Monday, February 28, 2011

The Academy Award for biggest heart goes to....

Oscar fever has hit the world and it made me think about awards, prizes and recognition for outstanding performances - be that in acting or in the ordinary lives of every Tom, Dick and Harry, or Tanya, Diane and Helien :-)

(Mental note that I have to see The King's Speech ASAP).

It also made me think that what if Oscars for best behaviour or most considerate act or biggest heart would be awarded?  Would we stand in line to walk away with an Oscar award trophy? 

But then again, we don't regard being a good person, kindness and sharing as something that should be awarded.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing since these are things that we should do and constantly strive towards doing regardless of whether any positive appraisals would stem from it or not.  But I do think that we should commend each other more when someone has been considerate and kind towards you, especially since this is not standard practice in the societies that we live in nowadays.

If Oscars for being a good person - sharing, accommodating and kind, considerate, positive, inspiring - the list can go on and on - were awarded - would we be nominated by our peers? 

Something to think about (and act upon) during this week - have a good one!

Read all about the Oscars 2011.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Find your happy place :-)

What a hectic week!

It's so easy to get caught in that constant moaning mode where we don't realise that we're not very good company - not to others and definitely not to ourselves!

I found myself complaining and being negative every day this week (that might be part of the reason for the first blog post only being published on a Friday afternoon). There might be good reasons for the negativity but when that's the state of mind (and heart) for five consequtive days serious introspection is needed!

The solution for this sorry state of affairs (or part thereof at least) is to find one's happy place - for me that's to have the freedom to choose when to do what is expected of me and to make sure that 'me-time' is part of this package. I'm sitting in front of my laptop at a busy pub, waiting to see the final client of the week - a glass of wine in the hand and the prospect of a relaxing weekend ahead!

Life is good!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Share a part of yourself - it's the natural thing to do!

You know what you're good at - it might be to motivate others, to do a chore for someone that saves them time or to simply provide an ear and shoulder to cry on.  We often admire other people's strengths and traits and wish that we could be more like his or her. And in the process we oversee our own positive offerings to our community and society as a whole.

My extreme challenge for today is to do good to others in such a way that comes natural to you.  You might give someone a compliment, a hug or a word of encouragement.  You might give someone flowers or a chockie or you might offer to do something for someone.  The point is that you share a bit of yourself - something we should do more often so that it becomes a spontaneous, natural act in our everyday lives!

Be kind by being, and sharing - yourself!  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Extreme kindness gift to self and others: no negativity for one day!

Today's kindness challenge is quite extreme - no moaning and groaning for the next 24 hours!

This might sound very easy at first but if you think about it for a minute I'm sure you'll agree that it is quite a challenge - even an extreme one!  I regard myself as a positive person and I like surrounding myself with inspiring people and uplifting events or experiences but I also know that I can be quite cynical every now and then - seeing all the dark clouds instead of the their silver linings.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to be critical and to question life as it happens.  I actually think it's very much needed at times.  The challenge is to stick to the 'at times' part - not on a constant, everyday basis!

So - let's see if we can commit to a moan-free day.  We will not only be kind to everyone interacting with us today, but also, and maybe more importantly - to ourselves.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Free gift time - give a compliment!

Most people are not good at receiving compliments.  We usually have a reason why we think, and therefore ast as if we don't really deserve the compliment that comes our way.  But isn't it also true that it feels as if you've been injected with a dose of happiness and 'chuffed-ness' when you are on the receiving side of a sincere compliment?  Especially when that compliment says something about your character and true self.

So, my extreme challenge for the third day of this week's Random Acts of Kindness is to give a compliment that comes from the heart to a random (or maybe not so random) someone.  I might just make their day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't look away today - give a bite to eat!

Buy a pack of apples and a few loafs of bread (not the most innovative idea, I know), be creative - but give!

When someone approach you at a robot today don't look away, roll up the window (or your eyes) or just keep staring in front of you - give a few apples and a bread to everyone.  You might redefine 'everyone' if your list adds up to ten or more (I don't pass that many robots/intersections ;-)

The point is - share the plenty you have with others today!

