Tag Archives: inspiration

Final goodbyes…

Friday I got the message I’ve been waiting for: “It’s time to come home to say goodbye to grandma.” I’ve been waiting for that message and yet it took me an hour to book the ticket because it freaked me out so much that once it’s booked that’s it. That’s the final goodbye.

A few months back, Liezl’s sister, Jess, died and I wrote a letter to Jess that I gave to Liezl. I wrote that letter because I wanted to help Liezl and I wanted to say goodbye to Jess in my own way. Below you can see an excerpt.

Liezl always tells me that she knows when I’m hurting, because she can feel it. Well, I know Liezl is hurting now, because I can feel it. So please, let her see life as a puzzle of moments made up of experiences with those we love. We only get so many puzzle pieces with each person. We never know when they will leave for another world. It feels so unfair when they do, especially when they are young, or when we have lost many people we love, but that’s life. We can’t change it. All we can do is treasure the moments we have with those we love. The ones who are here. And carry the wisdom and love of those we have lost in our hearts.

In a few months I may have to write another letter to my extra nieces in Cape Town, as their father, Tony, is dying. And I promised him I’d be there for them when that happened. Liezl and I plan to take them to see the stars — to look at their dad.

About a year ago Tony had one of his bad spells and he took the time then that he was entitled to live in a hospice for a few weeks. That he has survived till now is a miracle, but when he was in hospice I sat with Liezl and another friend of ours in the little chapel they have there. We were talking about grief. About mourning. And I felt so happy that I had those two women next to me. I knew I wasn’t alone.

I think when people die, what we need is something that anchors us to life. We need to feel love. We need to feel the joy of life. We cannot allow ourselves to be bitter about what life is: a limited period of time. Instead we need to cherish what little time we have and make every moment with those we love special. Because it is special. Every single moment you share with the people you love and care about is special.

Yesterday I was speaking with Liezl on the phone and at first I was rambling on about how this just wasn’t happening, because I needed someone to hug at night. My gran couldn’t die, if I didn’t have a man whose heartbeat I could hear through the night. I needed to know I had life next to me. But as I spoke to Liezl we spoke about the kids I raise, about the kids I mentor, about our friends in the township, about Liezl’s family and about all the plans we have for Little Angels and Malaika. And somewhere I started smiling and I didn’t stop.

My phonecall with Liezl anchored me to life; to what I love. The kids I help raise are the most important part of my life and Little Angels is the part that’s brought me the most joy.

When I got that message Friday I was overwhelmed by memories from my childhood. I was petrified of losing the one home that’s always been my safe haven — my grandparents’ flat. It’s where I lived for part of my childhood. It’s where I ran to away from my stepmom. It was my haven. It was where I built the dreams of the future.

My grandparents taught me that love is real and that the reality of it is commitment. In a family you don’t always see eye to eye, you don’t always understand each other, but you are always there for each other. You take care of each other.

My grandparents also taught me to look after what you have. You take pride in your home. In your clothes. In your being. You look after what’s yours.

When my mom died my grandparents on both sides became substitute parents. They were always there. It made me realize that family, really, is just simply the people who show up. When I moved to South Africa and started looking after children I did that because I believed all children should have what I had as a kid — someone who’s there for them. A rock.

I am coming to terms with now having to create my own haven. I need to find my own footing. I need to be my own rock. But the truth is that none of us are a very good rock on our own. We need each other. We need life. We need the sound of the heartbeats that we love.

Cherish those hearts. And commit to look after them, because that’s what family does. I’m a firm believer, as my life is a testament to, that family is the people you care about, not the people whose blood you share. My family is part South African.

I feel like I’m losing a part of myself right now. A part that’s always been there. And I keep bursting into tears. But I also know that there will be many more parts to my life; many more blessings in the shape of human beings; in the shape of beautiful souls. And together we will go on adventures and create moments filled with love and laughter.

It’s all an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view. – The Greatest Showman


Image source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/349943833533018228/ 



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Filed under Family, Friends, Friendship, Inspirational, Love, mourning, Uncategorized

When your butt gets in the way of romance…

Does your butt ever bother you? I know mine does. I mean my butt doesn’t bother you (at least I sincerely hope it doesn’t), my butt bothers me. I often call it my greatest asset BUT…

Do you ever make excuses? Like you know you want to ask someone out, eat a healthy meal, say sorry, launch a business, confess how you truly feel, work out, apply for a better job, get dressed up like you actually cared, go for creating what you’d truly love…BUT. But that big butt of yours just feels too heavy to move. In short, you can’t be bothered. Not that you’d put it that way, but there’s always a but. Either you’re too broke, too scared, too lazy, too busy, too ugly, too inferior, too…

You get the idea.

