Love is all around

With Valentine’s Day having just passed I was forced to face my judgements around all the commercialism and marketing that inevitably surrounds the Day.

Waking up on Wednesday morning to a number of messages from friends and family left me with a feeling of appreciation and warmth. Watching my kids pack their novelty chocs and flowers for their friends and excitedly dorn their red and pink t-shirts in preparation for a day of giving love had me re-thinking my view. As I proceeded through my day the spreading of love seemed infectious. Walking through the mall, running my usual errands, I was pleasantly surprised by a well dressed gentleman handing out red roses to the female shoppers. It felt so special and so right!

It’s no wonder by the end of the day I found that I too was showing tokens of appreciation and gestures of love to my blessed family and helpers….

Why not? Loving and being loved is why we are here on this crazy planet! Love is contagious so let’s be it. Let’s make every day Valentines Day …. or at least one day a week.

Be love my beautiful Cupid’s…….. be all of what love is #beingnotdoing#belove

Stop to smell the roses

I can’t believe that we are approaching the middle of February. Is it just me or does it feel like catching moments has become as elusive as trying to hold water in your hands. Hours are rolling into days, and days into weeks and i feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and just can’t seem to get off.

In this fast paced, multitasking world where the finish line just keeps edging that much further – we need to make the time to STOP! To pause! To stop, and smell the roses…. to be still!

This morning, sitting in the warmth of the morning sunshine in my little townhouse garden in Johannesburg – I did just that. And I noticed, the birds singing the sweetest melodies, my seasonal flowers in full bloom and my tabby cat looking like she’s been eating far too many fledglings. Just taking 20 minutes to still my mind and observe Mother Nature doing her backstage performance, created stillness within me. I felt my body rising and falling with each breathe and focused on breathing deeper and expanding my diaphragm. I acknowledged a niggling pain in my right shoulder and made a note to do this presencing thing more often…

Yes! We have to gym, and buy the groceries, and cook and taxi our kids and work….. as long as the earth spins on its axis these to-dos will be there, no matter our stage of life! The point is to take 60 seconds every hour or at least before meals, a couple of times a day to pause! Let the earth rotate and the to-dos keep doing – Pause and breathe!

I love this 16 second Breathing Practise that allows us to use our breathe to attain stillness! It’s great to gain presence, and it only takes 16 seconds.

For 4 seconds watch the breathe (in your minds eye), as it enters your nostrils and wafts down your trachea. Then hold it in for 4 seconds – I picture it in my lungs at this stage. And now breathe out for 4 seconds – feeling it leaving your body. And for the last 4 seconds visualize it staying out (entering the atmosphere after having been altered by passing through your cells).

So – 4 seconds in – 4 seconds hold – 4 seconds out -and 4 seconds watching it out! 16 seconds! If we do this 4 times, it has a most profound effect of slowing everything down and we don’t miss all the good parts of living. 4 times is just over 60 seconds. We can do that – Right?

So let’s try it – let’s be present – be still – let’s BE! #beingnotdoing#bestill#bepresent

What’s ur label.

Why is it that we vie for labels when it come to our clothes, handbags and shoes ? Yet when we ourselves get labeled we choose to look the other way. If I was labeled ‘Michael Kors’ would I not want to improve my brand image to be a ‘Chanel’? How is it – that our aspiration for the labels we wear keep increasing, yet our labels for who we are being, or perceived to be being deserves no energy? Wouldn’t being labeled, just assist us to work on improving our personal brand value?

As Agony Aunt – I often hear people complaining about the behavior of others. And the advice I find myself dishing out is – Label it! This statement often perplexing to the recipient – seems to be a foreign, even offensive solution, and is met by much resistance. Is it incorrect to call a spade a spade? . Not with heightened emotion, just plainly stating – I don’t wish to deal with you any more because I can’t trust you, due to you lying to me. Is that not better than gossiping about the person, Or frustrating about their treatment of you?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating walking around judging and categorizing individuals. What I AM saying is – for those people who you call your partner or friend – be honest and let them know where their areas of development are – instead of shutting the door on them resentfully? Is it really that different from a Performance Review on a consultation job you just performed?

Following on from this – comes our challenge for the week – how would you respond – if I labeled YOU? Would you look at it as constructive criticism and work on your poorer quality areas? Or would you feel offended and take it personally?

