Category Archives: Motivation

A beautiful perspective…

I don’t know what you tell yourself when you get upset with yourself, but I tend to call myself an idiot. I did so the other day when I lost my phone. I thought I’d left it at Little Angels while running off to another appointment, or in the car. So, while I realized I wasn’t bringing the phone, I didn’t see a problem. Only, when I returned, the phone was nowhere to be found.

The police. The cellphone store. Hours of arranging stuff. Putting out a reward. Then hearing someone found it, only to say it was with someone else, who said they didn’t have it.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to let someone get me down by keeping my phone. I’m in charge of my moods and all that. Then I told myself the South African police experience was interesting. Yet, by the end of the week I was starting to miss my phone and getting frustrated.

Then, when I was in Hangberg, someone approached me to say they did know who had it. Someone not previously mentioned. Then a long story from different parties about who really found it, who wanted to sell it, who kept it safe ensued. The SIM was missing, so clearly someone tried something, only to realize that iPhones can be locked. (I did consider putting the message “Cock blocked” on the phone, but instead put a number to call and promised a reward. I figured that would be more effective.)

I got my phone back. Yet, this week was a week filled with what seemed like obstacles, as were the last couple of months, so I started beating myself up about it. I could have prevented the phone going missing. I could have done this. I could have done that. I must still be in victim mode to set myself up for this.

Then, after I found the phone and had had some other breakthroughs someone told me, “It’s unusual to get a phone back, but then you’re a good person and good things happen to good people.” Huh. That’s one way of seeing it.

Come to think of it, rather a lot of good things happen to me. I’m just too caught up beating myself up for the bad things to notice. Not that I don’t enjoy the good things. Not that I don’t sing and dance around a lot. I certainly do–if life can be a musical, why not?! Eccentric. Perhaps. The way I like it? Absolutely. However, I still beat myself up all the time. People tell me my life should be a movie and I’m the most interesting person they ever met (that’s the most common thing I’m told). I tell myself I’m a royal F up. And as that’s what I tell msyelf, nothing else seems to penetrate. Until as of late. I’ve had a few moments.

Perspective.

The stories we tell ourselves reflect how we see our life and, thus, how we feel and act. How do you see your life? What stories are you telling yourself?

It’s not what happens to us, but what we make up about what happens to us that control our moods and reactions. It controls our experience. This experience right here called life. This gift. This tremendous thing.

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Filed under diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Musings, Uncategorized

Prayer…

A man walked up to me yesterday. A parking attendant at the beach. Told me he knew me.

“You taught me at the drug rehab center some years back,” he said. “You’re Maria.”

We chatted briefly–I asked him if he was still attending classes, but he said they charged now and he couldn’t afford it. It looked to me like he had relapsed. I had the child I raise with me, so I didn’t stay for long to chat–we were at the beach to run about and chase the sunset.

As we made our way back to the car, we met him again. And as I left, he stood staring after me.

This is not the first time, nor the last time this will happen. People know me. People have come up to me to ask me if I can take their children and raise them, if I can hire them, if I can sort out their husband who has taken their child from them, if I could please make way for a foster child, if I can get them off drugs, if I can get someone to help them with a child they raise… And yet, the requests I get are sporadic. The requests Liezl gets are non-stop.

Liezl runs the not-for-profit educare center I’ve been involved with for eight years now. The place where I met the kids I ended up helping to raise. The place that changed my life.

Sometimes, these requests warm my heart. Sometimes they break it.

We’re always fighting. Fighting for funds for a safe house for women. Fighting for funds to look after more children. Fighting for the right to build a larger center. Fighting to get me the right visa so I can stay forever with the kids. Fighting for awareness. Fighting for change. Fighting to help.

