Archive | February, 2012

Thinking brilliantly…

23 Feb

About a year ago my husband and I went to Germany for a few days. While we were waiting for a friend to pick us up from our hotel in Hamburg, I paged through a random coffee table book. It turned out to be the most inspiring book. It had articles about artists explaining how they got to live their creative dream in an authentic way. The one artist, Christine Koch caught my eye. She said:

Why not think things that have never been thought before?

I absolutely loved this quote, and as you can see I even photographed the page.

Which posed the following questions:

-How can I read a life-changing sentence like the one above, think about it for a minute or two and then file it in my photo album?

-Why did I not read this and allowed it to change my thinking? In the most radical way, I might add…

-Why was this merely a moment and not a gem that affected my life forever?

I found the above photo in my album archives earlier this week. Then a few days ago in an evening class the speaker taught on more or less the same subject….and the penny dropped!

I realised I can, and am probably called to, think things that no one has ever thought before. I also have permission to think big and radical ideas. I have the ability to think outside my little box, even outside the big box I have put my life-journey in. I can think on a whole different level. I can think along avenues that no one has walked down before. I am encouraged and inspired and I feel all the feelings I missed while a read the quote that day.

Just imagine what might happen to the world if each person have one thought that no one has ever thought before? A new thought that brings life. We could literally change this world. We could establish a reality not seen or experienced before our time. This would cause an earth with new ideas, inventions and designs.

So, by living in this exciting place, I can become a voice for people that think they were not made for something spectacular. I can be a voice reminding people that they were made to influence society, because they were made incredibly unique. Imagine all people starting to understand their own worth and value, and live accordingly. Imagine all people starting to think just one thought that is their unique thought and believe enough in that thought to live it out. We would have an unstoppable life-bringing nation.

There’s nothing wrong with living a life, thinking thoughts that have been thought before. But in each of us there is something that yearns for more, yearns to put our toe into the water on the other side of the boundary line of our boxes. And once we have tasted the more, there is no turning back. And I believe once we realize that each of us can think brilliantly, there will be no turning back…

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Beautiful, courageous vulnerability

18 Feb

I may have said already that part of my vision for this year is to live intentionally. I have often felt that the past few years have been a bit like swimming in order to keep my head above water. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those years and I have embraced many, many amazing moments. But the truth is it felt as if some intricate details of life have passed me by in a way.  So, this year, being in a whole different space with my ‘baby’ just having turned three, and my business more stable, I am starting to live with intention again. I want to experience with intention. I want to write with intention. I want to listen with intention. Mmmmm listening… for me it’s sensitizing my ear to what is not said, the heart and emotion behind the ‘what is being said’.

This past week I have been in four situations where I have been blown away by things people had told me. Being in a season of my life-journey where my tears are welled up very close to the surface (in a good way), I felt that if I would start crying, I may never stop.  So I listened and kept my composure. But in every instance I walked away from the encounter realising that the particular individual has been immensely vulnerable.

Being vulnerable can be scary. Why is that? Is it because we find it so difficult to be honest and appear imperfect to others? Is it because we might look as if we don’t have all the answers? Or are we afraid of feeling exposed? Maybe we have to embark on an unknown journey, a journey without walls around us. The journey of an open heart.

A message from a friend on our pavement...

A few stories in point: I was sitting next to the school tennis courts on a tiny wall listening to a mom sharing her perceived wrong decisions she made concerning her daughter. All I heard was her immense love for that child. I was sitting on our bed listening to my daughter  sharing her failures, and all I heard was a journey of growing up being embarked on. I was at a workshop listening to a woman sharing her innermost feelings, and all I heard was courage. I was attending a class listening to a woman sharing her life story and all I heard was the influence she has on every life she meets.

I walked away from each of these moments feeling that I was holding their hearts in my hands. My one friend summed it up as a feeling of standing on holy ground. In all four instances I felt like my life had changed by what they shared. Some shared profound stuff and some just raw honest emotion. But my life has been impacted by open hearts, by a need to not hide the imperfection. It encouraged me! I want to live vulnerably. I want to live honestly. I want to live authentically. I want my special people to know what I am carrying around in my heart, regardless… Being vulnerable opens up the way for others to feel safe enough to also be just that. Being vulnerable brings freedom. The freedom form hiding perhaps.

There is something so attractive about being vulnerable.
There is something so beautiful about being vulnerable.
There is something so courageous about being vulnerable.

Discovering me…

6 Feb
I woke up this morning with the sound of two of my girls fighting over who is more my daughter than the other… I laughed when I heard this, but it got me thinking. Isn’t that the burning questions in most of our hearts? Who and whose am I? And is there a place for me in the ‘family’, just the way I am? For some time now I have pondered on the word “identity” and its importance in our lives. I have studied the topic, read books about it (which, by the way has changed my life), and yet, it took me 37 years to really understand what it means to discover who I really am, the real me. What does it look like to actually have real identity? It has been a major part of my journey last year. My life had to come to a halt, in a way, to learn more about my own identity. Taking a step back,  got me to see who I really am. So often other things define us: what I do, what I’ve been taught, who others expect me to be… And when all this is taken out of the equation it gives you a chance to start from afresh discovering the true you. Feeling comfortable with who you are, learning to be honest about failures or faults, learning to enjoy yourself, actually learning to just be and loving it. That’s it!

Just Be...

A while ago, someone said to me that I should listen to my daughters. The three of them will teach me profound things. I have subsequently made an effort to pay attention to what my kids say and do. I truly believe that identity is one major aspect which we can learn from kids. Lana (our nearly-3 year old) often say to me; “Why can’t I have a bite of your ice cream, I’m your daughter?” or she would look at her sister in a highly offended way and say “How can you leave me alone in the kitchen, I’m your sister?”. I’ve come to realise that she feels so secure in our love and she understands her place in this family in such a way that she believes that what is ours, is hers and what we own and carry, she has access to. How much more can we be ourselves instead of relentlessly striving to become.

Feeling secure

I’ve read in an awesome book: “When our activities are an expression of our person, it is amazing how much we enjoy what we do.” So I’m thinking, that is ultimately lived out if we are secure in who we are. This is my vision for 2012, that what I do has to be an expression of who I am, without striving or trying, it has to come from my inner most being, it has to look and smell and feel like authentically me. That for me is the breakthrough in the journey of discovering myself. Even if what I do, say or write looks a bit messy, its me… That is the way I want to walk into my destiny, as me. I have made the great decision of not becoming what I think I should be. Instead, I am being who I am. Growth and change is obviously not excluded, just stopping the endless striving. That excites me. And the life-lessons will shape this ‘me’.
And best of all is that this is the inheritance we leave to our childrens’ generation. For them to keep on feeling secure enough to be themselves. To sustain this in a world that could be very formula-driven, with high expectations and the ‘perfect’ picture of what people should look like, act like, be like. Isn’t that exciting that our children are in a place where they can live this, now, without walking half of their life before realizing this truth. This is how my breakthrough becomes their inheritance…
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