Living Life

Sound Mind

We are living in uncertain times, and we find ourselves constantly having to adapt and adjust the way we’ve been doing things. This can cause us to experience anxiety, worry and stress, that can be the cause of our unusual reactions. Often, we have knee jerk reactions and find ourselves in a ridiculously silly and unreasonable state of mind. There are ways to reduce these feelings and increase our tolerance to uncertainty. Reducing the effects of stress is important for a sound mind and for our overall health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness will help us relax the body and mind and will also help reduce stress and help to focus on sensing and feeling in the moment, without judgment.

For the sake of simplicity avoid absurdity concentrate on lucidity

Prevent assumption and interpretation focus on comprehension

Embrace a sound mind and hold on to balance and intelligence

Living Life

Breath, Live and Love

Most living things need oxygen to survive, humans get the oxygen they need by breathing through their nose and mouth into their lungs. There are different kinds of breathing that require a slightly different process to allow inspiration and expiration.

Many people use their breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Yoga breathing involves rhythmic pattern to help focus the mind inward, whilst Pilates focuses the breath outward to the physical body. Breathing is also important in singing and I’m reminded of the hymn “Breathe on me, breath of God” words written by Edwin Hatch, and hymn composed by Robert Jackson. This hymn has been placed in hundreds of hymnals, the tune is almost like breathing itself and very uplifting too. 

1.  Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do.

2 Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until my will is one with yours, to do and to endure.

3 Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with you the perfect life for all eternity.

There are clearly different techniques of breathing and also different ways to purposefully live our lives. Fortunately, we have the power to deliberately change our own breathing and the way we choose to live.

As we become conscious of our breathing and how important it is to breath, so I wish that we become conscious in living, caring, and loving one another too.

Living Life

Be in the Present Moment

May you always be present and mindful

May every day be a present filled with gratitude

May you embrace every present moment

May you learn from your past and apply it in the present

May you live in the present moment, receiving peace and joy

May you give faith and trust a chance in the present

Abraham Maslow once said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

Living Life

Always Hope for Positive Change

Photo taken by Jeano Jacobs

You may have heard the childhood phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”So, in other words a physical attack may hurt but you’ll not be hurt by cruel words or name-calling. I recall uttering this phrase as a child to make others believe that I did not care about the name calling but I do recall that the words and name-calling did hurt. For me, a sensitive person, words do especially hurt. Over the years I’ve learned to manage my sensitivity or maybe I should say, I’m constantly learning to manage my sensitivity by making it more of a strength and less of a challenge in life. I do have those days where I overthink things, but I’ve become much more aware when doing so. I know that I feel things deeply, whether those things are positive or negative. I’m a work in progress J I constantly work on shifting my mindset to a more positive one. I often remind myself, instead of trying to change people or situations that I have no control over, I concentrate on my response, my reaction.

Change course to wipe away negativity, see the opportunity as you turn it into positivity!

In Christianity Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.

Happy and blessed Easter to you all.

Living Life

Ever Changing Seasons

As Autumn helps to prepare and ease you into Winter so does Spring help to prepare for warmer summer days.  I’m especially enjoying the very beginning of Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere and I’m sure most of you in the Northern Hemisphere are embracing the vibrancy and moderate warmer weather of Spring. Many of us have good reasons for loving a season, and perhaps also have our reasons for disliking a season too. Changing seasons and having to adapt to it, might be as easy as making changes to our wardrobe. For others, a change in season might not be as easy and can bring on health risks. Then there’s also the unexpected weather conditions, that can occur in any season, forcing us to make abrupt changes. May each season be filled with joy to calm the storm that’s on its way.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” 
― Yoko Ono

Living Life

Be a Beacon of Light

In South Africa we experience daily power outages because the demand for electricity exceeds the available supply and planned supply interruptions are carried out. It is called load shedding. Load shedding contributes to the failing economy and affects the most vulnerable members of the community. The uncertainty that comes with load shedding is sure to cause anxiety and depression for many people too.  

Whatever your troubles are in your part of the world, I hope things get better and that we find our beacon of hope that will help navigating the darkest passage of life.