Often, we’re fighting for our own survival, too. We’ve been on so many journeys, ups and downs and roundabouts. We’ve made mistakes, we’ve failed people, we’ve cried, we’ve been too broke to mention…

And, today, I was thinking that maybe it’s time to stop fighting and start praying. You cannot help everyone. You cannot sink your own life to the ground trying to do so. But you can pray. You can have faith that things will come right and that you will thrive in the end. And that you will help those who are meant to receive it. You have to let go of the rest. You have to realize that you are not responsible for anyone, but you can become a vessel that helps when there’s a way to do so. And I believe, if you open yourself up to that, then you will indeed become a vessel of good, instead of one that’s constantly fighting the waves on a stormy sea–only just about avoiding becoming a shipwreck.

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Spirituality

The incredible dream…

As we get older, heck, even in our twenties, we often realize there are some things we do over and over again. Some of those things are great. We are always on time. We always manage to pay our bills. We always date kind guys. Other times, they aren’t so great. We’re never on time. We only just manage to pay the bills. We always date emotionally unavailable guys. We fuck up in the same way over and over again. It’s our dysfunctional pattern, whatever it may be.

Sometimes, it’s more subtle. We’ve lived in a similar manner for years. What was once exciting has now grown stagnant. It’s no longer putting a smile on our face; no longer fulfilling us.

And change…how do you create it? At times, it seems pretty damn impossible, doesn’t it? How are you going to create something you’ve never had?

There are two ways around this.

The first is structure. If you’ve always been bad at managing accounts, hire an accountant. If you’re bad at exercising, hire a personal trainer. Alternatively, read some books on the topic you want to get better at, then set up a plan. A structure. To stick to the new structure, get an accountability partner.

The second, is to dare to dream. If you’ve never brought in the millions it seems incredible to do so, doesn’t it? Yet your neighbor, has never earned less than 200k a year and, by now, sit on plenty of millions thanks to wise investments. How does your neighbor think? What’s normal to them? What’s a small amount of money to them? What’s a large amount of money to them? For them, not bringing in the millions is as unthinkable as it is for you to bring them in.

When something becomes possible, it suddenly becomes attainable. Not in a foggy dreamlike sort of way, but in a real, practical kind of way. It’s incredible what opportunities come along once you dare to dream up a new possibility. A new way of life. The life of your neighbor.

It’s time to imagine having some fun. Some real life fucking magic. Because it’s possible. Just as if by magic.

You can find my poetry on Insta: @TheMagiqueBoutique

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Poem, poetry

Bruised bottoms…

There’s no fucking backup plan for falling in love. You fall. You stumble down some stairs, land flat on your ass and look up to someone who now appears as a giant before you. All other men, in comparison, ants. They lack the beautiful traits, the significant looks, and the commonalities the other man shares with you. They seem insignificant in comparison.

The thing is, you have to do it. You have to fall. You have to imagine that this man is better than all the rest, even if you know it’s an illusion. Because without that illusion, there are no butterflies. No tingles in your forearms. No longing so painful and so sweet a mere text messages makes you erupt in euphoria.

You want those feelings.

At the same time, of course, you need to be practical. This man, if any good, will end up your husband. He has to be able to express what he needs, while still thinking you’re some thinly veiled goddess. He has to be able to say the hard stuff and praise–generously–the good stuff. He needs to be able to build a reality with you where you are both happy. He will have to read the books you recommend about marriage, and go on a trip to Beijing even though he doesn’t want to. He has to get up at five on days you have a fever, to make sure you get breakfast in bed. And just like that, you have to do the same for him. You have to do things you’d never imagined just to learn to understand and aid this giant of a man. And that’s when it really helps to think he is a giant compared to other men. It helps to have butterflies in your belly. It helps to be seduced by his mind and body, heart and soul. It’s the fuel that will take you through.

But all of that can only last–the endorphin high–if the hard work is done.

And that’s why many people get off of the floor, dust their bottoms, and start climbing the stairs again. Because they aren’t willing to work. To learn. To compromise. Instead, the giant becomes a giant obstacle, hindering them on their path. Or the giant is uncompromising; unwilling to move.

