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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

EXCLUDING POSSIBILITIES

Every time you make an excuse or find a reason for not doing something, you exclude a possibility in your life.  "I don't have the time",  "It's too expensive", "I don't have the talent or skill", "it's too much of a commitment", "I don't have the strength" or "I'm not smart enough" exclude so many possibilities that you are then constrained to exploring only opportunities which will be quick, cheap, mundane and so on.  

How many opportunities does that then require you to pass up which might otherwise have fed a passion or left you feeling fulfilled and rewarded?  

When you say "I can't", more often than not you mean "I won't" when, with a little bit of a stretch, you could.  It is in the stretching that you find true fulfillment and discover what is possible.

What if Baby Jake Motlala had said: "I'm only 4ft 10.  I can't possibly be a boxer and at that height there's not really much I can do that's useful."  The world would have been poorer for not having had a great boxing champion and the personality that he was.  Baby Jake might have ended up as a street vendor, rather than living his dream.

Most things are possible when you set your mind to them, so finding excuses not to do them simply doesn't serve anything except the small you.  Time to play big!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

THE END OF THE INNOCENCE

Don Henley sings the End of the Innocence, a song which alludes to a time when we didn't have a care in the world and "with mommy and daddy standin' by".  What brings about the end of the innocence?

We are born of that innocence, not a care in the world (save perhaps for where the next meal is coming from), no judgments, no hatred, no resentment.  So when does it end, and why?  More to the point, how do we restore it?

The innocence ends when we take our first bite of the fruit of the biblical tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The moment we pronounce ourselves the judges of all things, when we pretend that we know what is good and bad for others, what is right and wrong with the world, how others should behave and what God should be doing to support us, we lose our innocence.  That is the moment we start pretending to be God, trying to direct how the world and our lives should be, as if we were God.  Innocence is gone and we are simply left judging, hating, resenting, demanding and pretending.

How do we recover the innocence?  Stop pretending to be God.  Rather get real about who we truly are and accede to the way that Life is, not how we demand it should be.  It's that easy (in theory at least).  The only challenge is to train our minds to stay put in that innocent state as we go about our daily lives.

Which is not to say that we are required to stay passive and do nothing, allowing Life to have its way with us.  We can still have big purposes for our lives and live our lives in order to realise those purposes.  If the purposes are wrong, Life will always let us know, but we can still live with purpose and recover the innocence.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

"I LOVE...ALL YOUR PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS"

John Legend sings a love-song dedicated to his wife called "All of Me".  His lyrics include the words: "All of me loves all of you...I love...all your perfect imperfections".  How wonderful to embrace a person you love, totally, with no judgment and just acceptance!

The question is whether, when we drop our judgment of imperfections in others it opens the space for us to love them unconditionally.  And why should this be reserved only for spouses and significant others?  What if we could let go our judgments of everyone around us and look past what we don't like in order to see the inherent beauty that's there?

The invitation is also to be able to say the same words about ourselves:  When we are criticizing ourselves for being overweight, too old, too unsuccessful, weak and all the rest, are we able to stop the self-judgment and simply say: "All of me loves all of me...I love...all my perfect imperfections."?  When we can love and appreciate ourselves for who we are, exactly as we are, without the self-criticism and ridicule, we can get off the treadmill of driven-ness and self-flagellation and start truly caring for the one person who is always present in our lives.  It doesn't help to demand that others should love, respect and adore us just as we are, because they may not.  However, we have the power to love ourselves unconditionally.

If you aren't already doing that, what's getting in the way?


And if you're not sure how to do that, find yourself a copy of THE TALKING STICK: EXPLORING LIFE'S POSSIBILITIES, available at all Amazon, all good bookstores and by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 7: GRATITUDE

The last of the seven great gifts we receive after ConsciousnessDiscernmentChoice,  Courage, Forgiveness and Connection is Gratitude.

Gratitude stands on the shoulders of the other six gifts in the sense that we have an opportunity to connect with the universal force which gives us access to all of the other gifts.

When we are truly conscious of all the beauty around us, made discerning choices, have transcended our fears and come out triumphant, have experienced the freedom of forgiveness and the joy and lightness of true connection, how can we feel otherwise than truly grateful for who we are and what is available to us?

If we are not feeling grateful for every breath we breathe, every experience that comes our way and every moment we have to engage with Life, we are missing the force that gives us ultimate connection with our Creator.

Gratitude is the greatest gift we have.  Practice your gratitude each day, no exceptions. 


And how about letting someone for whom you care experience the gratitude of receiving his or her own copy of The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 6: CONNECTION

We have looked at the first five gifts, Consciousness, Discernment, Choice, Courage  and Forgiveness.  The sixth is the wonderful gift of Connection.  This is the way we are able to relate to other human beings on the planet at a deep and meaningful level.

So often we interact at a superficial or antagonistic level with others, but when we experience true connection with others we are able to tap into some of the other God-given feelings such as love and compassion.  

Disconnection is what leads to broken homes, broken countries and a broken planet.  Connection is the great healer where we are able to love, honour and respect people for who they are, regardless of how different they may be.

What does connection take?  It is as simple as:

  • Dropping all of our judgments about others
  • Opening our hearts and making ourselves vulnerable
  • Letting go our resentments (forgiveness)
  • Being our authentic and loving selves

Connect now with a neighnour near you: you'll be so glad you did!


Give a gift to someone for whom you care: The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.