Author Archives: About Holistic

Is Change Hard?

Written by Karin Kelly Lawrenz

The you who is reading now is almost an entirely different you to the one of 10 years ago; and the one of 10 years ago was different to the one from a decade before that.

I am sure you were not struggling to make those changes. Most part you weren’t even aware as they happened because you’re in a constant state of change as is everybody else and every living creature.

The contradiction is that the one thing that is happening to you all the time is the one thing you resist the most.

The one thing you think is difficult and painful is the one thing you are best at.

You may think you embrace change and in some situations that may well be true, but in others you will resist with all your might.

As an extreme example, you will almost certainly resist your own death.

If you get sick you will seek help to restore your health because that’s not the kind of change you want to see happen.

Maybe it is a career change that you know deep down will be good for you, ending a disempowering or abusive relationship or quitting smoking.

Change Is Easy
The actual process of change is very, very, easy.

With leaving an abusive partner, the actual walking out the door bit is not difficult, presuming that is, you know how to open a door.

Starting a new job is easy. All that’s entailed is arriving at your new place of work, probably signing a few forms, being shown around and introduced to your colleagues and hey presto, you have started!

As for quitting smoking, that’s the easiest thing in the world because you do not have to do anything. How easy is it not to buy cigarettes?

You think of change as being difficult, not because it is, but because you are told it is and the process of getting to the point where you do the change can look difficult, or even overwhelming.

And the reason that you think of the process of change as being difficult is because (presuming you are like most people) you construct images of what could go wrong, how much preparation there is to do and how uncomfortable you’ll feel.

What if I don’t like my new job? What if my boss is horrible, my co-workers don’t like me or the work is too difficult?
What if I cannot find another partner? What if I can’t find anywhere to live, or worse still if I end up with an even more abusive person than previously?
What if I get cravings? What if I fold after one too many beers at the Christmas Party in 6 months? And how will I cope if I get mega-stressed, because smoking always calms me down?

And so, you build up change as this huge great unconquerable demon who stands 30 feet tall, breathes fire and farts bullets.

The Case for the Prosecution
The truth however is somewhat different and the evidence that you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, is not just compelling, but totally and utterly devastating.

No attorney on the planet would defend the argument that you cannot deal with change, because they tend to be clever people and they know they’d lose every single time.

What was the last change that happened in your life that you didn’t deal with?

Give it some thought.

If you are struggling to pick one don’t worry because I can answer the question for you.

There is not one.

You have dealt with every single piece of adversity life has thrown at you, and the reason I know that is because you are here right now reading this blog post.

Sure, there may be events in your past that you wished you’d handled with more aplomb, equanimity, grace or humour, but you still dealt with them, they didn’t kill you.

You have more toughness, more resilience, more tenacity, more adaptability and more resolve than you ever give yourself credit for.

The reason I get irritated with Life Coaches making silly blanket statements such as, “change is hard” (which I recently read on another coach’s blog) is because, firstly there are billions of examples where people have changed with ease, but more importantly, it creates a belief that things will be hard.

The Power of Your Belief System
If you set out to make some beneficial changes in your life believing they will take months of hard work and even then, they may not come to fruition you exponentially increase the likelihood that it will takes months of hard work and may not come to fruition.

Some Life Coaches may want you to think change is hard because that way they convince you to sign up for long-term contracts and you set off on the journey believing that is how long it will take because your coach said so.

Actually, that may be a tad harsh. I think with a handful of coaches it’s like that, but with many more they simply do not know any better.

However, the biggest indicator of how successful you will be is not the Life Coach you work with, the money you spend, the affirmations you utter, the books you read or the prayers you say, it is the beliefs you hold.

Of course, some of the above things can help bolster your belief system and I recommend doing anything legal, moral or ethical that does likewise, but they are tools to help you, they are not the reason you will or will not succeed.

Without belief, you are not necessarily bound to fail, but you are going to increase the likelihood exponentially.

There is an amazing story about the power of the belief, a story that when I first was told it on my Life Coach training I simply did not believe it.

If this story does not blow you away and make you fully appreciate the power of your beliefs, then you are possibly in denial.

Contemplate on this.