Thankfully, for all of us, we’ve learned that falling and getting up isn’t too hard. Not when you’re on round twenty-five, or so. You’ve learned you can climb stairs, even in stilettos. You’ve learned you’re OK, even when you’re bruised.

And if nothing else, there’s coffee. Dark, divine, delicious coffee. Laden with just the right amount of honey to sweeten it and cream to tame the darkness. That coffee, served at an ungodly hour will kickstart you once more. Your internal engine humming.

There’s also tea. Drunk together with friends, who pat you on the back and give you another cookie. A sugar rush. Something to bring you back to the moment and forget your temporary insanity when you thought a mere man a giant.

Tea brings new adventures as souls set out on journeys together; discover new thoughts; decide to start up businesses; or go on spa weekends in the country. Tea is the glue that keeps souls together. And we all know when it’s time to put on the kettle and bake the scones.

Then, there’s wine and champagne when we are in need of a good giggle–bubbles bursting on our tongue and tickling our throat. Landing in our belly like butterflies. And as our mind ascends to a pink cloud, we look around and start seeing men. Maybe not giants, but men with potential at least. Men who wink at us and tell us we’re OK, even with our bruised bottoms. Men who’d be happy for us to fall for them–men who might even catch us as we stumble down the stairs on a giddy high. Men who would, potentially, consider doing the hard work. The push-ups that will give them the muscle that make us smile and lick our lips. The men willing to go the extra mile. If, of course, we do the same.

One day, you’ll meet a man who will remain a giant. Till that day, dust yourself up and brew some coffee–head to a friend for tea and go out for wine. Life. Feel it. Brewing inside of you until it bursts out in cascades of stars. Be a star. Glitter. Glimmer. Indulge in every moment. Drink the morning dew. Recognize it for the nectar that it is. Turn up the music and dance around the kitchen. Look out over the rooftops of Paris as many times as you need to get inspired. Run so fast you fall over and laugh uncontrollably with a runner’s high. Drive along the PCH till you feel freedom pump around your blood. Howl at a full moon. Set yourself free–scream with joy and jump in puddles–and discover the treasure right there at your doorstep. Especially if you’re in isolation–make sure that doorstep fucking shines.

At eight o’clock I call you

Waiting to hear your voice

Like a kid waiting for Santa 

Like a desperate woman pouring a glass of wine

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

You’re no hero

No man in shining armor

A tad bruised 

A tad battered

Scarred enough to be a man 

Lost enough to be human

But with an inner compass

Looking for the light 

At eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

The truth is

I learned to walk long ago

Both in high heels and bare feet

Even with sneakers in obstacle courses

And even though I sometimes stumble 

I know that I’ll win the race

Celebrate another day ending

And the next’s beginning

And yet at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

I can walk 

I can run 

I can pick myself up when I stumble 

I’m fine

I’m free

I’ll bleed and I’ll heal

I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward 

I’ll love and live and pirouette

Around the next corner

For yet another adventure

But at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I enjoy another 

Of life’s treasures

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde aka Maria Montgomery and yes, the copyright is all mine and all that.

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Filed under confessions, diary, Happiness, Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Love-life, Motivation, Musings, Poem, poetry, Relationship, relationships

‘Tis the season…

’Tis the season…to be of service to others. 

I know many have had what we in South Africa would call “a hectic year.” Many are furious with the world…and with governments. All round, people have been struggling to “do the right thing.” Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t. And I’ve seen people lose their heads because they disagree on how to best tackle a pandemic that’s affected almost everyone alive today. Quite a few felt separated because of the US elections, too. People have been taking sides. 

Sometimes, it’s nice to shift your focus to what’s working and how you can build bridges with others instead of burning them. How you can stand together to help one another—even if you disagree on things. 

A lot of people are struggling, so let’s help them and ourselves by being of service—by going out of our way to do a nice thing. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to drive the long way around to do a nice thing. Being of service means you go out of your way to help others. 

However, it does not mean you hurt yourself in the process. I (and many people I know), have gone out of their way to help others at their own expense. That’s self destruction, not being of service. 

