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.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Live, Laugh, Love... The Recipe For Success

When asked what the definition of success is in 1904.  Bessie Anderson Stanley wrote the following:

'He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has enjoyed the trust of pure women and the love of little children; 
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; 
who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; 
who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.'

She won $250 for this definition of Success! 

The thing is, over 100 years later - with all the changes in attitudes, technologies, ways of thinking...Is it not amazing how much this still rings true today?  

Would you not feel that you were successful if your achievements amounted to the above?   The essence of living life to the fullest, having fun and laughter while you're doing it, and all the while experiencing the love of a life partner, family and your offspring.   

Most certainly many would probably add a few dollar signs to the mix to demonstrate their success. However you can see that nothing material was mentioned in Bessie's poem. As fundamentally, no matter how many material things you may have, if you are miserable, without love, and not living your best life, you really have nothing of true worth to your inner being at all, regardless of dollars and cents.

Thus, uphold these three words: 'Live, Laugh, Love', and guaranteed everything else will eventually fall into place!

Live your best life + Laugh and see the brighter side of things + Love with every inch of your being = Success!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today. - Really???

Why is it that life constantly feels like it is one step ahead of you, and you are forever trying to catch up?

Chasing your dreams, trying to catch up on tasks that are overdue, returning calls you missed. Appointments need to be made, people to see.

It can be mayhem trying to keep up with being you!  I feel like I never have enough time.  I follow a 'To Do' list at work that helps.  I try to follow my goals list outside work, but 24 hours never seems sufficient to do all I need to do and sleep too.

Like today: Take my son to school, do a days work, pop by my business partner to get face time, read on the train, come home, interact with my son, eat, chat to my people on the phone, blog and bed!

What happened to exercise? What happened to relaxing and reflecting on the day before going to sleep? How do we fit it all in?  It's depressing.

You know what? We don't have to fit it all in, and unless you have the genes of Clarke Kent and can turn into Superman or Supergirl then it just is not going to happen.... Oh well!

Once we have acceptance it makes this startling fact all the more easier to digest.  They say 'don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today',  but heck how can one do it all without being a candidate for a nervous breakdown?

There maybe 24 hours in a day but there is only one of you. Therefore sometimes it has to be done tomorrow, regardless of how we may try to multi-task ourselves to an early grave.

Einstein said ~ “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” Amen to that Albert!

As I have consciously embarked on my life journey, I am cognizant  of the fact that life really is what you make it!  Yes, time is of the essence, but no matter how hard you try to be and do everything, you just have to strike an equilibrium and settle with doing your best.  

Yes indeed I truly believe we need to get the job done. Yes I do believe we should avoid procrastination.  I also agree with Henry Ford when he said ~ "Vision without execution is just hallucination.”  Hence do what you say you will do.  You just don't need to do it all today.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thoughts Really Do Become Things!

KC was misbehaving at school and his teachers complained. When I asked him why, he said you keep saying I am a naughty boy so I am a naughty boy.

The thing is he said it with such sincerity and not an ounce of malice, it touched me. I fear that if he starts to see himself as a naughty  boy it will become a self fulfilling prophecy.  At 5 years old he teaches me so much.

So now I will instill in him how good he is, can be and will be.  As they say, 'be careful what you wish for.'  He already is acting out based on what he thinks I think of him.

You know thoughts really do become things.  I mentioned this in my post Ask and it is given and even a child is telling me this without having any idea of this universal concept. However it is so difficult to think beyond what we are faced with. He has been naughty and I have told him as such.

'Not emphasising the fact that he has been naughty is lying to myself I hear you say...' The thing is, I don't have to have that as the focal point. For sure I will reprimand him and tell him what is the right conduct. Nevertheless instead of fearing that he will be known for being disruptive, perhaps I can focus on his wonderful loving nature, his kind caring demeanour, his future scholarships, his good will and deeds, his graduation from Cambridge.

