Tag Archives: Life

Tender loving care and frustrating thoughts…

There was one day last year when I felt a little bit embarrassed and all I wanted to do was go hide in my best friend’s kitchen. Only she was in Greece. And I was frustrated.

I wanted my best friend. I wanted to cook with her and laugh with her and host dinner parties with her. Like it’s supposed to be. Only it hasn’t been like that for years because we live in different countries. We don’t share a house anymore and our friends no longer come marching over saying we’re “the hostesses that are the mostestes”. And it sucks.

That particular day it sucked even more because I felt humiliated as something had happened that touched upon an old wound. So I wanted to be with someone who made me feel loved for who I am and who would laugh together with me at the ridiculous thoughts we have surrounding old wounds. I wanted someone who made me forget my pain, in short. Because I really didn’t want to face it.

Today I woke up exhausted – my boy is scared of ghosts and he won’t sleep unless he sleeps next to me, or his sister. He was raised in a township and he never had a bed of his own till he came to stay with me and he still hates it. We’re working through this issue, but in the meantime to save myself from horrid tantrums at bedtime he either falls asleep in the couch in my bedroom and then wakes up and sleeps in my bed, or he sleeps next to me or his sister all night. Last night he slept next to me, so I couldn’t sleep properly and woke up exhausted with a headache.

I was irritable and I felt horrible. All I could think was that I wanted someone to hug me and look after me so I could relax. I didn’t want to clean up the mess after the kids, work and attend meetings. I wanted to be pampered. And given I’d never sink so low as to admit to wanting a man that’s like not cool. According to my ego, it’s so not cool.

What’s more, I was irritated with myself because I’ve been so happy lately and I wasn’t prepared to face a day of being a grumpy old fart. After three years of battling problems the size of Mount Everest I’ve finally turned a leaf and then…I’m grumpy? As someone with a history of depression I do not like gray days. I do not like them one bit.

So I clearly wanted TLC, which I didn’t want to admit to, but it would be a quick fix for my intolerable mood. And I wasn’t going to get it. Which was frustrating as hell. It was like wanting to go to see my best friend and knowing that it would take months before it happened (though now it’s just TWO weeks!!!!!!). I might be decent at magicking up men, but the same day? Besides, I’ve promised myself not to do it like that anymore because like The mousetrap… will clarify, when I magick up men…

With no snuggle party in sight and me wanting to hit myself in the head with an iron skillet for wanting one in the first place, I decided to do the next best thing: use my intuition (OK so that’s like the first thing to do, not the second, but hey…).

Intuition fucking rocks. Whilst it might not immediately relieve you of your headache or sexual frustration (take your pick) it does help you see the obvious solutions you couldn’t see when focusing on all the illogical logic brought to you by an overwhelming stream of thoughts and emotions.

Today I realized I can still create magic, even when I’m tired and have a headache. I’m not “bad” because I run out of energy. I’m still a magic pixie who can throw about my fairy dust when I look upon the world like poetry. I can choose my focus and instead of focusing on my frustration at being tired, I can look upon the same mountain I looked upon yesterday feeling inspired. I can still write poetry and marvel at the beauty of life. There are also ways to recharge that will truly recharge me – I realized that I need to relax in nature, which I fully intend to do this weekend.

I want my best friend to spend more time with me, even when I’m in the best of all possible moods. I genuinely miss her like crazy and I know we have to take responsibility for spending more time together instead of bitching about being apart. She’s one of the people who make me feel free because she allows me to be me, as described in Painting the sky with stars… However, she’s not an excuse to hide from my pain and thereby avoid dealing with it.

And whilst I need to face up to the fact that we all need TLC and open myself up to that, no matter how humiliating I think it feels, I can’t run myself to the ground and then expect someone else to pick up the pieces.

We all need to take responsibility for our own lives and emotions, whilst simultaneously accept that no matter where we are along the way, we’re worthy hugs. Big juicy hugs. And I would really love some.

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The truth shall set you free…or send you to a hot tub…

To acknowledge everything you feel every instant of the day, without trying to fix it, or getting lost in it, is hard. It’s a matter of awareness without political correctness and without fear of pain. No one wants to acknowledge they think their best friend’s husband is hot, or that they feel a vast pain within their heart after someone’s passed.

No one wants to acknowledge it, but it happens to most of us at some point or another. Pain, guilt, fear…

There are plenty of aversion tactics available – from getting lost in work, or food, to denying the emotions were there to start with.

To see it and set it free is the only thing that works. You face the pain of someone passing. You let it hit you. You accept it. Then you let it go.

