Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reset the Clocks

Stop the bus, I need to get off.  Let’s press pause, for just a moment.  Let’s stop for a minute and take a knee.  How many times have we wanted to do that?  I find myself there right now.  I need to pause, for just a moment so I can catch my breath, so I can become whole again and then … if needs be, we can continue from where we left off but I am hoping that with wholeness and a moment to think, we will see and we will learn.  But life in her beautiful, complex, sassy humour doesn’t necessarily work that way.  Does she?

I find myself in need of a Clock Reset, a do over.  The timing of which I find rather funny, considering those who set their clocks back for winter, have just done so.  It’s also sobering to think, that we are well into November.  Eleven months have flown by … how did we do?  So with just a few short weeks remaining in this year (my poor friends are being tormented by my regular Christmas Countdown), how do we plan to handle November?  And December, what do you propose to do with her?

I have been thinking about this blog post for about three weeks, its taunted me; for brief moments it would appear in front of my mind’s eye, but then it either didn’t feel right(write) or I wasn’t near my laptop or the snippet evaporated as quickly as it arrived.  Then slowly, when I settled this morning in a quiet moment, bits and pieces filtered in, more clutches of words really, a song here and there, a line from a poem.  These clutches of words, the line from the poem, required - from me at least - a quick Clock Reset to Finish Strong (there you go, that is the first clutch of words).  A quick Clock Reset is required to Persevere (even though we have used this as a word before, we had it for June 2015).   Another was Lean In, now an incredibly strong catch phrase, made famous by Sheryl Sandberg.  More were Don’t Give Up!  and Go Big or Go Home!  Whatever your phrase is going to be for November, take a moment to think about it between beats, a quick Clock Reset, a quick calibration, a minute to re-group, re-collect, re-align, to Finish 2015 Strong!  I think that one is going to be my catch phrase for November – Finish Strong! 

Let’s take a moment, let’s reset the clocks and in that moment between now and then …

 … in that space between breathing in and out, in that moment between now and then, in that zone between right and wrong, between blame … lets connect and just enjoy each other’s company and remember what we love about each other, what we love about life, what we love about who we are, what we love about what we do … and in that moment of re-grouping and re-aligning … get stronger, whole(er), and then … then … we can Finish Strong!

One of the songs that has hounded me for the last couple of weeks has been Runnin’ (credited below) and the line that keeps finding me is … If I lose myself, I lose it all.  Every time I hear that line, it is like a bell ringing LOUDLY through my head, don’t lose yourself in the process Collette.  The other two songs have equal resonance, Hello from the Outside and I pick my Poison and it’s you!  I’m going to run with If I lose myself, I lose it all. 

What are you going to do in November to Finish Strong?

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Songs of the Post … much like the blog today, more than one Song Runnin' by Naughty Boy ft. BeyoncĂ©, Arrow Benjamin or Hello by Adele or Poison by Rita Ora.

PS – As of today 8 Nov 2015, only 46 sleeps until Christmas …

All credit to the artists named.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Gather and Remember!

Apologies for the silence … when I tell you that August and September have been a blur, I kid you frikken NOT … but what a beautiful blur … so where were we …

An interesting observation.  In November last year, I attended corporate training and when I tell you that I was out of my depth … again, I am not being falsely modest.  As I looked around the room, there were a couple of people from the nuclear industry (the frikken nuclear industry!!!!), a helicopter pilot, some people in the transport world, a couple of folks from health & safety … and me.  As I looked around the room I was intimidated into mumbles.  At the end of day 1 (of 4 days) my head was pounding and I was wondering how on earth I got in the room.  But then a very interesting thing happened, early on day 2 it dawned on me … we were all here to learn the same thing and what I found was that if I silenced the voices questioning why I was in the room (in my head and if truth be uttered, written on a few faces) these fine clever(er) people literally grew me (up) into a different space.  I definitely left more informed, but I am convinced I left smarter by being around them, watching how they learned, listening to them (oh and the training).

