Saturday, 7 December 2013

Build what you dream

I love the message of this poem ...

Mandela has died - a poem

December 6, 2013 at 12:56pm
Madiba has died.
Today I held my little boy on my lap as he cried, inconsolably.
Not for a man he’d ever met,
But for a story that made him safe and proud.

I also want to fold my arms around our young country and say
‘There, there.
Remember how much he loved you?
Don’t forget that he gave up his anger, his righteousness, his time, his life
because he believed in you that much.

Maybe you can love him back by believing too?

I know you’ll miss him, my angel.
He will leave a grand space.
An open space!
You can grow into it, you know.
Everything you have loved in your Tata
You have in yourself.

Don’t fight, children, there’s enough inheritance for everyone.
Here, you take some of his compassion – it’s valuable, and rare.
And you, did you like his humour?
Take! Take!
Take his listening, his forgiving, his inclusiveness.
The more you spend them, the more there will be.

Invest your inheritance and build what you dream.
It is more lonely for a name to stand apart
Than alongside millions.'

Angela Deutschmann

Friday, 6 December 2013

With Deep Gratitude, Madiba




















What a powerful and inspiring quote, said by a man who lived a truly great life!

I listened to a reading last night from Angela Deutschmann's (Angela) Insights from the Edge about ambiguous signals that we send to the universe with regards to our desires. The reading mentions that "the two most salient questions of your whole life are who are you? and what do you really want?"   

Daniel LaPorte in her book Firestarters, also asks "what do you stand for?"

How many of us have thought really deeply about that and worked really deeply with that? I have certainly looked at those questions, but I know that in my (and those around me) busy life, I don't focus enough of my attention on living that.  I just end up fighting fires, getting exhausted and running on treadmills that are not taking me to where I really want to be and to living a life that is "less than we are capable of living."

The reading goes on to mention how vital it is to master the choices around what we do with the resources that are truly at our disposal, i.e. time, money, energy and attention.  "Everything  you do in life, or learn about or contribute to or become interested in, whatever it may be, should be about expanding, clarifying or enriching who we really are and what we really want."  We need to be really conscious of the messages we send to life if we are interested in receiving from life what we really want.

Most of us end up sending mixed signals to the universe by not backing up with our resources that which we truly desire, which can cause fatigue, complication, frustration and even disillusionment.

If we look at Madiba, there is no doubt that he gave any mixed signals to the universe about what he wanted and what his desires were.  The reading talks about how we will be able to tell those people who are not giving mixed signals as" there will be an energy about them, an aliveness."  Many people who have met Madiba talk about his presence and I am sure it is this "aliveness" that they can feel.  His life was aligned in declaring what he wanted from it and what he stood for.

Thank you Madiba for standing in your truth, believing in it whole-heartedly and for shining your light as a beacon for the rest of humanity.


Ngiyabonga Tata


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Labyrinth

I absolutely love walking a labyrinth and my most favourite (I say that only having walked a few in my life) is the one at Boondocks Mountain Lodge and Labyrinth, Boondocks, in the Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.  It is run by the nurturing, humorous, interesting, spiritual and fascinating couple, Ann and Stuart.  

It is set next to a little stream running into a beautiful dam built by Stuart under some really beautiful and powerful trees.  There is a magic to this labyrinth and although I have not been there for 2 years now, I am hoping to go back next year and have some special time on the labyrinth.  The story of how Stuart built the labyrinth is a fascinating one - all about faith and trust and just makes the labyrinth all that more special.  I hope you get to go there and experience the beauty of it yourselves

In the meantime, on this, my late father's 70th birthday, I share this labyrinth with you... Virtual Labyrinth

Much love,
Pascale


Monday, 2 December 2013

Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

I have just watched this Ted Talk by Louie Schwartzberg, and his video narrated by David Steindl-Rast and was very touched.  With this year, having been a very hard one, some days, it is hard to be grateful and so it is wonderful to see a beautiful video like this and to be reminded of the many wonders we do have.  Enjoy. Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

Monday, 11 November 2013

Tao Te Ching ...


I think this is beautiful ...