You don’t get stuck reveling in the pain as you want to feel just something…anything…that reminds you of the person whom used to be part of your life. You don’t get stuck in pain because you feel guilty to still be alive. You don’t allow yourself to get stuck in pain because it hurts so much you want to die with them. That’s when you actually need to force yourself to change your focus. And slowly, but surely, you will come alive again. You will start appreciating the taste of hot chocolate. You will get a rush of happiness after running to get away from the rain and then soaking in a hot tub to get the cold out of your bones. You will smile at things. Eventually you will laugh. And you’ll start to love life again. You’ll appreciate and love other people again. And that’s OK. You’re allowed to. It’s your gift – your life.

You look at your best friend’s husband and acknowledge that the dude is hot. It won’t change yours, or your best friend’s life. It’s just a fact. A subjective fact, but a fact nonetheless. Why feel guilty about a fact that’s no more strange than chocolate tasting good? That doesn’t mean you’ll go rob a chocolate store.

I’ve said before that my life changed one night in a hot tub. And no, it wasn’t in the way that life usually changes in hot tubs. There was no man in the hot tub. There was just me. And the stars, the moon, the moving silhouettes of palm trees. I was in the Hollywood Hills, telling God I was giving up – I couldn’t figure out life and asking for help, as I felt like a complete loser. In this instance I had an epiphany. I realized my life was my own. And I didn’t have to accomplish anything. I could sit on a rock in the woods singing to myself if I wanted to. It was my gift to unwrap, this life. Mine and mine alone.

I wasn’t a failure, because I didn’t have to accomplish anything. All I had to do was explore life – that was happiness. To have a moment and explore it. To see what would unfold. Of course, I still wanted to do what I love, or work towards that, but I didn’t have to accomplish anything.

That didn’t mean I figured life out. I still didn’t acknowledge all of my emotions. Those I wasn’t always happy to explore. I fought them. Being in love meant embarrassment as they might not like me back. Having to stand up against someone was petrifying because I hated acknowledging they didn’t like me, or my opinion. Seeing how much pain there can be in life – pain caused by human beings themselves – and accepting that wasn’t even on my radar yet. Or I guess it was on the radar going to Africa, I just didn’t know what it meant to see Africa.

I’ve fought a lot of my emotions over the years. After mom died I fought the pain. I was petrified of the pain. On the flip side of the coin, I also fought the guilt of being alive and feeling happiness, whilst she was dead. For various outside reasons I also ended up withdrawing and thinking people didn’t like me, so I ended up feeling ashamed of myself 24/7. It’s taken me about 30 years to come out of that “ashamedness.”

The worst two triggers to feeling ashamed of myself were attraction/falling in love and standing up for myself when I felt there was a conflict of interest, or someone plain didn’t like me.

I’ve played various aversion tactics – from being half open, to trying to convince people of my worth (whilst feeling unworthy, hence why needing their approval) – all to avoid what is.

Facing what is, is freedom. Liberation from your worst enemy – your controlling ego. That thing inside of you that was taught, due to different experiences, what was right and wrong. That thing that is not the ultimate truth, but the made up truth in your mind. That thing that controls your life and controls you right into hell.

Sometimes your emotions, your reactions to things, are controlled by that thing as well. They are a reaction to various beliefs you have. Made up beliefs. So even emotions aren’t always real.

To see emotions – to see beyond emotions – is liberating. Just as liberating as realizing your life is yours to live. You were given the gift to explore this life. You can explore your emotions too. Just don’t act till you’ve seen if they’re true, or a result of beliefs. You don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying life after someone died. That guilt is false. And hey, I became friends with my best friend because we realized we had a crush on the same guy. None of us intended to rob the other person’s chocolate factory – we just intended to explore and see what happened. None of us got the guy, but we got each other.

The truth doesn’t often hurt us – it’s what we make up about the truth that hurt us. Likewise, your emotions won’t hurt you if you face them and let go of what you’ve made up about them. That first reaction of guilt, pain, fear…it will soon pass if you only let it.

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The possible dream…

Today I came across a lighthouse, beneath which you find a lookout spot named Sueño Posible. I would like to go there one day and look out across the map of stars, as the waves caress the beach, knowing that what is possible is so much more than we could ever dream of in any one moment. I would like to think about how lucky I am to have another day to explore. Another day where I forget worries, the should haves and the have nots. I would like to stand there content, knowing I am where I’m happy to be. Knowing that I made my dreams possible. 

