Tag Archives: self help

Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114399/

 

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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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The Dalai Lama…

Gendun Drup, 1st Dalai Lama

Image via Wikipedia

“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.” – Dalai Lama. I think the man has a point (no, really? The Dalai Lama???…) We grow our businesses, we grow our social networks, we grow our bank accounts…but do we grow our affection for friends, family and lovers? Do we sit down to think about how we can build our relationships? How we need to be loved? How we can love more?

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” I have said this before, but when our focus shifts from what people think about us, what we want from them, to what we can give them our own fear of judgment (ego) subsides and we experience the person and relationship in a new light. There is also a lot of fulfillment in the act of giving. I keep wondering: if we were all brought up to save the world, rather than to think about the “perks” we want…our own personal success…what would the world look like? Where would our focus be? On peace, on material wealth for all, on great health, on solutions… Now it’s a lot about Porsches…about “look at what I achieved for me.”

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” To bear this in mind when we are angry, sad, frustrated, upset…who is it we want to be? Never mind the other person – WHO ARE WE? How do you want to see yourself? How do you act FROM THAT PLACE??? And how do you look after YOUR TEMPLE?

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” What do you do every day to feel peace and happiness? And how do you change all other emotions to peace and happiness? Do you allow yourself to go off on tangents just because you get an adrenaline/testosterone kick, or do you bring yourself back to peace and happiness asap?

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” What actions do you take on a daily basis that make you happy? Which actions would you love to take?

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” When we blame, when we yell and scream at others…where does it come from?

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” What small pains, annoyances and disturbances are you ignoring? What little thorns do you need to deal with to make you happy? To make your relationships happy? To make your business/career thrive?

“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.” I realized this one day when I was thinking of my fear of illness and death (my mom died from cancer in her thirties) – whatever happens I will live through it…so I might as well just be happy in the process! Where you put your focus determines you happiness to a large extent. For example: the other day I got upset about my knee. I can’t really go running that often anymore and as soon as I stand up for days in a row, it goes wonky. So I started despairing, because I wanted to go running and in my head a I saw a scenario of not being able to go jogging for forever. But either I can think of that, or about all the blessings in my life. After all, I can still run. I can still walk. I can still dance!!!!!!!!!! I live a blessed life.

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.” “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” So many times you meet people who want to have many things in life only to prove they are worth something, instead of finding their inherent worth. Whether they need to have a new hottie by their side every day, or win a prize for their abilities…the path becomes about proof of worthiness rather than love.

“To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. Rather than speaking badly about people and in ways that will produce friction and unrest in their lives, we should practice a purer perception of them, and when we speak of others, speak of their good qualities.” We all need to analyze and understand things at times and we may speak of our process, but one needs to remember that whatever one says it will color other people’s perception of the world. To say you want a happy relationship, or a happy career…I believe you have to understand that first you need to find the love in you, the love for others and the love for the path you now choose to walk.

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When all hell breaks out…murder with sex appeal…

Sex Appeal

Problem solving is sexy...

So you come home, bloody exhausted after a long day, longing to jump into bed and………sleep. After sitting down for five minutes though you manage to swallow down a slice of (raw) cheese and some fruit, put on your warmest clothes and…walk over to the neighbor’s to get the dog out. You are welcomed by wet kisses and paws that go everywhere they aren’t supposed to. Then you are taken for a walk (this dog has a mind of her own – you can try to walk her, but she will walk you. Or sit down on her ass and refuse to move). This time she dragged me along to a tiny little park (or empty lot of land). It was freezing cold (it actually snowed for five minutes that day!!!) and the wind was gently rustling around in the bushes. Looking up at the night sky it was beautifully lit by stars. It was like the perfect romantic moment…until a palm tree started making weird noises (I couldn’t decide whether it was the wind shaking it, or if someone was standing behind it and having a blast watching my face turning paler and paler…I naturally decided that it was the first, but a sense of…practicality, shall we say…made me consider other options…) and I decided we better go home (which I managed to pursue her Majesty to agree to).

To sum it all up – I had a wonderful walk (minus the palm tree, but that is…a minor detail). Mainly because her Majesty had been home alone all day and was super excited to see me, which made me happy. And I got to have imaginary conversations with her and pet her head for an hour. I mean surely, we all know that it helps talking to yourself???… It’s the best ever remedy for solving problems. Especially when a dog listens and clearly understands every single word (not).

My point with all this rambling…I did have one and it wasn’t the palm tree you see…

“Murder me with sex appeal”….no that’s just something I heard on the radio…

So yeah, the point….hold your breaths, please…is that when I walked to get the dog out I didn’t do it for my sake – I was ready to pass out on the couch. I did it for her sake. And as I strotted along with her on this freezing cold night I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Why? Because I wasn’t thinking about my own problems. I was focused on what was making the doggy happy.

