Don’t resist change . . . Let things flow naturally forward . . .

Sinfonia_Brides Veil

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward
in whatever way they like.

– Lao Tzu

Today (Sunday) is the end of the last Public Holiday in South Africa before the end of year break in December. I, like most people here, turned it into an extra-long weekend by taking a day’s leave on Friday as well.

For me, the weekend did not go quite as I had planned but I still managed to achieve a lot. On Heritage Day (on Thursday), I did not end up going to the Storytelling Festival event where my dear friend Simone was the honoured guest speaker. It broke my heart to disappoint my friend, but I was just too exhausted to get out of bed and just took it easy for the rest of the day. Much later the evening, I summoned some energy to clear my cupboards of old clothes I’ve not worn for years – three bags full which I set aside to donate to my church for the homeless shelter we support.

Voice_You have a voice

Friday morning, after months of hard work, I went off to do my first Voice Over demo reel. It was not my first time behind a microphone, but it was the first time in my life I’ve had to be recorded as a Voice Actor (which is what Voice Over artists are also known as).

The experience itself was awesome. I had a wonderful Sound Engineer, Adam Linder, who patiently explained each step. My equally awesome Voice Coach, Barbara Barbieri was there as moral support and to inject some much needed confidence when my mind monkeys (negative talk) started taking over my brain. Barbara also did her first Voice Over demo reel so it was a learning curve for both of us.

Voice_Person with mike in hand

After my Voice Over demo I dropped off the three bags of clothes at church, did some grocery shopping and rushed home to meet my Personal Trainer for my gym session. By Friday evening, I was utterly and totally exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally so, needless to say, I had an early night.

Saturday also did not go completely as planned so again, I had a late start to finishing what I started on Thursday (Spring-cleaning my bedroom). At least that’s done now. Mom would be so proud to see my bedroom now.

I miss mom so much . . . today is exactly eleven months since mom passed away. As I write this I’m feeling terribly sad, emotional and weepy. Last time I had a good cry was 25 June 2015. Since then, I still just feel sad, emotional and weepy around this time of the month.

Sinfonia_Brides Veil1

I never realised how much mom and I shared. It became so natural for me to come home and say “guess who I just saw . . .” or “guess what so-and-so just said”. Watching a programme on television, I still have to remind myself that I cannot go to mom’s bedroom anymore and share what I’ve just seen (sometimes something funny or something ridiculous) – it’s still a huge adjustment for me to continue living in the same house without mom, but I’m not ready to move out yet. I think it’s still too soon. I think I will give myself some more time.

Tomorrow it’s back to the office, getting ready for my exit out of formal employment and working on my marketing strategy for my life as a Freelancer and Voice Artist. There is so much to do. Marketing yourself just takes up so much time. I hate talking about myself. I hate having to go out there and say “Hey, look at me . . . I’m here!” but if that’s the way I have to go to get work, then so be it. It will just have to be done.

Sinfonia_Mauritius by mom

Food for thought:
• What does change look like to you?
• How are you adapting to your changing circumstances?

My life as an introvert . . .

A Woman in harmony with her spirit

I have spent my entire life being an introvert which I firmly believe has been as a result of my upbringing. For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to force myself to be more outgoing (extrovert) and less timid and shy because I have also been led to believe that the extrovert goes places while the introvert does not get recognition and is no fun to be around.

I have just recently learned that being an introvert is not the same as being shy. Introverts and extroverts brains actually work differently. The brain activity of introverts is quite high when they are alone, and it’s easy for them to feel overwhelmed with too much external stimulation. This certainly is true for me.

Realising that much of the stress in my life was caused by trying to force myself to be more of an extrovert, is a huge relief for me. Now that I’ve embraced my introverted nature, I’m carving out time in my life to make sure I keep my mental balance. How am I doing this?

Waterfall

I make time for acceptance and self-love: I do this by accepting my true nature. The stigma attached to introversion has left me with a lot of self-doubt and a negative self-image. Both introversion and extroversion are healthy, normal ways to function. One is not better than the other. Life is so much better since embracing my perfect, introverted self.

