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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…

Every Life has a story…

31 Jan
Having been on our own amazing life-journey the past 9 months, I have started listening intently to what other people share about their life. And what I have realised, is that every person has a story. Every person has a story with a loud voice. Every person has a story that impacts others in a profound way. The impact of that story lies both in the journey itself as well as in the way it is handled.
Sometimes our stories are written in bright colours, full of glitter, stories filled with adventure and fun. Sometimes our stories are written in the softest pastel colours, colours which represent tenderness and gentleness. And sometimes our stories are written in shades of black and grey, hard colours, but immensely powerful colours.
I often look back at our journey, a journey we would never have envisaged for ourselves. As the pages and colors unfold, I wonder… I wonder if we have walked this journey  in the best possible way we could have. I wonder if we have done enough, and if we have lived from a place of rest. I wonder if we have read all the pages, or maybe missed some of the important chapters of the story. I have realised that the secret of walking your journey well, lies in feeling so safe in Papa’s arms that it doesn’t really matter if the picture you had in mind looks nothing like the reality. The secret lies in embracing every word of every page of your story.
I say again, each life has a journey and each journey has a story. And each story is significant and carries impact. Never underestimate the power that lies within your story. You might feel as if your journey has been insignificant or small. Or you might feel like you have failed due to the manner in which you have walked your journey.  Therefore, you might choose to keep your story to yourself. Don’t do that. Tell your story, walk your journey with your head held high. And know that  your voice is important. And next time you sit with someone, take time to listen to their story…
My grandparents have 91 years of stories behind them. And 65 years of married life. Rich and impactful!
Even though our girls are only starting out their life journey, they already have profound stories to share.

Being a victorious mom…

26 Jan

I proudly announced to my husband this morning that I am ‘finally’ feeling as if I’m starting the year from a place of victory! My girls’ school uniforms and stationary have all been marked (in time for school), my diary is up to date and I’ve got an exciting vision for my business.

I used to be a person who functioned with lists. My life was carefully plotted out on either the pages of my diary, or on to-do stick it notes, neatly ticked off as I accomplished each item. I was even the one who reminded people of their anniversaries before they remembered….!  It sounds a bit painful, I know. Then we had our first daughter Kayla, and apart from the pajama drills and bloodshot eyes due to a lack of sleep, I was back into my routine quick enough. Even with the arrival of Nika, it felt like I sprung back to my real, organised life quite quickly! With two kids, ages well spaced, life was different and fun, but still manageable through little lists. And then Lana arrived, and with her came the wonderful, colourful, crazy lifestyle of a home with three girls. It brought orderly chaos into my life, which I have not yet restored, until maybe this year (which is not even one month old yet). For the past three years, since Lana’s birth,  I felt like I never knew what was going on, until it was maybe too late. I have not remembered birthdays (although it is in my diary) and if I remember in time, then the card or gift may not be ready. My phone is always on silent and I often have 15 voice messages on my phone before I get a moment to listen to it. That’s why this morning’s realization was so profound for me.

But soon after my feeling of elation at being in charge again, I wondered for a moment if it really is that important. After 3 years of living in a place of not being on top of it all, it might not be my goal anymore. Or might not even fit our current lifestyle anymore. And then the question: “What does it really mean to live from a victorious place as a mom (and wife)?”

Isn’t it funny how we can feel so self-confident in most aspects of our lives, but when it comes to being a mom it’s so easy to second-guess ourselves all the time. And so my thought pattern is: Is it okay to not always be in charge of to-do’s and meetings and times? Is it good enough to be uninvolved enough at school to not be a paranoid mom, but just involved enough to at least know when there is a school outing? Is it okay for our girls to maybe not attend all the school parties due to the invites getting lost (in the pile of unfilled papers on our dining room table), but rather for them to feel respected when they are with me? My conclusion: Even though our ‘baby’ is now 3 and I don’t have an excuse to be a bit scatter-brained anymore, my victory as a mom lies in the fact that I try and teach our girls that they are important, that they have value, that they are loved to bits and respected and that I truly enjoy them! I love their personalities, I love their uniqueness and I want them to know that they will be safe with us, always, regardless of what they do or don’t do. I want them to know that they are powerful and have influence and that I often learn huge life-lessons from them! Yes that’s it! That’s the victory! Teaching our kids to carry life lightly and embrace every moment. Teaching them to build memories, even if it’s just painting a picture or chasing the ice-cream van for a treat. Teaching our kids to take themselves lightly but feel worthy, to have fun and laugh together. Teaching them that they can do anything and encourage them to fly, and yet, let them enjoy their failures. Teaching them that relationships are way more important than anything else. I now have a heart connection with each one of these three girls. I do not just function with them.

So, I might not ever be a list-person again. Yay, what a relief. But I do live a victorious life! May your days be filled with victory and lots of amazing moments.

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