Thursday, 8 January 2015

Joy Over Envy.

I was taught from a very tender age to celebrate successes and testimonies, whether they are mine or others'.
I was taught to be joyful and happy when good things happen to people around me, whether they benefit me or not.
I was taught to celebrate with those that are celebrating, to rejoice with those that are rejoicing and to have profound respect and compassion for those that are mourning.

I have however, seen a lot of people do the exact opposite of these core values, and while I was also taught not to judge others nor the choices they make, I must say that I do not understand people being upset or envious when others are winning.

And, I ask.
Isn't that what we were all born to do? To win and do well.
Aren't we all meant to thrive? To succeed and grow.

Why then would some rather desire for others to fail? Why would some gloat when another breaks?
Why would some actually go out of their way to plot the downfall of another?
What crooked satisfaction could one possibly derive from seeing a fellow human being broken?

If you know, please tell me. For, I do not.

And, as much as I ponder these things, I still do not comprehend it. As a matter of fact, and, you'll forgive for saying this, but I do not want to.
I refuse to accept that there are people who, for whatever reasons, have chosen to become so twisted as to make envy a pastime.

And, every single day, I make and will make the same choice. I will choose Joy over Envy.
What about you? What do you choose to do when people around you accomplish great things.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Let It Rain.

Most people don’t like rain. They find it inconveniencing.
Most people find an umbrella, 
or stay indoors.
Very few people allow themselves to get wet.
Very few dare to delightfully dance in the rain and be soaked in it. 

However, isn't it true that only after it rains and rains and rains,
do we see grasses and plants sprouting from everywhere. 
Overnight, you begin to see green…
Sometimes it seems to have taken us by surprise; 
the green, the flowers that seem to appear from nowhere, 
all of a sudden, we might wonder where all the life and colour and green and flowers come from…

This is the result of rain. The effect of rain. The benefit of rain.
When you expose yourself to rain, to be watered, to be drenched, no matter how inconveniencing, no matter how uncomfortable, you will spring forth…You will blossom. 
After you have been watered, you will grow and only then can you be able to feed others, be it their sight, their ears, their belly, or their intellect. 
You will only be able to bless yourself as well as others after you, yourself, have been blessed.
But first you need to expose yourself to rain.

Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, ... 
“…Get wisdom, and in all thy gettings, get understanding”

Allow yourself to be taught. Seek knowledge. Embrace learning.
Let rain come, allow yourself to be watered, to get wet. 
To be thoroughly soaked, to be swept away by the sheer force of it.

And after you have received, remember to water others.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

When All Is Said And Done.

I'm not in any hurry to stop living.
Neither do I want to repeat the same mistakes.
I don't know if I've learnt any lessons at all
But when all is said and, I have no regrets.

There are days when I feel a certain heaviness in my heart,
Days when I feel like I have nothing more to give,
Days when I can't help but struggle with all the what ifs,
Then, there are days when I'm lost in the world of dreams,
Dreams of being a princess still.
But when all is said and done, I am thankful for all I've been given.

And, today, I felt like I can no longer give more than I have,
I don't want to be a martyr anymore,
I don't see to fathom the chaos that occasionally rages inside.
And, sometimes, I see with absolute clarity
That my life is all about giving.
The gods seem to be always on my side,
And when all is said and done, the pains, the chaos 
and the grace to give are what make my story what it is.

The hands of my clock can not be turned back,
Decisions I took can not be reversed.
I can't wish anything away and maybe I shouldn't try.
There are things I might never find answers to,
Maybe all for the better.
For I am who I am because of all that I've seen and lived.
And when all is said and done, I like who I am.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Just Say Goodbye!

Sometimes in life, goodbyes are a gift! 
Yes, you heard me right.

There will be times when certain people will walk away from you, and certain opportunities will close their doors on you.
You might think it hurts, and sometimes, it will, but the truth is that when people walk away from you, you should know to let them go.
Sometimes, there is absolutely no need to hold on to them or pray to keep them present in your life.

Certain people will make the choice to shut you out.
Certain doors will be banged in your face.
Some opportunities will slip through your fingers.
Years will come and go. And with them, you will have to count your losses and your gains.

And when this happen, because it will, understand and take it as possibly a direct indication that these people, circumstances and opportunities might not be the part of the plan for the next step of your life.

Understand that if these people hadn't gone, if those opportunities hadn't been missed, the choices you would have made, would have been different. Not necessarily better nor worse. Just different.

Understand that it might be a hint that your personal growth requires someone different and something more, and life is simply making room.

So quit whining about your losses. 
Embrace your changes as they happen. 
Make room for better happenstance. 
Because, you see every “goodbye” you give or receive leaves the doors open for an even better “hello.”

So, when you need to, just say “goodbye” so you are able to say “hello"!

P.S: When you do find the ones worth holding on to. Also know to position yourself well, so as not to ever have to say goodbye.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Things You Do.

Everyday, go out of your way to do something nice for someone else.

Be patient and be kind, to yourself and to the people around you.

For it has been said that the things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.

Friday, 2 January 2015

I don't want to do this anymore.

A dear friend of mine has been wanting to quit smoking for a long time.
My neighbour's daughter is in an abusive relationship and has been wanting to leave the relationship for some years.
An acquaintance's relative is on drugs and has been wanting to seek help for a few years.
Another friend of mine is bored to death of her job and has been intending to explore other options.
I have had a few clients who break out in sweat every time they have to speak in public and they have spent years "intending" to improve their public speaking skills.
I could go on, but I guess you got the gist already...

For most people, it is something they do, which they really want to stop doing. For others, it is something they don't do, which they want to start doing. 
But, isn't it true that a lot of people never really achieve this change?
They keep wanting to..., intending to..., or trying to...
New year resolutions mean absolutely nothing, if year after year, they remain on that piece of paper or just in your head.

What is stopping you from making that change? 
What is limiting you from walking out of that situation?
What is holding you back from taking that step in the direction you want?

It might not be easy, but nobody promised you anything was going to be easy.
It might require more than I know, but I do not know everything.

One thing I do know though is that, it is not enough to want to do it, or to stop doing it, you have to actually do it or stop doing it. 
You have to move. Take it one step at a time, but for the love of all that is good, MOVE!
Remember Nike? Just Do It!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Keep these three things about: A Merry Heart. A Smile About. And A Twinkle In Your Eyes.

My childhood was a combination of many things. There were times of abundance, when we had too much of a lot of things, and then there were those times of scarcity, when it seems that everything was in shortage.
We never really lacked the things that truly mattered, but certain commodities were in short supply.
No matter what the situation was, I still can't remember ever seeing my Mum without a smile for a full day.

Now, as an adult, I know that she had it tough on a lot of days. 
Her job as both a health worker and a family counsellor, attending to the sick and needy. Raising seven children together with an almost absent partner, (because of his business, Dad lived in another city and visited occasionally. Mum didn't want to give up her career). A demanding extended family, and the fact that she committed herself to sharing other people's burdens. All these surely would weigh anybody down, but not Mum. She stood firm, handled all resulting emotions and always found reasons to smile.

I saw her angry, I saw her really upset about things. I saw her cry. I saw her sad. But, even when she had too much on her plate, she always managed to find a moment to smile. To tell a joke. And to laugh, not a small laugh, but a full belly and resounding laugh.
My Mum's laugh reached far and infected many.
She always found something to be merry about, and when she smiled or laughed, the world lightened up, there were really stars in her eyes and on our skies. She seemed to find such pleasures in little things and at unexpected moments.
And she would say, that no matter what anyone has to go through, there will always be things which will bring a smile to your face, only if you remember to see them.

And she taught us: "A cheerful disposition makes a whole lot of things, a whole lot better. So, my dear, no matter what you have to face in life, always keep these three things about; a merry heart, a warm smile and a twinkle in your eyes".

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Shut Up And Listen.

Mum always said, "My dear, you have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately!"

You know how sometimes, kids tend to make such efforts to explain things or talk their way out of some situation. Mum would listen to you, sometimes amused, and, sometimes clearly irritated. 

But, she always listened to us, focusing intently, hardly ever taking her eyes off you (and Mum had real big eyes), then she would say, ever so gently but firmly, "Now, shut up and listen."
Not angry. Not uncomfortable.
Not scolding. Not reprimanding. 
Not judging. Not criticising. 
Just gently pointing out one of life's greatest lessons and one of the best gift you can give to anyone; your ears and your undivided attention.

I am learning to do the same. 

To give people more of my ears and less of my mouth. 
I'm learning to just shut up, focus on the person in front of me and just listen to them. 
I'm still learning to give people the gift of a listening ear. 
You will agree with me that there are times when this is extremely tasking. 
And then, there are times when I feel like saying to the other party after listening, "Now, you shut up and listen".
But, then I can, because, I still use my mouth from time to time... You know, finding the balance.
Oh, and don't worry, when I ask someone to, "Shut up". I do it in a really nice way, not as nice or as gentle as my Mum, but nice still...

The Four Kinds Of People You Will Meet In Your Lifetime.

There will be the ones who will bless. 
Who will teach and build.
Who will give. 
Who will add value. 
Who will inspire you to greater heights.

There will be the ones who will hurt. 
Who will betray. 
Who will judge and criticise. 
Who will try to bring you down, intentionally or unintentionally.

Then, there will be the ones who will do nothing. 
Not giving anything. 
Not contributing anything.
Just there, idle.
Just occupying space, taking from you and draining you.

Then, there will be the ones who will do all three. 
They will make you laugh, but they could also make you cry. 
They will give you, but they will also take from you. 
And, sometimes, they will do nothing, they will just be there.

This is a fact of life that you can only accept, for no matter how much you question or resist this, these are the four kinds of people you will meet in your life. 
And until you have met them all, you cannot say that you have truly lived.

Monday, 29 December 2014

You are enough!

The need to conform your perception of yourself to what others may or may not think is one sure way to self destruction.
The desire to fit into a tag as described by other people will only guarantee heart break.
The attempt to follow conventions and their definition of what you should be or do to be accepted will only lead you to frustration and despondency.
Contending to satisfy everyone's demand on your person and response will only usher in disgruntlement and circumvention. 

So, today and every day for the rest of your life, accept and remember this truth:  "No matter who you are, what you look like, or what you share with the world, there will always be someone who doesn’t approve of you. 
You are who you are, and you’re enough. 
It isn’t your job to conform to their idea of what constitutes a “worthwhile” human being. 
Instead of focusing on all of the people who don’t approve of you, try to take some time today to remind yourself of all the people who do appreciate and accept you. 
They’re the people who matter. To them, you matter. 
Let go of the rest."
~Daniell Koepke