Month: September 2014

My surprise!

SurpriseLast night I held a small surprise party for my son, Ryan.

To my surprise, many things went wrong…

Firstly, the guests had no idea it was a surprise party, I just happen to leave that very important detail out… my fault.

Secondly, I did not start planning the menu until that morning… my fault.

Thirdly, when my son was 10 minutes away, only one guest had arrived, as I had not emphasised they come on time for the surprise… my fault.

Fourthly, when he showed up and (thankfully a few more guests had appeared) we yelled surprised, he looked confused.

His 23rd  birthday had been and gone, as had his graduation without celebrations… I suppose that was my fault too.

By the way, it was one of the most unusual, but lovely parties I have ever thrown.

The picture of Ryan’s face, as he was trying to come to grips with ‘who’ was being surprised, and if it was him, why?

It taught me many lessons; particularly about organisation and procrastination.

Firstly, the importance of people who make the experience…

It is the people… not the food (though the food was scrumptious)… or the decorations… or the music… it is the people!

Secondly, because I was so nonchalant, sidestepping perfectionism erring towards living in the moment.

I let the worries slip away, allowing myself to be present in the moment and embrace the whole event.

Because of this…

the party will be forever lodged in the rich archives of my stories to share with friends and family.

What have I learned?

It’s the people that count, none of us are perfect, and…

By living mindfully, you can savour the moments.

So, who can you surprise?

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Are you lost?

lostNot long ago I was lost.

Sitting on my red couch in America a few years ago, mulling over this feeling. Not getting this concept, since it appeared I had it all… the white picket fence… security… family and a dog.

It is now apparent, I was not lost for want of things,family, or security…

I was lost in a life of mediocrity.

That couch used to serve as a haven after a long day of work… a place to sit and pause… to catch up on the day… a lazy afternoon nap…

Then that couch lost its enamour… the red colour faded… it was less comfort… boredom and irritability replaced the serenity it used to provide…

I was lost for freshness… newness… differentness… variety… diversity… noises unheard… sights unseen… tastes never tasted… worlds untraveled… people never met…

Are you lost?

How does your couch feel?

Can you replace the couch your already have? Spice up the life you have?

Or may you need to get off the couch completely and find a couch somewhere else?

You will never look at your couch the same again.

Do send this to a friend… or…

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As my son, Ryan, who is travelling alone by foot, sends a text from a remote area in China with the last message reads “Off to Kazakhstan guys! Love you!” my heart skips a beat.

Fear creeps in as my mind latches onto the “what ifs”… “will he be safe”, “he is alone”, ” I cannot keep him from harm”. This chatter went on into the wee hours of the morning. It was a tough sleepless worrying night. Do you get them?

But what am I afraid of….

Fear of not being in control…

Fear of losing someone you love…

Fear of not being able to protect…

Fear of my own lack of courage…

Fear is present in all of us, from a simple fear of trying an unfamiliar cuisine to something more complex like venturing off alone to an unknown country.

Fears can propel you forward or pull you down.

It is up to you to decide, no one else can decide for you.

My son was a fearful child growing up, very anxious and rarely left my side.

Now at 23, he chose to face his fears head on, doing what most people would never attempt. Especially since the media has turned our world into a scary place.

The extraordinary thing is that all of us have the capacity to overcome our fears… stomp on them… and walk over them.

It is up to you.

Do send this to a friend…. or….

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Wrestling with jealousy


I am embarrassed to admit I often compare myself to others. This has led to a jealous streak.

Jealousy is so insidious. It did dominate my life and made me an angry person.

Nothing was ever good enough. I wanted what others’ had… their toys… their grades… their body… their family… their talents… their happiness. My life as was never enough.

Looking at other people. Do you recognise this with Facebook?

We make comparisons. How does this make us feel?

Lonely… jealous… frustrated…

Our culture encourages competition. It perpetuates jealousy, but at the expense of what?

Jealousy leads to anger and isolation from others. Its negative energy pulls us down, destroys our creativity, enthusiasm and willingness to take risks.

How about turning our jealousy around. Use it as an impetus and inspiration to strive for our full potential.

Through my journey with this jealousy thing, I am learning to acknowledge that I am jealous. Then step beyond the emotion. By doing so, we celebrate the success of others and allow this to serve as an inspiration for our aspirations.

Acknowledge, reframe, achieve

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