Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Spending Quality Time

I have not blogged for a little while unfortunately and I have a feeling the hecticness of the festive period will impact my writing for the next week. The reason I have not been blogging is that I have chosen to spend more quality time with loved ones.

No matter how much I try, I cannot always fit everything in. Spending time with my Son, having a good meal in the evenings, spending time with my Honey, getting a phone call in with Mum, blogging too and not forgetting sleep - it just always doesn't work out.

I often try to get it all done and simply end up exhausted, much to my chagrin. Nevertheless I recognise that we do have choices and I have chosen to spend quality time interacting with those I love.

The difference has been amazing in some respects. Particularly regarding my son. He has become a new child! He tells me he is happy to see me, jumps in my arms when I arrive and spends as much time with me as he possibly can. It has impacted his behaviour, his demeanour, his presence - I would even go as far to say that my choosing to take extra time out with him, to go for more walks, to play his choice of games, to read, and to converse more with him has made an exponential difference in our relationship. I am not saying that it is merely a case of not writing, nonetheless it is a case of choosing to spend the time that I could be writing with those that are important to me instead.

If I had known then what I know now... How many of you get so caught up in being busy that you just do not have time to fellowship? Sitting and talking, reasoning, understanding, sharing your thoughts and feelings are so important. With your kids as mentioned it helps their growth and development. For your partner it helps bonding, your friends know you are there for them and your parents can see how much you care.

Although my blog is important to me, my precious time with my baby far outweighs the need to write. Don't get me wrong, I am still loving being a blogger and I aim to continue, however between kicking off my business, being a mother, getting time with my partner, mother and friends, blogging has had to take a back seat at times.

On this journey I am constantly evolving...everyday something occurs and triggers new ideas, new paths, and new adventures to embrace. As the year comes to an end, I can see that in the 4+ months that I have been writing this blog, I have gone from a frantic mother, consumed with worrying about my son potentially having Aspergers, to a calmer more together Mum, who no longer imposes societies labels on her child, and makes a difference in his life by being present. The result being, I am able to see him with clearer brighter eyes. He is just being an individual, expressing himself and growing in his own way. Nothing else.

Each post I have written addresses lessons learnt, each one is a reflection of what I am going through at that moment. As I write and reflect, I have aha moments, puzzled moments, joyful moments and sad moments too. I am learning so much about me each time I express my thoughts, and as I continue to strive for Happiness and greatness I realize that spending quality time with your children, friends, family and also alone, are some of the most important things you can do!

I would like to share with you some of the happy times I have been sharing with my son.

Love & Happiness!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Conscious Thinking...

How often do you take the time to think? Not auto-pilot thoughts but really thinking about things. How you conduct yourself, how you react, and how you make others feel?

I try to engage in more conscious thinking as much as possible. It allows one to appreciate more and arouses awareness. It helps bring clarity to situations and enhances your sensitivity. Thinking before reacting or before conducting actions in your day to day life can be a stark contrast between encountering a good or a not so good experience.

Taking the time out to be pensive, thoughtful, and thinking deeply makes so much difference. It can also contribute to the energy you bring to the table being positive as opposed to negative. Often we approach a scenario without thought, as a result we may speak out of turn for example. We may hurt someone's feelings and cause offence. Taking more care to think about how we respond to others can prevent many rifts and misunderstandings.

Of course it can be easier said than done. If we you are upset, tired, or just plain angry, thinking before speaking or reacting is not easy. Nevertheless, think. Can you do something better? Is the blame you are showering on others yours to own? Can you be a better you? Whatever it is, take a moment to reflect before and after you make moves to do anything.

As great as spontaneity can be, conscious thoughts lead to conscious decisions. Many a time, impulse reactions lead to outcomes that we did not intend to experience. All of which could have been avoided with a little conscious aforethought.

So, take time, be thoughtful of others, and most of all think consciously about how you are being you!


Monday, 12 December 2011

It's Not About Where You Have Been, It's About Where You Are Going!

Do you realise how much you have to look forward to if you just kept looking forward?

Life really has no meaning but the meaning you give it. For sure we cannot predict what the future will bring. As Peter Drucker said ~ 'Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.' However what we can do is decide to be whoever we want to be regardless of who we think we are or were.

Just because I was weak and thin yesterday, it doesn't mean I cannot be strong and fit to tomorrow. Just because your parents are divorced, it doesn't mean you cannot have a successful marriage. Just because your grandmother died of breast cancer, it does not mean you will.

What I am trying to say is too many of us let our lives be led by our history when we are quite capable of directing our life where we want it to go for our future. With faith and conviction, we have the power to move mountains. Nevertheless we set boundless limitations on ourselves, we do not push boundaries and we do not live our best lives because of unfounded notions and perceptions of the past.

You can be what you want to be. You do not have to be what your past dictates, you can be what you dictate. Own you, your present and your future. I am not saying we need to deny our history. However particularly for negative pasts beliefs, experiences and feelings they are best left behind and not carried around like excess baggage dictating how you go forward with your life.

For example I have only known unsuccessful marriages, strong single mothers, struggling women, kids that resent parents for not being there and parents resenting kids for not being grateful for the sacrifices their mothers have made. I have started on that circle and have had an unsuccessful marriage, become a single mother, and STOP! That is where the similarity ends. I have decided that my past need not be my future.

For this reason I will have a great relationship, a family unit, children with 2 loving parents, and a family free of resentments. I need not feel that a broken family is inevitable because I came from one, or that I have to struggle to raise my child alone as my mother did. I have said it will be great and by Gods will and my determination, it will be so. By living in that mindset I have way more chance of success than failure, and I am all about succeeding in my goals.

Too many of us find ourselves repeating history. Walking in our forefathers footsteps and being exactly who we always endeavoured not to be. It is not obligatory, genetic or definitive that we should do this, we just seem to do it naturally. All it takes is a sense of awareness, and a willingness to take another path. You live in a family of Doctors and want to be a Lawyer, then a Lawyer you should be. Whatever it takes, as long as you are happy and it does not negatively impact others, go forth and do it!

Be more mindful, be fearless and be in the knowledge that your past does not have to be inextricably linked to your future.

It's Not About Where You Have Been, It's About Where You Are Going! So...where are you going?

I am going forwards, upwards, onwards, anywhere but backwards!

Love & Happiness.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Be Present In Your Present!

Do you really appreciate the essence of time? Never has there been a time that I realise how rapidly life is passing by like I do now!

It is absolutely amazing how weeks envelope into months and months snowball into years. I look back at each week that has passed in absolute awe. It is 2012 in 24 days for goodness sakes, where did time go?

They always say that the older you get, the quicker time flies, I can attest to that. This is all the more reason to be present! The food you eat taste it, the music you hear listen to it, the time you have embrace it.

Seriously, considering how quick everything moves from day to day, one has to be mindful and absorb it all in its entirety. Expectant mothers, be at one with your child. Love the growth within and smile. It will NEVER be a moment that is recaptured again, no matter how many children you have or will have.

While walking, let's appreciate our surroundings, nature, our breathing and ability to walk. Do you realise you will not capture that aspect of your life again? Each moment is individual, unique and unrepeatable.