I have more understanding and support: It is so important that my family, friends and those close to me understand my introverted nature. Introverts are so often misinterpreted as cold, snobby or uninterested, especially by the extroverts. I find inner peace when I have alone time every day. I need solo time to recharge and make sense of events that took place that day.

I’ve found compatible work: For years (most of my life, in fact) I’ve lost myself in very socially inclined jobs that was not well-suited for me, as an introvert. I was always mentally exhausted, which led to periods of physical exhaustion. Now I’m setting up a business working from home which is more compatible with my true nature. I will be working in my own space, by myself and when I feel the need to socialise and be with other people, I can determine when and for how long and I can be in control of what form the interaction would take. If only I’d figured this out a long time ago!

As an introvert, I need to be in an environment that allows me to get in the mental zone where I thrive so I don’t experience more stress than I’d like. As human beings we spend most of our time working so it may as well be maximising our brain’s natural tendencies rather than going against the grain of our true nature.

Life of the rich

I enjoy downtime every day: All introverts need a downtime period, and we need it every day. Without time alone we can become perpetually overwhelmed and frazzled. I still have not perfected carving out time in my schedule for this, but I’m working on it. I need to consciously make time for nourishing activities that make me feel relaxed like reading a book, soaking in a bubble bath, writing in my journal (which is actually my online blog), going back to doing craft work etc. and I need to give these nourishing activities as much importance as eating or sleeping. For introverts, this downtime is just as critical to our well-being.

I know when to bow out gracefully: Social events can be fun for both introverts and extroverts, but introverts sometimes feel the need to leave an event long before extroverts do. After a lot of interaction with others, I need to mentally process everything I’ve taken in. I therefore usually prefer to drive myself to the function or event and usually leave the event long before most people do. I don’t like feeling trapped at an event because I’m dependent on a lift home. I need to have the freedom to come and go when I please and not be bound by someone else’s time schedule. Advanced planning is therefore very important to me.

Now that I have a better understanding of my true nature and am embracing the real me, I am happier and more at peace with the world than I’ve been before. I’m trying to embrace my true identity because once I accept myself and live my life accordingly, life could be truly wonderful.

How do I start a blog?

Ant (pondering)

Many of you have asked me this question via my blog and I’ve decided to answer the question via this post.

Before you even start your blog you need to answer these simple questions:

1) What is the purpose of your blog? Why do you want to write a blog? Do you want it to just be an online journal of your life (like mine), do you want to share information (like recipes, Do-It-Yourself tips etc). What exactly do you want to write about and why do you think its necessary to share this information?

2) Target audience – who is your target audience? If you want to blog about fashion tips, your target audience will be those interested in fashion trends (as an example)

3) Hosting platform – which hosting platform do you want to use? I use WordPress because it’s the easiest to set up with a whole lot of free features but some people use Blogspot.com, for example.

4) Frequency – how often do you want to blog. Do you want to post daily, weekly, monthly blogs? If you want to do a daily blog, do you have enough material to write about? Remember, if you start a daily blog and start writing less because you have run out of material, you will lose your readers. You need to be consistent in your writing. I have chosen to write weekly – yes, I sometimes miss a week but then make sure I write the next week. If I missed more than one week, I would slowly lose my readers so I try very hard to be consistent.

Butterfly

Find your guide here:

Have fun!

I’m not extraordinary enough! The Power of Vulnerability

Vulnerability is

• Who/what should I be afraid of?

• Who’s to blame for this fear?

These questions indicate a culture of scarcity – of not being enough. In terms of the scarcity culture we always feel like we’re never enough, for example:

• I’m not pretty/handsome enough

• I’m not _________ enough (fill in the blank space)

Our capacity for wholeheartedness

Influential author and speaker Dr Brené Brown tackles the myth that vulnerability is a weakness.

Instead, she argues, it is the clearest path to courage and meaningful connection, and has the power to transform the way we engage and educate.

Watch this video: