I’ve moved!

My blog is growing up and I’ve moved to my own own domain. Please visit me at www.tactilesoul.com

See you there!

  1. Be aware of your thoughts
    Most of us are oblivious of how often we allow pessimism to creep into our thoughts. These thoughts have a profound influence on the decisions and the choices that we make. Take time over the next few days to keep a note of your thoughts. Thoughts like “I could never do that!”, “I’m so fat.” , “This will never work.” This is your ‘negative voice’, be aware of how many times a day it speaks!
  2. Alter your language
    That negative voice needs to be replaced by a positive voice. For each negative or pessimistic thought you have, replace it with a positive one. eg. “I could never do that!” – “I’m going to try my best to do that.” Or better yet, “Of course I can do that!”
  3. Begin each day with optimism!
    Ever noticed that how your day gets progressively worse if you begin by fighting with your spouse or children, or you let the traffic get you down? Make a commitment to begin each day on a positive note. The attitude you begin your day with affects the rest of the day (and everything you do!). Take time to focus on the things you are grateful for, the people you love, your strengths. Shine a light on all that is good, no matter how small, do whatever you need to do to begin the day with optimism!

Your attitude and energy makes its mark on the world around you, create a surrounding that feels good and supports your best interests!

Glass half full“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”- Anais Nin

How do you see the world, or specifically, the events of your life? Are you always waiting for something to go wrong, never comfortable enough to relax in the moment and just breathe? Or do you generally see the up side of situations?

Your view of life can paint your experiences in vibrant technicolour or shades of grey. It all comes down to attitude. Your attitude greatly influences your reactions to your life’s experiences.

We all go through difficult times, some more than others. Experiences that shape us, that underpin all that follows, and while we are sometimes powerless to change the situation or the experience, we have a choice in how we respond. Attitude plays a powerful part in our response to our circumstances and the way in which those circumstances influence our lives.

So how do you see your cup? How do you react to life’s challenges?

There’s parable about a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule braying and, after a careful assessment of the situation, decided that neither the well nor the mule were worth saving. He enlisted his neighbours to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. Initially the old mule was hysterical. But as the farmer and his neighbours continued shovelling and the dirt hit his back, he would shake it off and step up. This he did, blow after blow: shake off the dirt and step up, shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up. It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped over the wall and out of the well.

If we face our challenges and problems in the same way and respond to them in a positive way, we, too, can realise the benefit of our choice to see the cup as half full.

“There is no one way to raise our children, but a path that we must find.”  Barbara Coloroso

When we made the decision for my son Kinmond to leave formal schooling halfway through grade 11 and continue through home schooling, we both knew that it would be a tremendous challenge, but I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the discipline, work and dedication it would require.  Kinmond had a tremendous amount of work to catch up, and I continued to run my company. 

Despite the sacrifices, it was an amazing experience.  I got to spend a tremendous amount of time with my son and got to know him as the incredible young man he has become.

All the effort proved worth it when we learned yesterday that he had passed Matric.  He is now registered for a Certificate in Advanced Music Production and plans to follow this with Entertainment Management.

The lessons I have learned over the last year and a half are things that can never be taught.  I’ve come to truly believe that anything is achievable.

I’m looking forward to 2010 and all the new challenges and projects awaiting me, and to watching my son go from strength to strength on the journey he is about to embark upon.

‘There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.’ ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Besides the fact that a lot of the other titles I had in mind weren’t available…

I chose Tactile Soul as the title of my blog because I believe that we need to touch (and be touched) with our soul’s.  That may sound like a contradiction, tactile meaning ‘capable of being perceived by the sense of touch’, and the sense of touch being thought of as physical or tangible.  And yet, we are touched by things emotionally and spiritually all the time.

This blog is really about reconnecting to our selves, and in order to know who you really are you need to open yourself and allow yourself to be touched more than superficially.

We need to be present in each and every moment, live simply and keep centered.   Remember, it’s about the journey.

I’ve spent the last few weeks, as I’m sure you all have, reflecting on the last year. 2009 was a particularly rough one, for myself and my family that is. As I was pondering all the trials and tribulations I realised – and this was by no means a new realisation, just one that tends to be pushed aside in the everyday hustle and bustle – that we spend most of our lives anticipating the future. Tomorrow this will happen and by tomorrow we’re onto what will be happening next week and then next month. We spend so much time anticipating how things will be better tomorrow, how we’ll begin the new diet, exercise programme, project tomorrow (or on Monday…), sometimes we completely miss what’s going on today.

We put happiness on hold, thinking that the next best thing is just around the corner. I’m horrified to see that as my children get older, they are beginning to fall into the same habit.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to look forward, to have goals to work towards, but remember, as some wise person once said , it’s about the journey, not the destination. Think about it, if you’re waiting for happiness to “happen” once you reach a particular goal, finding a new job, losing weight, getting out of debt, what about the time it takes to achieve that goal? Does happiness have to be put on hold? Ninety percent of our time is spent striving to achieve something, and if you are in the mindset of “When that happens I’ll be happy…” you will only be happy for 10% of the time.

Besides, once you reach a particular destination, you’ll be looking forward to the next one. – I’ve lost 5kg, now I need to buy some great clothes….

When does happiness actually “happen”?

Live in the now. Appreciate every moment, every experience, every step of this journey that you’re on.

As for me, I have many goals for 2010, but I have determined to slow down and smell the roses along the way. For today, I am happy that my family is together and I had breakfast with my beautiful daughter this morning, I’ll be spending time this evening with my neighbours who’ve been away for a couple of weeks, I have already lost 3kg towards my goal and my i-pod is synchronising my latest music downloads!

What are you happy about, right here, right now?

Darwin said that it isn’t the strongest or the most intelligent that survive, but the ones most responsive to change.

I’ve always been responsive to change, thrived on it in fact. There’s a nomad somewhere inside me who loves the idea of constant flux.

And yet….

This last year has not been an easy one. There have been many changes and many areas over which I have not had control. Growth comes with pain, and while, I know that and have learned that lesson and am able to sit with my own pain, it is the pain of my children that is so hard for me. Because I am unable to ease it, I am unable to take it from them and ‘make it all better’.

What I am feeling isn’t something that is easily passed from heart to page. It’s a sadness that is impossible to describe. Every road is winding, every window is cracked, and the distance between a mother and a child continues to grow ever wider. A distance not measured by centimetres, inches, feet or miles, it is the distance between a child’s pain and a mother’s inability to erase it, prevent it, circumvent it.

My heart and my head sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. I know that this will pass, and that there is no growth without pain, but how do I share my truth? How do I share my self in the truest, barest of hues.

My truth, or any truth for that matter, is not beautiful. It is broken, blistered, tainted, and yet it is the only thing I have to offer. It can be dangerous and yet, my darkest moments have shown me who I truly am. Have allowed me to look in the mirror and accept my darkest faces.

Witnessing my children’s journeys to self-discovery slices a dagger through my heart, bringing the trepidation and fear and growing sense of horror that engulfed me as I embarked on my journey of escalating memories and cerebral turmoil. Thoughts whipped through my head, clashing together in a mental cacophony of voices. At times they melded together to form concepts I still struggle to put into words. My thoughts were my avatars representing me more justly than I represented myself.

And yet, here I am, pretty much whole, content with the person I have become, yet feeling more insecure than ever in the role that has for the better part of 18 years defined me. As my children reach inevitably towards the adults that they are struggling to become, I cling desperately to the children that they were/are. Trying so hard to give them my truth, because in the face of the fact that I am unable to absorb their pain, my truth is all I have to offer. (the love goes without saying)