Given this concept, what different choices would you make if you know that you will not be able to have the same choice at this day and time ever? As no matter how similar a circumstance may be, it will only be just that, similar but not the same. All of it, every single second is a one off! There will always be a different aspect, outside factor or event that will change the situation.

I will only have one opportunity to take the time to write my blog at this time on December 8th 2011. I will never recapture this moment ever - wow! When I think of it like that, time is so so precious.

We should try to enjoy now, tomorrow never comes, it is now that is important. Living in the moment, as hard as we find it with the day to day routines, as well as the trials and tribulations of life, is essential to freeing your spirit and making the most of what time you have.

Take a leaf out of Obama's book. He is always present. He is always engaged and engaging. I am not into politics and I cannot comment on how well his is doing at his job, but no one can deny that he is present and has presence. Look at him versus the lady behind Michelle, I mean are they even at the same event?

How present are you, really? At work are you there? My body is there but my mind often takes a vacation in Bali, or a wonder how KC is enjoying his day or a trip back in time to the great evening with Honey. We all do it, but is that right? Are you getting paid to be partially present?

Do you always look your child and loved ones in the eyes and hear their voices. Do you really listen, do you? Why not? Are they not worthy of your focus and attention? I mean how does it feel when you require attention and do not receive it? I guess what I am saying is stop! Stop whatever is making you half hearted and be wholehearted!

Respond, react, be there, notice and be present. Put down the blackberry, the iPhone, the iPad. Turn off the TV. Listen. Be 100%.

Make the choice to be present in your present, as this moment only comes around once in a lifetime!


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Guest Blog - Yuletide Financial Advice

In keeping with the yuletide spirit, let's take a look at the investing vocabulary that goes along with this credit card-shattering time of year.
Santa Claus Rally

He's bearded, he's jolly, he’s fat … and he's permanently associated with Coca-Cola - yep, that's Santa Claus. Santa's origins are a matter of speculation but according to popular belief he is based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, who supposedly gave presents to the poor.
The modern-day Santa spends his time spreading cheer and promoting world peace by delivering gifts all over the globe. In the investing world, Santa brings investors a "gift" in the form of a jump in the price of stocks, known as the Santa Claus rally. This rally usually occurs between Christmas and New Year's Day.
There are many theories as to why this happens. Some people believe it is a result of year-end tax considerations, while others say it's because all the market pessimists are away on holidays or because people are buying stock in anticipation of the January effect. Those of us who believe in the magic of Christmas think the rally may be due to seasonal cheer infecting the usually dour inhabitants of Wall Street - a true Christmas miracle
Your choices: With the promise of a new year and a set of fresh resolutions just around the corner, we often let loose for the holidays - sipping an extra drink at the office holiday party or packing on a few more pounds under a winter wardrobe. But don't let holiday cheer make you lose control of your spending, too. Avoid these ten missteps to stretch your budget through the holiday season:
1. Being blinded by bargains. Desperate retailers ushered in the holiday season early this year with premature Black Friday-esque sales, pushing you straight from your Halloween costume into your Santa suit. Don't let the abundance of bargains trick you into buying something simply because it's on sale.

2. Forgetting to budget for the extras. Remember to factor in the costs of greeting cards, postage, family photos, shipping, decor, entertaining, travel and even higher utility bills for your festive outdoor light display.

3. Buying on credit. If you have to put the purchase on your credit card or sign up for the store's financing, you simply cannot afford it. Any good deal you thought you were getting will be eroded by the interest you'll accrue and the time you'll spend as a hostage of debt. About 13.5 million Americans are still paying off last year's holiday bills, according to Consumer Reports.

4. Not keeping the receipt. Don't you hate it when you find someone's perfect gift deeply discounted … after you already bought it at a higher price? If you hang on to your receipt, you can save yourself the regret and the extra cost.

5. Spending to impress. This is a biggie, especially for young adults who may feel compelled to prove their success and their new independence. Don't let your gift giving become a larger statement than the gift. Before tossing something in your cart, ask yourself whether the recipient would really use it and whether you can really afford it. And the same goes for entertaining. It's the company of friends that matters, not how much money you spend.

6. Over-giving. It's wonderful to get caught up in the spirit of giving but not if that means you'll break your budget or go insane trying to pull it off. You don't have to buy something for every single person you know (co-workers, neighbours, newspaper deliverer, that guy you make small talk with at the bus stop). Stick to the people who count most in your life.

7. Giving in to gift guilt. Don't let guilt drive you to break your budget or go into debt. You don't have to spend the same amount of money on every kid on your list, for example. Giving thoughtful, age-appropriate gifts is much better. You are also not obligated to give a gift that has the same monetary value as a gift someone gave you, or even to reciprocate unexpected gifts.

8. Failing to do your homework. That discount looks like a good deal, but do you know whether it's the best value for your money? (Remember, inexpensive sometimes just means cheap.) Hit the Web before making major purchases to compare prices, read customer reviews and make sure you're getting a quality item at a good price.

9. Procrastinating. In the frenzy of last-minute shopping, you'll have no time to give thoughtful presents and might compensate by spending more. To avoid that panic-induced splurge, get your gift list in order early (like, yesterday) and give yourself time to shop smart.

10. Fruitcake. And for heaven's sake, don't waste your money on a bad gift. You may as well toss your money on a blazing yule log. Here are some common gifting gaffes to avoid:

·         Gadgets they'll never use - golf-ball-finder glasses, battery-powered potato peeler

·         Desk clutter - "gone fishin'" plaques, Zen gardens, paper weights

·         Overly personal - lingerie, nose-hair trimmers, weight-loss books

·         Thoughtless - cookies for the diabetic, wine for the recovering alcoholic or, my favourite, giving someone the same gift two years in a row

·         Tacky - holiday clothes, stuffed animals for anyone over age 10

·         Cliché - snow globes, coffee mugs and, yes, fruitcakes



David Francis  

David is my friend and a licensed FA. He has a wealth of experience over many years in the industry. I have asked David to provide regular hints and tips as we all could do with some particularly during these trying times.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

What Are You Passionate About?

I was reading about successful people and the root of their successes. The common denominator between all of them is they have a passion for what they have succeeded in. They do it for the love of it. Money is not necessarily a motivating factor, but because they have a deep love for what they are engaged in, they make money anyway!

You see I too want to succeed in doing something that I love. I have been thinking and thinking and I am still not 100% sure what I am passionate about. This is something I have toiled with for as long as I can remember. However now more than ever, I feel like it is very important that I discover what makes me tick, floats my boat and provides me with joy. Something that can be my job that I love so much that it is not like a job at all. Are there some of us that just do not ever have a passion? I hope not!

I love to write, I love music, I would say I am passionate about them both. I certainly know that I am not passionate about my profession. I like what I do, and it bodes well with me, however I am far from passionate about it.

Nevertheless, there is definitely a missing link. I know that I have something, I just need to go deep enough and find it. Maybe it is writing, why do I think that it is not? Do you have to make money out of it for it to be what you are passionate about?

As I write this I think I have realised what the issue is...I am trying to link my passion to a career, when they do not have to be one in the same! I just need to pursue the things that I love doing, they can be hobbies they do not have to be how I make a living right?

Maybe I should simply continue to explore further. I am always trying something. A new language, a sport, a new club or society. Perhaps that will help who knows.

