Wild mind

I must tame the thoughts that pass through this wild mind….reign in on the constant flashing of words, lyrics and images that take me on journeys, while my flesh remains in the blue and yellow speckled seat of the train.

I must try to focus on the task at hand while the hum drum surrounding me distracts me. It urges me to collaborate with the social buzz. It infiltrates the last ounce of energy I have to keep my mind focused on the task at hand.

I must sleep, but even through bouts of exhaustion I am forever going and working through midnight hours. Sleep evades me like an enemy upon the waters. My finest ideas and designs meet me in this lonely hour. And I find a source of energy I can not explain. I am at it again…working and creating new things while others dream of far away lands.

I know the pattern all too well. I know exhaustion will dawn on me after this lengthy time of productivity. My body will demand the rest after being deprived. Fellow humans I share space with will find me to be a submarine. Sub merged in a quiet trance through sessions I’d be otherwise talkative in. Time becomes a strange concept as I float in and out of it. I like to sit back in these times and hear the introverts speak their minds. Sit and feel them defrost, becoming comfortable and bringing their ideas to the table. I like to listen to what keeps them going.

I must in these quiet times recharge. I must go within and find strength. I must accept that this is my make up and kick start the gears back into my almost normal state. I must learn to talk through these motions. But what’s it worth explaining the seesaw that I ride? It is the way I am wired and I am making the best of it.

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Why this…or that….

I sit wondering why I would need to answer these questions at all. Why this tattoo…what is the meaning? How will it look when you are old? What drives you to seeking such permanent beauty? Will you get more? Is it like a drug? Why do I need to answer at all…..?

Is it politeness that I take a deep breath and try to explain the why or rather the just of being me? Is it pure frustration of dealing with the stigma that has me trying to explain? Or my twisted sense of humour when I feel like explaining that this question is like asking someone as personal a question as their choice in underwear. Would you buy more of the same kind of underwear? Has it been supporting your private bits and does it contain its original quality after the 6th wash? May I see them in its entirety? I digress a tad bit, but hopefully it provides guidance to my train of thought.

Tattoos are born of personal reasons. When the world remains a dark, oppressing place of conformity – we shine brighter. We are reminded through images, words of wisdom and pain that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we will obtain enlightenment through whatever drives us. We have found deep seated meaning to the things that have kept us going when we did not want to put another foot forward. The things that remind us of who we are and remind us to stay true to that. These are images or words that we have committed to for the rest of our lives. These images could reflect hard lessons we have learnt, that we willingly put on display, for the world to see that we too are mere human beings. Images of faith and love perhaps in memory of people or places that have come and passed. It is the story of our lives written on the pages of our flesh. The constant message, a reminder of our journeys. Yes, to each his own, and we may pop off to get something silly and create humour where none exists. Yet, we are committed. We are serious and deep creatures but light and creative with a sense of humour.

To me I am constantly reminded of beauty, growth and abundance when I have seen desolate and despair times. I grow in each step I take with faith and I do not fear as I am reminded that I am not alone. I am reminded that it may be a difficult time but the sun will shine again. That even a wild flower subjected to the elements is taken care of by the creator. That bees sing a happy buzz while working at creating growth. That there is more to this world then the worries I may face.That through conformity and labels I find a part of me that holds on to my authenticity. A part of me that ensures I stay true to myself and purpose. This body will return to the ash from whence it came and my soul will soar with the life lessons I have embraced. I shall seek through darkness and I shall find that which brings joy to my soul.

The norm

When we are raised we are taught to find the differences between two pictures and identify what is wrong with the one compared to the other. We are taught to single out these differences in a negative light because it is different.