In light of the above, I suggest we take our prompt and work on our brand image. Maybe label yourself? Find your areas of improvement? And – if you dare – ask those close to you ‘Who you Being’ around them? – and then, try to be open to the label. #beingnotdoing #bechanel#bequality

Being Grateful

I am frequently humbled and inspired by humans who epitomize being spiritual in all their actions. We can call them prophets, mystics, sages or gurus. The fact is whether you are looking at the Prophet Muhammad or Sadhguru, or even our current day Deepak Chopra you will find one of the first teachings offered to the layman on the path to spirituality is to practice Gratitude. This intrigued me, as I began exploring ‘What gratitude is?’ And ‘The Power of being grateful.’

Gratitude I realized came in all shapes and sizes. It was as magnanimous as 16 year old Malala Yousefzei -who just after being shot down for daring to speak up around her rights as a girl for education- being and expressing gratitude, for legs that work and eyes that can see (despite just finding out she’s deaf in one ear and her face is deformed.) Or it could be as simple as a smile of thanks to a cashier at a till. I watched how easily the cashier responded by returning the smile, and the warmth of the monetary exchange moved me. So this got me excited about my #beingnotdoing revolution and I incorporated being grateful as my affirmation for the week.

That week – I started my day with the affirmation in the shower ‘I am Grateful’, and looked for opportunities throughout the day to be just that. Quite prophetic of me, if I may say so myself! I thanked my morning smoothie and all the individual ingredients within – the spinach and the apple for growing these last few months, absorbing the sunlight and nutrients- to perfectly nourish me. I was grateful to my guard at the complex gate and smiled to acknowledge him. As I completed my run that afternoon I took a moment to thank my body and all my muscles and the respiratory and the other systems (I don’t even pretend to understand) for allowing me to move and exercise my body. And that night before bed, and every other night since, as I brushed my teeth in preparation for bed, I thanked myself and my family for five unique things that happened that day, be it, being grateful to myself for my willpower to resist that chocolate bar or even expressing thanks for having a warm body next to me to go snuggle with, after an accomplished day.

As the week passed the question of ‘The Power of Gratitude’ unveiled itself. I was happier, felt like I was of service to the world by just acknowledging these small blessings with more awareness. I became more appreciative and less insulting of my body and myself. And overall I had a sense of contentment with my lot. Don’t get me wrong – my life is far from picture perfect – but by ‘being grateful’ each day I found the perfection in that very moment, hour and day. I stopped focusing on all the things NOT right in my day and managed through connecting with gratitude to make myself aware of all the many many little things The were perfectly right in each of my days.

This power of gratitude was further emphasized when I came across a book by Emoto on the beauty and high vibration of crystals that form in a glass of drinking water if that water is ‘Thanked’ before you sip it. This together with the fact, that a human being is made up of 70% water further endorsed thanking ourselves for being us.

So my friends, on this 2018 journey of being and not doing – I challenge you – Be Grateful this week and feel that gratitude come back to u!

#beingnotdoing

So if we believe in any kind of Higher Being – a God of any faith – somehow we know we are here either as his/her representative, to strive towards betterment in the hope of maybe attaining perfection (of some sort). We may even believe that this Supreme Higher Power designed and fashioned us and even blew his/her breathe into us (to bring us to life). Or our belief system might even be, that we are incarnated here as humans repeatedly until we attain this elusive perfection over many different lifetimes.

Whatever our faith or belief system the one thing I know is that, I am a soul who has chosen to come to earth as a human BEING – and not a human DOING! So why am I always concerned about what I should be doing? What should I DO to show how much I love someone? Or what I should do when I grow up? Or learning how to do my career of choice? Seems to me that there is far to much effort and attention placed on DOING – which inevitably involves a plan and thought process and very little space is given to BEING!

So today I wish to launch in preparation for 2018 #beingnotdoing. A revolution where we start setting our goals on BEING that which we know we can be…. being Love! Being Kind! Being of service!  I suggest we shift from planning what to do, to choosing a character trait that we choose to build on and  BEING that! Since we all believe we are souls fashioned by Source, we can all own to some extent Gods qualities or at least the potential to grow these qualities within ourselves by ‘BEING’ them!

Let me give you an example – I wish to be more patient! I know that this is a quality of God and I own and believe it is a quality within myself that I wish to BE! So I don’t plan setting aside time to DO patient acts. Instead, for a week, each morning I affirm to myself ‘I am patient’ and I spend all week BEING patient in all the normal daily activities I pursue. I am BEING patient in traffic, with myself when I make mistakes, BEING patient as my 3 year old deliberates over a choice of chocolates at the grocery store, or in the queue at the bank. So in this way I am not adding yet another TO DO item to my never ending list but just BEING that which is innately within me with some awareness #beingnotdoing

So for 2018 I will be sharing and prompting us through being not doing, on a regular basis. I am thrilled to be sharing my journey of BEING a humanBEING with you!

Receiving

Yesterday I was faced with the most ridiculous dilemma. As part of my 40th birthday celebrations – I shared the most pure and blissful day in the company of two of the most beautiful souls I have ever met – my two dearest friends.

It stands to reason that the day flowed with ease and grace, all that we ate and drank (including the margarita pizza) was nourishing and delicious, and time seemed to stand still. Laughter, freedom and bliss was the theme of the day.

It seems to me when I look back on the day, the most prominent image that keeps coming to my mind is the look of love in each of my beloveds' eyes. And as much as being in that moment felt safe and true – the power of that love in all its simplicity has left me feeling uneasy. It almost feels indigestible – as I said to you – quite ridiculous!

This peculiar situation has forced me to look within myself and question why I am unable to integrate this profoundly simple and pure experience.

All this soul searching has resulted in me realizing that receiving is quite overrated and really not my forte. Quite crazy – since I find giving so easy and rewarding, and in theory – I'm hell bent on the fact that I deserve to be 'pampered, surprised and spoilt' on occasion. So do I really believe I deserve it? Am I truly worthy of being loved? Of receiving? Of feeling special?

My internal voices found it difficult to not search for ways to 'pay back' or find a 'logical reason' why these two souls just love me so openly and completely. There must be an ulterior motive right? My brain kept searching for a reference to place this experience and the inner conflict at finding no such integrated moment was physically very unsettling.

What this meant was – in my last 40 years – despite having been gifted or loved or appreciated, I never truly absorbed that blessing into my being. Instead I let my mind talk me into a convincing story that always seemed to end with me saying to myself – chin up Kay – you will be fine!

So my new goal is to receive fully whatever I am being blessed with and to tell that advocate that resides in my head that his services are no longer required – I will represent myself!

Mind, BODY and soul… 

As a child I quickly came to realize the power of mind. My ability to comprehend information and articulate it coherently, became an easy way for me to shine in the spotlight. I encouraged my mind to push itself by studying various subjects successfully and I mastered the powers of manipulation. These mental games became my personal challenge and I approached each scenario devoid of any emotion or consequence. On the contrary – I applauded myself on my growing success in this area.

It was around 6 years ago – I heard someone share the truth, that we are NOT the image that looks back at us in the mirror. Neither are we the titles we add before our names …… Mr. Dr. Ms…. Nor are we the roles we play … wife, daughter, mother…What we are is a SOUL, living in a body, and having a mind. At that time – this point of fact, blew my way of thinking and seeing and experiencing myself. I started identifying with my Soul and inevitably connecting via my Soul to Source. Meditation, spending time with myself and journaling became my tools to excavate the Soul aspect of myself. I was so sure that this was what wisdom felt like. 

Now, sitting at the ripe age of 40 – I look back at my life’s journey – knowing I haven’t fully experienced my life on earth as I ought to. If, as a Soul, I chose to come to earth to experience life, through the body vessel and mind that I occupy, then to truly say ‘I have lived’ , I need to fully experience all aspects of this life. MIND! BODY! and SOUL….
So, what lies in the immediate horizon, for me, is exploration of my body. How to fully do this….still eludes me right now. The obvious first step seems to be experiencing my body on a physical level by pushing myself through exercise and movement. 

So, this couch potatoes is lacing up some running shoes,  and as I stepped out into the crisp air this morning  – I smiled to myself as I heard in the distance behind me “Run Forrest! Run!”. Knowing full well that the road ahead of me is yet another highway in my adventure called Life! 

Is there such a thing as forever

I’ve spent most of my years believing in ‘happily ever after’ and ‘friends for life’. I bought into this man-made belief , pursuing relationships to support the belief.

The thing is, considering how much I have evolved – physically (one look in the mirror), emotionally and spiritually in the last 20years, I started to wonder how realistic that belief is? 

I look at my spouse – he is awesome, I love him with all my heart – is he the same man I married? Absolutely not! In fact, interestingly, he is quite the opposite. His journey over the last 2 decades has taken him from being spontaneous, fun-loving (some would say irresponsible), to predictable, routined and most responsible. And where I started out as a new bride – most obliging, aware of my new role and responsibilities – I now find myself looking at my rebellious teenage son as a kindred spirit. 

So – I put to you – considering some 20 years ago, neither my spouse, best friends, nor I, could have predicted our paths of evolution – is this ‘forever’ really meant to be till our dying days? Or rather, till it serves our highest purposes? 

In no way am I advocating divorce, affairs or any such thing – my point is – seriously? Know that we are all ever changing as is the universe around us, expect it and accept it. Don’t be surprised when u look up one day and realize your best friend is a stranger. Don’t judge it or yourself. Know – you are at a crossroads. Is the investment cost in trying to make this relationship still work worth the benefit? Or not? Are you both headed to a similar place? Is the relationship serving your highest purpose? Or not?

Whatever your answer – be true and honour yourself! 

Forever is only while it serves you….

The Persian Gulf

This endlessness, this calm, the limitlessness holding mysterious possibility, the sound of the gentle ebb and flow  of the waves lapping at the shore – all resonates with my soul.

How baffling! To see desert suddenly meet the sea! 

The rolling dunes ever changing, uninterrupted, also endless and rhythmic – the space where u can lose yourself and yet so defitely find all the answers your soul has been searching for. Endless possibility. This arid, endless barrenness – this too my soul resonates with.

Therein lies the rub. We too are limitless, endless and at one with rhythm of all creation. A spiritual being of endless possibility …..

The inspiration from the creation of the creator.

Unconditional Love

Ok, for those willing to push themselves towards evolution. Here’s a true challenge! 

If you ever spectatored, or even participated, in running marathons or ambitious cycle tours or even more gruelling triathlons – trust me when I tell you, working on this divine quality of ‘loving unconditionally’ makes all those physically agonising challenges look like a walk in the park.

I suppose, this is because, it’s a quality that has become so elusive to us, even though I believe it’s in our intrinsic nature. I mean think about it – which toddler looks at his mum or dad thinking – you’re ok! But I need you to lose a bit more weight mum, before I can love you fully. Or Dad, I find the way you convince me to open my mouth for puréed carrots, by deceiving me when u play ‘airplane coming into the airport’, quite unforgivable! Laughable! Because kids love us unconditionally – ALL of us – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Try apologising to your 5 year old, and asking them to forgive you, for something you believe you should not have done. I promise you, I have done this. No judgement! Justlove and immediate forgiveness, naturally. In fact, my daughter turned to me and empathised – saying, Mom, don’t worry, we all make mistakes – and hugged me? Pure and from the heart – so easy and natural.

But then they grow up, the world teaches them the difference between right and wrong. And it changes. Instead of trusting and listening to their hearts they now use intellect. Overrated I tell you!

So now to that same toddler, it’s crystal clear – if something is not right – or even just different to my right – it must be wrong! It follows then, that a wrong deserves a judgement and a subsequent punishment. To right the wrong. They watch this system operate all around them. And they buy into it. Gone is their divine ability to love purely and forgive easily. They have turned into US!

Now follow my thoughts here, if it’s a wrong you need to correct it, or at least punish it. So, what would it make you if you actually accepted that wrong and besides accepting it – Loved it!

You see where all this starts derailing? It’s impossible to even fathom!

Yet that my fellow dear souls, that, is exactly what is called for, when u love unconditionally…..

It’s loving the entire package! Not fixing, not judging, and not punishing! Just accepting and forgiving AND forgetting! Knowing fully well that YOU too could have made the same mistake.

And then realising that since you can’t judge or fix or punish – you explore acceptance and forgiveness and divine love! You will try and get it right and then fall off the bandwagon as the intellect and ego creeps stealthily back in. But you get up, dust yourself off and keep at it, with every person in every relationship, every judgemental thought or prejudiced action… I told you – not for the faint hearted!

Will you ever cross the finish line on this one? I can’t tell u – I haven’t done the distance yet…

The one thing I can assure you – is that along the way. You will often, look up at God in awe, and realise, WOW! You love each of us in this way? Unconditionally……..