Tag Archives: motivation

A beautiful perspective…

I don’t know what you tell yourself when you get upset with yourself, but I tend to call myself an idiot. I did so the other day when I lost my phone. I thought I’d left it at Little Angels while running off to another appointment, or in the car. So, while I realized I wasn’t bringing the phone, I didn’t see a problem. Only, when I returned, the phone was nowhere to be found.

The police. The cellphone store. Hours of arranging stuff. Putting out a reward. Then hearing someone found it, only to say it was with someone else, who said they didn’t have it.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to let someone get me down by keeping my phone. I’m in charge of my moods and all that. Then I told myself the South African police experience was interesting. Yet, by the end of the week I was starting to miss my phone and getting frustrated.

Then, when I was in Hangberg, someone approached me to say they did know who had it. Someone not previously mentioned. Then a long story from different parties about who really found it, who wanted to sell it, who kept it safe ensued. The SIM was missing, so clearly someone tried something, only to realize that iPhones can be locked. (I did consider putting the message “Cock blocked” on the phone, but instead put a number to call and promised a reward. I figured that would be more effective.)

I got my phone back. Yet, this week was a week filled with what seemed like obstacles, as were the last couple of months, so I started beating myself up about it. I could have prevented the phone going missing. I could have done this. I could have done that. I must still be in victim mode to set myself up for this.

Then, after I found the phone and had had some other breakthroughs someone told me, “It’s unusual to get a phone back, but then you’re a good person and good things happen to good people.” Huh. That’s one way of seeing it.

Come to think of it, rather a lot of good things happen to me. I’m just too caught up beating myself up for the bad things to notice. Not that I don’t enjoy the good things. Not that I don’t sing and dance around a lot. I certainly do–if life can be a musical, why not?! Eccentric. Perhaps. The way I like it? Absolutely. However, I still beat myself up all the time. People tell me my life should be a movie and I’m the most interesting person they ever met (that’s the most common thing I’m told). I tell myself I’m a royal F up. And as that’s what I tell msyelf, nothing else seems to penetrate. Until as of late. I’ve had a few moments.

Perspective.

The stories we tell ourselves reflect how we see our life and, thus, how we feel and act. How do you see your life? What stories are you telling yourself?

It’s not what happens to us, but what we make up about what happens to us that control our moods and reactions. It controls our experience. This experience right here called life. This gift. This tremendous thing.

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Whipped cream…

Do you have people in your life that make you feel like a million dollars? Or like a cup of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and marshmallows?

I do. And I sure hope you do, too.

However, the trick in life is to make yourself feel that way. We all run out of steam some days (or, well, usually all days around four pm) and can do with a pick-me-up. A burst of happy energy. Like a kind word from those lovely people who have sunshine coming out of their behinds.

So what do those people do? Do they compliment us? Do they take us on magical or adventurous experiences? Do they make us sit down and breathe for a while? Take in the moment? Or chase us with a stick to ensure we live our passions? Whatever it is, it’s what we should be doing.

I am all for a cup of coffee when I run out of steam at four pm, but I need something more substantial to keep me going. I need to live my passions, go on magical (and wickedly wild) adventures, compliment myself, breathe in the moment and enjoy this thing called life.

If your life lacks luster…just add whipped cream…
See yourself as others do. For more of my poetry, check Instagram @themagiqueboutique

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Prayer…

A man walked up to me yesterday. A parking attendant at the beach. Told me he knew me.

“You taught me at the drug rehab center some years back,” he said. “You’re Maria.”

We chatted briefly–I asked him if he was still attending classes, but he said they charged now and he couldn’t afford it. It looked to me like he had relapsed. I had the child I raise with me, so I didn’t stay for long to chat–we were at the beach to run about and chase the sunset.

As we made our way back to the car, we met him again. And as I left, he stood staring after me.

This is not the first time, nor the last time this will happen. People know me. People have come up to me to ask me if I can take their children and raise them, if I can hire them, if I can sort out their husband who has taken their child from them, if I could please make way for a foster child, if I can get them off drugs, if I can get someone to help them with a child they raise… And yet, the requests I get are sporadic. The requests Liezl gets are non-stop.