Karin Kelly
Transforamtion Coach : Author

Selfish Humans

Written by Deborah Jordaan

Good day loyal readers I hope you are well and mother nature rains abundance upon you. This week I am writing about the selfish patient. As you all know I am a Carer and I take care of my partner. My partner is happiest when his needs are met but when I need to get to the little life I have he has opinions sometimes.

I am sympathetic and empathic to his needs but when I voice my needs and wants he has a few golden words of wisdom.

Some days I bite my tongue and just compose myself but then I get those moments where I think why am I doing this? I know I chose this life but I think how much more can I take?

Alone time to oneself is so important but us as Carers never get there, as we run the household work elsewhere and must still make time for children and grandchildren. I have decided a while back to go see a psychologist as when my mental state takes strain I have a place to go that sees to only my needs and it is a safe place where I can wind down and let go of my feelings.

My partner has children and extended family but as todays children are; they don`t come visit or offer to help but they also have so many suggestions. They never ask me how am I? Could they spend a day with him and give me some time to get to whatever I would like to do.

I know some people would say I can be lucky to have a partner as their loved ones have passed on and they are alone. I do practice gratefulness but there are times when I must also be selfish and find time to breathe and just be me.

I used to be a people pleaser but the mental mind tends to bring you back down to earth and slow you down and make you aware that you need self – care. I am always taking care of people but they have this notion that I magically have all the time in the world and will jump for them.

That is the selfish patient. Taking care of people is not about the money as the money you get paid can`t buy time off.

Men in general are very sensitive when they are sick, to me it is in their nature. Ladies whether sick or not just keep on going as we cannot cancel our life and say when we better we will get back to it.

I have my health issues and when I talk about them I get told that I am always sick. This coming from my partner who keeps me awake at night, no sleep for me. It is like having a baby all over except that this baby is not going to grow up and move out of the house.

So to the people men or women that are devoting their lives to those kind of people with partial selfishness, you will be losing yourself along your way and when you find yourself ill and need attention no one will be there for you.

Be blessed and take care of your mental mind.

Colours, the Little Mermaid

Children’s story was written by Grazia Martienssen
Gooday children, Flyer the seagull here, let me tell you about:

Playing Together

Once I was flying over the ocean when I saw a colourful little mermaid, she had a colourful tail and long colourful hair. Everyone called her Colours. She was very cheerful and happy. One day she saw some children on the beach and decided to make friends with them.
I didn’t catch the children’s names. Were you there? Have you ever played with a mermaid?

Exciting Times

The children saw her approaching and shouted,
“Look, a girl with colourful hair!” As she approached they saw her tail.
“It’s a mermaid, they said excitedly.”
“Yes, and my name is Colours,” she said.
“Wow, I can see why you are called colours,” replied the children.
“I am the youngest of 3 sisters, and the most colourful one of them all,” she said. “Can I play with you please?” Colours asked.
“Yes,” they all said very excitedly.
In the hours that followed, they played all kinds of games. They played throwing the ball into the water, and when it went too far, Colours would swim to fetch it.
They played skipping, and Colours skipped with the waves while using them as a skipping rope. They had so much fun and played so many games.

Suddenly two more mermaids appeared.
“My sisters have arrived!” said Colours, before introducing them to the children. The sisters joined in the fun and showed the children some new games to play. They played so many games and had so much fun!
I didn’t hear the names of the 2 mermaids. Do you know their names?

What games do you think they played together? I should have written them all down to remember them. Maybe you know?

Then they took the children underwater and invited them to their house for lunch. The house was beautiful, and the meal was delicious.

Do you know what they ate?
What do you think the house was made of?

Back up
When they were finished eating the mermaids took the children back up and gave them some mermaid bread to take home.

I think the bread was made from seaweed, but I am not sure.

Do you know how mermaids bake their bread?

Our Behaviour…

Written by Ada Den Hollander

The first aspect of our behaviour in this post has to do with turning a blind eye which I derive mainly from an interesting book I read last week entitled: Wilful Blindness. Written by researcher and businesswoman Margaret Heffernan. The book was first published in 2011 and has been updated and reprinted several times.

The book is about how we tend to look away if a certain situation doesn’t feel right to us, is uncomfortable, disturbs our peace of mind, can be financially threatening, gets in the way of our ego etc. We just don’t like change, we prefer the situation as it is. Numerous examples are described in the book, based on carefully conducted scientific research, with all references at the back of the book.