In the meantime, I will continue writing and being at one with music. Hmmmmm maybe I do know what I am passionate about after all.

Love & Happiness.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

What Does Your Reflection Say To You?

How do you see yourself? Not only the physical image but also looking deep within?

I have no issues with self confidence, being self assured, positivity, looking and feeling great. When I look in the mirror physically I adore what I see. You should when you look in the mirror too. However that is all superficial. Looking deeper within, when I look at my inner self, I am puzzled by what looks back at me!

I received news this week that the growth I had removed from my eye lid two weeks ago was a Benign Cyst. Praise the Lord! My body is screaming out mercilessly for me to take notice that the self inflicted stresses are too much.

After the second surgery to remove growths from my body in 5 months I have decided no more! I have to take stock and listen to my body as it is speaking volumes. This has led me to really start to soul search and look deep within.

What I see is a strong woman that takes the world on her shoulders. Tries to be there and doing things that at times feel unsurmountable. I see a woman that is somewhat removed from the person I that I feel she should be. A woman that does not always practice what she preaches, and is driving herself to destruction.

So today I have decided to become the person on the inside that I want to be on the outside! We get so caught up in life, that we do not realise that it is enough already. We need to step back and check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

So who do You want to see when you look in the mirror? The woman I want to see always adheres to her mantra 'Acceptance and go with the flow' when challenging circumstances arise, she is more easy on herself, she rests and exercises, and is strong knowing that whatever happens in the end all will be ok.

When I started this blog it was called 'A single mother that wants to do everything but can't, as time flies without wings.' What I have realised in the 5 months of writing this blog, is that this was to my detriment. Ones desire to do everything leads to fatigue, stress, and feeling unhealthy.

I changed the name of this blog a month or so ago as I realised that I cannot do everything and in actual fact, that is not what I really want. What I want is happiness and I want it today. What makes me happy is not a super woman lifestyle with no room to think, no time to be at one with myself, no time for my son, no time for my partner and friends. What I want is to get back to basics and above all stop trying so hard. All this trying so hard is exhausting, mentally and physically.

What do you want to be, to feel? Let us start to be on the inside what we want on the outside. Stop having migraines, tantrums, feelings of stress and anxiety, cancers, ulcers, undiagnosed illnesses.

Look within, when you are getting ready to do your daily chores, look at your internal mirror and decide that each day your reflection says to you that you are exactly who you want to be - and keep saying and visualising it until you believe it, and eventually materialise it.

Love & Happiness!

Monday, 28 November 2011

No Romance Without Finance!

How good are you at managing your money?

I have my moments, however overall my inconsistencies lead to sentiments of frustration. Whether it be the occasional impulse buying or the mere fact that I am just not saving enough, my inability to effectively manage my finances led me to asking a friend (that is a good FA) for help!

He did so with reluctance, not wanting to 'mix business with pleasure' so to speak. However he eventually agreed. He assessed my situation, broke it down and said there is hope! However I needed to prepare myself to work for another 17 years for an employer and save $10000 a month to be able to have the amount of money I want to have when I retire. Shock horror (ok maybe I can compromise on my retirement sum but why should I)?

I have no intention of being an employee for that long, so suffice to say that was a kick up the backside and a trigger for me to apply the adage 'Do what you have to do, to do want you want to do.' ~ Denzil Washington.

In my friend's bid to assist me on my journey to financial freedom he introduced me to a little pot of gold:

I am absolutely loving this book! I would recommend it to everyone but particularly those of you that need practical tips on improving your financial situation. Even Warren Buffett recommends this book. He is also well known for applying the basic principles in his life..

The five key principles once applied will make such a drastic difference if they are strictly adhered to, it makes me wish I had been given this book 20 years ago.

It is funny how different people regard money. An acquaintance made a comment last week. She said she was glad that she was poor. Glad to be alive, healthy, have a wonderful family, book smarts, gleaming white teeth, yes I can comprehend that, but glad to be poor I just had to shake my head. For one thing, she probably doesn't know what poverty is, and two, only someone who has a poor person's mentality would make such a statement.

Do not get me wrong, I do not look down on people that are earning less than I, and one man's definition of rich vs another's is relative anyway. However a comment like that shows a lack of wanting to be better than you are financially. Who in their right mind wants to be struggling to make ends meet, to pay bills, to eat a good meal? Need I say more....

For me personally, on this journey to seek a better life for myself, yes money does play a significant role. Not just for superficial reasons, but also to enable you to benefit from the opportunities that having a decent financial standing can bring.

A lot of what I am trying to achieve is also for my son. I want to leave him a legacy. While teaching him to earn and maintain his own financial standing I also want to give him a foothold on the ladder of financial success. I don't ever want him to struggle financially, I expect him to do better than I have, much like I have done better than my parents.

If I can leave this world and leave him and his family and his family's family well off, I will feel like I have achieved my goal. It took me far too long to value money which meant that I also had a poor man's mentality. I may never have Warren Buffett's billions, but I will be in a position where my debts are paid, and I am financially free!

We all have differing levels of what we deem as being the right amount of money for us. However we should all aim to not have to 'struggle' and subject ourselves to a self inflicted circle of financial doom. As we do have choices.

For sure there are some that are in a bad situation that is circumstantial. However if more of us applied the Basic Principles provided within the Richest Man In Babylon, we would have a safety net in hard times.

I am really interested to know how others find this book. I will also keep you posted on my progress as I start on my express journey to financial freedom. You know, life is tough when you don't have enough! Your focus is on paying the next bill as opposed enjoying the next day. All in all, there is no romance without finance!


Friday, 25 November 2011

Be Prepared!

'Be Prepared' is really a good maxim to live by. How often do you think people do well without being prepared?

I had a meeting this week that I was chairing, my ill-preparation meant that it didn't go as well as it could have. I rebuked myself as there was no excuse and mere complacency meant that a relatively easy meeting did not go according to plan. This subsequently triggered my thoughts on what it means to be prepared. It does not just apply to meetings it applies to everything.

Preparation, and most important timely preparation can make the difference between succeeding at something and having your plans take a turn for the worse. Preparation can enable you to be positioned to take advantage of opportunities and is key to tackling obstacles. It enables you to survive the bombs that life throws you as opposed to you coming away feeling demolished.

Imagine you are dating someone you really care about and the time comes for your first sexual encounter. Unbeknownst to you both, this person has HIV. You have been dating for a while, mutual feelings of attraction are there you feel at some point you will have a sexual encounter. It happens and you were protected. Protecting yourself could have saved your life!

You are going on a road trip and do all the necessary checks. Your spare tyre is changed, your oil checked, tank is full of fuel and you are good to go. While out in the middle of nowhere you have no mobile signal and you have a flat tyre. How glad would you feel having replaced that spare tyre before you left?

On the flip side how would you feel in the above situations if you were not prepared? The repercussions of not being prepared are generally not appreciated until it is too late. Do not let it be too late. Your exams, the birth of your child, your meetings, your new job, your new school, your rendez-vous with a loved one, whatever it may be, approach it with the maxim 'Be Prepared!'

“Hindsight Explains the Injury That Foresight Would Have Prevented.” ~ Proverb.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

We Are Truly A-mazing!