Why do we dare to be different if we are told what the standard is? We conform to many of societies’ group think on who we should be, how we should be and when we should be. We do this to fit in because fitting out is frowned upon. We do this to keep the group think alive and “happy” for the moment. Until there is a new standard to be accepted. You’d find when a person does not fit the expected quota there is a shift in this very society, perhaps that of anxiety, where this group becomes almost obsessed for you to either conform or remove yourself. The thing is, people link being different and not understanding concepts outside of their society to the emotion fear. Fear of the unknown. These concepts are not considered or approved as the norm. Because they can not or refuse to understand who and what you really are. Anything that is not boxed into their rules and acceptance framework is rejected. Rejected for being misfits and different.

Another one of these brain washes from society is labeling. This item is greater than the other, it’s smaller, it’s better, it’s red or whatever the aspect is. Our brains are trained from such a young age of what being right or a good person looks like. Let’s humor the good person for a moment. I believe a good person isn’t strong in their beliefs because they have been a good person their entire lives. A good person is strong and confident because they have made mistakes and have been less of a good person somewhere in their lives. They have had to get up after failing, they have had to take responsibility for their actions, they have had to fight for what they believe in and learn tough life lessons. They have had to grow into being their whole selves good and bad.

Knowing and loving yourself can keep you from questioning who and why you are when meeting such adversity. Loving yourself is also accepting who you are and being kind to You. Understanding yourself assists you to navigate through why you do what you do. Improving yourself is opening your soul and mind to all the greatness that you already are and more!!! It is not to be driven by the ego that is forever wanting, seeking and basking in admiration. The ego wanting a sense of importance and meaning for all the wrong reasons.

My parting thought is the old phrase Don’t judge a book by its cover. In corporate we ask for creative thinking, out of the box problem solving individuals. We aspire to be the individual who is driven by strengths of being their true self. Living out their dreams and having unsurmountable passion for what they do. Yet when they look different, speak different and think different to us we reject them. I see this and have been subjected to this in corporate many times. I have also seen the very same individuals that are hurting and depressed with their lives and feel there’s no way out. That competitiveness which has gone over the border of healthy play. The hunger to have what is had by others and constantly comparing to be the best. The very same person who rejects you for being different is the person who wishes to break free and find happiness. It does not matter whether they label you “the black sheep”, “different” or whatever. Be kind to these individuals, they are in need of guidance more than the energy you would waste trying to defend who you are when you should in fact continue to just BE.

A stubbed toe….

Sometimes you’re walking through life, the proverbial corridor, and without warning you stub your toe on what you could have sworn was a moving skirting hhaahahhaahaa! But alas the skirting remains in tact and you’re made more present of your surroundings by a throbbing pain. Other times you’re mulling over a specific idea/thought and upon putting it out to God/Universe the answer comes along like that moving skirting!!! Unanounced and with a bang!

This was my situation when I sat wondering what part of me is driven by the wild child, barbarian animal in me. I found it to be such a daunting thought as I knew nothing of the subject matter. As thoughts are not us but passing through, I wondered if it would leave me as fleetingly as it had arrived. It did not. Which left me doing research on many schools of thought. I started to ask more and more questions. Reaching out to scriptures and advisors alike. It was a period of a week that had gone by, until one night I miracoulusy experienced a lucid dream. I was swimming in the pool at a family gathering. Gasps from family members could be heard as bees started swarming over the pool. I tried to swim, to run and hide. Boy I tried! I was stung to the point that my flesh washed off of me and beneath that I was still whole. It didn’t hurt and it didn’t have that sting. It wasn’t distinguished as separate from me but rather through and a part of me.

I awoke with a new found hunger to reach the answer to this thought. It could not leave me!! I would cling on and at the same time not understand why. Until I found the biblical scripture linked to the qualities of the bee: Ecclesiastes chapter 3 A time for Everything. This has been the philosophical verse that I referred to time and time again. Through hardships, with this verse,I would recall happier days and through times of metamorphosis I would cling to the just of why it was always needed. The bee was a symbol of just that, the hard worker bee qualities that matched my own. Admittedly a workaholic of note.

