Featured

31 Days of Gratitude 2022- Day 4

Today I give thanks for all that I have. I wasn’t feeling 100% so I spent the day vegging, only getting up to make food for my son and I.

I am grateful that I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, electricity to cook with, running water, internet for streaming, food in my cupboards and fridge and that I could take a time out without any financial consequences in particular. Thank you God that we have all that we do.

Most importantly, I grateful that my son and are in general good health. Health is wealth so I am grateful for our health.

Featured

31 Days of Gratitude 2022: Day 3

Today I spent time with some of my favourite people on this planet. I met my sister for brunch and then surprised my cousin, who I like to call my sister as well, with a visit. I am so grateful that I got to spend time with them as I always feel reenergised thereafter.

Fun Fact: My sister and I live in different cities. Our bond appears to have gotten so strong over the past few years that we regular park opposite each other without even planning it when we meet at a mall or, like today, at a fleamarket. We only discover it when we are leaving. It just blows my mind every time it happens!

Lastly, I must take a moment to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us every day. I love the driving through Durban’s suburbs as well the areas on the outskirts of Durban. The landscape is amazing. Below is a pic I took while waiting in traffic this afternoon.

Shongweni, KZN, South Africa

Featured

31 Days of Gratitude 2022- Day 2

Do you do also feel like after day 1 it’s downhill from there? That’s how I felt today. Suddenly it feels like I am knee-deep in December and Christmas is almost upon me and the year is virtually over and and and. Suddenly it’s all so overwhelming and I feel peopled out already. That being said, I have lots to be grateful for though.

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

I spent most of my day with my son. It felt like old times. Pre-covid. It feel like he was a little kid again. I am so grateful that we had the time together. He lost his dad 3 weeks ago and today, for the first time, he shared some of memories of his dad with me. I was so glad he confided in me finally. It eventually got too much for him though and he clammed up on me in the evening again. I left him to just process the emotions he was feeling. I am so grateful for him. I am grateful for our bond. I am grateful for his trust and his love. I pray that God will give me the strength and wisdom to support him through this very tough period in his life and to help him navigate it.

Thank you Lord for my son.

Featured

31 days of Gratitude 2022 – Day 1

Yip! It’s that time again and I am so excited. I hope you will join me as I spend the next 31 days intentionally being grateful for all that I have.

Photo by George Dolgikh on Pexels.com

My December started off with a rotten surprise but the day gradually got better. Today I am grateful for my job and the amazing team that I get to work with. We had a year-end connect today to reflect on the year that was and to enjoy each others company with good food and great music to enhance the experience.

I am also grateful for my new friend. She is an amazing person who is secure in her faith and love for God. Because of this, she is able to push her own boundaries knowning that God has her back. She inspires me to do the same and to strengthen my faith even more. God clearly works through her (well to me anyway) so I am so thrilled that He has sent her into my life. For me it is a reminder that He is not done with me yet. How exciting is that!

Thank you!

Featured

Overcoming T2 Diabetes – An Update

I thought I would give an update on my quest to reversing this diabetes that I happen to have. The short update is that I am not there yet, in fact I am a little further away than I would like to be but I am learning a lot along the way.

Photo by Sydney Troxell on Pexels.com

Discipline has not been my strength

The reality is that if I just get into the habit of preparing my food over the weekends or at least the day before, I know that I will reach my goal a whole lot faster. Preparation is key and I have just not made the effort. One thing I have changed is that I do cook from scratch almost every day now. Prior to this I ate fast food at least 3 to 4 times a week. This actually created a new problem. My cholestrol levels were starting to rise. Thankfully, eating home cooked meals and lots of avos seems to have done the trick and I have gotten my readings back under control. Phew.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I actually enjoy exercise

I had made a vow that I will achieve my vitality goals every week this year and I did up until last month when I was not well for a few days so I couldn’t exercise. Of course with the rising cost of living, a new gym membership was out of the question and I don’t want to spend on petrol where I can avoid it so I turned to the FitOn app. I love the diverstity of the workout types and intensities. I have my favourite instructors that I follow like Jeanette Jenkins who has such a sense of humour so I have a good laugh here and there while working out. Sadly, I haven’t lost a gram and in fact, I have gained a bit but I tell myself that is muscle mass as I can see some muscle definition peeping through my fat. It gives me hope that I will get there and who knows, maybe I will have a toned body like I did in my 20’s soon. I am clearly getting fitter as well as the workouts that took my heart rate to 80% -89% of my max heart rate a few months ago now only get me to 70-79%. It’s a bit of schlep because now I have to work out more often in order to achieve the same amount of points…lol. I now have to work out 5 times a week instead of 3 in order to achieve the max number of points I need for the week but this is not a bad thing.

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au0441u0430u043du0434u0430u0440 u0426u0432u0435u0442u0430u043du043eu0432u0438u045b on Pexels.com

Sleep is my friend

Don’t ever underestimate the knock on effect that a break in your sleep has on your blood glucose levels. A good night’s sleep is so important. Those nights where I have a broken sleep for whatever reason, always result in higher blood glucose levels in the morning.

So, while things have not gotten better, they have not gotten much worse but they definitely are not where I wanted them to be by now. The fault does lie with me and, at the end of the dusty day, it lies with my diet. There is no way around it. I have got to change my diet or I will not achieve my goal. I have to cut down on my carbs in order to reduce the amount of insulin I produce and the amount of glucose in blood ant any point in time. I have not stopped Intermittent Fasting (IF) by the way. I just eat way too often during my 8 hr eating window and too many of the wrong things. IF on it’s own is just not enough. It worked well initially because I only ate twice, max three times, in those 8 hours and I actually kept that window at 6 hours and not 8. I let a few bad habits creep in during lockdown that I am battling to shake. I guess I just haven’t committed to leaving them behing yet.

So that’s where I am currently at. I will succeed. In fact, you know what, I commit to succeeding. Snacking stops here and now. I am not a snacker anymore. That is no longer who I am. Watch this space for more updates 🙂 The news will be better next time.

Ciao for now!

Featured

Money Mindset

Last night I was listening to a Marissa Peer talk about changing your money mindset. She does this hypnosis type exercise with you to help you identify the moments in your childhood in particular in which your negative beliefs were created. I cried when I was done with it. I could see so clearly where I had created beliefs for myself that just weren’t true. If you would like to try it for yourself, you can find it at this link. Carve out 30 minutes for yourself and go deep:)

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

This exercise reminded me of Suze Orman’s book, “Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook. Put the 9 steps to work”. I had used it almost 20 years ago when I found myself positively drowning in debt. I didn’t get through all 9 steps which is probably why I didn’t stay debt free but I did get through steps 1-3. Suze also believes in changing your money beliefs in order to change your financial future. I remember doing the exercises at the time and being shocked at how much I misunstood about money. While I accepted that I needed to change my money mindset and made the effort to do, I clearly did not internalise my new truths because, without even realising it, I slipped back into my old beliefs and started behaving the way I did when I got myself into debt in the first place.

So here I am, going through the motions for a second time. I am glad I get to do it all again because I think I am in a better space to get it right for good this time. I get why I have made the choices I have made and, I believe, that this time I truly understand what fears I need to overcome to make my new truths my reality from here on out. I cried again today going through steps 1-3. I cried because I was sad for the girl and the experiences she had that led her to adopt those beliefs. I cried because I am so relieved that I am no longer that girl. I am a woman who is worth so much more than that little girl realised. I am grateful that I was able to touch base with her today and let her know that it is ok to release those beliefs. That in her young mind she didn’t know how to see the experiences for what most of them were. Most of the time, people were doing their best that they knew how and it was never a reflection of her worth.

I know this is the right thing to focus on right now because even the version of the book that I have been searching for for the last few years just popped up as soon as I started looking. It was definitely not there the last time I looked. I had an American version and a South African version that my friend had bought me at the time. I had resigned myself to using the American version today when low and behold, there was my SA version instead :). I would say wish me luck on getting this right this time but I know I have got this so it’s all good!

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of Suze Orman’s book, here is the link. I would highly recommend it. Her system works if you work at it.

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you live with ease

Loving Kindness Meditation

Have a wonderful week! Bye for now 🌼

Featured

Weekly Reflections – 26/2/22

Reflection is a tool that is recommeneded by the business community as well as the self help community. I am sure we all do it but I have to say that most of my reflections have largely being about beating myself up about what I did or didn’t do that day or week. There’s no real benefit in that. This year, since “action” is my word for the year, I have decided to do it in, what I hope is, a more productive way.

Image: Canva

1 self-reflection

If the previous paragraph didn’t give you a hint, it’s that I am waaaay too hard on myself. Whenever something goes wrong, I tend to beat myself up about it. This week I witnessed more people having similar issues to those that I have had and it dawned on me that these things can and do happen to anyone. Even the most experienced in a field or some of the brightest minds that I have the privilege to work with/know. Sh*t happens. It is not about me but there are always lessons I can take from it. I don’t have all the answers and I never will. I just need to identify the right people who do have the answers I need.

1 thing I read

My book of the week is “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel.

“I have no sunk costs” This was Daniel Kahneman’s response to Jason Zweig when he asked him how he could start again on a chapter even though they had already completed a draft. Morgan Housel defines “Sunk Costs” as anchoring decisions to past efforts that can’t be refunded. He also says that they make our future selves prisoners to our past, different, selves. How much do you hold on to because of the time or money you have already sunk into it even though it no longer serves you? This was a reminder for me to continue the physical and mental decluttering journey I have been on over the past few months. There is so much more I still need to let go of.

1 thing I heard

“The reason why a lot people won’t become who they want is because they’re too attached to who they have been” Lisa Nicols on Instagram. This relates to sunk costs again. I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something here ☺️. Guess I need to speed up the decluttering and letting go process. It sounds like the Universe has something good in store for me 😉

1 thing I saw

George and Georgina’s mum had more kittens and once again she brought them over to my courtyard. She must feel safe with us. It’s being awesome watching how much they have developed over this week. They started the week getting up on very shaky legs and playing with each other in slow motion and have ended it on stronger legs and a little faster and more agile. I am blown away at how they already know to groom themselves too. They are so gorgeous. And yes, I have asked our body corporate to have her spayed but until they do, my door is always open to her and her kittens.

Play time with big sister (she stole the box I put for them to huddle in🙈)

Sadly George ran off about 3 weeks ago. We miss him terribly but we can only pray that he is happy and safe wherever he is. Georgina missed him the most and has been terribly lonely but I see that she is now taking on and enjoying the role of big sister.

The last pic I took of George the day before he ran off. 😔

1 thing I am grateful for

I am blessed to have a home which is filled with love. I am blessed that my son and I can feel safe within it’s boundaries and that even a stray cat finds our yard a safe space for her and her little family. Thank you God for enabling this for us.

There was way more I learnt, saw and experienced this week but I will stop here.

I will leave you with a blessing a learnt this week:

  • May you be happy
  • May you be healthy
  • May you be safe
  • May you live with ease

Bye for now 🌼

Featured

Habits – To Be or Not To Be

Creating a system to implement new habits has fascinated me for a long time. I think I have found the answer for me…

I am fascinated by habits. I am curious about how we create them and more importantly, how we make them stick. My fascination started 9 years ago when I became a non-smoker and was I was given a copy of “The Power of Habit” by Charles Durhigg. This was where I first leaned about keystone habits. Keystone habits are rountines/habits that lead to other actions because of them. As an example, exercise is often a keystone habit as it can lead to a change in eating habits and sleep routines.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

True behavior change is identity change.

James Clear (Atomic Habits)

I have been on a quest to become healthier for a while now and to be a writer. But I suspect that therein lies the problem. “Being on a quest to”, “trying”, “attempting to” – all of these thought processes never actually get you there. I have actually cut the word “try” out of my vocabulary. There is no such thing. Either you do or you don’t. So my word for 2022 is “Action”. I act and I do. Oh and the word healthier is probably part of the problem. Either I am living a healthy lifestyle or I’m not. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.

The thing is that in order to become, you first have to be rather than become first in order to be. In other words , you have to tell yourself that you already are so that you take on the behaviour of that which you aspire to be. So in order to adopt healthy habits, I have to keep telling myself that I am a healthy person. The day after I made the decision to be the person I aimed to become, a clip of David Goggins popped up on my instagram feed talking about being the person mentally in order to adopt the habits of the person you want to become. He gave the example of a motivating yourself to run in the rain at 5am even when you have no desire to. He says you need to tell yourself: “This is who we are now”. That made perfect sense to me. So far it is working for my goal of writing every day. I have now written every day for more than 33 days straight because this is who I am now. I am a writer. I have so many other commitments every night but this is the one that I have enjoyed the most. To be honest, I am ususally dog tired when it is time to write but I do it anyway because…yip, that’s right,…this is who I am now. For the record, my last writing streak was for 7 days so this is very impressive for the old me. For the new me…this is my new normal. As for being a healthy person…well…I’m not quite there yet.

