Tag Archives: Joy

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

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

Beautiful you…

I love flowers

Dare to stick your neck out...into the flower field...

Knock, knock, who’s in there? Will you come out? Will you show me the beautiful you? Will you share your love and laughter with the world today? Hiding in the shadows doesn’t bring much light to your eyes. Walking in the sunshine makes your skin sparkle and your eyes twinkle with delight.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a master at hiding. Since age nine, or so, I remember walking in roundabout ways to avoid people I thought would rather not see me. I remember locking myself into my room to avoid my step family. I remember looking down when a cute guy passed my path in fear of rejection. I remember feeling like a burden; an unwanted piece of something, that was better off hiding so as not to disturb others.

To this day I sometimes still retract; hide in a corner. Frightened that my company is unwanted; a burden on someone else. I don’t dare to open up and show the beauty that is me. I don’t dare to give.

If you aren’t sharing the light that is truly you. If you aren’t showing off your talents, your smile, your gorgeous, gorgeous laughter, you are doing the world, not to mention yourself, a disfavor.

The world is not here to judge you – the world is here to love you.  The world is not here to put you down – the world is here to enjoy you. The world is not here to punch you in the face – the world is here to fall in love with you. You see though, the tricky thing is for the world to enjoy you, they have to see you. For the world to receive your gifts, you have to give them. For the world to laugh at your jokes, you have to tell them. For the world to hear your stories, you have to share them. For the world to fall in love with you, you have to fall in love with the world.

And if you want for someone else to open, you have to love them open. Like a flower opens to the sun, humans open to love. That doesn’t mean there can’t be boundaries and discipline and telling someone right from wrong, that too is love, but without love all is empty. Without love we all close up. And so, you also have to love yourself open, so that you can see the beautiful you. So that the world gets a chance to enjoy you and you get a chance to enjoy the world.

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Filed under Courage, Creating, Creation, Fear, Freedom, Friends, Friendship, Gifts, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Motivation, People, Personal Development, Psychology, Self, Self-confidence, Self-help, socializing, Society, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Good morning…

Dawn has arrived and a dusty peach is painting the horizon…mingled with tones of gray, pink, blue and purple. The birds have started to chirp away and the mountains look all misty and magical in the morning fog. It’s my favorite time of day and as I awoke at 4am I couldn’t help but stay awake to experience the beginning of a new day. It’s something magical and wonderous to have a new day opening up in front of you. A chance to live…to taste, feel and create. To see the wonders of this world. To paint your life in broad strokes of color. To breathe. To feel your body…to laugh. Life is right here. Right here.

Watching dawn…


Filed under Inspiration, Joy, Life, Motivation, Uncategorized

People look better covered in chocolate…

A chocolate bar and melted chocolate. Chocolat...


Feels like my heart has melted like chocolate on a hot sunny day…I like the feeling…it’s all warm and cozy and sweet and…indulgent. It’s an indulgent feeling to love. Love the world, others and yourself. Live in passion. Be on a mission to add a smile to someone’s day, a hug, a pat on the back and a compliment. Why, even roses to that certain someone!

I have been so self-conscious my whole life about who I am and what people think of me. I have never before just relaxed, enjoyed myself and enjoyed others. I have never set about my day to just give, rather than worry about what I get. As a result I have often felt frightened, sad and lonely. Now, opening up to the world, I feel like every day is…well an indulgent pleasure! It’s like I can let go of all the sadness. Sure there are moments when I get grumpy – awakening from a dream this morning I was not in a glorious mood. Then I smiled and let it drop. I went with the sunshine of the day, instead of holding onto an old cloud!

It’s the same when I miss people, or feel drawn to someone who isn’t necessarily drawn to me – I feel it’s OK. It’s OK because with an open heart I know I will feel my way forward. It’s OK to love freely because I don’t have to get stuck up on things. I have to take initiative to move forward, I have to be open to the people in my life, but that’s it. No holding on for dear life, or forcing things to happen. I was talking to a guy last week and as he walked off (after I had turned a nice shade of red and smiled brighter than the sunshine) I thought to myself “Damn, maybe I should have hinted a bit more there…” And I had a certain pang of disappointment as I meet guys I find that hot maybe once every six months. However, the setting wasn’t conducive for me to start flirting with him madly and I got enough smiles out of him to know that at least, we had a good chat.