Yet, today I look upon my life and the worries, the should haves and the have nots and I feel eternally blessed, because it is but one day of many. The beach is around the corner and the mountains look powerful when they stand out as silhouettes in the night sky. The moon lights up the various paths and the stars twinkle with delight. There is no Sueño Posible here. This is not all there is to my dream. This is but a part of my dream, but around every corner of the road possibilities glistens in the night. I own the most precious dream of all: life.

These were my musings yesterday after coming across a lookout named Sueño Posible when writing an article about Puerto Escondido and contemplating my friend Tony’s bravery in fighting death. He was very sick this weekend. What we have, even if we are not content with everything in our lives is possibility. A tomorrow. And possibilities are so magical. That’s why we can never dream up all that exists in one moment, because as we grow, so do our dreams. As we walk on our path, new paths open up to us.

I had a weekend where I was tired of fighting visas, adoption rules and working for no money. I felt like I’d achieved so little, even though I’ve come so far. I felt unsatisfied. I wanted a pay check for Magique and the movies. I wanted permission granted to get the visas I need to adopt and travel. I wanted time off to enjoy the weekend, but mainly I felt my own insecurities telling me I’d achieved so little. The inspiration I normally feel for my projects was gone. And I was furious because I’d been looking forward to working on them. I longed for my friends in London, I was homesick for L.A. and wanted to go to Paris and Marrakesh, whilst having an urge to travel in general as I was writing travel articles. I remembered childhood moments when we’d go to Tenerife and such places and I always felt like I’d come home somehow. Like I could relax in the sun and soak up another way of life, that felt much more ‘homey’ to me. For me travel is a way of meditating. Of finding myself. And when I get tired I think the solution is a backpack and a ticket to anywhere. Yet, even gypsies dream of a certain level of stability – the knowledge you are making money living your dreams and when you’ve fought long enough without sufficient resources you get tired.

Then Monday morning I got an email confirming the last of the suppliers who I really wanted to work with for Magique said yes (given terms and conditions are set up) and I felt like I was flying. I see this dream of mine becoming reality. No, I don’t know if our products will sell, but when I use the products myself…man, it’s what I love! I have created something I love. I love our design, our website, our products…and it took me years to put it all together, to really fuse my vision before I made it come alive, but man it’s so nice! It’s truly what I wanted, because I finally managed to put everything I love into the brand.

My life today is filled with beauty and whilst there are hurdles, I’m so happy I have the power to create my dreams. Maybe one day I’ll get to see the Latin America I always dreamt of. But for now, I’m creating epic things right in this moment. Sueño Posible.

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Puerto Escondido. Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926716441379/ 

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A naked confession…

There are days when you feel Murphy’s law is hitting you full on in the face. Days when all you want to do is crawl back to bed. You’re tired. You’ve been walking up a mountain and you’re out of strength. You think you can’t keep going. Your resources are depleted. Then suddenly you look up. And you see everything around you – the beauty of the mountain you’re standing on. The sunshine. The gorgeous people surrounding you. You remember the passion you have for the path you’re on – why you are climbing the mountain in the first place. And you realize that maybe if you shift your focus from the problem to what you have in your life which you love, then you see you live a blessed life. You have so much to be grateful for. So many things you love. Murphy’s law suddenly doesn’t feel so bad anymore. After all it’s just a tiny stumbling block. And should it turn out it’s blocking the path you’re currently on with no way of getting past it, then you’ll find another route. Your passion remains the same. The top of the mountain remains the same. You just have to find another way to get there. And who knows? Maybe there will be a stranger to give you a hug and encourage you along the way… If he’s naked, all the better. ‪#‎LifesJourney‬ ‪#‎AHugPlease‬‪ #‎FocusCreatesReality‬ 

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An ode to the whisper of the wind…

I found you sitting on a little cloud in Heaven looking down on me.

I asked you “Do you like me as I am?”

You replied “How could I like you any other way? This is who you are.”

And in a clearing in the woods I found my voice, that I’d so long forgot.

I awoke anew with the rising sun.

In my hair glittered sunbeams of the promise land.

When all is well, beauty exudes from within.

Sparkles are caught in the fabrics of man.

It’s why lovers eyes open wide.

Yet love is already there, waiting to exhale its breath of beauty.

Drenching the body in its luster and its awe.

I heard his melody in the treetops.

The foreshadowing of the wind.

And I knew that I had finally found him in me.

The jester.

The man of many tales.

My heartsong.

Me.

Because the love of your life is within you.

What is will come to be.