Often we get a bit caught up in the general mess of things (a.k.a. our lives). I know what it feels like. I do it all the time. That’s why I like friends and coaches as they will look at things from a different POV (point of view) and suddenly the “problems” have been re-framed into solutions. E.g. “I’m going through a divorce, it’s really hard with the lawyers, all the memories when we first got together, all the crushed dreams…!” ….re-frame… “I am so happy I am finally free to live life on my terms again, having learnt what I did about relationships and now being so much more ready for spending time with myself and finding my ultimate mate.”

I know, I know…it’s very tempting to sit and think about “the good old days” when you were having so much fun with your now ex, or your company was making a million more a year, or your house was ten times bigger… Yet, in this moments lies all the opportunities in the world. And if you have a look around, maybe you will discover that you, at least for a day, can take a break from your problems. How? You can live for someone else for a day. You can set your worries aside and worry for them instead. You can pour all your heart and mind into their lives You can try out what it feels like thinking about something else all day long. Oftentimes I don’t understand how people have the energy to keep up all their problems. And when you look at them from the outside you see how utterly ridiculous they are as well…because often they aren’t real. And even if they are, shouldn’t the question be: what can I do right now to make the most of my life? Not sitting blaming yourself, others and the world. Shit happens. Your attitude is your own.

A lot of my problems in the past have been ego. The need to be perfect. The need for success. So for me to focus on giving, instead of what others think of me is a huge thing. I always want to help others, but often, at least in the back of my mind, I have also worried about other peoples’ opinion of me. And it has, quite frankly, ruined my life. It has taken the joy out of so many things. (This is why I should go to a karaoke night and do a solo number. Then the worry will be gone. Ahem…)

As I see it, there are about four ways to solve a problem:

1) Face the fear so that the fear disappears. Imagine the worst ever that could happen. Imagine living through that with a positive attitude. (There’s a difference between the person dying saying: “I am so thankful for the life I have had. I am so thankful for the experience I was given and for these last few days to truly enjoy my life.” And the person saying: “This is unfair. This shouldn’t be me. There’s no point to life. I’m dying anyway.” I know that’s taking it to the extreme, but when I was facing my own fear of dying, I had to do just that.)

2) Re-frame it: From problem to opportunity.

3) Solve the problem. Some problems have to be solved. Ask for help if you need it. Don’t be ashamed you have a problem. We all have problems.

4) Leave it. We all want success in a ton of different ways. Yet, success may not be what we think it is. May not make us smile, laugh and love life. Instead of wanting to become a multi-millionaire…go volunteer at the local hospital, help a friend, donate your energy to giving… Invest your time in other peoples’ problems. Maybe you will discover yours don’t exist and maybe, just maybe you will find a new meaning to life.

5) (P.S. Remember: love is all there is.)

So ya know. Next problem that comes along: murder it with sex appeal. No one can resist you when you turn it on. When those long lashes of yours come this way…and that heart of yours is turned on…who can resist love? True heartfelt love? Not I… So turn it on and turn it up. I’m gonna go hide behind the couch before you drop by here….ah right, you don’t have my address anyway, so maybe I’ll be safe for another day???…

 

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I fucked up…so screw me, or what???…

Lotta vs ice-cream

Lick that ice cream in style, eh?!!

I’m sorry to tell you, but you have fucked up. Srsly. You have. I’m certain of it. ‘Cuz I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. Branson almost ended up in jail…and Virgin is the most trusted brand in the UK today. Why? I think because he accepted that what he did was wrong, put it behind him and cracked on. It’s the people who keep blaming themselves for yesterday that get stuck. Or the ones that try to justify their failure. Sure, figure out WHY it happened. Don’t do it again. But don’t stand there telling me it was OK to do it. It wasn’t. It’s OK that you did it though. It’s OK. Take the blame. Leave it in the past. And go onto never doing it again. Don’t hold onto it and punish yourself every time you think about it. Don Miguel Ruiz says that humans have a weird idea of punishment – we don’t just punish ourselves once, we do it every time we think about something we didn’t enjoy. The experience itself wasn’t enough, we constantly revisit it in our minds and hearts. That my dears, is no goody goody. I for one am thankful Branson got his act together and his ass out of jail and went onto creating my favorite airline.

Forget about the time you dived into the ocean to impress a six pack and landed on your ass screaming in pain…no it wasn’t because of a banana peel under your foot…get a lesson in how to do it right and get on with it (make sure the instructor is good looking – after all he will be looking at your ass from several different angles as you practice). Learn it. Get good at it. Or drop the idea of diving and simply trot along the beach walk looking fab licking…an ice cream. Move forward in style. Kick some ass peeps. Let’s rock February together!!!!! :0)

Can’t get enough of this song!!!!!!! So true…

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I want to have sex with Tim Ferriss…

Timothy Ferriss (The 4-hour Workweek) @ etech

Tim Ferriss...

