Category Archives: Spirituality

It’s time to pull the zipper down…

There are moments in life that undress you. One moment you stand there fully clothed and the next you’re stark naked.

I always liked when people got naked. Usually it’s when they run into trouble, face their demons and crack open. Their carefully crafted coping mechanisms fail. The ego driven patterns they’re hiding their flaws behind crack. And suddenly they find themselves naked. Usually uncomfortable for them, but nice for the onlookers, who suddenly see their heart.

Maybe they need to wash off some of the crap they’ve landed themselves in, but their heart is right there. And it’s beautiful.

I had one of those moments the other day. Someone asked me something along the lines of: “Wouldn’t your gran like to have had one more experience? Like if you’d asked her before she died, wasn’t there something she wished she’d done?” And my reply was: “No, she’d just have wanted to spend more time with her family.”

When I said it I didn’t think too much about it, but when I came home it made me teary-eyed. One, because that side of the family is gone save from my sister and I. Two, because I’ve been driven by so many other things than my gran was — she was driven by family and she was happy and content, save from when people started passing over. That was her downfall — she couldn’t deal with that and let new people enter her life.

I, on the other hand, have had many incredible experiences all over the world, but it wasn’t until the past five odd years I started feeling remotely happy being me. And it wasn’t until last year I started taking my social life seriously. Because even though I knew more people than most could dream of, I was so scared of rejection I never focused on actually stitching it all together. And while this blog can attest to my many epiphanies surrounding dating over the years, I never truly thought myself capable of finding a man who loved me that I loved. Until possibly earlier this year.

I know I’m a bit of an adrenaline and experience junkie. And I get high on breaking convention. I also get a sense of fulfillment from film and Magique, as well as Little Angels, that I don’t think my gran got from her work. But I also know that as a child I filled my life with stories because I felt lonely — I was bullied and unhappy around my step-mom so I hid in books.

Yesterday I went to the doctor as I’ve caught the latest Cape Town epidemic: a stomach bug. Nothing serious, just an upset tummy, but you know after a week you start feeling a tad drained. The kind doctor put me on a fast — rehydration drinks for 24 hrs followed by bread and potatoes only for 24 hrs.

Now, I’ve done a lot of juice fasts in my day and they’re fascinating, because food is one of those feel good things. Makes you happy when you taste yummy things. Also gives you energy. When you don’t have energy you get cranky and start facing your demons. Same thing if you’re bored and alone without distraction.

Today, I realized, while tired and grumpy, just how addicted I am to food. And get me right: I’m pro a certain level of food addiction. Life should be tasty, if you ask me. But I can also see how a good book and a glass of wine, or a treat and my favorite Netflix, is a substitute for going out there and meeting people. I think good books, food and Netflix are wonderful,  it’s just using one good thing to replace another isn’t a great strategy.

Co-incidentally (if there is such a thing) I’m reading Brand’s Recovery at the moment as I always wanted an excuse to attend an AA meeting so I could learn the darn steps. Now there’s a book for that. Not that I think it can substitute what you get from the group meetings, in fact I believe if you suffer from any kind of addiction AA should be your next stop (take it from one who has known and dated enough former addicts to break the rules of probability), but for us who don’t want to turn into addicts to join AA it’s a great book. At least if you’ve lived in London and are used to foul language.

Anyway, my point, dear readers, is that I realized I have my little addictions. I already knew I had patterns. Run from loneliness by creating loneliness is one of them (sounds counter-intuitive, but hey, constantly moving round the world and being a workaholic you’re too busy to get a stabile social life so you never need feel rejected). Using food and stories to combat loneliness is an addiction though. I always said that books were my drug as a kid. If it hadn’t been for stories I thought I’d ended up committing suicide or taking drugs. I never wanted to do either, but I figured that’s because I had something that gave me hope. People always look at me with incredulity when I say those things these days, because I’m no longer the shy kid hiding in my room, petrified of my step-sisters cool friends, but I still carry that child inside me. The child that couldn’t for the life of her understand why she didn’t have friends. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, but figured she was seriously flawed somehow.

The truth is, I never fully opened up. I tried. Just as I tried liking myself. And it gets better all the time. I no longer want to run into walls because I hate myself so much and the experience in hospice was the latest thing that made me feel like I cracked open. And that comment about gran’s greatest desire brought it home even more — because there are few things more important than the people in our lives. I need to open myself up to those people. Unlike gran it isn’t just about family for me. I think everyone we love is family. And there are a whole bunchload of people I really love. I’d like to be fully present with them. And spend as much time with them as physically possible.