Liezl runs the not-for-profit educare center I’ve been involved with for eight years now. The place where I met the kids I ended up helping to raise. The place that changed my life.

Sometimes, these requests warm my heart. Sometimes they break it.

We’re always fighting. Fighting for funds for a safe house for women. Fighting for funds to look after more children. Fighting for the right to build a larger center. Fighting to get me the right visa so I can stay forever with the kids. Fighting for awareness. Fighting for change. Fighting to help.

Often, we’re fighting for our own survival, too. We’ve been on so many journeys, ups and downs and roundabouts. We’ve made mistakes, we’ve failed people, we’ve cried, we’ve been too broke to mention…

And, today, I was thinking that maybe it’s time to stop fighting and start praying. You cannot help everyone. You cannot sink your own life to the ground trying to do so. But you can pray. You can have faith that things will come right and that you will thrive in the end. And that you will help those who are meant to receive it. You have to let go of the rest. You have to realize that you are not responsible for anyone, but you can become a vessel that helps when there’s a way to do so. And I believe, if you open yourself up to that, then you will indeed become a vessel of good, instead of one that’s constantly fighting the waves on a stormy sea–only just about avoiding becoming a shipwreck.

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The Superwoman crisis…

Do you ever feel like you’re fighting the snot wars? I do. All the time.

It’s winter in Africa and the little one I raise has had three colds in five weeks. Of course, I’ve had most of those colds too. Single parenthood, toppled with colds and oh, winter holidays. Because crèche here closes for three weeks?! And parents are meant to…pay even more for childcare? During COVID?

So you work from home, while blowing the little one’s nose. Over and over again.

The other night, I had the pleasure of being awoken in the middle of the night and then peed down. Literally. I was peed down. Ever tried to night potty train? Oh yeah, that.

In the middle of the night, I swore. I said a long line of unsuitable words only a Londoner would know. Then, of course, I felt ashamed of myself. So I swore at myself instead.

Some days, I feel like we’re fighting poverty, world hunger, the education crisis (on a micro scale) and a few other things at Little Angels. Some days, I feel like my movies will entertain, enlighten and make the world a better place. Some days, I feel like all the work I do in the personal development field is turning me into the next Dale Carnegie. And some days, I’m fighting the snot wars and learning how not to swear at midnight.

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The incredible dream…

As we get older, heck, even in our twenties, we often realize there are some things we do over and over again. Some of those things are great. We are always on time. We always manage to pay our bills. We always date kind guys. Other times, they aren’t so great. We’re never on time. We only just manage to pay the bills. We always date emotionally unavailable guys. We fuck up in the same way over and over again. It’s our dysfunctional pattern, whatever it may be.

Sometimes, it’s more subtle. We’ve lived in a similar manner for years. What was once exciting has now grown stagnant. It’s no longer putting a smile on our face; no longer fulfilling us.

And change…how do you create it? At times, it seems pretty damn impossible, doesn’t it? How are you going to create something you’ve never had?

There are two ways around this.

The first is structure. If you’ve always been bad at managing accounts, hire an accountant. If you’re bad at exercising, hire a personal trainer. Alternatively, read some books on the topic you want to get better at, then set up a plan. A structure. To stick to the new structure, get an accountability partner.

The second, is to dare to dream. If you’ve never brought in the millions it seems incredible to do so, doesn’t it? Yet your neighbor, has never earned less than 200k a year and, by now, sit on plenty of millions thanks to wise investments. How does your neighbor think? What’s normal to them? What’s a small amount of money to them? What’s a large amount of money to them? For them, not bringing in the millions is as unthinkable as it is for you to bring them in.

When something becomes possible, it suddenly becomes attainable. Not in a foggy dreamlike sort of way, but in a real, practical kind of way. It’s incredible what opportunities come along once you dare to dream up a new possibility. A new way of life. The life of your neighbor.

It’s time to imagine having some fun. Some real life fucking magic. Because it’s possible. Just as if by magic.

