You sexy beast!!!

I know. Comes as a real shock that I consider you a sexy beast, doesn’t it? Or maybe not. Maybe you always knew somewhere deep down inside what a sexy beast I think you are. Because you are. And it’s about time you knew it.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to find a perfect stranger perfectly attractive, but very difficult to keep the attraction alive with the guy or gal you’ve dated for some time? Because, well, you’ve discovered they aren’t perfect.

Every person has something that will annoy the hell out of you and family members and partners are sometimes the most annoying because they are the ones who think they know what’s best for you. They also happen to be the ones that feel extremely offended by your actions if they are not the kind that make them feel loved. And so starts a pattern where you get caught up in one disagreement or another. You didn’t take out the dishes. You are never home on time. You don’t care. And sooner than we know it, when we think about the person we love, we see a black cloud in front of their image. It’s a cloud we seem unable to disconnect from and it distorts how we see the relationship as a whole.

The truth is, we are all different. We have different ways of expressing love. We believe different things in life are good or bad. We have different life philosophies. And sometimes that one thing that bugs us like crazy blinds us to everything that we love in a person.

I’ve done a lot of research into relationships as of late. I was commissioned to write a book and my company is in the dating niche, so I’ve decided to get educated. The recurring theme? Everyone who starts focusing on what they love about their partner and telling them what they do right, as opposed to what they do wrong seem to get extraordinary results. This also involves accepting the praise they receive from their partner and appreciate their gestures of love. Furthermore, it involves acknowledging that the main reason your partner complains about something is because it makes them feel unloved, or they fear they will lose you, as opposed to them actually disliking you or not appreciating you. And if you happen to be particularly scarred yourself, you might feel certain comments more than necessary. Likewise, it’s probably not them doing this or that which annoys you, but what you make up that means.

Another thing that seems highly effective is to ask for things in a positive manner, as opposed to nag when someone doesn’t do something. Funny that, don’t you think? “Darling, why do you always wear ugly clothes? I feel you don’t love me because you never dress up for me.” As opposed to “Darling, I think you’d be irresistibly sexy in a suit. Do you think you could wear one for that engagement we have on Friday? It would seriously turn me on. And I just feel like you care when you dress up for me.” Which comment will get the best results? And you also see the easy misunderstandings in those comments, don’t you? The woman is feeling like he doesn’t care as he doesn’t dress up for her, whilst, in all likelihood, he has no clue. And if she starts nagging, he will just feel she doesn’t appreciate him for who he is (someone who generally doesn’t dress up) and it’s very unlikely he will ever get dressed up.

It’s easy to get caught up in what we believe people are doing wrong; how we think they don’t care. because if they really cared, they shouldn’t have treated us the way they did. And we keep focusing on that, keep feeling unloved, so we keep nagging.

Whilst I may slave to please people I don’t necessarily honor them because I don’t truly focus on their greatness. I focus on how they can become better people and how the relationship can get better. I focus on what I need to do better. I never just relax and enjoy myself. I suffer a serious disorder called perfectionism.

There are many problems in many relationships we have with people. Almost no relationship is smooth sailing. If we decide to loose course because of the bumps along the road is up to us though. Usually new relationships are so great because we focus on all the good things in who we have just met. If we want to keep the relationships great, we are going to have to keep doing that. That’s not to say we stop communicating our needs, or ignore the problems, it’s to say we solve them with a large dose of love and understanding. We have to choose to honor the people in our lives. We have to choose to keep seeing the sexy beast that first attracted us.

We only have so much time with people. Make it count. Bring out their sexy beast and appreciate them for it. You will thank yourself later.

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A sexual revolution – the gift of life and love…

In wake of the recent plane crash in the Alps with Germanwings, the low budget KLM airline, there has been a lot of media attention. Like so many others I have followed it on and off to try to figure out why anyone would willingly crash a plane into a mountain and what procedures airlines will take to prevent similar things from happening in the future. You realize that even when things have been thought about at length, like airline security procedures, there are more variables to take into account. It’s what we call evolution – you look at the airplanes of yesterday and the airplanes of today and you see how much has changed. What hit me the most when listening to the news just now though is how strangely the world deal with things like the recent accident.

The reporter from the news channel had flown to Germany to visit the town where several of the teenagers and teachers who had been killed were from. She talked about the grief and how long it would take for the town to recover. The newsclip was about grief.

We all grieve when we lose someone. I believe it’s one of the hardest thing you can go through as a human being – to lose someone you love. Yet, how we often deal with it seems kind of crazy.

When I think about life and how to live it I often think of the native American Indians. I am sure some tribes were brutal and there are many things I do not know of them, but they always spring to mind when I think of living in harmony with nature and life itself. Today many of us are so far removed from our natural habitat that it seems we are at odds with life itself. Then again, it can be argued we were more in touch with nature in medieval times and I for one am not keen to relive them. There have been many brutal ages of human kind and while we speak of brutality today, it is often less than it once was. Have a look at the Romans and you will know what I mean. Anyone want a sip of Gladiator blood to increase fertility? Not to mention the average life span back then – maybe half your children would have died before they were ten.

Then again, the Romans, though closer to nature than your average city dweller today, were not necessarily living in harmony with it. There is a difference.

I have many times been at odds with how life works and the brutality that exists in nature itself. Even if you live in the most peaceful of tribes, never killing an animal, you will see it in the animal kingdom. Apparently there used to be a bird here where my dad lives that was ostracized because it had a short tail. The other birds mocked it. And many animals feed on other animals. It’s how they survive. On top of that there’s disease, natural catastrophes, and so on.