Not forgetting the pride at seeing him become a mature upstanding man, wonderful father, husband and human being (ok I have gone way ahead in time but it doesn't hurt to dream and it puts a smile on my face. Notwithstanding that as thoughts become things, I will be very proud to see him accomplish such greatness one day).

I need to tell him his potential not just harping on about him being a bad boy. Perhaps we all need to focus on allowing our children to realise their self worth while keeping them disciplined.  The balance is tough but so worth it.  I will see to it that KC no longer feels that I look down on him in a negative light. It is not good for him or our relationship.

I must also keep reminding myself that thoughts become things. You reap what you sow.  Therefore be careful what you say, think and believe... As my son said you keep saying it, so it is so! You become what you believe, not what you wish or want but what you truly believe. ~ Oprah 


Monday, 17 October 2011

I Want You vs. I need you.

It feels so good to be needed right? But is it not much better to be wanted more than needed?

The difference although subtle is between someone having you around in a more addictive, codependent sense rather than genuinely desiring your presence.

I used to think it was great to feel needed.  My son needing my help made me feel special.  I could nurture him and be his everything.

However I realise that for both of us, positioning him to not need me and to be independent is far better.  Giving him the tools to do for himself and feel at liberty to call on me knowing that I am here for him whenever he wants, is more conducive to helping him form into a mature young man.

It is not just with our children that we need to consider the consequences of neediness.  Being with a partner that needs you more than they want you can potentially lead to an unhealthy relationship and the onset of resentment.  You tend to do more giving than receiving and feel taken for granted.   On their side it is also possible that if it were not for their innate need for what you provide them with, they may have moved on by now.

Neediness has a direct connection to weakness.  A feeling of not being able to function without something or someone. Why would we want another to be around us for this reason?

My team that I managed, I know I have done so successfully if they are fully functional in my absence.  However there are some who feel their significance is diminished if there presence is not needed.

The measure of your success is not by those who cannot function without you but those who you have taught to function appropriately alongside you. You may not be needed by them but you will most definitely be wanted.

By giving guidance as opposed to making decisions for others they are more likely to be better equipped to think for themselves rather than be clueless when required to come to a conclusion.  By allowing them to do for themselves, you are providing them with the foundations to grow, have self worth and be positioned to contribute to their own lives more effectively.

Encourage strength and independence.  Enable those to seek your counsel rather than see you as an emotional crutch.

Be the person that someone else wants, not the person that someone else needs.
I want you... Sounds so much more desirable than I need you... Don't you think?

Blessings, Love & Happiness!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Embrace Change!

A couple of weeks ago, a friend mentioned the difficulty she was having dealing with things coming to an end.  

I told her 'Some things must end for some things to begin.'

It's funny how we naturally feel like the end of the world has befallen us when something ends unexpectedly.

Someone's life doesn't count. I can never measure the value of a life so let's not go there.  

However excluding  death of a loved one, some of us can go as far as falling apart completely, feeling as if our life is over when something changes drastically. 

In knowing that time is of the essence and we must make the most of it, why not accept the end, move on and seek new beginnings?  Make it an opportune time to explore, discover, experience something that you never would have if your circumstances remained the same?

Know that it is a transition phase and it is a matter of time before a new door opens. 

There was a time that I was going through a break up, not feeling too great and in need of a feel good factor. At that moment, the following words of a song emitted from the radio.

'If you just seek then you shall find, the door will open up in time, just hold on to his [God's] hand you know that there is a master plan.'

I had never heard the song before, and I have no idea who sings it but the words resonated with me and helped me to put things into perspective regarding change and the essence of patiently waiting things out.

I am fully aware that regardless of the positivity we may have within, life's changes can feel insurmountable.  Nevertheless just apply my mantra  'acceptance and go with the flow.' Get your mojo back.  Fall in love with you and your life's potential. 

Each door that closes is a cue to walk forward and open the next door of opportunity.  Life is filled with quid pro quos.  You do tend to get something back when something is taken from you.

Therefore a potentially  bleak present can give way to an exciting future.  

Embrace Change... 'He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.' Harold Wilson


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Say A Kind Word - Give A Dose Of Unconditional Love...

