This is my heartbeat song…

So I’ve got this tune stuck in my mind. Maybe because it’s true? This really is my heartbeat song.

Being back in Cape Town I feel like I can breathe for the first time in a long time. My schedule is manic – there’s a lot to be done launching a business, keeping up with my freelance work till said business is launched and overseeing things at Little Angels and teaching the youth there. And the twins.

So why my heart is beating is because it seems the twins still love me and their family, for now, seem more than happy to let me have them a couple of days and nights a week. I don’t know how to describe the moment when I saw my foster son across the street, climbing a tree. I was running across to try to get hold of a family member of his, spotted him as he did me and he leapt off the tree and ran straight into my arms. I was shivering like a leaf and promptly didn’t let him out of sight for hours. There are few times in my life I’ve been so relieved. Months of nightmares had come to an end. I still get tears in my eyes when I think back to it.

Of course, things are the way they are. There is a permanent residency visa and launching my business successfully standing between me and the adoption papers, but as we know I’m a determined soul. Their family consists of people who don’t necessarily respect the law nor each other so dealing with them is the way it is. And the kids still need to be put in a different school and receive help with overcoming what they’ve been through. But all in time.

I also got to see my “other children” as Liezl calls them. The third T of the Three Ts and Miss Z. I was at a braai (BBQ) the youth was arranging for Little Angels and had them clinging to me like glue. Especially Miss Z. She’s very territorial. Some other kids who used to attend Little Angels weren’t too pleased. They all want love and attention. And anyone willing to give it will become a favorite with them.

You can see which kids it is that need it the most almost immediately. The ones that are fine are a lot less affectionate. The ones that need affection the most look at you like you were an angel sent from the sky once you make friends with them. Some are shy, others will practically attach themselves to you upon greeting you. It breaks my heart at the same time as it mends it. It mends it because I love being there with them. It breaks it because they need so much more love and support than I can provide them with. They need proper homes. In lieu of that I truly believe Little Angels gives them what they need. It’s their safe haven, their place away from abuse. Not even the school is safe. If only you’d hear the stories.

Miss T on my first day back told me school was much better since Liezl went there and forbid her teacher to pull their ears. Apart from ear pulling the teacher is apparently kind. There are stories much worse than ear pulling. Miss Z was not allowed to go to the bathroom one day, peed her pants and was forced to sit in it for hours. One of Liezl’s kids got locked in a dark room. The principal took Miss Z and held her up and shook her in front of her grandma.

Sadly, at home, the stories are often a lot worse. The police is corrupt, people protect each other’s back and there is so much abuse – mental, physical and sexual that it’s hard to believe it. Only hearing story after story have I come to understand what life is truly like for a lot of people here.

Sometimes when I’m in the township for events like the braai my mind is reeling. I walk in and out of so many lifestyles. One moment I’m hanging out in my hood in LA, aka Laurel Canyon and the Hollywood Hills. The next I’m standing swept in fog and BBQ smoke as the music is blaring in a township in Africa. And whilst my heart is with he work I do in the township and the kids, home is the hills of LA. And it strikes me as highly amusing how I can’t live with one without the other. Luckily my business combines the two.

For now, I’m just happy to have my kids back.

Below are images of the braai. It always strikes me the kids’ clothes look better in images. You don’t know that they are hand-me-downs or donations, or that the kids often go without dinner. The kid with the big sunglasses has a black eye as someone through a stone at him. The sunglasses are meant to protect it. The medical clinic was either closed for the weekend, or his mother plain failed to take him, so I gave them some ointment. I don’t know how many kids I’ve dragged to the doctor or had to bandage up over the years. If you want to find out more about Little Angles, check out our website (and I will sooooon update it with relevant information – a lot has happened since I last did): www.littleangelsincapetown.wordpress.com 

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The most challenging months of my life…

So I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, but there are some things even I find hard to put into words.

