Wild Geese

View from our table

“WILD GEESE”
by Mary Oliver

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination…”

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Birthday milkshake_Cheers

Reflection:
Maybe, we don’t always have to be good. Whatever guilt, shame or confessions we hold inside, can be let go.

Maybe we don’t always have to repent because we, too, are animals like the wild geese. Instead of suffering, or spending our lives trying to find forgiveness, we only have to do what we love to do.

Everybody has his or her own despair, everybody needs to be told we do not always have to be good, everybody would have a reason to repent.

Talking about our troubles can help us heal from the, and hearing other people’s pain can create a primal connection between two people, loyal and deep like the bond between birds.

“Meanwhile the world goes on.” The repetition of the word “meanwhile” is soothing and is, in the poem, cyclical like rainfall in nature. Like humans and wild geese, the rain also travels.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Table Mountain, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The geese are travelling home again, but where is home? Are they flying “home” South for the Winter, or “home” back North?

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely . . .” it does not matter where you call home.

Listen to what the world tells you – look at the wild geese. They fly alone yet in an inclusive form, honking to keep in contact with each other in flight, connected in the “family of things”.

Finding your “WHY”

Change is a process

Every single organization on the planet, even our own careers, always function on three levels. What we do, How we do it and Why we do it ” – Simon Sinek

When we know the reasons why we do certain things, it gives us a filter through which to make decisions. It provides a foundation for innovation and creativity. When we look at what we do, how we do it and why we do it, we will know who we are – we will know what we stand for.

Very few people can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. Why is a purpose, a cause or a belief. It provides a clear answer to “WHY” we get out of bed in the morning and why that should matter to anyone else.

When we are clear about our purpose or our WHY, everyone can understand it. This clarity allows everyone who interacts with us to become champions of the cause i.e. people will be willing to help you with your life goals if they have a clear idea of where you want to go.

Life of the rich

Do you have a vision (plan/direction) for your life? Having a vision for your life gives you focus and clarity, it helps with decision making and stops you getting side-tracked and distracted when “life” takes over.

Asking yourself these five questions will guide you through creating your personal vision and prevent “mind blank”, writer’s block and overwhelm that hits you when you’re faced with a question like “what is your vision for your life”?

1. What does success look like to you?
How will you know when you’ve “made it”? Describe your idea of success: use your imagination, instincts and/or intuition to express your “big picture”. In other words, describe what it would be like when you have reached your ultimate personal goal.

Write down what you want to become but make sure you include some big numbers that you can measure i.e. how much do you want to earn every month? Do you want to work for someone or do you want to own your own business? What business do you want to start? Why do you want this business? Who will be your clients/customers? Where will you find your clients/customers? How much will you need to charge your customers to earn what you want to earn every month? Will you charge per hour or per project? How many hours do you want to work?

Do you have a “vision board”? – more about this later.

Vision Board

2. Why is success important to you? Why do you do what you do?
• Are you trying to make your life and that of your family better?
• Are you trying to save the world? Trying to eliminate poverty, suffering, child abuse etc?
• Are you trying to educate yourself so you can find a job? What job? Why do you want that job? Where will you find the job? What will you do when you have the job?
• Do you want to own your own business? Why do you want to own your own business? What kind of business do you want? How will you start the business? Who will be your customers/clients? Where will you find your customers/clients? How many hours will you work? What will you charge your customers? Will you charge per hour or per project? How much money is enough? What is the driver behind having your own business?

3. What difference do you make in the world or what difference do you see yourself making in the world?
• What do you want to bring into the world? Do you want to make a difference to the environment? Do you want to eliminate poverty/suffering/child and women abuse etc?
• Do you want to make life easier for mothers or for women in general?
• Do you want to help other women fulfil their potential?
• Do you want to help women feel gorgeous and get their self confidence back?
• Do you want to help women create a beautiful home (interior decorator)?

It doesn’t have to be big and life changing but there will be a reason (or several why you will want to and can make a difference in the world.

Your present circumstances

4. Who is most likely to support your vision for your life?
• Who “gets” you?
• Who would you like to mentor/coach you? Who’s a really good fit for you?
Think about the kind of individual they are, where would you find them, what problems could they help you solve? These questions should all be easy to answer and you will definitely have an answer even if you’ve never thought about this before.

5. What are your milestones?

What are the achievements you want to reach along the way that will show you you’ve moving forward and making progress?

Milestones could be:
• Completing your studies and finding a job
• Completing your studies and starting your own business
• Completing your studies and taking a gap year travelling overseas
• Spending time working on a kibbutz for a year

Waterfall

There may be smaller milestones like:
• Getting some practical work experience by volunteering at an organisation
• Working part-time during school, college or university breaks to gain some practical working experience.

