Category Archives: self help

You're fucking A…

You have a beautiful soul. No matter what filthy mess you’ve gotten yourself into. No matter what financial mess you’ve created. No matter how much you fucked up with your spouse, the kids, the parents…you have a beautiful soul. It’s still in there. So stop beating yourself up and start living from that space instead.

No matter how many hours, days, weeks, or years, you’ve wasted messing yourself and/or your life and/or the people around you up, you can live a good life. Great life. Because you’re fucking A. Your soul is brilliantly beautiful and bloody marvelous. And you know it, don’t you?

We all know it.

Our own self-perception is weird, isn’t it? I keep thinking about what a mess my life is. It doesn’t matter how high up the ladder I climb, how kind people tell me I am, how many people I’ve helped…I keep looking at certain things thinking I’m an effing mess because I should be further along, or so I tell myself. Mess is my word of choice. I’m sure you have your own.

You can just live. This moment is all you have. And it’s your gift from up yonder. Yet, most of us have a measuring stick we are looking to, to check if we’re using this moment as we should. But what we really should is see it as a gift and live it as we want.

Maybe it’s just the other perfectionists and I who have that measuring stick. It’s natural that you know what’s good for your life and bad for your life. If you’re spending this moment robbing someone…well, it’s not going to serve you, or them. But if you are simply sitting there wondering if you achieved enough today, was good enough today, created enough today…then it’s time to shut up and start living instead of worrying. Enjoy yourself for F’s sake. Make use of this godly gift called life.

You know that one person who truly cares for your–the friend who loves you, the lover who treasured you, the child who adores you, the person who can’t wait to work with you again–maybe you should start seeing yourself through their eyes. Instead of thinking you aren’t worthy of their love and appreciation, act as a person who are. Accept that they see greatness in you, start seeing greatness in yourself and start acting as a person who is great.

And now I’m going to stop sulking about feeling behind in schedule and have a dose of I-love-myself-coffee. And possibly an Oreo cookie.

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

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Filed under achievement, confidence, diary, Musings, perfectionism, self help, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, Thoughts

No excuses…

No excuses. I think I’m going to frame this and hang it on the wall.

To all of us, life happens. We all deal with circumstance that’s less than ideal. Sometimes it’s downright horrifying. But don’t use that as an excuse. Instead of being weighed down by it, move beyond it.

If I wake up with the mindset that there are no excuses, I get excited. If I wake up worrying about things, I get depressed.

We can either worry and moan about the things that happen to us, or we can decide on what we want and go for that no matter what. Going for it will keep us motivated and taking action that serves us. Moping, moaning and worrying won’t.

We all have choice to be the best we can be and enjoy all life has to offer. But we also all have areas of our lives that are fucked five ways to Friday. We have the choice to change them for the better. But it’s usually not until we’re at the stage of do or die that we choose to change.

Personally, I am going to do everything in my power to power up my life. And that means no more excuses.

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, self help, Self-help

My choice to shine…

I just tried to Google duck recipes, but ended up with dick instead of duck. Just the way to start a Monday morning. Oh, and the toddler got out of bed to pee in the toilet, but peed standing on the floor next to the bed instead. 

Frankly, I’ve had a wonderful morning. These are just little funny events. The sun is shining, Cape Town looks glorious and people have been nice to me this morning. 

I was thinking about this the other day. People being nice. I was feeling a bit sad and angry because of something. Like I’d imagined this perfect day that just wasn’t happening. And instead of making the moment great, I just felt disappointed. Just then I ended up talking to one friend of mine that showed me kindness. Simply by helping me with some car issues. Just hearing his voice I calmed down, because I knew I have people in my life who care about me. 

And it hit me how much kindness matters. Yesterday my business partner went on a rant about how as long as I don’t have a stable boyfriend in my life, he is going to make sure I’m OK with the things that, in his opinion, a man should handle because clearly I have to multitask too much. It was really sweet. 

My kid’s homeschooling teacher this morning asked me how I was doing. Left me a message asking questions. That perked me up as well. Just knowing people care. 

I think it’s important to acknowledge the people in your life who are showing up for you by showing up for them (as mentioned in a previous blog, it doesn’t come natural for me to check in on people, I’m learning to do that) and sometimes, by giving them a gift or something else to show you care. I don’t always take time for this, and sometimes I’m too shy to do it, but I must start doing it. Because it’s who I want to be. 

Also, remember focus. When I was upset I was focusing on something in my life that wasn’t working as I wanted it too. When I spoke to my friend, I started focusing on things in my life that were working, such as beautiful friendships. That shifted my mood.