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 29
translated by Stephen Mitchell (1988)
Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Children Shine at Different Times

I received an insightful email from Nikki Bush, Creative Parenting Expert, and it reminded me of something that happened about three years ago with my oldest daughter.  It brought up a lot anguish for me.  The school my kids go to have a Top 6 gala every year (as there are 6 lanes in the pool) and on this particular afternoon they were having the trials for the gala.  Now, being a provincial swimmer during my school days, my girls both started swimming lessons when they were quite young, because for me, the ability to swim is really important (pool safety) and it is also a really healthy sport to do.  My daughter had been for lessons for about four years with a bit of an interruption when we moved down to the coast, so I was really confident that she would make it into the gala, I mean after all she had been swimming for four years!! 

I was sitting next to a really lovely mom, who has a very sporty child and she had started swimming lessons a few months earlier.  Anyway, the trials began, and my daughter was very excited and in a very playful mood, sitting with her new best friend (as only girls can do) that she had made that year.  So the heats for the first stroke start and it is freestyle.  To my horror, my daughter came about 4th or 5th in her heat, so that took me quite by surprise, especially when the little girl, who's mom was sitting with me, came first.  Also, some of her other little friends who had only started lessons that very year, came in just before or just after my daughter, and I didn't even think they weren't sporty! Something inside of me started to panic.  My daughter however, was not in the least bit perturbed!  She came rushing out of the pool with a big smile on her face, saying, mom, I came 5th and ran off to play with her new mate!  The next stroke was backstroke, which is not her greatest, and she came last in her heat! She had the same reaction - "Mom, I came last!" and ran off to play with not a care in the world.  Meanwhile, my panic was rising and to make matters worse, that same little girl who's mom I was sitting with, and who had only been having lessons for a few months, came first!  I could not even concentrate on what was going on around me and found myself praying to God that could my daughter please, PLEASE just make it in the next stroke, breast-stroke, which was her strong stroke!  Have you ever?!  I mean, people are struggling with all kinds of horrors out there and here I am praying for her to make it into a little school gala. Luckily for her and I (as I might have had a nervous breakdown there and then by the side of the pool) she did actually win that race and what blew me away was that she came running out of the pool with the EXACT same reaction as when she came last; "Mom, I won!!" and ran off to play.  By now, I was almost an emotional wreck!!  That's when I realized that I really needed to look at this, as it was not about her, but all about me and my needs.

This same gorgeous daughter of mine, also needed a bit of OT in her earlier years of school for some sensory integration and didn't always finish her work on time in class.  She also struggled a bit with concentration and I was terrified of the ADHD label. That particular week of the swimming trials, I think I had also had a meeting with her teacher at school and we had discussed her concentration.  So this too was all fresh in my mind.  Again, I did really well at school, and growing up, education was really emphasized.  I think it also stemmed from two parents who were not well educated at all, in fact my mom never finished high school in Holland as they needed her help on the farm!  So my parents were determined that I would get a good education, because, God forbid, if anything in life should ever happen (divorce, husband dying ...) I would be okay financially.  Oh, I forgot to add that I am an only child!

So after my panic stricken afternoon by the pool, I had a deep look at what was really going on for me to have had such a strong reaction and such deep feelings around a small school gala. 

I realized  that my sense of worth or being okay and safe in the world, stemmed from doing well academically and on the sports front; and not just doing well, but really exceeding. That need to excel filtered through to other areas of my life. So when the prospect of my daughter not making the Top 6 gala emerged, topped with the idea that she might not fly academically, my whole sense of safety started collapsing!  I have really had to work with that over the last few years and I have also realized that what is truly important, is to encourage their JOY and help them discover their natural strengths and talents and to help them to fly in those areas.  And sometimes, those areas do not receive accolades from those around them or on the school front; and sometimes those accolades happen much later in life and sometimes they arrive from the friends and family who's lives they touch.  And all of that is okay!

It hasn't been an easy journey of letting go and even a year later, I was so desperate for her to be in the top 3 of the Reading Tree event they have.  I knew that it was quite possible for her and that she was reading up a storm, but so often she would just forget to tell the librarian about the book she had read and forgot to put it on the tree and I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from going in there myself and telling the librarian just how many books my child had read.  I was so desperate for her (or me most likely) to get the recognition, because ... yes, she would then be okay!  And for her, it simply didn't matter because for her it was all about the JOY and pleasure of reading!  She's just so got it right!

So my darling daughter has brought me so many big lessons to look at and work with and she still does and I doubt whether that will ever stop.  I am truly grateful to her for that!