So this is my goal for 2022, to decide on what it is I want to achieve and be it. I am under no illusions that this will not always be easy but I know that if I am doing it for all the right reasons, I will definitely enjoy the journey. Watch this space and I will keep you updated on what’s worked and what hasn’t worked over the coming year.

Featured

Star light. Star bright.

31 days of writing every day done and dusted. I am pretty chuffed with myself and with everyone else who made it through this month. Of course, the next challenge is to keep the momentum going. I will definitely publish at least once a week but the habit that will remain is to write every day. I hope you have enjoyed responding to the prompts as much as I have. Some were real head scatchers but we did it. (Whoop Whoop!) As much as I have enjoyed writing, I have also enjoyed reading so many blogs over the course of this month. I has really opened my eyes to how different people’s perspectives can be. I have also made some new blogging buddies and I look forward to maintain a good relationship with them at minimum. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my posts, and like or comment as well as follow.

The final prompt for the month of bloganuary is “How do I feel when I look at the stars?” Hmmm. Usually, I feel in awe of the vastness of the universe. I live in the city so I don’t get to see the true beauty of the night sky very often. When I visit the farm however, I could lie in the grass and stare up at the sky the whole night. That is where the universe really off her beauty.

Sometimes, looking up at the night sky, I am reminded that I am but a speck on this earth. It’s a humbling experience. It is also a reminder not to take life too seriously. A nudge I need more often than not as a serious Capricorn. I also get very excited when I see a shooting star. When I was in my 20’s, I would often see shooting stars in a particular area at night when traveling on the freeway from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. My boyfriend at the time was usually driving. I have never seen shooting stars in that area since. I don’t know if that was the Universe trying to tell me “this is the one” and I was blind to the message or if I only saw them that often because I was a passenger and could focus more on the sky 😂. I suspect it was the latter since I have always been the driver since then.😜😂 Either way, I never missed an opportunity to wish upon those shooting stars. 😊

“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you.”

Jiminy Cricket

Well I guess that’s it for January. Thank you once again for your support. Have an awesome 2022!

Featured

My sanctuary

Solitude is my happy place. I can be alone in a crowd and be happy much like a couple newly in love that creates their own world whereever they go. I used to be anxious about it when I was younger but not anymore. I love being on my own but within limits.

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com

My favourite place to be alone is in my home. It’s my haven. It’s where I can just be. No judgement. No minding my p’s and q’s. I just am. I love pottering around the house and the garden and then curling up with a good book. Now and then I will dedicate a weekend to a series on Netflix. I have to watch a season at a time or it will bother me. I can no longer survive on one episode a week. 🙈 Netflix has spoilt me. My son is at that age where he is glued to some form of a screen at any point in time but when he needs to take a break, he knows where to find me.

I also like enjoy chilling in my little garden. There is a bush behind my house that houses, what sounds like, a lot of different birds and there are lots of beautiful butterflies that flutter about. Even though I live just above a busy main road, the bush helps drown out the sound of traffic so I am able to focus on the birds singing in the trees. I never see them. I only ever hear them. I also enjoy watching the kittens have a blast chasing whatever insect crawls or flies by. They think my irises are their own personal jungle where they get to play hide-and-seek with each other. 😂 They are the cutest. Being in the garden is also my opportunity to ground myself.

So while I can happily be alone anywhere, my favourite place is definitely my home.

As much as I love solitude, I do need my daily dose of people though.

Featured

Ageing Gracefully

At least that is what I tell myself😜. Today’s prompt requires that I write about my favourite part of myself. Well. Since I have done quite a bit of soul searching over the course of this month, I think I will stick to the physical today. In which case, my favourite part of myself right now is my grey hair!

Embracing my greys

I made a choice to embrace my greys about 2 months ago and I am so glad I did. It felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders. God decided that I would start sprouting greys in my twenties. I was having none of that. If He had blessed me with a ‘distinguished’ grey patch in the front like my mum had I might have considered it but noooo…He decided that mine would sprout up at random. So I made box colour my friend instead. (I don’t have the patience to sit in a salon every month and have my hair done). Such has been my life for the past 20 years.

In November my cousin became a gran for the 1st time. She is 4 months older than me. While my son is only 13, and will in all likelihood not make a gran for at least another 10 years (fingers crossed), it was a milestone that made me take a look in the mirror and ask myself who I was kidding. I am getting older (never old though, just older. There is a difference. 🤣) and I need to embrace it. With people dying at younger and younger ages thanks to covid, I decided it was a blessing to be the age I am and it’s time to embrace it. For me, the symbol of my ageing is my grey hair so I embraced it.

I don’t know about you but I find that once I make a decision to accept something, especially something that I have been dreading, I find that I actually like whatever it is. Does that happen to you too? It happened when I became a non-smoker. It happened when I began intermittent fasting and now when I chose to accept my hair. I no longer look at myself in the mirror in horror. Now I give myself a big broad grin every morning and blow myself a kiss because, gosh darn it, I deserve it. 🌷

Featured

An interview with a Sock Elf

Me: Oh boy, oh boy, I am so excited to have ‘Fluffy’ (not his real name) the Sock Elf on my podcast today! Thank you all for joining us. Fluffy has agreed to let us in on the secret behind where our missing socks go hence the pseudonym. How cool is that! Thank you Fluffy and Welcome!

Fluffy: Thank you Michelle. It’s great to be here. As you know, no sock elf has ever revealed this secret before but I see the human’s distress and, even worse, I how the socks that get left behind are treated and my heart breaks for them.

Me: So tell me, how do you choose which socks to take and why?

Fluffy: Well, it depends on how the sock will be used in Elfville. Rule of thumb is to only take a sock that has been worn a few times.

Me: hmmm…well…sorry to interrupt you there, appears someone didn’t get that memo and took one of my brand new socks not so long ago. I was crushed!

Fluffy: I am terribly sorry to hear that. We will have to investigate. Anyway, as I was saying, the type and look of sock to be taken is dependant on the purpose it will serve.

Me: That brings me to my next question. How are they used by the Elf community?

Fluffy: I am so glad you asked!! There are so many fabulous things you can do with odd socks! That’s why I came on your show, I wanted to teach your listeners about the wonderful ways they can use sock that gets left behind. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Mittens: I know that is bitterly cold in the northen hemisphere right now, so I would encourage wearing your odd socks as an extra layer under your mittens to keep your hands warm. They do keep ours nice and toasty. We elves use the smaller socks to keep our ear tips warm as well.
  • Feet moisturisers – I love this one and you can do it all year round. We apply some vaseline to our feet or a nice thick cream and then put on our socks for soft smooth feet. We do it on our hands as well!
  • Keep your game pieces safe: we keep all our buttons, gameboard pieces, etc in our socks. This also helps us use less plastic as we are not using plastic bags anymore
  • Cleaning odd spots: we use socks to clean those odd spots like blinds.
  • Toys: The kiddie elves love the sock puppets that we make. We keep them entertained for hours with those!
  • Stinky shoes: our elf shoes are closed so it can get a bit cluncky in there if you know what I mean. We place some bicarbonate of soda in socks. Tie it up and place the sock in our shoe over night to absorb any odours.

Me: Wow! You guys really know socks! Thanks for the tips!

Fluffy: That is just the tip of the ice berg! We decorate our pot plants with socks and make colourful scarves and the like with them. Hmmm…Elfville should actually be called Sockville now that I think about it.

Me: Haha. There’s an idea. Thank you for coming on the show Fluffy. I don’t think I will ever look at an odd sock the same way again. I have to admit that I will always miss having a pair of socks coming out of every wash though.

Fluffy: Thanks again for having me. I know this doesn’t solve your initial problem but I hope that you and your audience will start having as much fun with your odd socks as we do! Bye!

Featured

The Quotes I live by

If you follow my blog than you know that up until this year, I posted quotes almost daily. I find that they have the ability to uplift and motivate me and a lot of my friends and followers.. I have chosen the quotes below because they remind me to:

  • Have faith
  • Be present
  • Be grateful
  • God/The Universe is constantly working to fulfil my desires
  • Prayer changes things
  • Be still.

What are your favourite quotes? What quotes keep you motivated?

Featured

Do you want to time travel?

Once again, I have spent the entire day thinking about today’s prompt which asks what year I would time travel to and why. The only answer I could come up with is that the only place I want to be is here and now. This is all that I have and it is enough.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I thought about going back in time and spending time with my late mum or reliving a happy occcasion but I came to the conclusion that all of that is in the past and that I am who I am today because of all that has already happened. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my mum terribly but going back in time to spend time with her will only make me miss her more. Besides, I know that she walks with me every day and that when I need her most she will make her prescence felt. It’s not the same as having her here but it helps hugely. Her transition was also the catalyst in my spiritual growth. Thanks to this spiritual journey, I am happy with the person that I am right now and with the person that I am becoming. I don’t want to change any of it.

As for a trip into the future, well, it’s definitely a no from me on that one too. I want to enjoy every moment of this journey and be surprised by what life has in store for me. I want life to unfold as it will based on the decisions I make today. There are so many paths before me and each just have different experinces on it but all ultimately lead to the same place, a fulfilled me at one with my Creator. I know that is the destination so I want to just enjoy the ride.

But that’s just my take on this prompt. Which year would you time travel to and why? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Featured

Empowering others

I am passionate about a lot of society’s causes like Animal Anti-cruelty and Recycling and I do my bit at every opportunity. My overarching passion though is education. I believe in the ability of education to empower others so I spend a lot of time educating myself. It doesn’t stop there though. I educate myself so that I can empower others by passing on the knowledge I have acquired.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am not a formal teacher or educator. I do most of my work at work empowering the newbies in the team. It gives me a lot of energy to see people thrive in their roles with the help of the tools that I can give them.

As a skin care product developer, product claims creator and consumer insights person, I find great joy in listening to people’s issues in order to identify their pain points and then guiding our product developers to create awesome solutions to relieve these pains for our consumers. It is a wondeful to see people post pictures of the results they have achieved from using our products and to know that those products have had a positive impact on their lives by giving them greater confidence to show up and make their contribution to the world.

I believe it is fair to say that if we take a closer look, whatever it is that gives us energy, is likely to be something that makes society a better place in some shape or form. It doesn’t matter if you do it through a formal charity or you do it through your job, what matters is that you do and you it with love.

Featured

Emoji me

Holy macaroni! Talk about testing your creativity! What emojis do I like to use…🤔🤔🤔hmmm let me think about this.

I looove using emojis. I abuse them in fact. The only problem is that I am not very creative in my use of them. 🙈 I use the same emojis over and over again. They work for me I guess. I see what’s new when I have conversations with friends ‘in the know’ and my nieces.

So what are those favourites you ask? There’s 😂 because I laugh a lot and my friends are funny so I use it often! I use the 🙈 emoji a lot because I overthink the small stuff and end up looking very dilly. For the same reason I use 🤪 a lot too 😂. I love giving people 💐🌸🌼 and I love sending ❤️🥰💕😘 at the end of a conversation to let my friends and family know how I feel about them. Another favourite is 🙏, which I use to say thank you and amen.

Truth be told I am so thrilled someone came up with emojis! I sucked with emoticons. I only ever knew how to 🙂 and 😦 . I felt so illiterate and old. With emojis, I can be an equal participant in the conversation 💃🏽💃🏽😁. Well until I realise that there are new emoji’s then I feel old again 🙈😂.

And now of course, we have the Memoji! Lawd help me! The pressure to keep up! So meet my Memoji below. She looks nothing like me simply because I got a bit lazy halfway through creating her. 🙈😂😂. I love her mouse ears mostly and the colour red is my favourite colour (after black of course). I have yet to name her but I guess she can just be ‘Mouse’ which was my nickname as a kid 😁.

Meet my Memoji, Mouse 😁

Alrighty then! Looks like I managed to actually create an entire blog post about emojis! Whoop whoop 🙌 💃🏽💃🏽. I’ve shown you mine hope you will let me see yours 😉😊

Featured

Be Bold Enough to Live Life on Your Own Terms

What does it mean to live to boldly? That’s today’s prompt. I have no idea so here goes nothing.

Lets start at the beginning. The Oxford dictionary defines bold as ‘brave and confident; not afraid to say what you feel or to take risks’. In this day and age of social media, where so many are trying to be something they are not, I would say anyone who is not afraid to be true to themselves fits that definition. Why are we so determined to be someone else? Why can’t we just be ourselves? There is far more power, fulfillment and happiness in it.

“Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.”

Mandy Hale

Not a single one of us is the same as the other. Not even identical twins can claim this. We each have unique traits and talents. Even if you and are both painters and are asked to paint the same picture, our pictures will not be exactly alike because we interpret the world differently based on our experiences. We will therefore interpret the picture differently. Our differences should be celebrated and not criticized as if they were faults. They are not.