When you feel your light dimming

Reach out for help to overcome your worries

Shed some light that there is hope

Allowing love to overshadow the hate

Spark others on by doing good

Replacing fears with calmness and peace

As we choose to be a beacon of light.

Dr Judith Orloff – “my ability to love brings light into my life and the world.”

Living Life

Pause and Reflect

Photo taken by my 12 year old niece

Pause by catching your breath

Be still and relax

Take a step into peace

Reflect and practice mindfulness

Drum up some mental imagery

Finding insights to act upon

To take away your apocalyptic fear

Continue to concentrate… breath 

With fierce hope and endless determination

I enter this world, my reality

Armed with insight and feeling empowered

I continue to pause and reflect.

Living Life

Neighbourly Love 

The world is filled with deeply caring individuals. There’s hope as we reach out to humankind, hope that life will change. We need to realise the profoundness of our care in this over intellectualised society – our care is likened to the “crack of light in the darkness” that will get us all through these trying times.

Functional cities turned into urban decay

Crime, diseases, potholes, unkept pavements and dirt everywhere 

Water levels declining brought on by incessant power outages

The cities have fallen into disrepair

How do I hold on to Neighbourly Love?

Society threatening to move whilst others do escape the city

Yet it is impossible to run away from problems

As no change occurred and mindsets still remains the same

Facing them head-on is a must wherever you are in the world

How do I show Neighbourly Love?

Its doomsday in certain places of the world

People are dying, trapped under heaps of rubble after thumping earthquakes

Massive rescue operation is underway for some 

For others living in a war-torn country it’s entirely a different situation

Please let’s reach out and show our Neighbourly Love!

Living Life

Give and You shall Receive

The bible verse (NKJV) “Give, and it will be given to you” made me wonder about the reasons we give. Is the reason to receive in return? Giving love and receiving in return is wonderful though. Working and giving of our time, and receiving monetary reward is great and very necessary to live comfortably. To give as a volunteer, the benefits are enormous to your health, happiness and so much more. When you’re able to fuel yourself with goodness so that you can give more to others, it is good not only for you but others too. Therefore, I believe, it is important to let go of anger and resentment and to embrace forgiveness and give and share compassion and love.

My mind overflows with thoughts of giving and receiving…

The old adage come to mind ‘what you sow you shall reap’

What am I sowing in this world?

Is it anger, hatred, or peace and love?

No one is too poor to give appreciation, compassion, help, love, understanding and so much more. Being rich doesn’t mean you shouldn’t receive something, everyone needs compassion, happiness, and love. Anyone can give something, and anyone can receive something.

Studies show that when you give to others, your generosity is often continued down the line to someone else or returned to you. Anne Frank stated, “No-one ever has ever become poor from giving.”  It probably is in giving that we receive the greatest gift.

Living Life

Bracing and Embracing Life.

My attention was drawn to the heading in a local news article from News24 – Brace for a bumpier 2023: Experts predict a tougher year and global recession. This made me think about the cost of living and how it continues to rise, and that there’s not much hope that it will ease this year. The cost of living and several other forces are set to shape South Africa’s economy, the biggest being the country’s energy predicament. Experts also speak about taking the necessary steps to help weather the storm and warns that there’s no sure-fire way to position your investments during a recession.

I might not have the powers to control the economy but I know that I have control to invest in my personal self (read my blog previously posted ) and that it will help me reach my personal goals and plans for 2023. I’m quite aware that goals and plans can be derailed, but I’m cognisance that planning can help to brace for circumstances that often happen unexpectedly. I find myself working at or striving to be better in everything I do. For me it is always good to do introspection and it’s always a time to reflect on the good and the bad. I know I come short and that I can always show more kindness and compassion towards others. For me it is very important to continue planning, with good practices, change the undesired and hopefully it will help me to brace for the bumpier times ahead.

In Robin Sharma’s book, The Greatness Guide, he writes about Grace under Pressure – explaining how no life is perfect and that we all face challenges but also that we all have the power to choose to rise above our external circumstances.

May we all find the power to rise above our circumstances, brace for the hurdles ahead and continue to embrace ourselves.