Point being, the coaching group I’m part of created a challenge for us to be of service—commit five acts of service in the coming month. It’s an open challenge, so I invite anyone who wants to spread the Christmas cheer to join. 

You don’t have to be rich, or be in the right circumstances, or have had an epic year to be an extraordinary person. So let’s challenge ourselves to be just that (even if we sometimes want to scream and kick and shout about travel bans, and the fear of being coughed at, or everyone’s opposing opinion). 

Merry ho ho y’all! 

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Yule

Let’s get excited!!!

When was the last time you went wild when seeing someone?

I get it. That sentence can be interpreted in more ways than one.

Let’s try again.

When was the last time you got excited when someone you know walked through the door? Someone you see on a daily basis?

I was looking out the window earlier and saw the dogs going wild as the neighbors returned. They’d been away for an hour, or two.

When I walk out my room, the little one gets excited. We’ve been isolating since COVID started and he sees me all the time. But I need time to work, so I’m locked up in my bedroom for most of the day. When I walk out, it’s hugs and kisses and happiness all round.

He also likes to knock on my door to ask if I’d like to come play horse, or go to the forest. I do. Sometimes. Right now, I’m about to finish this blog and head to the forest.

I remember being a kid and waiting for my dad to come home by the end of the day. Especially when I was sick, which was often. I’d get so happy when I heard his car arrive, or his voice in the hallway.

It was so good to see someone I cared about. Someone who would bring something to my day. He’d smell like fresh air and the outside world–adventure.

When we get older, as our partner, or friend whom we see often, walk in the door, we continue working, or cooking, or doing the laundry. How often do we stop what we are doing and run to see them, flinging ourselves into their arms?

With COVID, we might have come to appreciate human relationships more, but maybe it’s time to learn a thing, or two, from dogs and kids.

Our time on Earth is limited. At least in this incarnation. When you see someone you love, stop what you’re doing and fling yourself at them with all the enthusiasm of a puppy seeing their human.

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When shit hits the fan, buy toilet paper…and have a giggle…

This year’s trending words so far:

  • social distancing
  • masks
  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • panic shopping

As a human, this doesn’t exactly make me smile. As a writer, I find it hilarious. It’s like living in a science fiction comedy where panic has turned humans into anti-bac spraying, mask wearing, toilet paper obsessed morons.

It is the year when toilet paper trumps roses as birthday gifts. Not that I ever found roses particularly interesting, unless they come delivered as a bush. You know, so you can plant them, grow them, harvest the petals and use them in cooking, baking and teas. Then, roses make sense.

Not that I object a beautiful bouquet of flowers–they’re a symbol. A beautiful symbol at that. It’s just, they don’t make my heart race, or my imagination take flight. For that, more innovative and thoughtful gifts are required.

Toilet paper, unlike a bouquet of roses, you can use. And if someone writes cute poetry on it, you may even enjoy your visits to the bathroom a little bit more.

In fact, I’d totally get behind the idea of receiving loo roll with poetry on it.

The thing is, when something like COVID comes along that has the potential of flooding hospitals with patients and kill off a small percentage of the population, not least because hospitals are struggling with resources, it’s scary.

But just as when terrorism and immigration were seen as the scariest things in the world, it’s not the scariest thing in the world.

If you Google the stats, you’ll soon figure out that cancer is a lot more frightening. However, you can protect yourself from COVID in ways you can’t from cancer. Then again, certain cancers, are caused by toxins, HPV (a sexually transmitted disease), and lifestyle choices. And those cancers you can protect yourself from, but are you?

Are you living a healthy lifestyle devoid of toxins? Do you refrain from sex with a lot of different people? Are you building up your immune system?

Even with COVID, working on your immune system is a great idea. From what I’ve learned when penning health and wellness articles, that means good sleep, time in nature, exercise, healthy meals and a life with as little negative stress as possible. Certain herbs and spices may also help you build up your immune system.