Do you appreciate just how amazing you really are? I mean people never cease to amaze me all the time!

Gifts, talents, abilities achievements. The power we each possess is ridiculous - if only we knew it. Can you imagine the depths of what each of us could achieve if we were able to be fearless?

I was so inspired when I saw this clip that I am going to share with you. This child emphasizes what I know for sure - That no matter what odds we feel are against us we can achieve anything. As every single one of us is Truly Amazing and every circumstance that befalls us is a blessing sometimes in disguise.

Never forget that you are Truly Amazing each and every one of you. You do not need to be told this, just know it. Follow your heart and realise your blessings. You're Amazing!

Love and Happiness to all!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Get busy living, or get busy dying - The Shawshank Redemption

How many of us have let life pass us by? I mean literally! You realise you are in your 30s or 40s or whatever age you are and you have little to show for your time here on earth. You sit down and reflect on where you are vs where you anticipated when 30 seemed old and 40 seemed older! You question yourself asking what have you have achieved, what contribution you have made, where do you fit in...

Time will pass regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not. So many of us check out of life and just Go through the motions. It all becomes habitual and routine and then you realise your teens are done, your 20s are done, your 30s, 40s.... and stop!

I have spent the last 3 days at home as I had a minor op on my eye. I have severe cabin fever and cannot wait to go to work tomorrow. I feel like I am suffocating. Yes I could have left the house, but I looked like I had been in a domestic abuse incident and I just could not deal with the stares. So I chose to stay home.

Nevertheless, it made me think about how horrid it would be to not be doing anything with the gift of life I have been blessed with, as well as how many of us are locked in a self inflicted prison and not living life to our full potential.

Admittedly I chose to rest and rest well after the operation and catch up on some serious sleep to alleviate the fatigue I have been overwhelmed with. However by the 3rd evening I really could not take it. Then it led me to thinking of those people that do nothing, be nothing and act like they are nothing - when the complete opposite is true.

We are all somebody, we all have potential and we all should get busy living our life before we die. I am not being morbid intentionally but do we really appreciate the propensity people have to not take life and all it's blessings seriously? So many people live with the regret of not taking a step, a risk, a chance. That is what I mean take a chance on life. On YOUR life.

There is so much to do, see, give, have and be in this world. No I am not talking about just material things. Giving your gift of time to others, having the best life you can, being a good person...

I sat here feeling a bit sorry for myself today another operation (second in 5 months), another pity party, blah blah blah and I realised that I am not dying. I am just taking time out and I need to make the most of it as one day I will be going, going, gone!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned about being inspired. A key partner to that is being motivated. Be motivated to live a lot instead of a little. Take courage that failing is a magic step towards success. Know that we are all great and can be anything and don't let life pass by without trying.

Get busy living or you will inadvertently get busy dying.

Love & Happiness.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Be A Present Parent!

I had an IM conversation with one of my close sister friends today and we got on to the topic of parenting.

What I love about some of the women I hold dear in my life is the positive energy they bring. We started talking about how hard it can be owning the responsibility of nurturing our children, helping and guiding them. We subsequently shared that we found it challenging and even pondered that perhaps we are not good enough parents but thankfully we ended by highlighting to each other that in actual fact we are great parents. The conversation itself was evidence of us being mindful of taking responsibility, being conscious of how we are relating to our children and was encouragement to one another to appreciate our parenting!

I am not going to deny, parenting is the hardest job I have taken on. I want nothing more than for my son to look back on his childhood with delight. To smile when he mentions his mother and to feel that no matter what, I did my best. At times I feel I am failing him as I am too tired and do not make enough time. However I know that as long as I am doing my best I am not a failure. I just need to remain aware and make sure I do better.

What I have learnt is that Present Parenting can be the difference between your child knowing that you love them and your child feeling that you love them! I don't just mean feeling your physical presence either.

I live 1000s of miles away from my Mother but she is ever present in my life daily. More present than people that live in the same place as me. Nevertheless, when you are physically in the same vicinity as your child, giving off of your time 100% is vital! Listening to them actively. Ignoring a text message or phone call. Taping your favourite tv programme as opposed to insisting on watching it during the time you are spending with your child. Not accepting visitors while you are reading your child's bed story for example.

I am still guilty of going to my room to get a moment to think as opposed to hanging out and conversing with KC. Not that this is wrong per se. It is just that I can go in my room when he goes to bed. Pushing back that 'me' time for an hour can make an entire difference to how he feels when he goes to bed. Like this evening, he went to bed giggling and laughing, then I started laughing. I still have no idea about what exactly. We read, we chatted and he was laughing up a storm, but had I not taken that time we would not have shared that moment.

As those of you that have been following my blog know, he is my inspiration for many of the things I have done in the 5 years I have been blessed to become a Mother. It is due to him that all this 'blogging' started. I am so much of an advocate of Present Parenting it is no joke and something I take very seriously.

Raising a child (and that goes for both Mother and Father) should not be taken lightly, as one decision can make a difference to their entire childhood. Be aware. How do you speak to your children? Is the tone you use appropriate and befitting to the topic of the conversation and the child's age? Think about how you punish, or discipline, how you impose your prejudices and beliefs. How you encourage and discourage. Above all how you demonstrate your love! Be conscious.

Another thing we talked about is letting our children be children and not expecting them to grow up over night. Understanding that they are finding themselves. Understanding that if they pee in the bed it is an accident. If they spill their food their motor skills are still developing. If they knock their head saying 'you see' (as you told them to stop running 5 minutes ago) is not conducive to their needs.

What I have learnt to be the most important thing you can do as a parent is talk to your child. Teach them the importance of communication as soon as you know you are having them. Talk to the belly... They understand way more than we give them credit for. No they do not always have the vocabulary or maturity to express it, but kids know stuff! By talking, reasoning and effectively communicating we are teaching our kids a life lesson that they can carry forward to give them confidence forever!

The last thing I will say on this and I have mentioned before is asking for help. I asked the same sister-friend and her hubby to help me, and KC had a wonderful time while I rested. Be a Present Parent. Present in the knowledge that you need time to recharge your batteries so you can give them the best of you too!

To all you loving, caring, giving, Parents I commend you. Choosing to be a parent is the easy part but Parenting with love, consciousness, awareness and doing so actively is a blessing.

Love & Happiness.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Respect yourself and others will respect you. ~ Confucius

The ultimate power one can own is the power to rule oneself. ~ Genevieve Behrend - Your invisible power. Never a true word spoken. Do you give yourself enough respect to warrant getting it from others?

Too many times we relinquish the role of taking responsibility for ourselves and who we become. What it often amounts to is a lack of self respect. Self respect is not just about pride in how you dress, look etc. Self respect is also about conducting yourself in a manner befitting your best self. Taking total ownership of the present and the future you.

It is about taking care of your physical and mental health, loving yourself enough to do what is right for you. Looking your best, feeling your best and ensuring that no matter how hard things are, you respect yourself enough to keep going, as you are worth it. Until you know your worth no one else will.

If you exude confidence and be an example of greatness, it will rub off on those around you. They will believe in you too. I am not talking about arrogance, I am talking about carrying yourself with confidence and doing so while maintaining respect for others.