The thing is, we often get stuck thinking about how to figure out what’s not working. How to solve problems. Or simply reveling in the problems. When we do, we feel like shit. I could have been very upset about the peeing episode this morning. I wasn’t. Because I didn’t waste any time thinking about it. It took three minutes to clean up. Big deal. But when we’re frustrated, or sad, any thing is a big deal. When, on the other hand, we think about what’s working, such as living in gloriously beautiful Cape Town, having amazing people in your life and making more money an hour than some make a week here, we see these small events as funny. OK, I was temporarily frustrated as I didn’t understand the logic of peeing by the bedside, but it didn’t take long to see the humor. 

If there’s a problem, deal with it. Man up to it. Take charge. Don’t get stuck thinking about it. Take action. Any action. Start moving beyond it. If one thing doesn’t work, try another until you find a solution. Just don’t bury yourself in the problem. Everyone goes through shit. It’s how you deal with it that determines if it sinks you or you conquer.

I can write you a long list of problems I have and that Cape Town has, but I live in a city filled with sunshine and star shine, glorious beaches and tall mountains, incredible city scapes and natural wonders, tasty foods and delicious treats, roaring fireplaces and beautiful gardens, laughing people and shining intelligence… I live in paradise. If only I choose to see it that way. It’s my choice. Mine alone. My choice to see the wonders in my life and my city. My choice.  

Funnily, when you start seeing the things in life that shine, you start to shine. You start to sparkle. You become a star in other people’s night sky.

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Filed under Awareness, conscious lifestyle, Conscious Living, diary, Friends, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, kindness, Mindfulness, Motivation, Musings, relationships, self help, Self-help, The Mind, Uncategorized

Go a little wild already — why anger can save your life…

I read a book many moons ago that practically saved my life. Yes, I know, lots of people say shit like that, but I pretty much literally mean it. Because it saved my hands.

Many years ago, I bought a book called Curing Back Pain: the Mind Body Connection by Dr. John Sarno. I never read it. When I left LA I gave it away, or packed it away somewhere never to retrieve it.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself getting shooting pains in my hands and arms. I was told I had repetitive strain injury and it was incurable. While it supposedly stemmed from typing, working as a writer, it affected everything I did. It got so bad I feared I couldn’t drive anymore.

I tried healing, I tried acupuncture, I tried using a chiropractor who also put needles in pain points, I tried massage, I tried raw foods, I tried medication, I tried Chinese medicine… The massage and needles into pain points helped for a short period, but then the pain returned with a vengance. People said it could have been triggered by stress. I went through all the stressors in my life. All the potential causes.

When I asked friends on Facebook about tips and recommendations, someone mentioned Sarno’s book. I dismissed it, thinking something stemming from “repetitive” movements couldn’t be caused by the mind. Stress can lead to a lowered immune system and general malfunctioning, but I had a physical condition that needed a physical solution. Or so I thought.

Back in LA and on a trip to Vegas I one night, in a bout of desperation, googled help once more and once again came across Sarno’s book for the purpose of repetitive strain injury. I was desperate. So I read some of the reviews. And I got the book.

A few days later I was typing again.

Sarno talks about how pain can be caused by the brain by a physical condition he calls TMS. This syndrome comes from the brain signaling the body to narrow the blood vessels and thereby causing pain from mild oxygen depravation.

His theory is that most of us repress anger. Usually we get angry with the people we love the most. We’re angry with our parents for fucking us up. With our children for throwing tantrums. With our boss for making us do things we don’t want to do. With our partner for not loving us the way we want to be loved. With our friends for acting in ways we don’t agree with. Then we feel ashamed. Because we know these are the very people who love us, or at the very least help us, or support us. So we bottle up our emotions instead of facing them, or discussing them.

Sometimes we suppress the anger because we’re scared of losing people if we confront them. Sometimes it’s because we feel ungrateful because the person is doing so much good for us, or love us, so why can’t we just let that one thing we’re angry with go?

I think we bottle up a lot more emotions than anger, but think about it: is there any one person in your life that you haven’t been angry with? And have you dealt with that anger? Discussed it with them? Have you even faced your own anger?

Sometimes it’s really simple as well — something we would face in a heartbeat if we only knew we were suppressing it. But we suppress without thinking. For example, we feel anger towards our baby for keeping us up at night, then ashamed as that’s what babies do. We’re the parent. We’re supposed to love them. So the brain, without us as much as realizing, suppresses the anger and distracts us from it with pain. If we think about the pain, we don’t think about the anger.