If you think of the people who are most memorable in your community, I am willing to be that they are also the most original. They don’t “try” to be original, they just are because they are themselves. They tend to be ‘a breath of fresh air’. They are not perfect and they don’t try to be. They accept themselves as they are. They stand out in the crowd.

I am inspired by Elon Musk for much the same reasons Steve Jobs inspires me. He is supremely confident in what he is capable of and cannot be bothered with the naysayers and the sceptics. He is a dreamer but a practical dreamer and his actions are impactful. Both have moved us forward technologically through their visions. They have not tried to be anyone else but themselves. They have not tried to live anyone else’s dream. They have built on and being inspired by those who went before them but they have not tried to copy them. To be honest, his personality rubs me up the wrong way a bit but that doesn’t take away from the things he has accomplished.

In a nutshell, for me, being bold is having the courage to be yourself and to follow your dreams. Those dreams are God’s wish for you, in fact, I believe His dreams for you are bigger that you imagined but you will only discover what He truely has in store for you if you have the courage to follow your own dreams first.

On that note I will leave you with these words of wisdom from Oprah Winfrey:

Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.

Oprah Winfrey
Image: Canva

Featured

Gratitude Turns What We Have into Enough

Image: Canva

Gratitude. My favourite topic! For the last 3 years I have made December my month of gratitude so that I enter the new year with a positive mindset and feeling abundant. I highly recommend it. Not only do you feel good but a few miracles are likely to occur during the month. I receive one or two surprises between the 10th and 20th December. It blows my mind every year 🙂

Today though the topic is 5 things that I am grateful for. So today I am grateful for:

  1. Another year around the sun completed last Friday. My 49th to be exact. It’s been an interesting journey thus far filled with abundance, love and laughter. All made possible by God’s grace.
  2. My son. What an awesome young man he is turning out to be. This year I allowed him to spoil me on my birthday. I usually don’t because I believe the money he receives for Christmas is his to spend on himself. He usually gets offended when I refuse an expensive gift on those grounds. This year I let him spoil me. I am so glad I did. He was so proud of himself. He took me to dinner and bought me a pair of earings. For his efforts, he was rewarded with an extra discount in store. He couldn’t believe his luck. It was so awesome.
My birthday gift from my son ❤️🙏
  1. Our semi-adopted cats. George and Georgina have brought a lot of love and laughter to our home. I have felt like a behavioural scientist of sorts documenting their every move out of sheer curiosity. Today I am extra grateful that their depression has started to lift and they are eating and playing again. They mum has officially abandoned them as they are about 3-4 months old now. They were heartbroken. It was really hard to watch them these past few days as they refused eat and just wanted to be near us. All we could do was give them lots of love but we felt so helpless. So very grateful to see the twinkle in their eyes again. Btw, I say semi-adopted because we are not allowed pets in the complex but there are no rules saying we can’t let a stray cat or two visit every day…
Georgina (L) and George (R)
  1. My home and everything in it. It is my haven and, thanks to covid, my place of work as well now. Not that I mind. As an introvert, working from home suits me perfectly. My son once said to me that he loves our home because there is a lot of love here which makes me believe that God is here and working His magic through me for him. What more could I ask for?
  2. My job. I have worked for the company that I do for over 20 years. I have worked in largely in the same department and that is simply because I love what I do. I also get to see the impact of the products we make on the people that use them which is what really keeps me going. It has also enabled a few trips to different countries. I just have 2 continents left to touch down on, Australia and South America. I also plan on explorating each one of the 5 continents I have already being to a lot more in the coming years. Lastly, it enables everything that I have today and I have a lot. A lot to be grateful for.

This list is in no way exhausitive. I could go on and on but today I have chosen these 5 to write about. I will leave you with words of wisdom about the power of gratitude by Deepak Chopra:

Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.

Deepak Chopra
Featured

Why I like my writing

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I started my blog over 3 years ago. I had always dreamt of being a writer but was afraid that I sucked at it. I never got passed the first few pages of capturing the stories I had flowing through my mind. I have also always kept a journal since I was a teen. My ex-boyfriend encouraged me to give it a go anyway. So here I am.

People say there are two kinds of learning: experience, which is gained from your own mistakes, and wisdom, which is learned from the mistakes of others.

John C. Maxwell

I love reading and I love learning. There is a lesson in every story ever told. It actually doesn’t matter whether you read fiction or non-fiction. There is something to learn in every book you read. I have learnt about identity theft online from a Jeffery Deaver novel which made me a little more cautious with my personal details online. Dan Brown got me thinking about what I really knew about religion. These are just 2 examples of how fictional works have impacted my life. Non-fiction has had an even bigger pact over the last few years as well. I learned from other’s experiences whether there were real or imagined.

I also make my own mistakes every single day. I am 100% perfectly imperfect just like eveyone else. I also know that every mistake I make and how I react and deal with it, is not only a lesson for me to learn from but it has the potential to help someone else who might be on the verge of making the same mistake or has made it and is not sure how to deal with it. My writing is in no way advice, it’s just a shared experience. At minimum, I hope people read my posts and can breathe a sigh of relief that they are not “the only one” to have made that mistake. For this reason, I write from my heart more than from my head. If I want to make some money from this I should probably add more head to my writing I suspect😜

I know that my posts do achieve my goal of touching at least one person’s life or getting at least one person to stop and think. Readers often message me to tell me how a post impacted them. I am always humbled that they took the time to let me know and I am very grateful for the feedback. It is also why I keep writing and why I like my writing. Making a positive difference in someone’s life no matter how small, gives me energy. My writing fulfils me.

I do dream of touching millions of lives the world over. Perhaps I will do that one life at time over the years through an international platform like WordPress or perhaps I will write a best selling book/a series of books. I will leave that outcome in God’s hands and focus on writing. Until then, I hope we will continue to meet on WordPress and that I will in some way add value to your life at each encounter. Thank you for supporting my blog with your time😊🙏🫂

Featured

Lights of the World -My Inspiration

There are so many people out there that inspire me that it is not possible to choose only one.

I am inspired by Steves Jobs’ creativity and insightfulness. He understood what the consumer needed before they did and he made it simple to use and beautiful to look at.

I am in awe of Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Lamott’s writing. When I read their work, it feels as though I am listening to an old friend share pearls of wisdom. I had a similar sense when I read Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

What I love about Oprah is all that she has brought into our homes, our lives and our consciousness through her talk shows. Whether you perceive her topics to be good or bad, that most probably changed the way you viewed the world in some way. That’s powerful. I was listening to a talk the other day that spoke of taking action and having impact. Oprah’s actions have a huge impact the world over.

Tyler Perry. I am fascinated by Tyler the person even though I don’t know him and all he has achieved. To me he is an example of what can be accomplished if you allow God to work through you. (In fact, everyone I mentioned above is if you think about it.)

I have never heard Tyler Perry take credit for any of his achievements and he has many. All credit is given to God. Not only does he not take credit but whenever he speaks he uses the opportunity to share a lesson, or drop a pearl of wisdom for you to walk away with. One of my favourite speeches of his is his BET acceptance speech. There are 3 key messages in this speech that inspire me every time I listen to it:

  1. Help somebody cross

Tyler shares a few examples of how he has been able to ‘help somebody cross’. He has used laughter, physically helped a man cross outside his school and being given the opportunity to provide employment for people. There are so many ways that we can help people get to the other side of a bad experience, fufill a need or move forward in their life. All we need to do is listen and take action in the moment.

  1. Create your own table

As a woman and a person of mixed race living in South Africa, I have often felt the need to work extra hard to earn a seat at the table of the white man or the Indian man and more recently, the black man. The reality is that I am unique and so are my talents and if I focus on using those talents in a productive manner and for the good of society, I will be building my own table. God willing, it will be a round table that many others can sit at as well. The reality is that we do not need to compete with each other. We live in an abundant universe and there is enough for all.

  1. There are people who’s live are tied to my dream

“Every dreamer in this room: there are people whose lives are tied into your dream. Own your stuff, own your business, own your way.” This is the most powerful message in the speech. We are all interlinked. This is also linked to creating your own table to that you can make space for them.

I hope that these wonderful human beings who, I believe, have learnt the art of stepping out the own way in order to let God’s light shine through, will inspire you in some small way too.

“Let your Light shine before men, that they may see your Good Works and Glorify your Father in heaven”

Matthew 5:16
Featured

Our Cruise was Cancelled. Now what?

I had planned to see out my last birthday in my 40’s over the Indian Ocean. I had booked a cruise to nowhere for my son and I but covid killed those plans. The cruise was cancelled. I still feel an urge to do something different though I think I feel a road trip coming on…

My Ideal Road trip

Phew, I would probaly need to break it down into about 3 or 4 trips to see everything I would love to see with my son. Where to start…hmmm…probably the garden route which runs through the Eastern Cape Coast and ends in the Western Cape. I would probably make it a 2 week long trip so that we can sleep over in numerous towns and have the opportunity to explore some of the towns along the way. There are a number of museums like the literary museum in Makhado (ex-Grahamstown) and we can take a day trip to at least one game reserve. I have yet to visit the Cango Caves (it would require a slight detour) or Koffee Bay which is said to be very beautiful. And of course stop at Cape Agulhas which is the home of the southernmost point of Africa. If you keen to explore the route further, I found this website that has lots of great information

Cape Agulhas
The Cango Caves

A road trip closer to home

I live in beautiful Durban and am fortunate that I am only a 2-3 hour drive fron the Drakensberg mountains and have the beach on my doorstep. The Midlands Meander is a wonderful trip to make and it starts in Hilton which is an hour away. It is dotted with a number of little industries and shops. You can find anything on the route from breweries to cheese making to arts and crafts. There are awesome hiking trails and other adventure-based activities. Gourmet food is also pretty easy to find. There is the Fernhill Hotel as an example, which also happens to be a training school for chefs. One of my favourite spots to visit is the Nelson Mandela capture site. Taking ‘the long walk to freedom’ is an awesome experience. Whenever I have been there, the air has been still and there is absolute silence. It ‘s a humbling experience. The sculpture also just blows my mind and there is also a museum on site.

My dad and my son doing the long walk to freedom in 2013
My son and I in front of the Nelson Mandela sculpture in 2013.

If there is one good thing that the pandemic has created, it is an awareness of all the places there are to visit and explore right on our doorsteps. I love road trips so I am definitely going to plan one. I actually can’t wait!

What are some of your favourite spots in South Africa or in the country in which you live? I would love to hear to about them and possibly add them to my bucket list😊

Thanks for reading. Stay safe!

Featured

Living through a Failed Insurrection…

It’s been 2 weeks since our lives were turned upside down by, what the government calls, a failed insurrection. 2 weeks since we were traumitised by the sounds of gunshots in our neighbourhoods as we tried to get some semblence of rest at night and were faced with the sights and sounds of people’s livelihoods being looted and then burnt to the ground. If ever you wanted to understand the value of faith and living in the now, trust me when I say that an experience like this can bring it home very quickly. I have spent the past week trying to process everything that has happened and what is actually going on inside of me. Today was the first time that I actually took the time out to just be and to rest. My self-care Saturday. I also spent the time reflecting on what on what I have learned as well and would like to share it with you.

The Power of Faith

The unrest really started affecting us on the Sunday. By then reports were coming through that main roads where being blocked in the city but I wasn’t too concerned as we have been through this countless times before and the police would always stop it before things got out of control. That evening, the president announced a 9pm curfew to help curb the spread of covid. To my surprise, the main road that my bedroom window faced buzzed like it was the middle of the day after 9pm. Little did I know that it was looters on their way to help themselves to good in the warehouses in the industrial area down the road from me. By 11pm I was chatting to my friends aunt in a nearby suburb who was terrified because of all the gunfire she could hear. I thought it was an isolated incident. Then I started hearing it too. Not a lot but any gunfire is not normal so fear started to kick in. Fortunately my son was by his dad so I didn’t have to worry about him immediately. I slept for about an hour at a time that night.

Monday was the scariest day because reality started to kick in and I began to worry about my son. I knew he was safe with this dad but he wasn’t with me and that bugged me more than I realised. As a mum it is important that I always have him within my sight when there is imminent danger. On Monday night, the gunfire got worse and I was acutely aware of the sounds of the looters transporting their goods along the road just a few 100m’s away from my bedroom window. Sleep did not come easy or stay long when it did come. By Tuesday morning I was at breaking point. My son’s father wanted to bring him home as his business was affected and he needed to focus on sorting that out. I needed to get my son home safely. I was a wreck. Thankfully, my friend drove the route for me and assured me it was safe to go so I managed to get him home safely. Once he was home, it was even more important not to fall apart and that is when I realised I needed to make a choice. I could choose to continue consuming information coming at me and live in fear about things that are out if my control or I could choose to leave all that was happening out there at God’s feet and focus on what was in my control, namely, keeping the environment within our 4 walls as normal as possible under the circumstances mainly and helping out neighbours where I could. I slept so peacefully that Tuesday night after making the decision that I did not hear the explosions that apparently rattled our windows at 4am from the warehouse fire in our backyard. I have to admit that when that fire started, I was packed and ready to go in case it spread our way. Thankfully, it never came to that. That emergency bag remains packed though as I this experince has taught me that it just makes sence to always have one on standby.