We sometimes wonder why people do not treat us the way we think they should. Why our expectations are not met. However have you taken the time to consider it may be because you allow it?

Do you ever demonstrate how you should be treated? If you come across as someone that holds themself in high regard, takes care of business and has it together, people will treat you accordingly. They will feel compelled to even if they don't want to.

We may have someone in our life that fails us, or treats us in a way we did not expect. How you react to that is very important. If it does not bode well with you, how do you manage that situation? Do you stand up and tell them or do you let them do it time and time again? If your expectations are realistic (and we all know we can have unrealistic expectations on others that are just unfair), you can simply take them aside and respectfully explain that it is not appreciated or you can feel sorry for yourself and let it continue?

Guaranteed if you approach them in a respectful manner and explain that you deserve better treatment, they will discover a respect for you that clearly was lacking before. In saying that, there are some that just do not care and they repeatedly disrespect you for their own reasons. Respecting yourself is not accepting this.

There are so many examples I could recite around how we allow ourselves to be disrespected. However on the flip side we are showing a lack of self respect if we continually allow it to happen. You need to respect yourself to get it in return.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Be Connected!

Living in Asia I am fortunate and blessed to be experiencing minimal impact with respect to the economical disasters that have befallen us globally. God-willing I will maintain my job, my standard of living that I have become accustomed to and I will be able to continue to contribute to mine and my sons great life!

What I have found to be true however is the mere fact that I am experiencing these blessings and minimal impact, it has meant that I am far removed from the realities that so many others are encountering. People that are close to me and not so close to me that I am familiar with. Upon reflection I realise that I am not connected!

Another contribution to my being a bit out of touch is that I have not watched the news for years! I rarely read the tabloids by conscious choice. It is all so depressing and I find the obsession with negative news to be over bearing. I read the net to be fair, but when it comes to negative press I keep browsing. It means that I have become somewhat desensitised to some of the things out there. Is it wrong? I don't necessarily feel that it is. I do feel nonetheless that the disconnect from others' reality in an attempt to not be burdened with daunting, discouraging media does not strike a good balance.

It is not just about knowing what is in the headlines. Although being up to speed with current affairs is always a good conversation piece. I generally feel that we as people are not connected with each other much nowadays. Superficially yes, but not always in the meaningful way that we should be connected for example with our friends, partners, our colleagues, our children.

We tend to do things in silos as opposed to in unison. Society is more and more self-centred. Of course people do caring sharing things like Philanthropy which is still very much a part of society. However we all know it is not like it was 'back in the day'. Simple things like common courtesy exist less and less. People don't hold doors open for you knowing you are behind them. People give less of themselves and expect more. The bond between people does not exist like it used to.

I am very much a people person. I can have nothing but if I have the love of those dear to me, I feel I can accomplish anything. When I am struggling with a situation and not feeling my best, a Prada bag, or cute shoes, a nice dress or a box of chocolates do nothing for me. However a word of encouragement from my sister-friends, a conversation with my Mother or a hug from my son can change my world. It's all about the connection.

They say a child that has more nurturing and connection thrives exponentially versus a child given no love and connection - why? Because we as a people need this!

We should engage in more fellowship. Start a book club or a forum for sharing mutual interests. Provide a support group to single parents or start an exchange program where you know of people that are struggling. Maybe you can exchange clothes you have unworn with the tag on for services rendered. Maybe you can just give them away.

Pick up the phone and make a call to someone you know will appreciate the time you have taken to reach out. Send a letter or a card to a friend you have not spoken to in a while. The beauty of receiving a handwritten note nowadays is indescribable. We have become so self absorbed that we have lost sight of the strength we have when we bond with others.

Reach out, be connected! It makes a difference.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Get Up and Shut Up?

When times are tough and you don't know how you are going to get through, what do you do?

There is an anonymous adage that is infamous ~ "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain." I absolutely love this quote.

This blog is about my journey seeking happiness and what I have learnt along the way. It enables me to share with you the things that have helped me to be stronger. It's about the mistakes that I have made and overcome, and generally a means of expressing my thoughts, and experiences.

The above quote is one of the greatest things I have learnt on this journey. It has allowed me to be able to move forward against odds, go for things anyway and has been a catalyst for me achieving many goals when all I wanted to do was nothing and feel sorry for myself.

I have a tendency to over-worry and to create my own personal crisis out of situations that are seemingly less hectic than I believe them to be. You see I have a vivid imagination. Give me a sentence and I can evoke a hardback novel. Yes indeed, I can make a mountain out of a mole hill. Now I have it under control for the most part, however in order to do so I have to remember to check in and ask myself - is the amount of concern I have warranted?

What helps me is by doing the above, by getting up, getting on and doing things regardless of obstacles. How do you handle unwanted situations that life deals you? Make a choice to go with the flow (acceptance and go with your flow ~ as my mantra says) it gives way to easing the anxiety and enables you to get where you are heading regardless.

We have choices, we can passively wait for the storm to pass and not progress, or we can actively weather the storm and make moves forward. I know which one I feel better doing.

It all comes back to facing fears and going for it anyway. When times are tough, when things are not going according to plan and you feel like you are drowning in the storm, choose to make good of the bad situation and learn to dance in the rain.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Don't worry be happy.

I read an article this week that Bobby Mcferrin's song of this title is 23 years old. How time flies...

That is a such timeless feel good song.  The tune, the words, and the sentiment behind it all make you feel good. Above all, it is sound advice... 'Don't worry, be happy!'

Kids and adults alike love this song,  and when you sing it you cannot help feeling happy (I write with a smile). Listen: Don't worry be happy.

I am the world's biggest worrier. If there is something you need worrying about, call on me I have it covered.  It is for this reason I am hellbent on seeking happiness and feeling good about life. As this worrying business serves no positive purpose.  I have learnt the hard way, worry is a silent killer and should be avoided at all costs.  

There is a subtle difference between being concerned and the woes of worry.  Concern is ok. Showing an interest, being engaged and connected, I get that.  However the worry thing really is not cool at all.

Worry plagues us with torment and anxiety.  It leads to an inability to deal with emotions appropriately and  raises our stress to uncomfortable levels.  Instead maybe we should take the opposite approach to worrying.  Stay calm, feel reassured and as the other Bob (Marley) says.... 'Don't Worry About A Thing Cause Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright...'

You see, everything will be alright in the end and if it is not alright it is not the end. 

I personally hand my worries over to God.  I literally in my mind package them up and hand them over, turn my back and leave them behind.  Sometimes I take a little too long to do so, but when I do it is so elevating. It leaves me with a feeling of relief and salvation.

However for those of you that don't believe in God simply take the staying calm and reassured stance.  Then sing one of the Bobs' songs, be patient and it will all be ok in the end.

Love & Happiness Scr1be

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Stop Complaining.

I have written recently about giving thanks. So this is part 2 I guess.

Waking up this morning I walked into my living room and smiled. I thanked God out loud for this day of leave from work (so needed), my home, my helper, my son, my family, my everything! I am so thankful.

Being thankful is medicine for the soul. Especially in tough times. It is a quick fix, a picker-upper. Of course the more you have to be thankful for the quicker the fix is. Nevertheless I also find the more I am thankful the more I realise I have to be thankful for...