Is that a deal?

Today is the second day of Random Acts of Kindness Week - don't miss out on the opportunity to raise awareness for kindness!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today is the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week!

Take part in the Extreme Kindness Challenges this week!

Today's act of kindness - send someone a note of appreciation.

Quite easy, isn't it?  You don't even have to look that someone in the eye to say that you appreciate his/her input in your life - a simple note/e-mail/even a sms will do!  Why don't we show our appreciation to at least three someone's today (I'm sure there will be a lot more 'candidates' - three is the minimum).

A simple act of kindness can go a long way.  I'm up for today's challenge, what about you?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Perfection = black + white

Why is it that we're often (I'm tempted to say always, but let's stick to often) striving towards purity, spotlessness - to all that's good and 'unpolluted'?  If you have to think of a colour that symbolises this description I'm sure it would be white.  

On the other end of the continuum is black, and all that is associated with it - darkness, evil, immorality, sin - something/someone that should be avoided at all cost.  I've watched the movie Black Swan last night and this made me realise that black and white - good and bad/evil - should be in balance to create harmony and ultimately, perfection.  It's actually such a basic truth, I'm not sure why we're constantly trying to fight our very own nature.  

Most of us usually feel bad when we're not in tip top emotional shape.  Quite frankly we feel bad when we're not in tip top shape (literally figuratively spoken in this sense ;-) - period.  While yin and yang, good and bad, black and white is part of our make-up, of who we are, whether we resist and fight it or not.  

So, simunye - we are one - or should it be isibili, two?  One part black and one part white.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What makes you happy on a Monday afternoon?

I feel grateful to be able to sit with my laptop in my lap ;-) on my bed, listening to the rain, drinking home-made cappuccino and writing this post - on a Monday afternoon.

To have choices and to be in control of my own life (more or less) are two of the things that makes me extremely happy.  With that comes responsibility and accountability - I know, but that too is something to be grateful for - to be able to take responsibility for my actions and be accountable for the choices I've made.   A bit philosophical for the start of the week, perhaps - but what better time than the present? 

Please share your 'happy Monday' thoughts ;-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be a hero - it's in your blood!

I don't know if you've been introduced to the South African National Blood Services' most recent campaign yet?  Be a hero - it's in your blood!  I think it's a very witty tagline!  Isn't it part of our core being to be - or to strive towards becoming - a hero?  To be someone's super hero at some stage, even only for a day or a few hours?  Those that think that this is absolute nonsense have just not realised it yet (my humble opinion).  

So thanks to the great initiative taken by the South African National Blood Service we have the opportunity to be a hero, and the best part is that it will take you less than an hour to achieve this 'status'.  I would love to put on my superwoman suit and save the world in true Catwoman style, but I know that this will do more harm than good (my self esteem is in a good place right now, wouldn't want to ruin that in one easy step)! So, the better alternative for me is to donate blood today, and then every 56 days thereafter.  Quite easy to be a hero then, it is in my blood after all! ;-)

Don't know where to donate?  Click here

Have a splendid day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spread the love during February ;-)

And so it's February 1 of 2011 - the start of a period that is often described as the 'month of love'.  It's not a bad thing to dedicate 28 days to love, romance, red roses and chocolates but there is, and should be so much more to it!

Did you know that February 20 is World Day of Social Justice and that we celebrate (or are suppose to) commemorate International Mother Language Day on February 21?  Another important date to diarise is Random Acts of Kindness Week, taking place from February 14th to 20th this year.

Why limit ourselves to celebrating the month of love on Valentine's Day?  We learn in primary school already that love is not really about the warm-hearted feeling of being in love with someone where it's all about 'me me me' - my needs, wants and desires - altough there is and should be a time (and place) for love in this sense as well ;-) 

But is the real challenge of love not to share, to care and to be kind to all others, not only to those that I really like and who'se company I enjoy?  I think so - what do you think?