You can find my poetry on Insta: @TheMagiqueBoutique

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Alight…

Sometimes a kind of glory lights up a man…

Sometimes it does. Sometimes we stumble upon those events that light us up like firework. Other times we don’t.

Truth be told, life can be hard. So hard. And we’re all looking to achieve different things, walking up staircases that, at times, seem endless. We feel drained. Our muscles need oxygen. We may resort to coping mechanisms ranging from binge watching Netflix to binge drinking alcohol to get through. But that only drains us further.

It’s at those times we need to remember that we don’t have to wait for the magic. The magic is already within us.

As we walk up those steps, we can turn on that magic. The song that makes us dance. The melody that makes us remember something out of this world. The clothes that make us believe we rule. The food that makes our heart sing. The friends who make us smile. The little treats that make our life worth living.

And the funny thing is, once we do that a kind of glory lights us up from within. We start to skip up the steps. And the magic we so craved, but could find nowhere, suddenly returns. Those magical events we thought had deserted us come back in abundance. And so magic comes from within and without.

It’s true what Steinbeck said–that sometimes we encounter people and events that light us up. But it’s also true that we are the light in our own life. And from time to time, we are the light that fuels someone else’s glow. We are the event that sets the night sky on fire.

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

My poetic musings on Insta. @TheMagiqueBoutique

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Bruised bottoms…

There’s no fucking backup plan for falling in love. You fall. You stumble down some stairs, land flat on your ass and look up to someone who now appears as a giant before you. All other men, in comparison, ants. They lack the beautiful traits, the significant looks, and the commonalities the other man shares with you. They seem insignificant in comparison.

The thing is, you have to do it. You have to fall. You have to imagine that this man is better than all the rest, even if you know it’s an illusion. Because without that illusion, there are no butterflies. No tingles in your forearms. No longing so painful and so sweet a mere text messages makes you erupt in euphoria.

You want those feelings.

At the same time, of course, you need to be practical. This man, if any good, will end up your husband. He has to be able to express what he needs, while still thinking you’re some thinly veiled goddess. He has to be able to say the hard stuff and praise–generously–the good stuff. He needs to be able to build a reality with you where you are both happy. He will have to read the books you recommend about marriage, and go on a trip to Beijing even though he doesn’t want to. He has to get up at five on days you have a fever, to make sure you get breakfast in bed. And just like that, you have to do the same for him. You have to do things you’d never imagined just to learn to understand and aid this giant of a man. And that’s when it really helps to think he is a giant compared to other men. It helps to have butterflies in your belly. It helps to be seduced by his mind and body, heart and soul. It’s the fuel that will take you through.

But all of that can only last–the endorphin high–if the hard work is done.

And that’s why many people get off of the floor, dust their bottoms, and start climbing the stairs again. Because they aren’t willing to work. To learn. To compromise. Instead, the giant becomes a giant obstacle, hindering them on their path. Or the giant is uncompromising; unwilling to move.

Thankfully, for all of us, we’ve learned that falling and getting up isn’t too hard. Not when you’re on round twenty-five, or so. You’ve learned you can climb stairs, even in stilettos. You’ve learned you’re OK, even when you’re bruised.

And if nothing else, there’s coffee. Dark, divine, delicious coffee. Laden with just the right amount of honey to sweeten it and cream to tame the darkness. That coffee, served at an ungodly hour will kickstart you once more. Your internal engine humming.

There’s also tea. Drunk together with friends, who pat you on the back and give you another cookie. A sugar rush. Something to bring you back to the moment and forget your temporary insanity when you thought a mere man a giant.

Tea brings new adventures as souls set out on journeys together; discover new thoughts; decide to start up businesses; or go on spa weekends in the country. Tea is the glue that keeps souls together. And we all know when it’s time to put on the kettle and bake the scones.

Then, there’s wine and champagne when we are in need of a good giggle–bubbles bursting on our tongue and tickling our throat. Landing in our belly like butterflies. And as our mind ascends to a pink cloud, we look around and start seeing men. Maybe not giants, but men with potential at least. Men who wink at us and tell us we’re OK, even with our bruised bottoms. Men who’d be happy for us to fall for them–men who might even catch us as we stumble down the stairs on a giddy high. Men who would, potentially, consider doing the hard work. The push-ups that will give them the muscle that make us smile and lick our lips. The men willing to go the extra mile. If, of course, we do the same.