I was never one to leave things to chance…what I want I pursue. However, pursuing something with fear in your heart is no fun. There is little room for playfulness, even if what you are pursuing is your favorite playmate, or your favorite game (business). Fear, worry…scarcity thinking is painful…and daft. When you let go, go with the flow, still pursuing, but without fear, without forcing things to happen…that’s when the magic happens. It’s the calmness in your heart knowing that whatever comes, it’s OK. It’s fine because you are following your heart. Sooner or later things will fall into place (…and maybe not the place you had imagined at first…), if not in this instant.

So yeah, here I am – a piece of chocolate melting in the sunshine…feeling all gooey, soft and nice. Smiles to you all and lots of chocolate madness coming your way ;0)


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Filed under Attraction, Courage, Fear, Friends, Friendship, Gifts, Inspiration, Joy, Liberty, Life, Love, Motivation, People, Personal Development, Psychology, Relationship, relationships, Self, Self-confidence, Self-help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Chocolate mousse…

I was just cutting an onion. (I know, it’s a great start of a story…). I like onions. I love vegetables and fruit in general…the smells, textures, colors, tastes…they ground me. It’s like a connection to the Earth. (Yup, I’m a hippie, I’m sure you knew that under the Louis Vuitton and Prada she was right there in clogs, or Wellies…). Food also awakens me. Brings me back into the moment. How can they not? They are so filled with things for the senses to explore. (And if you don’t mind, me, I need to go check on my…onions…no seriously, the pasta sauce will get ruined otherwise.) So, where was I? The spaghetti is getting there… Ah, yes, food. Food. It’s like dancing – it’s impossible to sleep whilst dancing. It will sweep you off your feet. You will get involved with it. You have to move. With food it’s like a shock of the senses, but not a shock in the real  sense, unless you have an affair with the chili. It’s just so prominent – you cannot not smell it, taste it, see it, feel it…it will draw you in….when you grind the spices, work them into the dough and then watch as the ingredients turn into something delicious, you cannot not be there, savoring the moment…

Now, I realize not everyone get as happy as I do sprinkling cardamom right, left and center, or swirling around on a dance floor, but whatever it is that awakens you…indulge in it. Allow it to fill you up, sweep you away, take you on a journey. Find that something that captures your entire being, brings you right into the moment; the experience. Set limitations, aside and allow yourself the freedom of being whom you truly are. Now if you’d allow me, I’d suggest a chocolate mousse with a man on top because after all that whipping and all that chocolate you will be so ready to……because seriously, who can resist? Not I…

“Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

~ Unknown

That’s just the way I make chocolate mousse – no limits in sight, only following my senses…the one above is a raw one!

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Filed under Dancing, Food, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Personal Development, Thoughts, Uncategorized

One nagging fantasy…

We all have fantasies right? Oh, come on. Don’t tell me you didn’t fantasize about that…..uh…..that new house you want. Or wearing that………..dress. Fantasies can be quite good – make us imagine things so we can act on them so as to achieve them. They allow us to pack a bag because we imagine what we will need to use during our trip. (That’s clearly why I didn’t bring an umbrella to San Fransisco…….I imagine I can buy one here…). You can also imagine the sum total of what you like and avoid people and things that don’t match up (instead of getting emotionally attached to douchebags because they are so charming…ahem..). What’s more, you can imagine where you want to go and if you see the road you are on isn’t taking you there, you can change paths. You can even imagine whom you want to be. The reality you create in your mind is the reality you will act from. If you believe you are unafraid of heights you will be happy to climb mountains. If you believe you are scared of heights, you will be unhappy climbing mountains. Maybe it’s subconscious, but it’s actually a choice. It’s not a defined reality. Pretty, cool, eh??!!!

Always remember whom you want to be and act from that place, instead of pondering on whom you’ve sometimes been and how much you dislike it. Move towards what you like instead of away from what you don’t like. So simple. Yet, we are so friggin brainwashed into thinking we are our pasts. Because of what we did then it makes us xyz. Because of what people told us we were, or how they reacted to us, it makes us abc. It makes us no one. The past is merely a fantasy in our minds.

I keep saying this, I keep forgetting it. I guess I need post-it notes all around the house saying: I am the now. I am whom I choose to be. I am the most comfortable corner within my soul. I am friggin marvelous!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone – giggle at almost anything, tickle someone, watch the sunset, or the cloud formations, eat something you love, dive into endless possibilities and above all play with life, laugh out loud and love endlessly.


Filed under Inspiration, Liberty, Life, Memory, Motivation, Personal Development, Psychology, Self-confidence, Self-help, The Mind, Thoughts, Truth