When was the last time you asked someone you care for the question - 'How are you'?

It occurred to me that some people have no idea how the people they supposedly care about are really feeling. Whether it be their friends, partners, their children or parents. Why? Because they never ask. They can conduct a monologue about themselves with ease. Talk talk talk and never listen.

Why is it that some Couples can live together and be completely oblivious to each others sentiments?  Think about how you relate to your loved ones, could you do with giving out a dose of unconditonal love? I have 'friends' that I speak to everyday that would never ask how I am doing. I always ask as a matter of course, it's just how I am. Nonetheless, with some this is hardly ever reciprocated. A-mazing!

It is nice to know that people genuinely care for you unconditionally. However we all find this hard right? I am not talking about accepting unacceptable behavior, I am referring to caring and giving of yourself without condition, expectations or insincerity.

I am fortunate to really know what it means to be loved unconditionally.  My Mother showed me what that means from birth.  There are those that have never had the opportunity to feel this depth of caring and love, however that is not an excuse not to give unconditionally.

This post is dedicated to those that do give unconditionally.  You do not know how much this means to the recipient.  I have a few people in my life that I receive this from and it is great!

My sisters who instant message me throughtout the day to send uplifting words, and ask me 'How are you?' They are always there and I can count on it. My Mother who will be there through WHATEVER.  My sister friend that will call me from NY just to touch base and find out how I am going sending love across the waters.  My UK Sister JZ that messages almost every day.  My Brother that will move mountains for me.  My brother friend that just asks how I am doing in Singapore and sends advice and encouragement about rearing my son.  Aunty that cares for me in a loving way that words cannot express.  I truly am blessed!!!

There are no excuses for not being able to do so.  Only two of those mentioned above live in the same country as me, but I feel their caring sincerity from afar.  A kind word, a loving gesture works wonders for the soul.  Not receiving it is not an excuse either.  Be an example to others.  Don't let them take you for granted but giveth of yourself without conditions, and you will eventually reap what you sow.  Maybe not from those you hoped but you will get it back someway.

No matter who you are, where you come from, what you have experienced, there is NO ONE that can honestly say they do not want to be loved.  Whether it be romantic love, or receiving love from a parent. Love from forever friends, or another family member. We all yearn it, want it and need it.  It is like food, we can live without it for a time perhaps but eventually we starve from not having it and need it to fill our tanks, nourish us and to keep us feeling good.

A person without love is nothing much but a vacuum.  So for those you genuinely care about, give them a dose of unconditional love. Turn to your husband and really hug him.  Cook him his favourite meal, wear his favourite dress.  Your child that is growing up quicker than you can say 'my goodness you've grown' - tell her she is wonderful and that you are proud of her.  Do something for her that will make her smile.  Your best friend, give him a call and ask him how his life is really going.  Your Mother visit her and say 'I love you' without expecting anything in return.

I received a touching note from my Bro Kindred.  He ALWAYS manages to say something that makes me smile and think WOW.   Here is an excerpt from his note (English is his second language):

Hey Your Lightness!

Im good. Your writing has been very great lately
yesterday it inspired me to keep my eyes closed and just try
too feel how I would experience ...

I am coming to the conclusion that its not how I see but more how EYE feel..
So you are doing great charity.spreading light. thanx!

Great to hear your kind concern for your SUN ..
as someone said life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived...

May you have victory and not be intimidated by cloudes!
Listen to your soul and know thyself!

He read my blog  'Charity Should Begin At Himself' and was thankfully inspired. The use of the word 'EYE' as opposed to 'I' (see post for details), let me know he did indeed take the time to read my words and he sent me back a little support to make me aware that he was touched.  He didn't need to - he just did!

For some, this is trivial, but his taking the time out meant so much.  So to all those in my life that give love and friendship unconditionally I thank you.

For those of you reading - Please! Go on give unconditional a try...

Love & Happiness!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

GUEST BLOG - Prepare To Fly...