I have a gratitude book that I list all the present things I am grateful for as well as a list of all the coming things (like my multi-million dollar business that I am working on). I am trying not to take anything for granted.

I can do all that I do independently. I can write this blog, I can read, I can give my opinions. I can hear the music I love, see the beautiful big brown eyes my son possesses. All things that one may take for granted but all things that millions of people cannot do. Whether it be because they were born deaf, or that they lost their job for example... You see there are always people out there that would swap their life for yours in a heart beat. So how can you not be thankful.

It is very easy to take the complain train. I check myself often. When someone asks me how my day goes, instinctively I may say 'not bad.' However how come I do not just say it was good? Because we like sympathy, and sometimes feed off of pity. Yes you do!

The 'woe is me' attitude is prevalent! I see it everyday and no denying I am guilty of it too. The thing is being Miss Pity Party makes for a sad image of just walking around feeling sorry for yourself. You had to work a little too hard. You had a challenging day. You did not get your own way. Life is not all sweetness and light. However goodness gracious we have the opportunity to turn this life into anything we want - yes ANYTHING!!

It is really irksome when people complain all the time. Imperfect as we are, of course we will have trying times, and pretending that it is otherwise is lying to yourself. Nevertheless constantly focusing on negativity does not make for good living. It is the trigger for headaches, ailments, stress, cancer and feeling bad for yourself. Not a good look!

Believe me I know first hand. I had surgery this summer to remove a growth from my colon. Next week I am having a growth removed from my eye lid. My body is betraying me as I am not looking after my soul. When your mind is engulfed with pity, sorrow, unhappiness it filters through you entirely. It impacts how you interact, how you portray yourself, your posture, your voice, your everything.

I am learning that the best way to do good is to feel good, to be good, and above all - Stop Complaining!

Peace, Love and Happiness to you and yours!


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Be Inspired!

I arrived in the building at work today and on the TV Monitor it said 'Rapper Heavy D died today aged 44.' Now his death was not controversial and shrouded in the negative images surrounding rappers. It was so unfortunate - a suspected heart attack he was pretty over weight.

What is the relevance? I hear you ask. I grew up listening to his music and he was only a little older than I. I danced to his tunes (I can see me doing the running man as I write), I loved the rhythms and imitated the backing dancers moves. I admired that he was in an industry that has many negative images but he kept it positive. I also thought he was cute...So when I saw the headline this morning I became nostalgic and I was somewhat saddened.

I was reminded that life is way too short and I wondered if he had known on the 7th November 2011 that his life would end on the 8th, what would he have done differently? Just before he died his last tweet to his fans was 'Be Inspired'. That is something I often remind myself and the picture attached above is from the wall in my music room in my apartment. I had the wooden caste 'inspire' attached to remind me how important inspiration is.

I have not blogged for a few days as I have felt uninspired and tired. However I realise that each day may in fact be my last. I found inspiration in a sad occasion and when I arrived home from a late date I almost went to sleep but felt compelled to write.

What inspires you to continue? What motivates you to move forward and do good things, be happy and make the most of the short time we have? Take risks, believe that you can achieve as we just do not know if we will get the chance.

I sometimes say if in doubt don't? However I am also a strong believer in 'who dares wins', and 'carpe diem' (seize the day). Sometimes we have to do or die. Walking the easy road may be safe but is it right?

I decided to take a risk today to go against doubt and dare to win. I am inspired, by someone I have never met who like me felt that being inspired can be the foundation of achieving your greatness.

We should all 'Be Inspired'.

Thank you for reminding me of this and may you Rest In Peace Heavy D.

Love and Happiness

Thursday, 3 November 2011

To Get What You Want - Reach For The Sky!

How hard are you willing to work to get what you want?

George Bernard Shaw said ~ "The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

We all want the easy route, the quick fix, the goods to come flowing instantly...Nonetheless like Thomas Edison said 'Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.'

I know this to be true...By working hard and putting every effort into what you do, you are bound to come good in the end. Now it will not necessarily happen over night. Patience really does win the race. But rest assured it will happen.

Unfortunately historically there is something other than patience or hard work that has prevented me from achieving what I want - procrastination. A trait that I am really trying to bury. I have had numerous ideas over the years...I talked about starting something or I started and left things incomplete. I wanted to be a black belt in karate, 3 grades away and a knee injury and now a year has passed since I last participated in the sport with no mention of my black belt until now.

Being in Asia I too will be fluent in Mandarin, excess work loads and this and that meant that I missed my exam and I have not continued (I will enroll tomorrow for I want to do, this - I am serious). Honestly it is Excuses, excuses, excuses. Businesses have been started, books incomplete, journeys unfinished. My efforts are sometimes mediocre. In fact this quote applies to me at times:

'Many people think they want things, but they don't really have the strength, the discipline.  They are weak.  I believe that you get what you want if you want it badly enough.'  ~Sophia Loren. It is not necessarily wrong to want something badly as a motivator to ensure that you get it, it is just that for me, there are too many woulda, shoulda, coulda moments.

I have realized that I need to start Reaching For The Sky.... Finish what I start. It's like when someone starts a sentence and does not complete it - how annoying. That's how I make myself feel when I do not finish, annoyed!

People remember you for what you have done, not for what you say you will do. Don't get me wrong I have many achievements that I am proud of. In fact I hold pride in several things I have attained. However I have too many incomplete chapters in my life.

There was a tv quiz show in the 90s called Mastermind, and when the buzzer rang during a time the host was posing a question, he would always say 'I've started so I'll finish.' We need to do what we say will do. Of course there is room to take a different path to what you planned to get to your destination, but do, what you planned! Make that your mantra - I have started so you I'll finish.

Keep reaching for the sky!


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Being True To Yourself...

How many of you can say you are 100% true to yourself?

I can say that I am in many aspects if not most aspects of my life, but when it comes to relationships I realised I was masked with fright and hid behind a wall of protection. The thing is, I figured that keeping my guard up and my wits about me would prevent me from hurting too much. I also thought I was being who others expected or wanted to me to be. You see I am a people pleaser to my detriment. If you are happy then so am I. However in this case it meant that the person I portrayed was not the person within.

As of last week I am being my true self in my relationship. Like I have said before, Bob Marley said '...everyone's gonna get hurt, you just have to find out the ones worth suffering for.' As I mentioned in my post go for it.

Leading on from there, this post touches more on the consequences and repercussions of trying to mask our inner-self. Sometimes we actually take on another persona as a means of hiding how we feel. We get so caught up and even confuse ourselves by becoming more like the person we are not. You then end up pretending so much for so long you cannot differentiate your own self. This can be a mistake.

In my case some of the characteristics I portrayed gave the impression that I am aloof, not bothered, and sometimes self absorbed. Not that I cannot ever be such things just as we all can, but that is really far removed from who I am fundamentally. I actually have had to work on being more self-centred and not just taking care of others. Therefore to be seen as self absorbed was non-sensical and upsetting. Nevertheless I owned it, I said the words 'sorry for not being who I am', and now I am working on being true to me and in effect not living a lie.

I also feel that whosoever does not like the true me that I will represent forthwith, need not interact with me. I know the the real me is just fine. I have never really doubted it. It was more a case of not wanting to expose the vulnerable side of myself, to avoid getting hurt and keeping those around me happy (or so I thought).