So in light of all the above, I was delighted when I received this email from from Nikki Bush, Creative Parenting Expert ...

Dear Pascale Schroenn,

We are heading for that time of year when children get awards for their performance in the classroom or on the sports field - or they don't.

There is often a small core of children who repeatedly get awards year after year, and then there is the mixed bunch surrounding this core that changes each year.  A child receiving an award is at his or her best, right now.  But the reality is that our children grow, shift and change all the time and this means that they will peak in different areas of their lives at different times. 

The mastery timeline for intellectual, physical and emotional development is not cast in stone.  There are things we can do to help our children to sharpen the saw in certain areas, but sometimes it's time, maturity and patience that are required.

I also believe that children grow and develop in different ways every year, many of which, may not even be directly connected to academics or sport, but may in fact be as, or more, important.  For example, it might be your child's year to grow in confidence.  Many small successes in a multitude of areas, some of which may not be publically recognised, may be just what is required to prepare the platform for your child to go on and shine at some future time.  Perhaps it has been a year of repeated disappointments, of not making sports teams or just missing the marks they were aiming for, or a year characterised by breaking up of friendships or friends moving schools or countries. This kind of year provides the opportunity to learn about failure, disappointment and perseverance.  And some children have the odd year when their health is more compromised, in some instances, just because they have grown very fast, and this too will impact on their performance both on and off the field.

No two years are the same.  We need to embrace them all and ask ourselves:
  • What were the lessons this year provided?
  • What were the worst parts of the year?
  • What were the best parts of the year?
  • How are we, or how is our child, stronger for the experience?
  • Is there anything we need to change for next year?

When you have had this conversation as parents, then you can casually and, when and if appropriate, introduce the conversation to your child, to help him/her to discover the lessons and to grow from them positively.  In this way you will be helping to break through their limiting thoughts, to 'unbox' themselves, so to speak.

All children need something to strive for and measure themselves against which is why we have standards, norms and award systems.  Measuring your child only against the annual school awards can, for many, be a very unfair benchmarking tool.  It can also, however, be a fantastic starting point for a conversation about individual differences, their gifts and talents and all the good things they bring into your life and the lives of others. 

Children need to know that you are there every step of the way, encouraging and applauding their development, regardless of the awards they do or do not receive.  Remember that you see a lot of amazing things that others never will.  We need our kids to fully believe in the concept that everyone shines at some time or another and in very different ways.  They need to be happy for those who shine today, for it is their moment, and hold on to the belief that, "If I keep learning, practicing and growing, my time will one day come, in its very own way."  And that's okay.

  
Please see Nikki's website, Nikki Bush, for some really interesting and thought provoking ideas around parenting and playing with your children!

Have a beautiful weekend!


Monday, 4 November 2013

Surprise ...

My hubby got back from the States yesterday with a whole lot of yummy goodies and one of them was this beautifully wrapped box of Aveda tea!!  Of course I had to share it on my Stoeptea blog!!



I've just had some with my friend Donna who was helping me with a flyer (thank you sooo much my special friend) and it is delicious (liquorice, fennel, basil and perppermint!! Yum!)




Thursday, 31 October 2013

More Synchronicity ...


I subscribe to an email from the poet, Roger Housten, that I receive every two weeks or so and yesterday I received this one - such synchronicity  ...

Hi ,

Our culture is so fixated on the necessity of doing that if we are idle for a while we are very likely to have the thought that we are wasting our lives. But I don't think that's what Wright means in that shocking last line. I think he means the opposite - that doing nothing for a while is precisely a gateway to another life, one deeper and more alive than our usual busy-ness; and that we shall have wasted our lives if we never allow ourselves these spaces in which another kind of fulfillment emerges. He is lying in his hammock, and realizes how little time he has given to moments of blessedness like this. But what do you think he means?

Warmly, Roger

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island Minnesota
James Wright
Over my head I see the bronze butterfly
asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down in the ravine behind the empty house
the cowbells follow one another
into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
in a field of sunlight between two pines,
the droppings of last year's horses
blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Thinner veil

Today was a really crap day for me.  I am tired and just totally overwhelmed at the moment, trying to catch up with life after a few days in hospital with my daughter.  I felt as though I was in a flooding river that was just racing along and I couldn't seem to find the slow side stream to just catch my breath.  It felt like the river was just gathering an ever increasing speed and heading towards a almighty waterfall, carrying me with it!! 