The problem? The problem is that half of the time we don’t even realize what we’re doing. We feed ourselves our own excuses and they’re so big the desire to do what we know is right can’t even be felt anymore. We can’t see our heart, for whatever it is our ego is doing to us, be it telling us we’re not good enough, or that we will certainly fail if we try.

Think about it this way. You want to sing karaoke, but you have a fear of singing badly and being humiliated. The thought of getting up on stage just to be humiliated isn’t a nice one. So your desire to sing doesn’t even feel like a desire anymore, because the fear of humiliation is blocking it.

The desire to sing is still there. You just can’t feel it, because your broken ego has gotten in the way of your heart. And just like that our egos destroy our joy. We don’t do what we’d truly love, because of fear.

90% of people who sing karaoke sing badly. It doesn’t stop them. Because they go there to have fun. Their focus is on having fun. Not on humiliation. No one will humiliate you if you sing badly. It’s just what your ego is telling you, because once upon a time you got humiliated doing something you loved.

Life is a lot like karaoke. We avoid doing a lot of things we’d love to do, because we have something holding us back. Or we do the things, but focus on the fear, or humiliation, and end up creating that instead. Like having the most amazing singing voice, but falling headfirst on stage all the same because we’re so nervous (i.e. fear of failure/humiliation) that we can’t keep track of our own feet. That’s how we prove our fears to be true.

Personally I used to have this kind of fear of humiliation when it came to showing I cared about guys, because as a kid I was humiliated in various ways when I liked them. Once someone I was in love with even stood up in front of people and said no one could fall in love with someone like me and that was the tip of the ice berg of humiliating situations. I was only a kid. A geeky kid who didn’t love herself very much, so I believed he might be right.

He was acting like a twat, but I also realized that he only said what he did because of the position he was in. I’m fairly sure he quite liked me. But his discomfort of being put on the spot in front of other people was greater than his desire to be nice to me. His butt got in his way of doing the right thing.

I was a teenager who felt I’d been humilated in front of an entire school. My coping mechanism? Showing I didn’t care so no one could get gratification from my broken heart.

What should I have done? Turned around and said it hurt. The only thing that would have affected that guy would have been speaking from my heart to show him that his actions weren’t right. I didn’t have to condemn him for them — you can’t really condemn people once you understand why they do what they do — but you can condemn their actions. You can honor them by showing them that their actions affect others and give them an opportunity to do the right thing.

I let my butt get in the way back then, just as much as he let his. I was way too scared to speak my truth. Instead I spent the next twenty years perfecting myself (removing the shy, inferior, geek) and pretending not to care when dating and proving every fear I ever had to be true.

Recently I realized that the only thing that stops two people who are a fit from being together, is either not sorting their own shit out, or not caring enough. If you aren’t a fit, you aren’t. Nothing you can do to change that, so you can’t really fuck up in that way. Nor is it humiliating finding out you aren’t a fit — you just aren’t a fit.

So you can’t fuck up with the wrong guy and the only way to fuck up with the right one is not caring enough.

For the first time in my life I’m more worried about not showing I care, than showing I care. All thanks to realizing I cared about a guy I was dating and I was OK with that. I felt hurt and I didn’t try to prove I wasn’t.

What you want from a person you date is the same that you want in your own life — someone who can be bothered to move their butt. Someone who doesn’t let their fears, or anything else get in the way of their desire to be with you. Someone who does the right thing, even when it’s uncomfortable. Because there will be discomfort in relationships — we all have baggage and we all fuck up. You need someone who is willing to go beyond their own comfort to fuck it right. You want someone who fights for you, the way you fight for your own dreams. And to have a healthy relationship, you first have to start caring about moving your butt in your own life.

We all know what the right thing to do is. We all know what we feel. We all know what we want to create. The question is if our our fears are making us feel like we don’t want to do what we truly want to do? Is our fear preventing us from creating a life we’d love? Are we sitting on our butts, or are we creating our dreams?