The thing I have also found out now is, if you are not feeling good about how you are representing yourself (and how can you be if it is not totally real) then those you interact with can feel a negative vibe. Your energy is funky, and they cannot relate to you in the way you intended anyway.

I have yet to see how me being me in every sense will impact my relationships going forward, but I feel liberated. I feel open and honest. I feel like I no longer want to hide behind a wall of fright and angst. I feel that as commendable as it is to try and please others by being what you think they want you to be, it can be just as admirable to please yourself too. I actually think my true colours shine a lot brighter than the fake facade anyway.

Being true to you does not only apply to relationships. There are people that put on a fake voice, those that pretend they possess more opulence and financial security than they really do, others that trick people into thinking they are someone other than who they are with skills they do not possess.

In an attempt to be accepted we can do some pretty silly things. I for one am over it. The effort it takes to be two people instead of the true one is not worth the effort at all. Just be true to you.

Love & Happiness...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Release The Child Within!

When was the last time you did something really spontaneous or fun?

Why do we become so boring with age at times? I was talking to my Honey about spontaneity, as he seems slightly obsessed with planning (hence not very spontaneous).  I was trying to convince him of the beauty of doing things impromptu.  In the end we agreed to differ.

I am all for planning. I make a living out of it. Nevertheless the idea of acting on impulse, taking child like risks and having fun like a kid appeals to me.

A couple of weeks ago my Sister-Friends and I had a sleep over. You know like when you were young and stayed up all night having fun with your best buddies back in the day?  We were equipped with pyjamas, mattress on the floor, movies, lots of food - the whole works!

Let me tell you it was absolutely fabulous. We talked all night about everything, woke up, then ate all morning and talked all afternoon until the early evening.  We talked so much we were exhausted but it was a great bonding experience between friends.

When was the last time you shared good times with a close friend?

What about plain having fun just for the sake of it?  As Children we thrived on this. The adrenalin rush the uncontrollable laughter. Doing things to generate a feel good factor it is so good for the spirit. However as time passes we tend to become engrossed in routine, monotony and being dull and spiritless. When did that become ok?

With all the strains and pains of life, we should feel compelled to take a moment of enjoyment out of life.  Express Child like humour. Tickle your loved one until they cannot breathe.  Smile more, laugh more, sing more, talk more.  Share memorable moments.  Look at old photo albums and rejoice in the laughter of seeing how you had the audacity to dress the way you did.

Rent an old movie that always makes you laugh hysterically when you watch it. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good.  If you used to like roller coasters, go to an amusement park this weekend.  If you love ice cream but punish yourself with the notion that one moment on the lips is one month on the hips, then forget that nonsense, and do extra exercise after eating a few scoops of your favoured flavour.

Dance in the rain, do whatever it takes to put a smile on your face. Think about what made you really happy as a child, teenager or in your 'hey day' and get up and go and do it. Release the child within.


Monday, 31 October 2011

Rest Well...

Have you noticed how modern society is obsessed with activity?

If you are not multitasking and bordering on exhausted, it would seem that you are just not making the most of yourself. I am so guilty of not resting enough, to the point my body simply does not rest well! I am able to sleep for a maximum of six hours continuously and that is on a good day. I have yet to understand why, but we tend to ensure every minute of every day is occupied with something. It is ridiculous.

Dr. Rafael Pelayo said ~ "Your life is a reflection of how you sleep, and how you sleep is a reflection of your life."  I guess this rings true as my life is hectic! Just like my sleeping pattern.

We all know that sleeping is a means of rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul and is so essential to being able to function optimally.  Nevertheless culturally we tend to exist on little sleep, and conduct ourselves with lethargy.  The thing is, it is so common for people to be tired that it is not considered a big deal anymore. We can all relate to working late nights, or burning the candle at both ends. 

In past decades sleep was deemed as an essential part of living that was very much encouraged. Sunday was the day of rest and time to spend with family. Having a 'lie-in' was not merely wishful thinking, but was part and parcel of weekly life. Now this is not so prevalent. The minimum 8 hours sleep necessary is hardly adhered to. Society is busy, angry, frustrated, hectic, and just plain tired.

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."
-Irish Proverb

This is so true.  How many of you can say that getting some good rest is bad for you? No one sane can anyway. Now how many of you in knowing full well that your angry attitude, your quick tempered composure, and your plain lack of interest would be markedly improved if you had adequate rest, make sure you rest well?

We all know that rest, exercise, and a decent diet could change how you look, feel and act in an instant. So why not start by resting well.  Improve your impact on your lives and the lives of others by Sleeping enough, and as a result having the fortitude to participate in life to your full potential.


Saturday, 29 October 2011

What path would you take if you wasn't afraid?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? For those wondering...I have not blogged for a couple of days as I have been caught up in getting myself off of the fear based track and on to the path of being my true self. Feels good!

Looking back, if I asked myself this regarding my ideal career choice,  I would have been a mind blowing record producer and song writer!  My dream job!  I would have probably lived between the States and UK and have had a totally different life to what I have now.  I would have had my huge studio, surrounded by equipment, good vibes and a decent clientele. I have however accepted that due to my past fears this is not something I feel that I will ever do, it will remain a dream and that is ok as long as I do not hold regret and I do not.

I have also asked myself the above question regarding how I want to make a living several years from now. I would say that the path I would take (and am taking) if I was not afraid is one of a successful Business Woman. Able to take the necessary steps and risks to enable me to make a comfortable living from my Businesses and to no longer be an employee. Roll on the good times!

You know it's good to ask yourself this question regarding each aspect of your life, as we tend to get so caught up in the status quo. Being alive but not living, going with the grain and nothing much else. By asking this question, it allows us to check in. To see if the path we are on is in alignment with where we want to be.  If there is a stark difference between your truth right now or where you are heading, and what you desire your truth to be, you are probably pretty unhappy right now correct?

You see we people are very simple really. We make out that we are complicated but we are not. If we merely follow our truth and be who we really want to be, doing so without fear, how much better would life be?

Therefore seek your truth and ask yourself where you are heading in your life journey, versus where you want to go.  Is your internal GPS kicking in correctly or are you flying on a wing and a prayer in the hope that one day you'll make it to that place that makes you feel good about yourself?

Perhaps you should be stronger in your dealings with conflict, softer in your handling of your loved ones, smarter in your financial decisions. How about further on your career path?  What about your weight? Are there some inner fears or insecurities that cause you to comfort eat or be underweight?

If you were 100% fearless and focused on walking your truth, do you think there would be a difference in how you conduct yourself, how you make a living, how you love and how you live? Of course there would be.

Being the person you feel is right is life transforming.  It doesn't always have to equate to being someone elaborate either. Simply having the career you know represents you.  Dealing with your relationships and participating in a way that makes you feel comfortable.  Whether it be a mother that admits she is tired, seeks help and is no longer running on her last legs. Or a husband that has the confidence to tell his wife that he wants once a week with the boys, to have his individual space.

We tend to be fearful and feel compelled to compromise to our detriment as we fear hurting others.  You may dress a certain way to conform rather than be noticed for your uniqueness.  Sometimes we allow others voices to make our choices and we become who our parents, partners or even teachers want us to be.