As most people know I’ve been involved in a few kids life in South Africa for the past two years. Four kids really. I said to Liezl if I could help out by mentoring some kids I would. I had no money – I’d just started out as a freelancer, but maybe I could hang out with the kids? And if I ever got money maybe I could help in other ways.

At first I mentored the Three T’s. A pair of twins and one other boy. The boy spent a lot of time with his grandma in another township so I didn’t see that much of him. He was gone for months on end. The twins on the other hand ended up staying weekends with me several times and I’d take them out pretty much every week.

I’d also bring the Three T’s some food when they were at Little Angels. As a result a little girl, let’s call her Miss Z, decided she was going to get food too. She’s the one I always say adopted me – she can be pretty persistent. Queen of the World. The kid has an unbelievable faith in me.

I was always upfront with the families. Told them I had no money. Told them I’d travel. Told them I would not give money nor adopt till I could. Some asked me to take their kids, funnily the two who I didn’t take. I took on the twins because I spent the most time with them and they were pretty battered. In short, they were abused. Their mom is using and they live with their great grandmother’s sister, who has fully grown sons who are using and are abusive.

Last year their auntie, as they call their great gran’s sister, begged me to take them in. As I had just heard some very upsetting stories about what was happening to them I agreed. On the condition that I was still setting up my business, I could only give them board and food and I would only adopt them when I had money. I was told by authorities several times that I could adopt the kids – it was easy.

The kids moving in was difficult as it happened just as I lost my main income from one client, Liezl’s sister was in hospital and later died, another teacher’s husband was very ill with cancer and two people close to us relapsed to drugs. Later a family member of mine also became ill. It also so happened that the twins had sever abuse to process and the boy was not handling things well.

My best friend made me watch an episode of the UK Super Nanny last week and that episode pretty much summed up my life at the time. A kid trying to take out years of abuse on those around him.

I soon discovered that my wanting to help by getting the kids away from abuse wasn’t enough. They would need professional help and getting away from the school they were at. But I had no money.

Someone stepped in to help though and I learnt to use a way similar to Super Nanny to help the boy. He drastically improved, though there was still a long way to go.

During this time I feared I would have a breakdown. Because I was run down. I kept thinking it wasn’t how things were supposed to be – this was exactly why I had wanted to wait to look after the kids. I wanted to give them everything. And there I was sleeping four hour nights, working like a maniac and barely putting food on the table.

All my dreams of a happy household didn’t seem bright with a kid having tantrums, breaking everything in sight when angry, hitting you, calling you a bitch and so on every single day. Whilst things got better I was still in shock because I felt like a complete failure. While I know that’s not the case, ask any parent about what kind of home they want. How they want their kids to feel. You want to give them the world. You want to make them happy.

I also knew the boy loved me. He was desperate for love. He called me mommy. The girl also started coming round to that, but she needed me less, because she had handled things differently and was the family favorite.

By the end of the year things really were much better and the kids had a nanny they stayed with in the afternoons and started sleeping there one night a week. Someone they had known for years. They were drawing pictures of us all being one big family in a huge house. And all along they knew Cali was my second home, I had traveled for as long as I had known them and whilst they may not like it, they were very excited about one day going to Cali themselves. And the fact they were starting to love being at their nanny’s, staying the night and called us all family helped me enormously. I just wanted the kids to feel safe and loved.

I started feeling some sort of calm.

During the months that had passed I had learned of events in their family that was far from pretty. The day they moved in their mom’s boyfriend was trying to stab their mom and the kids got in the way. Just to give you a glimpse.

I also learnt that foreigners can’t adopt unless they’d been to SA for five years. Some laws changed when Madonna took out a kid from Malawi. Never mind over a million kids in South Africa are in need of adoption. Laws say it’s better if they are with family members in the townships. Which is ludicrous in most cases. Rules also say that if a kid says they want to be with their mommy, they are with their mommy. Even if she’s using, abusive, etc.

This shocked me as the same authorities for years had said I could adopt. What I found out though was that you could adopt from abroad. It makes little sense, but you can.

When I took on the kids I gave myself one year to launch my business in Cali, or I’d stay in Cape Town. One year.