Surprisingly a spiritual page read worker bees were the symbolic meaning of love, communication and balance. I had always struggled to have that. I was a great career woman, a mother and student but had some of the crappiest relationships. It is in my nature to delve into work and ever challenging tasks that stimulate and allow me to continuously improve myself. To the detriment of the other half of my being. The being that is fiery and creative, the being that plants seeds and sings to blossoms bare feet. The being whom danced and laughed in the rain for no reason at all. The being that could learn to love without conditions. The being that could be guided by patience, wisdom and kindness rather than the ever growing coldness of the corporate world.

It rang true that I was challenged and made aware that I am only half being if I am only focused on work. I am in fact not feeding my soul if I do not learn this balance. This lesson which is my makeup. The constant battle within to be true to my whole. The constant reminder that there is a time for everything. That even as a growing teenager, whom held onto the positive words of this scripture, I had inherently known this to be my lesson to learn. Oh boy and does temptation dangle promises of sweet corporate nothings before me regularly….I am reminded by friends, coaches and spiritual people that I am growing exponentially by learning balance and that there is a time for everything and that now was the time to fulfill the creative fire in my soul.

Red drops of Jupiter….

When I read this, the first thing that popped to mind was the lyrics from Train. Admittedly music lyrics are embedded within my soul and phrases or words bring them out to play at random.

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s a-time to change, hey, hey – Train

I wanted to hit the ground writing as words started drumming in my mind, creating the one message: let go of control. Like the red prospective soils on earth – this message comes with a bang! Red is powerful…perhaps more so when control is relinquished. This call is to be open to growth, to aim for your dreams and seek new possibilities, as much as a call – it is a warning. To heed for those whom ignore such opportunities as they don’t come by as often as they are needed.

We are nearing the end of a year. Closing out activities that we have been entertained by. We have been someone to our families, responsibilities and friends….Surely this should be the time to be someone for ourselves. For the dreamer and the adventurer in us. To pull ourselves towards ourselves… To come one step closer to feeding our souls. To find our inner child whose fierceness and zest has been doused by worldly whims.

Jupiter has a red powerful storm that has existed for 355 years. It is unknown if it is the same storm for the last 355 years or if it is a recurring storm. Point is; we need a storm in our lives right about now. To rip us up and shake us loose, wildly. We need to let go of fear and mindly limitations hindering us from being our most powerful selves. We need to let go of control and believe in our dreams. We need to be living out our dreams and fulfilling our soul’s purpose! Today we need to whisper to limitations, fear of the unknown and the controls we place on ourselves….”I do not fear the storms, I am the red storm – watch out”.

Rendezvous with Susan

I spent the entire day fighting people about finances or rather the lack thereof….just to spend my afternoon in queues at dischem trying to get the monthly prescriptions ticked off the to do list. It was just a normal day, work, school pick ups, shops and homebound. Or so I thought…but boy oh boy was I going to get it from a woman I’d never met….Susan…when I got home.

Make sense? Didn’t think so…this Susan was my mother in role play. She left everything to the imagination and the familiarity of my mother was gone as she greeted me by the door. The door had a sign that read “Restaurant open at 6pm“. “Good evening” she said. “I will be your host Susan for this evening. Please come in” . I checked my watch it reflected 18h09. “Perfect timing” I said smiling. We came into the dining hall curious and a little chatter arose from our excitement. Bear in mind, we are moving, so the lovely table settings and candles gave it a unique cosy feel between large mounds of boxes and tables stacked on one another. The first course was ready and Susan immediately ushered us into our seats, walked over to the bar and poured drinks on our request. Susan was an absolute delight. Making jokes, being a great chef and waiter and feeding our bellies to the brim. For the main course we demanded Susan join us and we sat watching as Kai chatted Susan up in front of his parents. What laughter filled the air!! A sense of a final dinner in our old home and some mischief for the new beginnings on the horizon. Susan pointed out that each evening the routine was homework, dogs, food and more routine. That we needed a bit of a spontaneous event to ignite our sparks into an enjoyable fire!