By Wednesday, I felt very calm on the outside but I could feel the terror still bubbling underneath. I have to admit that it was the weirdest feeling ever. I think by Wednesday though, everyone was tired of living in fear and so we were all drawn to pray to turn the situation around. We had an interfaith online prayer session at work for everyone in the company. Our team at work also had a pray session in the evening. Friends that I spoke to on Thursday also found that they were drawn to pray on the Wednesday. Thursday was a calmer day. It felt like our prayers had been answered. Suddenly people started looking for food as they were not prepared for this and were running out of basics. Some areas had no more stores or the stores they did have were empty. So we continued to pray. By Friday, stories started trickling in of free bread and milk being made available by kind hearted souls and especially by the Muslim community. The government was making an effort to get food to our province. People started cleaning up and the atmosphere changed. It was amazing to witness. Pray with faith changes things. You have to believe to recieve.

The Aftermath

While I was definitely shielded from the worst of it, I am surprised by how trautamitised I still feel to an extent. What has also surprised me is how quickly I am still triggered by certain things.

  • I learned very quickly that when a lot of the looters were moving about at night in the neighbouring suburb, all the neighbouredhood dogs would go wild. As a result, when a dog starts barking at night, I automatically tense and wait to hear if the rest start up as well.
  • I was woken up at 1am on Friday morning by the smell of smoke. I was so freaked out. It was a fire quite far from me but I was only able to fall asleep again at around 4am.
  • Yesterday I saw a fire raging in, what appeared to be, one of the surrounding industrial areas that had been targeted. I instantly tensed up and wondered if it was the unrest starting all over again.
  • I am virtually jump out of my skin at any loud sound. They other day I was pottering in my garden when I heard a loud noise. My neighbour opened a window that sticks. I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

I know that just about everyone around me is also still feeling very alert. Even though life has largely gone back to normal on the outside, it is still far from normal on the inside. It’s definitely going to take some time to truly learn to relax again.

Dealing with an event like this also brought into sharp focus that there actually is a lot that is out of my control and that the future is promised to no-one. Things happened so quickly and the only things that I could really control were my choices regarding the actions that I could take from moment to moment. It terrified me on the one hand but on the other it was strangely comforting to just let go and live in the moment. I have learned to be prepared but understand and accept that I can only control my choices. The rest is not up to me. I also have to constantly remind myself that I need to lay the fear at God’s feet and trust that He has my back.

Gratitude

It’s not possible to come through this experience without feeling lots of gratitude. Gratitude for the communtity members who put their lives on the line every night to keep us safe in our homes. Gratitude that we are safe and sound, have hot running water and electricity in our homes and have cupborads full of food. There are far too many in our country that can’t say the same. Gratitude for the friends and family that constantly checked on me and my son telephonically. Gratitude for the company that I work for and the leadership team who were so supportive to everyone during the entire ordeal and gave everyone the space they needed to do what needed to be done. Gratitude that as a single mum, I have the means to always overstock because I don’t have someone to send out for stuff if I run out of something, especially at night. Alex and I had enough food to keep us going for at least 2 weeks which probably puts me in teh league of the doomsday preppers 😜😂

This event in our history highlighted all that is so great about South Africans and also hammered home that for too many it’s a frustrating struggle to put food on the table for their families everyday and to keep a roof of sorts over their heads everyday and live a dignified life. That was just one of the many reasons why it happened in the first place. I don’t know what tomorrow holds or how we will solve our problems as a country. What I do know is that I have today and, between covid and this past event, I have learned that today is precious and is to be experienced in every possible way.

Thanks for letting me share my experience with you. Stay safe!

Featured

Welcome 2021!

2020 was a great growth year for me. Books, Courses and Motivational speakers that were placed on my path helped guide me to where I am today. This post includes a list of resources I used.

2020 went out with a bang last night! We had storm after storm roll on by as if to wash away the year’s energy; to refresh the earth and make space for the wonderful energy that 2021 brings with it. Today, it continued to rain. I feel as if we have begun a period of renewal. I am so looking forward to the gifts that this year brings.

Image: Canva

Lockdown was a blessing in disguise for introverts like me. Suddenly everything was available online. I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my home to do anything if I didn’t want to. As a result, 2020 was a year of growth for me in so many ways. My words for the year was Focused, Intentional and Disciplined and that is exactly what happened. I focused on my health, my mind and my spirituality. I read books to gain knowledge and understanding, completed courses that gave me the tools I needed to “shape my destiny” and I listened to motivational speakers via Audible to keep me on track. Each of these were placed on path as I was ready to read or listen to them. God was working His magic to get me where I needed to be right now. That being said, there were 2 tools in particular that I found very very useful this year:

  • Meditation

I have dabbled in meditation over the years but have never committed to it despite seeing the benefits whenever I did. In the latter half of this year, I committed to a 2 week course that that was free on Facebook, run by Gilan Gork’s Influence Institute. I didn’t realise that it required doing a form of meditation every morning but once I had made the commitment I stuck with it. At the end of the 2 weeks I chose to keep going. I had noticed that within a week of starting, I was finally able to pause for that split second before responding to people’s questions to allow my mind to gather myself. This was so exciting and I didn’t want to lose the skill so I stuck with it. I downloaded Insight Timer on my phone and created a timed mediation for 10 min and Wa-La… a new addition to my morning routine was created. I do find that changes to my routine can have a knock on effect on fitting in my meditation so I try and catch up in the evening.

  • Affirmations

I have used affirmations in a number of ways. Two of these is to change my limiting beliefs and to open my mind to new possibilities. I do them every morning.

  • Changing my limiting beliefs: As part of the Mind Power course, run by Robin Banks, we are encouraged to understand what our limiting beliefs are about money, relationships, our abilities and what we can achieve in this lifetime. As Robin says, “You can’t change what you don’t now”. Just as people have possibly affirmed to you since childhood that “that there is not enough money to go around” or “you are not good enough”, you can affirm positive messages to yourself. It’s not easy to turn your long held negative beliefs around so I find that I need to believe that the affirmation is possible to achieve in order to buy in to it. In his book “The Power of the Subconscious Mind”, Joseph Murphy recommends saying an affirmation like “By day and by night I am being prospered in all of my interests” is far more acceptable to the subconscious compared to “I am wealthy” while debt collectors are knocking on your door. Your subconscious will accept what it really feels to be true.
  • Open my mind to new possibilities: In the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, Robert Kiyosaki talks about changing the way you see challenges. As an example, if you want to buy a new house that is a little out of your price range, you can either tell yourself that it’s too expensive and leave it at that or you can ask yourself, “How can I afford that?”. Your mind will immediately start looking for solutions especially if you keep asking it the questions. You can also use affirmations to get a similar effect e.g. tell yourself that opportunities are everywhere. They really are. If you contemplate all that is being invented right now and accept that people will be inventing things to the end of time then your mind will accept that opportunities are indeed everywhere and be scanning for them. Those opportunities can also extend to finding your life partner (“All the good ones are taken” vs “there are so many wonderful partners available to me right now”) Lastly, affirmations also have helped me grow my faith in God. In order to have faith in what God will do for me, I needed to first believe that I was worthy of His wonderful blessings. Affirmations have really helped me accept my worth.

By the grace of God I have seen the following changes this past year. There have been others as well:

  • I have ended the year 4+kg’s lighter. It’s a smaller win that I had planned but I will take it. It is a win after all.
  • I started and maintained Intermittent fasting. I doubt I will ever go back to eating the way I used to. I just feel so much better as I am now.
  • I signed up as a Honey Accessories Sales Consultant. In essence this is my first foray into owning my own business (baby steps 😉 )
  • My friend and I signed up with a personal trainer and completed 9 weeks of online training, 3 times a week with him on the 31st. I feel fitter and I see that my flexibility has improved so I am very happy with this progress. I, night owl of note, do this at 6am! If I wasn’t doing this at home I don’t think I would have coped with that early morning start 🤣
  • Through the practice of mediation as well as intentionally trying to strengthen my connection to God, I have become more aware of the world around me and, in particular, the signs that are sent my way to guide me in the direction I need to go. It is so amazing to watch God in action in my life.
  • I completed my BA in Psychology and Anthropology

Before I sign out for tonight I would also like to share some of the books, courses and audible books that helped me grow this year:

Books:

Courses (All online so you attend classes from home and your whole family can participate for the price of one)

  • Mind Power – Robin Banks – If you are disciplined about doing the exrecises, you will get everything out of this course that Robin promises. He has free webinars to introduce the course. Upcoming dates can be found here and on his social media pages.
  • Mind Power Master Class – John Kehoe. This a recording and not an actual class. It’ a 6 week course in which a new lesson is released each week. Ienjoy listening to John Kehoe. He is the author of the book “Mind Power” so it is interesting to listen to his take on the subject. He is Robin Bank’s Mentor. Irecommend attending Mind Power first.
  • Shaping Your Destiny – Robin Banks. You don’t need to attend Mind Power for this. A bonus in this course is one-on-one session to help you create your personal mission statement. You can find out more at the Mind Power link above.

Audible Books – these are actually a collection of speeches and not books as such. I prefered listening to these over spending time searching through Youtube for similar material.

Note that none of the above links are affiliate links

I plan on keeping those 3 words for 2021 and I will add “Surrender” to them. I found that when I truly surrendered an outcome to God this past year, things tended to fall into place so I am letting go of control this year. It is a scary thought as God has a tendency to send you in a direction that you didn’t think you wanted to go to get you were you need to be but I look forward to the journey. It’s going to be epic!

May your 2021 be blessed. Thank you for your support throughout 2020. Thank you to those friends, old and new, that were sent to help me on my journey. I appreciate you. Stay safe everyone! Wear your mask, wash your hands and sanitise them and keep a safe distance.

Featured

Life with Diabetes

It’s World Diabetes Day today. I had the displeasure of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. It is what it is though and what choice does one have but to accept it and learn to work around it. I am determined however to get it into remission and I will succeed. For now, I will share what seems to work for me at the moment, however do bear in my mind that this is based on my personal experience and is not an sort of medical or dietary advice.

My Diet

There is no doubt that controlling your blood sugar takes more than just diet but what you eat does play the biggest role. The following has worked for me based on trial and error:

  • Refined carbs are not my friend. I will still enjoy a piece of cake here and there but I don’t make a habit of it
  • Sweeteners, and this includes natural sweeteners like Xylitol, cause a spike in my blood sugar so I just don’t bother with them
  • I stick to drinking water, and unsweetened black coffee. I have started drinking unsweetened black tea as well.
  • Intermittent fasting (IF) really helps as well. I stick to the 16:8 fast but I have learnt that fasting alone is not enough. Discipline is required in that 8 hr eating window. I have worked from home since lockdown started and found myself constantly “grazing”. I slowly gained 4 of the 6 kg’s I had lost in the first 3 months of following IF. Of course it wasn’t just the constant nibbling, it was also the lack of movement every day that caused the weight gain. I have a timer so that I ensure I don’t eat for 2,5hrs at a time for now. I plan on getting myself to two meals a day before year end.
  • My blood sugar readings also appear to be affected by my weight. When I lose weight, I have lower readings. When I gain weight then my average reading rises as well. It seems to take as little as a 2-3kg change in weight to make a difference. Clearly it is in my best interest to keep the number on the scale moving in a downward direction.

The Power of Exercise

I am not exercise’s greatest fan but I have finally accepted it’s importance in maintaining good overall health and in keeping my blood sugar levels within a normal range. Diabetes is known to take a toll on one’s heart so it is important to maintain good heart health and that is where exercise comes in. Since self-discipline is not my strength when it comes to this topic, I have signed up with a personal trainer to make exercise a habit in my life. I have to admit that after 2 weeks, I look forward to our sessions and feel fantastic after them. My circulation has clearly improved and I appear less prone to retaining water. My average blood sugar reading has also lowered over the last 2 weeks so this was clearly a great decision on my part. 😜

Stress Management

I was blown away when I saw the difference stress makes to my readings. I immediately know when I have underlying stress. It’s right there in my blood sugar readings. It is actually quite scary how much stress affects my body. On the flip side, I have also noticed how spending time with certain people in my life results in lower levels regardless of what I eat when I am with them. These people are good for my body, mind and soul. It’s important to never underestimate the damage stress can do so I try to keep my stress levels as low as possible. Some of the techniques I use to de-stress are:

  • Dancing at the end of the day to my favourite music. It as has the added benefit of getting the circulation going burning off excess sugar in my blood.
  • Reading. I can happily spend an entire weekend reading.
  • Focusing on a conversation with my son or cooking/baking with him. It requires me to live in the moment. It is an amazing feeling and I love doing it (When he allows me to)
  • Connecting with friends, although, it is mostly via whatsapp these days
  • Meditating every morning for 10 minutes. I am so thrilled that I have kept this up for over a month now. I am well on my way to making this a habit! (Whoop whoop)
  • Saying my morning mantras in the shower. I say mantras to keep myself aligned with my purpose. It is so calming to say these at the start of the day
  • My morning prayer. I find it so peaceful to start the day giving thanks for what is and what will be and just handing the day over to God.
  • Journal writing. I love writing. I have a normal journal as well as a special gratitude journal. The one thing I have noticed is that when I am consistent about writing in my gratitude journal, I get wonderful surprises ever so often. How cool is that!
  • A candle-lit bubble bath, especially on a exercise day. I also use this as my visualisation time.