"You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder."
I am very excited (and nervous) to be doing my first guest appearance on this inspirational blog. When I was first asked, I thought "What on earth am I going to say?" and then the theme of butterfly cookies came to me. Butterflies need no introduction, they are real life fairy tales, the Unicorns in our midst. They teach us about life, transformation and rebirth: that although we may start out crawling on the floor, we can finish soaring in the sky.

"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

As romantic as butterflies are, I am not one. I will not go into hiding one day and  later emerge as a completely different creature wooing the world with my beauty, only to die days later. Instead, my metamorphosis is a collection of small and steady changes. Day by day, I grow and mature, but fundamentally I am still me.

For me this means that I need to cherish the present rather than long for that fine day when I can be someone, somewhere or something else. It means that I need to fly everyday whether or not I feel I've arrived. It means that the destination is now.

I'll leave you with this simple quote that I think sums it up nicely;

'Cherish your yesterdays and dream your tomorrows, but most importantly, don't forget to live today'

Peace and Love

Bailey Ana is based in Essex and London, UK and has a blog 'Eat, Pray, Bake' . She also provides cakes and sweet treats for parties, birthdays and corporate events. Contact details can be found on her blog.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Give Thanks!

Yesterday I decided my post for today would be about giving thanks. Gratitude is something that we can give so freely but we offer so sparingly. I give thanks everyday for I am truly blessed. However often times people immerse themselves in complaints, complaining and more complaining still.

When I woke up this morning I received the below from my friend that I have been besties with (thank you T) for 34 years. These words along with the photo above speak volumes. They epitomise exactly what I want to say. So for today, I will leave you with these choice words and the above image. Blessings...

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.
She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Today before you say an unkind word -
Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life -
Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children -
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep -
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job -
Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another -
Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one MAKER.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down -
Put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive and still around.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

'Charity should begin at himself.' - John Wycliffe

I wrote in my post the Soul's Purpose that I wanted to do more to make a difference. Do more for others. Although I still want to and there is nothing wrong with this desire, I realize that if each of us took better care of our surrounding environment and the people around us, the world would be a better place, really!

If one has the means, I firmly believe we owe it to society and ourselves to be charitable. Giving of our time or money if we can to worthy causes is honourable. I have been donating for years and will continue to do so.  However is my charity sometimes misguided I ask myself?  Our neighbors often need help, other times our children, and our partners too.  In an urge to be there for everyone else outside of our immediate vicinity, we sometimes forget to be charitable to those close to us and even ourselves.

They say that charity begins at home for a reason.  In my quest to be charitable I have forgotten to look in my own back yard.  My helper reminded me of that today.  We had an emotional discussion and she said she didn't understand why I am always helping others when my own child also needs my time. This hit me hard, and I had a gut wrenching feeling.  

After writing Soul's Purpose,  I was asked by a reader if I have decided what 'more' I would do.  I have now decided! I am going to consciously give more of my charitable efforts to nurturing my son first and foremost.  

Not that he has not been my utmost priority, but it occurred to me that I have been teaching a young boy to read and not spending enough time teaching my own child to read.  I will still help but I need to be mindful and take care of my own first. 

I also need to take care of myself.  I need to exercise, keep up the work on my business.  I by no means am going to become selfish and no longer do the charitable things that I have done over the years (that is just not in my nature).  Instead I will maintain an equilibrium and focus my attentions closer to home too.

Galileo Galilei quoted - ' I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. '

It is merely common sense, take care of your own business, get that right and be better placed to take care of the business of others.  Nevertheless it took Aunty to prod me into thinking logically. I am just trying too hard to be all that it is not always possible to be.

In the words of Mother Teresa ~ 'If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.'

I am almost certain that more focus on the one person in my life that needs it most is just as charitable as helping someone else's child.  If one has the capacity to do all then fine, however if not then 'Charity should begin at himself.' - John Wycliffe


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Do your eyes light up when you see a child?

I heard the author Toni Morrison ask this question on TV and it made me think twice.  I wondered - 'What is the expression on my face when my son enters the room?'