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Filed under addiction, addictions, Life, life lessons, Love, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A letter of no sense…

Dear So and So,

It is a great belief of mine that at least half of life is made up. We read novels set in other times and what people’s days and thoughts circled around were very different from those of modern times. There was a time when it was thought that you were born into a certain position in life and that is where you should stay. Today, it is people’s belief that you make your own fortune, yet, it cannot be objected that we are all born into a certain position in life; a position where we are surrounded by different people and events who influence our thoughts and, in turn, behavior. These influences often lead us to either make our own fortune or create our own misfortune. We believe ourselves to have free will and be dictated by all we know at the same time. We judge current situations based on past ones and we are often deluded as we do so. And at any one time we are biased by our own longings and desires, friendships and enemies.

Unless we use intuition to base our decisions upon, we are basing them on past experiences, or DNA (biology), whether consciously, or unconsciously. Mentalists have a rather fun time with this as they use common triggers to play with our minds. But even when another human is not controlling our mind, other influences likely are.

We may have free will, but can we use it?

It always perplexed me how a person could live but one meter from someone else, yet have a completely different experience of life. It is no secret that people tend to fall into patterns and suffer, or rejoice in the same victories and failures over and over again. Ones very different from their neighbor, yet it must be possible to experience something else if one just chooses to change. If one engages one’s will and opens one’s eyes, but does that require a trigger? An outside fctor? A manipulation, again, of one’s mind?

To break free from the influence of your past and believe that your life can be entirely different from what it has been is, indeed, quite remarkable. I do believe it to be true though. However, it requires that you distrust your own mind. That you silence the voice inside before you act. Before you make decisions. Before you judge the person in front of you. To survive we have to make assumptions on which we act, but we do well in being aware that our assumptions, our view of the world and, consequently, that the decisions we form, may not be true. In the same instant we do well in quieting our own ego, because the ego will insist that we are right and make us feel jolly ashamed if we are not. Once the ego has been silenced, there is only curiosity left. A curiosity to truly find out what is happening.

Looking back in time there are some things that are, of course, very much like they are today. People appear as led astray by their egos as always. What people think of them matters. Their pursuits are often egotistical. And when their ego is broken they try to break others, or simply control them by gaining their like, somehow else feel valued, overpower them, or degrade them. We love people who love us and dislike us when they do not.

People condemn what they do not feel part of. Different religions have ruled lives for centuries, one often condemning another. Yet looking back it all seems a rather big folly. Everyone is judging everyone who doesn’t think like them a hedonist. This fury in turn is transfered to politics, which affects re day-to-day lives a great deal more. Yet in  few years time, the tides will have turned again. Not unlike people fallin into attraction and realizing it had nothing to do with love; sentiments change unless they’re founded in true respect.

Maybe the most bewildering thing about life is that no one knows much at all. Atoms came together to form life. We’re all stardust. But how did it start, why did it start, what is our purpose, if any, and can something have existed forever? Who knows. Not I.

I believe though, when we always search for the good in life and the good in a situation, life, quite drastically, changes.

Yours Truly, etc.,

M

P.S. I happened to read a Jane Austen novel. I was then siezed by the desire to write a letter as I saw a pen and paper in front of me, but didn’t know whom to pen it for, so I wrote a blog instead. Hence why the writing style is partially different from the rest of my blogs. I may also have been inspired by a certain Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, my coach and The Four Agreements. My free will might not have been entirely free.

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Anyone ever been led astray from the heart by desire?

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Filed under diary, Musings, philosophy, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Maybe that night we make love till morning…

Sometimes we feel small and insignificant. Much like a tiny girl, walking up a massive mountain. We aren’t quite sure of where we are, or where we will end up. We have an idea of where we want to go – to the top – but the path is winding and we can’t always see the top – there is fog, trees and sometimes fires blocking the sight.

There are nights, when we are curled up by the fire watching a starry sky, and we feel calm and serene, and the path we are walking feels like the loveliest thing ever. Our muscles are tired after a day’s worth of climbing, in fact we are feeling tired through and through, but a good tired – we lived. We lived to the full and we are still buzzing, still filled with life and life force. We are almost giddy with excitement of all the wonders we have seen and are yet to see. Our eyes are still glazed with the beauty of butterflies catching the morning breeze underneath their wings, or the glorious sight of rainbows and waterfalls. Maybe a sudden thunderstorm filled us with power, with lust and then a gentle drizzle calmed our spirits shortly after, only to be followed by sunshine that made us laugh.

