Sunday, June 19, 2016

Universe … We Have A Problem

It’s cold and dark in the eye of the tempest … I have been in the tempest.  The silent, dark, crazy tempest.
The problem with the tempest is that, eventually all the mayhem, movement and busyness slows to a numbing blur of an ever constant, more of the same.  The vacuum of the busyness becomes your normal, and you can’t articular how much you are withering inside, poised with a smile … because so many people need to hear that you are fine.

I always smile at how automated, “How are you?” is becoming.  Obligatory manners.  How quickly they say How are, normally indicates the kind of answer they absently want.  A quick How are, wants to hear OK.  A super-quick How are, wants to hear Fine, so they can move onto what they want from you ... more busyness.  I’ve started hoping for the first two because then I don’t need to explain how very unfine I actually am, misdirect, turn it around and allude, that way they don’t ask any more questions.  It’s the third kind, the loving eye contact, sometimes with or without a gentle touch and meaning every small word, with emphasis on the You, that really scares me, because then they are really asking, and they really care and then I really have to answer and stir up, that despite my very best efforts, superficial milestones, pixie dust and my ever positive spin … I’m not fine.  Well there, I’ve been there, smiling through the echoing un-fineness of it all.

I knew I REALLY had a problem, when I smiled, saying to a good friend … “You know you have a real problem when even the people who you like and love are p!$$ing you off (or in enlightenment code – teaching you lessons, gifts – I wasn’t there yet).  So it HAD to be me, right?  It couldn’t be all of them?”  So that pearl bounced around my mind for a couple of days and then I thought, ok well now I have a starting point.  Me. 

I continued, I smiled, I Fined for a few more days and then the sun came out and divided the clouds, and I was redirected (again) when I read this FANTASTIC Woman’s Post Danielle LaPorte - What's the big real of what you're doing?  Firstly let me say that I bow to this woman’s wisdom, her authenticity, her rawness and almost every day her Truthbombs simultaneously punch me in the head, take my breath away and console me in a warm, loving embrace … this day even more so.

I loved this post, but I particularly loved the story she told of the two stone cutters?

“When asked what he’s doing, the first man replies, “I’m cutting this stone into bricks.”
When the second laborer is asked what he’s doing, he replies, “I’m building a temple.” 

I wanted to cry, right there in my office, at work, out of context, I wanted to weep with joy … that is it, THAT is what is missing … I want to build temples!  And somehow I had gotten sucked into the chopping of wood and fetching of water (metaphorically of course).

So what have I learned:  Oh so so much … again …
  1. Have your moment (and by that I mean a moment, not a month) to honour how you are feeling, instead of plastering positive polly-filler over it.  I once heard the great Iyanla Vanzant say “The wound needs a witness”.  Until my friend heard my silence, read my lost eyes and listened to my disillusionment – there had been no witness.  Instead, I had glossed over it, I must carry on, I have responsibilities, the show must go on, if I just get through the next couple of weeks, the next day …
  2. Start where you are, start with what you have and go from there.  I had to start with me.  Get my head right.  Working hard on the Spiritual path, does not mean that you will not have challenges (in fact possibly a few more).  I had gotten disillusioned and needed to restart my Gratitude’s and Manifestations, that had fallen by the wayside in my consumed busyness.  I have a quote up on my whiteboard in the office that says “it is not about ascension, it is about centering”.  Even when I was asked (more than once) I stumbled over the explanation for it, until now … I get it now.  It is not about working harder (eventually that becomes impossible), it is about the going within to tap into singular, correct, informed action.
  3.  I had to make me a priority … again (I am so not getting this one, am I?).  I had also yet again, put my family at the end of the list and myself even behind them.  Eating correctly, healthy habits, meditation, communion, nurturing relationships, where a struggle.
  4. Then … surrender.  Sometimes you have to release what you want, to allow what is meant to be.  So now … If you do not want what I have to offer, that is absolutely fine.  I am done jumping through your hoops.  I bring humble magnificence to my space and I release you.  I will share myself with others … and that is just absolutely fine.  The quote “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated” screamed through my head this week.
  5. This should be Point Number 1, but sometimes you have to clear a path … DO WHAT YOU LOVE! DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  Momentarily I had allowed myself to be de-railed.  If you can’t do it full time, then do it in every conceivable space in between … until you can.
  6. Also, nothing lasts forever.  Change will come, the clouds will part, pain will be endured and the sun and awareness, knowledge and learnings will shine through again.  Equilibrium will be restored.  Breathe deeply in this moment.  Breathe, huge, gulping breaths and smile.  I made it!  I triumphed!  Again.
  7. When the storm allows you to catch your breath … use it to say thank you.