I had the same wonderful experience this weekend, as I spent the weekend with a gathering of wonderful, warm, giving, published and yet to be published South African Romance Writers .  It was exciting and nerve-racking and inspiring and humbling (yes I am aware there are supposed to be comma’s there – I am using and on purpose) … and it was wonderful!  (I can’t even meditate to calm down.)  I have come away from these two days elevated by ideas, thoughts, learning's, wicked jokes, eye-candy, laughter and support.  ROSACon2015 has been a resounding success and I am the better for it, and fingers crossed, a better writer.

So what have I learned … and where am I going with this … I am learning that it is imperative to gather with your tribe, the more the merrier.  I love love love the fact that I can be with friends and family who have known me for decades years and when we have all gorged on the braai, we can undo our jeans buttons together but sometimes it is so important to be with people who are like minded in the pursuit of your dreams and – at the risk of quoting Josh Groban – who raise you up!   

That said, within the first two hours of the event, listening to the speakers and terminology, I wanted to dig a hole … and then I remembered …

So hang with those that love you, those that you can be you with … but seek out and gather with those that raise you up, that stretch you to be a better you.  And then remember that you are made of star-stuff …

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … Cheerleader by OMI   (Although OMI is Jamaican … he is definitely ROCKING an African vibe and someone was channeling Hugh Masekela in there too.) Or this AMAZING version Cheerleader a cappella by Pentatonix both are AWESOME!  Turn up the sound!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Problem or Solution? You Get to Choose!

So here’s the thing … for a long, really long while I have been praying and contemplating change in a few areas of my life, like ripples on a river the Divine delivered a truckload, in fact there could have been three truckloads and you guessed it, they all arrived at the same time.

Overwhelmed and mired down by the logistics and the reality of all of the change, did I mention I asked for it … I got a little tangled up in the scariness of how change presents itself.  And then it started.  The downward spiral into WHAT THE FRIGGY DIGGY WAS I THINKING? (exchange said FRIGGY DIGGY for any expletive of your choosing).  Fear galloped in and I wanted to swim back to the burning boat instead of ahead to the scary locals on the shore.  Weighed down by the change, bad habits became my fall-back friend.  Slowly my frame wilted (and doubled), the spring in my step dragged, my language changed and all of a sudden woe was snippy me.  At the same time, I found myself watching ugly fall-out in a space just off my periphery.  Of course that I could see, clearly … and sadly it was (is) horrible!  Miss-understanding, ego, stubborn, obstinate, error, confusion and what looked like someone stirring the pot, just slightly off to the left.  Of course I was so incredibly busy and my meditations, affirmations and gratitude’s went right out of the window, until I remembered my name again or the dog stopped growling at me.

Then my sister reminded me of the story of the old Indian Chief speaking to his grandchild about the battle between Two Wolves , good and evil.  The grandchild asked his wise Grandfather, which one wins and his Grandfather says to him … the one that you feed.  So true.  It hit me!  And words that I often say to my children, stumbled into my mind … you are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution – you get to choose.  Right in that moment, I chose and I HAD to be part of the solution.

Deepak, bless him, started another 21 day Mediation, refocusing my mind (of course all in perfect Divine Timing).  Meditations commenced, gratitude’s restarted, manifestation resumed, and sure enough … change started to look beautiful again and not quite so overwhelming.

So what have I learned … I learned that God does indeed have a sense of humour, just when I thought I had gotten a handle on a few items, I was reminded of my humility … again.  I was reminded how hard I had worked to not be the control freak because really I am not great when I don’t know what I am doing.  I was presented with an opportunity to learn gracefully … I am not sure I passed that course – but I have no doubt that lesson will come around again.  I hope to handle it better next time …

I was also reminded that it is imperative to be part of the solution and that sometimes that means stepping back, releasing the ego of that moment, and enjoying the small victories. 

This particular bout of change reminded me of my boundaries, how important they are.  We really do teach people how to treat us!

And that I must use my Super-Powers for good, for the solution and for positive change. 

July’s word of the month is Solution
May we have them, may we bring them, may we make them beneficial to all …

Holding out for gorgeous!!!

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … In the arms of an angel  Sarah McLachlan

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

3mm Off!