We may be sharing our camp fire with some exhilarating stranger we have met whose faces tell tales of faraway countries and adventures more fearful, more wild than we could ever imagine…or maybe adventures so sweet and lustful we can only dream of….and maybe, maybe one day achieve. Or maybe we are sharing the fire with gorgeous loved ones who are accompanying us on our journey and feel as familiar as our favorite spice.

Maybe the night is filled with laughter and excited whispers and tender words. Maybe children are playing and grown-ups smiling. And maybe, long after the kids have gone to bed, everyone is sharing tales that make our heart sing. Maybe we have found a boy whose eyes are sparkling in the moonlight and seemingly reflecting not just the moon, but our own soul, making us feel understood. Maybe for that moment it all makes sense – the search, the climb, the path that we are now on. Maybe that night we make love till  the morning.

At other times we are utterly lost – it’s raining, our knees are aching, we can’t see the top of the mountain – we are walking upwards, but we have no idea if we will ever reach the top, or at least find enough treasure to buy a fire that is always burning, a bottle that is always full, a bed that is always protected and love that is always tender. We are fearful, tired and soaked to our bones. We seek the light in our soul, the inner warmth, the love we know is hidden there, but the fear is overwhelming and the panic seemingly real as the night closes in on us and we shiver.

We  think about friends we have lost, lovers that crossed our path. We think about the chances we never took and those we should never have taken. We think about our own death and wonder where we will be then? Will we have reached the top? Or will we still be fearful and lonely?

We try to fight it, to be strong, but we only get angrier and angrier with ourselves when we do – because we are meant to be strong, right? We are meant to conquer the rain and walk with joy in our heart. We are meant to have learnt enough to find our way by the stars. We aren’t supposed to be lost, or lonely, or tired, or hungry. We are supposed to know better, be better.

Then, we give up. We remember what being truly tiny meant – what it was like being a child. When the world felt large and scary and we jumped up into our parents, or siblings laps and cried, or were just held tight. We were stil told that we were beautiful, that we were loved. No one gave up on us because we slipped and fell. They just hugged us better. We remember that it was OK then. OK to be lost and frightened and sooner, or later we found our way – whether by ourselves, or with the help of others. We felt tiny back then too. We felt scared back then too. But we weren’t angry with ourselves. We just were. We just allowed ourselves to be and somehow, somewhere, we always found the love we needed to find, the light to lit up the deepest night.

Then we take a moment to rest. We sink down, our back towards a cold fir-tree. The cold, suddenly intense against our back, awakens us. We look around. We see a tiny hare, followed by another tiny hare, looking out at us from underneath the bushes. We slowly reach out our hand. We are in desolate parts where man rarely walks and the hares have not yet learnt to fear us. We slowly look at them, as they are looking at us. In their eyes we see our own fear and trepidation reflected. We see curiosity and hope. We see warmth and love.

One of the hares slowly, slowly moves over, seeing whether to trust us. And then, with a final jump it is by our hand, sniffing it. Its nose feels warm against our cold skin. It keeps sniffing around, then suddenly jumps up, into our lap, and looks at us with big eyes. The other hare now follows, carefully, but bravely, seeing the success of its fellow friend. And then, you have them both in your lap, sharing their warmth, their lives with you.

Everywhere the rain is drizzling, turning the wood into a hazy, almost surreal place. The raindrops glisten in the final hour of dusk and the sun is making one last effort to shine through, turning everything golden. You feel a little warmth from it against your skin and the hares’ body heat radiating through your clothes, into your stiff, frozen bones. For a moment you are sharing your life with two other creatures, like yourself, trying to stay warm, find food, love and happiness. You are helping each other, understanding one another. Suddenly life has conquered and you once again feel calm – inside a new dawn has awoken.

You feel fresh. Every part of you has been shaken – you have been lost and you are still lost, but inside you have found the light. You know that as night comes rolling in you will eat some food that strengthen your body and find peace in your dreams. You will then awaken with the sun and move towards new horizons. Maybe with some furry friends by your side.

It is impossible to know if we will ever reach the top of any mountain. Life is an adventure and as such, we know that there will be struggle, there will be loss, but what will always save us is our own life force, our own love of that which surrounds us, that which we do and those whom we love, including ourselves.