The beauty of humanity? We have the choice to help the ostracized bird. My dad and his girlfriend used to feed it. Having been bullied myself as a kid I can tell you the difference it makes when someone stops, sees you and truly love you for who you are. Unless someone shows you, you will not learn to love yourself. And it is in that love I see the beauty of life.

The only thing that makes sense to me spiritually is to see us all as part of a living Earth where death is simply moving on to something else. Whilst we will still mourn those we lose in this life, knowing they move on would give one peace. Likewise, knowing that separation is only temporary makes it much more understandable. I travel in this life, I’m not always next to everyone I love, but knowing they are well and happy and I will see them soon, gives me peace. And whilst I am not with them, I am thrilled to discover more people who I love. If you see life as a continuous opportunity for love, then life becomes beautiful.

Another thing that brings peace is coming to terms with life, no matter what it is and rejoice in the good things. For me to sit and mope about the cruelty of certain aspects of life brings me nowhere. I only hold onto negativity as opposed to exploring the positive and joyous aspects of life. A lot of human grief comes from our unwillingness to accept what is. Instead we condemn it and replay it in our minds over and over again, torturing ourselves. We also often hold onto yesterday or work towards something which is yet to come. And whilst working towards things bring meaning, you have to also enjoy whatever you can in the moment. We all go through terrors where we do live for tomorrow, but under normal circumstance we have to embrace today.

So what struck me about the news today was that everyone seemed to linger with disaster. There were no reports about celebrating the lives of those who lived. There were no news about people coming together to celebrate those who are still with us. There were no news about lovers turning to each other whispering how grateful they are for another day together.

The reason I think of American Indians is because I imagine them living so close to nature that they are aware of the cycle of life and accepts it for what it is. They grieve loss, but also celebrate a life. And they believe that a life lost will soon be reborn in the shape of another man. They stand close together as a society, supporting each other through life. There is no one sitting alone in a corner grieving, unless they need that space to be alone. We all have to face ourselves. I realized that more than ever in the past few weeks when I finally had time to process events from the past fifteen months. I needed that to heal, but I also need love. Compassion. The warmth of understanding. The knowledge that there are people around me to support me and love me in my journey through life. You don’t just need a partner – you need a tribe of people who understand and support you. People whose love you can celebrate in the moment. And you need wisdom to guide you.

I hope that the recent airplane crash in the Alps will be used to bring families together and to further develop flight procedures to ensure safety for travelers all over the world. It’s incredibly sad what has happened and as anyone who has lost a near one, I have the utmost sympathy for those who are now grieving, along with everyone else around the world who have lost someone dear in the past few days, weeks and months. I just hope that from every loss we learn to love with a deeper strength. That we open our hearts instead of putting up invisible walls. The more love you have the more easily will you heal.

I hope that we will start rebuilding tribes in every city. That we will have various communities we can all belong to. Look at The Blue Zones (and the Wikipedia article), where people live the longest. They all speak of community. There are many different opinions and ways of life in bigger cities, but I believe we can all build communities of likeminded souls within them. I also believe that love will form as a bridge between the different tribes/communities.

This week two people performed random acts of kindness in my life – one lawyer whom I do not know decided to go through a legal document for me at no cost. A social media friend on the other hand is trying to get me into a big publication because he loves my writing. As I said to him – it’s one thing to compliment me for my writing, it’s another to go out of your way to help me get a gig. These so-called random acts of kindness is to me what makes humanity human. When first filling yourself with love and secondly sharing that love with others we can build a society where our main focus is not who is the best, but how we together can create a better tomorrow. We all have an equally important role to fulfill, should we accept it.

Opinions matter less than love too. Once love is shared you realize that behind each set of beliefs there is the most basic of human needs.

To find peace we also have to determine what we believe in – how we choose to see and deal with life, whilst also accepting that our beliefs will evolve as we do. I, for one, believe in closeness with nature, acceptance of life and death and everything in between, celebration of life and looking at life through the eyes of love. To seek to do each task with love. To step beyond preconceptions, believes and fears and act from that place. I will not always succeed, but it is my belief I will feel the best when I do. It is also my belief that life does go on. That we are on a journey that spans far beyond this Earth.

After I recently asked myself if it is fair to put a child to life I have stumbled upon books and articles about reincarnation and near death experiences. This article about scientific studies done around near death experiences (NDEs) is wholly fascinating. http://www.salon.com/2012/04/21/near_death_explained/

Sex, life love. Love, sex, life. Life, love sex.

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Naughty pleasures: the gift of pure naughtiness…

I’ve loved the word naughty for as long as I can remember. In the States I believe “cheeky” might be a better translation, but it’s not quite right. Because naughty, well it’s just filled with fun, a bit of a tease, pleasure and cheek. Whilst I loved it, I didn’t always live it and often sought it from outer sources. People I looked to as being naughty. People who lived in ways I dared not because I was too frighten to be free.

What hit me today is that there is a huge difference between giving and pleasing. You give of yourself because you are filled with love and you want to offer your gifts, whether in the bedroom or in business. When you please you are often coming from a space of fear – you have a need to please someone and constantly evaluate if you’ve been successful or not.

Whilst giving your gifts often end up with a result of giving pleasure, in whatever way, there is no fear of rejection, of not being good enough, or not being worthy of giving your gifts to someone. You can still learn new things, we all learn constantly if we choose to and we all have to apologize at times for not knowing something and making poor choices due to that, but that doesn’t mean what you have now is not good enough. If you give your all you give the biggest gift you have – you. Wherever you are at in your journey.

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Another thing that hit me this week was that we are responsible for our own thoughts (old news sometimes hit you full force. Again). Well, that actually hit me last week and I mentioned it in my last post too, but I have pondered it every day since. Things happen to us in life, but how we look upon them is always up to us. We can live a pretty happy life if we choose to accept life for what it is and flow with it. That’s not the same as saying you won’t solve obstacles, rather the contrary, but you don’t go about moping because there are obstacles.

For me this has been important to acknowledge because I see how different I respond to things when I’m in different states of mind. Last year when things got hectic I got pretty thrown off track and suddenly I did not have the same energy I usually do to respond to things pleasantly. I took upon me other people’s suffering and suffered with them, instead of staying steady in a space of love, acknowledging the only life I am responsible for is, ultimately, my own.

I always teach the youth at Little Angels that what someone says about you is not necessarily the truth and therefore, you have to know the truth in your heart. When someone tells you that you are beautiful you become their slave if you feel ugly and desperately need their praise. You probably disregard their not so nice sides, just to hear you are beautiful. If, on the other hand, they tell you that you are ugly and you believe them, you give them the power to hurt you. But if you know inside who you are, then others do not influence you in the same way.

When teaching the youth I always compare someone coming up to you and telling you that you are stupid to someone coming up to you and telling you that you are an alien. If someone told you that you are an alien you would laugh, or think the person delusional. If you don’t think the same when they say you are stupid, you are probably questioning your own self-worth.

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The truth is, you don’t have to be smart, stupid, or anything else in this life. Who you are and what you do, so long as you cause no harm, is your prerogative, but since childhood we were taught to compete and compare ourselves to others. Whilst it is lovely to seek wisdom and learn to love, it’s less lovely to always feel inadequate. You can’t be the best in everything and the best doesn’t really exist. We live in an ever evolving universe. We think that to be the gold medal winner in something means everything, when in fact it means very little. How you live your day on a day to day basis and how happy you are with that life means a lot more. How you can deal with everything life throws at your doorstep. The sprinter who can lose a leg and still be happy is a lot more successful than the gold medal sprinter who comes home to an unhappy home and runs only so as to try to run away from things. The footballer who plays because he enjoys the game is a lot happier than the one who plays only to win.

The more freely you can live, appreciating what you have rather than striving for what you do not have, the happier you will be. There’s a huge “goal disillusion” happening in the world today. Yes, every day I get up and do my best to take one step closer to opening the doors to my business and making enough money through my writing to live comfortably, but if I start stressing about it, or waiting to be happy till that day comes, I miss out on my life. It’s only when we let go that we truly achieve.

I learnt this lesson a long time ago. In a hot tub in Hollywood. But as lessons go sometimes we forget. Last year I forgot many things because I felt like I was trying to stand in the middle of an Earthquake and rather than letting go, I was holding on, making myself a lot more unstable. And had it not been for the lessons I’d learnt I would probably have fallen, but it would be a lie to say I tapped into those lessons masterfully. I did not. I held onto them, but I didn’t embrace them. I was too busy trying to stand up straight.

In the past week I feel like I’ve regained my equilibrium and started to fully take responsibility for my thoughts and actions again. I’m no longer irritable because my wounds are no longer aching. For months, if you touched me the wrong way I felt like I was falling apart. It’s like putting a person recovering from a cold in an icy lake – there’s no resistance. The cold comes straight back.

I realized that there are people in my life that will never understand certain aspects of my life and rather than being angry about that, I can choose to embrace what they do give me. I don’t have to let their negativity affect me. If my wound is hurting though and their negativity comes, I don’t always keep it together. I get angry, because I feel like defending myself. I’m not whole in myself, so criticism then hurts. When I am whole, I no longer get angry because their words are like someone comparing me to an alien – I don’t care, because I’m happy.

I think when people embrace who they are lovingly and also embrace what they love they come alive. Today my dad started talking about his friend who went fishing and whilst he was moping about not being able to go as he had to do something else, he was fully alive. Because he loves the ocean, being outdoors and fishing. So he was tracing his friend with a GPS and looking to see if he could catch him with the binoculars. It was hilarious, but it was also like watching someone come alive.

The last guy I dated, I have this favorite memory of. He talked about new snow. And he looked fully alive, expectant…like a kid on Christmas morning. It’s beautiful.

In the same way we all come alive when we embrace who we are and what we love, lovingly. And when we choose to approach people with love in whatever we do, it makes a huge difference. Every conversations we have, whether in life, love, or business, can be had with love. Often our emotions get triggered and we do anything but. We also make assumptions. Assumptions that people don’t care, that they try to screw us over and so on and so forth. We let anger build up and then we communicate. Or we respond to their anger with more anger or sadness and blame, because we let their anger or hurt get to us. We let it hurt us.

I grew up protecting myself from anger, hurt, blame, shame…I didn’t really know how to live in a space of love continuously. I wanted to please others as a result, trying to avoid more hurt, shame, blame and anger. I never gave of myself freely, feeling comfortable with that. I just tried to please to avoid the hurt. I became shy and closed off. I felt like a victim at the same time as I tried to take charge of myself, becoming a better version of me. Curing myself of whatever was wrong with me. Not that there was anything wrong with me, but that was what I thought.