One day, you’ll meet a man who will remain a giant. Till that day, dust yourself up and brew some coffee–head to a friend for tea and go out for wine. Life. Feel it. Brewing inside of you until it bursts out in cascades of stars. Be a star. Glitter. Glimmer. Indulge in every moment. Drink the morning dew. Recognize it for the nectar that it is. Turn up the music and dance around the kitchen. Look out over the rooftops of Paris as many times as you need to get inspired. Run so fast you fall over and laugh uncontrollably with a runner’s high. Drive along the PCH till you feel freedom pump around your blood. Howl at a full moon. Set yourself free–scream with joy and jump in puddles–and discover the treasure right there at your doorstep. Especially if you’re in isolation–make sure that doorstep fucking shines.

At eight o’clock I call you

Waiting to hear your voice

Like a kid waiting for Santa 

Like a desperate woman pouring a glass of wine

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

You’re no hero

No man in shining armor

A tad bruised 

A tad battered

Scarred enough to be a man 

Lost enough to be human

But with an inner compass

Looking for the light 

At eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

The truth is

I learned to walk long ago

Both in high heels and bare feet

Even with sneakers in obstacle courses

And even though I sometimes stumble 

I know that I’ll win the race

Celebrate another day ending

And the next’s beginning

And yet at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

I can walk 

I can run 

I can pick myself up when I stumble 

I’m fine

I’m free

I’ll bleed and I’ll heal

I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward 

I’ll love and live and pirouette

Around the next corner

For yet another adventure

But at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I enjoy another 

Of life’s treasures

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde aka Maria Montgomery and yes, the copyright is all mine and all that.

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Filed under confessions, diary, Happiness, Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Love-life, Motivation, Musings, Poem, poetry, Relationship, relationships

‘Tis the season…

’Tis the season…to be of service to others. 

I know many have had what we in South Africa would call “a hectic year.” Many are furious with the world…and with governments. All round, people have been struggling to “do the right thing.” Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t. And I’ve seen people lose their heads because they disagree on how to best tackle a pandemic that’s affected almost everyone alive today. Quite a few felt separated because of the US elections, too. People have been taking sides. 

Sometimes, it’s nice to shift your focus to what’s working and how you can build bridges with others instead of burning them. How you can stand together to help one another—even if you disagree on things. 

A lot of people are struggling, so let’s help them and ourselves by being of service—by going out of our way to do a nice thing. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to drive the long way around to do a nice thing. Being of service means you go out of your way to help others. 

However, it does not mean you hurt yourself in the process. I (and many people I know), have gone out of their way to help others at their own expense. That’s self destruction, not being of service. 

Point being, the coaching group I’m part of created a challenge for us to be of service—commit five acts of service in the coming month. It’s an open challenge, so I invite anyone who wants to spread the Christmas cheer to join. 

You don’t have to be rich, or be in the right circumstances, or have had an epic year to be an extraordinary person. So let’s challenge ourselves to be just that (even if we sometimes want to scream and kick and shout about travel bans, and the fear of being coughed at, or everyone’s opposing opinion). 

Merry ho ho y’all! 

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Let’s get excited!!!

When was the last time you went wild when seeing someone?

I get it. That sentence can be interpreted in more ways than one.

Let’s try again.

When was the last time you got excited when someone you know walked through the door? Someone you see on a daily basis?

I was looking out the window earlier and saw the dogs going wild as the neighbors returned. They’d been away for an hour, or two.

When I walk out my room, the little one gets excited. We’ve been isolating since COVID started and he sees me all the time. But I need time to work, so I’m locked up in my bedroom for most of the day. When I walk out, it’s hugs and kisses and happiness all round.

He also likes to knock on my door to ask if I’d like to come play horse, or go to the forest. I do. Sometimes. Right now, I’m about to finish this blog and head to the forest.

I remember being a kid and waiting for my dad to come home by the end of the day. Especially when I was sick, which was often. I’d get so happy when I heard his car arrive, or his voice in the hallway.