The question remains whether our behaviour is naturally what it is or whether it is formed by the circumstances (nature versus nurture). There is no simple answer to that. I think both play a role. One child experiences its upbringing differently from a sibling while the circumstances are the same, because it is, for example, more sensitive. Identical twins can show completely different behaviour later in life, while the opposite also occurs. This is an introduction on my part. Some examples from the book:

We are always amazed that women go back to the men who abuse them. Whether the abuse is verbal, physical or sexual, the man promises to better himself and the woman believes him. Women who make that choice have low self-esteem (I don’t deserve better, perhaps an example of nature) or they saw their mother undergoing the same treatment (they don’t know any better, an example of nurture). They tell themselves that it is their fault, that they themselves must be a better wife to their husband, or that they cannot handle life on their own (especially for financial reasons). These women are often the victims of psychopaths, who are so manipulative that even psychologists are deceived. Both groups are therefore blind to reality and look away.

Child abuse, whether sexual or otherwise, is much more common than we think. That incest only occurs in lower-class families is a fairy tale, that mothers often look away, unfortunately not. Why is that? Out of fear of what they will get themselves into when they speak up. Head in the sand, then the problem does not exist. Especially because they want to keep the harmony (for themselves, not for the child). The consequences for the (behaviour of the) child are enormous.

Alice Stewart noticed in the 1950s that twice as many children born to women who had an x-ray during pregnancy developed cancer in a period of ten years. Before making this widely known, she did more research and kept coming to the same conclusion. She raised it with colleagues before publishing it in The Lancet in 1956. There was talk of the Nobel Prize for her. And then nothing at all happened. Why? It was indigestible for doctors that they had done something that turned out to be life-threatening to foetuses. X-rays were in vogue, because it was a relatively new technology and no one wanted to see the harm it could cause. People looked away. She was made fun of. It took many years for her findings to be recognised. (this is a very short summary of her story)

Albert Speer, after 1942 the second most powerful man in Germany, and Hitler got along very well. Speer was therefore completely blind to the monster that was Hitler. His life was spared at the Nuremberg trial because he freely admitted not seeing what Hitler had been doing. He later stated to his biographer that he had to spend the rest of his life coming to terms with what he had done because he had been blind.

You are in love and a good friend very carefully says something negative about your new love. You don’t hear it, you don’t see it, you are completely blind. You even push away that annoying little voice in the back of your head.

Other examples: MeToo; People who are initially critical of misconduct in their company, but then gradually go along with the flow, because everyone does it and you don’t want to be an outsider. The real whistleblowers, who don’t mind being ridiculed when they denounce wrongdoing at companies, institutions and governments, are being fired because they are contrarians and reveal things that the boss is looking away from, often because a lot of money is at stake. Madoff, Enron etc.

And so there are countless other examples in the book of which you think, how on earth is it possible? But look into the mirror. Is our own behaviour always flawless? Can we always resist the temptation to do something that we know is not actually right, but which we then know how to condone in an excellent way?

Look what happened when the sale of cigarettes was banned. The black market grew by the day. Everyone smoked as much as ever before or more, no one suddenly stopped smoking. If you intend to quit smoking, it isn’t going to happen because the sale is banned. I would almost say the opposite is true. I myself hadn’t smoked a cigarette for over a year, but I thought when the ban is lifted, I will light one or two or… Purely recalcitrant behaviour.

Forbidding something leads to excessive behaviour and has the opposite effect.

Alcohol insanely expensive in Sweden? Then we take the ferry back and forth and drink as much and as fast as we can, as soon as the boat is out of territorial waters. How so?

The ban on the sale of alcohol caused the same behaviour as with the cigarettes. You want more of it if you can’t have it freely and legally.

Forbidden fruits (illegal cigarettes and alcohol, drugs, an affair) simply taste much better. Why? Because of the excitement? The chance to get caught? Satisfaction of our ego? Look at me? Pure boredom? The need of something outside of ourself to get a fix?

Us humans are also resourceful. No alcohol for sale? Then we make it ourselves, right? With ginger and pineapple, for example. (this has increased the price of ginger by 300%, but this aside). Anything better than being without.