You know who I am talking about right? The man behind The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body. The guy’s a genius (or else the man…or woman…hiding in the bushes writing his books is) – he invented a system for working 4 hrs a week and living like a king. He also became a world champion in wrestling and speaks God knows how many languages. Maybe that’s not all that hard (right…), but he has a knack for saying things I agree with and that classifies him as a genius. Naturally.

I came across The 4-Hour Body today and it’s basically all about how to get the best body, which apparently includes sex. I didn’t have a chance to read the whole book yet, but will do as soon as possible. I did read part of the sex chapter though (what else?). Apparently female orgasms start with…well, the female. The male stimulation is only part of the equation and there are certain tricks of the trade that Mr Ferriss shares (boys, it’s time to run to the store and pick up a copy…just saying). It all starts with self-exploration. You have to know you and you have to own your own orgasm, just as you have to own everything else in your life. It all starts with you. Your life is about you.

Too many times a day I switch to auto pilot – I do and say things that aren’t necessarily serving me, but that I’m used to doing and saying. Inside my head, round and round goes the same old small talk that REALLY isn’t helping me. The worst part is that for most of it I’m not even aware of it. I’m so used to myself I don’t even notice myself. And in some ways I have “settled.” I may not be doing my best with something, or expanding my field of vision, but rather be alright with what I already have. The sex is good, so I’m sort of satisfied, right?! But what if it could be GREAT??!! What are the questions I’m not asking myself? Even if I am asking myself a lot of questions, what are the areas I’m not asking questions about? What are the imaginary limits of my mind?

I like Tim Ferriss because he questions things and he seeks to get the best results out of what he does. He does not settle for less. He isn’t run by an auto pilot (or, if so, it’s on a good setting!) and nor should you be. Start paying attention to yourself. Start getting to know who you are and what you want. Start expanding your horizon. Start finding out what the best solutions are. What have the people that are happiest in the area of life you want to get results in managed to achieve and how did they do it? Check out life from a different perspective. Try being silent for a day, or going to a new place to get a different point of view.

When Mr Ferriss wrote the chapter on sex he did extensive research. He even found a woman to volunteer to try out the new techniques he had studied on how to make women come. How cool is that? “Hey darling, I just figured out the ultimate technique for giving a woman pleasure, mind if I try it on you?” What a man.

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A bloody, I mean…blooming pink elephant on Sunset Blvd…

Pink Elephant??

Pink, pink, pink...

So you walk down the street and you see this pink elephant and exclaim: “OMG, it’s a pink elephant!! How bizarre…and wonderfully weird!! Gotta check this one out!” Then you proceed, curiously, to examine the pink elephant. Is it friendly? Could you approach it? Pet it? Is there any way of making it stay calm in the middle of the traffic chaos? Can you help feed it? Does it need to be taken back to nature? You really feel for this gorgeous creature that’s walking down Sunset Boulevard…you feel for it as you know what it’s like being lost. You have something in common with the pink elephant…

You could also say “WTF, a pink bloody elephant in the middle of Sunset Boulevard? Hello, I need to get to work! Can someone call the idiot producer that somehow got an elephant and painted it pink for some silly movie? Even better call the f***ing police and arrest both the elephant and the damn producer!” You don’t really see the elephant. You only see the issues it’s creating for you.

I haven’t met any pink elephants lately (but we do have a very curious goat in our back yard). I have, however, met a bunch of people that act like everyone is a pink elephant.

You have a choice really. You can explore people – seek them out, get to the depth of their being and know that there is depth to their being. You can find the common denominators that make you tick, you can embrace them for the good qualities they have and raise them to an even higher level by believing they have the power to accomplish even more.

OR

You can degrade people. You can look for the things that won’t click between you. You can search for flaws in them to feel better than them. You can see why they are trouble, instead of how they can solve their trouble.

There’s a clear difference between people who seek to explore others and know what each and every person is capable of deep within and those that see people as tools for their own life and judge them thereafter. I think most of us are a combination of these people. Of course you will always check a person out – find out how they are currently operating. And sometimes, no matter how capable we all are deep within, we can’t entertain certain people in our life. I would like to see people as I would a gorgeous pink elephant though. I would like to feel for them. I would like to always keep in mind the strength that lie within them.

In a very similar way I’d like to view myself as a gorgeous pink elephant. Maybe with flowers painted on top. Flower power baby, share the loooooove….

 

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