Is it one of genuine glee or do I let the toils of the day show in my expression?  Many of us find difficulty in hiding our emotions. I for one am guilty of that.  I wear my heart on my sleeve - always.  It can inhibit me from hiding my anger, and when I am despondent.  At the same time when I feel good, my inner light shines for all to see.

Back to the point in hand, my eyes certainly do not light up enough.  I sometimes don't even make eye contact if I am preoccupied.  I realise that for me this is wrong.  He deserves that I prevent outside factors impeding on my relating to him.

Don't get me wrong.  I definitely make an effort.  Previously, every morning when he used to interrupt my sleep at the crack of dawn, I would say morning to him in a grouchy manner.  Now, no matter how tired, I am I greet him with enthusiasm, joy, and encourage him to come and give me the first of many morning hugs!

It has made a difference to his demeanour.  I know this for sure.  When I start his day grouchy, he leaves the house for school grouchy.  I am mindful of the moments when my mind is on other things and as a consequence I lose sight of the fact that my negative disposition is very clearly noticed.  That is going to change today. My focus will be on him and not on any issues that I am probably unable to do much about anyway.

Actually this does not only apply to our children. In fact do your eyes light up when you see your partner? Your parents?  Do your words spout love but your body language otherwise?

You know those times when our loved ones can tell we are upset and they ask what's wrong, then we say the famous 'nothing'? Well if nothing is wrong then smile a real wide smile. Let your eyes light up and so will theirs.  If there is something wrong but it is nothing to do with them, it is all the more reason to smile wider and not allow yourself to make your problem theirs.


Friday, 7 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs - Audere est facere ('To Dare Is To Do')!

As I sit here writing my blog on my iPad2 I have to give kudos to Steve Jobs and wish that he may Rest In Peace!

This self made man was an innovative, creative, amazing  genius.  I remembered seeing touch screen technology in the film Minority Report back in 2002, and thinking how amazing it was.  He actually did it, he gave touch screen to the world.

I entitled this with the Latin motto 'To Dare Is To Do', as that epitomises Mr Jobs.  He dared to do, he dared to drop out of school to fulfil his dreams, to call his company 'Apple' (bet that received some laughs).  He dared to be different and he dared to challenge the doubts.  Although he was not alone in his phenomenal journey we all know that his part was significant.

I will never be Steve Jobs but I am extremely inspired by this man who's inventions have played an integral part in my life whether it be my Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad. I owe it to myself to be driven by his determination to dare, and to do.  

Live your dreams people.  Imagine, envisage.  Make whatever you have in your head and heart real... Every single thing we utilise and take for granted (chairs, iron, traffic lights, airplanes, cutlery - EVERYTHING) started off as an idea in someone's head.  Some are old ideas that have been embellished, others are ground breaking like those from Apple. So many of us have ideas that remain just that unfortunately.  

There is the myth that we utilise our brains only 10%. That it often disputed but it is a fact that we don't use our brain to it's capacity.  Why?  No we should not all start trying to be technology innovators.  We can make changes in so many different ways.  If you have an aptitude for dealing with people maybe you can be a great PR person as opposed to doing something you don't really like.  You are great with children, be a teacher, coach, mentor.

You always manage to have fantastic photos from your travels.  Submit them to a gallery, make a book of them and get it published (self publishing is a lot easier nowadays).  You are creative and make lovely cakes - make it into a business (!

We often go through life, adopt routines, live those routines and die.  Forget making a difference to the planet. What difference do we make to our immediate surroundings?  Who's life have you impacted?

I am inspired to create the things I keep saying I will. To encourage my son to do the same and to make a difference at least in my world.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Thanks But No Thanks...

Do you know anyone that always has advice to give?  No matter what the topic, they are the first to say what they think.  If you ask my close friends and family this question, they would probably have me in mind.  As this blog clearly demonstrates, I do tend to offer my opinions and sometimes admittedly may come across as a know-it-all.  However there are no bad intentions and I do know it all!!