These milestones are personal to you and they will keep you on track when you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed. Write them down and tick them off as you achieve them WHICH YOU WILL!

Who you are, is more important than what you do. – Anonymous

River of Life – A Time for Reflection . . .

Waterfall

The river is a meaningful symbol for many people.

The flowing element of a river symbolises purity, healing and cleansing. Rivers also symbolise irreversible passage of time, going with the flow, indicates the need to take some important decisions to shape your life, represent pleasures, peace and riches and flow of energy.

The source of the river (where the river starts) can be seen as the symbol for the early years of life.

Your present circumstances

The twists and turns in the river as it flows away from its source can be seen as the different periods of life (the wild and stormy times, sometimes murky, turbulent and fast flowing). Then there are the peaceful times (where the river runs gently and is cool and refreshing).

Various tributaries branching off from the river represents the major influences in life.

The twists and turns in the river are shaped by the various people, experiences and events which have been important influences in our lives.

Candle & purple flowers

Have you ever taken some time out to reflect on your life?

Would you consider using the River of Life exercise to do this? Allow me to explain how the River of Life exercise works:

1. Take a sheet of paper (as big as you need it to be)
2. Get some coloured pens, pencils or wax crayons – as many colours as you need
3. Draw a river – showing the source (this represents your birth – where your life started)
4. Show the flow of the river indicating the different periods of your life (the wild and stormy times, the murky, turbulent and fast flowing times). Show the peaceful times (where the river runs gently and is cool and refreshing). Examples: the teenage years, your 20’s, 30’s and any other milestones in your life, rites of passage etc
5. Show the different tributaries (name each tributary) indicating the major influences in your life.
6. Draw pictures around the river to show the people, experiences and events which have been important in your life (and helped shape you into the person you are now).
Use as many colours as you need. Make your river as large as you need. Reflect on each stage as you do your drawing.

Change is a process

Questions:
1. Has this exercise been helpful?
2. How did you feel while doing this exercise? What emotions were evoked during this exercise?
3. What did you learn about yourself during this exercise?

How to increase your financial IQ

Money bags

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts – John Wooden

All my life I’ve been known to be self-disciplined in all areas of my life – especially on the financial side, however, this week saw me acting totally out of character, making a very unwise choice that could have cost me way more than I can afford to lose.

Thankfully my sister Find her here helped me put my life back into perspective which saved me from this cloud of darkness which descended on me in an instant when I least expected it.

Meaning of Life_Peanuts Cartoon

When you think about self-discipline, what comes to mind? For me, self-discipline makes me think of willpower, controlled thoughts, pro-activeness, order, dedication, success, peace and control.

Self-discipline leads to success in every area of life. Successful people have strong willpower that withstands temptation. They have the willpower to relinquish short-term pleasures for long-term goals.

Those who lack self-discipline easily succumb to temptation, usually saying “Just this once, and never again”. They easily break their promises and commitments (to others and sometimes to themselves like in my case this past week) and destroy their own success (like I almost did). If we don’t discipline ourselves, life’s harsh lessons will do so for us. This is the law of action-reaction. Self-discipline requires us to keep control of our actions and to choose short-term discomfort over long-term failure.

Money in hand

During our short life on earth we receive three main types of education:

• Academic
• Professional
• Financial

How much self-discipline have you been able to exercise in your life regarding your financial status?

Have you been able to choose short-term discomfort over long-term failure?

Money Piggy Bank

Did you know that according to the Cash Flow Quadrant there are four types of people?

Employee – has a job
Self-employed – owns a job
Business Owner – owns a business system
Investor – makes money work for them

Which quadrant are you in right now?

Which quadrant do you desire to be in?

Identifying where you are in the Cash Flow Quadrant right now can be done by looking at where the bulk of your income comes from. What affects our Cash Flow Quadrant we decide to generate our income from is due to internal differences in our core values, interests, outlook, life stage etc.

Understanding the basics to the Cash Flow Quadrant will help you increase your Financial IQ. Changing quadrants is a life-changing experience and often requires a fundamental shift in ones core values in order for the change to come about.

Money Tree being watered

How much do you need financially for this life?

Do you know your unique Financial Freedom number? Here’s how to find out:

Monthly expenses (income) for your current lifestyle multiplied by 12 months

This equals your total Annual Expenses

Annual Expenses divided by 0.08 equals your total Nett Worth

Your total Nett Worth is made up of your Assets minus your Liabilities

How many Assets do you have?

Remember: Assets create your Financial Freedom – not you!

No life grows great until it is disciplined. Practised every day, self-discipline leads to peace, order and stability. It is the bridge that takes us safely over the wild river of life, from our dreams on the one side of the river to success on the other side.

Let your greatest gratification be delayed gratification.

Awaken your potential knowing that everything you need is within you.