Tag Archives: focus creates reality

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

Last night a woman saved my soul from a beast…

Last night I was fuming. I had smoke coming out of my ears. My child had been bitten by a dog at the neighbor’s who live on the same property and I hadn’t been informed. This, in combination with some other less savory things happening due to dysfunctional structures in South Africa left me in a foul mood. I’d been happy all day. All week, actually, as I’ve been applying a lot of the things I’ve been blogging about and felt freer and happier than I have in years. But, some things have rattled my nerves lately. Such as not having electricity. Such as people working for me stealing from my home. And this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’d made plans to go out last night to attend an event — to view the Legacy Collection by Chermaine Taylor. She creates jewelry and art using pieces from the fence found on Robben Island. Robben Island was home to the prison where Nelson Mandela stayed. In short, she makes art out of the very fence that used to keep Nelson Mandela a prisoner.

I didn’t feel like going after getting angry. So I figured, there was a reason I really needed to go. You know Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey? The threshold guardian. The more important something is, the bigger the threshold. Besides, I’d promised a friend to go, so off I went.

I loved the collection. Not that I’d necessarily be comfortable wearing a piece made from the fence though. I’ve been through a lot in South Africa. I’ve seen the pain and suffering. I have it on my doorstep. In fact, I’m raising its offspring. And that’s my passion: raising those kids and working with the kids and youth in the township. That’s what I love in South Africa. But through my passion I’ve come to live through events and circumstance that, according to my business partner, would “land someone in a mental hospital for ten years.”

So wearing a piece of a fence that brought so much suffering, didn’t feel right to me. In fact, it made me panic. Especially, as I often think about Mandela when I encounter struggles; think about what he lived through and how he went onto becoming one of the world’s most honorable and inspirational people. How he chose to become the Captain of his Soul, instead of letting himself get destroyed by events. He kept his spirits high.

I got talking to a lady that works for Chermaine as a sales rep. She was showing myself and my friend the jewelry (which really was very nice — I tried on a ring). I decided to ask her about the idea of carrying the fence on your person though — how she felt about it. And she opened up and told us about her nephew, whom she’d raised, had ended up in prison. He’d been released earlier in the year and was now doing well, but she was still holding her breath.

She talked about how she’d raised him since she was still in school. How she’d sometimes asked her teacher to let her go home early when it rained. Once she’d found him outside, on the steps, in the rain.

He’d been a good boy who’d gotten involved with bad people. I recognize the story. I’ve had the same battle with the girl I help raise. If you can’t keep them away from the township, you can’t keep them away from bad influence. It’s scary. Very scary.

The woman also told me about her aunt who runs a crèche in Khayelitsha (a big township in Cape Town). This aunt had recently become the foster mom of three children — the youngest the biological mother had tried to abort by her own means and given birth to in a toilet.

She said that her uncle, who used to drink a lot, had become so enamored by this girl that he’d turned his life around. The little girl wouldn’t go to sleep without him there. And her aunt had recently been nominated for a woman of the year award.

Liezl, who started and runs Little Angels, the not-for-profit I’m involved with and where I met the kids I help raise, have many similar stories and is raising other family member’s children too. Family members who have fallen foul to addiction.

I spoke to the lady about how hard it can be to live in South Africa and how stories like this is what moves one’s heart. What keeps one going. What inspires one to get out of bed in the morning. That and a very energetic toddler who likes pulling my nose and kissing me good morning.

Meeting this woman really made my evening — she inspired me. She made me remember my passion.

South Africa is filled with incredible stories. Stories about overcoming drugs, abuse, violence, alcoholism, corruption, dysfunctionality, gangsterism and poverty. It’s a country filled with brave souls who fight the odds and adversities.

As always, focus creates reality. You have to choose where you put the attention — on the people who are incredible beings, or the ones who aren’t. If you get caught in the pain, you’ll never enjoy the beauty. The joy. The love.

Maybe the jewelry truly is a celebration of overcoming adversity — the fence has been broken down, after all. And Mandela was released to become one of the world’s most influential leaders.

Focus creates reality. Life is a piece of creation — you create who you are and your life. Every day. You are a creator. You are also your very own piece of art. As is your life — an artwork. With a multitude of paint strokes from those around you. Hopefully, very beautiful paint strokes.

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Filed under diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, South Africa