Habits are easy to fall back into, but there is nothing much to gain from it. I want to be free, giving freely. I want to love myself and respond to others with love, not give them the power to make me act from a place of hurt and anger. I no longer want to criticize myself and others, standing like the judge, as I felt people did in my childhood. I want to be free and I want to give the same freedom to others. I just want to live. Live out all my naughtiness and wonder…

N.B. I’ve been working on a book about dating for women as, well, I was hired to do so. In my research I have revisited favorite books of mine like The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and I also came across another book which made a big impact on me: Hold Me Tight – Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. This post has been inspired by such books. They come highly recommended, though I haven’t read all of Hold Me Tight – Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

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In your wet dreams…

Hello darlings, I’m back. Yes, I know it’s only been hours since I last visited (well, at least when I started writing, now it’s more like days) and you must be thrilled. Personally I just had some flashback to Morocco and wish I was visiting there. The climate is a lot more agreeable in certain parts of Morocco than in Sweden. And the mint tea is divine. Not to mention the food and the architecture. The haggling, on the other hand, is a nuisance, though I’m quite good at it. I exasperated quite a few salesmen during my stay there. I refused paying any more than 30-50% of the asking price you see. Some were infuriated, some were impressed. However, most would probably not want to see me again.

The reason I am visiting my blog is not because of Morocco though. No, it’s because I wanted to explain my last blog. You see, since last year I have been experiencing quite a lot of emotional pain. Not depression, not unhappiness, but pain. It started with contracting RSI in my hands after saying that I was going to adopt the twins and set up my business in California. It seemed like so big goals that even I got frightened and, hence, ended up with pain because I was so scared I wouldn’t reach my goals and then I would be a real failure to my own mind. The pain then frightened me like crazy because, well, I was handicapped. I was lucky, or should I say desperate though, and I never accepted a problem not to have a solution, so after many unsuccessful treatments, I searched and found Dr Sarno’s book about TMS and the mind body prescription. Basically Sarno talks about how “do-gooders” and “perfectionists” especially often end up with pain or disease as they have a lot of anger from the pressure they feel to do good, as well as always being nice to people, even if they behave like assholes. Usually this is in combination with childhood wounds.

I was raised to be perfect – to always find the flaws and improve. I was also bullied in school and had a step-mom who didn’t treat me particularly nice, so I feared others opinion of me. Feared I was as bad as they made me out to be. So since I was a kid I’ve been an improvement project. I didn’t even understand love as I thought you had to be perfect to obtain it, but of course no one is perfect at everything. I could never soak up love that came without reason, because I felt it was a deluded kind of love. The love my grandparents had for me, which seemed to be they loved me for no particular reason, though of course I still held onto that love. When praised I was also always quick to point out what I could do better.

It was only when I had an epiphany in a hot tub when I was twenty-seven that I was free to explore life, that I started understanding love. It was then I realized that life is my gift; I don’t have to do, or be anything. I can just enjoy this gift. I can live in a state of love without doing anything. It still took till I got to Africa and receiving the joy of living a life more aligned with my dreams and receiving the love of the people there that I really healed.

The problem is old thoughts are like slippery slopes. So whenever I am in a situation which triggers any kind of childhood wounds even though I’m aware I’m free to live my life as I please, loving myself and others, I slip, tumbling down the mountain, forgetting all about my awareness. Sooner than you know it I’m trapped in my old thought patterns again, trying to please everyone around me, be better and do more, whilst disliking myself for not being better and achieving more.

Last year is a perfect example of me falling down the hill – first by setting goals and panicking as I feared failing. I mean, it wasn’t the smallest of goals. Then a lot of shit went down at Little Angels and the twins went through their emotional journey which I was trying to help them through and rather than feeling good about what I was doing for myself and others, I felt bad about it. I wanted to do more. And as about ten different things were happening, not unexpectedly, I couldn’t deal with everything in one go. I was so over-stretched I was about to snap.

I left for Cali by the end of the year to move forward with my business, which is the long term solution I have to pursue and want to pursue. It’s my passion. Still, I woke up every morning worrying about things happening in Africa and feeling guilty I wasn’t there. I was in pain. I still felt personally responsible for things that were unrelated to me. I wanted to give more than I had. I blamed myself for things that were absolutely out of my control. I also have a tendency to take on people’s suffering and consider it my own – due to my childhood I know suffering and when I see it, I want to help so badly I start suffering. Furthermore, I started wondering what the hell was wrong with the world – rather than seeing the spiritual journey of life and the natural cycle of life and death, I saw suffering. I saw death. I saw pain. Even the thought of nature being one big chain of animals eating animals started bugging me. Why? Why so much cruelty? I have worked pretty damn hard to be grounded in nature and see life for what it is, accepting it for what it is, but I had been pretty shaken last year. My footing was no longer the best. I believe post traumatic stress is a pretty apt term when you have seen some of life’s horrors and not quite yet processed them all.

The point I’m making is that when I came back to Sweden I finally had some time to process all this and it hurt. As I was suffering jet lag I spent the nights worrying about the twins and dreaming nightmares. I also had a recurring UTI so I was literally in pain too. In the States I was dating someone and my best friend was there as well, as were other friends, so by the end of the day if my love tank ran low and I had a fit about whatever news I’d had from Africa that day, there was someone to counter-act my feelings around it. There was someone to hug me. There was someone to show me love and kindness existed. In Sweden my family does not understand my path in life, so whilst they love me, I always have to explain every choice I make, whilst being lectured on why I should lead a different life. So if I had any thoughts I wasn’t doing enough, going home triggers about fifty more. I love my family and appreciate them and everything they do for me, they are just somewhat different from me (as well as very similar in some aspects, of course), so they worry about all the things I do. And to tell them my worries would lead to them worrying and then a lecture, not a hug.