My gran is dying and I keep thinking she doesn’t have a chance to create anymore. I can. I can choose to create all the things I dreamed of when I was a kid sitting in her kitchen. I can tell her that my life is finally going somewhere because I ditched the excuses and the fears and started working from the heart.


Image Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/507780926711708252/

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Filed under adventures in life, Dating, diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, Relationship, relationships, romance, Uncategorized

The fairytale and I…

I was talking to someone yesterday about how some people make life seem like a fairy tale. You know the ones — they go above and beyond to make you feel treasured and make memories that last a lifetime.

Sometimes we get stuck thinking these people are special. When we’re with them we just experience the most magical stuff. Usually because they make sure we do, but at other times just because. As if the Universe conspired to give us those moments when we are with those people. I’m guessing because we are in the mood for magic, so we seek it. We look for adventure and we find it.

The truth is, there are millions of people on this planet and millions of experiences you could be having right this moment. The experience you are having is because of the choices you’ve made. Some choices we make are great, other suck, but we are free to create whatever we like in this moment. We can choose where our focus is.

Last year I decided I wanted to enjoy life, no matter how impossible the visa-kids-work-finances-business situation looked. That hasn’t been an easy journey, because, well there’s still that situation to deal with. But I’m enjoying myself so much more, because I’ve given myself permission to do so. Even in the face of being away from the kids.

It’s also about responsibility. No matter what we fall victim for, no matter what unfairness we experience, we still choose whether we want to feel like victims, or take whatever we can into our own hands.

For the past three days I’ve been bitching about the novel I’m writing. I’m stoked to be writing a novel, but I don’t seem to find inspiration. I don’t feel the flow. I just write because I have to and sometimes I don’t even muster that. Copywriting is much easier — even when you get stuck you can quite easily unstuck yourself. Writing a novel is another matter entirely.

Since yesterday I’ve been thinking about how we can choose to take responsibility for turning our life into a fairy tale. Often when we go through a rough patch, or lose someone we love, we feel like there’s no happiness left inside of us. Not the kind we would have if only the situation we are in would resolve itself, or if we would get that person back in our lives. We feel like we need that thing for happiness. The funny thing is, once we decide that we can find happiness and go off to create it, something happens. Those magical moments start appearing. Life slowly turns round. And while we may not feel as much happiness as we used to and we may still struggle with a situation (I woke up from yet another epic dream about my kids at four am this morning, for example, certain I couldn’t take another moment of this anguish), that doesn’t mean that we can’t take responsibility for making the most of the now.

This is my life. I want to live it. And I wanna write that novel. I can. If I only decide to. Just like you can find inspiration in life, if you only decide to.

As my friend William Whitecloud would say: focus creates reality.

I’m now focusing on writing a book, instead of moping about writing a book. I’m focusing on the characters I love, instead of the fear of missing a deadline. I’m focusing on what I’d love to create, instead of what I fear to create if I don’t find the inspiration.

Most people who make a conscious decision to get what they want, get it. Because they put their focus on it. Sadly, most people focus on getting what they think they need to be happy, instead of deciding to focus on simply creating happiness. Others focus on what they fear will happen, instead of what they would love to create. Yet others focus on the problems (like I did at four am this morning, certain my life would fall to pieces if I couldn’t control the SA government when it comes to visas and adoption rights), instead of what they’d love to create (a visa and an adoption paper).

Still, even if you don’t get exactly what you want all the time, your happiness is not dependent on that.

You can make your life wonderful. You’ve got that power.


Image Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/507780926728637965/

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Filed under adventures in life, diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, life lessons, Motivation, Musings, the beauty of life, the journey of life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Why wiping someone’s ass should be a dating priority…

I was speaking to my ninety-one year-old gran last night and her body is falling apart. Quite literally. She has breast cancer which came back and now her body, apart from being old and frail, is struggling with coping altogether. It was a harrowing phonecall.

It’s not that my gran is at the ICU at the moment, or in a hospital bed. She was at the ER yesterday though, because her body is filling up with fluid and she has diahorrea. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty damn horrific.

I was with my gran a year-and-a-half ago when she was first diagnosed with cancer and had surgery. I was raised partially by my grandparents and I’ve seen gran and her body in some of the most compromising positions you could imagine. I’ve also seen her struggle as she got older. Struggle to walk, struggle to get dressed, struggle to stand up… Her body is old.