No fun and jokes aside, even though I give my opinions, they are just that.  I don't profess to be right and most of what I say is based on experiences.  Nonetheless I have learnt along the way that sometimes it is best not to give advice and to just listen as 'We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.' - Galileo Galilei 

If someone feels like they have come to a conclusion themselves, they are far more susceptible to going with that decision and thinking it is right for them, than you telling them what is right for them.

We can ask probing or leading questions to get them to come to a conclusion, however in the long run it is better for them to discover their own truth, than for them to be force fed to digest and live by our truths.

The problem with advising and giving too many opinions as opposed to letting others find their own answers, is that we can inadvertently encourage them to set limitations based on our beliefs and experiences.  Or worse still we may just purely give them the wrong advice. It may be good for us, but not good for them.

This happens very often with parents and their children.  For example a Mother fears heights and her adventurous daughter loves climbing trees, rock climbing, whatever she can climb she will.  She says there is a school trip and they will go mountain climbing.  She is eager and asks permission.

Mother convinces daughter that it is not a good idea and is dangerous.  She says no.  Now the problem here is Mother's reason behind deterring her daughter is the Mother's own ingrown fears.  In fact that daughter would most likely love the adrenalin rush and the challenge due to her adoration of climbing. Imagine how much her confidence would be boosted if she climbed to the summit?  However Mother would have robbed her of that experience by saying no and emphasizing the danger as the reason.  Are you with me?

Now as responsible parents or caring friends/family members, we may think that what we say is for their own good.  In the above scenario the Mother  genuinely feels there is danger and there is potentially. However is she considering the daughter or herself?  One would assume there would be safety measures taken by the school to minimise the risk right?

Or what about your BFF asking you whether she should keep dating her dead beat (in your opinion) man?  Please do not answer these types of questions.  It is better to ask her questions like what are the pros and cons of remaining in  the relationship? What is the top 10 attributes you want in a partner and how many of those attributes does he possess?  Whatever it will take to permit her to come to her own conclusion.  Then when she does,  let her know you support that decision.  Point being, choose your battles and this would always be a losing one for you.

Remember that when someone pours their heart out they may just want a sounding board.  Think of a sounding board, chances are it cannot speak, so perhaps you shouldn't either.  

Be a facilitator.  Acknowledge them with a few oks and reallys and Mmm hmmms.  Nod, have eye contact or even offer a shoulder to cry on and a hug of comfort.  Other than that we could do just as well to zip it, listen, and only offer opinions when asked.  If unsure just ask sincerely, ' do you want my opinion or do you just want me to listen?' At least they asked to hear it.

For those of us that go to others wanting someone to share our thoughts with and we get unwanted advice. In the nicest possible way, simply say ' Thanks bit no thanks. If it is ok I really would like if you could just listen.'


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

To The Extreme!

The older we become, the less  we express the sense of liberty we were inherently born with.  Have you observed how a child is fearless and has no notion of feeling awkward when they dance out of rhythm, when the sing out of tune and when they love their favourite toy from the depths of their being?

At what stage do we put up the barriers, forget the child within and set boundaries of restriction upon ourselves?  I by no means am suggesting for any of us to regress.  What I am asking is who says that we should be so guarded and why?

We are so caught up in what 'others' think it gets out of control.  I mean really! So what if you think my hair is too frizzy and my clothes are too bright?  So what if you think being a male ballet dancer is effeminate?  Who cares if my musical preference doesn't match yours?

You see we tend to forget that what makes us so special is that we are individuals. We will never be the same no matter how many similarities we share.  Thus, embrace the fact that you are who you are.  Anyone who is not willing to accept you can take a long walk off of a short pier quite frankly.

Don't concern yourselves with people that want you to fit in to their moulds, don't convince them they are wrong in their thinking.  They are entitled to their own opinions, and you are entitled not to agree.

I absolutely adore Mark Twain's poem:
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth.”  

Be, live, breathe, and feel from the depths of your soul.  You owe it to yourself and no one else.  Give your all to everything you do.  Love yourself more than anyone else can and will.  Take pleasure in being you.  What YOU do not like about yourself change, DO NOT change to be accepted by others.