Some wounds cut deeper. The parents who loved us, but fucked us up. The friends in school we never stood up to, who semi-bullied us for what felt like an eternity, but were our “friends.” The partner who was constantly working to provide for us, but never spent time with us and who we didn’t want to pressurize too much, because, well, they were working. Guilt often stops us from dealing with anger. We could just express a want to spend a little bit more time with them, while also acknowledging the importance of their work, but we don’t. Or we could tell our well-meaning parents that we really don’t want to live as they want us to, no matter how much we love them. But we don’t. Because guilt, or fear of losing them, or simply fear of conflict in general, stands in the way.

If you don’t stand up for what you want, you’re constantly angry even if on the outside, you’re cool as a cucumber.

Learning to communicate your feelings, without for that matter blaming someone else for you having them, can help you overcome anger. Standing up for what you want, without for that matter putting someone else down, can help you overcome anger. Acknowledging that you get upset and it’s alright (even if you’re upset with a baby keeping you up at night) can help you overcome anger.

I believe, the closer we are to someone, the angrier we will be with them. That doesn’t mean we don’t love them. That doesn’t mean we can’t look upon them through the eyes of understanding. It simply means we have needs and those close to us are the ones that most often don’t provide us with what we need. Usually not because they don’t want to, but because they’re either incapable of doing so, or don’t know what we want in the first place. Chances are half the time we don’t either, we just feel something’s wrong. We’re dissatisfied. It took me reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to figure out we have different ways in which we need to be loved to actually feel loved. Relationships are a science in their own right. And it took me reading that book to figure out why people who love each other can still be in a bad relationship.

People try to love us by telling us what to do. By not telling us what to do. By forcing their religion upon us. By forcing their beliefs upon us. By punishing us. By staying away from us. By giving us gifts. By not buying us anything. By showing they love us so much we suffocate. By refraining from showing love at all.

People do all sorts of things in the name of love without asking us what we need, or sharing how they feel. And as a parent I’m guilty as hell of this. And when it comes to our own childhood, the truth is, not a single person in our childhood didn’t fuck us up in some way, because they tried to impose some idea or other on us that wasn’t right. Because that’s what they’d been taught to do. That’s how their life had shaped them. And we know they loved us, so we feel guilty about being angry, but love doesn’t prevent people from making mistakes. And just because we love someone, doesn’t mean we have to agree with them.

We’re all guilty of doing things in the name of love, that have nothing to do with love. They’re just things we’re hardwired into believing we should do. Just as we’re guilty of being angry with every single person who ever crossed our path for longer than a minute.

Understanding dissolves anger. It’s hard being angry with a person once you understand them. And once you look upon someone’s past, you understand them. You understand why they became who they are and why they act as they do. However, you still have to stand up for yourself. Just because you understand how someone is acting doesn’t mean you can let them act in ways that ruin your life, or dissatisfy you. It just means that when you approach them about it, you can do so from a place of love, instead of a place of blame.

Suppressed anger doesn’t just cause physical pain; it causes psychological pain too. I don’t necessarily think that repressed anger is the only emotion that can cause both physical and mental pain either. However, I do believe most unpleasant emotions lead to anger in one form, or another.

So who are the people you’re angry with? (Or should I ask: who are the people you love the most?)

And what book is it that you know would change your life, that you’re not reading? I guess I finally have to pick up Seven Habits of Highly Effective People…and then regret I didn’t do so ten years ago. But as my post Your inner dominatrix… can attest to, regret and punishment doesn’t take your life forward. Encouragement and praise do. So when you pick up that book you know you should be reading, do that thing you know you should be doing, take that course you know you should be taking…don’t regret you didn’t do so sooner. Congratulate yourself upon finally doing it instead. Finally doing what you know you really must to get the life you’d truly love.

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Filed under Healing, life lessons, Personal Development, personal growth, Personal Journeys, personal stories, self help, Self-esteem, self-worth, Uncategorized

I got lucky…

So, as the uncrowned queen of innuendo I should really play around with this getting lucky thing, right?! Right.

Well, I got lucky. But let’s skip the innuendo for a while. I got lucky, because I was out driving with my baby girl and my car stopped. I called my insurance and the car was towed to the nearest overnight place to be taken to the dealer in the morning and my girl and I were taken home. This was the day before the car was going in for repairs. And, of course, the dealership took a week before they were even able to look at it, because they were busy. My neighbor’s car had a flat wheel that for some reason took days to fix and my nanny’s car needed repairs, so we were all stranded and ubering about on a week when we were running the houses on a generator and in constant need of petrol. Naturally, the dealership charged an hourly rate twice that of any normal mechanic as well.