And so it is.

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The turned on life…

Last night I went to this event. On a rooftop. Music playing. Tropical winds blowing. Stars twinkling. The silhouette of mountains as our backdrop. It was beautiful. I was happy. I was happy because I felt free. Like there were no thoughts hampering me, or holding me back. I wasn’t shy, nor trying on any attitudes to hide my fear, I was just there taking in life. I was alive. Truly alive.

And as I stood there chatting to a group of people this man goes: “You know you are a very pretty woman. A very, very pretty woman. You really are pretty you know.” A few minutes later he repeated this and when he said goodbye he said so again.

When you meet someone you don’t know what they’ve been through. You’ll likely make some assumptions. To me hearing those words last night was like a breeze of kindness sweeping over me. Not because I think I’m ugly and needed to hear I’m pretty, but because someone cared enough to compliment me.

I grew up being bullied both at home and at school. As a kid I could live off a compliment for months, because I didn’t get that many. They were like a hope – a beacon of light – promising me that maybe, maybe I was worth something after all. Most of the time I got to hear I was a geek and I should shut up, or at home that my step-sisters were fabulous and I was not. It took me many, many years to build up my confidence and heal my wounds. It took me many years to be happy just being me and trusting that there truly are kind people around.

A compliment I often receive these days is hearing I’m the most interesting person someone’s ever met and that I live the most astounding life. I feel both proud and like a bit of a fake when they tell me that though. I may have done interesting things and learnt a lot along the way, but that doesn’t mean I was happy all along, or that my day-to-day life was much more than being married to my Mac (work) or working my ass off to help some children.

I always focused on my career, because I was less scared of that. I had confidence in my abilities, but not in myself. And I love what I do, so I kept thinking I’d be happy the day I have artistic freedom – when I can run whatever projects I want. I was so frustrated having to do other things to make a living I invested all my free time in trying to build a career for myself running my own business, working on charity and making my own movies. Yet, it was always my excuse – you guys go have fun, I’ll go and work. And somewhere along the line I had enough – I want to live, not just try to make it.

I will always work double hours, I have no doubt, because I really do love the projects I run, but I will take time to live too; not just through my projects but through myself. I want to dance till the small hours, drink wine with interesting people in cozy wine bars, go hiking in sun burnt hills, sip coffee and talk about artistry and discuss ideas and projects that set my heart on fire. I want to run away on impulsive trips filled with adventure and discover the scents, spices, foods and impressions of different cities and people around the globe. I want to make love till the morning, go skinny dipping in foreign seas and love freely with every inch of my being. I want friends that make my heart come alive. I want to live. In every area of my life.

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The see-through dress…

Inside we’re beautiful. We all have a heart. That heart is astounding.

Surrounding that heart are thoughts we’ve picked up about life, people and so forth. There’s fear. There are behavioral patterns. All stemming from these thoughts.

And I’ve blogged about this before. My wounds. My fears. Yet it seems to me with every year the wounds fade, yet they creep into places we don’t see. We act in ways that aren’t serving us as the wounds dictate our behavior without us even noticing. It’s small things once we’ve healed the bleeding, but it’s still there. Undercurrents that make us feel things. And we act on our feelings, not on the truth. Not from the heart.

Early on I picked up I wasn’t good enough – mom died without leaving me any special note of love. In fact she didn’t even tell me she loved me as far as I can remember. And she rejected me the last time she saw me. She was high on morphine, but I was six. I didn’t understand. She hugged my sister. My dad was angry when she complained of pain when I hugged her.

Then I moved classes two years later and ended up in class filled with bullies. I went from popular to nerd, over night.

Later arrived my new step-mom who treated me and my sister like Cinderella. Not necessarily intentionally, as she was blind as a bat to her own flaws, but it was pretty bad all the same and everyone else picked up on it.

So I started to have fear. Fear I wasn’t good enough. My dad always stressed the importance of performance, so I became good at performing. I was an A-student. I could dance. I could draw. I could write. I could do photography. I was good at presentations. I was good at leading projects. I was good at things, but I lost my sense of self. I literally felt like I had a hole inside. I didn’t know who I was. Or if there was a me? There were results though. If I was kind enough, acted well enough in social situations, did good enough at whatever it was I was doing, then I must be good, mustn’t I?

I responded to what was happening by withdrawing myself. I tried to protect myself by disappearing. When I was fourteen I was so scared of others I hardly spoke unless spoken to. But that was not the person I wanted to be. That was not like the heroines I read about. Not like an adventurer and lioness. I wasn’t allowing the fire I felt inside to burn freely. So I made a promise to change. I wanted to be who I truly was.