Always maintain Respect for others, but above all why not show the same sense of respect for yourself.  Look in the mirror with adoration, and if your spirit says to do something, do it, and do it with conviction.  Give it your all, and do so to extreme. 


Monday, 3 October 2011

What u feed will grow, what you don't will starve.

Some of us believe that our life is based on destiny, kismet, faith.  It is all mapped out and God moves us around like pawns on a chess board.

Others believe that we own who we are and where we end up.  God may guide us if we ask but we play a major role in what we manifest.

Others are atheists.  They do not believe there is something omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.  They believe that we evolved from dinosaurs, plants, the earth. 

As most of you will know I believe that we are able to manifest our futures. I do not profess to being right in my thinking, it is just my thinking.  Which leads me to believing 'What u feed will grow and  what you don't will starve.'

This applies to your mind, your body, your bad experiences, your children, everything.  For example constantly absorbing knowledge, learning, and broadening your mind feeds the brain. Your thought processes, your willingness to achieve, and to exist as the person you want to be can change in proportion to how much you nourish your mind.

Your body given care, can provide strength, longevity, stamina.  With our children, nourishing their bodies and mind can make them be the best they can be, it can help them make themselves proud, and become great human beings.

On the flip side, if you deny your children your love, your time,yourself, it can have a detrimental effect on them and the adults they become.  We clearly know the impact of not physically feeding them, they will literally starve.

Scientifically it has been found that starving your mind can contribute to the quicker onset of dementia and other debilitating illnesses that come with age. The body without exercise may just fade.

Therefore, go forth and feed your inner self.  Grow and become the best you.  Knowledge is power.  If you want to become an entrepreneur for example do some research, be aware, feed your soul with what it it needs to drive you to success.

When negative situations befall you or if you have been unfortunate to have suffered bad experiences.  Do not nourish those experiences and keep them living in your thoughts and actions.  Starve them, kill them, bury them and throw them away.

Henry Ford said “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice” 

Be responsible for you,  it will make you feel good about yourself and it will be of service to you too. Above all feed yourself, grow, please don't deliberately starve.


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Patience Wins The Race

A 7 year old asked me why my nails are so long yesterday.  His mother then said to him that she would like her nails to grow that long.  His response was, 'Maman (they speak French), patience wins the race.'

How cute and how true.  I thought it was a great thing to say and I will remind myself of that henceforth.

We are all guilty of impatience.  Finding it difficult to manage expectations and wanting things to happen yesterday.  Nevertheless nothing happens before it's time. 

With that in mind it becomes apparent that there really is no point in indulging in self inflicted stress as we wait for things to come to fruition.  As hard as it is to wait things out, one must learn the art of patience.  Be confident that all good things will come to pass and everything will be alright.

I know this is difficult.  In fact it can at times feel near impossible.  Currently I am waiting for a lot of things to take place and I find it so very hard to wait it out I tell you.

The toughest one is clearing my debts.  This time next year, I will be debt free.  I have it all calculated and I know the exact month.  However it doesn't prevent me from anxiously waiting for that day to arrive.  Sometimes I go as far as recalculating to see if there is any hope that they will disappear sooner, but nothing changes.  Does that even make sense?  It is what it is. I just need to patiently go with it.

 I have so many things that I can be focused on, and I am wasting time and energy giving myself anxiety attacks over something that at this moment I am unable to do anything more about than I have already.

Letting things be is so much better than drowning in a sea of frustration.  It just is not good for the soul to put pressure on yourself.  We cannot control the passage of time.  

Yes for sure we can push things along sometimes. For example if I was positioned to supplement my income and throw more money on my debts it stands to reason that they will be cleared sooner.  The thing is I am not doing that right now, so it makes more sense to patiently count down the days and feel blessed that I will eventually clear them.  After all it really is a matter of months.

Thus, my focus will be on bigger and brighter things.  My son, my business, my loved ones and myself.  I will get there in the end and do so with patience as patience wins the race.