Now, you may be reading this thinking I’m ridiculous. Well, guess what? I am. What I finally realized whilst battling my thoughts in Sweden is that I am responsible for those very thoughts. To share an example – I cannot sit suffering because my friend relapsed and I didn’t manage to get them to rehab and debate what I could have done differently. I can’t suffer because fifty kids need food and I can only feed two. I can’t suffer because I want to change things today when realistically it will take a year. I can’t feel bad when I do my best. I make mistakes too. I can’t always foresee the future. I’m human. And if someone thinks it’s not good enough, then that’s their problem, not mine. And if people think I go to LA to live the life and party, then that’s most certainly their issue, not mine. Though I think it would be good for me if I could, for once, accept good things happening to me and go partying instead of working all night. If I could learn to accept love from all angles and not continuously think I have to achieve more to do so.

I’m starting to feel peace for the first time in a long while. I no longer feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, which is a relief. I miss people in the States and in Cape Town, sure, and I may start having vivid conversations with the seagulls out here shortly, but being in the middle of nowhere made me face myself. And that was much needed.

I think I’m pretty wonderful. Even if sales people in Morocco would be bound to disagree. None of us are ever going to be everyone’s wet dream. And given DiCaprio is now dating Rihanna, I don’t even think I’m going to get on his list. There went that one. The only wet dream I really wanna be in is my soulmate’s though. And he’s bound to love me even if I am just the way I am. Just like that.

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You are an orgasm waiting to happen…

So I look at you and I see a human with a heart and a soul, and a few wounds that might infect me if I touch them. You see if I touch your wounds you will probably try to poison me. Don Miguel Ruiz says our bodies are covered with wounds from past experiences. Events that have left emotional scars due to how we interpreted them. Unless you knew you were a heart and soul, when your pre-school teacher told you that you were stupid, you believe them. So you got a wound. You were hurt because what you received was not love and you, having no reason to think otherwise, believed your pre-school teacher to be telling the truth. You created a wound by accepting the words to be true and making up that you were less than others.

As far as I know the only way to heal wounds is with love.

Sometimes to cure a wound you might go back in time to understand why something happened, but what heals it is to use a large dose of love in the process of understanding. If you don’t change your point of view to a loving one, chances are you will only revel in your own pain and sorrow. It’s a similar difference between talking about problems and looking for solutions. If you are looking for solutions you don’t look at the problems with anger, hatred, or sadness – you look upon them from a place of love. And then you move the hell on when you’ve found a solution. Same with healing wounds – it’s important to leave the past behind.

These points of view, or filters if you so like, apply to everything you do. Everything you look at. It’s great doing an inventory to check how you look upon everything in your life. Chances are you see your life, each and every situation, through the filter of past experiences and, thus, react habitually. I know I for one often do.

A perfect example of habitual reactions is spending time with your family. You react to them through a filter from the past. It’s rare people decide to take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings around family. If uncle Harry is once again going at you with a personal attack because he is a conservative and you are living an indecent life in his opinion, then chances are he will still rattle you today if he rattled you in your teens. In your teens you were a lot more insecure, just finding your feet in life, so you felt threatened by uncle Harry and decided he was mean. Unless you can now chuckle, thinking uncle Harry a silly old man, you are allowing him to control your feelings. You have stopped taking responsibility. And whilst we can all agree that spending time around negative influences doesn’t do us a world of good, uncle Harry might actually think he is trying to save you from yourself by talking some sense into you. He might, in fact, be loving you. He might also not be the most aware person on the planet, so his love and advice might not be the purest of the pure; really meaning he is wounded and sees life and therefore gives advice drawing from the experiences that created his wounds. Uncle Harry is, however, doing the best with what he has.

I wasn’t going to talk about how you view uncle Harry though, or how you view situations in life, but rather how you view yourself. On the one hand you are a flawed person because like everyone and their dog you have wounds. And unless you are in charge of yourself 100% these wounds will at times come to infect other people and the Earth, not unlike uncle Henry when he tells you how to live your life and you get angry with him and tell him to sod off. On the other hand you are a heart and soul and you have the ability to give someone orgasms. You my dear is an orgasm waiting to happen to someone. I find this profound. You are a treasure.

I do, however, not suggest that you tell uncle Harry this when arguing with him. It will only feed his ideas that you are lost in some free living artistic bohemia, which is most unsuitable. You might even be laughing your life away, when you could seriously be slaving in an office. It’s grim, very grim. I want you to think about this next time you open a bottle of wine on a Friday night. Don’t enjoy yourself too much and don’t give anyone an orgasm. Uncle Harry might faint.

It’s truly criminal how great you are. I might have to arrest you.

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I’m not a sex addict…

Up until last year I didn’t know that drug addicts were in denial of being addicts. I thought that if you take drugs regularly then it’s obvious you are an addict. I mean you are putting drugs into your system regularly, which means you are using them. But no, addicts still think they are in control.

I spoke to three drug addicts last year about going into recovery. One assured me no more drugs, this was in the past. Another messaged me to say help was needed, or they would die. So I helped. And whilst seeing my friend like a wreck, half delusional was no fun, the person was aware they were using drugs and consequently got help and stopped. The third was in absolute denial. Spent hours convincing me they weren’t using. Finally, months later the person confessed, but still, even though saying they would go get help, and getting plenty of help with getting help, didn’t.