We will continue to get lost and we will continue to get found. Storms will shake us and events move us. We will lose what we have found and move on to find love in unexpected places.

The best we can do is find our own heart, our own peace. We can never know what storm is coming next, or how far we will get the next day. We can only continue to move with a purpose in our heart, which gives meaning to our journey. We can continue to build love in our heart, which will strengthen us and keep us calm in the eye of the storm. We can surround ourselves by love, by doing what we love and taking time to build friendships with those we love, or those we think we will come to love. We can give of what we have, as well as our gifts, our talents, and share our lives with others.

We can love and with love always comes a treasure.

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Filed under Fairytale, Fear, Freedom, Friendship, Goals, Heart, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Magic, Motivation, People, Personal Development, Psychology, Self, Self-help, Spirituality, Stories, Story, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

Do you like whips and chains, or strawberry champagne???

Pastiersky bič

Whips...hearts...it's one big cocktail...

Did you ever think you were whips and chains to find out you are strawberry champagne? Or the other way around? Or maybe both? Did you ever doubt your desires, longings, passions, heart, intuition, love…and search in vain for an answer in the skies? In signs around you? In the treetops? In people’s dear opinions? In travels? In teachings? Only to find that the answer rested within your soul and your heart gently whispered it in your ear? But maybe you were too busy looking at some confusing fact, or telling yourself what should be right, or maybe staring yourself blind at the pretty sunset not daring to leave in search of the dawn you always dreamt of, or listening to some story (or five) you had already made up a year, or ten years ago?

Sometimes we fall in love with the person next door, because they happen to be the person next door. Sometimes we set up a lumber business because our neighbor happened to have a lumber business. Sometimes we, on the contrary, go all the way around the world only to realize that the person next door was the one we wanted and the lumber business was always our true passion…the rest was just a dream, an attraction set up because we ourselves were not fulfilled…basically: the fulfillment we sought in others needed to be found in ourselves for us to be able to see the gift that was always there, right in front of us, or next to us…or somewhere close by…

If we do not fulfill ourselves first, no kick outside of ourselves will ever be fulfilling, but we will keep wanting them (as the last one didn’t solve the problem either…we move onto the next…then the next…the bigger car, the prettier girlfriend…or just the different girlfriend…something new…something else…maybe then…) unless we first find satisfaction in our own heart and soul: then we can find the real deal. The passion, the person, the place…the whatever that complements us, rather than replaces something broken inside.

I believe that it is only when we set ourselves free – when we allow our minds (and sometimes our bodies) to travel all around the world, without fear, completely free of whatever it is we have been telling ourselves, or have been told by others – that we can know what we want.

It’s comfortable for us to know that the person that makes our cup of tea when we get home, cuddles us when we are lovesick, laughs at our jokes and talk to us every day is there every day. It’s uncomfortable knowing it’s not them you have felt the greatest love and respect for, or connected the most with.

It’s equally uncomfortable knowing that the adventure for which you left the person who loved you, was nothing more than a castle in the sand – the real deal, the one made of stone, was the one you had. The one you took for granted. The one that was built on love, rather than excitement. The one that you did not believe in as you did not know yourself – you were the one not ready for the real deal. You were the one still searching for the broken piece of you to get fixed…the one thinking that lay outside you. This was the relationship you should have put the excitement into by being present, loving and wild.

Some invest years in education, or working their way to the top of a company, only to realize that their true passion is something else…something which leads them to start all over from scratch. To finally go on the adventure they always kept locked in their heart. To finally be free. Be who they are.

Yet others leave a company only to find out that it was them, not the company that lacked passion. They needed to rekindle their soul, their love, their passion and come back with a different outlook – a different tactic for dealing with things.

Sometimes things, people, events, businesses are right for a period, sometimes for forever. Life is not at standstill – if we stand still things evolve and we get left to start over on our own and if we evolve, well then things either evolve with us, or we move ahead to new pastures. Even if we fucked up the best ever deal, the best ever relationship, the best ever whatever: if we evolve, soon the best ever will be that much better!!!