I went to America for Christmas, desperate for a break. I was scared the moment I felt I was in Cali I would break down. You know how the body sort of lets out everything that’s happened when you hit solid ground? Well, I didn’t. I was just very, very tired.

So I went to America and found the seed funding for my business. I was also calling around to adoption lawyers, getting nowhere. I had a “unique” case.

I was still frightened. I would talk to South Africa every day and as usual there was a disaster almost every day. It’s a township.

One day I got the news that my boy was being kicked out of school. I almost fainted. I think it’s as close as I’ve ever gotten. Instead I got a behavioral therapist to step in, very kindly, and he started getting stars in school. I was so relieved I remember crying when talking to the twins on the phone, hearing how happy they were and getting reports their behavior was changing.

It seemed like we had turned a leaf.

I was still not happy about leaving the kids, or the situation though. I wanted to give them more than I had and it was still doing my head in. I knew I would never be happy just to live like I had in Cape Town. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I knew I had to do it. But it made me feel guilty.

The past year I had first had RSI which led to me for months fearing I might never be able to type again. During that time I’d had to go away as my visa was being processed and I went to LA. I remember sitting in bed crying because I felt so damn helpless not being able to type, not knowing if I would ever regain my hands fully and so on. And I don’t generally cry. I was at my wit’s end before I found Dr Sarno and my cure.

During that time the teacher’s husband fell ill with the cancer. And things in general at Little Angeles were upside down last year and Liezl often gets sick. As I spoke to Liezl every day I was pretty traumatized. Because I felt helpless. This is something that happens to most volunteers at some point…basically you start feeling guilty. You see so much suffering and you can’t do anything about it. So you leading a normal life (though mine at the time was far from it) seems absurd. Hey, they have no food and you are having a coffee in a cafe? Because you feel like getting out once a day as freelancer? You could give those five dollars to someone starving.

During that time the twins mom was apparently running around calling out for me to come home and adopt the kids. She also went to Liezl and told her as much. That made me incredibly happy.

Point being, when I came back to SA I was still traumatized by the hands and the suffering around me, which went completely out of hand at the time with people falling ill and so on. And what happened with the twins did not help. In fact it’s one of the most scary things I’ve ever been through.

I felt…helpless. Of course I gathered my shit together and did what I could to make more money, go to the States and launch my business and find a way to adopt if I did get the money for the business.

I usually figure there’s always a solution.

And in California it started looking like things were coming together with the kids being happy and behaving and me finding money for the business. I started taking my first calm breaths in a really long time.

Then I found out two things – the kids’ family started acting up. From having received very encouraging reports of the family spending time at the nanny’s to be with the kids, they started taking them away and “whispering” things in their ears. The kids started acting up.

Liezl was running around trying to deal with family members abusing them. It was nasty. And I was in pain about it. But I didn’t have money to fly back and get things sorted. I knew my best bet was to launch the business and make money.

Then the kids’ family took the kids. They did a number of other things, but that’s basically it.

I also found out that non-citizens can’t adopt in America. Because the kids become citizens if you do.

I started thinking I was a right idiot – if I had only had the kids in the weekends last year the boy would never have acted out. I would still be Miss Favorite Person in the World. I wouldn’t have had to upset their lives by coming and going. I could just have been that favorite auntie and when the time was right done more. Instead I just felt guilty.

I couldn’t know any one of the things that happened after I took the kids in – from adoption laws to family members, etc. I couldn’t know. But I still felt guilty about it.

By the time I reached Sweden I was left alone with my thoughts and for the first time I really faced them. And the nightmares started. Every day I dreamt about the kids. I still do. I woke up from one particularly bad one today.

Of course, I’m a pretty spiritual person and normally I’m fairly grounded. I have worked my way through many ups and downs in life and healed from a childhood most uncomfortable. And I don’t like being shaken, because I think I shouldn’t be. I know too much for that. But the past 18 months shook me.

I started finding my baring properly again in Sweden. I cried for the first time. I started dealing with my own self-blame. It wasn’t until Liezl called and said that the twins family had said I’d never see the kids again and told them to hate me that the self-hatred really lifted though. It’s funny, but for all I’ve seen and heard about that family doing, that’s what made my head click.

Don’t ask me how, but those words made me realize that I’m not the one to blame for messing with the kids. The kids were making huge improvements. No, I did not have the money I wanted for them. Far from it. And yes, I felt trapped because I wasn’t creating the life I wanted, neither for myself, nor the kids. I was in emergency mode getting the kids away from abuse and I didn’t think much further than that. I should have. It was wrong. But my reasoning was that I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to the kids. And chances are I’d do the same thing all over again. And the kids improved. Had they continued that way chances are that one day they would see what the family was doing and not like it.

Why they don’t want me to see the kids I don’t know, but I have a fair idea – I speak to the police. I hang with people who bust drug dealers. I started making demands the kids weren’t abused. And it’s likely the kids said something about me always going on and on about it not being right to hit kids.

I’m never gonna give up on the kids, no matter what that family says, but I am gonna give up on my own self-hatred. Years ago when I read that Angelina Jolie had stopped eating after seeing people starve I found it…strange. I understood the concept, but what would her not eating help anything? Not much. Now I understand though. I understand what it is like waking up despising yourself because you can’t do more, or you have enough to eat when people you love don’t. Still, it isn’t going to help. And I think all of me, not just the conscious parts of me, are starting to understand this.

Not that I stopped eating. I just couldn’t feel that I could be happy if the kids weren’t happy. I didn’t know how to live with myself.

I had a very very long chat with Liezl about this and I started to come to terms with it more. It also helped having her exclaim that no one was ever going to make me feel bad ever again because it wasn’t fair. Liezl was so angry she, in a way only she can, had a long speech that no one she knew was ever getting close to me again and behaving like, say, the twins family. I was chatting to her about my feelings about Tony being ill and me not supporting him and so on and she was like “Maria, Tony was here yesterday telling me what a fantastic woman you are. What a big heart you have.” He’s driving my car when I’m away and I’m trying to find all these natural cancer cures for him. I love his kids like they were my nieces though and it hurts knowing he lives in a shack with no proper food trying to combat cancer. It just does.

Liezl also told me another thing. You see last year when things were at its worst and people were sick, dying, relapsing, I lost the job and the twins were having a storm going on in the house, I used to go to Little Angels and just hug Miss Z. We always had a special bond, but when I hugged her then I used to think “at least she doesn’t hate me – she’s not throwing stones at me.” But I’d secretly wonder what would happen if she lived with me. The irony being that her grandma had asked about just that, and the other T’s mom tried to give me him.

Anyway, Liezl told me that she had been worried about me because she was like “I know when you are upset and I know you are upset.” And I just told her I found it hard with the twins and blaming myself. So she told me that it wasn’t just she who sensed my mood – Miss Z did too. She had walked into Little Angles exclaiming that Liezl had to tell me over the phone that she loved me and that she was sending me a hug. The next day she came back and demanded a report of whether this had been done or not. Liezl hadn’t talked to me then, but she was later going to tell Miss Z that her instructions had been carried out.

Little Miss Z always thinks I can solve anything – from teachers in school being mean to her, to her not having enough money for a school uniform. And I guess part of what I have been dealing with in the past 18 or so months is that I can’t always do that. I can’t solve everything. I can’t.

I love the twins and I think I’ve turned the leaf once more from emergency mode, fighting a war and blaming myself, to sorrow. But I will get through. I always do.

I never planned to be away from Africa this long – I got stuck in Sweden. First when I got here I was sick for a week. I had this recurring UTI that just wouldn’t go away. Then I had this big job writing a book for a client. Only they wanted a slightly different book and it took them two weeks to let me know, upon which I had to rewrite the book. And I promised myself not leave till that job was done as I wanted peace of mind I had enough money. Also, because I work like a maniac on both finding new clients, working for clients and working on Magique.