Of these three people I know two fairly well. In both cases I would say low self-esteem led to the misuse. Both had been severely abused in the past and listening to them speak, there was no real self-esteem there. They were both very intelligent and life was looking up, especially for one of them, but in certain areas I was sure they’d believe anyone’s opinion of them. I’m the first to know that being talented, or having success, does not equate to self-worth. People loving your talents don’t necessarily love you; or you may fail to see their love. And unless you know yourself and are happy with that self, you will be swayed by anyone’s opinion.

None of these people are my responsibility, but they are closely linked to me in various ways and I was trying to get this one person to go for help and failed. And I kept debating with myself the best approach and having nightmares about them overdosing. So one day I asked on Facebook what make people recover. Everyone who replied said a personal shift – a desire to live; a glimpse of hope. Someone also sent me this article from the Huffington Post about drug recovery in Portugal and various studies showing that the cause of all addiction, save potentially coke, is unhappiness. Once people find happiness, their addiction seems to fly away. Recovery isn’t just about therapy, it’s about loving support and a meaningful life beyond the therapy room.

What fascinates me is that a) love seems to be the answer to everything b) the amount of denial people are in.

And it makes me ask the questions a) what else are we in denial of? b) how can we love ourselves more?

It’s two questions well worth pondering. And maybe there should be a third: how does society need to change to make humans build each other up, enabling connection and collaboration?

If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments.

(For the record: I am not a sex addict. Some people who read this blog think sex in the headline means sex happening in my life. So sorry to disappoint, but it’s just headlines. I just think life is better when it’s sexy. Which is why it’s lucky you can’t see me sitting in my PJs, wearing ginormous nerdy glasses, writing this. Epic sex appeal fail.)

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Coming back to life…

Sometimes I feel like people give up little pieces of themselves, allowing them to crumble and fall away, like pieces of paper in the wind. It’s as if they let other forces destroy parts of themselves. But the pieces aren’t gone. Not really. They are still there, like transparent versions of what was once colorful and bright. And the people always feel them. Only they ignore them. They shut out the pain, the regret and the anger by focusing on other parts of themselves, or thoughts and things that “make it OK.” Little things to numb their pain, or simply lose themselves from it.

For some people it’s OK that they aren’t emotionally open, because at least they have a great job. For some it’s OK that they are fat, because at least they have candy to make them feel good. For some it’s OK that they never dealt with their fear around relationships, because at least they have great friends. For some it’s OK giving up having a happy family, because at least they have a niece. For some it’s OK having a lousy job, because at least they have a great partner. For some it’s OK not being fit and eating healthy, because at least they’re skinny. For some it’s OK being in a relationship where they care more, because at least they have a relationship.

For some desires are buried under so many layers of fear or imagined helplessness, that they almost feel relieved making up they don’t want it anymore, or they have ‘accepted’ it. They may even crack jokes about it, or revel in their problems. They prefer settling for what’s easy; or should I say: what doesn’t hurt. Because it hurts going beyond perceived ideas of fear; of wounds; and previous suffering. Sometimes it even hurts acknowledging where you are in relation to where you want to be. On the other side of pain lies pleasure, but pain frightens many people. And sometimes we actually get so used to something, we forget that once there was something sparkly and colorful in its place. We forget our own pain because we are so used to seeing it. We believe it to be normal.

It hit me some time ago that the thought of family means pain for some people. They know family can be a good thing, but their own experiences of it have left them frightened of it. They think “it’s not for me.” And I’m not talking about the people who want to be single, because they love that, I’m talking about the perception of family as a whole.

I was born to a couple that loved each other very much, but after my mom passed I dealt with life as Cinderella for many years. It was neither pleasant nor fun, but during this time all I dreamt of was a family and I had very loving grandparents who helped me get a feel for what family can be. A real, proper, loving family. I dreamt of a family on my terms too – we all have different ideas for what a home should be like; what makes for a great family and a loving household (with lots of pillow fights!). I never thought blood ties were the only ties; it’s actions and commonalities, not blood that really tie us together, but I have a lot of respect for what constitutes a family: love and a commitment to being there for each other. It’s about sharing a home; about safety and love. If that’s not there it’s not a family. Not what I call family. There will be hard times too, but that’s why you need both commitment and love. From everyone. Not just from the one side.

Other people had a hideous childhood full stop and rather than dreaming of having a family they started dreading it, thinking they’d only relive their parents mistake. Even if they would want what they consider a great family, they don’t trust that they could achieve that and rather than decide they will learn how to, they decide they are incapable.

Yet others had a family of their own, or have a family of their own, that they regard with pain. To them family has become something they dislike, because their dream did not materialize. It causes them pain to think about it. Their husband is a gambler, their wife is abusive, or their kids have derailed and they can’t bring them back. Suddenly family is synonymous with pain for them.  And rather than build a new “extended” family to help them with the one they have/had, they step away from it altogether. They may have friends that become like family, but they would never use that word. To them family is simply synonymous with pain. That’s not the truth, but it’s what they’ve made up about it.

Family is just one example. People have negative and positive associations with everything in life, often greatly dependent on their experience of it. Many can’t see beyond their own experiences; their own associations. And thoughts and feelings are powerful things – if you don’t take control of them, they will rule your life.