My other gran, before passing away, became senile. With her I saw the struggle of remembering things, as well as fighting demons from the past. I got phonecalls about old lovers and heard of bitter regrets. I was there to help her use the bathroom. Ever since I’ve said that true love is wiping someone’s ass when they can no longer do it themselves.

My grandparents were my saving grace when I was a child. They were there through mom dying, through the bullies, through evil stepmoms, through teenage depression, they were there through it all. They were the place I ran to. They were my safe haven.

That doesn’t mean that my grandparents and I have always agreed on things, or understood one another — far from it. But I grew up with them serving me by raising me, so I always wanted to give the same back. Protection and care. And I think that’s the bottom line of any relationship. If that kind of commitment isn’t there, you have nothing.

We inherit the best and the worst from people. My grandparents brought me life, security, artistry, creativity, smarts, asthma, cold sores and vericose veins. I’ve never disliked my body, nor have I ever really understood if someone has loved me, or my body. Because, you know, I have flaws. I couldn’t breathe properly as a child, how’s that for being flawed?

My childhood had my self-confidence obliterated, save from the confidence I had in my skills. It’s taken me a long time to rebuild that other confidence; the part of me that’s OK to just be a human. It was only when I pretty much had nothing going for me in South Africa that I started to realize that I needed to learn to live anyway. You know, really live. Breathe in the moment and have fun.

In my battle for visa and adoption rights I’d pretty much lost everything I had — there was a business in limbo, no money in the bank, no social life, no career successes, no nothing. There was just me and what looked like a hopeless situation fighting for the children. And somewhere I decided to take responsibility for that situation and kick life in its balls.

It worked. Wasn’t pain free, didn’t provide immediate solutions, but it worked. I still have nightmares pretty much every night about the children, business, finances and visas, but I learnt to be happy in the face of it all. It hurts with the kids. It hurts to high heavens and back again, but I let it go and I live. I cry too, but I live. And I keep fighting. I just make sure to live too.

Feeling like you’ve fucked up your entire life can be a really good lesson in learning to live and love. Love yourself.

Now, my point with all this, is that we all have a choice to take responsibility for our lives. We also all have bodies that will one day fall apart. We face events that will, at some point, break us. We make mistakes that we regret with bitter tears. And sometimes we face pain in ways we never thought possible. Like being separated from a child, or losing a husband, or getting arrested for a crime we never committed.

But the only way to conquer that is to learn to live in the face of it. And slowly climb the mountain to overcome it. It doesn’t happen over night, but it is possible. Your wrinkles, your flaws, your current pissy situation, none of that is an excuse to hate yourself, or stop finding moments of happiness. It might feel impossible, but you can and will love yourself and your life, if you just decide to do it. Little by little. So if it’s only finding one moment of belly deep laughter.

No, you probably aren’t perfect. Nor is anyone else. And everyone will annoy the hell out of you at some point, hurt you and make you mad as they come. But if you are committed to loving them and loving yourself, I think you have a fair chance of living a happy life. Even in the midst of all the chaos, unfairness and everything else that is life.

So do it. Go have fun. Because you can. Because you’re not ninety-one years-old and falling apart. Because you haven’t yet reached a point where there is nothing you can do about your regrets and failing memory. So live. Live a little.


Gran and I. 

Want to see an inspirational woman embracing her body? Watch this! http://video.allure.com/watch/dispelling-beauty-myths-disabilities (Unfortunately WordPress wants me to upgrade my account to be able to share the video with you directly — so hence the link.)



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Filed under achievement, diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, life lessons, Love, Motivation, Musings, relationships, Uncategorized

A little bit of miracles and sex appeal…

The other day I met a former racing driver. He’d retired from that career at age thirty-three. He had procured two masters and worked as head of sales for some corporation. Then the crisis hit Greece and he was over-qualified for most jobs as they couldn’t afford him. He became unemployed for two years. Then he decided he’d had his time moping, signed up for Uber and became a driver once more. As sales and marketing is his thing he keeps popcorn, crisps, the lot in his car on Saturdays to treat his clients.

If I’d owned a corporation I’d hired him for sales right there.

A few days ago when out shopping food I stopped in the street when I saw a kitten. As I kneeled down, the kitten ran up to me and jumped into my lap. Consequently I was sat there for twenty minutes with a cuddly kitten in my lap. The kitten was quite big – I’d guess a couple of months old – but he had a cold and winter is coming.