Magique and knowing other things at Little Angels are going really well this year has been my pride and joy. It’s been what’s kept me going. And of course – the idea that one day I will get the twins safe.

I wanted to introduce Magique to my readers with flair, but being my hope and joy is a bit of flair, isn’t it? You can join us on Twitter @CarnavalDuDesir and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarnavalDuDesir or Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/CarnavalDuDesir

You see, a carnival of desire is coming to Cape Town and LA. An indulgent adventure. An experience of dreams.

And as with my business as with life – I will fight till it is an experience of dreams. I’ve just realized I have to fight for myself as well. Love myself the way I want to love others. Give myself what I want to give others.

Love is always the answer you know.

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Miss Z and I. Just after I’d had some test done to my hands last year. I needed comfort and I knew where to find it. Little Angels will always be a source of love. Even in the most trying times. 

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Don’t give up…

Even when you are at rock bottom there is always a turning of the page; a new leaf. Some situations seem hopeless, but few are.

That’s all.

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Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926711637026/ 

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This is not politically correct…

I’ve been writing a lot as of late. You know, clients want everything from dating books to articles about near death experiences. Which is nothing compared to topics like how Google’s Penguin version whatever will affect SEO. Which still is nothing compared to men’s biological reactions to women. It taught me a lot that article. I also believe the idea for the topic came from me. I just had no idea how complicated men are. Though when you translate it to normal English, all you need to remember as a woman is short skirts and adventure. The rest works itself out. Oh and keeping the lights on.

I write a lot for others. And sometimes it gets too much. Whilst I’m passionate about writing, doing it ten to twelve hours a day can get hectic. So I don’t really blog those days. Today, however, I applied for a job writing satire/fake news articles and very much enjoyed coming up with a few just for fun. I think I might have shot myself from every angle though, because my news were so fake they were fake. You see, I turned Kanye’s daughter into a son and sent the article before I caught the mistake. I tend not to read the tabloids…so there goes my chance of the job. I somehow managed to take the piss of both the republicans and the democrats as well, so whether the potential client is a democrat or a republican doesn’t matter – I’m screwed either way as they don’t know that I favor blow jobs over violating human rights. I also wrote about topics you just don’t talk about (so un-PC you know), but it’s no worse than Cards Against Humanity. Besides, so long as Sarah Palin doesn’t run for presidency after marrying Kanye West, we will all be OK.

So without any further ado, find my sense of humor below. And bear in mind I’m joking. I don’t have anything against these people, apart from Zuma.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced his resignation today. Many South Africans have been waiting for this for years. Mr. Zuma who has, amongst other things, been tried for rape confessed that his decision comes after seeing the ghost of Nelson Mandela. Mandela reportedly told him that he will have to pay back for all his sins after he dies, unless he starts paying them back now. Mr. Zuma immediately decided to give up his multi-million dollar mansion, which he was accused of having paid for with tax payers’ money, and moved to a nearby township. Doctors are frightened that Mr. Zuma has lost his mind, but the general consensus in South Africa seems to be that he has finally found it.

Hillary Clinton has launched a campaign to win over the republicans: she has decided to include God’s judgment in every sentence she speaks. We wonder how Bill will feel when she says “Oh God” in the bedroom? Like she’s going down on a republican?

It’s been revealed that Kanye West has had a secret crush on Beyonce since forever. It finally came to light as Beyonce is now pregnant with his baby. Close friends to Kanye says the baby will be named Beyond West. We wonder how North West will feel about the news when she’s older? After all, could there possibly be anything beyond the daughter of Kim and Kanye?

Justin Timberlake announced in a press release today that he has secretly longed to become a woman for many years and has finally decided to go ahead with the surgery. He will eat hormones as required, but apparently does not need to retrain his voice to have it reach a higher pitch. Experts say he already sounds like a woman. Jessica Biel fully supports his decision.

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Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/494481234057834723/

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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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Filed under adventures in life, Freedom, journey of the heart, Life, Love, personal growth, self help, Spirituality