Once upon a time, there was a very wealthy man and he had made his millions, so he decided he would spend the rest of his days mastering the fine art of getting a very small dimpled ball into a really small hole far far away.  He practiced every day, he was dedicated to achieving and succeeding.  He went to golf weekends away where he studied and practiced under masters, he bought the finest golf clubs, he only used the best balls and like many times before, one day he went out with his golf coach.  He checked the wind, he silently adjusted his feel, he held the club correctly, he bent his knees and softened his elbows and then he drew back, a long exacting swing and he struck the ball.  It was a mighty thwack and he stared off into the distance, to realize in horror that he was miles away from the raised flag that signaled his destination.  He clutched his golf club with frustrated rage and struggled not to swing it across the green in utter failure.  He wanted to scream and shout and throw a tantrum, his frustration was so long and so deep.  Quietly and calmly a voice came from behind him and said, you were about 3mm off, let’s try again.  The Millionaire turned to his Golf Coach absolutely aghast and wanted to ask him if he was mentally ill or if he was indeed blind.  “How could you possibly mean that Coach, I was off by a mile!”  The Millionaire started walking back to the golf cart.  The coach looked up at him and said, it is all about perspective.  If you alter your perspective and indeed your swing by just 3 small millimeters then you will land in the hole.  You are aiming for the distance miles away, your swing is too wide.  But if you concentrate on the point of connection with the ball, and adjust that by just 3mm’s, then you will achieve your goal.

I remember hearing that story and as the Motivational Speaker said, you were off by 3mm’s … the whole room opened up to me and I got it.  Sometimes we are so deep and heavy and lost in the storm that we can’t raise our heads to see the bigger picture … then we must go to those people that bless our lives and ask for perspective.  People who help us to see the bigger picture, people whom we trust, people who have our highest good at heart, people who are able to assist us in shifting our perspectives … those people.

At the moment I am in the eye of the storm … so easily I could be swallowed into that hole but this long weekend (in South Africa) has given me time to rest (much much needed rest), re-group, (in the words of the great GPS) re-calculate and re-member what is important to me.  An opportunity to re-turn to source.  Sometimes we are so busy in the do’ing and in the achiev’ing that we lose touch with the be’ing.

So what have I learned … I used to work with a woman, who one day when we were in the thick of activities, she stopped me and said “Collette, enjoy the journey”.  Just that, just those simple words …

I suppose something I am learning, dare I say it, (as I get older) is that LIFE doesn’t have to be hard, yes there are hard moments and difficult things that we have to traverse but in so doing, we MUST enjoy the journey or else what is the point?  I do not, can not and will not believe that the Divine created us for struggle, torment and hardship.

So our challenge this month is two-fold … Our word for June is Perspective.  I challenge each and every one reading this to be someone’s Perspective Coach this month (remember the rules – love, big picture, trust, highest good at heart, a positive shift in perspective) to help one another see the situation differently, positively and to encourage.

And then to Enjoy the Journey, make it fun, make it real and make it manageable to your flow, to your level of busy.  Sometimes there is a need to push through to get to the other side of that goal, that target but we can’t do that all the time … Sometimes we need to be enjoying the journey …

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … Life is a Highway! By Rascal Flatts … I do love me a bit of Rascal Flatts!  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Be In Search Of The Music

I know, I know – sorry it’s been a wonderful (read crazy … but in the very best possible way) couple of months, since last I posted … my apologies, but it has been abundantly busy.  I have loved the jolt of energy that has spilled over into everything.  I have thought of you often (guiltily and lovingly) but my “next post” has been sparring with me and that particular post won’t be set free just yet because it was supposed to be all about Adventure and Abundance and the whoowhwoooo’ness of Change … BUT we aren’t going there just yet … watch this space …

I don’t know about you but my life is too obligated to keep up with TV, not to mention the guilt you have heaped on about how bad television is for young children – so our TV doesn’t go on until much later in the evenings and that is normally my Q to hit the hay.  Somewhere in season 2 I lost touch with Khaleesi and her winged friends, much to many folks horror, I have never watched a single episode of Suits and I won’t even consider The Walking Dead, but now thank heavens technology has come to my rescue (again) with PVR, TEVO and the ability to download. 