More about Building Temples in the next post … in the interim DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  Don’t play small, it serves no-one!  Are you Cutting Bricks or are you Building Temples?

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Songs of the PostSound of Silence by Disturbed.

All credit to Danielle LaPorte, Iyanla Vanzant & Disturbed for their wisdom.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#Hashtag It!

Ok, so where were we then … oh yes … January and our 3-Word Challenge.  My word but it is April … where has the time gone?  Well my plan was to post a lot more in 2016 but CHANGE rushed up to me, like in a crowded train station and threw his arms around me and hugged me so close, crushing my breath in my chest, not letting go for a good few seconds (read months) and then pinched me on the bum like a cheeky continental … oh how I love cheeky continentals!

Then February and March flew past us and here we are – hips deep in change and embracing April.  So as I shrug my shoulders, I ask myself in a heavy Bronx accent - so what are you going to do about it?  I know I didn’t have much choice other than to hold on for dear life and pray I did it with a wee bit of decorum.  (I am not sure I got the latter right.)

So in the middle of the week from hell – I stopped.  I am driving this train that is called MY LIFE – right?  I get to choose – right?  I get a say – right?  So taking an even bigger breath I SCREAMED NO (in my head mind you because we wouldn’t want the people on the outside to think I am completely crazy.)   I stopped.  Said No.  And remembered that I change my reality with my thoughts and my mind.  So?  What do I want?  Not what do I not want.  What do I want?  I knew I didn’t want this but again I had to regroup and with clarity and focus decide what it is that I wanted.

In that week (from hell), I had a couple of difficult instances and I found myself spiralling into a snippy ugly space.  Someone cut me off in the traffic, I snorted and retorted well why am I not surprised?  That was just one of many moments of quick thoughtless comebacks, but the moment the comment had left my lips or my mind, I didn’t like it.  So I thought about it – in the traffic, like you do – how do I turn this around?  I needed a go-to word or phrase that could instantly course correct.  What do I want to do?  What do I want to be?  What do I want?  Ghandi’s quote came to mind … Be the change you want to see and then it was all very simple.  I had to Be The Love!  Giving it a modern twist it had to #BeTheLove!  And from then on I knew … I had to #BeTheLove!  In the face of whatever was coming at me #BeTheLove!  Now let me be clear, I am not saying #BeTheDoormat there is no stretch of the imagination that I am EVER telling me or anyone else for that matter, to be the doormat but I am saying that whatever we have to say\defend\stand sacred ground on\accomplish in that moment, it does not and should not make me feel yukkie as it reaches my ears.  And I had been in rather murky waters for a while. 

So now when I want to snip back an unkind, tired, frustrated comment … now I stop myself and try very hard to #BeTheLove!

So what have I learned.  I even have one hashtag that clearly sets the intent for the year.  When I was selecting my 3-Words for 2016 of Balance, Purpose and Joy, what I learned about myself in 2015 is that I have to be enjoying the journey.  If I am not enjoying the journey well then … why on earth bother.  So my hashtag for this year for me, is #2016BountifulJoy! that I know will flow over onto my family and friends, which will in turn make me even fuller’er’er of Joy.  Yah!  Happy Me!

Now those are specific to me but I have been using this technique with friends, one wonderful friend was feeling anxious and she chose #AngelsHaveMyBack!  What a beautiful, calming affirmation!  Another is a wonderful person on the brink of a daunting adventure, this person chose #LivingTheAdventurousFairytale!  Another friend is in pursuit of blessed, healthy, sexy love but too wrestles with worthiness – that person selected #FeelTheLove!