I don’t view diabetes as a life long disease. I choose to view it as something that can be overcome and that is what I plan on doing. My first milestone is to start 2021 free of meds.😁 It is to be respected at all times though or it will do some serious damage. If you have been diagnosed with it and don’t take it seriously, then I invite you to reconsider this choice, to start monitoring what causes your spikes and to work around them. You have everything to gain from doing so. If you are prediabetic do what ever you can to turn that diagnosis around.

I wish you all the success in keeping a diabetes diagnosis under control. It can be done. 😉

Featured

2 years 11 days of our new reality

I miss my mom. 2 years and 11 days of not being able to talk to her, to visit her or even to argue with her. Yesterday was the worst day yet. She was on my mind at every turn. I guess it took me totally by surprise.

fairy lights in jar on shore at sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yesterday I was doing a “values”exercise. I was trying to determine what is important to me and why. Two of the questions that I needed to ask myself was: “What do I surround myself with in my personal space” and “What do I spend my energy on?”. My room is filled with books and puzzles and stationary and that is what I spend a lot of my time doing. Reading, writing and doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc. I started thinking of how a love of puzzles was something that we shared. I can picture her sitting in her room with the Natal Witness puzzle page. She had her favourite puzzle. I can’t remember what it was called but it required you to make as many words as possible out of the 9 or so letters provided. My sister, her son and I definitely share a love of puzzles with her. In my sister and her son, it manifests as a love for picture puzzles while my mum and I enjoyed word and number puzzles.

I also got my affinity for accounting from her. She worked as a bookkeeper most of her life. I will never forget how she beamed with pride after our school awards ceremony. I received the 1st place award for accounting and it was mentioned that I had broken the school’s record for accounting in grade 8 (called std 6 back then). My mother was a very modest person and expected the same of us but that day, that day she threw caution to the wind and told everyone how “I got it from her”. I was so shocked and happy. I don’t think I have ever heard her take credit for anything since. On the weekend before she passed, it was the first time in a very long time that all the sisters were together with her. She was so thrilled to have us all together. I was saying to her that Alex most definitely got his love for soccer from her. You may never have seen her at a match but she always watched it on TV. When Alex was a baby and as he got older, he had no choice but to watch soccer and soapies whenever she looked after him. She refused to take the credit and insisted he was more interested in 7de Laan (a South African soapie).

What I definitely did not get from her was her organisational ability. She made sure that the house ran like clockwork. We never wanted for the basics, no matter how much or little money there was at any point in time. She was very intentional about how she used money. A skill I am desperately trying to teach myself now. She always made sure my car license was paid on time as my car was still registered in PMB and I live in Durban. We had a system. I had one of her debit orders come off my account and she stashed that cash for me in an envelope next to her TV. It was my Royal Show spending money every May and my Car license money in September. it was just one of the little ways that we connected. Let me tell you, my car license has not been paid on time since she has left us, much to my bank account’s distress. Being disorganised is a costly exercise I tell you. I might not have inherited that ability but my sister Carolyn, definitely inherited it from her.

The parking spot I plotting yesterday turned out to be taken by an Atos just like the one that she used to drive. I was so surprised that I almost said to Alex: “Look! Granny’s here”. I guess I have being feeling very disconnected from her of late. I would like to believe that all the little reminders of her that were placed before me in various ways yesterday, was her way of letting me know that she is still near even when it doesn’t feel like it.

When it comes right down to it, she will always be a part of each of us. When we look in the mirror, we see some element of her. My sisters and I, and I think all her grandchildren, have her chin and neck. We realised that night we were all together in the hospital that we all wear glasses like she did. 😁 Almost all her grandchildren inherited her talent for baking. We are all blessed with some element of her skills and personality that allowed each of us to connect with her in our own way while she was here and that we can use to connect with her now that she has passed on. I will take comfort in that.

I hope that you and your families continue to take precautions against the coronavirus. It’s a such a stealthy little bugger. Wash and sanitise your hands, wear your mask correctly, keep a safe following distance, and avoid going out as much as you can. Prevention is better than cure after all.

#Staysafe

Featured

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday I received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from our team at work. It was a congratulatory gift for completing my BA degree. I was thrilled and very grateful for the gesture. It was only this afternoon that the thought occurred to me that I don’t give myself enough credit for my achievements. I need to acknowledge me more often and, more importantly God, for only through Him are all things possible.

My beautiful flowers

So I want to take this moment to acknowledge God for making it possible for me to complete my degree while I was:

  • Getting my head around a new role in which I had to relearn old skills and learn new skills all at the same time (I am still not where i need to be but I will get there)
  • Acting as chairperson in our body corporate for the last 2 years
  • Buying a new home and adjusting to a new relationship at the same time
  • Dealing with the end of that relationship, the loss of my mother and the break-up of my family all at the same
  • Giving my son and I the space to grieve together for the loss of my mum in particular
  • Adjusting to a diagnosis of diabetes and learning to live with it and how to overcome it
  • Working on healing and growing myself through the use of self-help and spiritual books
  • Working from home during the lockdown and trying to ensure that my son maintains a certain level of education all by myself. At the same time I did the Mind Power course. I also had to ensure that all the lockdown regulations were being followed in our complex and prepare for and write my exams. (I have to say that it was exhausting juggling everything and I still can’t believe that I passed my exams1 )
  • Supporting my son in all his sporting endeavors and making sure we maintain a good quality life and that he hardly ever feels neglected and just doing my best to be as good a parent as I know how to him.
  • Losing my favourite aunt almost exactly year after losing my mum. The whole experience was like losing my mum all over again.
  • I started writing and got my blog going and have written on other platforms like Medium an Quora. I have enjoyed this tremendously!
  • Fitting in assignments between travels to Dubai and China.
  • And of course, trying to be a good friend, sister, daughter, cousin, aunt and niece to those I love and have given me their support.

It’s been an amazing 6 years. Most of the stuff mentioned happened in the last 3 of the 6 years. So it’s been quite a ride! Phew! I deserve those flowers at the very least I think ..lol.

I am taking a break this semester and aim to start my honours in Psych next year. I am so excited about that! It will be my first honours degree! My end goal is a Phd in Psych and I have no doubt that I will achieve. It’s only a matter of time. God will go before me and make a way.

I have done this exercise for another reason as well. Listing your achievements helps to change your mindset from one of lack to one of abundance and success. The thinking is that you will remind yourself of what it feels like to be successful so that you continue to feel those feelings and draw more success to yourself. Nope, it’s not hogwash. I invite you to think back to a time when you were feeling really great about something. What other good things suddenly started happening to you? I can guarantee you that you received a welcome surprise while you were in that state. If you pay attention , you will find that these welcome surprises pop up when you are thrilled about something good that has happened in your life or are in a state of deep and authentic gratitude.

I encourage you to go ahead and list your achievements and all the things you had to overcome to get there. Remind yourself of what a successful person you already are, because you are!

Thanks for reading this piece. Covid19 is still a real threat so stay home and stay safe.

Featured

Believe

I have a tattoo of a daisy with the word “Believe” crafted into the stem on my ankle. At the time It was a reminder to believe in myself and grow in confidence. It’s still serves that purpose but the word has come to have different implications for me.

Daisies

The dictionary defines ‘believe’ as “to accept something as true, genuine, or real”. What we forget is that some of our beliefs are conscious but there are a whole lot that linger beneath the surface and have a huge influence on how we go about our daily lives. It is only in the last few months that I have become aware how much these beliefs shape the stories I tell myself and therefore my whole life. I have often told people who lament their lot in their life that they are where they need to be. My understanding being that the Universe has conspired to bring this point now and that there are no accidents. For me it also just meant that everything is ok as it is, Accept…then act.

It was only last weekend when a friend said it to me when I was having a moment that I realised I am where I am because of the choices that I have made in my life. Those choices were driven by conscious and unconscious beliefs I had about myself, my environment and my worth. I needed to accept that so I can start making different choices. So yes, the Universe has conspired to get me to this point but it is in response to the direction that I have given it. That is actually an empowering and liberating thought which has me very excited about what the future holds.

In the book, Conversations with God, we are constantly reminded that we are creators. We are all a part of God and that, like God, we are creators. We are not here to learn how to be but here to create the experiences that we want to have. We are here to live out the grandest vision that we have for ourselves, yet most of us choose to play small because we fear “what other’s may think” or that we might fail or because we don’t believe that we are worthy of that vision. We are. You are. I am. It is our birthright. These are the first unconscious beliefs we have to change.

The next belief that we need to work on is that we live in a scarce Universe. We don’t. We live in an abundant universe. Yes I know sources of fresh water are becoming fewer and the earth is heating up causing the ice to melt, etc, but we just need to change our everyday behaviors to minimize our environmental impact. There is and will always be enough for everyone if we just used what we needed and didn’t waste as much as we do. Abundance doesn’t mean there is enough to use to excess, it means there is enough for everyone to enjoy without wasting. Well that’s my take on it anyway.

In the Mind Power Course that is run by Robin Banks (I highly recommend this course if you are looking to invest in yourself), we are taught that our thoughts are real forces and they really are. We are also taught that we have our own ‘model of reality’ that is determined by our beliefs. In order to change your thoughts, you need to create a new model of reality for yourself. You do that by changing your beliefs. Sounds like mumbo jumbo doesn’t it? Let me ask you this…When was the last time you had to change something in your life? What belief did you have to change to make it happen? What evidence did you provide to yourself that what you initially believed wasn’t true and/or that your new belief was true? As an example, in order to quit smoking I had to change a few core beliefs I had about why i smoked. I believed that I need cigarettes to calm me down when I was stressed. I believed that smoking was a part of who I was and to give it up was being untrue myself. Yes I actually believed that hogwash.😂. I looked for the evidence to support these beliefs. I realised that I had spent the first 18 years of my life without cigarettes and I was just fine. Allen Carr’s book reminded me that cigarettes are merely a vehicle to get nicotine into my system and it was the hit of nicotine that provide the relief from a craving. The craving is what caused me to feel stressed so the cigarettes were the cause of the problem and not the answer to it. Knowing and accepting this, there is no way I can justify going back to smoking. My beliefs about why I need to do it have changed.

So it turns out that our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, are what drive us to think the thoughts we think and take the actions we take. They determine where we will end up in life. Thoughts are the tools that we use to fuel new beliefs and to create a new reality for ourselves. Know you are worthy of dreams, there is more than enough love, money, joy and prosperity out there for you and that you are the co-creator of your reality. So go out and make it happen😉

As always, stay safe. Wear your mask, keep your distance and keep your hands clean and sanitized when out and about. I would to hear about the tools you used to change your beliefs and the impact it has had in your life.

Bye for now

Featured

“Hello…Is that you ego?”

I have spent this past week wrestling with a problem that I face at work. Despite been on leave this week, it kept raising it’s ugly head in my thoughts, trying to rile me up. Those that know me we know this is usually easy to do. This time though, I am teaching myself to deal with this type of issue differently because I have come to realise that this is just my ego talking.

Much has been written about the ego throughout history and yet, despite our knowledge of it’s destructive power, we continue let it take over our lives. I have always considered myself to be a humble person and thought that I was doing my damndest to not let my ego get the better of me. I did not want to be seen as self-serving or self-important or arrogant and yet somehow, despite my best efforts, my ego has often crept in and taken over in a situation causing things to go horribly wrong. Now it is easy to point a finger at the next person and blame them but the reality is that, even though they might have a role to play in the destruction, so do I. A bitter pill to swallow.

Back to the work problem. This problem has been on going for a while now with no end in sight and sometimes seems to be getting worse. On Tuesday I seethed the entire day. I can’t even tell you what triggered it since I was on leave but there I was, consumed by my anger as per usual. In the evening I called my friend to vent and because she always has pearls of wisdom to help me see things from a different perspective. At one point she mentioned that “we need to get out of our own way”. The seed settled on fertile ground. A little later I dialled into a webinar for the Mind Power course I am doing. One of the participants gave an example of how she applied the principles of the course and one of the things she mentioned is that “we need to get out of our own way”. Well, my antenna went straight up! This was no longer just a piece of sage advice from my friend, it was a message from the Universe!

