Sunday, 24 June 2012

I am just loving trees at the moment.  I went for a walk this afternoon and fell in love with this one tree that I drive passed every day, but only really “saw” it properly today in the gorgeous afternoon light.  I couldn’t believe how many branches it had and how far the branches reached. It is just magnificent.

I am also loving these beautiful coral trees that are currently in full bloom.  They are so gorgeous.  I’m going to try and photo one close to our house in the morning light and see how that turns out.

Monday, 18 June 2012

I spent a few days in Mumbai last week and while waiting for my hubby outside the local super market, I had the pleasure of watching a street vendor serve masala tea to a whole lot of passersby. I was totally fascinated and really wanted to take a photo but was a bit shy and was also not convinced I would be able to catch the essence of the vibe with the photo. In hindsight, I should have just asked him if I could take a photo of his tea pot on the stove, but such is life.
It was clearly home time (a good time for tea) and the vendor was really, really busy. The man serving the tea had a huge teapot on his little stove and he poured the tea into little glasses and handed it to his customers. There were all kinds of customers, ranging from business men to what looked like some local policemen. They stood around on the wide street corner drinking and chatting away, while the traffic blared on by. When they finished, they rinsed their glass in one of the two buckets of water next to the vendor and placed it back on the serving table. When we left I glanced into the buckets and just saw some grey, milky water. Not sure if my spoilt little "European" tummy could quite stomach drinking out of those glasses but clearly they had no problem with it.
What fascinated me even more was a beautiful young girl, who was with her mom and two younger siblings, walking confidently up to the vendor, through a small crowd of men and obviously asking for tea. What happened next blew me away. He proceeded to pour her some tea in a clear plastic packet. He twisted it at the top, whipped it over and tied it just like we do when we buy loose fruit. Then off she went. I thought to myself - but now how on earth is she going to drink that? A minute later her younger sister walked up to the vendor and he gave her 3 paper cups. Aha - okay that worked better for me; but still?!  Tea in a plastic packet?! I assumed that the vendor was maybe doing them a bit of a favor by giving them some extra tea. Then a few minutes later, he poured some more tea for someone else in a plastic bag and gave him paper cups too.  He had a few more customers like this in between the others who drank from the glass cups and then it dawned on me that the tea in the plastic packets was a take away!!  Why it wasn't served into the paper cups immediately, I have no idea, but that was take-away masala tea mumbai style!!  I loved it!  I just wish I had taken that photo.

Mark and I took the train from a little station in Powai into Mumbai central which was quite an adventure for us.  We bought tickets in a station that seemed like it was in a real slum area, but all kinds of people were walking in and out getting their tickets as if it were perfectly okay.  Interesting to note was that there were separate coaches for men and women so I hopped onto the ladies one and Mark onto the men's one next to me; we could see each other from the coach, and off we went.  It was amazing being on the train with all these Indian women dressed in their beautiful attire on their way to wherever. It was a 40min train journey and we got to see quite a lot of what I don't think we would see in a taxi.  It made me very grateful for what I have in life! The slums and piles of litter everywhere were very, very sad .
On the way back, we went in peak hour traffic, and we were lucky enough to get into the train at the start of the journey as boy were people crammed in.  They were literally pushed onto the train else they would never have gotten off. I have never seen anything like it.  Mark and I both ended up in a men's coach, but were assured it would be fine.  Again lots of curious stares.  Getting off was a another whole adventure.  We got into the "slip stream" and were all pushed off by those behind us who were also wanting to get off!  Wow!

The gate outside Jain temple in Mumbai - I love how the photo turned out

Floating flower arrangement at the hotel in Mumbai.  Everyday the arrangement was different

Sunday, 10 June 2012

I was recently reading an article in the May 2012 edition of the British Good Housekeeping magazine, and I highlighted a paragraph in it.  I reluctantly write the title of the article, "Eat well and still lose weight" by Dr Oz as I am very uncomfortable with the wording around weight.  I think there is far too much emphasis and pressure placed on losing weight and on diets.  I am a firm believer that dieting is a not solution to losing weight, as eating less, or less of a certain type of food or more of a certain type of food is just another pressure we put on ourselves and does not really look at why the body is "behaving" in a certain way.
From my own experience with diets, from workshops and from my own personal growth, I have come to see that the body has a mind of its own, speaking for you where you cannot speak for yourself.  So this particular article, and I am not sure why I started reading it as I usually skip over dieting articles, caught my eye, and in particular, a sentence in it that really resonated with my belief around the body.  Dr Oz says, "As a physician I see the burden that people put on their body with overeating and can't help thinking, what went wrong? What happened that you stopped loving your body?"  Now that last sentence is really powerful, very daring and very bold.  To me, it speaks volumes.  For many of us, our bodies do not look like we want them too, whether it is our weight, our shape, our ageing skin, our health, our physical imperfections, our physical limitations, our drooping boobs and bums, etc. It is so often a source of deep shame and pain for us.  So we set out in so many different ways, whether it be dieting, exercising, bingeing, starving, cosmetic surgery, botox, whatever, to try and make our bodies look like we think they should.  We stop loving them for what they are; when in fact they are complete miracles, housing our precious souls and we cannot hear what they are trying to tell us.  We listen to our mind, to society, to the media of what our bodies should be like; but how many of them in reality are really "perfect?"
So I invite you to ask yourself the question, if you feel it applicable,  "What happened that you stopped loving your body?" And sit quietly with it, no distractions, and just listen to what comes up; really listen.  That takes guts, because your body is always saying something on your behalf that you won’t let yourself say or acknowledge.
I highly recommend reading Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth. It is a very insightful and powerful book, and for me, did not just relate to weight and food, but other personal issues that in fact had nothing to do with weight for me.
Then, if you really want to go big J book yourself on Angela Deutschmann's Embody workshop.  You'll never look at your body in the same light again.
In the meantime, be grateful for your magnificent body and what it allows you to do everyday.  Be gentle with it; be kind to it and hear it.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

When I Talk to You: A Cartoonist Talks to GodMy sister in law gave me the most divine little prayer book a while ago and it is a real gem. 
I would like to share one of the prayers in it with you that I think is very apt for us in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment...

Dear God

Let us prepare for winter.  The sun has turned away from us and the nest of summer hangs broken in a tree.  Life slips through our fingers and, as darkness gathers, our hands grow cold.  It is time to go inside.  It is time for reflection and resonance.  It is time for contemplation.  Let us go inside.


This is the picture accompanying the prayer - not great quality as I just took it from my phone but I think you will get the gist of it.

Monday, 4 June 2012

"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent." C.G.Jung

In working with the Artist's Way, we came across this very profound quote and Donna-Joy Ford has written an interesting article on it that is very well worth reading.

Article on the JOY! Blog

Sunday, 3 June 2012

 I JUST LOVE this!! Wish we could all truly practise this

Saturday, 2 June 2012

These beautiful plane trees in their autumn colours were just magical to walk under yesterday.  They had such a presence.  Had a beautiful day filling my well with friends at Art in The Park

Friday, 1 June 2012

I just love this - it appeals to the little girl in me and what a fun idea.  I'm very keen to try this