am curious to see what my finest moment will be.  When it will be and what will bring it about.

Could it be the re-birth of a new career at the age of 45?  Could it be a new business venture, one so successful one might forget that there was a stage in your life when you were worried and felt useless and lonely and living without a purpose.

All I know is that nature is awakening outside in my garden.  The breeze carries the aroma of pink blossoms and in my heart I can feel the awakening of enthusiasm and hope and I know that soon I will be soaring again!

Hope there is a beautiful reason to live, a scented breeze or a warm comforting fireplace to hold you comfortable and propel you to live your best possible present life!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Soo little time and so much to do, or soo little to do with soo much time.

The problem I am currently facing is multi faceted. 

I am in a rut.  I am in a rut because.... I am feeling lost.  I am lost because my life's purpose has turned 18 yesterday and at the age of 45 I just can't find any other purpose beyond being a MOM.  My husband I support with my love and cooking :)

But somehow being a Mom is the only thing in life that had tangible rewards.  Don't get me wrong.  My marriage is a reward, I share my life with a wonderful, loving man, and it's a partnership for life.  Being a Mom made me feel as though I contributed to something bigger, the moulding of another human being and soon that won't be my doing any longer... perhaps it hasn't been for a while already :)

Is this a mid life crisis?  Could it be an "empty nest syndrome"?.  Could it be that I am facing a few storms in my life and feel helpless as it's too big for me to be able to make any difference?

All I know is that I wake up every morning with the best intentions to declutter my home, and as all the self help TV shows, Oprah, and books tell you, your life will soon be sparkling clear... But I don't get that far, so I don't know if it would be true...

I also have every intention to finish the money earning project I embarked on 6 weeks ago, but somehow just can't find the time for that in my very empty days.

I keep promising myself that I will soon start my scrap booking again... but I just walk past my desk and..... turn away.

I have a few books that have been sitting in my bed side table, eagerly waiting to tell me their stories... but somehow it's easier to crawl into bed after an uneventful day and fall asleep with the mindless droning of the TV in the background....

At least I have accomplished one thing today.... I have finally updated my blog :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Not feeling well... but never too ill to do some scrapbooking

Today I am slowly starting to feel better after a horrible experience with Pancreatitis. 

It's something I managed to damage in late 2009 when I tried to loose a few kilograms and used a new slimming tablet.....

But enough of tales of woe...

So back to this morning.  I was listlessly sorting through my scrap booking goodies when I thought to browse through one of my favorite web sites - Scrapbooking Challenges -  I was also reminded that I still have to complete a task that I started last year already, called the ABC of me...

Sooo with time, tasks and enthusiasm on my side, I managed to complete a page.  The first one for myself in a long time.  It's titled "I am Ticklish"  The photo was taken last year with my son and husband, and the two of them tickled me while the photograph was taken.  I am fond of this photograph as it immediately transforms me to a happy place.

And leaving you with the wise words of Charlie Chaplin.....  "A day without laughter is a day wasted"