It was so good to see someone I cared about. Someone who would bring something to my day. He’d smell like fresh air and the outside world–adventure.

When we get older, as our partner, or friend whom we see often, walk in the door, we continue working, or cooking, or doing the laundry. How often do we stop what we are doing and run to see them, flinging ourselves into their arms?

With COVID, we might have come to appreciate human relationships more, but maybe it’s time to learn a thing, or two, from dogs and kids.

Our time on Earth is limited. At least in this incarnation. When you see someone you love, stop what you’re doing and fling yourself at them with all the enthusiasm of a puppy seeing their human.

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When shit hits the fan, buy toilet paper…and have a giggle…

This year’s trending words so far:

  • social distancing
  • masks
  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • panic shopping

As a human, this doesn’t exactly make me smile. As a writer, I find it hilarious. It’s like living in a science fiction comedy where panic has turned humans into anti-bac spraying, mask wearing, toilet paper obsessed morons.

It is the year when toilet paper trumps roses as birthday gifts. Not that I ever found roses particularly interesting, unless they come delivered as a bush. You know, so you can plant them, grow them, harvest the petals and use them in cooking, baking and teas. Then, roses make sense.

Not that I object a beautiful bouquet of flowers–they’re a symbol. A beautiful symbol at that. It’s just, they don’t make my heart race, or my imagination take flight. For that, more innovative and thoughtful gifts are required.

Toilet paper, unlike a bouquet of roses, you can use. And if someone writes cute poetry on it, you may even enjoy your visits to the bathroom a little bit more.

In fact, I’d totally get behind the idea of receiving loo roll with poetry on it.

The thing is, when something like COVID comes along that has the potential of flooding hospitals with patients and kill off a small percentage of the population, not least because hospitals are struggling with resources, it’s scary.

But just as when terrorism and immigration were seen as the scariest things in the world, it’s not the scariest thing in the world.

If you Google the stats, you’ll soon figure out that cancer is a lot more frightening. However, you can protect yourself from COVID in ways you can’t from cancer. Then again, certain cancers, are caused by toxins, HPV (a sexually transmitted disease), and lifestyle choices. And those cancers you can protect yourself from, but are you?

Are you living a healthy lifestyle devoid of toxins? Do you refrain from sex with a lot of different people? Are you building up your immune system?

Even with COVID, working on your immune system is a great idea. From what I’ve learned when penning health and wellness articles, that means good sleep, time in nature, exercise, healthy meals and a life with as little negative stress as possible. Certain herbs and spices may also help you build up your immune system.

What people believe to be the scariest thing in the world, often isn’t the scariest thing in the world. But that doesn’t mean it won’t kill some people. Take precaution. But also take precaution for things that aren’t perceived as immediate dangers. Such as having a heart attack due to poor lifestyle choices. I bet overdosing on fat and sugar doesn’t scare you half as much as COVID, but it should. Statistically speaking.

Personally, with COVID, I’d rather be safe than sorry. If I can socialize two meters apart, in nature and spray everything with anti-bac, I’m quite happy with that. For now.

That, however, does not mean I’ll focus on COVID. I don’t need to listen to COVID stories all day long. I don’t need to think about toilet paper. Hey, if we run out there are magazines and leafs and this thing called washing using water.

This year has been a rollercoaster for most of us. And some have lost near and dear ones to COVID. That’s horrible. But rollercoaster rides aren’t just horrible, they’re also a thrill and can give you the giggles. If nothing else, because everything’s upside down. So let’s focus on the good stuff, not on hand sanitizer.

You can choose your own trending words for the year. Such as art, creativity, nature, family, achievement, and happiness.

When things change, you have to find opportunities in things that present themselves in the now. Such as opening a bidet business, or manufacturing your own toilet paper. Or why not create a new exercise routine at home, launch the online business of your dreams, learn to grow your own vegetables, or finally meditate daily?

You’re your own boss. Now more so than ever.

No, you might not be able to travel to the other side of the world. But there is so much to be thankful for. This isn’t the plague and we aren’t living in the 1500s. That’s a starting point.

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