I actually just hated today really and even had my seven year old wrap me over the knuckles, as only she can do in her fiery Leo manner.  With tears of frustration and anger, she told me how I was suppose to be sitting down with her and helping her with her project and not be doing other things!!  Reality check!! 

Reflecting while preparing supper, I even thought about how much I hated this year (with my dad dying in June after his five month stint in hospital) and how it has been my worst year ever.  I also happened to tell that to my gorgeous new sister-in-law, forgetting how exciting this year has been for her as she married my brother-in-law in July and hosted us to a magnificent few days in Beirut for her wedding this year!!  Oops.

Then, that same beautiful daughter of mine, pointed outside to me after dinner and said, "look mom!"  While I had seen it, I had not really taken note of how beautiful the light outside was. The attempted storm had blown over, and in the early evening had left the most magnificent light!!  I stopped what I was doing right then and there, kicked off my shoes and went and sat outside on the soft green grass for a couple of minutes taking it all in and catching my breath in that slow side stream. 

Everything just looked and felt totally different and I too felt totally different - almost as if we were not quite part of this world.  The trees and grass had a different vibe and to me, for those few minutes, it felt as if the veil between our world and another world was thinner and I could just feel a bit of the magic ...


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Little Bit of Pasci Bizarre ...

Our circle group had the most magical morning today as we played with our creativity.  

Anne (check out her blog, http://snowanne.blogspot.com/) who led the group this morning, had an envelope for each one of us to choose and in it was a piece of paper with a face that she had created, on it, some quotes, a torn out page from a French book, and beautiful tissue paper.  Then with a bit of guidance and examples   we were left unto our own creative devices using the following exciting art materials ....

- acrylic and water colour paint,
- watercolour pencils and crayons,
- inks,
- puff paint,  
- gesso,
- mod podge (don't you just LURVE that name) glue,
- watercolour paper, 

 

The little girl in me was doing cartwheels and back flips and just loving every minute of it!!  Wow!!  I came out of that session feeling young, inspired, excited about life and quite liberated actually!! Of course yesterday I was slightly nervous of it as we do have some really creative, 'arty-farty' people in our group and I went through the "what-if-I-can't-do-it' stress.  I even had a dream about it; that I was the only one who didn't finish their piece of art!!  Wow - the underlying fears we all have!  

But we started out the morning with a magical 20 min video of Elizabeth Gilbert (who wrote "Eat Pray Love.") all about showing up and the creative genius.  It is really worth watching.  Here is a link to it,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA  After that, and with Anne's gentle encouragement, we were really inspired to just play and there was magic all around!

Anyway, here is my gorgeous piece of work - I just love my creative genie - she's magical and definitely rings of Pasci Bizarre!!




The quote at the bottom which you can't see in the photo is, "The moment in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place, " Barbara De Angelis.

Anne - thank you for the most magical morning.  You are so inspiring. Mwah!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Synchronicity and Dejavu!


I find it quite ironic that last night I blogged about breathing and then today I had to admit my daughter to hospital because she was battling to breathe!!!  

This only happened once before in July and she came right but today was different - she was really unhappy and our homeopath was away! The GP's advice was to admit her to hospital to get some her some oxygen, be nebulised and be treated.  So we did and i found myself brewing with anger as all the memories of my dad being in hospital came flooding back.   My breathing must have been really shallow!!

Apparently, anger is 'better' than fear as it is higher up on the map of consciousness!  My dear friends prompted me to look deeper into my anger, which i did and it all came out in a powerful text message while waiting for the doctor (dejavu) and I realised that it stemmed from my memories of when my dad was in hospital; from being in a place in which I felt deeply uncomfortable, disempowered, disconnected, helpless, not fully trusting of and having to go with radical choices, because we had no real other choice. We were sucked deeper and deeper into disempowerment and helplessness and left reeling in the end.  While the two scenarios are different, the setting is the same ... Waiting hours for doctors; having to sterilize your hands all the time; drips at 70ml an hour; nurses talking loudly; nurses waking you every two hours for medication and nebulisation; x-rays; waiting for test results; lights on all the time ; telephones ringing ... It just does not feel like a place of  calm and healing to me; a place of breathing deeply and allowing the body's powerful healing wisdom to kick in.  Amazing, just that one text message where I voiced my anger and cried it out and breathed a little deeper, a big hug from my hubby and other daughter and I felt calmer and more empowered again. 