Upon receiving the bill, Kai pipes up to say he only has 3 R2 coins for payment. What we didn’t know is that the bill was paid in full. With motherly love.

It read: my precious children, a mother’s love is always for free. Thanks for loving me.

What an awesome way to end off a rough day with a bit of magic released by Susan!!!! This was a huge act, but any act small or large makes a difference to other’s lives. It sure made me feel extremely happy and blessed!

My “awakenings” to work

I take a shuttle, from the train, for the last part of my daily commute. With this has come many experiences, some of which I share here with you today. These rude awakenings should all have their own posts, as there are many important aspects that can be raised for each. But the need to create this understanding of life in the city central, released onto paper, far exceeds the perfection of many posts.

The most delicious smells wafts through the air at times. Smells of pap and mielies cooking early morning. Sometimes mini braaiers have sosaties with meats stuffed onto them. My favourite of all is the fresh scone and vetkoek smells. It teases my cravings for doughy goods! These small spaza shops all have stories to tell. Dreams of bigger things and families to support. And I itch to spend some time learning of these stories and inspirations.

Other experiences have me raising questions of how many times water can be used, reused, reused and used again? As potholes are a common aspect of the city roads, with their users brushing teeth or washing their faces therein. How much water do I not waste with my daily activities? Should I start thinking about ways to store and reuse water? The answer here is most definitely Yes! On the point of recycling I have watched a man pack everything out dustbins to recycle. His clothes were torn with plastic bags protecting his arms. When he looked up, I just smiled at him. He waved, toothy grin and hurriedly got back to work. Time is money and his survival.

Another man lay strewn across the walkway. Needle in one hand, opposite arm outstretched, he pokes himself with the needle, inserting what looks to be Heroine. His arm is bleeding from all the attempts but he keeps at it. “One more hit” it seems he says to himself. I watch horrified, but humbled, that I have been blessed not to have reached such a low point in my own life. Some addictions can be seen to the eye, they are not pretty and we forget easily that this is the lives of street dwellers and the wealthy alike. We all have addictions – some contribute positively to our lives while others destroy everything around us.

Joyful children can be seen on the same streets, holding hands and crossing busy roads, that have my heart at a stand still. Sometimes I find myself holding my breathe until they have reached safety. Yet they walk with confidence and pride, chattering away excitedly. Their uniforms crisp clean and neat with polished shoes. The older children are more confident and take care of the younger children whom hold onto each other’s backpacks. It has me question my own parenting skills. Surely there are ways as a parent, where I can teach my son such independence and pride of his belongings? Teach him to take care of younger people around him and be kind.

A pastor standing on a street corner, warning everyone, and no one in particular, of the coming days and repentance. This man too has a part to play in this thriving but fragile city. He warns of things that take place daily on the very same corner he shares with others. A brothel’s door stands open not too far from his preaching. People walk circles around him while others laugh. That man has the persistence and guts that I admire. In the face of adversity he continues, in the cloudy, rain threatening weather he cries out passionately. He is strong in the words his soul speaks, yet weak in an old man’s body.

Last year I was freezing on my way to work. Bodies lay on the cold paved cement under cardboard boxes, black bags and torn blankets. I decided the popular phrase “Winter is coming!” would do for the request to donate blankets. A few close friends and I drove this initiative at work and in our personal lives. People brought blankets or R50 for us to buy a cheap blanket from PEP stores. Many blankets were taken to shelters surrounding our work environment. We impacted many lives and it felt great. As a parting point to this blog, I am inspired to try collect tin cans for December so people in shelters could have Christmas too. I am not too phased by the silly season but being hungry with nothing to eat isn’t great for anyone really.

My daily commute allows me to sit back and take stock of my life. Where I have come from and where I am. What addictions I have that aren’t necessarily seen, but affect my life. What I need to teach my child to be a self-sustaining adult. How to work sparingly with resources. To be kind and compassionate to strangers. To make a stand for what I believe in the face of adversity. Most important: to not focus on fuss but rather the joy one can create in all our lives!