'Love people enough to tell them the truth and respect them enough to know they can handle it.' ~ Iyanla Vanzant.

I have spoken before about relinquishing fear. Fear is so debilitating and annoying.  As a result, I am trying my utmost to live in the path of Love (the opposite to fear).

Of course it is easier said than done.  So what would you do if you was not afraid? Who would you be? Where would you live? Would you be surrounded by the things you are? Think about it and walk your truth. Be you - fearlessly!

Love & Happiness.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Being 38 Is Great!

What is up with you people that have a problem with your birthday?

I celebrated my birthday on Saturday. Overall it was very pleasant.  I am on the nearer side of 40 and feel great!

It is startling however how many people treat the coming of a new year with an attitude of doom and gloom. Celebrate it!  Your place here is worthy of a celebration.

I love the fact that I am here to see another birthday.  I had a little cousin who would have celebrated her 18th exactly a week before mine.  A tragic car accident at the age of 7 means she will never see her 38th birthday.  Never have children, go to university, travel the world extensively, provide for her family. Like  I have. Or even have a chance to be the great adult she had the potential to be.  She was an angel and touched many lives immensely.  I cannot begin to imagine what she would have achieved if she had more birthdays.

You see, we often choose to have negative feelings and perceptions.  What those that complain about ageing tend to forget, is that the opposite of aging is death!   I tell my whining friends this all the time.  

What you should do is Choose to appreciate life!  Choose to be grateful that you have another chance daily to make a difference for yourself, for your families.  Thank God that you are here.  Think a while about the alternative to having your birthday and age creeping up on you.  Stop the crazy complaining about your age. 

Don't get me wrong.  There are times I think wow. I cannot believe I am 38! In fact, someone close to me and I constantly tease each other about our age.  He loves telling me how 'old' I am (he is 5 years older than me mind you).

I am proud to say I do not look my age and even if I do who really cares?  As long as I am well, it doesn't matter.  Fundamentally what really matters is that I am living.  Not just alive but living!

Yes we all have challenges and they do not seem to stop the older we become, they are just different.  No, not everyday is a great day either. I know this.  In fact for me today was not the best but at some part of my day I always get myself in check, then hope the next day is better.  

However we could all be more thankful for our lives progressing, and the chance to be what we want to be. I am so thankful for my surroundings, the air I breathe, the opportunities I have, the life I lead.  My family and friends.   Above all, I am thankful for my Birthday! The 22nd October, and every single one since.

Happy Birthday to all of you celebrating today, tomorrow, the next.....


Monday, 24 October 2011

Give Yourself A Break!

Why is it that our worst critics are ourselves? We beat down on ourself for everything we can imagine. My hair is too short, my nose is crooked, we are too short, fat, skinny and tall. We have no breasts, big flappy ears, our teeth stick out or our feet are too small. My voice is too high, my chin is too wide, my tummy is not as flat as a virgin bride....

That was my attempt at poetry but suffice to say, it is impossible to be perfect all of the time. Heck many people never achieve it some of the time. Love yourself. Do not always look for things to complain about. Give yourself a break!

It is not just the physical things that we give ourself a hard time about either. The fact that we don't possess psychic powers enabling us to predict the future also causes us to be annoyed right?

None of us know exactly how things will pan out, therefore the mysteries of life are bound to have us bewildered at times. However there are some that want to control every inch of their being and their futures. Their plans have not come to fruition, and as a result they suffer from anger frustration and even self hatred. Do you ever thank your lucky stars that a certain thing did not happen the way you planned?

Whenever I experience a disappointment I remind myself that it is for the best, as 9 times out of 10 it is. It is a lesson learnt, or a reminder to appreciate things more. It is a rescue from a negative circumstance or person. There is always a good reason why plans do not work out. We are so busy being traumatized that we do not have the foresight to see this. Instead we toil and tussle with ourselves, beat ourselves up and engulf ourselves in a state of depression. Why? It does not make sense. As opposed to choosing to be embroiled in self pity it often helps to make good of the so-called bad situation. If you made a mistake, make it right. Do something about it if you can. If not then let it be.

I too have been guilty of self inflicted fury. For sure it is not so easy to just be cool when hit with disappointment or despair. In which case I suggest you simply take timeout, give yourself a moment. Be at peace with who you are, where you are, and where you eventually will be in time. Stop constantly exerting your mind, body and soul with the whys and wherefores of life. Your looks, your future, the what ifs and what will be.

You are who you are, Period! It is what it is, period! You can change the cosmetics but you are you. Accept this and how your life will evolve. It will make for such a peaceful inner you. By all means contribute to your future, don't sit idly expecting everything to fall on your lap as if by magic (unless you have asked and it is given - see post for details), but please - Give yourself a break!

Stop the constant battle with self. Let your life story unfold and while it does have fun. Be quiet, relax and chill out! Look in the mirror and say 'I love what I see looking back at me.' As Sir Thomas Browne said 'How shall we expect charity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves?'

Give yourself a break! 'Acceptance and go with your flow.' ~ Scr1be (that's me - just in case).


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Let Them Be...

These were photos taken by my son KC (aged 5) of me on our day out to celebrate my birthday.  

He has an amazing talent for photography and constantly asks me to take photos.  I am making an album of the photos he takes...

Rearing children brings a lot of questions, doubts, fears and above all the need to adapt to a life you would never have imagined before they came along.  After all, you are 100% responsible for another being.  The way they dress, speak, conduct themselves.  The religion they adopt (or perhaps not if they rebel).  Their attitudes and prejudices.  There is so much that we wholly contribute to with respect to the adults that our children become, it is A-mazing!

My views on child rearing constantly change or should I say evolve.  There was a time I was adamant that smacking was a necessity.  However although I am not against it, I now see that the effects of doing so for some children can be detrimental and undesired.  I also feel that if I can discipline my child and get the desired outcome without any physical harm I feel so much more in control of the situation.

I mean, if someone wanted me to do something and had the audacity to hit me to get me to do so, I would retaliate.  However when we hit our children we expect them to conform immediately, end of story.  I really think that smacking should be a last resort, but even I do not always succeed in that one unfortunately.  

The point of this post is not to discuss corporal punishment.  I digress...

After seeing these photos (obviously I edited the effects of the last two).  I thought to myself,
there was a time that I would have felt that letting a 5 year old loose with my camera worth several hundred dollars would have been bordering on insanity.  However if I had not, we would never know what cool pictures he takes... 

The point of this post is to say that our children are little people with personalities, talents and notions that we merely cannot suppress.  They are one step closer to being adults everyday.  Hence allow them to be the kids they are (within reason of course - harming themselves or destroying things aside). 

What is wrong if they sing at the top of their voices sometimes?  Give them the liberty to make a mess with paints, or cook in the kitchen with you.  Take them to the park, hold their hand and run, run, run...

When they play loudly with their toys, stop and join in instead of stopping them from being a child.  I am not advocating reckless abandon, I am advocating that sometimes we just let them be....

I am so thankful for my son.  We had a great day today and he constantly inspires me; to be a better parent, to be mindful of how I continue on this journey, and to be a better me.  

I will leave you with some other pictures KC took on our trip to New York.