If there has ever been an interesting time to take a closer look at our behaviour, it is now. People who express different opinions are ridiculed, fired or slandered. Just like so many whistleblowers before them. Without giving the other person the opportunity to give his view on the matter and thus engage into a dialogue. We are quick to judge, but who are we to even have an opinion about someone else.

He who is without sin ……

Living life as a ‘votarist’

Written by Chris De Flamingh

I lived my life for approx. 20 years as a ‘votarist’

You can find the description / definition of a ‘votarist’ on the link below but will place the info in this blog as well should you not opt to look it up.

Definition / Description:

In the Christian tradition, such public vows are made by the religious – cenobitic and eremitic – of the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, whereby they confirm their public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience or Benedictine equivalent. The vows are regarded as the individual’s free response to a call by God to follow Jesus Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit in a particular form of religious living. A person who lives a religious life according to vows they have made is called a votary or a votarist. The religious vow, being a public vow, is binding in Church law. One of its effects is that the person making it ceases to be free to marry. In the Catholic Church, by joining the consecrated life, one does not become a member of the hierarchy but becomes a member of a state of life which is neither clerical nor lay, the consecrated state.

To my personal belief (not blessed or approved/ordained by God in reality), made certain vows to God to sort of ‘police’ or limit myself from doing anything against God’s law at the time.

Little knowing that I was pursuing God’s law in a non-biblical form and I suffered great emotional trauma because of it and thus lived a very secret and painful lifestyle which I never told any of my family or friends because I felt it was a personal agreement between me and God and no one would ever understand but in actual fact, I had caused more pain for myself and was living a life of sin instead of a God-like lifestyle.

I realised this, the day after my mom passed away on the 28 April 2019 and when I awoke the next morning realising my mom was now gone to be with the Lord, I had reaffirmed my life and commitment to God in the proper manner and so life seemed more real and more clearer to me.

Since then I have taken on a new persona in the true sense of the word and now follow a completely different path to serving God every day of my life. I have been through so much emotional trauma since then as well for various different reasons. But I have learnt from those mistakes as it mostly had been my own doing.

The lesson I learnt from this was that you cannot or should not misunderstand or live a misguided life which God had not meant for you to live or to follow instead follow God’s word according to the Holy Bible.

My whole aim for my blog and family history and telling my story is to leave behind a legacy which I want people to learn from and not make the same mistakes in life as I did.

I pray that everyone experiences peace and love all over the world, especially during this difficult time of the (COVID-19) pandemic and consider and help each other where we can possible so we could all join hands and live in unity. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Where the Wanderer Seeks Wonder

Written by Vanessa Anderson

Not all who wander are lost” these are the words lapping the shores of my mind as I write, the message that I must convey, so I am going to borrow these words, these spells from Tolkien’s poem. Written for the Fellowship of the Ring – it talks of a return to power, however it relates to so much more.

We are all wanderers, if not of the land and distance, then belonging and understanding, but we wander nonetheless, or we wonder – no less. But, “not all who wander are lost”.

Some have passed, their time gone
Some have left, to leave behind.
Some have set off to find
Some have wandered and found wonder!

What we seek is particularly unique and inherently personal and what resonates for one may not resonate for others, but when it does, we gather in numbers, we gather our tribe and “from the ashes a fire shall be woken”.

In this made up, mixed up and tossed out world, a sacred journey often requires a shedding of the superfluous. It is in such times we now find ourselves and in precisely such time, we must find ourselves. The journey is often a step backwards, “deep roots are not reached by the frost.

The more we advance, in technology and medicine the further away from source we become, separate and further from the wandered path, like a spiral on a trajectory from core to outer rim and infinity, but we must never sever our self from core, from our roots.

Our roots keep us grounded, feet on soil, spirit to Gaia (Mother Earth), mother to soul, soul in ashes, “From the ashes a fire shall be woken, “ the circle of life. In the whorl, recognise a return to self, “A light from the shadows shall spring” the unseen, seen.

The way of Wicca, in case you forgot, reminds you that YOU ARE A MAGICAL, MYSTICAL BEING OF LIGHT AND LOVE!

We sew and sow, we incant and we speak into being, we create and craft with intent because – energy flows where intent goes.