It happens ever so often we come to a crossroad – we have been forced to choose. We can choose to ignore the new path that has crossed our way, or we can follow it. And sometimes, the new path is the old path. I had to make that choice in LA – to stay, or to leave – and let me tell you: it was scary. I have no greencard. I have no ticket back. I had to choose. I had to follow my heart. It took me six months to make that choice, even if friends tell me I made it way before then…if so it took me six months to dare to follow that choice. Maybe I needed that. Maybe that was just the preparation to be had. Life threw me a few events that helped solidify my decision. Who knows? All I know is first I had to get to know myself (my stories) and separate heart from illusions…different pulls, different wants, different needs…from that core intuition. And maybe I was wrong…I cannot judge…but it feels right. And that feeling of right makes me feel at peace….free….calm. Makes me…happy.

Home is where the heart is, so is love, business and life. First we find our heart, then we find our home.

Champagne, anyone???…

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Brave heart…

this is my heart

It’s easy to be wise – it’s harder to convince your emotions just how wise you are. It takes years of practice not to run with every ridiculous impulse you have and yet years to learn to run with the true impulses, those that come from your spirit, your heart. It take year of practice to learn to listen to your thoughts; to really hear what’s going on within and be able to disregard the thoughts that count not and listen to the ones that do. To make a decision to act from the place you truly want to act from, rather than acting from a place of fear, of over the top excitement, of disappointment, or grief. It takes pratice to be true to you.

It takes bravery to follow your passions – to dare to lose that which you desire the most. To dare to give up what you do not desire at all and some things you really like, so as to reach what you truly love. We can’t have it all, but we can have this moment. It is within it we need to live and choose, choose every step of our journey now. It is in the now we practice to be whom we must to reach to where we want and at the same time be here, be now. Live. Breathe. Fully explore our hearts. Listen. Feel. Really be present to who we are; what we need. Fully enjoy the miracle of life in all its pain and pleasure.

And may I ask you this: if you had no fear, what would you do now? If you relaxed and instead of trying to do something, just did it, how would life feel? If you followed your heart, where would you end up? Those are the questions I ask myself and patiently await an answer…

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Hey Jesus, I’d like a chat…

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Milton H. Erickson did something once. He worked at a mental institution. There were two men who both thought they were Jesus. He put them next to each other to argue their point. After a few days or so, one of them told Erickson it wasn’t right – they couldn’t both be Jesus, because that would mean one of them was nuts. So he stopped believing he was Jesus.

This story made me chuckle a great deal. Only, then I was sitting thinking everyday life isn’t much better than a mental institution. Each day people condemn other people in the name of Jesus, Mohammed or one form of God or another. I would love to put a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim next to each other. Each of them has a text from long ago that they believe in. Each of them think the other is condemned if they don’t believe like they do. The question is: who is truly condemned? If there is a way of being condemned at least two of these three people would be, but no one wants to believe it’s them.

I am not arguing that there aren’t great truth in biblical texts. Nor am I arguing the point that they were written in a time when people believed that Paul (I think it was Paul…source: Jesus by A. N. Wilson…if you read that book you will never look at the bible the same way again), when he arrived in Greece, was a Greek God who had descended from the sky. I am very spiritual, but you have to bear in mind that the Gospel of Mary (found here, just scroll down) varies a lot from the Gospel of anyone else. Why is that? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who was seeking power? Who was telling the truth? Who rewrote the bible before it got published? It is rather interesting that every Christian holiday occurs at the same date as a similar pagan holiday used to take place. Easter used to be the celebration of fertility, of dawn and rebirth. It’s funny Jesus resurrected right about the same time.

I love spirituality, I am a seeker, I do read biblical texts, I was always fascinated by Jesus (and believe in some of what he taught), Buddha, witchcraft, etc…but from an early age I believed they were all talking about the same thing. They just have different ways of expressing it, much like we all talk different languages. Most religions say you should treat thy neighbor as thyself. That love is the highest power of all. I really hope that we can all embrace that philosophy one day – it would be nice with peace on Earth and a society where you did not fear your own neighbor.

N.B. I am not a professor – I am not well versed in every religion on the planet, so I do not have any kind of authority on the subject; I’m just voicing my thoughts here.

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Giggles and laughter…

I was jumping on our rebounder yesterday, watching the lights of LA glistening in the distance, stars sparkling and the moon casting its light over the city….I couldn’t help but giggle….it’s such a joyeous thing to do!

It’s those moments of childish joy and beauty I treasure maybe more than almost anything else (apart from cuddles and loved ones)…when you feel free, uninhibited, dancing with life…when you do not let fears or desires control you, or try to control yourself, but rather throw yourself into the moment with an open heart.

If you only live once…or even twice…or three times…you might as well laugh whilst at it!!!!

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