This kitten was adorable. It stood on its back legs to be able to “kiss” my neck, it played with my hands, it curled up in my lap, purred and sneezed. I was at the point where I was ready to adopt a kitten which I was dreadfully allergic to, just to ensure it wouldn’t die from a cold.

Just then a man came. He’d passed by earlier, carrying stuff from Royal Canin. I could see a cat carrier and some food. He told me that I was holding the kitten he’d been looking for; he’d take it to his mother’s place in the countryside when going there as she looked after a large number of cats.

As I left the kitten to its fate I was happy because I knew it’d be cared for. I was sad because there was another kitten sneezing in the street too.

Life is filled with good and bad. The people with sex appeal do something about the bad, but focus on the good. They see the miracles and fight the hardships. They enjoy each precious smile and laugh; they live for the good things, because they believe time on Earth is precious and they deserve to enjoy their lives. They unapologetically go for what they enjoy in life. But they also stand up to the bad. They have a spine. Courage. And an incrediblly sexy desire to live life to the full.


Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926725100792/

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The seduction of the ego…

The other day I said something to a friend about someone thinking something about something I’d done/said. And I didn’t want this person to get the wrong impression. Then I stopped. Wondered if I actually gave a hoot about what they were thinking, or if it was just my ego that cared?

While it’s never nice to have your words, or actions, misunderstood, they will be so until the day you die. You can never completely control how people react to what you do. You can improve people and communication skills and I’m very much pro that, but people have their own stories going round in their heads. When you walk into their lives, they’ll interpret what you do based on the information they have (the stories in their head).

If you truly care about someone, or whatever they think about you is crucial for some reason or another, then by all means take the time to explain. But if it doesn’t matter to you, is it worth spending time feeling antagonized, or clearing up some minor thing?

I made a decision as I caught myself uttering those words to my friend; a decision to divorce my ego. The ego is seductive because it rattles you. It makes you feel uncomfortable when you think of certain things and as a result you feel you need to take action, or you simply walk around feeling miserable. But instead of buying into the misery and start plotting how to save your face (or be the face), have a think if it truly matters to your heart. I know now that whenever I care about something that is of no relevance, it’s time to step away. Just as I decided last week to step away from negative thoughts (or you know, do anything to distract myself – like what I do when the boy I’m raising throws a tantrum: perform a number from a musical…it works! Well, half of the time at least…).

Let yourself be seduced by your heart, not your ego.


Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114580/


Filed under Ego, Inspiration, Inspirational, life lessons, Motivation, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Pour some chocolate sauce on top…

Chocolate sauce is a very useful ingredient. A very indulgent, delicious and useful ingredient. Sometimes I don’t use it very often though. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had chocolate sauce.

Chocolate sauce, of course has to be of good quality. If you pour bad quality chocolate sauce on something, that something gets ruined. We’ve all had “fake” over the top sweet chocolate sauce made with ingredients that aren’t natural. Terrible.

Now, chocolate sauce is a little bit like compliments: when honest and pure they’re indulgent, sweet and wonderful. They make any friendship blossom, they make lovers see stars and they make random strangers smile like the sun when you pour some on them.

We often take friends and lovers for granted. What we first saw as unique becomes commonplace. We get used to it. As we get used to it, we forget to compliment it. Sometimes we even forget it exists.

Other times we note something as wonderful, but we don’t share it. It doesn’t occur to us to do so. We say we love someone, so why do we have to also tell them they’re kind, we love their cooking, they’ve got the hottest butt, they are great at doing their job, they have the brightest smile…?

I’ve said this many times, but whatever grows stagnant dies. Relationships (as well as we, ourselves, our work, etc.) need to develop to be any good, but they also need to shine. They need to sparkle. And we all sparkle when we receive genuine, true to the heart, compliments.

When you find something you love, pour some sweet, dark, decadent and indulgent chocolate sauce on it. After all, you’re likely the one who gets to taste the chocolate sauce, because most people will let you lick it off… (Which is a metaphor for them being happy and you being around their happiness. In case you were wondering.)

So dear readers, I hereby challenge you to pour chocolate sauce on at least ten people in the coming week…and include some whom you wouldn’t normally pour chocolate sauce on. You’d be surprised to see how even grapefruit people turn into oranges with the right amount of chocolate sauce, but I believe I’m losing track of my metaphors now so it’s time to stop writing…


Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727245385/ 



Filed under Friendship, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, relationships, Uncategorized