Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - What do you see?

My 8 year old and I see a high-rise for fairies J.

Much love

All credit to the photographer – unknown.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Live with Great Courage!

Those fabulous people that share my real world know, I am the eternal planner.  Sometimes I worry that stops me from living in the now but I must be honest, I take great calm and comfort (probably safety) in knowing where I have been, where we are going, what is coming up and what is happening next … for the next 6 – 9 months.  Even if I am sent a spiritual curveball, that requires the Great Divine GPS to “recalculate”, that is fine … I can handle most things having a plan in place, even if the plan changes. 

But planning, facing and living our lives boldly, takes great courage!  In the words of the great David Foster “there’s nothing ordinary in the living of each day”.  And I am always blown away when I see it in someone.  Tucked away in March’s word of encourage, is our word for April … a word that has great power … courage! 

Somehow we slipped right through March (too swiftly) and we are already half way through April … so there is no time to lose.  I invite you (and me), to live with great courage as we navigate the rest of April 2014 and indeed the rest of our lives.

Courage is very personal, and for everyone it means something different;  taking a stand, speaking up for yourself, staying silent when words will not help, setting boundaries for yourself, speaking your truth, facing that scary test you know you have to face, keeping your head and your head up in the eye of an unfair storm, making yourself vulnerable by telling someone you love them, walking away from that relationship that isn’t serving you …

This journey, at times, can be … hard.

Over the last couple of weeks, my sister, some friends and I have been sharing thoughts around Marianne Williamson's  “A Year of Miracles – a Daily Devotional & Reflections”  (we highly recommend it) and again we were reminded of her powerful message in her words …

Every word of this poem blows my socks right off, every time!  But I’m particularly partial to this bit … “Your playing small does not serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”  I love it … it says LIVE AND DREAM BIG, WITH GREAT COURAGE because “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we're liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.”

I love that by us taking our lives in our own hands (with kindness) and by doing what we want (with gentleness) not what others want us to do, by going after our dreams, living large and out loud (respectfully), other people will think, well if she can, maybe I can and then tentatively take their steps, to do the same …

I’d love to hear what you are going to do next for you that is going to take courage.  Me?  I’m going to go edit another couple of chapters of my book … because every page I approve, is one page closer to publishing!

We can only do it with courage!

Love you all madly!  Let’s Make 2014 Count!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … The Power of the Dream!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ... That Soft Spot ...

When you look at this picture what do you see?  I won't tell you what my 13 year old said ... it was well disturbing.  But what do you see?  I would love to hear ...

All credit to the man, the soul and the photographer ... unknown

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March’s Magic!

And here we are … March 2014!  Ja, February is like that … short and sneaky but there is no reason why we can’t incorporate both our February action and our March action and do a double whammy of fabulousness, because they go hand in hand.  So February we were spreading the Kindness around … in March let’s do a little bit of Encouraging! 

So easy, again it doesn’t need to cost us any bucks (unless of course you want to do it with cake, balloons, flowers or a nice hot hunky strip-o-gram … ok maybe back to the chocolate!).

Again only one rule … it has to be sincere and honest(Is that one rule or two?)

For those of us who are parents, this action is thrust upon us, even if it doesn’t come naturally.  It is something that we find our little people need from us.  Everything, from taking that first intrepid step off the edge of the pool, as they jump into the cool deep.  Or that spirited High-5 we administer, with a resounding Good Job as they finished 11th in the merciless egg & spoon race.  It’s not that we don’t mean it, we do – we absolutely do!  After all, there were 28 other little angels in that event and my precious monkey came 11th in that fine field of athletes.  Encouragement is something that, eventually, comes naturally to those with children … they need it, we need it, to build confident little people for the future!

I’m suggesting stepping out of our comfort zone and encouraging grown-ups!  I work with some amazing people, senior leaders and sometimes I look at them and think … when last did someone tell you that you were doing a great job?  When last did you tell someone (above you on the food chain) that they were doing a great job!  I think the further up you go, you hear that less and less … sad really …

We all have friends, work colleagues, that person at work that drives you up the wall (not me of course), family that you are able to find something honest to encourage them about.  Someone who is really facing a bit of a major challenge, who doesn’t want to even speak about it but could do with a bit of “fluff conversation” and a cup of comforting tea … just to change the focus for a moment. 

I remember once watching a documentary on the need for human interaction; they were filming at a military hospital in some war-torn hell-hole.  The person in the bed had stepped on a mine or something and had lost major body parts - multiples, was badly burned, in terrible pain and was slowly, painfully, giving up the fight.  Another healing patient, a woman who had lost her leg, wanted to do something to encourage this man – a stranger - whom she had been silently watching.  She knew she couldn’t tell him anything that would ever make him feel better, who knew what was going on in his mind but still she wanted to do something.  She put on her Dress Military Uniform and she went quietly into his room.  After several quiet and confused minutes, with tears rolling down her face, all she quietly said was … “can I be here with you?”  I came undone.  The documentary went on to report, that for weeks she just stood there, for long periods of the day … but that eventually they started speaking and his health turned and he started to fight again and eventually his mangled body healed.

Who are you going to “stand” with in March?  Who are you going to encourage with a kind word, a supportive email or msg, or with a firm kick up the bum (sometimes encouragement takes that form too).

I know you can do it!  I know for some folks this is difficult … but I know that you can dig deep and encourage someone to stick to that eating plan, go with you to gym, look at that hurtful fight from another perspective, have faith in themselves to go for that daunting new job, be strong enough to say NO!

I get really excited when I think about the positive ripple effect.  Where what we put out, we get back.  Not that we are doing this for the great cosmic karma rebate … but knowing that we are improving our environments and positively and honestly affecting moments in people’s lives, makes me smile all gooey and smushy on the inside.

I challenge you to go live in the moment (but don’t get arrested), often those moments of encouragement can pass so fleetingly … go do it!  Give that compliment!  Send that msg!  Make that phone call!  And then sit back and feel that warm fuzzy within you, when those moments take flight.

You can’t plan this, you have to be in the moment!  But if you have any really good encouraging stores, I would love to hear them.

Love you all madly!  Let’s Make 2014 Count!
Collette in Cape Town

Song of the Post … Perfect! by P!nk