We learn lines, form and shape – words and symbols that create meaning. We use this collection of meanings to express ourselves, our will and desires, incantation. That is why crafting words is called spelling.

Our hands compose, they hold and nurture, feel and form, heal and craft, sew and sow, speak and flow, our hands remember – and the magic flows. Our thoughts feed purpose and for a brief moment, the world around us returns to calm.

Not all who wander are lost, but all who look in wonder will find it.

Among the faerie stones and mossy knoll, the pebbled path and forest fold, rap the door and mind the cat, the kettle’s on, our interest rapt, for love of truth our stories told – our sovereign gift is bright and bold. That whisper soft and gentle gust that brought you here because here you must. Curled at your feet, like purr and fluff, remember now, remember how – you must.

Your hands, your mind, your words – energy flows where intent goes.

We are all wanderers and wonder we must.
All that is gold does not glitter;
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be King.
JRR Tolkien

Every Day is a Miracle

Written by Neshni Naidoo

The last few years have been traumatic for everyone. However, even before the pandemic struck, we lost many loved ones in our family, both young and old. How do you continue with your life, knowing that a part of you is missing?

My answer came in the strangest of places. One day, I found a handwritten note in the pages of a second-hand book I had bought. It read:
“There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute – here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is – a miracle and unrepeatable.”

How do we put that into practice?

By giving thanks for every moment we have.

By appreciating everything we have, especially this beautiful bountiful Earth we call home.

By appreciating and showing appreciation to the people in our lives.

By using our time, spending time with those we love and making good memories

Through sharing our love and serving.

By thinking before we speak or act so that we don’t have regrets.

The events of the past few years have reminded us that we are not in control. We had to adapt and learn to live with uncertainty. “How?”, I asked. The answer was revealed to me when I was out on the road.

What do we do when we are driving in mist so dense that we can only see as far as the car in front of us? We slow down, switch on the headlights and stay alert and focused. Perhaps we recite a prayer or chant, trusting that God will make sure we arrive at our destination safely.

Over the past few years, we have been forced to slow down, to take a step back from the distractions and busyness in our lives. We were given more time to reflect and re-evaluate our lives – time to understand our purpose and to focus on what is important. The headlights that light our way is the love that we have shared with our brothers and sisters. We stay calm through prayer and meditation. And it is our faith and trust in God that will carry us through these tests.

Sometimes it is hard to trust especially when we are grieving or when it seems like there is no end and no hope.

But when we falter or lose faith, it is the support from family, friends and our community, even strangers that will lift us. If we put aside our pride and reach out for help, we will find so many willing to serve – with love, without judgment and selflessly.

As time passes, let us not forget the lessons we have learned – to treasure and be grateful for every minute – to live each minute with purpose, love and joy. To live with equanimity understanding that God is the Director and trusting in His Divine Plan.

Quality of Life

Written by Deborah Jordaan
Good day to all the beautiful souls that take time to read our thoughts and opinions every week. We appreciate you. This week I’m writing about the quality of life and how people all have different views on the subject.

As we all know I work at an old age home and I see the patient’s conditions get worse. It doesn’t mean getting older means your life ends. The sad part about some of the elderly at the home is that eventually they just exist and they lose the quality of living and enjoying every moment. They eat, sleep and breathe – not by choice but because they have to.

I went to breakfast with my partner as we often try to do to keep the quality of our life. Noticing two ladies in the corner of my eye I observed that they were having brunch and sharing a bottle of wine. They were both in their sixties but so smart and funky. I approached them and asked if I could take a photo of them for inspiration for this article. They told me they were lifelong friends and that the one had come from the UK to see her friend. They enjoy life and make the most of every day. How beautiful.

The next person I know is a previous ballerina who has come from an affluent life but somewhere she lost her quality of life and has forgotten how to live. She spends her days going to shop, buying cat food and minimal food for herself. She wants to be miserable and have people feel so sorry for her but she is actually losing the time she has to have a quality of life on pity for herself, as everyone in her life prefers not to be in her space as she just drags everyone into her sorry excuse of a life.

PEST – play, eat, sleep and touch is quality of life. Children have all those traits yet adults seem to have lost the play and touch. Those people that have lost quality of life must go inside themselves and go find their inner child and they could find their quality of life that they lost.