What people believe to be the scariest thing in the world, often isn’t the scariest thing in the world. But that doesn’t mean it won’t kill some people. Take precaution. But also take precaution for things that aren’t perceived as immediate dangers. Such as having a heart attack due to poor lifestyle choices. I bet overdosing on fat and sugar doesn’t scare you half as much as COVID, but it should. Statistically speaking.

Personally, with COVID, I’d rather be safe than sorry. If I can socialize two meters apart, in nature and spray everything with anti-bac, I’m quite happy with that. For now.

That, however, does not mean I’ll focus on COVID. I don’t need to listen to COVID stories all day long. I don’t need to think about toilet paper. Hey, if we run out there are magazines and leafs and this thing called washing using water.

This year has been a rollercoaster for most of us. And some have lost near and dear ones to COVID. That’s horrible. But rollercoaster rides aren’t just horrible, they’re also a thrill and can give you the giggles. If nothing else, because everything’s upside down. So let’s focus on the good stuff, not on hand sanitizer.

You can choose your own trending words for the year. Such as art, creativity, nature, family, achievement, and happiness.

When things change, you have to find opportunities in things that present themselves in the now. Such as opening a bidet business, or manufacturing your own toilet paper. Or why not create a new exercise routine at home, launch the online business of your dreams, learn to grow your own vegetables, or finally meditate daily?

You’re your own boss. Now more so than ever.

No, you might not be able to travel to the other side of the world. But there is so much to be thankful for. This isn’t the plague and we aren’t living in the 1500s. That’s a starting point.

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Turn them on…

Have you ever seen someone’s eyes light up? 

I bet you have. 

They see someone they love. 

They do something they love. 

And bam—there it is. The light. As if there are stars twinkling in their soul; the light shining through their eyes. 

It’s beautiful. And wonderful. And just totally amazing. 

Love. It’s what lights our way. Love.

When you next meet someone. Take a moment to see if you can find their light switch. And turn them on. 

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/507780926739558786/

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Sailing bravely into the unknown…

A problem many of us face is that we are sailing away from one harbor, instead of toward another harbor.

What’s the difference you ask?

One is propelling you forward with negativity and, possibly, sadness.

The other is propelling you forward with want, need, love, desire…

Whenever there’s progress, we leave something behind.

We say goodbye to one job to find another.

We say goodbye to one partner to find another.

We say goodbye to one place to find another.

We do that because we want to upgrade our life, or because we are forced to by circumstance. But even when we know we are leaving for something better, there are usually good things we will miss.

You know why people stay in bad relationships? Even abusive relationships?

Because part of it is good. And possibly they can’t imagine something better due to their previous life experiences/thoughts about self/others.

It’s the same reason they stay in a place, in a job, or even in a relationship with drugs. They can’t imagine something better. They don’t believe. They don’t have faith.

To grow you have to leave the harbor. But more than anything, you have to sail toward a new harbor. Toward something better. Because it’s possible. Even if it hurts.

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/507780926739522107/

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Come hell or high water: poetic musings on life…

Here’s something that made me laugh. Out loud.

Are you someone who snorts horse tranquilizers? Didn’t think so. But if you’re trying to quit smoking, you may tell yourself that just one drag is OK. But you are not a smoker, just as you’re not someone who snorts horse tranquilizers. And someone who doesn’t snorts horse tranquilizers doesn’t sometimes have a whiff.  

This example, from Jen Sincero, made stop in my tracks. And laugh out loud.

Ever decided to turn your phone off when driving? I have. Which means I no longer check texts at traffic lights. But do you know how many times I thought to check texts at traffic lights when I first made this decision? And do you know how frustrating it is to sit there with nothing to do? 

I’m not a person who willfully causes accidents. Therefore, I’m not a person who checks my texts at traffic lights. That’s it. A decision is a decision. 

