Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Internal stock taking a necessity every now and then

In the midst of public holiday craze in South Africa - one hear that many conversations are about people's work and life (which is not unusual) and more often than not from a not-so-very positive perspective.  It's as if we enjoy to moan and groan about how unhappy we really are.  That is the case until someone throws a spanner in the works and say that we are very fortunate human beings - we are, in fact, part of the top 2% of modern civilisation!  We won't even be able to grasp the notion of going to bed hungry, or not being able to make use of our own automobile for our everyday transportation.  Most of us enjoy excellent health, we are able to go on holiday at least once a year and we have a world of knowledge (literally) at our fingertips.

But still, it's never enough.  Or is it more a question of having too much, too many choices - being too privileged, maybe?  I know that I struggle with the 'let it be' approach - to really live and enjoy the moment (and seeing that the whole country is in holiday mode) - what is there not to enjoy?

Easier said than done - I know!  But let's give it a real go this week, while (most of us) are not at work and enjoying quality time with family, friends or ourselves.  Let's try to not moan and complain about everything that is not perfect in our worlds, and experience the circumstances we're living in for what it really is - blessed, fortunate, privileged.

A good life, that is!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spread the Word - April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day!

Can you imagine your life without books?

I know not everyone would classify themselves as 'book worms' but I'm sure all will agree that a world without books is simply unimaginable!  The extent of the social, cultural and intellectual advances which the written word has brought along is difficult to grasp but one thing is certain - humanity's stance in the world we are living in would be much different would it not be for the wonderful contributions of people sharing their thoughts, ideas and stories by means of books.

UNESCO took the inititiative to commemorate the written word. "By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright. 

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mej√≠a Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity".

So, there is no debate about spreading the word - it's the right and responsible thing to do!

Take note of these interesting book matters:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday truth about happiness ;-)

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking." - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

A simple truth but sometimes harder to implement.  But, let's give it a go!

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Tokyo they sell toupees for dogs...useless information might add value to our lives

The other day my husband said that it is good to just 'go with the flow' at times and that we (read I) should live a simpler life - not analysing every event or (moment even) and to sometimes not focus on anything specific - not even on how to have a more, let's say 'minimalistic' outlook on life.

So, from today you'll find a 'useless information snippet' on the left tab.  The idea is to take our minds off all that's serious and important in our 'real worlds', if only for a few seconds.  I don't promise that I'll update it every day but I'll commit to a couple of times a week.  Is that a deal?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I love....me!

I came across this very interesting blog post about 'Body image and falling in love with yourself'' by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS.

According to her, body image is about so much more than falling in love with (or just liking, or even being comfortable with) your face and/or physique.  It's about falling in love with yourself - the complete package, that is.  That what you perceive as the good, the bad and the ugly that comprises...you! 

I am struggling with this concept at the moment (I trust that it is a momentary 'state' that will pass sooner rather than later) - really liking, left alone loving oneself.  We can blame this sorry state of affairs on the media (how the 'ideal woman' should look and behave), on your parents (how they're parenting style has 'scarred' you for life) or on society's collective consciousness (setting expectations on who I  should be given the work that I do, where I live and my socio-economic circumstances).  But, although the blaming game might provide some insight in understanding oneself better, fact is that I am the only person that I have to face throughout my whole life.  A trial seperation or divorce is not an option.  Looking at 'me, myself and I' from this perspective might shed some light.

I know that I have my fair share of 'bad and uglies' but that there are also a lot of good in the 'me' package.  And that, no matter how hard I try - I cannot get rid of the 'Black Swan' that forms part of me.  So I might just as well embrace this complete me - knowing that it's okay to have an 'off' day every now and then, not being the life of the party every time or not being able to handle a situation as gracefully as I normally would have.

As Tartakovsky stated, "Falling in love with yourself is a daily process".  I'm ready for phase 1 ;-)

Have a good week!

P.S. Tartakovsky suggests making a regular date with yourself is a good place to start.  Any other great ideas?  Please share ;-) 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here's to living a healthy life!

Yesterday World Health Day was celebrated.  It made me think about the many commemorative days/weeks or months on our calendar and I was wondering about the purpose of these days.

Is it an ideal opportunity to raise awareness for a specific cause, celebrate past successes or learn from mistakes and failures that should be avoided in future if at all possible? Many people would say that it's a waste of time and money and activists' way to put the rest of us on a guilt trip.  We all have the right and ability to derive meaning and purpose from commemorative days and events according to our own set of constructs.  But we need to be reminded about pressing issues that is not necessarily part of our own reality but that of our neighbour, colleague or fellow South African.  And we should also keep in mind that we're part of a much bigger society than the one that we're living and working in - we are world citizens, global community members.  Our thoughts and actions have an impact on those around us, not only on those in our inner circle but also on those that we don't know or will most probably never met. 

We should therefore be accountable and responsible human beings.  With that in mind I think that it's important for one to take note of (at least, if not taking part in) the values, global concerns and events that are commemorated.

Let's remind ourselves that we can create and celebrate our own World Health Day - pondering about how what we eat (or don't eat), what we do (or don't do) and what we think (or don't think) set the standard for the rest of our life! Here's to living a meaningful, purposeful life - being accountable for my actions, doing more than what is expected of me and respecting others!  Now that sounds like a healthy deal!

Take note of other commemorative events celebrated in April.

Monday, April 4, 2011