Quite by accident, recently I started watching Mozart in the Jungle.  I loved it - Instantly!  It’s a distressingly short program running only +- 30 minutes instead of the usual 45, but I absolutely LOVE it!  It is set in New York (always a winner) and the lead character is Rodrigo De Souza, the new Maestro of the New York Philharmonic.    I love the passion, the music, the delicious “behind the scenes” view of music in the making, I love the lead with his genius hair and his Latino accent.  Recently we watched him salsa with his people … man alive, can that man salsa!

Last week (S1/Ep4) we watched Rodrigo viewing ancient text scribbled by arguably the ultimate Maestro, Mozart.  As he sat, wearing white gloves to protect the paper, viewed through a glass box, he could hear the music in his head from the sheet music.  He was in awe.  He was completely taken up by the genius on the paper, that it came alive for him, he could hear it.  Suddenly Mozart himself stood next to him, berating Rodrigo for even looking at his text, while he continued to “play it safe”.  I can’t remember the exact dialogue but Mozart NAILED him (verbally of course) reminding him that greatness has never been achieved by playing it safe!


Instantly the “sparring blog” was shelved and I knew this had to be the next one … let’s be in search of the music!  Where are we playing it safe?  Are we even searching for the music?  Are we in pursuit or are we playing it safe?  Where am I playing it safe?  Am I seeing the music in every moment?  Rodrigo was, he was creating the music, if not with his hands conducting or playing an instrument, then in his mind.  He could hear the music in the traffic, in crossing a bridge, in walking along the sidewalk! 

Am I seeing the beauty in every moment or am I tainting it, by it not being quite perfect enough?  Am I hearing that child laughing, or am I annoyed by the noise?  Is my red wine glass half empty or am a savouring a beautiful Merlot with wonderful people?

So now how do I encapsulate that in one word for MayRecognize!  Let’s Recognize the beauty, let’s hear the music and if you can’t hear the music or aren’t able to just yet, then let’s go in search of it!  Let’s see that spectacular sunset, let’s watch those pigeons on the wall, sunning themselves to warm up in the nippy autumn crisp.

So what have I learned … In a moment of my life, when I stand on the precipice of change, I am daunted!  Very daunted!  A million questions and concerns run through my mind … but I truly believe that in life we only regret what we do not do, not what we do and we learn from.  What will I learn and where will it take me?

So what are we waiting for?  Are we in search of that music that makes our soul sing or are we comfortable with coasting?  There is no right or wrong, sometimes we need the world to chill and just for a moment to catch our breath but that doesn’t mean that in the silence and stillness, we still can’t be in search of the beauty in the music.

My challenge to you this month of May is to be in search, to Recognize the music, to see those beautiful moments and to love greatly every moment …

I would love to hear how and when you are hearing the music … Be In Search!

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … Love Me Like You Do! by Ellie Goulding

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Pen is Mightier and All That …

Well shine a light!  January 2015 is already a memory and February holds so much promise … how is 2015 treating you?

This post has been flirting with me for a while … so here we go!  Sometime between March 1973 and February 2015 (it might have started before – who knows) … I fell in love!  Undiluted, unadulterated, unapologetic LOVE … with words.  I don’t remember the exact moment, but in the quietest whisper, it became my truth!  There is huge irony here, because spelling and me, we are not friends but I love them all the same (and I am very grateful for modern tools).   I particularly love the interesting ones, but then, I love the simple one’s too.  Just this week, I learned and had cause to use the word CABOTAGE – who knew!

Just before she died, I watched an interview with Maya Angelou.  I loved watching her.  I hung off every word.  I loved her wisdom, her statuesque carriage.  I loved her fine southern Baptist point of view.  I listened and waited on her every pearl.  She spoke with such grace and poise, and purpose of word, that you couldn't help but be arrested by her stories.  In this interview, which was an Oprah's Master Class  … she spoke of many things, but it was the portion on words, that has stayed with me.

Our word for February 2015 is Words!