What’s helped me breaking this particular habit is audiobooks. It gives me something to think about while waiting for the lights to change. And when not busy listening to audiobooks, I play a game of looking around me to see how many details I can notice. As most of us drive the same roads every day without having a clue of what we’re actually seeing, this is a good exercise in observation.

Have you ever contemplated that you don’t even notice most of your life?

But back to audiobooks.

In general, audiobooks are helping me break a lot of habits. By filling my head with personal development books, I don’t have time to walk around thinking negative thoughts. I seriously recommend it for anyone prone to depression, or thoughts that don’t serve them in general. You can’t be depressed if you fill your head with thoughts that aren’t depressing and you can’t get stuck in unhealthy habits if you fill your head with healthy thoughts. And by infusing my brain with things such as how to make decisions that stick, I am implementing processes for a whole other life. 

When you make a decision to break a habit/enforce a new habit, think of it as you would snorting horse tranquilizers. If you don’t snort horse tranquilizers, you don’t sometimes do it, because, well, you’re not a horse tranquilizer snorter. And if you decide you’re a gym goer, or entrepreneur, or generally awesome person, then you do what they would do. As a gym goer, you go to the gym. That’s it. There’s no room for negotiation.

Decide who you are. Then act as that person.

I decided I’m an entrepreneur and filmmaker.

That’s why, last week I launched Magique on Etsy. After seven years of running around the globe, trying to “figure it out” I decided it was time to put one product on the market. Not all the product types I wanted to, but one. I don’t even have all the digital products I want on the market. That won’t happen till, well, I’ve had the time to create them all. For now, it’s mainly poetry prints. And I’m freaking out about it. Because OMG it’s not all the things Magique stands for. It doesn’t feel like a full representation of the brand. And OMG I’ve been working till midnight every night and I’m not making money from it RIGHT NOW. But what do you think derailed me from launching for seven years? The idea of perfection and needing cash right now, amongst other things.

I developed an entire product line (a physical one) that got massive praise and that I spent, literally, hundreds of hours developing together with a brand I spent another couple of hundreds of hours sweating over as I couldn’t pay for graphic designers to do it all. And the website. Another hundred hours (then I forgot to pay the damn domain fees and lost it all and now have to start from scratch. I learned WordPress for that site and let me tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds).

But did I launch? No. Just before doing it I always stopped. I didn’t have money to produce the physical products. I didn’t know how to operate the company with all the moving parts. If I broke it down, I didn’t know what product to start with. I traveled too much as I didn’t have a visa. All the stuff with the kids got in the way. I needed to make money RIGHT NOW. There was always something. And they were very valid somethings at times. They sounded like the perfect excuses. Anyone can understand that while you’re raising a kid with autism who’s smashing the furniture and trying to support golly know how many kids from a township while applying for visas you don’t have time to figure your business out. But I got my act together enough to start an Instagram account where I posted poetry related to the brand, as all our products come enchanted by words. And then I had this idea for digital products. And eventually I got the fuck on the fuck and launched the company on a full moon on Friday the 13th 2019. With six products.

Then I kept working.

Now there are more products.

I launched my business. Because I’m an entrepreneur.

And this morning, when wanting to go to the Cheesecake Factory and thinking about how long it will take till I get ot America…I decided to go to the local coffeeshop and buy cheesecake. Because I’m not someone who lives for delayed gratification. I’m someone who enjoys life.

Decide who you are. Then act on it.

I highly recommend: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. If you want to be a badass that is. If you want to sit on the couch/behind your office desk, bemoaning your life, then I highly recommend you do nothing.

In need of a last minute Christmas pressie? Or feel like buying one of my products and leave a review to support me on this journey of badassery? I’d appreciate it. I’d actually love it. So I’m giving everyone 65% off last minute Christmas gifts from Magique. As they’re digital downloads you can buy the download and print it at home, or at the local printers. If you buy something, send me a note so I can thank you for it.

This link will give you 65% off meaing some prints cost less than $3.50. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMagiqueBoutique?coupon=FRIENDS65

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Poem, poetry, Uncategorized