It sounds pretty bad, but let me tell you — I got lucky.

I met a guy where my car stopped. A guy with bright blue eyes, a few missing teeth and a desire to help us. He was homeless, crashing at a nearby shelter. Told me he was a mechanic, but he couldn’t work because he had a brain tumor that caused epilepsy. His wife was pregnant. He was trying to collect money for the shelter for the two of them for that night.

I have no idea if his story was true. All I know is that he was a guy with bright blue eyes and a few missing teeth. But during a couple of days when everything seemed to be going wrong — from having no electricity, to the nanny being off and the car breaking down, he helped me realize how lucky I was.

I was alive. My baby girl was alive. The car stopped, but we didn’t crash. I had insurance. Sure, I was tired and I was worried about finances as it had been a rough week, but I was alive, I have an hourly salary most people can only dream of and all I needed was time (and electricity) to work again. There had been some hickups with the boy I’m raising and the visa and…I was worried. I was really worried some days. But did I need to worry? Or did I need to focus on what was working and creating more of that?

Life is a perspective you’re living day-to-day. Today I woke up alive, getting cuddles from the toddler in the family. The neighbor took two kids to school; the other is staying with his nanny close to his school. I had homemade apple and pear crumble. I drank coffee. I worked. I got compliments from clients. I cleaned — getting one step closer to actualy sorting this place out. I’m alive. And I have a pretty epic life.

So, before I start cracking some joke about getting lucky, I’m just gonna focus on being lucky.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Filed under diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, self help, Self-help

I dream a little dream of you…

They say dreams speak their own language and while I believe dream lexicons and set ideas about symbolism are pretty far fetched, I do believe dreams contain messages about what’s on our mind, or in our subconscious. It may also be we are more receptive to other people’s thoughts, or messages from mysterious sources (if such exist), when we dream. The dreamer in me is still hoping that I’ll discover all the mysteries of life and divinity in my sleep…

Alas, the other night I wasn’t receiving intruiging messages from God, or the Universe, in the form of direct contact explaining all the mysteries of life, but dreamed about someone I haven’t seen for twenty years. I woke up confused about dreaming about this person, because while we went to school together, they were never someone close to me. So what on Earth prompted me to dream about them?

In this particular dream, a scenario that’s very familiar to me played out: I felt inferior as the other person got what I wanted. This sensation of feeling inferior begun at a time in my life when the person I dreamed of was part of my life and part of the click of people who were “cool” while I was as uncool as could be. It was a time when I accepted that I would never have what I wanted because of who I am — the uncool chick.

The interesting part was that as I contemplated this dream during the day I realized that how I feel is unrelated to who I interact with — sooner or later I will feel inferior and unlovable no matter who I am around. Usually due to some perceived imperfection. I feel judged, but the truth is that I’m the one judging myself, which creates a sense of inferiority, followed by a sense of unworthiness, rejection, or the idea that I can’t be loved/am unlovable. And then I act with that feeling inside of me, which, of course, causes rejection.

As you can imagine, all of this happens subconsciously. All I really feel is a nagging sensation something is off. I don’t feel like my confident self. I don’t feel on top of the world. I shy away instead of “sparkle.” I start to feel uncomfortable instead of free. Sometimes I go aloof and push people away. I feel ashamed of myself, so I don’t want to be seen.

Dreaming about a person that’s so far removed from my life I can’t even piece together why ever on Earth I’d dream about her, allowed me to see that my states of mind often have nothing to do with reality. I will create situations where I feel like I felt in the dream, irrespective of who I am with, or what I’m doing. I mean I dreamed of someone who has absolutely nothing to do with my life, yet the feeling I had in the dream is the same feeling I have around pretty much everyone I meet, at one point or another. It’s almost like the dream allowed me to look at myself from the outside and see how my mind is still reacting to something that happened twenty years ago.

Of course, then my best friend went and ruined it all by telling me she Googled this particular person the same night I dreamed of them…so maybe this dream had nothing to do with my subconscious and everything to do with my best friend’s curiosity about the people that she used to know…

Tonight I’d prefer a naked man in my dreams. Please. Oh no, wait, that’d be better in reality…

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

P.S. Want to read some of my poetry? Head to my business Magique’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/CarnavalDuDesir

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926731347179/

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Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114399/

 

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Filed under Friendship, Life, Love, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, relationships, self help, Thoughts, Uncategorized