It’s often hard for people to realize that their thoughts and feelings are skewed. “I feel bad, so it is bad.” That’s not so. Only when you go beyond thoughts and feelings will you discover the truth. To go beyond them is going beyond the pain and misconceptions of a certain association, but the pain frightens most people so much they can’t see beyond it. They don’t realize there is something beyond it. They think if they go there they will be stuck in pain. Likewise some people have memories that connect pain with pleasure and therefore keep attracting pain in order to get pleasure. It’s like Pavlov’s dog experiment gone terribly wrong. But you can break patterns – it’s like the Hero’s Journey – you have to die to your demons to resurrect to love. The demons aren’t actually dangerous though, it’s your thoughts and memories that make them so.

We live in a world of illusions and still, we don’t believe in magic.

Magic is possible though. You can reclaim those sparkly colorful pieces of yourself that were “killed by life.” People are wrong when they say adulthood kills youthful dreams. It doesn’t. People who give up on solutions get killed by adulthood. People who let wounds grow without healing them get killed by adulthood. People who give in to negative forces or start fighting them with negativity get killed by adulthood. People who lose their sparkle don’t do so because of life, but because they let life dictate them.

It’s hard to find love and peace in the midst of the chaos. To truly take charge of your mind and step into a space of beauty, praying for a solution, rather than panicking about the situation. It’s hard to let go of your own thoughts and feelings, especially if something feels very urgent to you. You have to find peace in the midst of a war.

In a sense it’s like being a doctor – instead of panicking and crying from watching a wounded child lying in front of you, you have to gently look to her wounds and treat her with love. You are providing the solution and making it happen, as opposed to crying in pain with the little girl. So many times in Africa and with the kids I have to remind myself of this. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I scream in pain. Especially when I think it’s urgent and I know I can’t do something that very moment, I get filled with hopelessness, anger and even hatred. To stay in a space of love and not get carried away by pain is difficult. As I was saying to Liezl yesterday – there are lives at stake. She told me to pray and believe and it will take the time it takes. You can’t change a village over night, but you can start the process. We may not save the person who needs an ambulance today, as it often takes 24 hours to show, but we can work on creating structures that tomorrow will bring ambulances within minutes, not hours. And I have to let go of my anger and my pain in the meantime. I have to focus on love.

Remember too, that solutions aren’t always logical. Don’t be rigid in your search for answers.

It’s crucial to work for solutions from a space of love. If you want to get fit, if you want to find that sparkly side of your body again, you can’t be angry with your body. You aren’t taking out your self-hatred for getting fat by attacking the gym machines. No, you are loving yourself to a happier body. Even if you get fit using self-hatred for your body, the self-hatred will take on a new form when you get fit. If it doesn’t show up in your life, it will show up in your body as illness.

I also believe it’s time for my theory about Jesus. You see, apart from constantly taking the piss out of religion, I have a certain weakness for Jesus. I may even have opted for the part of Mary Magdalene if a man like that existed today. Minus the beard and hopefully a lot less hair on uhm, other body parts too. But I digress and I’m afraid I’ve already pissed off the religious. So anyway. I always rather fancied some of Jesus’ teachings. I quite admire the man. Point being, I believe the reason he could forgive anyone is because he knew that man is born with a heart, then life – the yin and the yang, the good and the evil, the divine and the devil, the forces around – shape him/her. And whilst we all have the opportunity to go beyond our thoughts and feelings some really have forgotten the sparkly sides of their heart. They don’t know how to access it. Or during a bout of anger they commit terrible crimes, because they were never taught to curb their instincts; their reactions to nature. They don’t know how to access that space of love, or see beyond their associations.

So I urge you today – don’t let anger lead you. Don’t let grief stop you from seeing the wonders of the world. Don’t let negative associations stop you from seeing the beauty in you, a situation or anyone else. Live from your heart, not your thoughts.

You don’t just have to be the change you want to see in the world, you have to be the love you want to see in the world. Love yourself better and the world will be better too.

I always wondered what would happen if we all worked for a better world? If no company existed unless it was to honestly try to make the world a better place through their products and services? If we all lived life with integrity? If we did not fight each other, but fought for the better good of the planet and our future? Imagine what we could create then.

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Below are some links to my favorite stories, blogs and general sources for transformation when it comes to finding love, health and wellbeing. When it comes to truly living the love and honoring yourself and Mother Nature. Pills do not cure, to cure, you have to heal. 

Books:

Paulo Coehlo – The Alchemist, Brida, The Pilgrimage

Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements

William Whitecloud – The Magician’s Way, The Last Shaman (the latter especially, though for the latter to make sense, you have to read the former)

David Deida – The Way of the Superior Man (and other writings)

Gary Chapman – The Five Love Languages (restored my faith in relationships)

Dan Buettner – The Blue Zones (so far I have only read about the book, but I intend to read the whole thing – it helped me understand health)

Dr. John Sarno – Healing Back Pain, the Mind Body Solution (healed my incurable RSI)

Shazzie – Detox Your Life (whilst I don’t think it’s the best of books, it does explain some things regarding how to, in fact, detox your life)

Buddha and Jesus had some wise words too.