So we created a little sanctuary behind our blue curtain with a lavender candle, some rose quartz, and calm healing music - all which allowed us to breathe more deeply and feel more calm and connected!! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Breathe ...

"When your heart is heavy, when you want to feel alive ... breathe" says Danielle La Porte.

Through simple synchronicity, I have been reading a lot about breathing from various sources over the last few weeks, and so I thought I would share some of that with you.

Being a personal growth facilitator and a life coach, I am drawn to anything that involves leading a life filled with joy, authenticity, truth, openness and connectness.  So therefore, many of the books and articles I read are along those lines, firstly because I love reading them, and secondly because I love sharing what I have loved about them.  And so, one of the books I am currently reading is by Sonia Choquette, "The Answer Is Simple ... Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit"   In it, she talks about how by connecting more with your spirit, you begin to hear life's song more deeply; you'll be more capable of listening to and actually absorbing messages from others and the world around you. ...And with this new found quiet, your attention will be drawn to the sound, feeling and vibration of your inner voice.  You'll begin to hear your guidance."  

She then goes on to say that by breathing deeply, you claim your spirit and bring it into every cell of your body." She explains how when we get entangled in a drama (coming from the ego self) we stop breathing deeply and sometimes even hold our breath.  What happens then is that the body does not get enough oxygen and then goes more deeply into fear and anxiety, creating a viscous cycle of self-debilitating negativity.   

Haven't you been told, in the midst of your anger, fear, anxiety ... "breathe - just breathe?!" Intrinsically, we know what to do.  I know for sure that we have all felt, at some stage in our lives, such deep pain and anguish, that breathing even becomes painful.  My mom, after having lost my dad this year and being together with him for almost 50 years, went to the doctor the other day, complaining of constant, uncomfortable, deep burping.  The doctor explained to her that with all the stress, fear, anxiety and pain around my dad's death, she was actually gulping air (unconsciously - obviously in her pain, her breathing must be really shallow and at times she is not breathing and so her body is needing the oxygen and she gulps the air around her) and this was causing her discomfort and the constant need to burp!! Mind-blowing!!  

Sonia Choquette concludes this part by saying "to love your Spirit - to live your Spirit - you must breathe,"  and she gives a number of exercises to do some beautiful breathing.

Thinking about it, many meditation techniques focus on the breath and most visualization and visioning exercises require you to get into a relaxed state, which involves deep breathing.  So in actual fact, we are really connecting with our Spirit.

In one of the chapters in the Firestarter Sessions that a group of us is working through, Danielle LaPorte talks about transforming pain into something beautiful and she describes the beautiful Buddhist meditation technique of Tonglen, which is Tibetan for "sending and taking" and is about overcoming fear and suffering. 

She sums it up as "Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us.  Breathe in suffering - yours, others, the world's.  Breathe out compassion - for yourself, for others, for the world."  

How magnificent is that?!! 

She describes in more detail how to Tonglen and then ends off by saying, "Now do it for other people's suffering. Please.  For that homeless man on the street, in winter.  Cold and demoralized   Inhale his agony.  Exhale comfort and transformation.  The jobless folks with families to feed.  Cancer patients fighting to live. People gone mad. Soldiers who kill and the families they destroy.  Take in the wreckage. turn it into light and give back compassion and tenderness."

"When your heart is heavy, when you want to feel alive ... breathe." 

I LOVE it!!



Monday, 14 October 2013

Some West Coast Beauty










I just love the sheer ruggedness and natural beauty of this magnificent, relatively isolated piece of coastline.  A feast for the eyes and the soul!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Precious Girl


Today is my oldest daughter's 10th birthday and what a special age!!  (It is also her granny's 70th birthday and we will be celebrating them together in the gorgeous mother city.)

Having children has taught me so much, not just about parenting, but mainly about me; my fears, my needs, my beliefs, my ideas of right and wrong; and this gorgeous girl of mine, has brought so much for me to look at and work with and I am deeply grateful for how she has enriched my life and helped me to grow.

Thank you my beautiful


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

In the silence between your heartbeats ...