She said that she thought that words were things … of this she was convinced.  She went on to say that we must be careful of the words we use, or that we allow to be used around us.  She spoke of the power of words and that someday we would be able to measure their power.  She thought that words got into our upholstery, that they stuck to our wallpaper, they got into our clothes and then finally, that they were ingest into our skin.  I had a HUGE moment!  In the words of the beautiful Iyanla Vanzant OH MY GOD!  (and if you knew me, that is not something I say very often).  I loved Maya’s words, I agreed completely, but with one addition … I believe that the power of our words is here already.  And they are mighty!  We can’t reel in that unkind statement made in anger and we can’t silence the mean comment that rattles around in our head on re-play at 3am, which echo’s our deepest, most secret fear.  We can’t say that final farewell because we hesitated and the moment is lost … forever. 

The power of words is here already and it can so be measured, even if it is just in the amount on the therapy bills.

But here is the good news … we can use our powers for good and carefully lace our words with encouragement and growth, and lift and promote with but a word.  The power of our words can be measured in how much we believed in them!  How much we encouraged.  How much we tell them we love them.  How much we step out in faith and connected with another human being.  That is their power!  And that power is placed in yours and my hands every second of every day.

So, this month’s challenge … lets watch those words.  Are we telling those we truly love, how much and as often as possible.  That quiet child, that needs your extra support.  That loud insecure friend, that they are enough.  Are we encouraging our friends and colleagues that are doing those wonderful crazy things like sky-diving, because in life we only regret what we do not do.  Are we stepping out on faith and telling that person that they are special in our lives.  Are we messaging a friend who is going through a tough time, that we are thinking of them!  Are we stepping into a space for someone who has lost someone close.  Are we carefully choosing our words, with someone who needs our boundaries? 

Let’s use those wonderful beautiful words for empowerment this month.  Let’s trend good, positive words.  Let’s annoy with kindness, using words to their maximum effectiveness.

Of course I would love to hear from you … positive stories of how your month of using words, changed not only yours but other people’s lives … in the words of Maya Angelou … Just do right

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … Say Something! By A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here We Go …

I’ve been really scratching my brain, my 3 words have been playing hide & go change with me for the last couple of weeks.  I have wrestled, changed, added, removed and re-added words for weeks now.  How have you been doing with your 3 Words for 2015?   I could have so easily rolled my 2014 words (Writing Abundance Adventure) into 2015.  I would love more and more of those again please … but that would have been completely cheating and I have pressed my friends, family and readers to dig deep and find interesting, exciting words.  So it is time to commit and reveal.

My 3 words for 2015 are Opportunities ♥ Writing ♥ Luminescence! 

I always feel a strong sense of optimism as we surge into a new year, particularly with all the cleaning and clearing out we did over the festive season.  We de-cluttered, re-purposed and binned like we were possessed (in the best possible way of course) but I feel it really strongly this year, there is something about 2015 … it is going to be a game changer of a year … can you feel it?

So I truly do believe that Opportunities are going to be abundant and abounding this year – that one really excites me (course, it doesn’t take much, now does it).

Writing is one of the places where my soul frolics … and I am looking forward to more writing, exciting opportunities and great things in that space!

Now Luminescence roared in at the ninth hour (literally this weekend).  This particular use of the word Luminescence is about me living in my authentic light.  Not emitting the glare of trying to fit in and taking on the persona of the situation but being contented and courageous in what I bring, what I contribute and what I add to the table … holding that space with grace and wholeness.  I’m extraordinarily excited about this word now.

I truly believe in this 3-word process … it sets the tone.  And many revisit and remind both themselves and I, throughout the year, that they are on-track and are actively working those 3 empowering words for the year.  Those moments make my soul rejoice!  And the feedback this year has been no less impressive! 

One set of words blew my mind, from a 14-year old, her 3 words were Patience, Perseverance and Confidence.  When she told me, it almost knocked me off my feet.  If only I had practiced this at 14 … just WOW!

Another’s were Happiness, Love & Success.  Another’s Home, Travel & Learn.  I love it!

After some time thinking about … what will your 3 personal words be for 2015.  Write them down, put them on the fridge and go get them!

2015 I am coming for you … and it is going to be a blast!

Let’s do it!

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … These Days by Take That!