The State of My Year

Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

calender

Phew, this year has gone by so quickly and looking back, it’s been one huge roller coaster of a ride!

January started with a bang and the festivities of December was carried over when we attended Kalahari Karoo Blues and the Solms Delta Taste and Tweet at the Baxter Theatre.

February started with the sickening rape and murder of Anene Booysen and Valentine’s Day brought  the shock of Oscar Pistorius having (allegedly) (purposefully) murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.  The trial commences in August and we will get a better picture then.  Luckily the month ended on a high note with tickets to see Robin Sharma at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

March means harvest time in the Cape and we attended the Ormonde Harvest Day in Darling and were spoiled rotten!

April brought on Bloggers Awards Season and there were loads of that going around!  I read Insanity by Charles Bronson and Boston Marathon bombings shocked the entire world.

May was meltdown month for me.  Luke’s problems at school escalated to the point where I could take no more.  I learned about GMO’s for the first time and were shocked to the core at the junk we are fed, camouflaged as food!    We attended the March against Monsanto at as well as the Good Food and Wine Show.  The month ended on a realization about my status of being proudly South African and I decided to start learning Xhosa.

June was an eye-opener month.  I took up Xhosa and was able to communicate with Chippa in his mother tongue.  It turned the tables and I left him crying!  I discovered the wonder of seven point five and the secrets in my blood and immediately started Luke on Mindset tablets.  We started attending The Bay Christian Family Church with Dr Allan and Pastor Janine Bagg.  I recommitted my life to God and made a couple of fantastic friends.  God immediately started working wonders in our lives and the changes have been miraculous!

July saw tremendous personal growth for Jacques, Luke and myself.  God provided in ways which we never could have imagined.  Luke is focused and continues to blossom in school thanks to Mindset.  I had my best sales month of the year.  I have faced some emotional giants and put them to ground and we continue to grow as a couple and as a family.  There was a change of ownership at my work, which I am very happy about and things are looking up on all fronts!

For the first time in ages, I can say that we are really looking forward to the rest of the year.

Other bloggers’ year in retrospect:

  1. Beasties, B****cks and Bullshit Detectors! State of My Year! | alienorajt
  2. Now. | suzie81’s Blog
  3. State of Geek Ergo Sum address | Geek Ergo Sum
  4. The Tri-State Area | Daily Prompt: State of Your Year | likereadingontrains
  5. Daily Prompt: State of Your Year | Vagabond
  6. 2013: State of My Year – So Far | Love. Life.
  7. This is MY Year | Daily Prompt: State of Your Year | Being a Huntress
  8. Chaos, panic and disorder | Echoes and Whispers
  9. Respectless the respectful way | Le Drake Noir
  10. Daily Prompt: State of Your Year | George and Nigel
  11. Aprons and kerchiefs and brooms, oh my! | Relax…
  12. DP: Now | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  13. The State of Me is Better Than the State of You-Know-What | The Jittery Goat
  14. Daily Prompt: State of Your Year ~ NOW In the Campo | In Da Campo
  15. Daily Prompt: State of Your Year « Mama Bear Musings

An open letter to Ina Bonnette

Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

christ

This prompt coincides well with a post I’ve been working at all day – an open Letter to Ina Bonnette:

Dear Ina

I don’t really know where to start.  I guess there is no better way than to say “Thank You”.

What you have been through is an ordeal none of us can begin to imagine.  We can sit back and think about all the horrible stuff we have had to endure.  We can sit back and think about all the pain that was enforced on us by animals who call themselves “human beings”.  I can sit here and say “I am sorry for what you have had to endure” or “I know what you are going through”, but we don’t ever really know do we?  Your experiences, your ability to process it all and your life makes your situation unique.  As does mine and that of millions of other women across the planet who have had to suffer at the hand of someone they once loved or trusted or perhaps even someone they did not even know.

Yet, despite everything, you stood firm in your faith and you sat there during the trial.  In the presence of that monster.  You sat there and watched him squirm, making up the story as he goes along.  You bravely sat there every day and faced the monster head on.

Thank you for your bravery.  Thank you for making a stance.  Thank you for sending the  message that women will no longer stand back and allow the life to be stolen from us.  Thank you for not disappearing.  Thank you for being strong.

You are a huge inspiration to women across the world.  Your actions throughout the trial, no matter how small they may seem to you now, spoke volumes.  You gave women back their power.

I listened to your quick radio interview this morning and tears came to my eyes.  Then you said “I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him” and I felt compelled to write to you.

Ina, I know that right now it is incredibly hard to even fathom the idea, but you are going to have to forgive him.

I once knew such an animal.  I hated him and I swore that I would never forgive or forget.  I tried to just blend into the background.  I wanted to be invisible.  I wanted to disappear.  I didn’t want anyone to know of my existence.  I ran away from home and left behind everyone else who loved me.

About a year later I found myself walking in a shopping center.  I felt hollow and dead inside.  I looked at my reflection in the shop window and it dawned on me “He is still controlling your life.  He is still in charge.”  I made the realization that as long as I am not living the full life God intended me to live, I am still giving the monster power over my life.  Worst part of all?  I am doing it willingly and he does not even know about it!

I’m not saying that you should forget about what happened.  I’m not saying you should not mourn about it.  You will never forget, but you can heal.  Forgiving him does not mean that you have to allow him into your life ever again!  Forgiving him only means that you give yourself the power to heal.  Forgiving him means that you give yourself the power, which you  have given to so many women when you attended the trial.

I am not a councilor or psychologist.  I don’t have any degree which gives me the right to tell you what to do.  All I can do is tell you my story.  Once I made the realization that I am giving him power over my life, I was able to forgive and move on.  Once I managed to forgive him, I was able to heal.  Once healed, I was able to blossom into the woman God wanted me to be.

Your faith in God gave you the strength to get through this ordeal.  Trust in Him to help you forgive.  Trust in Him to heal.

Ina, you are a beautiful and magnificently strong woman, you are worthy of more.

Remember that.

You are worthy.

Stay strong.

Obtaining clarity

Photo: http://www.aflourishinglife.com

The Note from the Universe today poses an interesting question:

“Have you ever noticed how lacking clarity is clarity itself? How, if you are unsure about something, that alone, has meaning? Honor uncertainty. It is the womb from which all-knowingness comes.”

Let’s break it down: Have you ever noticed lacking clarity?
We all know that feeling, right? You wake up one day and regard your life, as if from a distance, just to notice that it seems foreign. Sometimes you look at it all and wonder: what am I doing here, how did I get here, what happened to me? It’s as if you have been asleep for the past 15 years and just woke up to realize someone else has been living your life. You are missing something, but you just don’t know what it is.

We deal with these feelings in a lot of different ways. Some of us might be content to drown those feelings of dissatisfaction in anti-depressants or alcohol; living a fake life where every day chips away a little more at your armour. It kills of your soul in tiny chunks. For some in translates into a mid-life (or quarter life) crisis: you become or get yourself a Cougar or Ben 10 and have a saucy affair. You take up a sudden interest in a foreign language or take up a ridiculous new hobby such as cross country bike racing. You pack up and leave, literally for the unknown, for an as yet undecided destination, with nothing more than a backpack, a passport and some cash. For others it might be as simple as a change in career. Others yet get divorced and set off to find themselves.

Any of these actions might bring temporary relief from the questions hounding you. Soon enough you again find yourself racing through a dark night, panting for breath, those thoughts and feelings chasing you down like a pack of rabid dogs. And the trouble starts again.

Clarity lies in noticing the lack of clarity.
This sounds very Confucius-like, I know, but think about it. When the time comes that you make the stark realization that your life is missing something, you should be giving yourself a high-five, dance naked in the rain and yodel at the top of your voice! The fact that you “woke up” and realized that you are lacking something in your life is in itself a sign of personal growth, a sign that you have awakened into a higher state of being and that you are ready for to enter the next level in your life.

Robin Sharma says “We are born into genius and should never settle for a life of mediocrity”. Noticing the lack of clarity is your way to realize that you are not in tune with your destiny. It is something to be celebrated not feared!

Honor uncertainty. It is the womb from which all-knowingness comes.
We are all created, destined for greatness. We are all placed on this planet with a certain greatness to achieve. The problem comes in when we choose to ignore our inner voice and follow a path different from our destiny. It is not by choice that we begin to ignore our inner voice. From an early age we are told that there are no such things as monsters in the dark of night; grow up, you are too old to believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy; and, the biggest killer of them all, don’t think, just listen and learn – I am a grown up, I know more than you do! I hate the saying “Children should be seen and not heard” – to my view that is one of the worst rules to impose on children. Through being able to express themselves, children learn infinitely more than by merely listening; they learn to listen to their inner voice and it grows with them. Well rounded children are much less likely to experience a mid-life crisis and they become, generally speaking, active, caring and loving members of society. Why? Because they listen to their inner voice and know what they want out of life. Their minds aren’t cluttered by endless ideals imposed on them.

So what do we do?
If you have not yet reached this point, stop now and take stock of your life. There is still time to consider it all. Take time I every day to be quiet with yourself. No distraction – no ipod or TV or mobile or computer, not even a book. If you can, take a 10 minute walk. If you can’t, go sit in your garden for 10 minutes, look at the clouds and listen to the birds. If you don’t have a garden, run a hot bath, take a straw (necessary for breathing) and submerge yourself under water. Then pause and listen. The thoughts that come into your mind are your driving force. Weed them out one by one: negatives thoughts creates more negative emotion creates more negative circumstances negative thoughts; positive thoughts creates more positive emotion creates more positive circumstances creates more positive thoughts. It really is not rocket science. It will be difficult when you first start and it might take longer than 15 minutes at your first go to get to your core, your inner voice. Rest assured, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Turn listening to your inner voice into a habit and you will be surprised at the clarity you will gain. Becoming in tune with your inner voice before it is too late, will give you ample opportunity to discuss your needs with your family and loved ones and undoubtedly you will be able to reach some agreement about the way forward.

If you have reached the point of no return, you are in for an adventurous ride! Take time now to find your inner voice, it is there, believe me, you just need to find it! One of two things will happen: You will choose to make fear (either of the unknown ahead or loss of what you have known up to now – regardless of how bad it is for your soul) your driving force, or you will choose to make courage your driving force. Only you can choose whether you want to jump down the rabbit hole or walk on by.

Heading into the unknown to find yourself is a daunting task, but unless you find what drives you the pack rabid dogs will forever remain in your head, no matter how far or fast you run.

Dancing in the rain

Photo: http://www.giftsofmotherhood.blogspot.com

Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

From signing in the rain…
“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain”. As a child I used to love rainy days. Nothing beats the power of a summer thunder storm in the Free State or Highveld. You can see it coming; feel the electricity in the air. Suddenly the sun disappears and you know it’s time. The drum roll starts far off and builds up its crescendo until the rumbling clouds converge overhead, erupting in a deafening roar. We sit with bated breath, anxiously waiting for the lighting to strike. We made a game of it: who will spot it first?! The downpour begins and it’s time for fried apple and cinnamon pancakes with sweet, milky tea. Yum!!! It never lasted very long and soon we would be playing in the sun again. Birds appear, shaking dry their feathers; rain drops compete to see which can defy gravity for the longest, precariously dangling from spider webs. After such storms we would go into the garden to pick up fruit or vegetables which were knocked off by hail. There was a spot right at the back of the garden, behind the garage, where we would play. The clay-like soil was perfect for mud cakes and clay animals. I really loved those days.

…to crying in the rain….
The move to Cape Town in 2005 signalled a huge turnaround in my life. Not only had my sister just passed away, but it was also the beginning of the end in other regards. Unfortunately my love for rain remained in the Highveld. I love sunshine and, to me, rain was always followed by sunshine. Summer rains is the way it’s supposed to be. I thrive on sunshine, even if it is the bleak winter sun of the Free State struggling to break the grip of the cold; slowly melting away at the iced over taps. Cape Town of course is a horse of a different colour altogether. Winter rain – urgh! Cold and wet just does not work for me. The beautiful Cape sees very little sun during the winter months. Everything is dark and grey and wet and it just depresses me. I hate being cold, but being cold and wet. URGH!!!!!!!!!!! Have I mentioned that I don’t enjoy winter in Cape Town? Sorry, I have. Luckily we have fantastic wine farms and luckily I have learned to enjoy a glass of good red from time to time.

Rain is to a forest what tears are to the soul. It cleanses and washes away anything that shouldn’t be there. Have you noticed how crisp and clean everything looks after a good storm? The greens are greener and everything sparkles. “I’ll do my crying in the rain” is a song which I’ve come to love. Rain is the perfect disguise for crying. Just suit up and take a long walk. Let it all out, no-one could possibly know. It’s a triple-whammy: you get a good work out (the more emotional you get the faster you walk), you get to wash clean your spirit with tears, and no one can see the awful expression as tears stream down your cheeks.

…to learning to dance in the rain!
On Friday I made the startling realization that I have, sort of, come full circle and is once again ready to start enjoying the rain. “Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain” – I just love this quote. It is pretty much one of the principles I live by. Sitting on the side-line, waiting for a storm to pass is the easy thing to do. Take charge of the situation and dance in the rain. More often than not you’ll find a solution faster and feel better about the situation overall. So let the winter bring on its unforgiving rain that falls down softly with no rumble or lightning. I am ready to listen at the patter once more, ready to draw circles in the foggy windows and jump over the puddles.

Right now, it’s a very rare sunny winter’s day in the beautiful Cape so we are off for a walk on the beach to soak up every last ray of sunshine.
How do you spend your rainy days?