What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,
and the wild iris blooms by itself
in the dark forest,
what still pulls on your soul?

In the silence between your heartbeats
hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Name it, if you must,
or leave it forever nameless,
but why pretend it is not there?

Terma Collective, The Box    

Friday, 20 September 2013

Visioneering ...

A few friends and I are working through Danielle LaPorte's book "The Fire Starter Sessions" and the chapter we have just worked through is 'Visioneering' and it's all about your dreams; what you would love to accomplish and do and be!  We had a magical morning sharing our dreams and challenging each other.  We spoke about how important it is to dream, to talk about our dreams and actually, how very few people make enough time and space to really think about what their dreams are, how to work them and what road they are taking in life.  Then I saw this quote and it really spoke to me and of course I just had to share it with you ...


Make your road matter!!



Monday, 16 September 2013

My Weekend Red Tent

I've just had an absolutely gloriously DIVINE weekend away with my women's circle group.  The environment was so magnificent and I feel truly blessed to have been able to enjoy such a wondrous piece of paradise. My soul has been nourished, pampered, fed and loved and it was just magical.  I can actually see and feel how my energy is vibrating at a totally different level - it feels like it is just oozing love!  I am so grateful for this unique and special group of women who have come into my life.


Fun on the beach!
A few years ago my hubby read "Anticancer" by David Servan- Schreiber, and read about some research done by David Speigel on women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and the impact that the support groups they formed had on their coping abilities, recovery and survival. The study shows that those women who where part of a group where they spoke openly and honestly about about their life, their fears, the cancer, how they were feeling etc. lived longer and coped better than those who were not part of a support group. He even observed a difference in those who had attended sporadically and those who had attended regularly.  He links the findings back to Satre and Kiekergaard's idea about people being able to be as authentic as possible and that in confronting the fear of death, human beings become fully themselves.   I was blown away by that research and also so delighted as I feel that my circle groups give women the opportunity to be as real as possible, to become fully themselves, to stand in their truth and live life fully ALIVE!

Jump for JOY!!
This quote by Louise Bernikow sums it up so beautifully;  "Female friendships that work are those in which women help each other to belong to themselves." 

Thank you so much girls!!

Monday, 9 September 2013

My Found Poem

I did a fun exercise with two of my women's circle groups and it worked out really well and is quite fun to do.  My wonderful and arty friend Anne told me about Found Poems, which are compositions made by combining fragments of newspapers, signs or menus and rearranging them into the form of a poem.  I love this idea as I think it takes away the 'fear' that many people have around writing a poem.

So, I took a whole lot of poems, divided them up into fragments and phrases and dealt those out to the group and I was amazed at the poetry that sprung forth!!

Here is my one - it is rooted in my thoughts around my dad's passing ...


CRACKED OPEN

I want to write about faith.
I cannot tell you that I know the road;

Life! Burning so extravagantly 
and black sticks left when the fire has gone out

The caged bird sings with fearful trill.

Yet the time will come when
I rise
I rise
I rise

and the world will turn into the light again;
and our hearts will continue to expand
out from our individual self

What is this source from which we drink?




Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Forgiveness - an interesting take

I really like the thinking behind this and the suggestions of how to make it work for you.  Click on the link below ...

A word on forgiveness

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Tossing a Coin

I think this is a little gem of real wisdom!!  How simple things can really be and we get all complicated with our analysis paralysis; or I do anyway with my having-to-please nature!!



Sunday, 18 August 2013

A little bit of art

I like this little piece of artistic expression.  It's called 'the goddess' but I don't have the artist's name...



Friday, 16 August 2013

Sunbird


A friend shared her photos of a sunbird that frequents her garden, and I so loved the photos that I had to share them. They are such lovely little birds, and the message from the sunbird in my set of birdcards (Jane Toerien and Joyce van Dobben,) is just so beautiful that I needed to share some of that too.  So if you see a sunbird today, this is the message ...

"Sunbirds are the most beautiful, irredescent jewels, that make us rejoice in the sheer beauty and wonder of the natural world.  These exquisite little nectar seekers carry the precious energy of abundance.  They speak to us of the richness of our lives and remind us that there is a bountiful nature that supports and nourishes us with its sweet offerings.  Sunbirds fly in pairs, and remind us also of the joy of a shared passage through life.  A sunbird in your garden is like a precious little jewel, sent by God to remind you that the abundance of the universe is yours to enjoy."






Thursday, 15 August 2013

It doesn't interest me ...


I was recently given an audio of some of David Whyte's poems.  I love how he reads the poems (sometimes a bit too quick) but I enjoy the repetition of certain lines as it gives you an opportunity to really hear what he is saying and to take it in.  I really enjoy this poem and thought I would share it ...

Self Portrait

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know 
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know 
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.
  -- David Whyte


Aimee Larson-Stoddard has a lovely analysis of the poem if you would like to delve into it more. Here is the link:  Analysis of the poem

Enjoy

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Innovation of Loneliness


I thought this little clip has some valuable food for thought in it ...

The Innovation of Loneliness

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Truthbomb


I received my daily "truthbomb" from Danielle LaPorte this morning and as my darling friend Donna would say ... "holy crap!" as it speaks volumes ...

Be the gift you bring.

And how do you do that?  Life is so busy and the pace so frenetic that we lose touch with what our own unique gifts are, and with what truly fires us up.  We also get so sidetracked by all the doing and it becomes hard to make the time to do what brings us joy.  

What gets you going that you are so energized that you forget about time, about eating and about the world around you?  What are your joys?  What fills your cup?  And in doing that, carving out some time for it in the day or week, as I have said before, you are serving those around you.  You don't need to go looking in the world for how you can serve it.  Know yourself, be authentic and live your joy.  That is how you serve the world authentically.  I think this picture sums it up for me beautifully ... 


Friday, 19 July 2013

On my bookshelf




These are the books I am currently or have just finished reading ...

I really enjoyed Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  Her parenting method is definitely extreme in our western society, but I loved some of her thinking. For instance, the idea of not pushing your child or allowing them to give up on something, amounts to not fully believing in their total potential.  Gives one some food for thought!

Broken Open was just beautiful.  I loved the real life stories, the beautiful quotes and poems, the sharing and the insights.

I am still in the early pages of Destiny of Souls and I am quite drawn to it with my dad having just passed on.

Then, The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte came about because we had finished reading The Artist's Way, and one of our group saw this book and inside it said something about this book being "the bad ass version of The Artist's Way" so we decided to move onto that.  We have only just completed 2 chapters, but I am really really enjoying that too.

Monday, 15 July 2013



These last two weeks have been incredibly sad for my family, especially my mom and I, after losing my beautiful father just over two weeks ago on the 29th of June 2013.  We are really feeling heart sore, and for the moment, this poem by W.H. Auden truly expresses how we feel ...

W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I love you Georgie - you are deelpy and sorely missed xxx


Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Another one of my joys is cooking, and today with the weather being a bit wet and mis, I decided that I just HAD to make some yummy, fresh, tomato soup!  While making it, I was singing along to some of the songs on the radio, feeling really content.  I was also secretly anticipating the delicious taste and the enjoyment my family would have while tucking into the soup. I was in my joy.

Even though I had some bread in the fridge, at the last minute, I decided that freshly home made soup deserves freshly baked bread, We have an amazing new bakery just down the road, and the baker uses only 3 basic ingredients in his bread - stone ground flour, water and his own home grown yeast.  No additives or anything else!  So off I tootled down the road to get the bread and then onto school to fetch my kids, really excited to nurture them with my joyful soup.

It was delicious and I concluded that in living your joy, you are serving others.  In this particular case, it was my family.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

I absolutely love this quote!!


“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you
COME ALIVE
AND GO DO IT.
Because what the world needs
Is people who have come alive.”
H. Thurman


Sometimes I think we are all so busy looking for the bigger purpose in life and finding out what it is we are "meant to be doing with our lives."  We also stress about having to serve others.  I have come to learn, that the best way to serve others, is to live your joy and in doing so you are serving the world in the best way possible.  One of my biggest joys is sharing what I have learnt; hence my love of coaching, teaching, workshops, circle groups, motivational talks, blogs etc.  I have also come to learn that it is so intrinsically a part of me that I don't even need to try and think about it.  I do it all the time, naturally.  For example when I read an amazing article, I start emailing it to all those I think will enjoy it too, before I have even finished reading it; or when over- hearing two moms in the car park the other day, talking about their children and how they are battling with discipline - I'll go and sheepishly tell them about a book I read that would really help; or a workshop that will really help someone with something they are specifically struggling with; or  a piece of advice that I have picked up; or an amazing website or blog I have discovered.  I haven't even thought about it; it is just such a strong urge and a huge joy.

So think about what fires you up and happens so easily for you.  Often those joys might seem small or irrelevant, but when you give it some thought, you realise just how much joy it gives you and how it serves others.

Look at your energy levels when you do something that is joyful to you.  It is a huge clue as to what your joys are. Another way of discovering some of your joys or strengths, is to look at some of Marcus Buckingham's work, in particular, "Now discover your strengths" where you can identify your top 5 strengths and then see how you use those in your everyday life and how much joy they give you and how they can serve others and yourself.

Go live your joys and be alive!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013


Hello Again!!

I haven’t been very active on my blog at all these last few months.  2013 has brought on a whole new life for my family and there has been a lot of confusion, fear, anger, tears, deep sadness, a sense of helplessness and hopelessness as well as calm, patience, faith, adjustment, miracles and love.

My dad has been in hospital for 100 days today!  Can you even begin to imagine that?

 A big, yet relatively standard procedure (inserting a stent into a blocked artery in the neck) with a one night stay in hospital didn’t go as planned and led us into a completely new and terrifying world. This world of the ICU with its doctors, nurses, drips, blood tests, brain scans, x-rays, beeping machines and artificial lights was unchartered territory for us and brought with it a sea of emotions. Every day seemed to take us deeper and deeper into this manic place; we were lost, confused, bewildered and the angst and helplessness was completely relentless.  There was no way of getting out.  It was like we were lost at sea. And every time we seemed to gather some hope or make progress, something else would happen and we drifted further and further into the deep, dark ocean away from our place of safety and normality.   At first my dad was conscious, aware of it and trying to deal with it all – his changed body, his fear and the uncertainty. But after a second stent procedure on the other side of his neck (which ironically went really well), he slipped into a coma a few days later and it was just my mom, myself and members of our close family.  We had lost him in all this madness, never to regain him again, because one thing is for sure, the man I have known as my father, is gone.  Forever!

There is no way, after what he has endured in these last few weeks, that he can ever be the same again, physically or mentally.  His fight for survival was so enormous and the sheer exertion of trying to stay alive has battered him and his beautiful, strong body, like a storm would ravage a little boat in crashing waves.   
Over time, he has regained consciousness and where he has been, we do not know.  Where he currently is at, we also do not really know.  He is not able to speak because of a ventilator pipe down his throat, although he is slowly being “weaned” off that; he is in isolation as he is ‘carrying’ one of these hospital superbugs that he managed to survive; his right arm is lame and his right leg very weak.  We still don’t know from one day to the next whether or not he will make it out alive!  Even if he does, the path ahead is still full of so much uncertainty and there will be many more challenges to be faced, mainly by him again, but also for my mom, who will become his main care giver.  Does he still have enough strength for the road ahead? Will he be able to cope mentally with such enormous changes in his life?

 I am currently reading Elizabeth Lesser’s “Broken Open” and in it she mentions one of her good friends having had a major stroke, and she quotes him, “Illness had shattered my self image and opened the door to a new chapter in my life … The stroke was like a samurai sword, cutting apart the two halves of my life.  It was a demarcation between two stages.  In a way, it’s been like having two incarnations in one: This is me, that was ‘him’.” Can my dad cope with that?  Will he find the mental strength to deal with it all without sinking into a deep, black hole of depression?  I pray that he can. And I pray that like the mythical Phoenix Bird, he can arise from the ashes, and come to know his true magnificent self.

Then of course there’s my brave, brave mother.  Her whole world as she has known it has also collapsed around her and she too has been stumbling out of the ruins and is walking along this incredibly long and hard road, helped along by amazing friends and family.  But at the end of the day, she goes home alone to an empty house and bed, wondering what the day ahead holds for her and my dad.  And like my dad, I pray too that in time, she can find and choose light, hope, meaning and joy.

And in all of this pain, there have also been miracles, compassion, prayers, touch and love beyond all boundaries.  For all of that, I am deeply, deeply grateful.  As the rabbi Yehudah Fine, who had a major car accident and underwent his own painful journey said, “I would simply say that suffering and crisis transform us, humble us, and bring out what matters most in life.”