I really did push myself. I spoke when I didn’t want to. I spoke up against bullies. But I constantly judged myself. I was petrified. I was still just trying to gain acceptance, but in a new way.

I lived in the same prison, but the walls looked different. Trying to be perfect.

When I graduated drama school I asked myself what self-love was? It took another couple of years and a depression as I wasn’t doing good professionally (I had no idea how to actually launch my career – it’s kind of pointless loving and being good at things you don’t get to actually work with) till I realized it. The hot tub moment. Depressed in a hot tub in the Hollywood Hills asking God for help I had a realization that life is my gift and I can do whatever I want with it. I will never have all the answers in one go. I will keep learning. I don’t have to achieve anything. I can just be. This life is my life.

Things shifted after that. My inner monologue of judgment – assessing what people thought of me – started to somewhat fade. And I learnt more, grew more. With my move to Africa I learnt love at a whole new level at Little Angels where I was appreciated and loved and where my focus shifted to kids instead of myself all the time. My ego healed more. My gray days dissipated. Here I faced a war. It was traumatic. But my ego healed more and more. I feel so much freer now. So much more like me. Real. Alive. Here. Present.

Yet, having a conversation with Liezl yesterday about fear – those undercurrents we don’t necessarily see – I told her I still do things on auto-pilot. I sometimes avoid certain social gatherings because I have fear. I don’t necessarily see it. I just don’t feel like doing something. And whilst I love a dinner party with interesting guests, dancing all night long, or any crowd where you’re guaranteed great conversation, or great laughs (I like to play), talking about nothing all night bores me and I’m terrible at it. I guess that’s when my childhood wounds get scratched. I feel like I can’t be entertaining enough, even if I’m bored myself. Socially inadequate. Like that shy kid in the corner. The one who thought she was worthless. Unloveable. Couldn’t understand what she’d done wrong for the world to dislike her. She’s still there somewhere you know. She was me and I am her.

Sometimes I fear dealing with business people who know more than me. Instead of praising my own creativity that I bring to the table I panic about not knowing the numbers. And so I stop. I lose inspiration.

I know I have fear around falling in love. Dating is fine. I can do it in my sleep. I learnt that. To me dating and flirting is an art, just as communication and lovemaking are an art. If you say please and thank you, people respond to you better. Same with flirting – some things work, some don’t. I started off in the wrong end as a shy geek, and it forced me to learn about it. I’m thankful for that. I learnt the value of great communication because I didn’t know it.

Letting someone close is another cup of tea. And when I meet men that you know, have that thing, it scares the bejeezus out of me. When I started out dating I went out with the crazy gorgeous kind of men I adore, who walked all over me. And they always lacked…something. Well, most of them. Then I started dating men I didn’t adore, the lukewarm kind, who didn’t walk all over me. I guess I tried finding “the nice one.” I like them, but there were no sparkles. Now I’d like to build trust with someone who actually makes me see stars. You know the perfect playful adventurous naked soul connection which I desire, where there’s also trust. I like crazy. I will always like the off the beaten path intellectually stimulating outrageously playful creative souls, so I might as well embrace it. In the right way. Under the covers…or on top of them…or somewhere else entirely…

In the past I’ve feared gossips. They can be really mean and for no reason as the people who gossip about you generally don’t know you. They see 1-5% of you, or a situation, make up their own version to suit their reality and off they go to bring you down as you are a perceived threat. You rattled them somehow and off they go black mouthing you. So that they can feel better. Why else spend time talking about someone negatively? This used to make me want to hide. To stop rumors. To please people. To show them how kind I truly am. (Even a straight forward confrontation, or misunderstanding between friends used to make me want to do anything to prove myself.) But then I came to the conclusion at one point that some people don’t want to get to know you. They want their version of events. So let them think what they want and set about giving of your heart as best as you can anyway to the world.

And watch out so you don’t end up in the prison of attitudes when people rattle you. Of pretending to be cool. Smart. Sexy. Haughty. Right. Angry. Don’t run away with your emotions and justify your attitude. Be. Feel it. Then act from the heart. You don’t need to prove something; neither to the people you love, nor to the people who dislike you. You just want to be. As you are. Right there in the moment. Heart open. Feeling. Feeling your own vulnerability and beyond it your strength. Naked. In the light. That’s how wounds heal. Because they have no power over us anymore.

Only when you can be naked can you truly wear any dress and own it.

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