So my challenge for you this month is … what is your hashtag.  What is your go-to phrase or word that you are going to turn to in the heat of mayhem, that will keep you feeling good, positive and moving forward for your highest good.  You might need some courage #Courageous&Victorious!  You might need an injection of self-estimate #EverybodyLovesMe.  You might need some more peace in your life #IAmSafe&PeaceFlowsFromMe!   You might need health   #HealthRadiatesThruMe!  Whatever your hashtag, play around with it, make it positive and have fun …

I look forward to hearing from you about your #HashTags in the comments below … ready, steady, GO!

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Songs of the PostArmy by Ellie Goulding

#BeTheLove!  #BeingTheLove!  #2016BountifulJoy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Gifts Are You Bringing?

Congratulations!  We made it to 2016!  A whole new bright shiny year lies ahead of us – full of promise and possibility!

Some blog posts fall off my fingers, they can’t wait to be written - the message, clear and singular.  This post has changed its mind, taken its time, changed its theme, taken about 10 days to write and still it won’t flow … but I have decided that even though it was difficult not finishing the year with a round-up post for 2015, I am just going to go with the flow and see where this post takes us … here we go …

2015 was a REALLY challenging year for me, but I learned so much and it taught me so many important lessons, which made me wonder - was it hard or was it worth it?  There were moments when I wasn’t sure.  Rarely do we thank the hard lessons, the difficult teachers, the moments when an unguarded insight, revealed more than we care to own up to.  As I considered the year and indeed this post, I realized – Did I get the lessons?  Did I learn?  Was I teachable?  And in those questions, for me at least … that was the crux of the matter.  Did I learn?  I do know I have come out of 2015, wiser, stronger and knowing myself so much more than this time last year.  So galvanised and grateful in the knowledge that I have grown, I loving thank you 2015 for your lessons and service, and I look forward excited and expectantly, to 2016.

There is always something expectant about January of a New Year, we have the opportunity to start anew, blaze a new trail, go after those new (or old) resolutions with fresh vigour, start that exercise program.  In the southern hemisphere we are in the heart of summer, so tackling that healthy eating plan feels do’able, turning over a new year leaf and all that … and I am sure you are making all of those fresh, healthy choices already.

My annual challenge for us all in this January of 2016 is twofold.

  1. Again, I challenge us to set our intention for this new wonderful year, by selecting 3 whole glorious new words for yourself for 2016.  Words, you want to achieve, words you want to be known for, words you want to live by for 2016.  A quick recap of the 3-Word Challenge Criteria:  1)  You need to select 3 whole glorious words!  Specific to what you want for you for 2016!  The 3-words must:  2)  Be positive!  3)  Speak to you and your intentions for 2016 – personal goal setting!  4)  Encapsulate all your hopes, desires, needs and dreams for your 2016!  5)  Be 3 distinct individual words like Travel, Abundance & Balance instead of Win Lotto Please!

  2. And secondly – What Gifts are YOU Bringing to 2016?  What do you have to offer 2016 that is new, fresh and uniquely of service, to lift up our space … a better place to be?  I suppose then that it is no coincidence then that this post is being written on the feast of the Epiphany – when the Wise Men brought gifts.  So on this Epiphany What Gifts are YOU Bringing to 2016?

So what have I learned … I am all about self-improvement (and I still am) but those very words self-improvement imply that I need to change, that I am not currently enough as I am.  I am learning that although there is always room for mastery – I am enough and perfect in this very moment and so are you.  I have what I need in this very moment to take the next step, to move forward.  Deferentially, I bring something uniquely Collette to the table that no-one else can bring and that is what I am going to bring to 2016.  Confidently!  What do you uniquely bring into your space, that no-other person can offer?  That.  THAT!  Then bring THAT with confidence, as that is your gift.

I am not sure what lies ahead of us in 2016, but I can feel that there is a lot more change afoot.  On the 8th February the Chinese will usher in the Year of the Red Monkey.  I love that Pope Francis (love this guy) has called for a Year of Mercy – boy do we need it … our homes, our relationships, our lives, our communities, our country, our world, our planet.

So as we start this New Year – I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear all about your 3 words AND what gift do you bring to 2016 … then go out there and bring it with passion!  I dare you!

Much Love Always!
Collette in Cape Town

Songs of the PostWasn't Expecting That!  by Jamie Lawson

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!