I started to really think about this. How the heck am I standing in my own way in the first place???? Now here’s the thing, when you have questions like these, it is seldom that the answers come to you immediately and directly. Have you noticed this too? Anyway, I went to sleep and let my subconscious do it’s thing. The next day I started the new week’s Mind Power exercises and in so doing, the answer to my question started to reveal itself. I wrote down a statement that made a lot of sense to me and contemplated it. As the week went on, more layers were peeled away while listening to a video about strengthening faith by Gabby Bernstein on IG and, through my daily Mind Power practice and prayer, I eventually came to realise that my ego was the source of my problem as well as my lack of faith and that is how I am standing in my own way. At least now I have a root cause for the problem. My next step is to overcome it. I clearly am not there yet as last night I opened Gabby Bernstein’s book, The Universe Has Your Back, and what’s the 1st instruction on the page…yip, you guessed it…”GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY”! 🤣🤣. This is going to be an interesting journey but I am looking forward to it. 😁

One thing I have to come to realise is that it is not possible to have faith and let the ego have it’s way at the same time. Either you have faith in your creator to work through you or you let the ego in and let it try and control the situation. I am also learning that the ego loves to take credit for God’s work. In my rage, I was ranting about all the good I had done at work and my friend reminded me that it is God who is working through us and not us who do great things. She is right. It reminded me that one of the things I admire most about Tyler Perry and Steve Harvey is that they never take credit for their successes. They always give God the Glory. Always. Perhaps that is the lesson for me in all of this. I guess the work problem is not my obstacle to overcome after all and one to be handed over God for Him to work his magic on. My obstacle to overcome though, is letting go and letting God. I need to give ego, and it’s need to control, the boot.

That ego is so sneaky! It tries to insert itself everywhere. I could go on and on about the ego and how sneaky it is but I would recommend reading books like:

⁃ The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

⁃ A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

⁃ The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

⁃ Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

⁃ The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

They are many more. These are just the few that I have open (Don’t judge… I will finish them all eventually😜) Of course, don’t forget to pray about it. The answers will be revealed to you if you are listening and watching. Always.

Hope you are washing your hands and sanitising religiously and social distancing to the max to keep yourself safe. Don’t forget your mask as well. Stay safe!

Featured

It’s the little things (part 2)

Day 24 of the Covid19 lockdown in South Africa(I think…). I have been working from home for just over a month now and I have to say that it really hasn’t been as bad for Alex and I. I get the sense from social media that a lot of people are not enjoying this period at all though. There have really been far more positives to this experience for us both. Let me know if you can relate to any of them.

The things I am enjoying

  • Quality time spent cooking, baking and even cleaning with Alex. It feels great because it feels like we are working as a team. I also have a little more patience with him because we don’t have to rush.
  • Eating supper at the table. I had sold my dining room chairs over Christmas because I wanted a new look. I just didn’t get around to buying a new set until 2 days before lockdown! I got a bee in my bonnet and decided that we were not going through lockdown without dining room chairs. Besides, the dining table was becoming a clutter magnet which was driving me insane. Now we have chairs again and we have eaten at the table almost every night.
  • I have being rearranging our home and, as a result, I am starting to enjoy it again. I still work all week so I don’t have as much time as I would like to do all the things I want to but, that is a good problem to have.
  • I get to spend more time with Alex in general and even shoot a few basketball hoops with him although he does run circles around me.
  • I am able to monitor Alex’s progress with his school work. Why are boys so lazy when it comes to school work? This is the one area where we still have our fights.
  • My best friend and I have started meeting via Zoom to exercise some mornings. Isn’t it funny how we never got to the gym together and it took the lockdown for us to find a way to exercise together? I must admit that that morning session makes a huge difference to my mood and energy levels during the course of the day.
  • My little garden continues to thrive. I never ever expected to enjoy gardening. I mean ever. The idea of digging the in the dirt just did not appeal to me. Buying my own home spurred this need to have plants inside and outside my home. Imagine my surprise when I discovered what a grounding experience gardening is. I love it!
  • I had the time to nurse my Siamese fighter fish back to some level of health. Problem is that he felt so good that he jumped out the bowl on Easter morning (he was in isolation to give him the space to heal), and accidentally committed suicide. I was devastated!
  • My son is evolving into a young man before my very eyes. Has grown taller since we have been at home and his hormones are clearly kicking in. I am grateful for the experience of actually being able to watch him go through this.
  • I have chosen to use this time to finish all the books I have started in the last 6 months and never got around to finishing. And there are a lot! I am done with 3 already and about 5 or more to go. Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies as to why I have so many unfinished books lying around.
  • Connecting with friends and family more often via messaging and calls. No-one has ever had the time to connect as much as we do now.
  • I’ve even had the opportunity to do the Mind Power course with Robin Banks online this weekend. It was exhausting but very enlightening. I am looking forward to the next few weeks of exercises and follow-up webinars.

How are we able to stay sane?

  • We have developed a routine. Alex gets up by 8 am and starts his school work when I dial into my first meeting which is at 8:30am every morning. We have lunch at around 12pm and dinner at around 6pm and he is asleep by 9pm. The routine is like an anchor.
  • I shower every morning and get dressed as if I was actually going to step out the house almost everyday. I even put mascara on some days and perfume just because I can. My usual skin care routine and especially applying SPF in the morning is a must! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you are staying inside all day, you don’t need SPF.
  • Saturdays are still my pamper days where I mask and exfoliate and pay extra attention to my skin.
  • Alex has his hoop and X-box and Netflix. I had to limit the time spent on the x-box and Netflix for fear his brain might rot. He, of course is highly unimpressed…lol. Now he does sudoku and other puzzles as well as draws to fill in the time.

My only frustration

My one frustration has been work dominating my time at home. I have come to accept this to some degree because I cannot change it and as I have mentioned previously, it is a very good problem to have.

Minor challenges

  • Snacking! Thankfully I have managed to maintain my intermittent fasting throughout. The problem now is snacking during my eating window. It has always been a challenge but now it is even worse!
  • Staying off my phone. Apple tells me that I am on my phone for more that 9 hours a day! That is outrageous. I see it doesn’t even bother to tell me what percentage increase that amounts to every week. Could it be that bad???
  • Getting up and moving around during the day. I used to get in about 5000 steps at work alone everyday. Now I battle to get 2000 steps on an average day. I forget to move away from my computer which is not a good thing. I think it has been one of the main reasons my weight loss stopped for a while. Today my shorts felt really big on me so I am hoping that the morning exercise is reversing that trend. Time will tell.

As an introvert, I have to admit that this lockdown has been bliss for me. I find working in an open plan office is extremely draining so this is like heaven. I miss the people but I am also loving the relative solitude. I have no doubt that people’s lives will be different for months, if not years to come. I am not sure it is a bad thing. I am enjoying the little things right now. They make life more enjoyable.

Stay safe everyone. Don’t forgot to wash your hands often if you are coming into contact with other people regularly and definitely don’t forget to moisturise your hands after each wash. Rough dry hands are no fun. If in doubt about what to do to stay safe, follow the WHO and/or government guidelines.

I hope your list of likes are far longer than your list of frustrations and challenges at this time too. Let me know how you are enjoying this lockdown period in the comments below.

Featured

Intermittent fasting – 12 weeks in

Four days into lockdown in South Africa but as importantly… 12 weeks of Intermittent Fasting done and dusted! I am so excited to have made it this far and even more excited at the results that I am now seeing. Guys, this lifestyle change is worth considering! Don’t believe me? Read on…

Photo by Iina Luoto on Pexels.com

The Benefits

Where shall I start…ok, lets start with the one benefit that everyone wants to know about…the weight loss. Yes it is happening and not very fast at all but the I have lost approximately 6kg’s thus far. I seem to have stagnated at this point on the scale or I just need a new scale. (It’s been very inconsistent lately.) I doesn’t really phase me though. What does excite me is that I have lost the weight and I have dropped 2 dress sizes! Yes you read that right! ok, lets call it a dress size and a half because I would hover between and 18 and a 20 and now I fit back into a 16!!! How times change…the first time I ever bought a size 16, I was mortified at how fat I had gotten and now I am thrilled to be wearing that size.

My energy levels are definitely up. I have started running up my stairs now that we are in lockdown and it feels good. I definitely need to exercise more to get my fitness levels going . I have been working from home for 2 weeks now and I suspect that the lack of movement around the office, which is where I would normally get 5000+ steps in, is also slowing down my weight loss. My head is still clear as well which is brilliant. I never want to go back to that foggy head feeling again.

Lastly, and most importantly, I have seen a reduction in my blood glucose levels. I was so excited by today’s reading in particular. I had my lowest reading this morning since 2016 and I was shocked to have my lowest readings after 2 helpings of dessert this evening. I know I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help myself, my son had made the must delicious apple cake which we had with cream. Besides I had my morning reading to celebrate. 😉 The reading was almost normal. My doctor is going to be pleasantly surprised when I tell him.

The secret?

I am religious about fasting for a minimum of 16 hours every day. I usually start eating at around 11:30 am or 12 am and have my last meal by 7 pm at the latest. I am not as good about watching what I eat but I try not to snack during my eating period and I stick to black coffee these days. I do need to increase my water intake again as well. i have slackened off on that. I don’t really miss eating during that fasting period and, even when I feel hungry, I don’t stress about it because I know that those pangs will subside as quickly as they rose up whether I drink something or not. The real secret is to commit to making the change and to always remember why you made that commitment in the first place. What is that benefit, that life changing benefit, that you are committed to achieving? That is what will make you keep your commitment to yourself. As Simon Sinek says; “Start with Why”. Here’s the other thing to remember, you will only be committed to the change when you are ready to make it. You will know when is that time for you. For me, I have a sense of “it’s now or never” and then I know that it’s time to make the change, I commit to it, the universe sends me who and what I need and then it is a done deal and there is no turning back. I do my part and God does the rest. I don’t believe He is done with me yet! What’s your “commitment” moment?

I hope you are all staying at home and keeping yourselves and your families safe. Let’s do our part to #flattenthecurve

Until next time…#staysafe

Featured

January was a great month!

Can you believe that January is finally over! While it was definitely a long month, it was a great month for me (and I hope for you too). I started and maintained Intermittent Fasting in an effort to get this diabetes into remission and, hopefully, I will lose major weight along the way. I have also started being more disciplined and focussed on my goals and desires.

a greek salad
Photo by Iina Luoto on Pexels.com

Intermittent fasting…an update

My routine

It’s almost one month since I started. I started strong and expected a wobble when I got back to work halfway through the month. I must admit that I do miss breakfast. Much like smoking, I miss the ritual of it and not the actual eating of food. It was also something I did with my son in the morning and I could see that was he was getting a bit lonely in the mornings so now I make sure I have my coffee while he is eating so that he doesn’t eat alone. I am also up earlier during the week because of work so I feel hungrier sooner than I did when I was on leave. I usually end my fast at 12 and start between 6 and 7pm. I try not to eat after 7pm if I can avoid it. On those days when the hunger pangs are too great to bear and not even coffee or water is keeping them at bay, I eat at 11am. I just make sure that I have my last meal no later than 6pm. Snacking is still my challenge over weekends. During the week I have the meals and almost never snack in between.

The benefits thus far

So far so good. I think my body is starting to heal but we will have to have my doctor check that in July when I have my check-up. I am thrilled that my blood glucose levels have a lower average through the day. This week I saw my lowest morning readings in about 2 years. They still need to drop further so that I can stop my medication but that will take time and this is a war I will win. I have to admit, every time I am tempted to snack often, I just remind myself of the goal and I pick up a glass of water instead. They say that you have to have a clear purpose to give you the best chance at succeeding at a goal. Beating diabetes will not only benefit me but my son in the long run and so far. this is the main reason I have been able to stay on track. The other reason is the dream of walking into a clothing store and just picking stuff up off the rack that I know I will look good in. Putting on weight completely threw for a loop when it came to clothes shopping. Suddenly all my favourite styles and cuts just looked wrong on me. I can’t wait to go back to buying my favourite clothes again. As of this morning, I am 2.9kg lighter (Whoop whoop!) so the weight loss dream is still alive. I am most excited about my lower blood glucose levels though. My head is still clearer than it used to be. The inflammation is largely gone but as I mentioned in my last post, it still pops in if I eat too many carbs. I also have more energy. Not vast amounts but I have noticed that I am not as tired at the end of the day on the most days which is great. I hated being tired more often than not.

So what have I been eating????

In all honestly, I haven’t made too many drastic changes to my diet. I have cut out fried chips but will steal 2 or 3 from Alex when he has so as not to feel deprived. He doesn’t bother getting upset anymore and now just offers them to me…lol. I try to keep fast food down to twice a week and and when I do have it, I make sure I am done eating by 6pm. I just feel less guilty about it if I eat it early for some reason. My dinners tend to be a protein plus veggies or a salad. I try to keep carbs to the barest minimum. My lunches are similar. I will have a chicken wrap most often at work for lunch. It keeps me full for the rest of the day and my blood glucose levels are pretty good after 2 hours. My aim is to avoid spikes in my blood glucose levels after meals. I stay away from fruit as a general rule (I was never a fan anyway so this is not hard for me) and eggs are my saving grace when I don’t know what else to eat. A boiled egg salad always hits the spot and the taste buds are always happy with it as well. What changes did you make when you started IF?