Miracles:

I’ve seen highly intelligent kids with foetal alcohol syndrome. And I’ve seen kids who are severely abused, or have severe learning abilities open up to me and run to hug me. I’ve seen what love can do first hand. And I will never give up on humanity. I may speak of the pain in Africa, but South Africa and a township called Hangberg has taught me more about love than pretty much anything else. And Dr. Sarno cured my incurable RSI and has some very interesting stories to tell about healing. I’d recommend reading his books before you get sick. And if you have any kind of illness or pain I recommend you read it TODAY.

http://nhne-pulse.org/carly-fleischmann-autistic-girl-who-used-computer-to-ask-for-help/ – girl who didn’t speak for fourteen years expresses herself in writing “help” and “hurt” were her two first words

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYkT_GndKtE – an autistic boy is healed by horses

http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection-ebook/dp/B00FOTRI4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426587117&sr=1-1&keywords=dr+sarno – 1,027 reviews for healing with Dr. Sarno

http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Success_Stories_by_Symptoms_%26_Diagnoses – these are success stories from people using Sarno’s method to heal a plethora of diseases

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/from-near-death-to-cancer-free-an-amazing-true-story.html – from near death to cancer free; an incredible story of healing emotionally and physically

http://www.conquerrsi.com/mystory.html – this was my favorite RSI recovery story

http://alankazdin.com/the-kazdin-method-for-parenting-the-defiant-child-with-no-pills-no-therapy-no-contest-of-wills/ – how to help kids

http://www.brainbalancecenters.com – how to help kids

Fitness to Inspire:

I am the first to confess I have a weakness for six packs, and pretty much any other kind of muscles I can see and touch on a man. We all have different body types; some are stockier, some are slimmer, some are curvy, some have no curves. Love your body. It’s not about your weight, it’s about loving your body by what you put in it and on it and what you do to exercise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYkT_GndKtE – man uses yoga to regain ability to walk after doctors gave up

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2474969/Super-fit-grandfather-64-overweight-walk-cane-56.html – man gets fit at 64

http://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/9-fittest-old-celebrities – inspiring to see

http://masculineheart.blogspot.se/2014/06/want-to-age-in-good-health-build-muscle.html – why you want muscles

http://www.bodyhack.com/blog/fit-beyond-50-ten-inspirational-female-role-models-1108 – inspiration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1BCzZBMMd0 – this woman is seventy two

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6qi3gfIJRA – this woman is seventy one

http://madamenoire.com/493609/women-over-50-who-motivate-us/ – more female inspiration

Movies for Healing:

P.S. I Love You – grief

The Time Traveler’s Wife – whilst I think this is a bad movie, I love the concept – what would you say if you could go back to your younger self? How would you treat yourself if you were your own friend? Truly your own friend. Not your judge. Not your teacher. But your friend.

Heal Your Skin & Lungs:

Your skin is your largest organ (no kidding) and you detox a lot through it, which is why hot salty baths, hot springs, saunas and steams are excellent. What’s not excellent is fake body products. Stay natural, stay safe.

Likewise, cleaning products. Want your toddler to crawl on a floor sprayed with toxins? Want your feet to touch it? Want to inhale the scent of toxins? Want to flush it out in your toilet after “cleaning” the floor and pollute the waters? Didn’t think so. For God’s sake buy non-toxic cleaning products, including dish washing and laundry liquid, or you will end up wearing or eating poison. When I was a kid a friend of the family sold cleaning products for a little while. He became so allergic to scents he couldn’t be in a room with someone wearing perfume.

http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/20-toxic-ingredients-avoid-when-buying-body-care-products-and-cosmetics.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/skin-care-why-go-natural.html

http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-natural-skin-care.html

Food to Inspire and Heal:

GORGEOUS blogs and INSPIRING stories for health or simply pure ingredients! I don’t believe in one diet, I believe in real food with lots of vegetables and a lot of raw mixed in there. Have a look at the Blue Zones to see where the longest living people on the planet are and what they eat. As for the country with the longest living people, well, that’s Monaco…

I have found researching nutrition hard as there are opposing studies. Several studies have shown that excluding grains and eating mainly plants and meats, as well as vegetable fats help the gut. Others show that eating only vegan food will get rid of diabetes. For me the Blue Zones was the answer I was looking for. And if you are into 80/20 then I’d make it 100% natural, 80% veggies and fruits, 20% grains, meats, dairy, fats. More than anything – eat whole foods and love what you eat. Enjoy your food!

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Zones-Lessons-Living-Longest/dp/1426204000/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288991779&sr=1-3 – the book about the Blue Zones

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Zone – the Wikipedia Article

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwAC6EEx2Y4 – Jason Vale took “sick” people on a 30 day juice retreat, this is what happened…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktQzM2IA-qU – an M.D.’s take on how to cure diabetes with food. Tedx.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pjkC71exKU – is diabetes incurable? Maybe not… (I don’t like this documentary, but it proves a very valid point.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mS0YA465ts – fat, sick and nearly dead; another documentary about the power of juicing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIY1hk9X1ps – a guy who did a hundred day juice fast on his own and checked in with the doctor before and after…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkGXADXjkrg – Tedx Talk about health, weight and juice

http://naturallyella.com

http://www.gourmantineblog.com

http://urbanposer.blogspot.se

http://www.bojongourmet.com

http://pureella.com

http://www.101cookbooks.com

http://www.honeyandjam.com

http://farmette.ie

http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com

http://hortuscuisine.com

http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com

http://localmilkblog.com/recipes

http://www.earthsprout.com

http://www.alkalinesisters.com

http://www.sproutedkitchen.com

http://www.thenutritionmom.com/tips-recipes/

http://www.rawmazing.com

http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/recipes/

http://www.thetarttart.com

http://www.beardandbonnet.com

http://tasty-yummies.com

http://withfoodandlove.com

http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com

http://www.vegetarianventures.com

http://oatgasm.blogspot.com

http://www.cannellevanille.com

http://www.sugaretal.com

http://uncooking101.com

http://www.runningtothekitchen.com

http://www.fromthekitchen.co.nz

http://www.halfbakedharvest.com

http://stylesweetca.com

http://www.adventures-in-cooking.com

http://www.80twenty.ca

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