Don’t let people take away your PEST. Sometimes when we are in toxic relationships we lose our PEST and to find it again is difficult but if you are worth it, get out the hole you have fallen into and face your days with gusto.

My partner lost a leg below the knee as I have mentioned before but he refuses to sit in a corner and feel sorry for himself. He lives by the motto of PEST, if he allowed the pity to take over he would be less of a human and be a pitiful mess. We don’t always feel like playing or touching but those are things that are crucial for a human being to feel like they are worth it.

We have six human needs which are security, variety, significance, connection, contribution and growth but without play and touch, we lose connection which in turn inhibits our growth.

So in my ending words, my advice to all of you is don`t forget to practice PEST.

Main Stressors and Solutions

Written by Karin Kelly Transformation Coach

People cross my path on a daily basis, whether it be a coaching client, or just sitting in a coffee shop and hearing people talk around me, and let’s not forget social media feeds — so it’s inevitable that the “stress” of life, in one way or another is brought up, be it death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, increasing financial obligations, getting married, moving to a new home, suffering chronic illness or injury, and even political uncertainty — they are our major stressors in life.

I write as a transformation coach, but also from a personal perspective, as I have gone through 5 of the 7 main stressors — facing death, within the week of being told, was the major one for me.
“You don’t know if the roof is leaking unless you live on the inside.” We don’t know what is going on inside of others unless we ask and unless they tell. People don’t typically go around talking about their problems, depression, anxiety, sad thoughts, or self-loathing. They fear rejection or being a burden to their friends and families.

Over 7 billion people on the planet have a different fingerprint (wow it’s difficult getting your head around that), thus the concept of our energy is different from everyone else’s. Therefore, the way we deal with the main proven stressors is going to be dealt with differently by each and every individual. No Judgement, no blame!

I see a lot of loneliness, isolation, lack of connection, and judgement, in our world today. I believe this has a hand in our increased stress in our lives and in dealing with traumatising situations. Just knowing there are people to talk to and people who care in your world is a huge gift.

We live in very stressful times. Out of seemingly nowhere, an event takes hold of us and we are dealing with the unexpected messiness that comes with living. We also put a lot of expectations on ourselves.

Our society is set up such, where success, a person’s worth is looked at, what kind of job you have, how much money you have, what vehicle you drive, where you stay, and your social circle, to mention a few……everyone wants to be loved.

When we start to experience stress and anxiety, we know that we have crossed a boundary line. The basic root to stress and anxiety is that one thinks that things are not going to turn out well — and that is why we become anxious.
“I am never going to cure myself of my illness”
“I am never going to find another job in these times”
“How am I going to make this relationship work when the breakup rate is so high”
“What is my purpose”
“What am I going to do with my life”

What to do? Well the first thing is not to panic — it’s all part of the journey. You need to recognise and accept that you are not going to have it all figured out.

Secondly, accept where you find yourself and that there will always be uncertainty in your life. You don’t get to know it all. Just look at an artist and how they make decisions. To be artists they have to free themselves to make mistakes and go into unknown territory.

Thirdly, it doesn’t have to be perfect. People are not perfect.

Fourth is to truly have trust in life. When we expect the best out of life, in most cases that is what we attract. Have a fundamental belief that you are good enough. Love yourself, trust yourself and life, and know that you are good and worthy of it all. Many a time, stress and anxiety are fabricated by our minds. We worry so much and have so many unnecessary thoughts that we don’t even know which worry has taken root within ourselves. Leave ego alone.

Fifth, we do not get to go back. However, we do have the ability, through our thoughts and actions, to chart a course towards new opportunities.

Sixth is the sign you are not having fun in your life. You are stuck, or lost in your own consciousness and thoughts. Learn to be present and self-aware about the different elements that make up your personality — and see them without judgment. Take some time in your day to have some fun. Go stand in your garden or the beach and take in the beauty. Or have a conversation with a friend. Notice the beauty around you. Become self-aware about the beauty within yourself. When you’re self-aware you reduce the chances of being completely thrown by things that happen — and any wrong or inappropriate moves that you might make in response to those things happening.

Life is a journey towards something — it is not the destination.

Where we are going in life will most certainly be determined by how we think and act from this point on. Here we have absolute control.