Exercising Greater focus

The one thing I have decided to start up again, although I can’t possibly tell you why I stopped, is meditating. I suck at it but I feel good about trying to do it anyway. My brain is all over the place! I accidentally bought the Oprah and Deepak 21-day meditation entitled “The Energy of Attraction” almost 2 years ago. I was mortified as it was not cheap but I kept it as I figured it had a message I needed to hear. Listening to it now, with the last 18 months worth of life experience behind me, has helped me see things differently. By the way, the free 21-day meditation on health starts on the 3rd so go and sign up if you are interested. There is a link on my facebook page. (Lawd please don’t make me make the same mistake again cos my credit card cannot take the pressure!)

candle
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

Other tips and tricks that are helping me stay focussed on my various goals

  • I have my vision board on my bedroom wall and on my phone. Alex is most fascinated by it and keeps asking why I this or that included. He says I believe in “a lot of things that most people don’t”. It used to bother him but he is starting to see the benefits in his own life so he is slowly coming around.
  • I set reminders on my phone with positive messages and affirmations to keep me focussed on what I want so that I don’t drift off into zeroing in on the things that I don’t want. It is just way to easy for me to get upset about the things around me that I don’t want instead of focussing on where my vision is. As Steve Harvey says” You simply cannot drive forward if you’re focussed on what’s happening in the rear view mirror.”
  • A lot of the non-fiction books I read are on my kindle app on my phone. I highlight the passages that resonate with me so that I can easily go back to them when I feel like I am drifting off course.
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Of course I have made all these changes with my the intention of changing my inner word so that my outer world will change. How long it will take for the outward changes to show will probably depend on the consistent implementation of those inner changes and how big my dreams are. I don’t expect to be a billionnaire overnight but it is not impossible to be one 15-20 years from now. The changes required to make it happen have to happen now as an example. I am so excited anyway because I know in my heart that everything I have ever prayed for and will still pray for in the future is on it’s way to me. Watch this space! It’s gonna be a “God’s gone and done it again” decade!

Lastly, welcome February, the month of Love 🙂 I can’t wait to see what miracles you bring me. Of course love is definitely welcome and a lot of spoiling. 😜 Hope you all get to celebrate love with someone special to you this month.

Bye for now.

Featured

And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

One more day to my birthday! Whoop whoop! I made it through another year and I am so grateful this past year. Not only did I make it but I grew. No, I did not grow wider physically for once (Yipee!). I grew as a person. I didn’t really have much of a choice but hey such is life. The important part is that it is all just part of the journey and I am enjoying the ride. Even the scary parts. I usually treat my birthday as a second new year and start “implementing” any changes I want to make then. This year I actually started on New Years day.

Unicorn birthday cake
Photo by malcolm garret on Pexels.com

After much assessment of where I am and where I want to be, I came to realise that I don’t really live a very intentional life. I have a tendency to say I want to do certain things and even have a “why” as motivation yet, I never intentionally act on those desires. I just fall into things and never actually question if the action I find myself taking is really getting me any closer to my end goal. I tell myself it is but, hello, I haven’t exactly come anywhere close to achieving them so clearly my actions are not. I react and I definitely don’t act intentionally.

Clearly this needs to change. So I made the decision to start acting intentionally and it blows my mind how quickly the universe comes to the party. On New Years day I suddenly found myself with alone time on my hands so I started working in a new journal that I had purchased. I wrote down my goals, my words for the year (“intentional” being one of them) and I started looking for images for my vision board. I have been attempting to put one together for the past two years. I created one for my phone about a month a go but I still felt like I needed a proper board up in my room so finally it is done.

The next day I go to the doctor as my prescription needs a refill and I walk away with the distinct feeling that I must lose the weight that the doctor has been nagging me about now. I had the sense that it has to be now or I will live to regret it. As per my last blog post, I was not happy about the idea of losing weight as it is a lifestyle change that I didn’t want to make but I knew it had to be done. So what did God do, He sends me an angel in the form of Kerry, to direct me to a book and offer to go on the journey with me. I buy the book the same day and read it. While I am reading it, everything just clicks into place and I know, I just know, that this time I will succeed. Thank you God and Thank you Kerry!

You probably think I am talking a load of bull but I have experienced that “click” every time I have made a major decision in my life, especially when it is one that I have been avoiding accepting because I am scared of the new reality it will bring. In my early 20’s, I had a 5 year on again/off again relationship with a guy that I adored. We were in 2 different places in our lives and, quite frankly, we were just very immature at the time. We knew we couldn’t give each other what the other wanted but we were not prepared to let go. Then one day, he did something that made me realise that it was time to let go. It was very minor but that “click” kicked in and that was that I walked away. I did start questioning my decision after a few months but God quickly gave me a reality check and made sure that thought didn’t enter my head again. I cried for days but once I stopped I was good to go again and never looked back. When I gave up smoking, I dragged my feet about it until one day, while watching the budget speech, I just decided this was it. I was not wasting another blue dime on cigarettes, I picked up the book on giving up smoking from my book shelf (I had purchased it about a month earlier) and while I was reading it, click, click and click happened, and that was that. I haven’t picked up a cigarette in 6 years and 11 months. When I am done, I am done.

There are a few other examples I can think of but I’m sure you get the point. I heard and felt that click while reading that book so I am done with this weight and this diabetes that tried to take up residence in my body. Not today bugger. Not today! So it’s day 2 of this new journey and new reality. There are three obstacles that I need to overcome to make this work.

  1. Drinking black coffee. It’s never quite being my thing
  2. Giving up snacking. I do it when I am bored or need to think.
  3. Cut down on my carbs

Black coffee has been overcome! I had my first cup yesterday and actually enjoyed it. This evening I reached for the milk in the fridge and felt nauseous at the thought of adding it to my coffee. Mental switch officially done and dusted. Giving up snacking will be done. If i think back to my thin days, I didn’t snack as a general rule. I at when I was hungry and that was that. I ate to live and i did not live to eat and I was happy so it will not kill me not to snack. I will still be happy. My wallet will be happy with a lower grocery bill and my body will be happy because it won’t constantly have to work on digesting food.

Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

I am still working on the mental trick to cut down on carbs but I am not too stressed about it. One way or the other, the comfort carbs days have come to an end. Cheerio comfort carbs. Thank you for the comfort but it’s time to move on now. Do note that if you see me in the next few days and I appear a bit crabby, please bear with me, I am just adjusting to the lack of comfort carbs.

The book, for those who are interested, is about Intermittent fasting. I had researched the topic to death last year when my doctor first recommended it but there were no clicks. While reading the book, everything that I researched about banting and intermittent fasting came together in a nice little package that went …you guessed it…click. The right book at the right time. The book is called Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens if you would like to read it.

The effect is slow apparently so don’t expect a new me strolling down the street in the next few weeks but definitely in the next few months.

Welcome 47 and my New Reality! I am ready for you.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to like and share if did. I would love to hear your tips and tricks with Intermittent fasting . Bye for now.

Featured

It is amazing what a difference a decade makes.

Holy Macaroni! It’s 31 days to a new decade you guys!!! How is that even possible? I have just been through the what felt like the longest week of my life and today I wake up to realise that not only is the year almost over but a whole decade! I have to say though that this has been a decade I can look back on with a sense of pride. I have definitely come a loooong way.

Photo by Joonas kääriäinen on Pexels.com

Last decade this time, I was at home, recovering from the shock of being a new mother, single, and in a city with no support system and, at the same time, I was still trying to adjust to my relatively new management role. The first year of being a manager is probably the hardest and I was not prepared for it mentally. My stress was affecting my one year old son and I just didn’t have the tools or the support system to get me through it all so I quit. I have no regrets though. My son needed me more at the time and I was fortunate that I could take that time out so that I could spend quality time with him and help him feel secure. When you don’t have to have to worry about the demands that a job places on you, you suddenly find that you have ample patience to help your little one discover the world. It was an amazing time in my life and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share it with my munchkin.

I eventually got bored and the money started to run out and I had no plan for myself. I just knew that I needed to get back to work and I felt a little more in control of who I was. I was fortunately that an old role that I had had become available. It was a demotion but that was fine. I was not ready to put myself through the drama of management again. I wanted to be able to work and have the space to enjoy watching and guiding my son through these really important years in his life. There would be time enough for a career later. What a journey it has been! I have had the privilege of adding to my lists of cities of the world visited. London, Liverpool, Stuttgart, Accra, Shanghai, Dubai. I found my passion, namely consumer research. I enjoy it so much that enrolled for a BA in Psychology and Anthropology. I will complete this in 2020. Funny that in 2010 I was awarded my BCom in Marketing Management and in 2020 it will be my BA. My BCom I did because I had to but my BA I did because I wanted to. I definitely enjoyed my BA more.

I have been able to buy a home for my son and I and all out of my own pocket as I have only received maintenance for my son for 7 months in total over these 10 years. This experience has taught me that God always has my back. I must never rely on people to fulfill my needs, especially financially, I need to put my trust in God and what I need will be made available as I need it. When I fell pregnant, my best friend had said to me that I must never worry about money for my son. The money will come as and when I need it and she was right. She has always had extremely strong faith in God and I never understood it but now I do and I am grateful that God has surrounded me with His most faithful servants as they have been like my earthly angels. I am thankful for His grace as we would not have all we have and have done all we have done if were not for His grace. Thank you Father.

In addition to my growth, my son has grown physically and as a person. He started out the decade knee-high to his mum and finishes it at chin height (Aaargh! he is growing so fast!) This week he gave the welcome speech at his school’s awards days for the 1st time. He spoke so well. I was bursting with pride!

In a nutshell, through this decade, I have grown and I can definitely say that I am in no way in the same place I was a decade ago physically, spiritually and emotionally. I entered this decade living from day to day with no clear vision of what I wanted for myself or who I was or wanted to be. I leave this decade with a very clear vision and plan for my life. I have learned so many lessons and most importantly, I have learned the power of faith. I am so excited about the coming decade because now I know that everything I want is on the other side of faith and hard work. What I seek seeks me. I don’t need to fight for anything. I need to:

  • be clear about my request/intention,
  • believe I will receive it,
  • display active faith,

and that which was always intended for me will come when I least expect it. It doesn’t matter what it is. It can be love, money, a trip, or even something mundane as a new pen. What I seek seeks me. I find that thought so comforting.

Image: Canva

Another very important lesson I have finally learned this decade is to have boundaries with the people I love. One of three things will happen:

  • they will value our relationship enough to understand and respect my boundaries because they are a part of my “lifetime” people, my tribe; or
  • they will not value our relationship and walk away, in which case it just means that their “reason/season” in my life and, mine in theirs, has come to an end; or
  • they will not value our relationship initially and walk away because they need to discover their own boundaries, but they will come back because they are also part of my “lifetime” people, my tribe.

Eventually I learnt to accept that the ones that didn’t come back were not a loss by any means. They were just never meant to be a part of my the rest of my journey. Space also needs to made for those that are. Thank you to all who have passed through my life and to especially to all those who have chosen to stay. I look forward to an even better 2020 and beyond with you. Love you loads.

So, 2020 and beyond…I am so excited to welcome you! I will once again spend each day of December being grateful for one thing everyday. This really allowed me to step into 2019 with high energy and an expectation of a good year and I was not disappointed. I hope that you will join me in sharing the things you are grateful for each day in December. You won’t regret it.

Image: Canva

I would love to hear about the changes that have happened in your life and about the lessons you have learned. Thanks for reading this post. Please like and share if you enjoyed it.

Featured

Skin care: If I knew then what I know now

I always found skin care quite daunting until I started working in the industry. In this post, I share with you the basics which will help you keep your skin looking and feeling great.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing a few basic skin care tips at a friends Make-up Workshop. It reminded me that not everyone automatically knows how to look after their skin. I have had the pleasure of working in skin care for over 15 years and that’s when I really started learning about my skin and how to take care of it. Not that I started implementing what I was learning then (silly me). I did eventually though after a bout of adult acne. The difference shows. In addition a visit to a consumer about 10 years ago made me start taking my skin care routine really seriously. I’ll share the story with you a little later.

The Basic Steps for Good Skin

There are a few basic steps that one must follow to have good skin. While genetics do play a role, the environment in which we live does take it’s toll on our skin and these few steps will go a long way to help counteract these effects. This steps aren’t exhaustive and do not necessarily apply to severe skin conditions. For severe skin conditions it always best to seek advice from a dermatologist.

So how do you keep your skin looking and feeling healthy you ask. Well, those 3 steps that you keep hearing about are your starting point.