When I work with transformation or healing and my client is so self-absorbed — their minds being full, and no light at the end of the tunnel, I tell them a story of fire. When there is a fire on a mountain for example, it is devastating, destructive and painful. When everything is burnt down to ash and nothing is left, a couple of days later what starts to show? New growth from the existing seed takes place. Change starts to take place. This gives you the perfect opportunity for reinvention (moving towards a destination). As much as the devastation seemed unbelievable, unconceivable by your thoughts, this now gives you a new concept, or new way of life, or whatever it is, to develop YOU. It gives you, YOU time — to look at your deeper layers of understanding of who you are and what you really want out of life, whether its divorce, change of job as mentioned in the beginning of the article.

My advice is then to start from the bottom like the new seed after the fire. Building yourself up by looking into your life, doing some introspection and contemplation and then seeing how being a victim to that circumstance actually doesn’t serve you. Nine out of ten times you will get the answer that it will not serve you

We have all the resources at our disposal — but we are not meant to do it alone. So next time talk to a trusted friend, family, a transformation coach, or psychologist, to name a few.

Giovanni’s Easter (Pasqua)

Written by Grazia Martienssen

Gooday children, Flyer the seagull here, let me tell you about: Giovanni’s Easter (Pasqua)

The traditions:

Giovanni is a seven-year-old boy who lives in a small mountain village in Italy. It is almost Easter, and nonna (granny) is teaching him all about the local traditions and festivities of Lent and Easter.

What Easter traditions do you have?

Festivities and Fasting:

Giovedi Grasso (fat Thursday) is also the day that the carnival starts. Every year it’s on a different date, but falls on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday, and continues for six days. During this week, Italy has some of the most entertaining festivals around the world.

Street parties begin, and it resembles a modern-day circus, with fun parades as far as the eyes can see. The carnival ends on Martedi Grasso (Shrove Tuesday), which starts with a feast, where they have more yummy food with all the villagers. Carnevale or in Latin, “Carnem Levare,” traditionally means, “remove the meat.” After the festivities of the carnival, in the olden days, many people gave up meat for the 40 days leading up to Easter. Nowadays, people give up many different things.

Giovanni is very excited and proud as he dressed up and got ready to walk along the parade with his family. He is going to help carry the statues for the carnival.

They walk through the streets with the whole village, his uncles and some of his father’s friends also help carry the statues. Some watch from their balconies, it’s so much fun!

Every day they do something different, some days they sing, other days they play music. His older sister Maria plays the tambourines and is teaching him to play them as well.

Do you play any musical instruments on special occasions?

Ash Wednesday has arrived, and they all go to Mass and receive ashes on their foreheads as it marks the beginning of Lent. She explains to him that the money they save from giving up something for Lent can be used to give to the poor. Giovanni tries his best to give up luxuries.

Do you and your family give up something for lent?

On Good Friday Giovanni and his family go to mass. They have a small ornament of Jesus on the cross. Nonna explains to him all about what happened to Jesus when he went back to heaven. Some of Giovanni’s neighbours dress up as Jesus and his disciples. Before Mass, nonna, his sister Maria, and his mamma prepare a traditional fish dish.

Do you eat fish on Good Friday? Do you go to church on Good Friday?

Maria always reminds her parents, “Natale con I tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family, Easter with anyone you like) before being whisked away by her friends for the long weekend. Giovanni is still young and has to stay with his parents and helps where he can.

Nonna and mamma bake bread in a basket shape, they also boil some eggs and place them in the breadbasket. Giovanni loves helping to shape the dough into a basket and decorating it. He also enjoys carefully placing the eggs in each basket.

On Easter Sunday he gets chocolate Easter eggs as well, and some of the eggs have a little gift inside. Later they go to mass again, and after Mass, he carries a small statue of Jesus or Mary through the village. After that, they go on a picnic lunch. Giovanni really looks forward to eating la Colomba for dessert (sweet bread cake shaped like a dove).

What do you do on Easter day? What’s your favourite part of the day?

Easter Monday (La Pasquetta)

On Easter Monday Giovanni plays games, has raced and has lots of fun. His favourite game is the spoon and egg race. Everyone has a lovely time with lots of laughter. After the games, they celebrate with another picnic lunch at the farm with all the close and extended family.

What do you do on Easter Monday? Do you have any special food?