Flaming cleanser dispensed into ladiy’s hand
Image: Canva

1. Cleanse – cleanse your face daily. Cleanse at least once a day. We are exposed to so much dust, exhaust fumes and other sources of pollution at every turn and it is important to remove them from your skin daily. Let’s not forget all the make-up that people wear today. I must admit, I suck at make-up application generally so I often watch make-up artist’s tutorials with great fascination on IGTV. I am always awed by the art form that make-up application has become and amazed at the amount of make-up it takes to achieve the beautiful results I see. Make-up users definitely need a pre-cleanse step!

So what do you cleanse with? A face wash or a cleansing milk is a good place to start. Avoid toilet soaps if you can afford it as these soaps tend to be a bit harsh for your face. A facial bar is often milder than a toilet soap though but your mildest options tend to be facial washes and milk cleansers. For your pre-wash/make-up removal, use wipes or a micellar water or an oil-based cleanser that dissolves your make-up and makes it easy to remove without tugging at your skin.

Image: Canva

2. Tone – This is the step that we often miss out on. I am often guilty of this. This step helps remove any residual cleanser left on the skin and prepares the skin for your moisturizer. It also adds to that refreshed feeling on skin after cleansing.

Toners should ideally have low to no alcohol as alcohol can dry out your skin.

Image: Canva

3. Moisturise – Your skin type and your skin’s specific needs will determine what moisturiser you choose. Which ever moisturiser you choose, try to ensure that it has an SPF of at least 15 in it and it should also have UVA coverage. Look for broad spectrum coverage. Do also give your skin a light massage when you apply your moisturiser.

Which brings me to what should now be called the 4th and probably most important step if you want to age well 😜. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Apply sunscreen all over your face, neck and décolleté. Even on the tips of your ears. Do it all year round. All 4 steps should be done on your neck and décolleté as well. Trust me on this one or you will end up with a young looking face as you age and a collection of scarves and polo necks to try and hide the fact that your neck and décolleté have aged very differently.

Let me share a little story with you that really gave me a wake up call about the importance of skin care. I once went on a consumer visit to chat to a lady about her skin care routine and needs. (This is my favourite part of my job by the way.) The lady happened to have a twin who was not there at the tome. The lady we spoke to had the most beautiful facial skin. She was in her late 40’s or so but her skin was so smooth and even in texture and tone. She told us how she stayed out of the sun as much as she could and wore a sunscreen and hat and she always followed the 3 steps at minimum. Then she showed us her neck and chest and spoke about how she regretted not giving that area the same amount of attention as she did her face. It clearly had sunspots and her skin’s texture was not as even. Alarm bells went off in my head because at the point I was barely keeping up with the 3 steps on my face on a daily basis. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Then she pulled out a picture of her twin sister who was a sun worshipper. Well! Her sister looked way older than her and had her skin was mottled with sun spots and appeared uneven in texture. As you can imagine, I ran out and bought sunscreen that very day. I now wear it religiously every day and actually panic when I forget it. I am still not in the habit of applying it through out the day ( as I should because I sit near a window at work) but at least I apply it in the morning. 😜. The gist of the story is that sunscreen is a must. There are quite a few on the market now that are transparent so you don’t need to worry about the white residue or film left on your skin if that’s your concern.

But wait…that’s not all you can do

There are 3 additional steps that one should take as well.

  • Treat with a serum especially if you have a particular skin concern. The actives in serum tend to be more concentrated so you should use it at night. Some concentrates can make your skin a little thinner so you must use a sunscreen to get maximum benefit from it. The eye are also needs special treatment with an eye cream to help keep the skin moisturised and to help with dark circles.
  • Exfoliate about once a week. Not only does your skin look and feel so smooth afterward but it removes the debris from your pores reducing the chances of having a break out and it also prepares your skin for the the moisturiser or treatment you will us next. In fact it is a great thing to do just before you pamper your skin. Which brings to my final step…
  • Pamper your skin at least once a week or once a month, depending on your needs and means. Try a sheet mask or during avo season, make an avo mask. If you can afford going to a salon for a facial regularly then go for it. Don’t forget to give your skin a good massage a well as when you pamper it.

And don’t forget your sunscreen…

That’s it for the skin care basics for now. Technically that was 8 steps in all: pre-cleanse, cleanse, exfoliate, tone, treat, moisturise, pamper, sunscreen. I guess the Korean 10 step routine is not that far a stretch. I hope I did’t teach you anything new because it means you are taking great care of your skin already! Well done to you! If you aren’t yet, now is as good as any time to start. Next month I will share how to go about choosing a cleanser and moisturiser for your skin. Once we are done with face care, we will chat about body care.

Thanks for reading. Please do like and share if you enjoy it or feel someone you know may find it useful. Once again, if you have any type of skin condition, it’s best to get it looked at by a dermatologist first get their guidance on the right types of products to use on your skin.

Have a fantastic week and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Featured

“What you resist, persists” Carl Jung

It’s being a while but here I am. This has been such an interesting few weeks that I had to share. I have been on a bit of a “losing” streak of late. Two weeks ago I lost my drivers license. Last week I lost my tested sunglasses and on Saturday I lost my glucometer. 3 weeks ago I also lost a book that had some of my notes in it and that’s what really seemed to kick this streak off. You can imagine my frustration each time each item went missing!

Lost

Like I said, frustration has been the order of the day. The last time I had my book was in a meeting room. I only realised it was gone that evening at home. I didn’t worry as i just assumed I had left it on my desk and would get it in on Monday. I did have a nagging sense that I was lying to myself as I didn’t remember seeing it there but I let the thought go. The book was not there on Monday and to be honest, I still have no idea where it is. My driver’s license was last seeing when security scanned it to let me in on the Wednesday as I couldn’t find my access card. Luckily the access card was in my bag. My glasses were last seen about the same day. I was convinced that I had said to myself that I won’t need them so I will just leave them on the table. They weren’t on the table when I needed them on Sunday 🤦🏽‍♀️. And then on Saturday,I last remembered placing my glucometer in my bag before dropping my son off and going to a wedding. On Sunday morning it was no where to be seen.

Resistance

Naturally, with the loss of each item, I spent hours tracing my steps in my head, then physically in some cases. I beat myself up for being so careless. I couldn’t believe thatI now had to go and stand in that damn drivers license queue a whole year earlier than necessary! Really Michelle! 🤬 Naturally, the longer I tried to control the situation, the longer it took to find the items. So I stopped. The saying “What you resist persists” kept popping into my head so decided to stop resisting. Now those who know me, know that I am a bit of a cynic but in order to not have to join that darn licensing queue,I decided to put the “What you embrace, dissolves” saying to the test. I had nothing further to lose and everything to gain.

Man on edge of mountain ledge
Quote: Florence Scovel Shinn. Image: Canva. Created by Grounded African

Embracing and having Faith

What do you know, it worked! You know how that say that no problem is too big or too small for God? Well “they” know what they are talking about! I can officially vouch for the small problems part right now. So here’s what happened… I prayed. I asked God to either send me to the area/person where my license was or send the person to me with it. I also affirmed that I cannot lose what was mine by Divine right and I put the issue out of my mind. Lo and behold people, that afternoon no less, I get a message to say that a lady at work had picked up my license in the car park that morning and was looking for me so that she could return it. Just like that! Boom! I had my license back 😃. How cool is that!

So yesterday I was having my nails done and related my license story to my beautician when I realised that I had better do the same for my glasses and my glucometer. Yes, you guessed it. Today I have both my glasses and glucometer back. Alex packed my glasses in an arb packet and left it in a corner when clearing the table last week. The packet caught my eye this morning because I hadn’t seen it previously when looking for the glasses. There amongst a toy ant water bottle was my glasses case. I did say it was an arb packet didn’t I. 😜 As for my glucometer, turns out it fell out of my bag and under the car seat on Saturday. The car wash guys found it today when they were vacuuming. I had put my bag in the boot on my way to the wedding so when I checked the boot and didn’t see it there I assumed I lost it at the wedding. I don’t normally wash my car for months at a time and todayI just decided to go for it because I knew there would be space on a rain threatening day. Glad I followed that instinct.

The book has yet to find it’s way back to me but I now have faith that it will. Everything else did. For all I know, this was God’s way of making me put the texts I have been reading to the test so I increase my faith in Him. If that was the reason, then you better believe it worked. I am so excited! I just need to remember to put the big things in His hands as well…

So there you have it. Keep the faith and trust your instincts. As Ram Dass says, ” The next message you need is right where you are.”

Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed it, you know wha to do, like and share 🙂

Sunset over a lake
Quote: Ram Dass. Image:Canva. Created by Grounded African

Featured

“The things you own end up owning you.” Joshua Fields Millburn

I often find myself getting irritated when other people misplace my stuff. Mondays are the worst because my helper comes in on that day and she tends to place stuff in the nearest hidey hole. My boyfriend also pointed out to me that I am so protective of my stuff. Naturally I was very defensive but he was right. At the end of the day it is just stuff. Why do I cling to it so? Why do I let it rule my life so? It takes up so much space mentally, physically and emotionally. Why do I let the things I own, own me? How do I stop it?

Part historic/Part Genetic

If I think back, as a kid I always felt like I never had enough of the “nice” things. I had to wear my sister’s hand-me-downs mostly although I did get new clothes every now and then. It’s hard to develop your style when all that’s available to you is someone else’s style choices and the two of you are like chalk and cheese style wise. 🤦🏽‍♀️. When I was in high school, I tried my hand at sewing my own clothes. I sucked at it so I had to give up. 😂 As a result, once I was working, I could not stop clothes and shoe shopping. I treasured every item. I would be crushed when an item was damaged.

Seems my sisters and I inherited a hording gene from my mum as well. 😜. Thankfully, living is a smaller place has turned out be a blessing in disguise as I have had to get rid of a lot of my stuff when I moved in. There is definitely more that needs to go but at least I have made progress. I have to admit, although it was not easy to part with some of it, I definitely felt lighter emotionally and mentally when I was done. It’s easy to get caught up in believing that you need the stuff that you choose to surround yourself with. In my case, it gave me a sense of control of my life, a sense of comfort and a sense of security. Quite ironic for a self-confessed committment phobe. I actually committed to a lot of unnecessary stuff. 😜

Making the change

Let me start by saying that I have not reached the end goal yet of a minimalist lifestyle but I have definitely started the journey and it is quite a ride. One of things that prompted the start of the journey was the death of my mum. She saved so much and fought us tooth and nail when we wanted to clear out some of the clutter. Packing up the household contents was both a nostalgic journey as well as a hard lesson about the futility of hoarding. We are probably all guilty of holding onto items given to us by family and dear friends and I can understand why, but, if we are honest with ourselves, there is no good reason for keeping stuff “just in case”. As I am writing this, I am actually just looking at the shelves in my wardrobe which are an absolute mess and am having a good chuckle. I clearly still have a very very long way to go. The worst part is getting frustrated when things fall on my toes because the shelves are so stuffed with things that I never use it but never doing anything about it. 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️ Guess what I will be doing tonight…

One of the ways I also prompt myself to declutter is to put a monetary value on the stuff that is just taking up space in my world. I try to think of it as capital that I can invest in my future. I often try and think of purchases in this way as well. What job am I hiring this item for in my life? Will it become a white elephant or is it going to add value emotionally, physically or financially to mine, or my son’s life, or allow me to bring value to someone else’s life? And yes, sometimes life is too short and I buy something because I like it and I want it and because, at the end of the day, life is for the living.😜

Electronic gadgets on a white table top surrounding a quote by Joshua Fields Millburn
Quote by Joshua Fields Millburn. Image from Canva. Created by Grounded African

Lastly, another reason I will continue this journey and live more of a minimalist lifestyle is because I don’t want to be controlled by my goods anymore. It’s not fun. It weighs me down and adds no value to my life in any way. It makes me fall into the trap of being judgmental of myself and others because of what they do and don’t have. How sad is that? The Jones’s are welcome to their stuff. I am no longer about that life. I will not lie to myself, I will always keep a few pieces that are dear to me near and serve no other purpose. I am making space for things that matter like love, experiences, living my purpose and being the best mother I know how to be. I will no longer be owned by my things.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear about your journey of taking back control after a life of consumerism and keeping up with the Jones’s. Let me know in the comments.

31 Days of Gratitude 2022-Day 5

Today I went for a walk in the late afternoon with my friend. We had her 2 year old son with us. He is a ball of energy, absolutely adorable and super smart. About a km away from her house, the weather changed. The wind started howling. We were pelted with fine sand and big drops of rain started to fall.

In stead of being afraid, my friend’s son was thrilled to experience this change in weather. He started shouting and calling out everything he was experiencing. We are so addicted to our walk that the rain never stops my friend and I but I don’t think we appreciate the experience as much as we did today. Fortunately it was just a few drops today so her little man didn’t get soaked. The point, though, is that we got to experience Mother Nature through the eyes of a child and that is always a delightful experience. I am grateful.

%d bloggers like this: